I am struggling with my nutrition. I hear so many different things and I'm not sure what is correct. Some say with this program don't worry about your caloric intake some much, just eat as clean as possible. But if you eat more than you burn then you'll gain weight right? I also hear if you want to lose weight to take your weight x 7= your caloric intake. Unless it comes up less than 1200 calories, then you need to eat the 1200 because a women shouldn't eat less than 1200 calories. But again this takes me back to eating too many calories. If I take my weight 131.5 x 7= 920.5 calories is this too little? Is 1200 calories too much for me?
Let me give you information about me.
Stats: Height 4' 9"
Age 39 (really close to 40)
I quit smoking about 4 years ago and gained 24 lbs. For the last 3 years I have been working out. I did a bootcamp for a year and a half since the bootcamp I have been working out in the gym for the last year or so. First I was doing 30 min cardio 4-5 days a week and strength training 4-5 days a week (switching muscle groups) and I have ran in a 5k, 10k, 10 miler and getting ready for my first 1/2 marathon. After all this I have only lost 10lbs of the 24 I gained. I have back fat that doesn't seem to want to go anywhere and rolls where most people get them and they seem very comfortable living where they are. I would like to evict them now! lol
January 23rd 2012 I decided to try this program. I am in my 4 week and I am seeing some minor results in muscle tone and smoothing out of my cellulite. But nothing on the scale or inches yet. So this leads me to believe my eating is wrong.
Here is my schedule and what I have been eating the last few 4 weeks.
6:30am - Gym 16oz water
7:30-8:00am Breakfast-EAS Myoplex Strength Bar 290calories, 25g protein, 9g fat, 35g carbs, 1g fiber, 16g sugar
10:30-11:00am Snack-1 Serving Pistachios 160 calories, 6g protein, 14g fat, 8g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugar & 8oz water
12:30-1:00pm Lunch- A Lean Cuisine 320 calories or less, 550g sodium or less, at least 14g protein and no more than 8g fat & 8oz Water
3:00-3:3pm Snack- 1/2 serving Greek yogurt with 1 serving dry Kashi go lean cereal added with 1/4 cup oats 260 calories, 23g protein, 4g fat, 39 carbs, 9g fiber, 15g sugar 8oz water
6:00-6:30pm Dinner- 1 serving protein, 1 serving starch, 1 1/2 servings dinner. (My husband cooks dinner so I am never sure of the calories so I control the serving size) 8oz water
8:00-8:30pm Snack- 100 calorie pack Orville Redenbach popcorn 100 calories, 3g protein, 1.5g fat, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 0g sugar 8oz water
If I add all these up then I am at around 1400 calories a day, 6 meals and 7 - 8oz of water.
Please let me know what I am doing wrong or what I need to change!
Also I do not take any supplements because I do not know what to take for what. My body is very sensitive to caffeine too.
Thank you for your help!!!
Your commitment seems sincere and there's not much wrong with your meal plan, but here are a few tips that might actually help.
First, if you're eating the right foods then don't count calories! The plan that works best is simply using your "hand" to measure portion sizes. With an open hand, your protein should be about the size (diameter) of your palm and the thickness of your hand. With a closed hand (fist) then this should be the portion size for your carbs. Pretty simple!
There has been studies performed as to whether exercising on an empty stomach is any better than eating 30-minutes prior to exercising and the jury is still out on which works best, so if you fell the need to nourish your body at 6:30 then eat lightly or better yet have a protein shake (EAS).
While I love the Myoplex bars, I do not suggest them for the first meal of the day. You should concentrate on more natural foods like eggs and steel cut oats. There is also research that suggest egg whites are actually no better for you than whole eggs, so I usually have 2 whole eggs and 3 egg whites. Stay away from toast as a carb source.
Stay away from pre-packaged meals like Lean Cuisine mainly because of the Sodium. If you don't have time to cook Sam's and Costco have pre-cooked chicken breast at a fair price and 4-minutes in the microwave and you have a healthy protein source.
Kashi is okay at best and not when starting out. Popcorn, again something that I don't highly recommend. The best thing for a late night snack is a low sodium, 1% Cottage Cheese. It has Casein protein which actually helps you to stay fuller while you sleep and keeps your body from eating lean muscle during your sleep as well.
As for supplements, Green Tea extract (EGCG), CLA (EAS) and L-Carnitine for weight-loss and some HMB for lean muscle gain and Phos Force (EAS) for a pre-workout.
Hope this helps!
2011 Body for Life Champion
I think that with your height that your calories seem about right. I know they say not to count calories but I check every once in a while just to make sure I am on track. Another way to track is to look at your macros try to aim for 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat. Aim for about 20g protein and 20g carb for each of your meals and it should put you right on track for your calories. The Original Myloplex is geared more men. The Myloplex light would be a better option for you. Stay away from the pre frozen meals. There is alot of processed junk in those. You would be alot better off with a chicken breast and a small sweet potato or something for lunch. Don't weigh yourself very often, every two weeks tops. Your body is doing lot of weird things with water weight when you are weight training. Hang in there, YOU CAN DO THIS!!
Thanks for your help. I guess the reason I have the EAS bar in the morning is because I don't have time in the morning to eat. So I eat the bar on the way home from the gym. Otherwise if I waited to eat at home then it would be about 1-2 hours after I got home before I would have time to eat. Do you have any other suggestions of a healthy on the road morning snack I can eat in the car and then I can make an actual breakfast after I get the kids off to school.
As for lunch, I can find a better substitute. I eat the Lean Cuisine's because of the portion control. But I am doing better with this now and I feel comfortable switching.
I don't like cottage cheese at all and I'm not a fan of yogurt either. So this is why I mix the Kashi cereal with the greek yogurt until I get used to it. I plan on cutting back the cereal and just adding nuts and maybe some fruit and eventually eliminating the cereal all together. Is this ok?
I am a huge potato chip fanatic! So the popcorn gives me the salty crunchy taste I crave. Do you have any other options that will satisfy my craving?
One more question.... The supplements you suggested, are these good ones for women?
Thanks again!!!!! =D
Liz2bfit & Tim
I like the idea about the 20g protein, 20g carbs with each meal. Now is that... the 3 main meals or all 6 meals a day? I will find a better option for my lunches instead of the Lean Cuisines.
I really think I can stick with this program and want to succeed. This is why I am trying to get my nutrition in line.
If I am correct in what I have read on the website and on the forum; what they are saying is that....
1. Don't count your calories (if you are eating the right foods)
2. The right foods are all clean foods and no processed foods (unless it's your free day, even then limit)
3. Use your hand to gauge portion sizes
4. Eat 6 meals a day
5. Drink 8-10 8oz glasses of water a day
6. Follow the exercise program
Is this correct? If so, this isn't so hard. All the other information out there makes it confusing.
Anything else to add?
You want about 20g carb and 20 g protein for all 6 meals. Stick to foods that are on the authorized food list. I know cravings are hard to get over but they will get better as time goes on. Give this all you have. 80% of your results are going to come from the kitchen. So make it your #1 priority.
With regards to your morning meal, a protein shake (EAS 100% Whey Protein) is very acceptable and it will also keep you body from cannibalizing itself first thing. Since you attempting to lose weight I would not suggest any carbs with this meal (shake). Although many people claim that a smoothie with protein powder is okay, I disagree simply because so many fruits are high on the Glycemic Index and this will cause your body to go into store fat mode.
Way to go on lunch!
The reason that I suggest cottage cheese late night is because it is a slow digesting protein (4-6 hours) unlike a whey protein that digest in as little as 20-minutes, but usually an hour until you gain muscle. If you dislike cottage cheese that much I would suggest a Casein protein powder shake - Optimum Nutrition has a great one. Again, no late night carbs at all.
Your vice is Potato Chips and mine is Peanut Butter, but in order to succeed, you have to lock away your vices and march on. Of course popcorn on occasion is not harmful, but I find it best to limit my vice to once a week. As a matter of fact, stock in Peter Pan has dropped to an all new low!
And yes, the supplements I suggested to you are good for everyone.
Good Luck and I hope to see you on the other side!!!
2011 Men's Body-for-Life Champion - 46+
Thanks again! The shake in the morning I can do. But no alternative to chips, now that is going to take some work. :) But I think if I stick to this that will pass. I will have to give chips up all together because once I allow myself to have some then the next day I will want more. So best to just give it up for awhile all together.
So this is my new meal plan.
Breakfast- Eggs (when I can) or a shake
Snack- Myoplex lite bar Pistachios
Lunch- Chicken breast or salmon
Snack- Myoplex lite bar
Dinner- Whatever my husband makes, (he does make healthy meals) just control portions and added fats (butter, condiments or salt)
Snack- Greek Yogurt (eliminating the Kashi)
How does this sound?
I really appreciate your help! I want to get this right! I don't go through this program and not get the maximum results and then get discouraged. I know I can do this!
Oops I forgot, do I add vegetables or a carb in with my lunch meal plan?
I'm glad you're changing your mind about Lean Cuisine. i used this for months, thinking it was all 'fair' portions. But if you look at it, the carb count in it is usually much higher than the protein. And there's really only a few good pieces of meat in those. AFter time, I found I was supplementing my Lean Cuisines with extra meat and veggies.... kinda making the whole point of buying them silly.
Now I just make sure I always have frozen chic/lean pork/lean gr. beef patties (93/7) stocked in my freezer and lots of frozen veggies. Carbs are so easy for me to come by. So I can easily grab a meat portion every day, and either some veg or a container of spinach, and then either fruit or whole grain dinner roll. something like that.
My apologies if I've confused you even more with your diet plan. What I meant when I mentioned the protein drink first thing in the morning was simply a way for you to get some protein into your body before your workout so that your body would stop cannibalizing itself - eating at your lean muscle tissue; it should not be a replacement for eggs and a healthy slow digesting carb source like Steel Cut Oats. If you aren't working out and/or don't have time for eggs (protein) and a healthy carb, then you might wish to have a Myoplex Lite drink for breakfast, but only if you don't have time to eat properly.
The reason I suggest the drink versus the bar is because the protein to carb to fat ration is more inline where you want to be for weight loss.
As for your snacks, the Myoplex Lite bar alone is sufficient without the nuts, or perhaps a 1% or 2% low-fat (never no-fat) cheese stick with Pistachios - great choice. Remember, a snack is just that, a snack and not a full meal; the lower the caloric intake here the better.
Chicken breast or salmon are both great choices. Fish has good fats which actually help to aid in fat loss - weird huh. When cooking chicken use Olive Oil which is another good fat. And yes, choose a carb here as well as at breakfast. Lunch is the best time to consume beans or brown rice, although I just read this morning that brown rice actually has the highest amount of inorganic arsenic in it of any foods and has been linked to organ cancers. I love brown rice, but if I eat it anymore it will only be on occasion.
Good for your husband! Let him cook the large portions, but only eat what's expected. Studies show that real butter is actually better for you than margarine, but I would suggest that the only cooking oil you should use right now is Olive Oil. As for the salt, I too love the salt, but it may keep you from losing that last few pounds towards the end of your competition.
As for the Greek Yogurt, you're a better person than me because I simply cannot stand the stuff. It makes a great sour cream if your eating potatoes, but I'm sure that you're not eating those ;-)
Hope this claryfies any remaining questions you might have.
2011 Men's Body-for-Life Champion, 46+
Tim, I like the advice that you have given. I am trying to formulate a plan but having struggles. Would you be able to assist me with my transformation plans? My e-mail is Percy.jamesf@ gmail.com. Hope to hear from you
I would be happy to help any way I can and I will email you once we know what exactly it is that you're having problems with. Please be specific and together we will formulate a plan that should meet your needs.
I want to thank you for responding and to this point have the willingness to assist me. I have to be honest; I have tried several programs before and for many different reasons never succeeded. There are many reasons why now is the time for me to formulate a plan to gain control of my life. Now that I
I want to begin by giving you some background on myself. I recently concluded a 26 year military career. During this time it is apparent to me now that my military career came priority one with deployment after deployment. I am 6’1” and weigh about 275 w/a B/F of around 33%. This coupled with the multiple medical issues and many medications have caused me to begin a rapid decline of depression that hinders my motivation levels. My biggest problem is that I only have one lung because of military service as well as reactive airway disease on the remaining one.
One of the obstacles I feel we will need to address is my travel with work. I do travel about 30 to 50% of the time, but I need not let this be a factor. I know there will be challenges and perhaps you could share some comments.
So, you might ask what some of my goals might be. I am not sure if I am reaching too far, but I would like to weight around 215 and have a waist a bit smaller than 34”. I want the tone look that looks very healthy.
I am in the process of reading the Body for Life Book and wonder if perhaps you could give me some suggestions as to what exercises would be good to start the program. Did you follow the program exactly as outlined in the book or did you alter some.
I do know that eating is where the battle can be won. I typically have
- Oatmeal and Protein Shake or shredded almonds before gym 4 am
- Myoplex advantage after gym 7 am
- 5 egg whites and oatmeal 10 am
- This is normally a problem 1 pm (Currently no plan)
- Dinner (currently no plan 5 pm
- Cottage Cheese or Casein protein shake (If it good to have carbs at this time
Another area I have questioned is in the area of supplements. Thinking I know what I am doing I have wasted large amounts of money. I was reading in one of your previous postings that you feel Green Tea Extract, CLA, L-Camitine and HMB. Someone who is in dreadful shape such as myself where do you think I should begin. I do not have a problem getting to my gym, but I feel that I just go throught the motions.
I am adding my e-mail address incase you want to respond there email@example.com. I can also give my phone number if needed. I guess I need a mentor to help me complete 12 weeks because of my depression.
© Abbott Laboratories,2013