Starting the program, has anyone used the gram method with success?

  • H, I'm John and I have a lot of body fat to lose. I know the book says palm portions, but I feel like I need something more precise. Just seems vague to say fist. 

    I've been weighing my food, so tilapia, chicken breast and top round steak 4-5oz, my carbs are either oats, brown rice or a potato. 1/2c portion or a 5 oz potato, most of these potatoes are real small. I'll add some spinach, green beans, roc oil or asparagus to it. 

    I also take an omega 3 fish oil caps and evening primrose oil, was to ld is a good omega6 support. 

    So my meals are small, but then I got to thinking about how a woman's meal plan would look like and it got me wondering that maybe I'm eating too little?im not really sure. Cause these carb portions are around 20 grams, I think 1/2c of oats is 27g. I now this is a weird comparison, thinking of what a woman's plan is.....just was wondering if someone had more success using a gram approach. 

    My goal is fat loss, #1 concern is getting healthy, cause I know this extra weight isn't good. Once I get a lot of the excess off, then I'll focus more on how to get cut. 



  • BFL is more of a lifestyle change than a hardcore diet, and if you start weighing and measuring everything you eat, you will get pissed off at it pretty fast.

    The hand and fist method is great, a fist of cheese isn't going to be as good as a fist of chicken breast, but it is all about moderation.

    I know when I am dishing out a (tomato based!) curry on to some rice I will just make a fist over the plate to get portion sizes right.  If I had to weigh everything I would get really annoyed with it and probably not make it as often, and it is the fact that I am having delicious meals that is keeping me eating healthy.

  • Weighing isn't a problem, it's pretty easy. Drop enoug chicken in a scale till it says 6oz. I use a 1/2c measuring scoop. Pretty easy. Just seems like I'm not eating much.

  • For me if it means more dishes, it means more work and more time and I just can't be bothered.  Where do you draw the line as well?  Do you weight what goes in to a sandwich or the sandwich itself?  

    To stick with it long term, keep it simple.  I know portion sizes seem small compared to what we used to eat (entire packet of chips for a snack anyone? :)) but its NORMAL, that is what we should be eating, and don't forget its not just 3 times a day either, the daily grazing really reduces your appetite for big meals

  • Anyone else

  • The grams method... there's an easier way and one that's far more effective than palm / fist

    This doesn't require weighing your food. 

    Take your scale weight. 

    You'll have a gram of protein and a gram of carb (some do somewhat less) per pound of scale bodyweight.  It is not for the body you want or lean body weight.  You need to eat for the body you have, with the body you have in mind.  This method is considered a fitness standard and works. 

    This work up to just over 300 pounds.  It was taught to me years ago by EAS and for a long time, explained here on this website.  It's BFL approved.  I realize Bill talks palm / fist in the book and if that works for someone then who am I to tell them otherwise.  For me and many it doesn't work.  Did you notice your hands get bigger when you really like that carb or when more hungry?  Also, too many foods can't accurately be measured this way.  Is a hard boiled egg not a totally different size from other cooking methods? 

    Let's take the "average" weight of a woman, which is 150#.

    150 pounds

    150 grams of protein per day

    That equals 600 calories at a rate of 4 calories per gram. 

    150 grams of carbs per day

    That equals 600 calories at a rate o f 4 calories per gram.

    It should be noted that the equations on calories per gram are now, after previously having been accepted as fact, being called into question, but let's keep this simple. 

    We are now at 1200 calories.  We have 40% Protein and 40%.  That leaves 20% for Fat. 

    33 grams of fat per day (33.3333, but let's not get crazy)

    That equal 300 calories at a rate of 9 calories per gram.

    We have a total of 1500 calories for a 150 pound on BFL. 

    150 divided by 6 is 25. 

    It's not coincidence that the original BFL Lite was 25 grams of proten and 25 grams of carb.  That also works with the number of approximate calories per each meal a woman should be having if her portions are on point.  It's true we don't go by calories, but it's not like they don't matter. 

    This all sounds like way too much work or complicated, right?  It sounds it, but in actuality, it's not. 

    I don't weigh anything.  I don't obsess over this.  It's simple.  I read packages. 

    A pound of chicken makes 4 portions.  Are you making brown rice?  I had brown rice where a 1/4 of cup of dry rice was 34g of Carb.  I made a 1/2 cup and then once cooked, immediately divided into 3 containers.  I was going for a carb count in the low 20's so that was right for me. 

    What if I'm out?  No big.  By now I really can eyeball it, but I never could figure out  if something was the size of my palm or fist.  Besides, your hands don't change much in size.  They lose/gain some fat and are bigger in people with a lot to lose, but mostly they're rather consistent so that wouldn't make sense to use it as your standard.  Bill wasn't arguing it's the best or only way.  He was saying it's easy and that anyone can do it that way.  He was right. 

    Okay, so you're a guy.  20g of carbs is too low.  It could work for meal 6, but that's a diversion so let's proceed without. 

    Let's simply this and get down to brass tacks. 

    You didn't give your weight, but for the sake of my purposes, I'm putting 240. 

    That's 40 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs per meal. 

    Okay, let's complicate some.  Personally, I'd have uneven protein and carb and reduce the carb, but that's something to think about after you nail down this system and learn to be consistent. 

    Packages, even meat, also list the carb and protein count.  You'll need to look carefully a few times and after that you'll know your correct portion size. 

    40 of each per meal (assuming 240) and have some healthy fats

    Good Luck!

    Ps - You'll be amazed by how little you're eating of some things and how much of others.  The right portion for eggs for most women is about 4-5 whites with 1 yolk.  Some were having just 2 whites!  Try doing this for cottage cheese.  That individual cup isn't nearly enough and I don't really like it anyway so no more cottage cheese for me. 


    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Jessica, thank you for the response. I have yet to have my bodyfat measured, but I'm 6'3 355. To get lean like most of these after photos I'm estimating I'd have to lose 170 lbs of fat or so. And my weight exceeds the 300 lbs you mention so should I get 40 grams of pro/carb?

    Also since you are very thorough, when you talk 20% fat, are you adding nuts/oils to get this or just count the fats in chicken breast etc.


  • I would call EAS to have them advise on your correct macro nutrient levels.  I can say with absolute certainty that 20g is not nearly enough protein or carb at a meal for you. That's the amount that's right for a 120 pound woman.  No wonder you're hungry!  They are at 1-800-297-9776.

    Right now you only need to focus on your immediate plan.  If you think about the 170, it will feel overwhelming and then substantial wins, like a 5 pound loss will be met with frustration or anxiety about how far you need to go, not the pride your accomplishments would deserve. 

    My best guess on your plan is that you are good with no more than 40 of carb and can fluctuate your protein between 35 and 50 grams per meal.  I'm not sure if your body will be able to effectively use more protein from one meal.  Do ask EAS.  It might cap at 40.  Although when I say that, I'm not talking the conventional incorrect wisdom that we can only process 25 grams of protein at once, leaving all else to be stored as fat, or worse, harmful to the kidneys.  If your body doesn't use it now, it will slowly process the protein over time.  It's just that the initial bodily response can only handle so much at once.  EAS would better know.  You will have more latitude at this stage, which is the good news.  You will likely be best served by not doing the equal amounts of each for all 6 meals, at least not now. 

    My advice, for what it's worth:

    Meal 1 and Meal 2

    protein = 40 grams

    carb = 35-40 grams

    Meal 3 and Meal 4

    protein = 35-40 grams

    carb = 30-35 grams

    Meal 5 and Meal 6

    protein = 40 grams

    carb = 25-30 grams

    Have no more than 2 grains in a day and preferably just one.  I sure hope you like sweet potatoes and berries!  Use a large portion of veggies as one of your carb portions. Bill does not make it a carb and under normal conditions, I'm in agreement.  In this case, I'm talking 4x the typical side veggie portion so it would constitute a carb portion. 

    Be mindful of sides, dressings, sauce, condiments, etc.  Those things are sneaky diet killers.  If this is a challenge for you, I can provide some examples of how I season. 

    Fats.  You just hit a hot topic for me.  I believe we need much more fat than originally thought.  BFL was written over 10 years ago and since, significantly more information has come to light on the topic. People thought that fat makes you fat, but it's processed carbs and excess insulin that makes you fat, not dietary fat. 

    Do though be mindful.  Most eat more fat than they realize and although adding good fats is an important part of health, mindless consumption isn't good and in most cases, what brought us here. 

    Let's go with BFL for now.  Make absolute sure you are taking fish oil and I'm not talking about one capsule a day.  I would get something like Carlson's, which is good quality and do the liquid.  It comes in lemon and orange flavor and is not at all gross.  Do not take post workout or in the morning and this is because that's when you want your system ultra fast.  Fat slows, which believe it or not, is good for the night because then you can run slow and steady while your body repairs itself, rebuilding stronger.  Have about 6 tablespoons a day, maybe more...seriously.  If you hate the liquid, then good a good quality capsule and do take a large quanitity.  This is because most are deficient in Omega 3.  This kind of fat goes to your brain, not belly.  Also, it will aid in fat loss because your body will know it's okay, it's got enough fat and doesn't need to store.  It will help keep you physically agile, mentally alert and aid with things like anxiety.  There is a bodybuilder standard that says you should take 1 gram of fish oil per 1 percentage of body fat.  That's excessive, even from my vantage point, but it's sound to get a lot more. 

    You could consider, with guidance from EAS, shifting your diet to include more fats and less carbs.  There are several arguments for this.  Bascially, one meal might include a half an avocado and some almonds with your protein and just veggies as your carb.  That is more paleo style. 

    Nuts aren't as helpful as we once thought.  They are a trigger for some and if that's the case for you, avoid completely.  If not, do go ahead and add to enhance things, like salads.  Nuts are Omega 6 an most Americans not only get enough Omega 6, but proportionally to Omega 3, too much. I'm not a fan of peanut butter, seeing no valid argument for why it's a legit fat source.  If you are a PB fan and need that something special, get something called PB2, which is dehydrated peanut butter and once you add a bit of water, there you go, PB. 

    The Omega 6 I do like is avocado because it comes with a multitude of benefits.

    Cooking with olive oil doesn't count as your fat because it's not absorbed the same and on that note, be sparing with your cooking oils. 

    I'm sure I'll think of more.

    Oh, and come back often.  We support you and you can do this! 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • ok, im gonna give this a try.

    basically have 3 food meals, and 3 shakes.

    my totals are 239p/182cho/40g fat

    i'm also taking in 9g omega 3 fish oil and 2600mg evening primrose (omega6) so i should be good on fats....

  • You're going to do this, not just try!

    Your plan sounds good.  My only forgotten thing was if you're on blood thinners.  If that's the case, speak with your doctor about an increase in fish oil, as that already thins blood. 

    Assuming not, do increase your fish oil from 9g to about 30 or at least double it. 

    I am a big fan of the shakes.  There's an argument for whole foods, but so is there for quick delivery and simplicity, making it more likely you'll stick to it. 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Just  wondering is 2500 calories too much to cut bodyfat?

  • At this point, that's likely an appropriate target for you, but focus more on the portions, once you figure out how many grams of protein / carb are in what size of portion. 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • and is there a better site to look up foods in grams?

  • It's on the package for most foods.  I use to check foods where it's not listed, which is where I found out that I wasn't eating nearly enough eggs.  There are many decent sites for that kind of search.  The real differences are in personal preferance for how they list things and search functions, etc. They all pretty much provide the same data. 

    Once you figure the things you eat most often it will be done.  I don't need to check again that I need to have 5 whites with 1 yolk. 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!