Supplement Savvy: More Questions, MOHR Answers - 5-10-06!

Get the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. Today we have some answers for football players wishing to control weight and keep hard earned muscle. See what they learned.

Hey Chris,

I read your article on how to be a better lineman. I came to you seeking help because I am a lineman myself, and I need to lose some weight for personal reasons, but I still want to be able to keep the amount of muscle I have. What do you suggest?

I need a diet that would work for me but I'm not sure on what to base it off. Your diet seemed like it was to gain more weight and I'm already a pro at that.

    A: Thanks for the question. As football season draws near, I have received many similar questions. Remember that nutrition and training are like two wheels of a bike; if you are not making sure both are fine tuned to get you to be the best you can be, getting in shape will take you much longer than it needs to.

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    I know nothing about your current training, diet, or current physical state, so I'll just make some blanket recommendations. First, nutrition wise, look back at some of my previous articles; I have showed you how to calculate your calorie needs to achieve your goals - in your case, weight loss.

    You of course do want to keep as much hard earned muscle as possible, which is why it's also important to keep up with your resistance training (assuming this is part of your routine). It's crucial to focus on quality as well, rather than solely thinking about quantity - so it's not just about eating less, but eating less of the right foods.

    Carbs:

    Protein:

      You definitely need to include some protein with each meal and, more often than not, the fat part takes care of itself, meaning you will be getting sufficient amounts of fats with most meals.

    Fats:

      Of course you need to make sure those fats are healthy fats; foods like mixed nuts, flax oil, fish oil, avocado are all great sources of fat and other nutrients.

    Sample Menu:

      Here's a 1 days sample menu—the servings need to be adjusted to meet your needs, but these are the types of foods that would be best for your fat loss goals and health.

      Meal 1:

      • 6 egg omelet (4 whites and 2 yolks) cooked with nonstick spray
          1 cup spinach
          1 cup vegetables of choice
          Small handful low-fat cheese
      • 2 slices whole grain bread
      • 1 grapefruit
      • 1 cup green tea

      Meal 2:

      • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
      • 1 cup pineapple
      • 1 cup blueberries
      • 1 tsp flax oil

      Meal 3:

      • 2 cups spinach
      • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
      • 1/2 yellow squash, sliced
      • 4 oz grilled salmon
      • 1 small handful walnuts
      • Reduced fat dressing
      • 1 apple

      Meal 4: Post-Workout:

      • 1-2 cups low-fat chocolate milk or other post-workout drink on the market

      Meal 5:

      • 1 cup low-fat yogurt
      • 1 cup raspberries
      • 1 small handful almonds

      Meal 6:

      • 1 medium sweet potato
      • 4 oz grilled chicken or sirloin steak
      • 1 cup steamed broccoli

    Foods such as those listed above would be great; mix and match with vegetables, lean proteins, and other whole grains you enjoy.

    As for your training - it would be most effective to focus on full body workouts, a few days each week vs. single body part days every day. So I'd like to see one day you do something like squats, pullups, deadlifts, lunges and another day dips, pushups, rows, step ups, etc.

    You need to work this out so it fits your abilities and schedule, but in my opinion, full body workouts are more effective for a variety of reasons than splitting up your workouts into split-body training.

    Good luck with your season!!


[ Q ] My son is 16 years old and is playing football. His problem is he is about 6'2" in height but weighs only around 160 pounds.

He has tried over the past couple years to gain weight, but has not been successful. Obviously, he is pretty discouraged. He is about to the point of giving up and assumes that there is nothing he can do. I would hate for him to give up with all the hard work he has put in without consulting with an expert in this field.

I assume that since they do weight training at school, there is something he needs to do in regards to his diet and nutrition. If so, he probably needs a program outlining the specific foods he needs to eat and at what times, etc.

I don't know if you offer any service like this or if you could pass along any comments or advice in this area. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    A: And another football question... it's definitely that time of year. At 16 years old, your son can be in the prime of his "weight gain" life, as hormones, such as testosterone, are raging and he has the ability to pretty much eat like a horse without gaining fat-and that's pretty much what he needs to do.

    I've talked to countless athletes, coaches, students, etc. about how they are a hard gainer and it's impossible for them to gain weight. My one answer is this - they need to eat MORE. Before I go on, I can almost see some of you rolling your eyes as if there's no possible way to eat any more food.

    Well, there is a way and you need to do it. Just like weight loss is about taking in less calories than you're expending, weight gain is about eating more calories than your body expends. Of course there are certain hormonal situations, such as hyperthyroid, that preclude individuals from gaining weight; however, this is a lot more rare than just under eating.

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    And just like the answer above, it's about quality AND quantity, so let's talk about some specific suggestions for gaining solid weight. First, here's a list of some calorically dense foods that should be a part of every single meal.

    I've also put together a 1 day sample diet, just like above, to give you an idea of how a day should look with regards to eating. I'm not going to discuss training at all; you mentioned it's in the coaches hands, so I'll trust that they are providing sound advice.

    Sample Calorie Dense Snacks:

    • Dairy products (not low fat)
    • Mixed nuts
    • Flax and olive oil
    • Oatmeal made with 2% milk
    • Granola bars
    • Protein shakes (added to meals and/or between meals)
    • Dried fruit

    Sample Meal Plan:

      Meal 1:

      • 6 egg omelet (3 yolks and 3 whites)
      • 2 slices turkey bacon
      • 1 cup mixed vegetables
      • 1 cup oatmeal made with
          2% milk
          topped with 1 handful walnuts and dried fruit

      Meal 2:

      • 2 cups yogurt
      • 1 cup cottage cheese
      • 1 TBS flax oil
      • 1 cup mixed berries
      • 1 peanut butter and banana sandwich
          2 slices whole grain toast
          2 TBS natural peanut butter
          1 banana

      Meal 3:

      • 2 medium sweet potatoes
      • 2 cups spinach
      • 6 oz grilled or canned salmon
      • 1 yellow zucchini
      • 1 red pepper
      • 1 handful walnuts
      • 1 handful dried cranberries
      • Reduced fat dressing
      • 2 cups milk

      Meal 4:

      Meal 5:

      • 6 oz grilled sirloin steak
      • 1 cup cooked brown rice
      • 2 cups steamed broccoli
      • 1 cup regular milk
      • 1 orange

      Meal 6:

      • 1 triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich
          3 slices whole grain bread
          3 TBS natural peanut butter
          3 TBS 100% all fruit jelly
      • 1 cup regular yogurt mixed with 1 small handful dried fruit