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I Need To Lose Fat But I Am VERY Confused! Help!
Hi my name is Glen. I am 17 now making 18 in a few months. I started dieting at 16. I started at 275 lbs at 5'10". I was a slob at school who did nothing but eat and eat. My weight problem began at the age of about 9. I went to my Grandmother's for the summer and picked up the habit of over eating, and since she lived in the country there was nothing to do but watch the days pass. I came home plump and it's been down hill from there.
Well, I know I did not lose my weight like I should have. I just started one day eating little portions of food then I went to barely eating anything. For my 17th birthday (a few months after I started dieting) I got a membership to World Gym in New Orleans.
I started weight training and still not eating what I should because I did not know what I was doing. I am now about 205 lbs. I got down to about 195 but I am back up after eating a whole lot of tuna. I still need to lose a lot of body fat. I don't know what to do. I have tried every supplement I could find that promises fat loss. But I still look like crap with a shirt off. I believe low carb is the way I need to go. But I don't know. I am so confused about what I should do but I WILL NEVER, I MEAN NEVER GIVE UP!!! I have come too far and it has been too long to give up when I am so close to my goal. I can't do it alone. I need somebody with the knowledge like you to help me finish what I started.
Can you give me a meal plan I can follow? It's hard to sometimes get what I need when you live with your parents. I have a job and can get food, but I have no idea what I should buy and eat. Getting to my goal is one of the most important things I desire. Also, what am I supposed to do at school. My head is spinning and it won't stop. I go from thinking I need to build muscle to thinking that I have to lose my fat first. Should I bulk up or slim down? Help me get there. Please!
This is a guy that is going through some troublesome times. He wants to cut up but at the same time he thinks that he should be building muscle. In this FAQ I offer him a meal plan and great advice coming from a man who feels the same way that he does at times.
I will begin to address your situation by responding to your request, which states: "Can you give me a meal plan I can follow?" The thing that you need to do is follow a low carb-eating regimen. The main foods that you should be eating are foods rich in protein. Fat will be taken in through the foods that you are eating. A high fiber consumption will be necessary as well. The fiber foods that I recommend will claim to have carbohydrates on the nutrition label, but do not worry my man. The fibrous carbohydrates are a totally different category. I wish that they had another name instead of carbohydrates so they would not be confused as evil. The recommendations will actually help you burn calories. I believe that it is virtually impossible to get fat off of them or have the carbohydrates that are in the fibrous vegetables convert into adipose tissue. It just does not work that way, trust me.
When I am getting ready for a bodybuilding competition I can eat up to four pounds of fibrous vegetables a day. They create a kilocalorie deficit, keep your digestive system functioning optimally, keep your arteries clean by removing the bad cholesterol (LDL), and give the dieter a feeling of satiety (fullness & satisfaction). Okay, so now you have the jest of the program, let us move on to your next question, which is heavily related to this one.
Your next question states: "I can cook my own food but I do not know what to cook." Cook foods that are high in protein and low in fat. Some examples are fish, lean turkey, lean beef, chicken breast, and egg whites. Two additional sources of protein that do not require cooking are soy and whey protein drinks. I like to grill, bake, and panfry (using a non stick skillet) my protein, but you claim to know how to cook so you can cook as you choose. Just be sure that your method of cooking is not sabotaging your attempt to eat right. What I mean is, do not fry your foods. As far as fiber you can buy the following items and eat them raw, microwaved, or steamed. I like using spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans. Eat as much of these as you like. It is my personal opinion that bodybuilders do not eat enough vegetables. I only know four that do to including myself.
So what about carbohydrates? Well, you will be timing these around your activities. I would consume carbohydrates after your training sessions only. About every four or five days consume a little more about an hour before your training session begins. By training session I mean resistance training with weights NOT cardiovascular training. However, you will be doing cardio and a lot of it. Try to consume a complex high glycemic index carbohydrate immediately following your training session and on that fourth or fifth day that I spoke of earlier. I like using Carboplex, Ultra Fuel, honey, syrup, and black strap molasses. Items like grits and corn will work as well, actually there are many that will work I just know from experience that these tend to digest optimally if consumed at the proper times. Try to eat every 2-4 hours each day and you will be fine. I eat anywhere from 5-12 times every day. It all depends on how long I am working because it is at this time that I am unable to eat as I wish to.
Your next question is a no brainer; you asked, "How should I eat at school?" Just pack a lunch. I began bodybuilding at the age of 16 and competed till I was 18. I was in school at the time. I had to take a five year-heavily regretted lay off from the sport because I was in the US Navy. I returned home and spent three years in college completing a four-year degree. I competed again during that time and guess what I was in school. So what did I do? I packed lunches and utilized protein drinks to get by. I would eat before school and after class, which was not difficult because I was home and could cook as needed. Yeah I had to go out of my way to make things happen but I did it and here I am now faced with the same struggle.
I am currently in my 3rd week of a 40-week dietetic internship. I wake up at 5 AM to begin eating and training because once I am at the hospital I am only allowed one 1/2 hour lunch break and that meal is packed and brought to work every day. I pack two lunches so I can eat before I leave the hospital. When I get home I can cook as need be once again. Here is an example of how extreme I was in college. I can remember having 10 minutes to get from one class to another. I would have a gallon of water with me at all times. When we were secured I would quickly make a protein drink, hop on my bike, and chugalug all the way to my next class. I would walk in with a distended stomach but I did not care I was getting my protein. When I think back on it I must have looked real strange to the average college population, which ate once maybe twice each day. Their meals consisted of fast food and sodas, but they wondered why they were out of shape and felt like they were 82 years old. I was very misunderstood but that is why I broke the mold and was not considered average rather it being on campus or on the posing dais. So use your head and be creative there is always a way, always.
"My head is spinning and it won't stop. I go from thinking I need to build muscle to I have to lose my fat."
My friend this is a very common way to feel, particularly for bodybuilders. Every year I want to add some mass to my physique, but I do not want to get too fat when trying to do so. I can lose up to 30 pounds when preparing for a show. The thing that bothers me is the fact that I never get really sloppy. When I am weighing 150 pounds I look and feel great. I think to myself "there is no way that I need to lose as much as I did last year", but I always do. I am intelligent and understand that I lose some (very little) muscle, but the majority of the weight is fat and water. My friends tell me all the time that I need to bulk up more and that "it is your off-season man". But my nutritionist, as well as I, think differently. Losing 40 pounds is just too hard on my body and that is what it would take if I decided to mass up like they want me to.
If you follow this program you will be able to lose the weight that you want to lose. While you are losing the weight you will learn something. The leaner you get the bigger you look. I looked a whole lot better at 125 than I did at 157, which is the most I have ever weighed. I felt heavy, bloated, and fat even though I was not when you compared me too the average Joe. I feel that it is better to just grow slower while keeping your quality hard earned muscle instead of getting fat which others call "bulking up". It is almost like an excuse for them to get fat because it is the "off-season". I do not believe that, especially being 26 years old. A younger bodybuilder may be able to get away with this but it is just too hard for me. I know my body and I know what works for me they on the other hand do not.
Stick with it as you said you would and you will prevail. You come across to me as a go-getter and I like that. Keep working hard and use dieting, weight training, and cardiovascular work while in pursuit of your goal. Good luck!