Q & A With Chris Zaino - Part 8.

In this issue of Chris Zaino's Q & A, you will learn how to gain muscle and not fat, all about the glycemic index, if 30 grams of protein per serving will hard your liver and much more...

I am a 26 year old male, 5'8 and now 139 pounds, down from 240. I've lost the fat through lower portions and exercising four times a week. Two days are weight lifting and two days are strenuous hiking.

I am hoping you can give me some advice for gaining muscle without gaining fat or gaining a minimum of fat. I believe that even though I am lifting and hiking, I'm not gaining more muscle because I am not eating enough.

I can control my weight through intake of food right now but am worried if I start eating more, I'll pack on the fat again. I am only looking to gain about 15 pounds. What I look like matters more than what the scale says so it may be more or less. Would a weight gainer such as protein powder added to what I normally eat be the ticket? I am fairly picky about what I eat and greens just don't appeal to me.

I am looking into rejoining my gym this weekend to have access to all weights and several sessions with a personal trainer. I currently have a home gym machine and dumbbells.

Hi Ben! Congrats on your accomplishment in weight loss. Psychologically, I know it can be tough after being heavy, to allow yourself to eat more food. You may always be in fear of gaining weight and then eventually have to start the whole process over again. Please release that fear within yourself. No need to stress, because it is not going to come back if you stick to training, cardio, and eating right. In fact I can assure you that you can slack off in these areas a little and still not go back. There is a fine line between controlling your diet to lose fat and not eating in fear to get fat.

I am glad to see you are going back to the gym. That is a must. You need to start training with weights at least 4 days per week. Try to hit each body part hard one time per week. On your days off, do more cardiovascular exercise than on your weight training days. These two, weight training, and cardio, will ensure calorie expenditure, increased metabolism, and the requirement for proper nutritional intake for growth and recovery.

When it comes to nutrition, follow a few basic guidelines. I am not sure what you are eating now, but I would bump all your meal up to 6 per day, every 2-3 hours or so. If you can get in 7 meals, great. I want you to center all your meals around your protein source (chicken, fish, protein powder, lean beef, egg whites). Have protein and complex carbs with the first 3 meals. The last 3 limit to just protein and vegetables. This will ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrition to help fuel, support and build your muscles from your training.

When you have done the above for a month, start to monitor your progress. If you are still losing weight, you can increase your food mainly by the means of carbohydrates, and or an extra meal. If you feel you are gaining fat, which I am sure you are not, then cut a carbohydrate meal in half, or boost up your cardio on training days. . Muscle is directly related to basal metabolic rate. So for a high metabolism you need more muscle. So please do not skimp on the food intake. It is always better to take a little bit more food in, ensuring muscle recovery and growth, than to eat too little, lose muscle and slow your metabolism down. Best of luck; let me know how you are coming along!

Hi, I would like your help on something that bothers me a lot, I heard before bed glycemic carbs are bad but I was wondering if bread is safe to eat almost before bed, because I don't want it to interfere with my growth hormones being released, the only thing I know to eat before bed is oatmeal and milk, please help.

First you need to understand the glycemic index of food. There are ways you can take in high glycemic foods, and combine them with protein, fiber, and fats, to slow down the absorption to make them not produce the rapid rise in insulin that the food would result in if eaten alone.

As far as your last meal goes, it is all dependent on your goals. If you are trying to gain mass and size, please, have your last meal consist of a protein source, a complex carbohydrate, and a vegetable. If you are re trying to get leaner or maintain your size, then just have a protein source with a green fibrous vegetable.

You really do not want to pig out or eat a ton of food before bed anyway. Have a regular meal. If you wake up starving in the middle of the night, go grab yourself a scoop of whey protein and drink it. So choose the route that you are shooting for and go with it. Hope this helps. Take care

I always keep hearing about it is just a waste if I go over 30 grams of protein per meal. How am I going to get in the amount of protein I am supposed to? Do you think boosting my protein intake up per meal will hurt my progress? Will it do harm to my kidneys? I am just learning about the whole nutrition part of this sport, and I want to make sure I am doing the right things. Thanks for your time.

Great question! I am glad you asked it. You will not believe the amount of media zombies who walk up to me in the gym and tell me that a human can only digest 30 grams of protein per meal. That information is so ancient, and is based upon a diet consisting of taking in .8 grams of protein per Kg lean body weight.

If a person weighs 250 pounds at 7% body fat, and another weighs 150 pounds at 8% body fat, you mean to tell me that they have the same protein intake requirements? So to answer your question, it is certainly ok to raise your protein up to a point. You do not have to be limited to take-in only 30 grams per meal. My wife takes in more than 30 grams per meal, and she weights 110 pounds. I personally take in 50 grams per meal for 8 meals.

My goal is to reach a total protein intake, so if I ate fewer meals I would boost up the portions. However it is better for your metabolism and overall absorption the longer and more frequent you can spread out that total number of protein intake for the day. Thanks again for a question that I am sure a few people had on their minds. Take Care!

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Well, there you go, just some of the variety of questions that some of our readers have. If you have any questions or topics that interest you, and you would like to see discussed please E-mail Chris Zaino at cz2000@aol.com.

Note: This is part eight, click here for part one!
  click here for part two!
click here for part three!
click here for part four!
click here for part five!
click here for part six!
click here for part seven!
click here for part nine!
click here for part ten!
click here for part eleven!