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Please Help Me With My Diet!
Dino: This guy has several questions and admits to not knowing how to eat, nutrition wise. Read on to learn the advice that I give to him.
Visitor: I need some help on nutrition; I have no clue where to start.
Weight 160 lbs
I lift around 1:00 pm
Mon: Chest and shoulders
Fri: Back & legs
OK here's how I eat. I eat the same thing every day; it has been my routine for years.
1 Sausage biscuit
1 Chicken biscuit
My Response: Since you are trying to "bulk" right now I would say that starting your day by eating carbohydrates is fine and theoretically correct, BUT come on man, pancakes? I think that you could utilize a better source of carbohydrate than a form of bread or cake source for that mater. This type of carbohydrate just tends to bloat the intestine and does not really get absorbed very well. Try to eat these items for breakfast instead: grits, oat meal, rice, or a maltodextrin shake. I know it seems logical to throw in some protein for breakfast, but I would hold off until later on during the day. Besides all you are doing by eating those sausage and chicken biscuits are creating an un-pleasurable environment for your digestive system. You my friend are doing what I call "food mixing". This is not desirable although most people do this during every meal.
The fat and protein that you are adding to those carbohydrates are actually being destructive. Fat and protein slow down the gastric empting. What is gastric emptying you ask? Gastric emptying is simply the stomach emptying its contents into the small intestine where absorption begins. So how does this hurt the carbohydrates? Carbohydrates do not need to sit in the acidic environment as long as fat and protein does. When you "food mix", carbohydrates are forced to sit in the tank with the rest of the macronutrients and this is when they undergo the negative effects of the prolonged stay in the acidic environment. Therefore degrading of the carbohydrate has taken place. Simple enough? Do not "food mix"!
Visitor: Lunch: 2 orders of chicken strips, fries and sometimes a piece of cod fish.
My Response: Okay you are trying to bulk up as in add muscle right? Well, we need to cut out all of this food mixing. This meal consists of fat and carbohydrates cooked in fat. Additionally you are adding some protein in the mix too. Instead of eating this way you should try to eat a clean source of protein like fish, chicken, or lean beef. A clean source would be one that is not so saturated in fat. Instead of eating fried chicken you should try to eat a piece of baked chicken without the skin. Actually, the cod fish may not be a bad choice depending on how it is cooked. Stay away from fried foods. People commonly misunderstand the term bulking. Are you trying to bulk up as in get as fat and as bulky as you can, or are you trying to bulk up with muscle? The off-season is not always an all out gorge fest. In my case it can not be. I find it too darn hard to lose the fat accumulated while "bulking". I just get to a point that allows me to grow quality muscle. I do not get fat! Getting fat is not a part of bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is about building your physique, not damaging it by abusing food.
Additionally, I would stress on adding some fibrous vegetables to this meal. Fiber will help your colon stay clean and assure a healthy intestine. Help yourself to a hearty serving of green beans, spinach, cauliflower or broccoli. I would eat as much of these as you wanted to eat as they are beneficial to your digestive function and health.
Visitor: Dinner: For dinner I will usually eat a steak and a baked potato, or I might eat some roast beef, or some BBQ chicken, or fried chicken breast. Dinner is the only meal that varies.
My Response: Use the same advice that I gave for lunch including the fibrous vegetables.
Visitor: I have no idea how to eat. I was wondering if you could refer me to a good bulking and cutting program. Well bulking for now, I'm gonna try to bulk up some more first.
My Response: I have a great bulking article out now and I advise you to go and check it out. It is located on my page of articles on the Bodybuilding.com website. Please remember that the added weight that you are experiencing may not be from muscle. The diet that you just described to me sounds like it could get a person really fat really quick. It also sounded intestinal unfriendly because you did not mention any vegetables. It makes me wonder but then again you admitted to not knowing anything about nutrition. But after reviewing your stats I also think that you have a fast metabolism.
On top of all of this you should try to add in some snacks. I would shoot for a total of three added snacks during the day. Make them good choices but add them in. This will allow you to sneak in a few more kilocalories and keep your metabolism roaring.
Visitor: And I was wondering if you can explain to me why you can't gain muscle mass and lose fat at the same time?
My Response: Well theoretically you can. You would have to be a on a gluconeogenic diet which was described in full detail in an article that I wrote. It answers many questions. It goes where nutrition and supplementation has not gone before, I really like it. The problem with it is this, most people are not disciplined enough to follow it 100% to the "T". If you do not follow it as described you can sabotage your goal. Not to worry because...
There is another way that is easier (for some) to do but may take some time to get it done. Once you finished getting fat, ohh uh I meant bulking (I had to play a joke on you man) you will want to lose some of that extra fat that has accumulated. So a cyclic diet is to be followed. When I say cyclic diet I am referring to the macronutrients being cycled. You will be using up and down days. An up day will be a high carbohydrate/low protein day and a down day will be a low carbohydrate/high protein day. You would go down for four days and then come up four one. Several cycles will be used over a period of 10 - 20 weeks to achieve your ultimate look. This is how bodybuilders do it; I know I lived like this for 22 weeks this year.
Start out with having 300-400 grams of protein on your down days and 600-700 grams of carbohydrates on your up days. When you go up do not worry about eating protein. Carbohydrates are protein sparing you will have plenty of time over the next four days to load up with protein. The same goes for your down days, try to eat under 25-30 grams of carbohydrates. You want you carbs to be low so you can enter a ketogenic state and pull off of some of that body fat that you stored when you were "bulking" up champ.
Visitor: I have been lifting weights for 4 years. I always just lifted what I had to lift for football, but I have decided to get serious now. One more question, is it possible for me to be a professional bodybuilder with my height? Thanks for your help.
My Response: You most certainly can turn pro my friend! At 5'5" you are 1" taller than the great Lee Priest. He stands at 5'4" and is one of the best Pros on the IFBB circuit. He is better than the judges place him in many peoples opinion including mine. I am 5'1" and I plan on turning professional really soon. Although still an amateur I have gunned down taller and heavier opponents with stage finesse through posing and pure conditioning. I have a goal set to turn Pro by the year 2006. I am plugging away every day to get there. You are 18 years old and have plenty of time to make it to the top but I advise you to start now because the journey is a long one and you have to want it. Good luck!