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Diet Questions.
by MSQ (thelonew0lf)
at April 12th, 2007 (12:51 pm)

So, I had a question for the community here.
I've been reading posts and been getting into a decent workout routine as of late. Thanks to school, mostly, but what I go about doing is:
On Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays: 20 minutes of running, 100ish ab-crunches, around 50-100 lunges, around 50ish pushups, then after classes (about 4 hours later), a 2.5 mile jog.
On tuesdays and thursdays: about 15 minutes of stretching and warming up, 35 crunches, two sets of 20 twisting cruches (one for either side), 30 minutes of a random group sport, and after maybe 4ish hours, a 2.5 mile run.

I'm thinking this is a fairly decent workout, at least for what I can manage on my schedule anyway, but I was incredibly depressed when about 3 weeks into the routine I checked my weight and I found out I'd gained 5 pounds. What I'm really trying to so is lose my gut and maybe build some muscle along the way and I'm thinking curbing my diet is the solution to this. I usually have two slices of toasted bread with jam for breakfast, two small dannon or yoplait smoothies and some fruit for lunch, and maybe a plate of rice or some naan bread and curry for dinner.

Should I be changing something in my diet to help me trying to lose fat? Eat less, have breakfast after my morning workout? What am I doing wrong here?


Posted by: l. jane (crustyshoes)
Posted at: April 12th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)

Don't eat less, just change your diet around. It sounds to me like you should be getting more protein. Also, no veggies? Those are very important too. If you can't stand eating them, try cooking them into things so you don't notice them as much. What kind of bread and rice are you eating? White bread [like wonder bread] and white rice don't have much nutritional value. You'd be better off switching to whole grain bread and brown rice. Instead of jam you could try something like nut butter [I know some people say to avoid nuts and nut butters because they're high in fat, but a small amount can actually be good for you] to add some protein to your diet in the morning. You could also try smaller meals throughout the day instead of three larger ones, but I know this doesn't work for everyone.

Try not to base results on the scale. Muscle is more dense than fat, so you may be adding muscle and losing fat while maintaining your weight. Most people I know, myself included, have gained weight before losing when starting an exercise program. Stick with it, it can take a while to see results.

Good luck!

Posted by: MSQ (thelonew0lf)
Posted at: April 12th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)

I usually have brown bread in the morning, And while I try to get some veggies in, you're right in that they aren't really a big part of my diet. I will try to change that. The rice I have is an indian Banasmati rice...It's a kind of white long-grain rice, I think.

Also, thanks for the info on muscle density. I had no idea about that!

Posted by: ...JerseyGirl... (vino_veritas)
Posted at: April 12th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)

Try using something like sparkpeople.com or fitday.com to track what you're eating to see how many calories you're taking in. Track for about a week or so. This is your maintenance level. Then, subtract 500 from that number, and you should start losing (about a pound a week).

Your total calorie intake is most important. Once you've figured out where that number needs to be at in order to lose, then work on your "macronutrients:" percentage of carbs, protein, and fat. If you want to lose fat (as opposed to losing muscle), you need to be eating approximately 1 gram of protein to each pound of lean body mass (not total weight) in order to maintain the muscle you have, so that your body will use the calorie deficit to burn mostly fat. If you're vegetarian, go for lots of tofu and beans, and don't be afraid of a little healthy fat (natural peanut butter, olive oil instead of butter for cooking/on bread, etc).

Basically, you will not lose weight unless you're burning more calories than you're taking in. Conversely, you won't be able to build muscle unless you're taking in more calories than you burn. For really excellent articles that explain those basics a bit more fully, check out http://www.stumptuous.com/

As far as your weight gain, it could be muscle, or any number of other things. 5lbs of muscle in three weeks is a lot, but it's very possible if you were completely sedentary before. Try tracking your measurements as well, or just simply gauging your progress on how your clothes fit. You might just be retaining water, maybe you were heavier bc you'd eaten/drank recently, or were just having a "heavy day"--you don't say how often you weigh yourself. I'd suggest doing it once a week, twice tops, always at the same time of day, just to monitor things. Good luck & keep up the habits :)

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