My food diary: help and advice needed!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2012 10:02 AM GMT
    Hi guys,

    I am absolutely determined to strip off my excess body fat this year. Last year I saw some great improvements at the gym, and gave up alcohol for an entire year (and am continuing to do so). Like a few on here, I'm the typical fat kid at school, who reached a tipping point at college when a friend said "mate, you've put LOADS of weight on", and haven't looked back since.

    But in 2012 I need to nail my nutrition properly, and break the cycle of motivation (for 3-4 weeks) and then sabotage (where I think all of the great work in the gym and diet deserves reward - i.e. cheat meals undoing all the good work!)

    I've started to keep a food diary, as I've heard this is a really effective way of keeping motivated. Would some of you mind letting me know if this is good or bad? Could I improve it and, if so, how? If it's crap - TELL ME! I really won't be offended, and wish I had the scientific background or awareness that many of you obviously has part of your training.

    SUNDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Muesli and all-bran
    Wholeweat bagel with peanut butter
    LUNCH
    Left over pork, broad beans and sweet potato mash
    DINNER
    Small bowl of chilli and slice of homemade multigrain bread
    SNACK
    Tangerine
    Smoothie: banana, yoghurt, milk, ice, flaxseed

    MONDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Wholemeal toast with jam
    LUNCH
    Muesli and allbran
    SNACK
    Protein shake
    DINNER
    Chilli and brown rice
    Green salad
    SNACK
    Almonds
    Muesli and allbran
    Smoothie: banana, protein powder, yoghurt, milk

    TUESDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Wholemeal toast and jam
    Muesli, all bran, banana
    LUNCH
    French onion soup
    Cheese on wholemeal toast
    WORKOUT SNACK
    Protein shake
    DINNER
    Leftover chilli in wrap with lettuce, salsa, guac and sour cream x 3 (1 too many?)…

    WEDNESDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Toast and jam
    Muesli, all bran, banana
    LUNCH
    Toast bagel, cream cheese, smoked salmon
    SNACK
    Protein shake
    Oatcakes with ham hough, mustard and cheese
    DINNER
    Small venison burger, with salad and handful of handcut fries
    Rice pudding and rhubarb

    THURSDAY
    BREAKFAST (in a hotel, too tempting)
    Berries, soft fruits, yoghurt and spoonful of granola
    Porridge and honey
    Wholemeal toast
    LUNCH
    BLT sandwich
    SNACK
    2 clementines
    Peanut butter on wholemeal toast
    DINNER
    Chilli con carne (small bowl)
    SNACK
    Oatcakes
    Almonds
    Smoothie with yoghurt, protein powder, banana, flaxseed

    Am also considering supplements, but think I need to have a fully committed month or so at the gym first (otherwise I tend to believe that the supplements are miracle cures and then use them as excuses to fall off the wagon!). The supplements I've used are:

    - Whey Protein
    - Creatine
    - CLA
    - Magnesium and Zinc
    - Glutamine

    Cheers everyone. Looking forward to the advice and support!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2012 12:43 PM GMT
    Almost all people who used to be fat are likely to be carbohydrate sensitive to some degree. Obesity was not a problem until civilization learned to refine carbohydrates, which spike blood sugar in an unnatural way causing the body to flood you with insulin to burn away the sugar (It's a defense mechanism: high blood sugar is toxic and can kill you). The downside is that while your body is trying to fight off the toxic level of sugar you've given it, it's also storing any fat in your bloodstream: it doesn't have the resources to burn the fat since it's too busy fighting off an attack.

    Carbohydrates, while necessary to the body's functioning, are quickly dangerous in high amounts. At least that's how your insulin system interprets it!

    ****

    You look like you've done well so far, big guy, In your PM you said you can't give up carbs, and you don't have to really. I haven't abandoned carbs. But you have to eat smart or they'll sabotage you. So here are a few rules I live by.

    1) You need to eat protein with every meal. There are several meals in your lineup that are entirely carbohydrate. This is spiking your blood sugar without anything to counteract it. Always, always have protein in your meal. My breakfast every day is basically 3 eggs, 1 oz of cheese, 1 cup of oatmeal. A complex carb, then fat and protein.

    2) Carbohydrates should not be more than 40% of your caloric intake in a day. Carbs are what make people fat. The more carbs you pump into your body, the more you're telling you body to store energy as fat... It's trying to defend itself! In one study, scientists injected an obese mouse with insulin but stopped feeding it. Over the course of the study, the mouse of course starved to death, but never lost any weight. The insulin reaction kept its body from metabolizing the fat even though it was starving. Remember this when you imagine you can cut calories but keep carbs... you body will not use fat if you have a blood sugar spike.

    3) Do not eat carbohydrates after 3 PM. Carbs in the morning will restore muscle glycogen and give you what you need to go through the day and exercise etc. But I never eat anything with starches in it after 3. Every day is a process of weening my body off of carbohydrates by the end of the day. That means that lunch will be a tuna salad sandwich or something, the my snack will be protein shake and my next meals almost entirely vegetables and meat.

    4) Go low carb for 5 days a week... but allow yourself to cheat. On Saturdays I allow myself to have one meal in which I can eat whatever I want. Chinese buffet? Hell yeah. Cold Stone ice cream? Of course. Doesn't matter what it is: give your body a break from the diet. You still need to burn off those calories, so don't cheat for 36 hours or something, but you need to shock your body out of its routine or it will become used to low-carb and change your metabolism to suit it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2012 12:51 PM GMT
    I agree. You need to eat more protein and fewer carbs. - You also may want to be more strategic at what times you eat those carbs. - I tend to front-load carbs earlier in the day.

    You also don't seem to be getting enough fruits and veggies to me. - You can bulk up some of those meals with fruits and veggies and believe it or not, you won't miss the carbs.

    This has always been a challenge for me, too. I love my breads. In fact, I make all the breads for the holidays in my family. I did not eat any of them at Christmas.

    Find some veggie swaps you can make for some of the starchy foods. - For instance, I have started eating a lot of buttnernut squash.. It's similar in taste an texture as sweet potatoes, but not as starchy.

    Make small changes that you can manage.

    Good luck.
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    Jan 06, 2012 12:57 PM GMT
    also, RE: supplements.

    Creatine will make you bloat. It's not fat, but it'll put on water weight and keep you from seeing abs if that's what you're wanting.
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    Jan 06, 2012 5:32 PM GMT
    Thanks, sincerely, for the tips guys. Looks like I've still got a sh*t load of work to do, even though I thought I was being good avoiding all the treats and biscuits!

    - Are there any high-protein alternatives for the mornings that don't require cooking eggs? I'm up at 6.15am and out at 6.45, so don't really have too much time first thing (unless it's something i prepared the night before)

    - What do you both eat for snacking (esp mid afternoon and evening?)

    Cheers,

    Martin
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    Jan 06, 2012 5:44 PM GMT
    Eggs are one of the best things you can eat in the morning... the protein is very bioavailable - meaning it'll get into your system more efficiently. Could you hard boil a lot of eggs on Sunday and slice them up in the morning on toast? I cook most of my food for the week on Sunday.

    Here's my basic diet routine.

    Sun, Mon, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I eat:

    Breakfast: 1 packet instant oatmeal, 3 eggs, 1 oz cheese
    Meal 2 (usually post-workout): Protein shake, 1 cup of orange juice
    Meal 3: 6 oz tuna, 1 oz mayo, 1 boiled egg, 2 tbs relish, 1 cup of brown rice
    Meal 4: Chicken Breast or Beef Sirloin and mixed vegetables
    Meal 5: Fish or Turkey and mixed vegetables.

    Wednesday I eat:

    Breakfast: same
    Meal 2: Protein Shake and a bowl of high-fiber cereal with whole milk
    Meal 3: Lean ground beef chili, cottage cheese, and a sweet potato
    Meal 4: Turkey sandwich with multigrain bread
    Meal 5: Fish or Chicken with mixed vegetables.

    Saturday I eat:

    Breakfast: same
    Meal 2: Bowl of high-fiber cereal, whole milk, and protein shake
    Meal 3: Whole wheat pasta, with sliced chicken, artichoke hearts, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and a tablespoon of pesto
    Meal 4: same as Wednesday
    Meal 5: Whatever I want... this is my cheat meal.


    As for random snacking throughout the day, I keep cheese sticks in the fridge along with deli turkey. It's easy to grab and munch on and the protein/carb ratio is really good. Nuts like cashews are also good. Having easily available protein sources helps me not reach for chips or candy (which my roommate keeps all over lol).
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    Jan 06, 2012 5:47 PM GMT
    icon_cool.gif
    Larkin saidAlmost all people who used to be fat are likely to be carbohydrate sensitive to some degree. Obesity was not a problem until civilization learned to refine carbohydrates, which spike blood sugar in an unnatural way causing the body to flood you with insulin to burn away the sugar (It's a defense mechanism: high blood sugar is toxic and can kill you). The downside is that while your body is trying to fight off the toxic level of sugar you've given it, it's also storing any fat in your bloodstream: it doesn't have the resources to burn the fat since it's too busy fighting off an attack.

    Carbohydrates, while necessary to the body's functioning, are quickly dangerous in high amounts. At least that's how your insulin system interprets it!

    This.

    Until just a few years ago our knowledge of nutrition science was not accurate enough for us to be able to predict how a given change in a person's nutrition would change the person's physiology. But that has recently changed, and Larkin gives an excellent summary of much of the relevant new knowledge and how you can apply it.

    Science hasn't yet given us sufficient knowledge to use nutrition to control our bodies with great precision, but these recent advances have moved us a lot closer.

    Here's another recent thread linking to a NY Times article explaining more of the principles, as well as some of the most critical remaining puzzles.

    All that aside, you look great. There ain't too much room for improvement on near-perfection. icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 06, 2012 8:06 PM GMT
    I buy the egg whites in a carton. It's a ton of protein with hardly any calories.

    You can scramble them up in no time, or if you're really lazy like me, you can nuke them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

    I have started having a cup in the morning.

    Now, if you're really on the go, you can buy some protein bars where you get supplements, just pay attention to the carb content and calories. I usually have one of those and a fruit yogurt parfait. Whole meal rounds out about 300-350 calories and is fairly well balanced with protein and carbs.


    Also, for me, if I'm really on the go, there is a Subway on the campus where I work. They offer whole grain english muffin sandwiches with egg whites. They are under 200 calories You can actually have them double the egg white if you want even more protein. No cooking on your end. Having whole grain carbs at breakfast will also increase your energy

    I also found out on this website and through my trainer, that it's good to eat cottage cheese before going to bed because it's a slow digesting protein that will help facilitate muscle growth overnight.

    Good luck.
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    Jan 06, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    you can also try dumping some protein powder in your oatmeal to amp up your morning protein intake

    if you do not have time to make eggs in the morning and eggs need to get in your diet somehow, then hardboil them the night before, you can have these in the morning or snack on them later

    low fat cottage cheese is great for snacking, deli turkey meat, low fat cheese, peanut butter is great too.
  • CDNinOZ

    Posts: 38

    Jan 06, 2012 9:29 PM GMT
    Lots of good advice already given.

    I would recommend eating more non-starchy veg and salads with low-cal dressings.

    Maybe add in two serves of fruit.

    If you reduce the carbs by replacing it with lots of veg you will still feel full.
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    Jan 07, 2012 5:34 PM GMT
    Cheers for the great advice everyone. I'll let you know how I get on. It feels difficult right now, being so regimented, and I feel like I'm spending all day *avoiding* foods as opposed to making the most of the good foods. It's early days... I gave up booze last year, so I need to channel all of that will power in to my food now!
  • tightwrgls

    Posts: 22

    Jan 08, 2012 4:19 AM GMT
    It's not enough to just log the foods you are eating you need to log the macros and track those numbers. My trainers had all of my numbers set up usually about 225 protein, 150 carbs, 30-35 fats - One or two days a week my carbs would be increased sometimes doubled.

    The biggest thing that helped me was protein on my oatmeal. It's easy and tastes great. I usually had 4 servings of this a day 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. My last serving was usually just before bedtime.
    Following a strict plan helped me go from a 250 tub of goo to a stage weight of 163.

    There are some different apps that will help you track these numbers.
    Hope this helps.
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    Jan 08, 2012 9:47 AM GMT
    Hey @larkin and @tightwrgrls thanks for the suport: could you recommend what my % Protein / Carb / Fat should be?

    Have just been on myfitnesspal.com (recommended elsewhere on this site) which recommends:

    1,560kCals total per day
    66% Carbs (215g)
    16% Fat (52g)
    18% Protein (59g)

    which definitely doesn't seem right for me, based on your earlier advice. Should it be 40/20/40?

    Cheers,
    Martin
  • tightwrgls

    Posts: 22

    Jan 08, 2012 7:08 PM GMT
    I think the protein looks too low and fat a little too high. Most people want to cut too much fat out of their diet and that is not a good thing. Also, esp. when wanting to build muscle you simply need to have more protein. A lot of my protein comes from whey protein powder, but other good sources are egg whites, turkey and chicken. I can only base my recommendations on what my nutritionist set up for me. To lose weight, gain muscle you have to have the right combination of protein, carbs and fat. Too much or too little of any is a bad thing.
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    Jan 08, 2012 7:19 PM GMT
    gymmartino saidHi guys,

    I am absolutely determined to strip off my excess body fat this year. Last year I saw some great improvements at the gym, and gave up alcohol for an entire year (and am continuing to do so). Like a few on here, I'm the typical fat kid at school, who reached a tipping point at college when a friend said "mate, you've put LOADS of weight on", and haven't looked back since.

    But in 2012 I need to nail my nutrition properly, and break the cycle of motivation (for 3-4 weeks) and then sabotage (where I think all of the great work in the gym and diet deserves reward - i.e. cheat meals undoing all the good work!)

    I've started to keep a food diary, as I've heard this is a really effective way of keeping motivated. Would some of you mind letting me know if this is good or bad? Could I improve it and, if so, how? If it's crap - TELL ME! I really won't be offended, and wish I had the scientific background or awareness that many of you obviously has part of your training.

    SUNDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Muesli and all-bran
    Wholeweat bagel with peanut butter
    LUNCH
    Left over pork, broad beans and sweet potato mash
    DINNER
    Small bowl of chilli and slice of homemade multigrain bread
    SNACK
    Tangerine
    Smoothie: banana, yoghurt, milk, ice, flaxseed

    MONDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Wholemeal toast with jam
    LUNCH
    Muesli and allbran
    SNACK
    Protein shake
    DINNER
    Chilli and brown rice
    Green salad
    SNACK
    Almonds
    Muesli and allbran
    Smoothie: banana, protein powder, yoghurt, milk

    TUESDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Wholemeal toast and jam
    Muesli, all bran, banana
    LUNCH
    French onion soup
    Cheese on wholemeal toast
    WORKOUT SNACK
    Protein shake
    DINNER
    Leftover chilli in wrap with lettuce, salsa, guac and sour cream x 3 (1 too many?)…

    WEDNESDAY
    BREAKFAST
    Toast and jam
    Muesli, all bran, banana
    LUNCH
    Toast bagel, cream cheese, smoked salmon
    SNACK
    Protein shake
    Oatcakes with ham hough, mustard and cheese
    DINNER
    Small venison burger, with salad and handful of handcut fries
    Rice pudding and rhubarb

    THURSDAY
    BREAKFAST (in a hotel, too tempting)
    Berries, soft fruits, yoghurt and spoonful of granola
    Porridge and honey
    Wholemeal toast
    LUNCH
    BLT sandwich
    SNACK
    2 clementines
    Peanut butter on wholemeal toast
    DINNER
    Chilli con carne (small bowl)
    SNACK
    Oatcakes
    Almonds
    Smoothie with yoghurt, protein powder, banana, flaxseed

    Am also considering supplements, but think I need to have a fully committed month or so at the gym first (otherwise I tend to believe that the supplements are miracle cures and then use them as excuses to fall off the wagon!). The supplements I've used are:

    - Whey Protein
    - Creatine
    - CLA
    - Magnesium and Zinc
    - Glutamine

    Cheers everyone. Looking forward to the advice and support!


    I've been keeping a food diary and I find that it helps me tremendously as well! I keep my food diary on http://www.myfitnesspal.com Whoever did this for us is a genius!
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    Jan 08, 2012 9:45 PM GMT
    gymmartino saidHey @larkin and @tightwrgrls thanks for the suport: could you recommend what my % Protein / Carb / Fat should be?

    Have just been on myfitnesspal.com (recommended elsewhere on this site) which recommends:

    1,560kCals total per day
    66% Carbs (215g)
    16% Fat (52g)
    18% Protein (59g)

    which definitely doesn't seem right for me, based on your earlier advice. Should it be 40/20/40?

    Cheers,
    Martin


    For weight loss? That split ludicrous. 66% carbs will have your insulin levels soaring all day...

    40/20/40 sounds like a decent split. If you really wanna cut, 20/30/50 will turn it up, but you can't stay there for very long. Maybe 5/6 days at a time.