Macros, diets, clean/dirty bulk

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 05, 2013 2:04 PM GMT
    Okay, so being a member on bodybuilding.com has really widened my eyes on nutrition. This whole time I've been thinking I just need to eat a lot of protein, not many fats, and eat carbs at certain times. When I read the 'stickies' (the main info everyone should read before you puke out two million stupid questions) I realized this:

    1) Food like pizza isn't necessarily bad. It's carbs (dough), pizza sauce, protein and fats (let's say pepperoni) and even has veggies. So if you have enough macros left at the end of your day and need to add some calories you can do so with pizza! Or ice cream, or a crispy chicken sandwich from McDonald's.

    2) There is no clean or dirty food. There's protein, there's fats and there's carbs. You shouldn't have to tell people "I had oatmeal for breakfast with a protein shake then I had... For lunch I had...." All that matters at the end of the day is: did you meet your macros? Did you reach the protein your body requires for your workload then add on enough carbs and fat?

    Does anyone here follow such a strict regimen with macros, at least somewhat?

    And is anyone here in good shape and can testify they do something similar, in the sense that you don't obsess about eating clean? I've been trying really hard to gain weight for over a year now and I went from 130 to 155 or so, but now I've plateaued and realized I have to go the extra mile and push myself, my body and my metabolism more.

    Any input or critiques on my post are appreciated!
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    Mar 05, 2013 3:55 PM GMT
    I use my fitnesspal. It's available on computer or phones. There's a goal to gain a X amounts of weight.

    There's also scoovys workshop calculator, which is helpful.

    I started intermittent fasting a few days ago. My BF lowered .3% and I stayed the same weight. It kinda sucks when you're at school lol

    Intermittent fasting: leangains.com
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    Mar 05, 2013 4:32 PM GMT
    The concept of macros is that you should still eat a generally well-balanced diet, and that the occasional pizza or burger isn't going to kill you or massively derail your goals.

    However, most people that claim to live by the "IIFYM (if it fits your macros) eat it" still eat very healthily 95% of the time.

    I think the point is more to derail the misconception that to get fit you have to forsake enjoying food for the rest of your life and that it is actually okay to occasionally give into a craving.
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    Mar 05, 2013 4:42 PM GMT
    The problem with eating pizza and similar foods is that it's hard to measure the macros. Not all pizzas are created equal. Good luck finding out the amount of tomatoes, meat, sugar, dough, tomato sauce, and cheese in em. (I'm talking about restaurant type of pizza and not the microwavable s)

    I measure my food to the T.... At least I started doing it this meticulously this year.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Mar 05, 2013 4:45 PM GMT
    You're right, of course. Except that there is, in fact, "bad" food. Processed food that loads up on salt, sugar (in its various forms), preservatives, and in general stuff that appeals to the taste buds but offers no real nutritional value. What you describe is the correct attitude for knowledgeable eaters. Eat with a focus of adding or subtracting from maintenance levels depending on your goals. But a lot of young guys don't know that or don't know enough to calibrate it. And god love them, they don't need to because their metabolism is moving so fast that it really doesn't matter too much. But about that time they leave their mothers and their regimented sports activities, they often add that "freshman 10." Or 20. And if they don't figure it out quickly, including adding in their alcohol intake, they can end up looking like many frat boy seniors-- pudgy, shapeless and wondering where their high school body went.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 05, 2013 4:58 PM GMT
    tanbod saidOkay, so being a member on bodybuilding.com has really widened my eyes on nutrition. This whole time I've been thinking I just need to eat a lot of protein, not many fats, and eat carbs at certain times. When I read the 'stickies' (the main info everyone should read before you puke out two million stupid questions) I realized this:

    1) Food like pizza isn't necessarily bad. It's carbs (dough), pizza sauce, protein and fats (let's say pepperoni) and even has veggies. So if you have enough macros left at the end of your day and need to add some calories you can do so with pizza! Or ice cream, or a crispy chicken sandwich from McDonald's.


    Pizza is largely empty carbs. The dough is made from white flour, the cheese is usually very low quality, the pepperoni is mostly fat and salt, and the veggies usually scarce and not balanced. Pizza is fine on occasion, but don't consider it a staple.

    tanbod said2) There is no clean or dirty food. There's protein, there's fats and there's carbs. You shouldn't have to tell people "I had oatmeal for breakfast with a protein shake then I had... For lunch I had...." All that matters at the end of the day is: did you meet your macros? Did you reach the protein your body requires for your workload then add on enough carbs and fat?


    I strongly disagree. The term 'dirty' refers to a balance, as well as how natural a product is. If the meal is highly imbalanced, short on micros, or full of synthetic substances, it is very much a dirty meal.

    tanbod saidDoes anyone here follow such a strict regimen with macros, at least somewhat?

    And is anyone here in good shape and can testify they do something similar, in the sense that you don't obsess about eating clean? I've been trying really hard to gain weight for over a year now and I went from 130 to 155 or so, but now I've plateaued and realized I have to go the extra mile and push myself, my body and my metabolism more.

    Any input or critiques on my post are appreciated!


    I would never encourage rigidity, or eating like a science. It's a fun thing, and should still be seen as such. Some thought is still needed to have an effective diet though.
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    Mar 05, 2013 6:09 PM GMT
    But junk food will not help you build lean muscle. It may give you the calories you need for bulking, but it won't be a clean bulk.
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    Mar 05, 2013 6:12 PM GMT
    mileshelvetica saidBut junk food will not help you build lean muscle. It may give you the calories you need for bulking, but it won't be a clean bulk.


    This is not entirely true.

    Muscle is muscle. There only difference between a "dirty bulk" and a "clean bulk" is the amount of fat that accompanies the muscle gain.

    Also, OP isn't really saying he is planning on starting his day with potato chips and ending it with a brownie.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 05, 2013 6:21 PM GMT
    7Famark saidThis is not entirely true.

    Muscle is muscle. There only difference between a "dirty bulk" and a "clean bulk" is the amount of fat that accompanies the muscle gain.

    Also, OP isn't really saying he is planning on starting his day with potato chips and ending it with a brownie.


    It will not provide the macro or micro nutrition needed. Junk food is a bit of a misnomer, as it hardly qualifies as food.
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    Mar 05, 2013 6:37 PM GMT
    Medjai said
    7Famark saidThis is not entirely true.

    Muscle is muscle. There only difference between a "dirty bulk" and a "clean bulk" is the amount of fat that accompanies the muscle gain.

    Also, OP isn't really saying he is planning on starting his day with potato chips and ending it with a brownie.


    It will not provide the macro or micro nutrition needed. Junk food is a bit of a misnomer, as it hardly qualifies as food.


    Uhm, yeah you could likely hit your macros (which are just proteins, fats, and carbs) with foods that aren't super clean.
    (Again, no where did OP say he was planning on eating nothing but chips and crap all day).
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 05, 2013 6:40 PM GMT
    7Famark said
    Uhm, yeah you could likely hit your macros (which are just proteins, fats, and carbs) with foods that aren't super clean.
    (Again, no where did OP say he was planning on eating nothing but chips and crap all day).


    I know he didn't. I'm saying that junk food is not building food. It's usually composed of various blends of fat, sugar, and salt. This lacks protein and micros, which are essential for doing anything in the body except engorging adipocytes.

    I'm also not discouraging an occasional indulgence. I'm just saying to not make the mistake of considering junk food as food.
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    Mar 05, 2013 6:41 PM GMT
    Nobody has in any way indicated that they were equating something nutritionally empty like potato chips to something that does at least have nutritional value.
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    Mar 05, 2013 6:53 PM GMT
    Can you alter your body composition by just paying attention to macros? Yes. Is it optimal? Possibly not. If you are getting your calories from fresh, whole foods you are more likely to get a wide variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that will contribute positively to your overall health and sense of well being. Processed foods are often calorically dense due to high sugar and fat content, so while you may be getting carbs and fat to meet your macro targets, the high fructose corn syrup and hydrolyzed oils are not doing you any favors health-wise. You might look good, but in the long term, your lipid profile is probably not going to be as healthy as someone getting fats from higher quality sources.

    Diet is also habit, and this is where I see most people falter with dirty bulks. If you get into the habit of eating convenience food and "junk" to meet your targets, it's difficult to go back to a cleaner diet when you cut. What if you were injured in the middle of your bulk and you had to immediately change your diet to compensate for the lack of exercise? Not so difficult if you are already in the habit of eating high quality, nutrient-dense food; much more difficult if you know that for $6 you can get a whole meal at Burger King and you're in the habit of doing it.

    Make "dirty" foods the exception, not the rule and think of your health.
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    Mar 05, 2013 8:07 PM GMT
    tanbod saidOkay, so being a member on bodybuilding.com has really widened my eyes on nutrition. This whole time I've been thinking I just need to eat a lot of protein, not many fats, and eat carbs at certain times. When I read the 'stickies' (the main info everyone should read before you puke out two million stupid questions) I realized this:

    1) Food like pizza isn't necessarily bad. It's carbs (dough), pizza sauce, protein and fats (let's say pepperoni) and even has veggies. So if you have enough macros left at the end of your day and need to add some calories you can do so with pizza! Or ice cream, or a crispy chicken sandwich from McDonald's.

    2) There is no clean or dirty food. There's protein, there's fats and there's carbs. You shouldn't have to tell people "I had oatmeal for breakfast with a protein shake then I had... For lunch I had...." All that matters at the end of the day is: did you meet your macros? Did you reach the protein your body requires for your workload then add on enough carbs and fat?

    Does anyone here follow such a strict regimen with macros, at least somewhat?

    And is anyone here in good shape and can testify they do something similar, in the sense that you don't obsess about eating clean? I've been trying really hard to gain weight for over a year now and I went from 130 to 155 or so, but now I've plateaued and realized I have to go the extra mile and push myself, my body and my metabolism more.

    Any input or critiques on my post are appreciated!


    Some of what you just said, Headless One, is plain nonsense.
    , Pepperoni, it not the same as ultra lean turkey.

    There are horrible foods. E.g., hotdogs are made from by products. That's the parts that can't be sold as other meat cuts (i.e., scraps, and can't be sold for glue..yes glue). Because those products (organ meat, etc, scraps, etc) carry all sorts of icky stuff, they are heavily treated with nitrite (salt peter) and sodium to keep them from rotting or killing you. Same goes with pepperoni.

    Some food contains high levels of saturated fat, which is an energy source if you are doing low intensity labor all days, but, it clogs your cardiovascular system (e.g. cheese, and many dairy products, or red meat with "marbling"). These foods are HORRIBLE for you and are best never kept in your home...EVER. If foods are fried (deep fried), the frying introduces free radicals which make you sick...period...and feel like crap.

    Some foods, on the other hands contain good fats (polys, and monos) and contain HDL, strongly believed to scrub the LDL off the sides of your CV system. These food IMPROVE cardiovascular health and flax seed oil can LOWER your BP by as much as 15 points. AHA isn't quite sure why.

    Some foods have high gylcemic indexes / are fast sugars....These foods slam your insulin levels up, and, unless you do weight bearing exercise, can lead to type 2 diabetes / insulin tolerance.

    The nutritional density of foods, their costs to your CV and brain health (along with other systems in your body) can vary widely. You need to start your study over.

    Calories are NOT just calories.

    Good carbs, with longer carbon chains, provide sustained energy and stable blood sugar levels. Foods like nuts are REALLY good for you (provided they aren't drowned in sodium or some other crap). Oils like MCT oil, Flaxseed oil (the only oil recommended as the strongest OTC measure against heart disease), olive oil, and fish oil, are VERY GOOD for you. Fresh stuff, without butt loads of preservatives, and SALT, is much better than crap from a restaurant loaded with MSG.

    Fast food will KILL you. It does it over time, ruining the blood that runs through your CV system leading to lots of problems as you grow older.

    Bad food is bad food...PERIOD.
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    Mar 05, 2013 8:09 PM GMT
    Medjai said
    7Famark saidThis is not entirely true.

    Muscle is muscle. There only difference between a "dirty bulk" and a "clean bulk" is the amount of fat that accompanies the muscle gain.

    Also, OP isn't really saying he is planning on starting his day with potato chips and ending it with a brownie.


    It will not provide the macro or micro nutrition needed. Junk food is a bit of a misnomer, as it hardly qualifies as food.

    +1
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    Mar 05, 2013 8:09 PM GMT
    Medjai said
    7Famark said
    Uhm, yeah you could likely hit your macros (which are just proteins, fats, and carbs) with foods that aren't super clean.
    (Again, no where did OP say he was planning on eating nothing but chips and crap all day).


    I know he didn't. I'm saying that junk food is not building food. It's usually composed of various blends of fat, sugar, and salt. This lacks protein and micros, which are essential for doing anything in the body except engorging adipocytes.

    I'm also not discouraging an occasional indulgence. I'm just saying to not make the mistake of considering junk food as food.

    +1
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    Mar 05, 2013 8:10 PM GMT
    mileshelvetica saidBut junk food will not help you build lean muscle. It may give you the calories you need for bulking, but it won't be a clean bulk.


    That's called getting fat, sick, and unhealthy. Watch the movie "Supersize Me."
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    Mar 05, 2013 8:18 PM GMT
    Uhm, Josef Rakich follows this IIFYM - Eat It theory and he looks 1000x better than chunkystud.
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    Mar 05, 2013 10:32 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    mileshelvetica saidBut junk food will not help you build lean muscle. It may give you the calories you need for bulking, but it won't be a clean bulk.


    That's called getting fat, sick, and unhealthy. Watch the movie "Supersize Me."


    I did watch it, very eye opening, plus my own reading and research. That's why I wrote what I wrote.
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    Mar 05, 2013 11:47 PM GMT
    7Famark saidThe concept of macros is that you should still eat a generally well-balanced diet, and that the occasional pizza or burger isn't going to kill you or massively derail your goals.


    Yeah this is exactly what I took out of it. This whole time I've been obsessive about being as 100% clean as I can, avoiding birthdays at restaurants, but of course I don't avoid alcohol icon_wink.gif Now I'm more open to IIFYM and I think it'll help my weight gain process a lot more than trying to get my calories mostly out of just carbs and protein.
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    Mar 05, 2013 11:55 PM GMT
    Hold on, not to offend anyone but I love how those of us that are more lean (regardless of being headless or not [hi chuckystud]) agree that a dirty bulk isn't entirely bad.

    Second, I'd just like to say I appreciate the effort on trying to decode my post, but most of you lost me on the first sentence of your reply. DIRTY FOOD DOES NOT EXIST, unhealthy food, however, does. That's not really the topic of discussion now is it?

    Am I going to eat iHOP for breakfast, McDonald's for lunch and go to a pizza buffet for dinner, along with some Dairy Queen on the side? No. I'm saying, it's not necessarily bad for you, especially on a bulk, to add a scoop of ice cream to your protein shake. You're not gonna lose your abs by eating food that contains fat, and fat should not be entirely eliminated.

    I may not be a fitness guru, but like 7Famark has been saying, no one is implying fast good all day will help you reach your goals.
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    Mar 06, 2013 12:02 AM GMT
    aidenMaximus saidThe problem with eating pizza and similar foods is that it's hard to measure the macros. Not all pizzas are created equal. Good luck finding out the amount of tomatoes, meat, sugar, dough, tomato sauce, and cheese in em. (I'm talking about restaurant type of pizza and not the microwavable s)

    I measure my food to the T.... At least I started doing it this meticulously this year.


    Not entirely true, but I see where you're coming from. Any chain restaurant you can find the nutritional facts very easily online/with apps. But you are right, I would more than likely go to a mom and pops italian/ny pizza place, as I will do tonight regardless of what's right or wrong, judge me icon_twisted.gif
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    Mar 06, 2013 12:09 AM GMT
    Medjai said
    7Famark said
    Uhm, yeah you could likely hit your macros (which are just proteins, fats, and carbs) with foods that aren't super clean.
    (Again, no where did OP say he was planning on eating nothing but chips and crap all day).


    I know he didn't. I'm saying that junk food is not building food. It's usually composed of various blends of fat, sugar, and salt. This lacks protein and micros, which are essential for doing anything in the body except engorging adipocytes.

    I'm also not discouraging an occasional indulgence. I'm just saying to not make the mistake of considering junk food as food.


    I'd recommend you to check out bodybuilding.com, it has really good information on this and even gives you lists of what you could eat at fast food restaurants. Chicken is protein, therefore a grilled chicken sandwich from McDonalds has what? Protein! Yes it has fats, yes it may not be organic chickens or whatever the heck people eat these days, but you can get protein. Don't order it with mayo, you can get lettuce, tomatoes and onions on burgers at fast food restaurants too! It is food, similar to going to the supermarket, they're going to give you all the options, it's up to you to refuse them. You don't have to order all the bad stuff, you don't even have to eat the bun of the burger if it's too many calories for you that day! But at least you could sit there with your friends and not be that over-dramatic athletic guy.


    P.S.
    Sorry I'll have to try to learn how to answer many posts and quote many people in one post, I just made this thread way longer than it should be lol
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 06, 2013 12:15 AM GMT
    tanbod said
    I'd recommend you to check out bodybuilding.com, it has really good information on this and even gives you lists of what you could eat at fast food restaurants. Chicken is protein, therefore a grilled chicken sandwich from McDonalds has what? Protein! Yes it has fats, yes it may not be organic chickens or whatever the heck people eat these days, but you can get protein. Don't order it with mayo, you can get lettuce, tomatoes and onions on burgers at fast food restaurants too! It is food, similar to going to the supermarket, they're going to give you all the options, it's up to you to refuse them. You don't have to order all the bad stuff, you don't even have to eat the bun of the burger if it's too many calories for you that day! But at least you could sit there with your friends and not be that over-dramatic athletic guy.


    P.S.
    Sorry I'll have to try to learn how to answer many posts and quote many people in one post, I just made this thread way longer than it should be lol


    It is all the empty, over processed accouterments that are the issue. The grade of chicken is low, and the fat and salt levels are disproportionately high. It's okay as an exception, but it is not a reasonable substitution or a whole food meal, by any stretch.

    I don't need to get my information third hand. I'm a dietetics student. I have text books, professors, and journals for my sourcing.

    You're not wrong. You're just stretching the idea a little far is all.
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    Mar 06, 2013 12:24 AM GMT
    Hm, I don't know how many times to say I never said it should be the rule rather than the exception, I guess I'm misusing words leading to miscommunication so I'll stop saying the same thing over and over again.

    I will say, though, that I in now way was talking about just fast food, that was just an example. I was trying to talk more about foods like bacon, ice cream, milk, and other things people stay away from drastically because of fat or whatever it may be. For a weight gaining regimen, a scoop of quality ice cream in your protein shake can help you reach your caloric goal.

    Look at the big picture guys, 'dirty bulking' isn't just McDonalds...