20% exercise and 80% diet, true of false? 4-5 meals a day is better than 3 larger meals when building muscle is concerned?

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    Jul 19, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    I just read a fact that gaining muscle or building the physique that you desire is all about the diet, much more than i had imagined. 80% diet and 20% exercise. I thought it might have been 50/50 etc...

    Anyway, i eat healthily, exercise regularly [cycling is my mode of transport], keep my boozing to a minimum and have just joined a gym to gain muscle. I also read that eating 4-5 small meals a day is better than consuming 3 larger meals.

    Therefore, do those meals include protein snacks post-workout?

    How do you seperate those meals - should only a few be protein based?

    Ok, can anyone off me some clarity on this topic or any other great hints?!

    Thank you,

    i know you must get bored of looking at mundane queries and questions like mine!
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    Jul 19, 2009 5:27 PM GMT
    search the forums for more detail, but

    yup most of gains are to do with diet for almost everyone. If you eat more you get bigger, if you lift and rest and eat more you get muscle, if you just eat more and rest you get fat. Still bigger

    You want to eat more regularly: the "classic" is 6 times a day. I have breakfast, mid morning sandwich, first lunch, second lunch, supper late, night snack. That´s 6. My "meals" all have protein of some kind, but not exactly equal. I don´t do it "properly". NB 6 "meals" confuses people: you need to eat that many times, not every meal is sunday roast.

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    Jul 19, 2009 5:33 PM GMT
    Well, I'm not an expert. . . but I wouldn't worry too much about percentages (i.e., ratio of working out to diet).

    I have heard about the 80/20 rule, but that doesn't make much sense to me. You have to lift weights, do the machines, etc, to get muscles.

    I remember reading an interview with Bob Paris, who was one of the top competitive bodybuilders back in the 80s. He said the 80/20 rule wasn't true. He put it something like this: If you could have 80% of the physique of a typical BB'er just through diet, why bother working out?

    You have to do both. . . work out regularly and eat right.

    And yes, eating 5-6 relatively small meals per day seems to be the way to go. It's pretty much how I eat.
  • valhalla73

    Posts: 84

    Jul 19, 2009 8:54 PM GMT
    I completely agree - 80% diet and 20% exercise.

    Last year I was able to do international distance triathlons but still did not "look" in shape. My body fat percentage was still over 15%. Then I started measuring out my meals and eating 6 meals a day in October 2008. I also increased the amount of protein I took in and distributed that throughout the day. My body fat percentage plummeted from 15% to 10% in less than 2 months. I could not believe the dramatic effect just changing my eating routine would have. I definitely have improved my overall strength and am much more toned. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 19, 2009 10:47 PM GMT
    It's all about calories, calories, calories, small meals often, getting enough rest, and occasional stimulation.
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    Jul 19, 2009 10:59 PM GMT
    YUM... Bob Paris! He was a hot man for sure, and probably still is!

    Yeah, 80/20 is probably exagerated to make a point??? idk

    But, maybe 50/50? I think you have to consider your genetics and totally understand that diet is essential if your looking to be lean, and gain size. It just is fact.

    To futher the point... a trainer and amateur / bodybuilder friend of mine claims he does nothing for his abs.You could wash you clothes on his abs.
    Its ALL diet he says.

    What he say's makes sense to me. WE ALL have a six pack. its just covered in fat. DIET he says.. proper diet. I was on his diet for 3mo's. No ab crunches, nothing. My bf was lowe to begin with, and saw my six pack appear for the first time since I was 10.


    Me? I still do a small amount of ab exersizes and diet. Kind of like writing a list for Santa... just in case!

    LittleDudeWithMuscles saidWell, I'm not an expert. . . but I wouldn't worry too much about percentages (i.e., ratio of working out to diet).

    I have heard about the 80/20 rule, but that doesn't make much sense to me. You have to lift weights, do the machines, etc, to get muscles.

    I remember reading an interview with Bob Paris, who was one of the top competitive bodybuilders back in the 80s. He said the 80/20 rule wasn't true. He put it something like this: If you could have 80% of the physique of a typical BB'er just through diet, why bother working out?

    You have to do both. . . work out regularly and eat right.

    And yes, eating 5-6 relatively small meals per day seems to be the way to go. It's pretty much how I eat.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Jul 19, 2009 11:06 PM GMT
    Volconox saidI just read a fact that gaining muscle or building the physique that you desire is all about the diet, much more than i had imagined. 80% diet and 20% exercise. I thought it might have been 50/50 etc...

    Anyway, i eat healthily, exercise regularly [cycling is my mode of transport], keep my boozing to a minimum and have just joined a gym to gain muscle. I also read that eating 4-5 small meals a day is better than consuming 3 larger meals.

    Therefore, do those meals include protein snacks post-workout?

    How do you seperate those meals - should only a few be protein based?

    Ok, can anyone off me some clarity on this topic or any other great hints?!

    Thank you,

    i know you must get bored of looking at mundane queries and questions like mine!


    I'd say it's more accurate that your diet sets boundaries for what your workouts can accomplish. You could work out really hard, but if you're on a 1500-calorie diet, you're not going to gain muscle.

    If your goal is to gain, 5 meals a day is a good idea. But, these shouldn't be "small" meals; they should be normal, complete (in answer to your question about protein), sizeable meals that will drive up your overall food intake. I wouldn't include post-workout nutrition (e.g. a protein shake and a sandwich, or whatever) in the meal count.

    But, really depends on the goal. How much do you want to gain?
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    Jul 19, 2009 11:41 PM GMT
    Hmm,


    Thank you guys. That has really started to ring some bells and given me more of a clue!

    Genetics are a huge part and i will avoid making unrealistic goals. The protein intake being spread across the day does seem like the best way for the body to absorb as much protein as possible.

    This is all very simple and it was very cool of everyone to take their time to give me a well thought out answer. I really want to start on the right level as i know i will be in one place for a few years [rather than travelling around, unable to commit to a gym properly without spending loads].
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    Jul 20, 2009 12:23 AM GMT
    something to think about: why do the guys in the gym who never change or are overweight etc never progress?

    (1) Genetics
    (2) diet.
    (3) Lifting stupidly (too heavy weights, bad form, lazy half hearted "water fountain" training, lack of consistency)

    Diet is HUGE. my body composition changed in the 4 months I lifted without eating more, but I didn´t get bigger. I ate and grew.
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    Jul 20, 2009 1:23 AM GMT
    Hey Volconox, the 80-20 thing is in reference to importance, meaning it's more important to get your diet right if you want to gain lean mass than it is to have your training regimen correct.

    top notch training + good diet = best results
    crappy training routine + good diet = pretty decent growth
    top notch training + bad diet = disappointing results
    crappy training routine + bad diet = pisspoor results

    There are dozens of philosophies out there on how to eat like a bodybuilder and you'll find that a lot of them disagree with each other. I have followed Bill Phillips body for life, Gerard Dente's Macrobolic Nutrition, Fredrick Hatfield's zig zag method, and a hand full of others. most of the body builders I know have a small repertoire of meals and we may eat the same set of meals for a week and then change it up. Sunday evening I make most of my meals for the week and put them in the fridge or freezer.

    I'm presently running very close to the Macrobolic diet which, according to most of my bb friends, has too much fat. But as an older BB it works well for me and keeps me from getting hungry between meals. Below is what I ate today:

    Meal 1:
    1 pack, Oatmeal, instant, weight control, Maple & brown sugar
    29 g of walnuts mixed into the oatmeal
    1 scoop of syntrax fuzzy navel whey (tastes just like orange juice)

    Meal 2: (all mixed together)
    1.5 cup fat free cottage cheese
    1 small banana sliced up
    6.5 oz canned pineapple chunks in juice - not syrup
    37g of walnuts

    Meal 3:
    4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
    1/4 of a small bag of Mathatma Saffron yellow rice (no added butter)
    1.25 tbl sp of olive oil
    2 cups of green peas

    Meal 4
    3 Tilapia filets (Sea Best Gold from walmart)
    250g of steamed broccoli
    300 grams yams (sliced and microwaved with some water)
    1.5 tbl sp Walnut oil for the brocoli.


    Meal 5: (Post workout)
    one 20oz powerade (blue)
    2 scoops of syntrax fuzzy navel whey
    I drink about half the powerade, down the whey all at once, and then sip the rest of the powerade.

    Meal 6: (all mixed together)
    1.25 cup fat free cottage cheese
    1 medium granny smith apple diced
    1 fat free, light blueberry yogurt
    34 g walnuts
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 20, 2009 1:56 AM GMT
    thats a lot to ask, but to answer your title.. yes meals throughout the day are better than a bunch of large ones... dieting really just takes time though, if you do it right. if you just want to loose weight period the best way is to just eat very small amounts of food and starve yourself. i dont suggest that though
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Jul 20, 2009 9:11 AM GMT
    ShawnF saidthats a lot to ask, but to answer your title.. yes meals throughout the day are better than a bunch of large ones... dieting really just takes time though, if you do it right. if you just want to loose weight period the best way is to just eat very small amounts of food and starve yourself. i dont suggest that though


    ...what?

    I definitely hope the OP, at 150 lbs, isn't trying to lose weight. And that second bit might be good if you're anorexic, but if you want to loose weight in a healthy way, "starve yourself" is foolish and dangerous advice. The best way to loose weight is to ingest enough to keep healthy (so, a bit over maintenance) and be doing regular cardio and weight training.
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    Jul 20, 2009 12:33 PM GMT
    ShawnF saidthats a lot to ask, but to answer your title.. yes meals throughout the day are better than a bunch of large ones... dieting really just takes time though, if you do it right. if you just want to loose weight period the best way is to just eat very small amounts of food and starve yourself. i dont suggest that though




    agggghhhhh... HORRIBLE advice. THe best way to STARVE is to starve yourself. If you want to loose FAT only then not eating is absolutely the worst thing you can do. WHY do people keep repeating the mantra "don´t eat"...it´s bad for you and you look terrible after you do it.

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    Jul 21, 2009 1:31 AM GMT
    Lostboy is right on. Starving is great way to lose muscle mass, slow down your metabolism, and cause your body to greedily store fat in all kinds of places to HELP you survive the famine... which it doesn't know is self imposed!

    The reason you eat multiple meals is to keep your metabolism high, and coax your body into relaxing its guard against famine. It also aids in maintaining sufficient amino acids in the blood that muscle tissue is rarely catabolized aka maintaining a positive nitrogen balance.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 21, 2009 1:48 AM GMT
    How can your body store fat if it's not getting enough calories from starvation to begin with? Even if your metabolism slows down, a calorie deficit is a calorie deficit, so how can the body store fat by going into starvation mode?
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    Jul 24, 2009 2:18 AM GMT
    well yeah this is all true, but most people are hopelessly involved with how fast they can loose weight. if your trying to do it really fast, and you dont want to take the time do it right.. starve yourself.. i also said i dont suggest that though

    correct way is diet and excercize but many find this method to be too "slow" as if a good body were somethign that should be easily obtainable in this day and age

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    Jul 24, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
    Hey ShawnF, Sorry - you did say that you didn't recommend it... which is right on the money. I agree as well, that this is something that takes time to do right.

    Anto, Your body consumes a certain amount of calories just to keep you alive which is referred to as your "basal metabolic rate". When you begin starving yourself, that rate drops and your body responds by storing as much fat as it can since this is your body's primary means of storing energy. Most bodybuilding diet books discuss and explain this far better than I can.

    To illustrate the point: if your metabolism is high and you eat a doughnut, you get a burst of energy as your body burns through first the carbs and then the fats. If your metabolism is low that same doughnut gives only leaves you feeling lethargic because your body is trying to store everything it can to make sure you survive.

    Obviously if you starve yourself to the point where only your basal metabolic needs are being met then there is nothing left to store... but this also means that you'll be losing some muscle too. You'll have lousy, weak training sessions and feel pretty crappy overall. I can't stand being weak so for me it's not worth it.