I'm making progress but I could be doing better. Help?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 7:45 PM GMT
    I started working out in January. The other day I was in the shower and I noticed I have a bicep. It’s not much when compared to some of the muscles I see on here but it’s mine and I’m proud of it.

    So now I know I am getting some positive results with my working out. But I think I could be doing much better. I think my main problem is that I don’t know how to eat. Most of my meals are fast food or restaurants, I have tried to make healthier choices for instance when I go to Wendy’s I get the grilled chicken sandwich and a salad and water instead of my once usual fried chicken sandwich fried and a Coke. I stopped drinking Coke completely, I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I never drink alcohol.

    So my questions are.
    Because I eat fast food a lot, can I make healthy choices from their menus or am I just kidding myself?
    What should I be eating? My goal is to loose weight and gain muscle.
    Are there foods that I need to avoid at all costs?
    I have been drinking a lot of water and it’s getting boring, what else is ok?
    And any other random tip would be profoundly helpful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 8:42 PM GMT
    Drop the fast food. You'd probably be better off making some nice, big sandwiches with turkey or chicken yourself. You'll save money this way too. Fast food chains are going to add lots of shit you don't want in the food to make up for the flavor of the less-than-quality products they use to make more money.

    Eat lots of lean meats, lots of veggies and fruits, legumes, etc. Chicken is great and cheap, tuna is quick and easy, turkey is a nice break from chicken.

    I like to stock up on lemons and lemon juice. I add it to my water to give it a bit of flavor. There's also Crystal Light, which is basically sugary shit you can mix in with your water to flavor it. May not be as good as plain water, but is still better than drinking hundreds of calories worth of soda or sports drinks.

    As you build more muscle, you'll notice the fat tends to go away with it as well. If your goal is to gain muscle, I'd worry about packing on some mass first, and losing fat afterward. The goals are kinda contradictory, as you're going to have to eat to gain muscle, which will add some fat as well. Weather is getting warmer and warmer out, are you able to jog or ride a bike when you're not at the gym, work, etc? The more active you are, the less likely you're going to add extra fat.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 9:09 PM GMT
    Send me a message via my profile and I will give you some pointers.
  • Matia79

    Posts: 215

    Mar 18, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    Pyrotech made some EXCELLENT points. I struggled with this too for many years. I used to be Obese believe it or not so I'm familiar with what you speak. You've made some great changes in your diet but after reading what you had to say there are still more changes to be made.

    I'm not a nutritionist so bear that in mind...I've just got a great deal of personal experience in this matter. If you want fool-proof advice, see a certified Nutritionist.

    Meat, legumes and veggies...exactly as Pyro suggested!!! I'm sure you've heard this plenty of times but portion size is important. More frequent and smaller portions help to distribute calories throughout the day and make burning them off far easier on the digestive system. Your meat really should be about the size of your palm (generally a good guage). Veggies, go crazy!!!! The more colourful and the brighter the colour, the better for you!!! Don't forget to suppliment with a multi-vitamin!!! AND YOU MUST HAVE FIBRE!!! Green, leafy veggies; beans; even have a small bowl of All-bran in the morning if you must.

    Try and stay away from restaurants as much as possible. They ALWAYS cook in butter or heavy oil (even the lighter meals).
    POTATOES...think of them as kryptonite!!! BAD. If you must, go for sweet potatoes (believe it or not, they're better for you...but not great)
    Cut all white bread. Substitute for whole GRAIN (not to be confused with whole WHEAT) and limit your intake. If it says "fortified" on the package, it's garbage...only buy whole grain bread.
    Regular pasta should be changed to Whole Wheat pasta.
    White rice changed to Wild or Brown Rice (if you cook it with Beef or Chicken Stock it really adds to the flavour).
    NEVER eat fried...always grilled.

    I think the main thing is to change your relationship with food. I'm an eater...I LOVE to eat...and believe me, I've had my battles with food. But you have to stop thinking of the 3 large meals a day of meat and potatoes and remember smaller, more frequent and BALANCED meals. Balance is definitely the key when it comes to diet. Diet really is about 80% of the battle. Also, one last point...keep in mind that everyone's body works slightly differently. What works best for me may not work exactly the same for you. Trial and error.

    I hope that helps and good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    mostly good advice, though there is nothing at all wrong with potatoes*.

    The topic is SO big that perhaps it´s better to throw out a few points for thought

    (1) Retrain your tastebuds. All they know is what you give them, and if it´s mostly fast food they have learnt to like and enjoy fat, salt, sugar and artificial flavour. That is a big problem if you want to eat well. How does one do this? Stop drinking sodas, gradually phase out sugar in your coffee/tea. That will begin to reeducate your perception of sweetness. Avoid salty foods (fries, chips etc), ditto with your perception of salt. Prepare your own food whenever possible. That means learn to cook. Doesn´t have to be amazing, but you need to learn how to stick together basic food

    (2) Variety and moderation. There are no banned foods (certainly not potatoes… that is really a very odd idea). Certain foods are once a week only foods and some are monthly or less foods. You shouldn´t be eating fried stuff every day, but once a month it´s really not an issue. You need to find a balance which doesn´t send you crazy with denial. Also, vary what you eat: a healthy meal of steamed salmon, rice and steamed asparagus is not good for you if that is all you ever eat, every day for months. Variety: eat all different sorts of carbs, and don´t get stuck in a rut. If you like you can have a pattern: Monday chicken and pasta, Tuesday rice and beef, Wednesday fish and potatoes, Thursday pork and quinoa etc, and then just eat different recipes. You could have a chicken stew one Monday, the next Monday a chicken pasta dish etc.

    (3) Be prepared to work a bit. To start with it´s going to seem hard. Sorry, everything does when you first start it. I´d seriously suggest that you get someone to teach you how to cook (“from scratch” as you say in the USA… it always sounds funny to me as there is no other way of cooking). Books are an excellent resource, but if you know someone who can show you how to roast a chicken, dry fry a steak (that´s easy… put the steak in a non stick pan with NO OIL), how to make a basic chicken stew, or beef stew, then that is going to help you a great deal and save you a bit of the error of trial and error.

    I don´t get the “water is boring” thing.. I´ve had that as my main drink for 15 years and it´s really not boring. Re train your tastebuds.

    Good luck!

    *NB when I say "potato" that is not an excuse to eat half a pound of butter mixed with a little bit of the middle and leave the skin at the side of the plate. That is not good for you

  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 19, 2009 12:06 AM GMT
    Sweet potatoes are very good for you