View Full Version : Diet for someone afraid to gain bodyfat

02-18-2006, 01:30 PM
I did do a search, honest! My situation is a little complex so I couldn’t find anything that exactly matched, but if I missed one please tell me.

I am a 5'9", 150 lb 26 year old male. I have been piddling around with eating and weights for a while (read: eating a bunch of crap and not lifting worth a damn), but for the last few weeks I have really been trying to get it into gear and actually get something accomplished.

For my workouts, I am on WBB1 with some small modifications of my own (I only have a bench and dumbbells so I have had to make substitutions for things like hack squats and dips). So far I like it a lot more than the über-volume crap I was doing before.

I don't specifically do any aerobics, but I do go to martial arts class twice a week for a total of 6 hours (we do mixed martial arts: kickboxing and Brazilian ju-jitsu), and I tend to walk or ride my bike everywhere.

It is my diet where I am having the biggest issues. I have read this site and others exhaustively, but I am still not sure what I should do. My current diet is (in addition to about a gallon of water throughout the day);

Breakfast: 1 cup Cheerios + 1/2 cup skim milk + protein shake
Meal 2: Chicken noodle soup + 1 can tuna
Meal 2: 1/2 sandwich made of whole wheat bread and 1 tbsp. natty peanut butter + 1 apple
Meal 3: The other half of the sandwich + 1 can tuna
Meal 4: 5 (really small) chicken strips
Meal 6: protein shake plus 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese (though this isn't a meal per se; I have the shake after working out and eat the cottage cheese before I go to bed).

Which works out to about 1922 calories, 31% from carbs, 43% from protein, and 26% from fat. One issue is that it is pretty obvious that I am not going to make gains from a diet like this, though it is much healthier than what I was eating before.

The other issue, though, is that I am not that low in bodyfat right now (I look really skinny but have almost no muscle), and that I don't think I can psychologically handle going up (say) 10% in bodyfat. I have some serious issues with my appearance and I can't even imagine me looking worse than I do now... but it is impossible for me to cut (as there is nothing to show off). I think that most people here just eat a ton of clean calories and deal with the BF when it is time to cut; this is what I would like too but there is going to have to be an intermediate time for me where I won't associate getting bigger with becoming fat. Is this making any sense? I know it sounds stupid to be worried about my BF going up, but I can't just ignore the way I feel about it. Anyway, thanks!

02-18-2006, 01:56 PM
do you eat any veggies?

02-18-2006, 02:02 PM
Does thinking about eating veggies count? :)

No, I don't, and I need too. I just hate the taste. :(

02-18-2006, 02:05 PM
yeah, they're good for you ;)

broccoli, green beans,salad etc... add some with your meals spice them up with some balsamic,olive oil,salt

02-18-2006, 02:10 PM
have you read this?


02-18-2006, 02:16 PM
I did. :) I am working on eating more + better stuff, I am just not very handy in the kitchen (plus very busy) so I don't have very much variety. It is mostly the idea of "eating a lot = getting fat" thing I am having a emotional problem with.

02-18-2006, 02:28 PM
start tracking on www.fitday.com

02-18-2006, 02:30 PM
I do! :) That's where I got the information about my current "diet."

02-18-2006, 02:32 PM
I hate veggies too but you just have to figure out how to work them in with what you are eating. Most of my veggies are cooked in with my meat source.

John Berardi's Gourmet Nutrtion is a great cookbook. Healthy cooking and a lot of the recipes are damn good!

And I'm in the same boat as you. ~19% BF and don't want to gain too much more but I'm still not satisfied with current lean mass so I'm doing a slow clean bulk for a year. I'd shoot for around 0.5lbs per week increase and you should be ok as long as you are eating right.

02-18-2006, 03:40 PM
if you're new to this whole thing and have a high bf percentage it is very possible to lose fat and gain weight if done carefully. Look into the ultimate diet 2.0 by lyle macdonald at bodyrecomposition.com it's some interesting stuff.

02-18-2006, 03:42 PM
If you are really worried about gaining fat (which you shouldn't be at 150 lbs), do some HIIT training 3-4 times a week.

02-18-2006, 03:51 PM
My friend, I used to be in the same situation as you.

I regret to say, I wasted months spinning my wheels, terrified to get fat. Now, it still is a big concern for me, but I know I am stronger than it.

Remember, fat is expendable. Science will do what science will do in a caloric deficit, namely, catabolize itself for energy. You can remove that fat anytime you feel like it.

I suggest you don't go on a 'bulk,' if you are truly worried about it. Just stay 250-350 cals above maintenance, day in day out, eating clean and lifting heavy. You probably won't gain as much muscle as others, but your efforts should be practically 100% lean.

However, from my personal experiences, and the mindset that fat is expendable, I now like to go the 500+ cals a day, doing cardio and targeting carbs, in order to gain as clean as I can.

It's up to you, good luck.

(Also, gaining 10% more BF would either have to be a very looooooooooooong clean bulk, where you would gain alot of muscle, or a very poor bulk to start.)

02-18-2006, 06:46 PM
As many have stated bulking is the fastest way to gain lean mass.

In your case you will need to stay in a certain weight class. For this reason I would simply focus on recomposing and getting down to the lowest possible bf% at whatever your ideal fighting weight is.

If your ideal weight is 185 then bulk to 200-210 and cut back down.

If your ideal fighting weight is what you weigh now. Then I would eat clean, eat frequently and do insane amounts of training. I know Chuck Liddell hasn't gained weight in nearly 10 years but I bet he eats alot.

02-19-2006, 12:12 PM
this is a great post!

02-19-2006, 12:22 PM
HIIT 3 or 4 times a week is too much HIIT!

If you need to do that much HIIT to keep your weight under control, you need to look to your diet.

02-19-2006, 01:22 PM
Everyone, thanks! It really helps to hear about what others are doing and how it is working for them. I thought about it last night, and I might be overestimating by own bodyfat %... I don't think it is actually that high I just feel fat. Plus the fact that I hate it when my butt jiggles when I jump rope. :(

I think I am just going to start increasing the calories I consume, and see where that gets me... if I start feeling that I am gaining too much BF I will cut back a bit. I am sure that as I start getting bigger I will be motivated enough that gaining some fat won't bother me anymore! And I will start eating some veggies too... I just have to find something to put on them. I looked at all the dressings at the store and they were horribly bad for you!! :)

Oh, and I only started training about two months ago, I am still far away from competing (though there are many competitors in our gym). I would definitely have to bulk up to compete, I am tiny as hell!

02-19-2006, 02:01 PM
if you're new to this whole thing and have a high bf percentage it is very possible to lose fat and gain weight if done carefully. Look into the ultimate diet 2.0 by lyle macdonald at bodyrecomposition.com it's some interesting stuff.

Great book, great diet/routine, but if you're new to lifting and dieting, I would recommend finding yourself a much easier diet. UD2 is a great read, though. It has a lot of nice information on general nutrition and training.

02-19-2006, 02:10 PM
Try the diet I mention in the link in my sig ("cutting") - I use the same principal for bulking and maintenance as well.

02-19-2006, 02:25 PM
So, the first thing I need to do is to experimentally determine my maintanance calories (by measuring them exactly for a week and see how my weight changes)? I'll start on that on Monday... I have been using fitday but I need to be more careful. Plus I need a new scale, as the one at home is 10 lb. less than the calibrated scale in the basement. :)

And I wanted to thank you for posting around the site about natural peanut butter. My friends make fun of me for eating it but now I know the truth! :)

02-19-2006, 03:33 PM
mmm.... natty pb ....

And yes, ideally, you get a good measurement of your cals for a week so you have a good idea of what YOUR maintenance is.

A good scale is a real help - I hate random number generators.

02-19-2006, 06:25 PM
I looked at all the dressings at the store and they were horribly bad for you!! :)

What about the ones that are just fat and oil. Don't be deterred by saturated fat.