Am I on the right track?
Iím just beginning to work on a nutrition plan and I would like to see if Iím on the right track. First a little background. Iíll soon be 45 years old 5í-8Ē 176 lbs and approximately 25-28% body fat (online calculator) and just started lifting about three months ago. Iíve gained 12 lbs in the last three months mainly due to stopping smoking. Right now Iím doing ďtoningĒ exercises but plan in the near future to get a little more serious and try to reshape my body. The plan is to add a little size to my upper body while slimming down the mid-section.
So here is what Iíve found by reading the forums so far about a good starting point. I should be taking in approximately 2800Ė3000 calories with a breakdown of 35% protein, 40% carbs & 25% fat. Does this sound about right?
With the wifeís help Iíve really been watching what Iím eating since Friday and if the above numbers are even close to being correct Iím going to have to find a way to eat more. Thanks
Percentages really won't do much for you while cutting, because your need for protein and fat aren't dependent on your calories, but rather on your lean mass.
Read this and this for a little guidance on how to set up a diet. I carb cycle, but you don't have to if you don't want to just yet (or ever, for that matter) - the only real reason I do is for appetite control.
Basic rules are as follow:
Find maintenance calories by tracking your ordinary (ie not your recent reducing plan) on www.fitday.com for a few days. Run an average. Consider this to be your current maintenance.
Set your new diet up with these calories for the first week, to get it comfortable before you drop the calories back.
No less than a gram of protein per pound lean mass
No less than half a gram of fat per pound lean mass
No less than 25 grams of fibre
Make sure your total calories is within 50 of the number you found for maintenance.
If you don't know your lean mass, think for a moment to your "pipe dream" weight - the weight you'd be right this moment if you could just snap your fingers.
Pick 90% of this as a ballpark for lean mass. It'll be close enough.
For example, if your number is "150 lbs", then consider you currently have 135 lbs of lean mass (90% of 150) and use this to set protein and fat minimums, in grams. (ie protein must be at least 135g and fat must be at least 70g)
(If you were female, I'd say pick 80% of the "pipe dream" weight. The reason I suggest these guesstimates is because 10% for men and 20% for women is roughly what most people think of as "healthy lean" when they see it on others.)
Thanks for the response. Looks like I've got a lot of reading to do.
It's like building a house: measure twice, cut once.
Do it right the first time.
Oh - and word up: you are unlikely to add any upper body size while dropping fat. You may gain a little owing to your newbie status, but don't get too stoked about gaining more than a little bit of upper body size while you do this. Most of us have to bulk and cut to get any size going.
I took your advice on started logging down on fitday.com. I had already been writing it down because the wife had been nagging, I mean helping me, try to start take a more serious look at what I'm eating.
I have twelve days logged so far. Six days that pretty much sum up what I've been eating for the last three months and the last six days with my wifes help. The breakdowns were: For the previous 3 months average, 2997 calories, 124 fat, 377 carbs, 101 protein. With this I was putting on and average of 1 lb per week for the last 12 weeks. Now for the last six days: 2367 calories, 70 fat, 337 carb & 101 protein and my weight appears to have leveled out.
So with a LBM of 148.5 (guess) I should shoot for 2300 calories, 148 protein and 74 fat?, and then adjust from there?, and what about carbs?
Before anyone asks I will not be posting a link to my fitday account because it is embarrassing and I should be ashamed of myself.
Once I finally come up with something (read an entire new way of eating) I'll post it to have everyone check it out and make suggestions.