The Holy Grail: Losing fat and gaining muscle

These are previous threads that we felt are particularly informative/provacative and would like to keep here for easy reference

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Post by stuward » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:15 pm


Rather than going so low with your calories, reduce by 500 per day from your maintenance level and expend another 500 per day in exercise. That will limit your loss to 2 lbs per week. That doesn't sound like a lot but it's sustainable and will insure adequate nutrients for your body. Going too low will put your body in starvation mode and you will lower your metabolism and retain fat. If you're loosing more than 2 lbs per week, eat more.

You can try to keep your meals all similar size but really, breakfast, lunch and diner with snacks between and an evening snack. Make breakfast the biggest meal. The big thing is to plan your snacks so you're not tempted to get a donut.

I feel I need some grains in my diet and I try to get them at breakfast, either oatmeal of bran cereal. It helps my regularity. Weetabix is probably as good as any other cereal. Bread and potatoes should be consumed in small quantities once your weight is where you want it. While you are trying to lose weight you can't afford the empty calories.

Fats are easy to get. They are naturally in all meats and eggs. Use olive oil on salads, canola oil for cooking. Nuts are a good snack and full of good fats. Fish oil contains Omega 3 fats and should be added to your diet. Some say that fish oil will cause fat loss on it's own if you take enough. I can't say for sure but 3 to 10 grams per day seems to be the right amount.

I like situps instead of crunches as well. Leg raises are good too. Best bet is to switch them up every now and then.

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Post by Ironman » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:27 pm

I've never seen a Mediterranean plan that allowed white flour of any kind. I thought the whole thing was being low glycemic. It's been proven it turns into sugar in your mouth and pretty much behaves the same way. So if you can eat that, then you could eat cake and ice cream and sugar cubes. Some of the health of people in these countries can be genetics too. I know plenty of people who can eat whatever and not worry about gaining weight or developing diabetes, while other people who eat the same way have a big problem.

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Post by TimD » Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:19 am

ROFL, I wasn't talking about any "Mediteranean Plan" from a book,I was reffering to my observations of how the people in the medeteranean actually ate. Also, in most eating establishments, I've never seen anything other than the white crusty bread served. Yes, in the markets, you can find the imports from norhern Europe of the "Vollkorn" (whole wheat w/ wheatberries, that weigh a ton) and "Ruebrot" (Rye bread-again heavy with lots of berries and caraway seeds), but it's not common.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:45 am


I agree about the portion size being key. Back in the 60s at McDonalds, there were no premium sandwiches or supersized fries and drinks. Had the portion size stayed the same today, it is doubtful that the health police would be cracking down on the fast food outlets ... _diet.html

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Post by chissel » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:12 pm

Hey all. Thanks for the replies again. Lots of interesting info for me to absorb! Anyway, about my diet now...

The diet I've lost all my weight with so far has been roughly:

1 Weetabix
Half a low-fat yogurt

Mid-morning snack:
Some grapes

2 slices of bread with margarine
The other half of the low-fat yogurt
Cereal bar

Post-workout snack:
Some tuna and ham

Some meat (chicken breast often) with vegetables

Although there are 5 meals there, it was really 3 meals and 2 snacks. Looking back at it now, after doing some reading, it looks really sucky.

This is what I've planned after reading through some of the stuff you guys have commented. I'd like to know your views on it. Please bear in mind that I'm trying to LOSE FAT! The guidelines I'm sticking to are to eat protein with every meal, get my carbs from vegetables and/or fruits for each meal (not bread, potatoes etc. as I was before), get some good fats from fish and nuts, and drink a bunch of water. Here goes:

6 meals a day, 2.5 hours apart, at: 7:30, 10:00, 12:30, 15:00, 17:30, 20:00

I'm going workout on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Here is my diet for a workout day:

7:30 -- Meal 1:
2 eggs

10:00 -- Meal 2:
Chicken breast
Almonds and walnuts

12:30 -- Meal 3: (PRE-WORKOUT)

13:30 Go to gym

15:00 -- Meal 4: (POST-WORKOUT)
Porridge oats (add water and milk)

17:30 -- Meal 5:
Green beans

20:00 -- Meal 6:

My rationale for the post-workout meal 4 is that it has quite a lot of carbs in it (oats, banana) and a little protein (in the oats & milk), which I've heard is a good idea after a workout, although I've heard these carbs should be high-GI, and I'm not sure if my choices here are. I know this is the meal that's supposed to break the "carbs from vegetables/fruit" rule, although I seem to be getting them from that anyway, so hmm not too sure about this one.

For the pre-workout meal 3 I've tried to include some fibrous vegetable/fruit carbs for energy. Is this right?

On an off-day, when I don't have a resistance workout, I will change meal 4 so it isn't carb-heavy and has more protein, like so:

15:00 -- Meal 4:
Green peas
Almonds and walnuts

and then have some grapes later instead.

Obviously the order of these 6 meals will change a bit -- I won't always have salmon, might have cod, or might have chicken instead. I'll probably have more chicken than anything actually since it's easy for me.

What do you guys think of my diet plan? I'm a bit worried because it feels like I'm eating quite a lot and I'm trying to lose fat, but it definitely seems more full of quality vegetables/fruit and less bread/potato/cereal carbs. Anyway, your views?

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Post by pdellorto » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:45 pm

Your improved eating plan looks much healthier to me. I'd be more comfortable eating like that - more emphasis on veggies, fruits, and meat than on bread and cereals. I'm far from a nutrition expert, though.

Your post-workout fruit includes a banana, which I've seen listed as a "low" GCI fruit and a "high" GCI fruit and an "intermediate" GCI fruit. Frankly I'm not sure which it is. Conventional wisdom makes it a good post-workout snack because of the sugars and potassium, which is why I throw one in my protein blender bomb. So I'm also not sure much it'll cause your insulin to spike post-workout, but it's not an unhealthy choice and I'll anecdotally report that it works for me.

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Post by TimD » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:26 pm

I think your plan looks pretty decent. As to hi GI post workout, well, thats a good thing. Pre workout, well I won't do it, but I've seen lots of other people and posts that do recommend it. Personally, when I am trying to shed fat, I might have some nuts and an apple about an hour or two before a workout, if that.