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Eating for weight training.

November 2, 2008

The typical eating plan for weight training is usually a 40/30/30 plan. Which means 40 percent of your calories come from carbs, 30 percent from fats, and 30 percent from protein. There are slight variations to this some say 45 instead of 40, others day 25 on the fats… who’s right? Who’s wrong? Does it matter? I dont think it matters all that much. Eat clean and the rest will come. Typically the ratio for protein stays at 30. I’m sure a bodybuilder would probably get more, but I’m not a bodybuilder, I’m a weightlifter ;).

I’ve read the protein gram requirement being 1 gram per pound of total weight and 1 gram per pound of lean muscle mass. I go with lean muscle mass personally but I don’t think going with one over the other is going to make or break a lifting routine. Maybe better results with more but maybe the difference in results would be fairly insignificant. For professional bodybuilders (who wouldn’t be reading my blog anyway) the recommendations seem to get even higher to about 1.5 times bodyweight/lean muscle mass.

Macronutrients were a concern for me when I first started. I didn’t know what was right, what was wrong, if it mattered. My food choices then were horrible and still are. I found what works for me is to focus on getting the protien grams in and not worry about the rest. Sometimes that means I get 3000 calories with 90 grams of protein because my fat and carb consumption is through the roof. Other times my protein is closer to the 40% or even closer and my calories are much less, at times even under 1800 for a day here or there. My main goal is maintaining the muscle I have/adding new muscle. However I don’t want to add fat. Which is an issue because a caloric surplus leads to fat gains with muscle gains and a caloric deficit means fat loss with either muscle loss or muscle maintainence.

Changing bad eating habits seem harder than working out. But if we’re putting all that effort into our bodies to make them the fittest they can be, shouldn’t diet follow that pattern as well? For most people it seems to.

Then there’s me…

So, I like to eat. Particularly brownies. And yes, I’ve made two pans of brownies in the past four days. And yes, I ate most of them myself. And yes, I still managed to lose weight. (a half a pound, I’ll take it).

I hear all the time, you can’t out-train a bad diet. Well… even if I have a bad diet, as long as there’s that caloric deficit… I’m sure a bad diet isn’t the best way to train. And when I say diet I don’t mean a diet in the typical sense, I mean as in food choices. I will not ever restrict my calories.

How I eat: I make sure I hit my protein goals for my lifting days. If I’m not lifting, I try to get a minimum of 60 grams of protien, which is not much. On training days I aim for between 80 and 100 grams. I don’t care how many carbs I eat. I don’t care how many fat grams I eat. As long as I hit my protien goal. Protien is difficult for me because I don’t eat red meat and I really don’t like anything healthy for me. The more sugar, the better. But I’m going to try to not eat any more sugar packets. They’re really not a healthy after work snack.

Since I have cut down on my fries (only two medium fries in two weeks) I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I know I have a ways to go. And I know brownies for lunch are not good. But I also know that jumping into clean eating won’t work for me. I’ll start craving one thing or another and clean eating will be just another phase. Eating clean is something I need to work into slowly so as not to shock my system from the sudden drop in pure sugar.

As flylady would say, “Babysteps”.

My 21 day goal is NO fried foods. I have not made my 21 day goal yet. I’m close, really.  By close I mean once per week for two weeks is way better than 5 times a week. My last fries were on Wednesday. Today is day 4/21. I will make it this time. I’m going to stop “trying” and just not eat fries.

For my eating goals, no fried foods is goal one. Next is no excessive sugar (like those brownies… I’ll miss you). (or those yummy sugar packets and I’ll certainly miss powdered sugar in a bowl mixed with a tablespoon or two of water).

Here’s to babysteps towards clean eating!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Seth permalink
    November 2, 2008 10:06 PM

    Kudos to eating badly and staying in shape… I myself devour Hershey bars on a regular basis. Bagow!

  2. November 8, 2008 1:11 PM

    I guess I am lucky – I *hate* fast food, and have no sweet tooth. I haven’t had fries in….., well, *that* long, and very rarely eat pastries, candy, confections, etc. I eat a lot of white rice, lots of Japanese food (my wife is a great cook), salads, fruits, etc. I add on about 35 to 40 grams of protein, or not at all, on the off-days, and add on around 170 grams throughout the day (morning, noon, and night) otherwise. I always thought the rule was 1 to 1.5 grams per kg of total weight – I weigh around 86 kg now, so I am overdoing it by the rule, but it seems to be helping. Otherwise, I don’t worry about food too much, and my weakness is the weekend beers I love. I have no idea what my daily caloric intake is. I figure that if you eat lots of fruits and veggies, fish and chicken (not fried), and keep away from fast foods and sweets, those bone crushing workouts in the gym will be rewarded nicely. Not advice for anyone at all; just how it seems to work for me. It’s great that you like spinach and broccoli – two of my favorites too. If you don’t mind plain yogurt, it’s not bad with chopped fruit and a scoop of vanilla whey powder mixed in… Very filling, too.

  3. November 8, 2008 5:43 PM

    I’ve seen the 1.5 grams per pound as well, usually on bodybuilding sites. I think that’s right, too. I think the 1gram per pound of LBM is the bare minimum. I don’t like yogurt but I should try to learn to like it. Mixing my protein in with yogurt would help me get my daily goals met.

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