Eating for strength and fat loss, in that priority

Michael Perry

SFG II, SFB
Certified Instructor
Hi all, question for nutrition pros in the group. I'm thinking about adjusting my eating to lose some fat I've put on lately, but I don't want to take away from adding strength by eating too little. Last week I embarked on prep for a SFG recert (doing the full three days) after having been on a less intensive program. I've historically had an 18g whey protein shake right after training, with a small but high protein breakfast to follow. I usually bring a healthy lunch to work and eat it throughout the day. Well, today my lunch was all gone by 11 and I'm still hungry. I'm thinking about swapping out that 18g whey shake for a 30-40g meal replacement shake on main training days, still followed by breakfast. This would make my post workout meal my largest in terms of protein for sure, and probably carbs and calories too. Option B would be to add something during the day. Note my focus right now is on being better/stronger/faster (thank you Col Austin); the fat loss is an objective, but is secondary. Welcome any thoughts. Thanks, Michael
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
When you talk about being hungry, are you really hungry or is it appetite/false hunger created by sugar/insulin reactions?
If it's false hunger you need to clear up your diet first.
If it's true hunger than just eat when your body tells you to eat. IMO that's the best you can do to ensure proper fueling for strength gains.
For the fat loss i'd recommend Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. It's easy to follow and it works without compromising strength gains.
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
Have you done all the basic homework ?

Find your BMR and then plot things out on a diet calculator to get an idea of where you are heading etc. There are many free online calorie calculators these days.

There are different ways to approach your eating schedule, some suggest several smaller meals through the day and other people do well on the warrior diet or eat stop eat approach. As long as you are getting the energy you need to fuel your workouts you should do OK at a slight calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.

If you are in heavy training you need to be careful with calorific deficits or you can seriously hinder your recovery capacity.

While I don't agree with everything this guy says, I've put several people onto his work & kettlebells and they've all had good results.
 

Inuk

Triple-Digit Post Count
Hi Michael.

IMO, larger shakes wont make it if the rest of your eating is not properly suited towards your goals.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Tarzan , thank you for this.

IMHO, the introduction is poor and not in good taste, but the second part, the highlights from his longer lecture, is clear, concise, and worth watching.

@aciampa I'd like to know what you think.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides

I agree with Tarzan... he is does a good job of regurgitating the textbook, so he's not very far from correct, academically. In practice, nothing blanket applies w/r to nutrition. What YOUR body does with the intake you provide it has to be figured out and amended over time to get the proper outcome, assuming no other health issues.

That said, you can do worse than to cut out all of the processed gunk and follow his advice from there. Observe how your body reacts, understanding that it must also be exposed to an environment long enough to adapt as well. Simplex, I know ;]
 

Michael Perry

SFG II, SFB
Certified Instructor
Thanks for the posts everyone. Yes, real hunger. And yes, larger shakes are irrelevant if everything else is off kilter. I know my numbers, but agree with Tarzan's caution on caloric deficit, so not interested in counting calories. My overall eating is sound, and includes hardly any of the processed gunk Al mentions. I do eat when I want, but try to watch portions especially in the evening.

Better/stronger/faster is the priority now, and leaner is secondary; I can work on that after my event. Whatever adjustment I would make right now should be a simple one. I'm thinking either (1) make my breakfast/post workout meal (the same in my case) bigger (perhaps by switching from 18g whey shake to a 42g Myoplex with all it includes, or perhaps just by eating more eggs/fruit/toast), or (2) add to what I eat all day long, particularly more protein. And of course, be even more attentive to what unhealthy stuff I do allow in.

This morning I just doubled my post workout whey shake, and that alone made a big difference in the hunger today. We'll see how it feels over several days of training and recovery.

Sort of unrelated, but getting up earlier so I could eat pre-workout would probably be worth a try too.

Thanks, Michael
 

beephsupreme

Triple-Digit Post Count
I would like to maintain muscle but the fat has to go. My plan is to get close to a 1000 cal daily deficit, eating clean with lots of protein. I have been using the Navy body fat calculator to plot the trend (I know it's not always accurate, but it's OK for my current purposes). After 3 months of dieting and walking, I added weight training. For the first week I used barbells - just light work daily to get my joints accustomed to the loads - deadlifts, squats, presses (bench & overhead), 3 sets of 5 reps. Then I switched to S&S and have been doing it for 3 weeks. Today I stepped on the scale and the weight loss wasn't where I had hoped, but my waist measurement was down a significant amount. According to the US Navy body fat calc, I've gained 3-4 pounds (1.4-1.8 kg) lean weight over the last 4 weeks. I realize my measuring methods are not clinical, but I still wonder if you can truly gain muscle while in caloric deficit?
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@beephsupreme
First...It's definitely possible to gain muscles and lose fat at the same time (gain muscle in a caloric deficit). People who say it's not possible usually have been training for years. For them it's true most of the time because they have a lot of muscle mass already and/or very low bodyfat percentages. So if their body "is looking for food" in a caloric deficit there's little amount of fat and high amounts of protein (muscle) to fuel it's needs therefore muscle mass is lost easily.
Beginners, especially overweight ones, are a different thing. If you stay in a reasonable deficit your body will burn the fat to close the gap you created with the deficit, while at the same time strength training will ensure that your body also focuses it's resources to react to that stress -> build muscle.
So as a beginner your body is able to fight on both fronts for some time.
Btw imo a reasonable deficit would be 300-600cals per day. Your 1000cals might be a bit high.

Second...Weight should be one of the last things you should worry about on your journey to a leaner you. I know this sounds crazy, but measurements and strength numbers are much more important. Muscle is denser and therefore heavier than fat. So when you gain muscle mass your weight goes up, but that doesn't mean that you don't lose fat at the same time.
If your pants get looser, if you need to make your belt tighter and if you progress in your training then you know you're on the right path. Don't worry too much about what the scale says.
I found two pics that illustrate what i'm saying:
First is the comparison of muscle and fat - fatmuscle.jpg
Second is the picture of a woman (who btw achieved that with KBs) - Transformation.jpg As you can see despite the weightgain she looks leaner, more athletic and if you ask me more sexy than before :)

Keep doing what you're doing and good look for your journey!
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
The usual recommended daily calorie deficit is 250-500 calories. I would not go higher.

-S-
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
Yeah, a 1000 calorie deficit for any more than 3 or 4 weeks is going to be counter-productive for most people.

If you cut too many calories your metabolism starts to slow down too much and your body goes into an adaptive survival mode where it tries to preserve energy stores over everything else. After your metabolism has dropped off it becomes very difficult to keep losing weight without sacrificing muscle tissue. Then it becomes a catch 22 situation where you BMR drops because you have less muscle tissue.

Being hungry sometimes is generally considered as a good thing. Being hungry all the time is not.

You don't need to beat yourself up or put yourself in in state of deprivation to lose weight, just adjust things at a rate that is reasonable.

The Buddhists call it the middle way.

It's not the easy way, it takes a concerted effort, but it should never be extreme in any aspect.
 

beephsupreme

Triple-Digit Post Count
I targeted 1000 calories to shoot for 2 lbs (~1kg) fat loss per week. Also, my Wife does all the cooking and she always gives me more than I ask for. If I say 1 piece of chicken she gives me the biggest piece and a small piece. Weighing close to 300 lbs (135kg) & 40% body fat, I felt like I needed something drastic to get me on track. BMR charts online were averaging out to 2750 calls or so. I planned 1750 on paper but what I got was probably more after she "adjusted" my portion sizes & added cooking oils, etc. After 3 months, my body fat was at 30%, and I had lost enough weight to do more than just walk. Now I'm doing S&S, making progress, feeling stronger, have a bounce in my step, and apparently increasing muscle mass. Body fat is down to about 27%, and I'm not often really hungry. I have a feeling this is about to change as I get leaner and am burning more calories with exercise.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Sounds like you have charted a good course for yourself thus far.

-S-
 

beephsupreme

Triple-Digit Post Count
Sleep and Stress are factors I never seem to give enough consideration. I rarely sleep more than 6 hours a day, and probably not more than 2-3 hours a time (though it is cool when it happens). Stress, well, all I Can say is "The Dude abides...".
 

Cristina Lyons

Second Post
Following diet strictly is not only the way to reduce weight .I am also a type of person who cannot compromise with eating and also wanted to shed my weight then my friend recommended me to get nuez de la india weight loss seed which I found beneficial after taking for some months .
 
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