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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 05-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #21
Luke Seubert
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

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Originally Posted by April Jacobson View Post
I don't want to lose weight, just belly fat. I really don't care about the scale numbers, except that they are confirming what I see around my middle. I hate being skinny everywhere except my big belly Also, I have tiny bones which is why my weight is low, but my fat is high.
April, your fat deposition pattern is a bit unusual for a woman. Women tend to store excess fat in the hips and thighs, rather than the belly which is the typical male pattern. Be aware of this as you work on your belly fat reduction gameplan.

Since you have received some good advice on diet and you clearly have the discipline to do well there, I'll touch on other issues.

In addition to nutrition and training, you also need to work on recovery, rest, and stress reduction. Stubborn belly fat is often caused by excess cortisol levels, which are in turn caused by excess stress of various kinds.

First, there is the excess stress of exercise and training. If you do not allow your body a sufficient amount of time to recover from exercise, cortisol levels go up and your body can't heal itself sufficiently before the next exercise session. It is entirely possible for enthusiastic, new CrossFitters to overstress their bodies. For some very sound advice on how to properly recover from exercise, take a look at the pdf file of Chapter 21 - "Hormonally Intelligent Exercise" (WFS) from Rob Faigin's book, "Natural Hormonal Enhancement". I also recommend this book for some excellent insights into fat loss, muscle gain, and weight maintenance diets.

Plenty of high quality rest is also essential to lowering cortisol levels. Skip some evening television and go to bed early. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and completely blacked out, with no artificial lights of any kind. Some folks go so far as to black out the windows and the space under the doorways. Any light hitting the skin can disturb sleep patterns. Faigin's NHE book has plenty of information about how to obtain quality sleep, as does Robb Wolf's book, "The Paleo Solution". Finally, consider drinking some "Natural Calm" magnesium citrate solution about half an hour before going to bed. It helps promote sound sleep.

Finally, reducing stress is essential. Work on decluttering your life. Refocus your priorities - don't waste your valuable time on ticky-tack projects - focus only on the important stuff. Implement a GTD system so that you are properly organized - see "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. Consider engaging in daily contemplative prayer or meditation as a means of promoting tranquility and serenity. If you are interested in meditation, "Mindfulness In Plain English" (WFS) is an excellent, free resource - one of the best books available on the subject. When you combine these lifestyle changes and practices with a really good diet and exercise regimen, your cortisol levels should drop as the stress drops, and that should help with reducing belly fat.
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Last edited by Luke Seubert : 05-03-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #22
Courtney Green
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

What Troy and Sarah said. They both had some excellent advice. Putting on muscle will seriously alter your body comp for the better. Not to mention your performance. You'll have no problem hitting Rx weight in CF metcons if you get on a weight program (I personally do GSLP). And that's always fun to do

At your height and weight, I don't see how you could be 27% body fat. Maybe if you were 6 inches shorter. So I wouldn't pay attention to those body fat calculators. Putting on muscle will make the weight go up at first but will help bring the body fat down. Give it time though. I think a lot of people want to see results in 2 weeks flat. You'll have to be patient.

It's very possible for a woman to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. While sending performance gains through the roof. Don't listen to those who tell you you can't (or shouldn't). I've been doing that for a couple of months now. I've had to tweak the diet though, and you will too, especially as your metabolism increases.

For fat loss, the most productive period of time I saw was doing "no-cheats" for 3 weeks. No alcohol, no cheat meals, no bread, no pasta or processed carbs. It takes discipline for sure, but it works. Here's basically how I ate during this period of time:

-180g protein per day (1/2 whey protein, 1/2 animal sources)...for you, I'd recommend 130g

-Carb sources: any veggie, 1 piece of fruit per day (then increased to 2 or more as my body needed it), tubers (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, parsnips, etc. Started with only 1 serving of tubers per week for fat loss. After 1 week, my body started craving more due to my training volume. Over 3 weeks, it increased to 4 servings per week. And now, I'll be upping this amount again. I basically go by feel on adding in additional starch sources.)

-Fat sources: any oils, butter, some cheese (about 1oz per day, sometimes more. For flavoring meats and salads), nuts, seeds, olives, avocados. Never consciously restricted fats.

-Other: high fat salad dressings (full ranch or balsamic vinaigrette), didn't really try to avoid sauces. Some coffee and tea, lots of water.

-Avoid: any and all processed carbs, alcohol, sugary drinks, anything with lots of excess sugar. No cheats for 3 weeks straight, then I indulged a little.

You don't have to be this strict forever, just for a relatively short period of time to jump start fat loss. The protein and starch will allow your body to recover and build muscle at the same time. But do what you can. If you feel like 3 weeks of no-cheats would lead to binge eating later, then don't do it. I did see the greatest impact in my body composition during that 3 week period though. While making gains in the weight room and obviously putting on muscle.

The main thing is go by how your body feels. You can start off strict on cheats and starches and then as your metabolism increases (and it will), you can add more starchy sources and cheats as you feel your body needs it. You'll have to tailor your diet to you.

Hope this helps in some way!
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #23
Courtney Green
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

[quote=Dimitri Dziabenko;1057750]I am gonna be perfectly honest with you here, gaining muscle for women is crazy insanely hard. Losing fat for women, is also crazy, insanely hard. Looking at athletes who've had 10 years of training is not helpful. Realistically, a novice woman can maybe gain at a rate of 1lb of real muscle a month, often half of that (6-12lb of muscle in a year).

This is simply not accurate. It depends on the woman. Generalizing women in this way is like generalizing men. Some men are hard-gainers, and some men can pack on some beastly muscle that the hard-gainers will never see. And you certainly wouldn't compare the two. Women are similar. Some women can in fact gain a significant amount of muscle naturally. Other women, usually smaller women with crazy fast metabolisms, will find it more difficult to add muscle. But generalizing all women as only being able to put on such a piddly amount of muscle per month (1lb per month? That is such a great underestimation and I personally have FAR exceeded this) is simply not accurate and is an over-simplification. Metabolism, body type, stress management, sleep, nutrition, and training play a far greater role in determining how much muscle a woman will gain and how much fat she can trim.

Last edited by Courtney Green : 05-07-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #24
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

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Originally Posted by Courtney Green View Post
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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
I am gonna be perfectly honest with you here, gaining muscle for women is crazy insanely hard. Losing fat for women, is also crazy, insanely hard. Looking at athletes who've had 10 years of training is not helpful. Realistically, a novice woman can maybe gain at a rate of 1lb of real muscle a month, often half of that (6-12lb of muscle in a year).
This is simply not accurate. It depends on the woman. Generalizing women in this way is like generalizing men. Some men are hard-gainers, and some men can pack on some beastly muscle that the hard-gainers will never see. And you certainly wouldn't compare the two. Women are similar. Some women can in fact gain a significant amount of muscle naturally. Other women, usually smaller women with crazy fast metabolisms, will find it more difficult to add muscle. But generalizing all women as only being able to put on such a piddly amount of muscle per month (1lb per month? That is such a great underestimation and I personally have FAR exceeded this) is simply not accurate and is an over-simplification. Metabolism, body type, stress management, sleep, nutrition, and training play a far greater role in determining how much muscle a woman will gain and how much fat she can trim.
You can claim you've far exceeded this but I bet (a) not for prolonged periods of time (b) you didn't weigh yourself hydrostatically.

What are you trying to tell me here, that women gain 20-25lb of muscle tissue their first year? I am not talking about extra water retention (creatine), glycogen or whatever other noncontractile elements you wanna claim as muscle mass.

Between being glycogen-depleted (low carb diet + depletion) and after my carb + creatine load, my weight goes up by 8lb in a single day, I don't go ahead and claim that I first lost and then regained 8lb of muscle in a week.

http://www.afboard.com/library/Effec...20Athletes.pdf (WFS)

Page 520 gives a rough idea of how much males (trained and untrained) have gained on steroids.

Is there the exceptional female outlier that can gain more that 12lb of actual solid muscle tissue? Probably. An exception doesn't disprove a generalization.

I'd certainly never tell a woman to aim for 2lb of muscle/month. I am not trying to be sexist here, but women just don't gain that much muscle, it takes years of hard work, just look at natural female bodybuilders who've been training for many years.

Last edited by Dimitri Dziabenko : 05-07-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #25
Courtney Green
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
You can claim you've far exceeded this but I bet (a) not for prolonged periods of time (b) you didn't weigh yourself hydrostatically.

What are you trying to tell me here, that women gain 20-25lb of muscle tissue in a year? I am not talking about extra water retention (creatine), glycogen or whatever other noncontractile elements you wanna claim as muscle mass.

Between being glycogen-depleted (low carb diet + depletion) and after my carb + creatine load, my weight goes up by 8lb in a single day, I don't go ahead and claim that I first lost and then regained 8lb of muscle in a week.

http://www.afboard.com/library/Effec...20Athletes.pdf (WFS)

Page 520 gives a rough idea of how much males (trained and untrained) have gained on steroids.

Is there the exceptional female outlier that can gain more that 12lb of actual solid muscle tissue? Probably. An exception doesn't disprove a generalization.

I'd certainly never tell a woman to aim for 2lb of muscle/month. I am not trying to be sexist here, but women just don't gain that much muscle, it takes years of hard work, just look at natural female bodybuilders.

Well, let's see here. I personally don't use creatine. The only supplements I use are Vitamin D, Fish oil, and whey protein. That's it. And I put 70# on my 1RM back squat and about 50# on my deadlift in the first 7 weeks on GSLP (and yes, my first 1RM before the program were my absolute max capacity at the time). And I guarantee you that all of those lifts have increased since then. And you're trying to tell me that I only had the capacity to gain less than 2 lbs of muscle during that period of time? Please explain to me how it's possible to increase your lifts by 70# and 50# on no creatine or other performance enhancing supplements while only gaining 2lbs of muscle...

I'm not trying to get your britches in a twist here, all I'm saying is that you're oversimplifying training for women. This is not a feminist comment, but a biological one. Not all women are the same and trying to pretend they are puts women at a disadvantage in their training. Other factors, both genetic and environmental (i.e. training and nutrition) are far greater indicators. I'm not saying women should "aim for" a particular number of pounds of muscle per month, no. But they should aim for performance driven goals. And the pursuit of those performance driven goals will put on muscle for anyone.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #26
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

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Originally Posted by Courtney Green View Post
Well, let's see here. I personally don't use creatine. The only supplements I use are Vitamin D, Fish oil, and whey protein. That's it. And I put 70# on my 1RM back squat and about 50# on my deadlift in the first 7 weeks on GSLP (and yes, my first 1RM before the program were my absolute max capacity at the time). And I guarantee you that all of those lifts have increased since then. And you're trying to tell me that I only had the capacity to gain less than 2 lbs of muscle during that period of time? Please explain to me how it's possible to increase your lifts by 70# and 50# on no creatine or other performance enhancing supplements while only gaining 2lbs of muscle...
Not that difficult, depending on your starting point. A lot of strength gains come from improved motor unit recruitment, completely independent of muscle mass gain.

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Old 05-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #27
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

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Originally Posted by Courtney Green View Post
Well, let's see here. I personally don't use creatine. The only supplements I use are Vitamin D, Fish oil, and whey protein. That's it. And I put 70# on my 1RM back squat and about 50# on my deadlift in the first 7 weeks on GSLP (and yes, my first 1RM before the program were my absolute max capacity at the time). And I guarantee you that all of those lifts have increased since then. And you're trying to tell me that I only had the capacity to gain less than 2 lbs of muscle during that period of time? Please explain to me how it's possible to increase your lifts by 70# and 50# on no creatine or other performance enhancing supplements while only gaining 2lbs of muscle...

I'm not trying to get your britches in a twist here, all I'm saying is that you're oversimplifying training for women. This is not a feminist comment, but a biological one. Not all women are the same and trying to pretend they are puts women at a disadvantage in their training. Other factors, both genetic and environmental (i.e. training and nutrition) are far greater indicators. I'm not saying women should "aim for" a particular number of pounds of muscle per month, no. But they should aim for performance driven goals. And the pursuit of those performance driven goals will put on muscle for anyone.
a) You can gain strength without any gain in muscle mass, especially as a novice.

b) Muscle gain is non-linear, 1lb/month was kind of a high end of the general average over a year, nothing you said contradicts that. Unless you've actually gained 15-20lb of muscle in a year, we're really just arguing over averages when really the process has diminishing returns (ie. Max. ~12lb in a year doesn't mean Max. ~1/4 lb in any given week).

c) Don't disagree with any of the performance driven stuff. I originally said gaining a lot of muscle for a woman was tough (hell, it's even tough for guys), you for some reason called me out on it, so show me some evidence that contradicts what I said (ie. women gaining 20-25lb of muscle naturally).
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #28
April Jacobson
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

Thanks for all the replies! I am taking the advice and began CFFB this morning. Since I posted the original question, I have had a day that ranged in weight from 124 in the morning to 130 that evening. That obviously shows that I am having huge water retention issues. I have been eating very strictly for at least 5 months, but am still struggling with how many carbs and sugar (from fruit) to eat. I easily eat more than 120g of protein a day, and don't restrict fat. Eating more carbs seems to cause the water retention and stomach distension that I spoke of, but without it, I am having really no power during my workouts.

I will keep up CFFB and hope for the best? My lifting numbers are pretty weak (115# for a good form squat, 75# push-press, 65# for bench, 2 deadlift pull-ups max). I am however, pretty fit in terms of metcons and recover very quickly. I started a burpee challenge and have been doing 100 every day (9:14 is my pr). Eating more seems to help, but then my stomach really distends and I really feel terrible!

I also wanted to take the advice of losing the scale, and thought I would get my BF% measured more accurately, then again to check my progress in a few months. There is a bodpod close by, and I wondered if that was a good way? Any advice here would be awesome too. Thanks y'all!!

Last edited by April Jacobson : 05-07-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:21 PM   #29
Daniel John Mason
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

have you ever put yourself in ketosis for prolonged periods of time? i suppose if your carbs are really low you could be in ketosis. if so how are your energy levels during workouts?
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:30 PM   #30
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Diet to lose weight and gain power?

I think you just plain need to eat more. As noted above, you are very thin for your height, and your numbers indicate you're fairly lacking in muscle. Gain twenty pounds and develop a bodyweight squat and you'll probably look just fine.

Regarding bloating and carbs, any radical diet change can cause gastric distress. So if you go from eating no carbs at all to filling up on a big plate of fruit, sure, you could have some issues. More consistent eating should help.

Don't weigh yourself more than once a day. Just don't. It will make you crazy, and intraday fluctuations are pretty much meaningless.

Katherine
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