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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 11-04-2006, 01:36 PM   #1
Joe Cloutier
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I am currently halfway through an 8-week powerlifting style program aimed towards setting new PR's on all my lifts. Now, I'm no competitive lifter, I'm just a regular college student (18 years old) willing to get stronger than the general population. My main concern right now is my diet.

At the beginning of the program I commited to following a strict diet, getting in a ton of proteins with each meal and eating ample amounts of good fats with carbs only in the workout shake and in the first solid meal after a training session. My lifts actually regressed for that week and I was lifting less than I was before starting the program. For example, I failed to pull a DL 1RM that I would usually get for 2-3 easy reps. I also lost 1-2 lbs of bodyweight during this first week on the program.

Now I quickly assesed that the problem must have been my nutrition, so I tweaked it a lot and changed it into something I know works for me. I now find myself eating a ton of carbs, medium proteins and low fats. Probably something like 60/30/10 C/P/F, but that's a very rough approximation. Carbs could be anywhere from 50 to 70 since I can't be bothered to weigh what I eat and actually count it. Thing is, this goes against most of the stuff I have read about nutrition.

My goal being to increase strenght to weight ratio (therefore minimizing any mass gains), I want to remain lean and in the single digit body fat numbers as much as possible. Eating a high carb diet, according to the scientific data, is not going to let me achieve that. However, after three weeks of eating that way, I found that I had just about picked up the weight I lost in the first week and was not gaining any further. I'm just puzzling over the fact that my body is reacting opposite to what science has predicted.
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:22 PM   #2
Jesse Woody
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The key to this question is whether or not you had a caloric excess before-hand. If you are eating low-carb/high-fat but are at a caloric deficite, it will be much harder to gain srength, even if your goal isn't any extra mass. Your body will be too busy working from negative to try and recover. For me, I've found super low-carb diets hard to follow when I'm in this situation, as I always feel super-full with half as much food. Zone or slightly higher seems to work great though, and I'm doing much the same thing that you are now, seat of the pants, moderate to high-moderate carbs and heavy lifting. Personally, I'm not terribly worried about putting on a bit of extra mass if that can push my lifts proportionately, and so far that seems to be the case, as a 4lb gain in LBM has lead to a 35lb increase in my max deadlift. In my opinion, well worth it!
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:44 PM   #3
Steven Low
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High carbs is a BAD idea IMO.

I was doing approximately 70-80% carbs for about a month a few weeks ago by mistake -- try to skip going to the store to buy nuts and whatnot -- and it was a disaster. Some were good carbs and other were high glycemic index carbs. Not such a good idea. Carbs mess around with your insulin levels which indirectly affect your GH and testosterone levels. If you are going to take in a massive amount of carbs then keep them low glycemic index. I regressed in all of my exercises by a large amount because my muscles were not healing properly even with adequate calories and rest. Plus I was sweating a lot.. even when not working out and I almost never sweat. That was no fun.

The zone way to add in more calories is basically the way to go IMO. Limit your carb intake to a low-moderate amount, get enough protein and if you need extra calories to put on muscle start adding in fat blocks -- preferably from nuts or other good sources of unsaturated fats. I've gained about ~2-3 lbs of muscle mass, and have been doing very well in setting PRs for my exercises.

I'm about 134.5 lbs at 5'8" BTW. Strength to weight ratio is definitely important for the gymnastics training I'm doing. Muscle gain isn't necessarily a bad thing for strength to bodyweight ratio if it is good "functional" mass like I put on.

(Message edited by braindx on November 04, 2006)
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #4
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Nutrition
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:13 PM   #5
Jesse Woody
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I also happened to think, if you were on a moderate-to-highish carb diet before-hand, one week wasn't enough time for your body to adapt to fat-burning. Check out this massive thread (along with the t-nation thread of the same type linked within) for a good primer:

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/23/29882.html
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:31 PM   #6
Darrell E. White
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I switched to the Zone in January and absolutely STARVED for 2 or 3 weeks. I had switched from a high carb, extremely low fat diet. Once I got somewhat dialed in the hunger went away and the % BW fat plummeted, with a parallel uptick in all strength measures. I've come to realize that the further away from "Zonish" parameters you are at the start the longer it takes for your metabolism/performance to benefit.

.02 from the other end of the age spectrum!
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:09 PM   #7
Joe Cloutier
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Thanks for all that info people, I appreciate it.

I already tried to switch to the zone a while ago and hated it. I probably didn't stay at it long enough to get used to it as Darrell said. Thinking about it, I might've been at a caloric deficit before starting the program. I had just come back from the summer camp I worked at and my health consciousness had gone to and back over a summer of eating cafeteria junk food. I had nothing dialed in and didn't really monitor any of the important variables of food intake.

I have tried higher protein and fat diets in the past but they've always seemed to be less efficient than high carbs for me. Is it possible that I have an uber insulin tolerance that would make it easier for me to remain lean while eating a ton of carbs? By the way, I always eat low glycemic index ones, except in my workout shake.

PS: (this is very random) Jesse, I just clicked on your profile out of curiosity. Are you "gear" from the APK forums? I used to post there a while ago!
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #8
Jesse Woody
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Indeed I am, I remember having some conversations about IF with you.

There is a possibility that you could be less carb-sensitive than others; there is no magic equation. That being said, you have to find a base-level program to start with and stick with it through a certain level of precision and on a long enough timeline to get some accurate data to move forward from. I would suggest tryin Zone again, probably with the .9-1.0 multiplier and starting with 2-3x fat right off the bat. Once you do that for a month or so, you will know for sure that you gave it a fair shot. Then you can tweak one way or the other and have an accurate background from which to monitor your progress.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
Joe Cloutier
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I definetely will after I'm done with this part of my training. I already wasted the first week of it though so I'll stick with my current plan until the final week, but I'll get on the Zone after that. I heard quite a bit about the zone's benefits but it seems adapting to it in the middle of an intense training phase would not be the best idea.

Would anyone mind supplying me with the links I'll need to figure out what I'll be doing for the Zone? That was way back and I forgot all about how it works.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:29 PM   #10
Jeff Dale
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links to the zone diet:
http://www.zoneperfect.com/nutrition.aspx

http://www.mitymous.net/weights/zoneblox.htm

Buy mastering the zone book, cheap on amazon.
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