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Old 07-17-2004, 03:45 PM   #1
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Default A Number of Questions re. Nutrition and Training

I have committed to adopt weight training and cardio as a way of life. I have done BFL before, but got really frustrated with the lack of progress. I felt like I was stuffing myself at each meal in order to get the required amount of food in - I was quite happy to see Mrs. Jim's post on calories counting.

A bit about me:
Height - 5'4"
Weight - 179 lbs.
BF - 42.8% (goal - 20%)

I have a number of questions that I will divide between nutrition and training. Sorry this is quite long - once I typed out my original questions, I realized I had a few more!

Nutrition:

1. Is it important that I only eat the foods listed as "authorized" in the BFL book? I find the list extremely restrictive in that it doesn't include many nutritious, wholesome foods. Is there a different list or rule of thumb I should plan my meals around?

2. I have calculated my BMR using Hussman's website as 1359 (Harris-Benedict) or 1444 (Schofield). The calculation also indicated my target calories should be between 1090-1490 for fat loss. I have read somewhere that the min. calories to be consumed each day should be 1200, so I was thinking that I should aim for a calorie intake of 1200 to 1400 each day. Any thoughts?

3. For optimal fat loss is the best ratio 40% protein / 40% carbs / 20% fat?

4. What should I eat before and after a workout (cardio and weights) to ensure optimal fat burning?

Training:

1. Is the HITTs cardio as described in the BFL book the best way to lose fat? Or would it be better to maintain my target heart rate for a longer period of time (say 30-40 min.)?

2. In order to increase muscle mass and lose fat, it is better to lift weights per BFL (i.e. 12, 10, 8, 6, 12, 12) or should I be doing x number of sets for 10-12 reps (lifting to failure each set) of the same exercise? Or some combination of the two?

3. Please critique the exercises I have chosen for lifting. I am willing to commit to weights 3 times/week, but the only way I know how to divide the days up is between UB and LB - if there is a better way, please let me know.

UBWO:

Chest: Chest Press (machine) or Pec Deck Fly (machine)
Shoulders: Upright Row (machine)
Back: Widegrip Pulldown (machine) or Reverse Grip Pulldown (machine)
Triceps: Triceps Extension (machine) or Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Biceps: Bicep Curl (machine)
Abdominals: Crunches (straight, left, right)

LBWO:Quads: Leg Extensions (machine) or Dumbbell Squats
Hamstrings: Leg Curl (machine) or Straight Leg Deadlift
Calves: Calf Raise or Reverse Calf Raise
Abdominals: Crunches (straight, left, right)

Thanks very much for all of your advice. I am really looking forward to adopting this new lifestyle.

Suzanne
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Old 07-17-2004, 04:47 PM   #2
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Bobby,
I'm not ignoring your post, but have just finished typing out 2 weeks or menus and workouts for a client and am totally burned out. I'm sure someone else will answer some of these questions, but here are my very quickie answers. They may provoke violent dissent from others, but here goes.

Food: Yes, I think you have to keep it as clean and low GI as possible. I think very low calorie condiments are ok. What foods did you have in mind?
I think your calculations of BMR are probably about right- how old are you?

If you had slow progress doing BFL, you're not the only one. Try dropping the starchy carb out of meals 5 and 6 and go with protein and vegies only for those meals. OR drop to 5 meals a day. Look at your free days. Are they pig-outs? Can you do this with 1 or 2 free meals or none?

There is nothing sacred about the 40/40/20 ratio. It works great for some people, others do better on less carbs, higher fat and protein. Make sure you drink a lot of water! In the end, it's the quantity of calories, not the exact ratios.

Exercise: I would move to dumbells and free bars and away from all the machines. Machines totally isolate whatever muscle you are working. The more muscles you work, the more you'll build and calories you'll burn. For example, do free bar squats instead of leg extensions. Do lunges, deadlifts, etc. More free weights, less machines = better progress.

HIIT is far more effective than staying in "the target zone". I do 30 minutes of HIIT, but I've been at this a long time. Work up to it.

Splits: For my clients doing an Upper/Lower Body split, I put shoulders on leg day. Otherwise you can barely get enough Back, Chest and Arm exercises done.

HTH,
Mel
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Old 07-17-2004, 08:58 PM   #3
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Hi Suzanne! Welcome to LWL! Mel's the expert trainer here and really knows her stuff, so I can't add much to what she said. But I thought I'd pass along a few personal experiences and comments about nutrition.

BFL is a great program and has a lot to offer but it's not a Bible. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit and find what fits your body and your lifestyle. The goal is to create an eating and exercise plan that Suzanne can live with for the rest of her life. So, in my opinion, it's OK to tweak BFL to suit you (others might disagree, of course).

When you look at nutrition, there's no magic to 40/40/20. I lost my weight on 45/25/30 and others have lost on other ratios. Experiment and see what your body responds to best (and that you can comfortably live with!).

Calories -- I started at 1600 calories at 257 pounds. By the time I got to your weight, I was at about 1200 - 1400 calories and kept it about there until I reached my goal. So I agree with your calculations since the same levels worked for me.

What to eat pre- and post-workout? Experts seem to be all over the place about whether and what to eat before exercise, so I think the answer is: whatever works for you. Some people like AM cardio on an empty stomach; others would die if they tried doing it that way. Lots of people need to eat a bit before working out with weights. I think there IS an consensus that you should have a meal with at least protein within an hour after working out. I've also heard that this is a good time to have carbs with a meal (if you're otherwise limiting carbs).

I've been doing early cardio before breakfast and lifting later in the day, about two hours after a meal. When I finish the workout, it's time for my next meal so I race home and bolt it down. It always has protein; sometimes carbs, sometimes only veggies.

I wouldn't sweat adding foods to the authorized BFL lists so long as they are nutritious and wholesome (you're not talking about processed "diet" junk food, I assume -- like WOW chips and fat free hot dogs).

The key to nutrition, in my opinion, is tracking what you're eating every day (like in Fitday) and staying in your chosen range for calories and protein, carbs, and fats. If you can see exactly what you've been eating and how your body reacts to it, it's easy to adjust what you're doing to maximize results.

Hope that helps a little! Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.
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Old 07-18-2004, 06:27 PM   #4
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Mel and Meg, thanks very much for your replies. I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my questions. I realize that I have a lot to learn and that this journey is going to be a constant learning process. My last stint with BFL was by the book - it's nice to hear that others have had to make changes to make the program work for them.

Mel - It is really nice to see that there are personal trainers out there who take the "personal" side seriously. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to "invest" in a personal trainer and spent $499 on 10 sessions. The first couple of sessions went quite well with me explaining what I wanted out of the sessions and what my goals were and with him (I thought) listening. When I received my plan at the 3rd session, it was like our discussions had not even happened. The BF% and weight goals in my plan weren't mine and the exercises and meal choices were not personalized to me at all. Needless to say I was quite frustrated. Anyway, my vent was just meant to say that your clients are lucky to have you ! Also, know that you are an inspiration to newbies like me!

Meg - You too are an inspiration! It's nice to know my calorie estimates are in the same range that worked for you since you have been soooo successful!

Thanks again to both of you. I look forward to learning more from you and the others who post in this forum as my journey continues.

Suzanne
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Old 07-18-2004, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thanks, Suzanne Sorry I called you Bobby, I was a bit brain dead. Please join us on the main thread; as Ilene says WE LUV NEWBIES!

Mel
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Save the Earth, it's the only planet with chocolate and wine.

It isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

9 years at or under goal weight! Working Maintenance Everyday
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