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how much to eat?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:50 am
by firelite
Hello all,

this is my first post here - thanks for having me on board!

I've been vegan for a good while now, but have only recently gotten into fitness. I've been working out at the gym for a few months now, but my weights are still pretty light. I'm looking to gain muscle & to decrease body fat, and at least my PT told me that's more than possible for a beginner like me to do simultaneously... As I just aim for a muscular build, not to become a bodybuilder, the yo-yo of bulking and cutting seasons has zero appeal to me.

However, my PT hasn't been able to help me as to diet - or, rather, I've disqualified her since she has zero knowledge on vegan options. So I'm turning to you! How much should I eat in order to enable muscle gain, but also to efficiently lose body fat? I'm a 28-year-old student (body specs: 73 kg, 31% body fat when last measured, 170cm / 5 ft 7 in), so my daily work isn't body intensive, but I walk / cycle around 10 km (roughly 6 miles) every day, and weight train at the gym 4 times a week (with a dual split program). In addition, I go swimming 1-2 times a week.

Recently my diet has been skipping sweets, and eating a big salad and a protein smoothie every day, but otherwise I haven't been counting calories or anything (it would be so laborous for someone who cooks and invents new recipes all the time!)... maybe I should!


Re: how much to eat?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:43 am
by Koa
There is a good thread on regarding diet (look for "Galeniko please grace us ..." in the thread title).

Anyway, one guy posted this:

[quote]1. don't cheat on the diet. If you get X amount of calories, then only eat that. Cheating because you think you need to top up the tank with more calories is bullshit justification for weakness. Suffer and get there. Do or do not.

2. the amount of meals you eat isn't really relevant. 'It's calories in vs calories out. Eat them all at once, or space it out and eat 20 meals a day if you like. It won't matter. The body is a marvelous machine that will adapt to absorb what it needs to survive and thrive. And when you're dieting, your body wants to survive. It will preserve muscle and shed fat. That's why your body has fat in the first keep you alive when you starve.

3. do it quick. Don't pussy foot around. Do the job, get in and get out. Focus on the goal, and get to point A from point B as fast as you can reasonably do it. Diet as quickly as you can. Humans wane in their passion for long-term goals - that is the inevitability of human nature. Appreciate this; set a lofty goal and chase it down with all of your passion and power.

4. food choices don't matter for physique composition. Now, some guys like typical bb'ing foods because it keeps them regimented and it's easy to plan and cook. This is a mental choice...not a physical one. Some guys like different foods because it allows them to taste foods they like and they feel they can control caloric intake even if they eat non-traditional foods (like TA). If you can be disciplined in this approach, great. If not, then just pick a dozen food sources and stick to them. It really doesn't matter physically. What matters is that you can stick to it, and not deviate. That is the best plan. You know your weaknesses and triggers best. Choose the approach that allows you to master your triggers that cause you to deviate. Some guys can't eat just a few potato chips or a small bowl of ice cream or a single bottle of beer without going hog wild -- for you guys, eat bb'ing foods. For those of you who find that little tastes of non-traditional bb'ing foods allows you to hold to a steady caloric intake, then do it. This is purely an emotional and mental will not affect physique composition to any material extent. Stop convincing yourself otherwise and open up to new ways of thinking.

5. You don't need 500g of protein per day. You might like eating that much, but you don't need that much. Stop rationalizing your thought processes. Test yourself and see what happens. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

6. There are no "bad foods". There is only too much, or not enough. Not enough, and you lose fat. Too much, and you gain fat.

7. Live life. Bodybuilding should complement your life, not run it. Be a human. Enjoy all that humanity has to offer. Don't ostracize yourself from friends and family because your tupperware won't travel. Is that really "living"? Is your end goal really to be a slave to the Foreman grill and a tupperware container?

8. Training doesn't matter all that much, in terms of what program you're doing. Your body will develop to its potential as long as you are consistently in the gym. Ergo, choose programs that allow you to consistently hit the gym. Don't lift stupid and get injured. Don't burn out on ridiculously long or intense programs. Don't get bored with training. Change it up not to shock the muscles (that's pretty stupid); change it up to keep you interested. The more consistent you are with hitting the gym regularly without getting hurt or burning out, the closer you'll come to achieving the best you can.

9. Don't waste time with cardio. Do it if you like, for sure. But it doesn't burn all that many calories. Lift some more weights and burn more calories. You probably like lifting weights more than walking on a treadmill anyways. And if you must do cardio, do something productive. Cut the grass; go take a walk with your wife and talk to her; go run around with the kids; play a game of tennis with an old friend. Have a life for christ's sake.

10. Don't over-complicate it. When you get crazy with excel spreadsheets planning out your training and diet plans, you've gone too far. It's not rocket science. Consistency yields 99% of the results you're after. The rest is just mental masturbation. Own your shit.

Good luck.

Re: how much to eat?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:22 am
by xrodolfox
Pretty good advice up there.

The only reason to do cardio is for cardio specific sports like running or swimming, etc. In those cases, you should do a lot of INTERVALS. Without training your body for them, you will not succeed. However, cardio isn't how you build muscle and loose fat. That's body building. That's something different. IF you want to be able to cycle at 30mph, you need to work on your wattage. If you need to swim a 400m IM under 5:00, then you need to hit the pool and do intervals. If you need to loose fat and gain muscle... that is bodybuilding (which is different than olympic lifting, etc.).

Re: how much to eat?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:35 pm
by Simon
i eat as long as i'm hungry, i just make sure it's as healthy as possible and as varied as possible.

i also pretty much don't eat anything coming from the processed food industry, definitively nothing not reconizable (for example, i don't mind a Vega energy bar when i haven't had time to make a batch myself).

counting calories is just not for me. i lost 40 pounds in the last 6 months after going vegan while eating as much as i want, plenty of snacks between meals, etc. i'm now training pretty hard (6 days a week) and i figure my body knows how much calories i need. i certainly am not a bodybuilding specialist, but i think a good start would be just regular strenght training where you will lose fat while building muscles.