Jump to content

Moving from weight loss to muscle building: Help!


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, new forum user here, looking to get some advice.

 

So since August or thereabouts I've been dieting, and I've been doing about an hour and a half a day on the treadmill (at this point, with incline at around 3 mph) since December.  About 3 weeks ago I discovered Nerd Fitness and I've gotten up to doing the body weight workouts 3 times a week (MWSa) with treadmill (TuThFri) and Sunday as a rest day.  From my peak weight of 225 (I'm around 5'7'', male) I've dropped down to the 165-170 range, and having more or less stalled there, I figured I should move to bulking out a bit.

 

 My current diet is 1/2 cup of Soylent with sugar free swiss miss for breakfast, whatever food truck I fancy for lunch (So variable caloric intake, but I don't order sides or drinks, just an entree) and a light dinner, either a protein or meat bar, maybe some pickles, some oranges, a Soda or a popsicle.  On days off I don't diet and mostly eat whatever (So yesterday I think I had half a 10' meatlovers Pizza, like 9 clementines, two sodas, a bowl of ham fried rice, a few handfuls of chocolate covered almonds, 1/4 of a doughnut, two mini peanut butter cups, two handfuls of cashews, two handfuls of rock sugar candy, and a falafel wrap).  In order to support heavier and more intense exercise on weekdays, I've moved to adding a scoop of Whey Protein Isolate to my Soylent on Cardio days, and having a second protein bar after working out on strength training days.  

 

Given relatively low self discipline (It's *really* hard for me to restrict my portion size, or avoid eating when I'm bored, hence my issues on weekends), how can I alter my diet to support exercise and muscle building, while hopefully dropping the last 10 or so lbs of fat I need to finish getting rid of my belly?  I've had pretty decent results so far with just eating a bit more than I used to on Strength training days, and I'm definitely seeing results, but I'm getting a bit anxious deviating from my previous restrictions.

 

Thanks in advance for reading.

Link to post

The easiest way to do it and avoid going overboard is to keep doing exactly what you're doing while cutting, but adding on an extra 500kcal meal a day. It'll up your calories by just that amoun and help gain muscle. It won't help lose that fat though. keep going on your cut, reducing you intake further for that last 10 lb, or take a cutting break and bulk for a bit. Choose one and do it, 90% of people can't maintain the delicate balance to both cut fat and add muscle at the same time.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

Link to post

Congrats on losing a bunch of weight.

 

If I were you, my next move would be to drop the soda and candy.  At least have chocolate milk or a seltzer mix, instead of just sugar water.  You'll probably get hungrier without the sugar and need to eat more, so that's your cue to eat good things (veggies and meats).  If you hanker for a sweet snack, eat some fruit or berries (not a smoothie).

 

You might also want to back off the protein "bars" and drink mixes, in exchange for actual food.  You've used them effectively till now to cut calories, but if you want to bulk you need calories.  Eat real food to build muscle.

 

Treadmills are good but you might want to consider moving outside, now that the weather is getting nice, especially since the treadmill takes away one of the biggest calorie burners: air resistance!  If you want to get more done in less time, switch to sprints or jump rope.

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

Hylian Assassin 5'5", 143 lbs.
Half-marathon: 3:02
It is pitch dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Link to post

Congrats on losing a bunch of weight.

 

If I were you, my next move would be to drop the soda and candy.  At least have chocolate milk or a seltzer mix, instead of just sugar water.  You'll probably get hungrier without the sugar and need to eat more, so that's your cue to eat good things (veggies and meats).  If you hanker for a sweet snack, eat some fruit or berries (not a smoothie).

 

You might also want to back off the protein "bars" and drink mixes, in exchange for actual food.  You've used them effectively till now to cut calories, but if you want to bulk you need calories.  Eat real food to build muscle.

 

Treadmills are good but you might want to consider moving outside, now that the weather is getting nice, especially since the treadmill takes away one of the biggest calorie burners: air resistance!  If you want to get more done in less time, switch to sprints or jump rope.

Thanks!  It's certainly been interesting, I've never really given much effort or thought to my weight before, so taking control of it has been pretty empowering.

 

I've been going through boxes of clementines in an effort to eat less sweets in general.  I've just started doing the protein bars because it let me add more protein to my diet while still relatively easily restricting my calories, I hate having to count.  What are lazy, relatively low calorie ways to add protein via whole foods?  Can I get away with Beef Jerky and stuff like Tanka Bars?  I have kind of a weird confluence of being a big foodie, but only rarely wanting to go to the effort of cooking for myself (Because when I do I tend to make a big production of it).  I don't normally drink many sodas outside of weekends, on weekdays I keep a jug of unsweetened peach iced tea handy and chug that.  I could probably swap in more milk for soda on weekends, but I'm moderately lactose intolerant so most decent chocolate milk is slightly problematic.

 

Did not know that about air resistance, but it makes sense.  Time isn't a huge downside though, I'd rather have an hour pass by quickly while reading or watching TV than have twenty minutes drag by slowly while sprinting or jumping rope.  That said I'll probably incorporate some of those anyway.

Link to post

If you can afford to live on beef jerky, feel free, but it is high in sodium and really fricking expensive.

 

The very laziest cheap protein boost I know of is canned fish.  I recommend alternatives to tuna because tuna is endangered, but they also make canned salmon, mackerel, crab, and sardines.  You can eat it straight out of the can, although it's tastier if you dump it in a bowl and add some olive oil, lemon juice and spices.

 

The cheapest and second laziest protein boost I know of is called an egg.  You get them from chickens usually.  When you break one in a cup, add a spoonful of water, and mix vigorously with a fork, it turns into a pale yellow froth, which can then be microwaved into a highly technical substance known as "frittata" or "eggmit."  This substance may be seasoned before or after cooking, and subsequently consumed.  One egg is a snack, two is a smallish meal.  It takes about 2 minutes to prepare an eggmit and commercially produced eggs are graded by size, so counting macros or calories with them is extremely simple.  Alternatively you can hardboil a few, peel them, and store in the fridge for later grab-and-go snackage.

 

Other very lazy protein sources include rotisserie chickens and deli meat.  For slightly less lazy (and much lower in sodium), try cooking ground meat in a pan with a spoonful of oil and seasonings of your choice.  No big production is necessary.

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

Hylian Assassin 5'5", 143 lbs.
Half-marathon: 3:02
It is pitch dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Link to post

Cheapest lazy protein for me is chicken breasts. Yes, they require cooking, but thatt cooking is all of putting them on a baking sheet and cooking them at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halway through. Find some seasonings you like and you'll add tons of flavor for little calories. I typically just cook them while I'm doing the dishes.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

Link to post

I've just started doing the protein bars because it let me add more protein to my diet while still relatively easily restricting my calories, I hate having to count.  What are lazy, relatively low calorie ways to add protein via whole foods?  Can I get away with Beef Jerky and stuff like Tanka Bars?  I have kind of a weird confluence of being a big foodie, but only rarely wanting to go to the effort of cooking for myself (Because when I do I tend to make a big production of it).  I don't normally drink many sodas outside of weekends, on weekdays I keep a jug of unsweetened peach iced tea handy and chug that.  I could probably swap in more milk for soda on weekends, but I'm moderately lactose intolerant so most decent chocolate milk is slightly problematic.

 

 

Depending on your degree of lactose tolerance, greek yogurt might be an option.  It has more protein and less lactose per serving than other dairy products, so it may be possible for you to consume some without triggering issues.  I would tread carefully here, but in general the ratios are more favorable.  By comparison, plain regular(not greek) yogurt has a protein-carb ratio comparable to regular milk.

 

It's also worth noting that some people also yogurt more digestible than other dairy.  Your mileage may vary.

 

Example:

  • Single-serve cup of greek yogurt(plain, unsweetened): 15g protein, 5g sugars (presumably either lactose or the products of its fermentation)
  • Regular yogurt, single-serve(plain/unsweetened): 8-9g protein, 11-13 g sugars
  • Milk: 8 g protein, 12 g sugars

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

Link to post

 

Depending on your degree of lactose tolerance, greek yogurt might be an option.  It has more protein and less lactose per serving than other dairy products, so it may be possible for you to consume some without triggering issues.  I would tread carefully here, but in general the ratios are more favorable.  By comparison, plain regular(not greek) yogurt has a protein-carb ratio comparable to regular milk.

 

It's also worth noting that some people also yogurt more digestible than other dairy.  Your mileage may vary.

 

Example:

  • Single-serve cup of greek yogurt(plain, unsweetened): 15g protein, 5g sugars (presumably either lactose or the products of its fermentation)
  • Regular yogurt, single-serve(plain/unsweetened): 8-9g protein, 11-13 g sugars
  • Milk: 8 g protein, 12 g sugars
Greek Yogurt is tasty, but I'm pretty meh on it without sweeteners. I'm honestly willing to tolerate a fair bit of inefficiency on protein intake in exchange for making things taste better/ be more convenient / increase food novelty.  

 

Cheapest lazy protein for me is chicken breasts. Yes, they require cooking, but thatt cooking is all of putting them on a baking sheet and cooking them at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halway through. Find some seasonings you like and you'll add tons of flavor for little calories. I typically just cook them while I'm doing the dishes.

That said, I really should start cooking my own lunches and the like, I could probably take a batch of chicken breasts, season them differently in pairs, than just bake them all on the same sheet.  I also have a Sous Vide machine and a vacuum sealer, which is probably perfect for preparing the breasts en masse, throwing them all in the fridge in vacuum bags, than reheating them on the stove top over the course of the week.  The vacuum bags are a bit pricy though.  I'll have to think further on this.
Link to post

I cook them for 3-5 days of lunches at a time, then stick the in tupperware. The first 2 days I just eat them cold, but after theat I microwave them to avoid any bacterial issues.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

Link to post

Cheap easy food proteins i've found:

 

Mackerel in a tin. Often comes in a flavoured sauce. Bonus is high in Omega 3.

Tuna in a tin. Add mayonnaise and have in sandwich or with salad. Might be high in Omega 3, not sure.

Packs of sliced, cooked chicken breast from supermarket (not as cheap as cooking yourself but easier)

Bacon. If you are too lazy to cook bacon you don't deserve bacon.

Cottage cheese. I mix it with jam (jelly for the US folk). Yep really. Its not bad. Its very versatile too.

Sliced ham packs. Its not bacon but it has a bit more flavour than plain chicken. Because pig is a magical animal.

 

To me eggs, while a good source of quality protein, don't have the calorie to protein ratio i look for in a food. I usually look for my main protein sources to calories/10 grams of protein.

Eggs are like 90cals and 7g or something like that.

Chicken is like 140cals and 30.

Sure you get my meaning.

 

I still eat lots of eggs though, as they're tasty. I class them supplemental protein :)

Link to post

I haven't started my bulking program yet (but likely will at the end of next Challenge, somewhere around the beginning of July) but my plan is to increase my carb intake to around 100g per day on rest days and around 150-175g on workout days.  I'm already nailing 200g of protein per day and just fill in the gaps with fat sources.  The increase in carbs should enable my body to build and repair muscle after workouts and slight calorie increase ought to keep me from gaining too much excess fat.

 

Bacon. If you are too lazy to cook bacon you don't deserve bacon.

 

This deserves to be on a t-shirt.

[ Level ?? ]  Rurik the Windblade, the Blade Who Dances, Warhawk of the Steppes.

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

Current:   Cry Havoc™: Bladesong of the Warhawk

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik Harrgath became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines