Total Pageviews

Monday, July 18, 2011

Starting Strength: Nutrition

From this point on, I will be posting alot of things related to the Starting Strength work-out program. This program is for scrawny teenagers who want to bulk up.

Method Three: Weekly Weigh-In/Food JournalEdit Method Three: Weekly Weigh-In/Food Journal sectionEdit

This is in my opinion, the most accurate way to identify your ideal calorie intake. The only downside is that it takes a little more work from you to get it right. 
  1. Weigh yourself after your morning bowel evacuation. Note this weight.
  2. Catalog your diet in a nutritional log, such as the one found here, for an entire week.
  3. After a week of following your controlled nutrition plan weigh yourself again and see what the difference is.
  4. If you've gained a lb, then you are approximately 500 calories per day above your daily caloric maintenance level, assuming you ate the same # of calories each day. (½ lb over = 250 cal over, 2 lbs = 1000 cal, etc). If you've maintained your present weight, then you are eating approximately at your maintenance level (calories in = calories out). If you've lost a pound, then you're 500 calories below your maintenance level.
  5. Determine your maintenance level. From there, adjust your calories for your weight gain/loss goal. +500 kcal daily to gain 1-lb weekly, +750 kcal daily to gain 1.5 lbs weekly, +1000 to gain 2-lb weekly (don't do this if you're over 25, you'll get fat), +1500 if you want to gain 3-lb weekly (don't do this if you aren't still growing in height, you will get fat, unless you are a mutant). This is NOT 100% IRONCLAD, but is a pretty easy and cheap way to get the ball rolling.
This works in combination with the above methods too. You can make a quick determination of daily calories with Method 1 or 2 and then use Method 3 to check the efficacy of your menu. I recommend doing this every week or two and reassessing where your calorie needs stand. 

How many Proteins, Carbs and Fats should I be getting?Edit How many Proteins, Carbs and Fats should I be getting? sectionEdit


Skinny dudes probably will want higher carb and fat levels, and can shoot for about 25-50-25 for their PRO-CHO-FAT ratios. This means, 25% of calories will come from protein, 50% from carbohydrates and 25% from fat. This is NOT an exact specification! Skinny dudes don't need to follow the "super-high protein" type diets. You simply won't build muscle all that fast. You'll need the carbs and especially the fats to keep your body from catabolizing muscle tissue to use as fuel, just make sure you have a steady supply of nutrients entering your body during the day. NO SKIPPED MEALS!!!!

Chubbies will want lower carb levels and higher protein levels. give 50-30-20 or 50-25-25 a try and see how that works for you. Again, no skipped meals.

Natural mesomorphs (i.e. athletic types, those who are naturally pretty strong and lean) can probably do best (or do real well) on a diet that is somewhere around 40-40-20 of protein-carb fat. To be honest, almost anything will work for these guys, as long as they have their caloric needs met throughout the day.

Almost everyone can do pretty well on a 30-40-30 or a 33-33-33 type diet as well, assuming the carbs are clean (specifically this applies to chubbies).

Are these absolutes? No, of course not; they are starting points. Use them as such. If you know that you don't respond well to those same ratios, then great! Congrats. You already know what to eat, why are you reading this? :p

Let's do the calculations for a skinny 150-lb teenager, using the "Body Type Method".

150lbs x 22kcal/lb = 3300 calories.

25% protein = .25 x 3300 = 825 calories. 825 calories divided by 4 calories/gram ~ 205 grams PRO.

50% CHO = .50 x 3300 = 1650 calories. 1650 / 4 ~ 410-415 grams CHO

25% fat = 825 calories. 825/ 9 ~ 70-75g FAT.

That is the BASELINE. You will almost definitely want to add to this, especially because you have to account for the extra calories you are burning during training. Chances are good skinnies will want to add to the carbs andespecially the fats.

Other General ConsiderationsEdit Other General Considerations sectionEdit


Eating a ton does NOT mean you're absorbing a ton. You have to properly absorb your calories in order for them to be of use. If you are farting and crapping yourself every 10-15 minutes, then you added too many calories too fast. Scale back a bit and work your way back up. Too much too soon can overload your system. A good digestive enzyme can help remedy this.

You also may have a food allergy (wheat gluten and dairy lactose are 2 major culprits here) There are volumes upon volumes written about diet, go read up and learn more for yourself.

It takes approximately 3500 calories above maintenance to add a pound of bodyweight in a week (3500 calories/7 days = 500 calories/day).

It is consistent with typical muscular weight gains to put on .5-1.5 lbs. per week. If you're gaining more than that, and you're not a teenager, chances are you are gaining more than a bit of fat. If you're not a teenager and are gaining more than 2 lbs per week and it's muscle, then you're either a) a genetic freak, b) on steroids, or c) a genetic freak on steroids. Only teenagers (damn them all) have this unique ability.

Bottom line:

Eat too few calories, your gains will suffer. Eat too many calories, you'll add fat. As far as gains go it's better to overeat. In the end, it's up to you to determine your sweet spot as far as total calories. Keep a food log if you want to see how many actual calories you're eating, it's VERY difficult to estimate correctly. 

49 comments:

  1. Bookmarked this blog entry. Thanks for this, very interesting and complete. Im printing this later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't you make a post about how to get great abs with the least work possible? I'm pretty skinny, and like my body in overall, but i'd like to work some on my abs without going over board.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post Scrubby. I was this when I was a teenager and I would have loved to add some weight.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah thanks for this, it seems like it was written just for me, as i'm currently in the middle of starting strength myself.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm going to think about adopting your daily routine. I'm sure that it would be good for a better diet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Actually, this is really smart to do when you need to work on your figure :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tried doing a lot of nutritional stuff along with working out with P90x and to be honest, if it was much simpler I'd probably still be doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good tips, I count my calories over at livestrong, really good site imo.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We have to take a fitness class at my college. They asked what our goals for the class are. I wrote "Get a credit." At least I was honest.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I never wanted to play in calories, i'm to lazy :<

    ReplyDelete
  11. wow, it's really complicated, but I'll try to but this to good use!

    ReplyDelete
  12. i'm pretty grateful for following you. that is one fine guide for calorie intake

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks, I need this. I am way too skinny.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is true, it is all about the sweet spot! Diets need to have an individual focus; you take the information at hand and tweak it to apply to your unique self. I feel this is a point lots of people miss. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. i eat very bad, lol
    so much bread, but im not fat so im okay with that

    ReplyDelete
  16. crazy amount of detail. so many formulas.

    ReplyDelete
  17. interesting, for the longest I've been struggling with finding a way to accurately write down what portion of food I have consumed. The only solution I found was possibly buying a food scale, any advice on the matter?

    and followed btw!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Never cared about counting calories.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Weigh yourself after your morning bowel evacuation. Note this weight.

    hahahahaha its fun.

    ReplyDelete
  20. wow, nice post! will definitely follow your advices!

    http://mindnumbinglife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  21. damn this is just what i need. Im following strict diet and workout regime and i shed off pounds from 157 down to about 149. I could def use these tips.

    ReplyDelete
  22. this applies to me lol. should try this.

    ReplyDelete
  23. i just try to eat less. works ok for me.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yes, nutrition is very important to stay healthy and strong. Thanks for all your tips

    ReplyDelete
  25. I workout thrice a week this is totally great post +followed

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is rare that I stumble onto a blog that just happens to have a post about something I was going to google after reading some blogs...

    Kick ass article!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey there! Thanks for the comment. :D You have an nice blog too. :) This is a good programme you know. I think I come under the scarwny teenager category. I'm no more a teen though. lol

    ReplyDelete
  28. and again, i learned something

    ReplyDelete
  29. TY for these awesome tips, really useful!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I did 5x5 SS over 3 months and I have to say it was the best type of training ever. Since that, every workout is based on that type of exercices, not isolated ones.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I work out 3 or 4 times a week but also eat a lot of junk. Used to be able to burn it off quicker but Im not a young lad/teen anymore. sighs.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nice! Hit me back, alphabetalife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great! Hit me back, alphabetalife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Good and really helpful information, especially for me as I am getting hardcore into fitness and weight loss. Good to get some information on calories and such! Thanks for the awesome post!

    ReplyDelete
  35. The thing that ruins this kind of regimen is when it gets down to the poverty level. I don't have the money to make sure I eat healthy. I carry cup noodles to work every day just to have something to eat on my lunch break. I know it's not healthy, but neither is going hungry.

    Check me out at:
    http://brassdragons.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  36. interesting blog man, following

    ReplyDelete
  37. Very informative post, keep it up ... following

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'll tell it to my brother muahahahah

    +follow :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've never really seen the math of weight loss before, so this is pretty damn cool. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks,im actualy doing SS.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Holy crap! Good info, I wish I was trying to gain rather than lose right now though. I'm not a scrawny one =(.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Really easy to follow, I'll try it this next week.

    ReplyDelete