Need help getting started with proper nutrition

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GDent
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Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#1 Postby GDent » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:09 pm

Hey everyone. This is my first post here, so forgive me if I make any mistakes.

I've been working out since late October through a calisthenics routine based off of the Convict Conditioning progressions. I'm going to move onto another book later on.

Since I'm doing calisthenics, I figure I need to take things a little slowly. I'm 22 years old and I weigh about 135 lbs. Since I started working out I've seen significant changes in how I look, but I feel I can do much better considering it's been about eight months and I don't look that much different. Despite that, I've seen some pretty steady progress in my movements. I figure I'm doing things at least a little right.

But I'm lost on exactly how to determine how much fat, carbs, etc. I need to eat and how to choose food to eat every single day. I know I need a variety of foods, but that only seems to make things worse. I'm probably overthinking it, but after reading articles and forum posts I'm still feeling lost. I even have a kitchen scale, but I haven't used it out of forgetfulness.

Here's an example of what I might eat. Please note that I'm a vegetarian, not a vegan, but I figured you guys would know best for me.

Meal 1: Medium glass of milk, one piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana. Maybe some oatmeal instead of just milk.

Meal 2: 1 cup of quinoa, a medium or large bowl of some kind of vegetable, some substitute meat to go with the quinoa.

Meal 3: A glass of milk with 1 scoop of whey powder, some peanut butter, and some kind of fruit such as an apple

I know this is very little. Occasionally I'll throw in some edamame or other beans in between meals, and I eat a little dessert every other day.

I've been more than ready to change things, but for some reason I freeze when I start reading up on this. Up until just before I started working out, I was eating even less and much worse. Now I force vegetables down even if I don't like them, and in the end it feels good. But I know I need more food and I almost desperately want to know how I can change things.

I've heard all kinds of conflicting things. Some examples: Six small meals per day is good / Six small meals per day doesn't give the digestive system enough of a rest. Beans are very good for you / beans have anti-nutrients and you should eat more meat instead. Whole wheat bread is fine to eat / The kind you buy in a store has all kinds of added ingredients and preservatives and might give you cancer / It has anti-nutrients anyway.

I'm really sick of hearing all this and I just want to move forward now. I've been working on eating more, but it's difficult, especially when even these small meals I eat every day fill me up just fine. If there's a single book I can read that will help, I'll read it. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

The PhytoAthlete
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Re: Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#2 Postby The PhytoAthlete » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:18 am

Have you tried almond, soy, coconut or hemp milk? Personally I like almond the best, but any would be better for you than regular milk.

Do you lilke salads? Atleast one a day before lunch or dinner would be good.

You ask about beans, I think they are good and better for your health than the veggie substitute meats which are usually loaded in sodium.

Nut butters are good, but many have a lot of added salt and sugar, so check that closely. You can sometimes find no/low salt/sugar varieties in grocery stores, if not you can order them online at nuts.com

Six meals a day will spend up your metabolism compared to 2-3 meals a day. If you are wanting to lose weight that is a good thing short term. The problem with a faster metabolism long term is it also increases your rate of aging, thus hurting your long term health. So if your body fat is where you want it, 2-3 meals a day is best for your longevity.

Bread, whole wheat or otherwise is something I don't eat much(maybe once a week), due to the reasons you give, plus it isn't very high in phytonutrients compared to the amount of calories that come with it.

GDent
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Re: Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#3 Postby GDent » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:24 pm

Thanks a lot for your reply.

I've tried almond milk and I don't like it, but soy milk is pretty good. I've been drinking low fat milk for almost my entire life.

I don't like salads at all. I've tried to like them in the past, but I just can't. I'll eat them if I must, but I don't know if it's necessary.

I do want to replace those veggie burgers and substitute meats with beans; I might start doing that as soon as possible.

Right now I have some flab that I really hate. I didn't know I could be so skinny but still have this flab around my body, and it's only gotten worse since I started taking whey. Yet at the same time, my muscles have grown significantly and I figure a little fat just comes with gaining muscle at the same time. It's not so bad, but I want to see my abs and my back muscles, and I do want more definition overall. But I figure I'll have to wait and grow a bit more before I do that. I don't know how I'm going to lose this fat in the future if I already don't eat very much at all.

And yes, I've been trying to cut out bread and wheat in general for a while now. It's difficult when I don't have much else to eat.

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Re: Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#4 Postby Fallen_Horse » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:41 pm

I think small amounts of processed vegan meats can be OK if you are really trying to gain muscle mass. Have you tried tempeh or tofu?

Soy milk is also definitely the way to go, since it has so much protein compared to other vegan milks. Try to find the unsweetened kind, then you are getting 7g of protein in an 80 calorie serving....
Learning how to be compassionate, gain wisdom, and love life.

GDent
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Re: Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#5 Postby GDent » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:58 am

Thank you. I used to drink a lot of soy milk and I might start again.

I've also looked into using Swole.me. Is it any good?

By the way, what about other vitamin concerns, such as B12? I've heard about nutritional yeast fortified with it, but I've always had that in the back of my mind. I want to make sure I'm nice and healthy and not just good-looking.

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Re: Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#6 Postby Fallen_Horse » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:31 pm

Soymilk generally has a lot of B12 in it, and many vegan-branded foods do as well. To be safe, just take a B12 tablet every few days. They are cheap and they just dissolve in your mouth.
Learning how to be compassionate, gain wisdom, and love life.

GDent
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Re: Need help getting started with proper nutrition

#7 Postby GDent » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:12 pm

Cool, seems simple enough.

So after a few months or however long it takes, I'm definitely going to want to get rid of this little bit of excess fat I have so that I can really show off my new physique. But I don't really understand how I have this fat/flab since I never used to eat very much in the first place. How can I figure out how to get rid of it?

Also, does anyone know about swole.me? Are its meal plans solid? How can I know how much fat and carbs to consume? I've hard it's about 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, but I've also heard that's unnecessary or too fattening and whatnot. How can I really inform myself? Can anyone give any insight into that?

Thanks a lot!


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