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Changing nutrition and starting a routine17595

Kind private msg quote post Address this user
Hey everyone so this is my story:

A month or so ago a bunch of my friends and I decided we wanted to go to Hawaii for our "reading break" in early February. After a few years of telling myself I've wanted to be healthy and make a positive change for my body, this event in combination with the desires of my friends to make some positive changes themselves have really inspired me to finally follow through.

I'm male, 21, 5'10 (~178 cm)in height and 177 lbs (~80kg). I have a scale that calculates body fat % (questionably accurate as it seems to combine an estimate based on height with some sort of physical analysis to pop out a number) that puts me at 17.4% body fat. Comparing what I see in the mirror to diagrams I've seen online, however, leads me to believe I might be closer to 20-23% body fat.

Now, I have a fairly solid foundation in human biology and I am fairly well aware as to what the human body can reasonably do in a month. I'm not looking for a miraculous body transformation, but I would like the peace of mind of knowing I did everything I could to look as best as I could for this trip and hopefully develop some habits which will help me live better in the long run.

This is what my daily nutrition macros look like right now:

Carbs: 150g
Protein: 132g
Fat: 46g
Total Caloric Intake: ~1520 calories

-Whey Protein
-Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen(ugh, that name - it's a thermogenic fat burner with a couple extra products to increase focusalertness blah blah etc)

I've only been eating like this for about 2 weeks but I feel pretty good about it thus far. I try to minimize my consumption of sugar (especially processed)and whenever I consume fats I try to make sure they are mostly good fats.

My exercise has been a little lacking. I've been to the gym only 3 times mostly because I was just trying to practice my form for some basic exercises and I didn't have a real workout routine. The Stronglift 5x5 ( sounds like a good place to start and I would like to begin tomorrow (and from that point 3-4 workouts a week) but I'm still sore in both my thighs and triceps. I'm pretty sure that has to do with the fact that I typically don't work out or I might have botched my form a bit when I was last practicing. Should I just muscle through (no pun intended) the discomfort and expect the pain to pass with later workouts or chill out until the soreness subsides?

If you've read all of this, thanks! I hope it was pleasant. I'm looking for any advice or criticism regarding my nutrition/ workout plan from this wonderful forum and greatly appreciate it.

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silverisshredded private msg quote post Address this user
I can't open the link for the training program, but:

1. Don't go too hard in the beginning, do 2-3 sessions with minimal weight and then just some low intensity cardio, progress steadily.
2. It's okay to train with some soreness, but if it's too painful just replace the exercise that hurts with another and do more sets/reps

Quick tips you can apply to look better for your trip

1. Drink more water everyday, if you drink 2L per day increase it with 500ML every 2-3 days until you reach 4 or even 5L. Put salt and seasoning on your meals without going too far and when it's trip time, cut the salt and the seasoning by 2/3 (not completely. U can cut the water a little bit too, like from 5L to 4L or from 4 to 3, but it's healthy to drink more anyway.

2. Add some cardio. Good start is 15-20m walking on the treadmill on incline RIGHT after your weight session or in the morning just after you woke up, drink one black coffee without anything added and go for 15-20 hiit workout (just write in google/youtube: beginner hiit workout and see what suits you)

3. Another water tip, replace all beverages with water and natural green tea. Limit fruit intake to 2-3 per day and get other carbs from complex sources such as oats, rice and potatoes

Overall i don't like the amount of calories you would have. To maintain healthy physique with strength training and cardio 1500 is far below my vision for acceptable. For example I weight 84-86kg and my intake is 3000calories.
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Beans private msg quote post Address this user
Cals are low. I'd recalculate them and take into account you'll be working out 3 or 4 days a week now. It might be tempting to eat less with the trip coming up, but it's better to learn good methods if you're serious about making long term changes.

Stronglift is good. Don't worry about being sore, it doesn't mean you shouldn't work out. Just warm up well, and soreness gets better over time.
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The Dark
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
Has a solid foundation in human biology.

Eats 150g carbs.

Smh. -3X
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Kind private msg quote post Address this user

Okay, thanks. I already drink about 3 liters of water a day, but I can try to consume some more. The cardio seems like a fine addition as well.

Haha, brutal, but fair. The number has always looked strange to me and didn't make sense initially. The truth of the matter is prior to my current desire to be more health conscious I actually ate fewer carbs than even that - granted they were less healthy carbs. I just wasn't sure about to accurately/healthily scale up (lean mass formula vs total body weight formula, ratio of simple sugars to complex carbs etc.). I don't have an objective quantitative way of measuring the effects such changes have on my body and I figured since I feel better right now than I had previously, my intake was acceptable. My apologies for undoubtedly sounding foolish.

The general consensus thus far seem that I should be eating more and if so my newly calculated TDEE is about 2100 calories. Should I even bother adjusting this to "cut?"

Thanks again for the input guys.
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silverisshredded private msg quote post Address this user
How you came up with this number? Not saying it matters much in your case, but your first modification should be based on your current calorie intake, not online calculators if you used one.
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Kind private msg quote post Address this user
I used this online calculator from the FAQ thread to calculate the TDEE from my most recent post. It actually comes out to exactly 2111 calories.
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hghani13 private msg quote post Address this user
@Kind Use this instead

300-500 deficit is good enough

Carbs 50% of total calories
Protein 30% of total calories
Fats 20% of total calories

It's simple.

Work out even if you are sore, it actually helps with the soreness itself
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Kind private msg quote post Address this user


According to this calculator my BMR is somewhere between 2625 and 2956 depending on whether I choose lightly active (1-3 days of exercise) or moderately active (3-5 days of exercise). That seems like a lot of food even with a 500 calorie cut and it doesn't take my body fat percentage into consideration. If it isn't too much trouble could you explain why this is more accurate than the IIFYM calculator (lean mass formula) which does take lean body mass into account?
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Beans private msg quote post Address this user
@Kind all calculators will give a different value, what really matters is just picking one, trying it, and adjusting accordingly. They're all just guidelines, chances are most of them won't be spot on what you need.

You CAN take into account lean body mass, but again, it doesn't necessarily mean it's more accurate. Plus, you're just adding an extra layer of guessing.

Personally, I'd go with the lower end of your BMR calcs to start off since you're already eating so little and you're just starting out.
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