Advice on Diet Watch

Eat.Sleep.Row.Repeat.
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Hey all,

After finding out that i've lost 5lbs this week, which is definitely not healthy, i'm wondering whether you could give me some advice. My primary goal is just weightloss until I get down to 11 stone (32lbs total loss) and then bulk up for rowing. This week the only thing i've changed is the amount of exercising i've done! I've done extra training on top of my 5 day a week rowing program at school, i've done 55km on the ergo this week (couple of hour sessions, couple of 25 minute sessions). I've been eating fairly well I thought, having between 1800-2500 calories a day (I'm 6foot, and as of today 165lbs) but it's just the level of exercise i'm doing.

I'm not going to stop exercising as much as I am, that's pointless and it's not going to help me progress any further. If anything, I may aim for 60km next week. My question is, what do you think I should do? I'm eating until i'm not hungry any more, my stomach has probably shrunk since I started dieting. I've got about 2.5lbs left of http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/true_whey in my bedroom, just sitting there from last summer. I was intending to start back on it as soon as I hit 11 stone, but thinking maybe I should just have 3 scoops of that a day to help level out the calorie deficit? I don't want to be eating for the sake of eating really, and I don't want to start eating more food just to balance out the calorie deficit.

tl;dr - I found out i'm not eating enough compared to the amount of exercise i'm doing. I'm eating until i'm full, and don't fancy eating for the sake of eating. Shall I fill the calorie deficit with whey protein shakes?
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by Dave_Beeston)
Hey all,

After finding out that i've lost 5lbs this week, which is definitely not healthy, i'm wondering whether you could give me some advice. My primary goal is just weightloss until I get down to 11 stone (32lbs total loss) and then bulk up for rowing. This week the only thing i've changed is the amount of exercising i've done! I've done extra training on top of my 5 day a week rowing program at school, i've done 55km on the ergo this week (couple of hour sessions, couple of 25 minute sessions). I've been eating fairly well I thought, having between 1800-2500 calories a day (I'm 6foot, and as of today 165lbs) but it's just the level of exercise i'm doing.
11st at 6ft is nothing. Personally I wouldn't concentrate on losing weight, rather eating properly and training hard and letting that dictate where your bodyweight ends up. You may not get as low as 11st but if you end up more muscular, stronger and powerful because of it, it's a good compromise that will benefit your rowing.

As for 1800-2500 calories a day that is less than the daily calorie requirement of an average woman-man ("average" being inactive), if you're rowing 55km a week that is clearly not enough. 2500-3000 calories should be your absolute minimum, realistically you should probably be looking at 4000+ calories on a day.

My question is, what do you think I should do? I'm eating until i'm not hungry any more, my stomach has probably shrunk since I started dieting.
Eat more.

I've got about 2.5lbs left of http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/true_whey in my bedroom, just sitting there from last summer. I was intending to start back on it as soon as I hit 11 stone, but thinking maybe I should just have 3 scoops of that a day to help level out the calorie deficit?
That is less than 100 calories per serving, even with 3 scoops a day at 300 extra calories that is nowhere near enough to plug the deficit (not to mention that it's a huge waste). To make a significant difference you'd be looking at having 5-10 scoops per day (at least) which would cost you several pounds per day to maintain. On the other hand consuming an extra couple of hundred grams of pasta/rice/oats/peanut butter would cost you a matter of pence.

Scale up your portion sizes and/or consume more calorie dense foods.

I don't want to be eating for the sake of eating really, and I don't want to start eating more food just to balance out the calorie deficit.
It's up to you but it's either that or get progressively skinnier, weaker and less muscular.
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Eat.Sleep.Row.Repeat.
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(Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
11st at 6ft is nothing. Personally I wouldn't concentrate on losing weight, rather eating properly and training hard and letting that dictate where your bodyweight ends up. You may not get as low as 11st but if you end up more muscular, stronger and powerful because of it, it's a good compromise that will benefit your rowing.

It's up to you but it's either that or get progressively skinnier, weaker and less muscular.
The reason I want to get down to 11 stone is so that I can then bulk up because when i'm at university I want to be doing lightweight rowing and the upper boundary for that is 11 stone 6! I've not got tonnes of muscle at the moment so just going down to 11 stone 6 would mean i'd have to bulk up a good 5 or 6 lbs of muscle to be any good and then lose the fat again!

What kind of foods would you recommend then? I'll definitely up the portion sizes. It's just that the foods I would probably go for either side of meals aren't that healthy i.e. chocolate, crisps etc
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by Dave_Beeston)
The reason I want to get down to 11 stone is so that I can then bulk up because when i'm at university I want to be doing lightweight rowing and the upper boundary for that is 11 stone 6! I've not got tonnes of muscle at the moment so just going down to 11 stone 6 would mean i'd have to bulk up a good 5 or 6 lbs of muscle to be any good and then lose the fat again!
As you acknowledge you've already got a low muscle mass, not eating properly and losing yet more muscle, only to have to then put that muscle back on again several months on down the line is counterproductive.

You have around 5 months before uni starts, there is no need for drastic measures. Like I said earlier, eat properly, get some strength work in there and run a very slight calorie deficit, you'll trim fat, limit muscle loss and stabilise your weight much better.

What kind of foods would you recommend then? I'll definitely up the portion sizes. It's just that the foods I would probably go for either side of meals aren't that healthy i.e. chocolate, crisps etc
Just eat a generally good diet. As you're active and trying to lose weight aim for around 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight and as you're doing a lot of rowing you should also eat plenty of quality carbs (eg; oats, brown rice, beans, lentils, etc). As for snacks look at nuts, seeds, yoghurt and fruit. If you're still struggling at stabilising your weight blend some milk, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter, a scoop of whey and some oats up.
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Eat.Sleep.Row.Repeat.
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(Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
As you acknowledge you've already got a low muscle mass, not eating properly and losing yet more muscle, only to have to then put that muscle back on again several months on down the line is counterproductive.

You have around 5 months before uni starts, there is no need for drastic measures. Like I said earlier, eat properly, get some strength work in there and run a very slight calorie deficit, you'll trim fat, limit muscle loss and stabilise your weight much better.



Just eat a generally good diet. As you're active and trying to lose weight aim for around 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight and as you're doing a lot of rowing you should also eat plenty of quality carbs (eg; oats, brown rice, beans, lentils, etc). As for snacks look at nuts, seeds, yoghurt and fruit. If you're still struggling at stabilising your weight blend some milk, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter, a scoop of whey and some oats up.
You're going to think i'm being really drastic now but I apply in September, for entry in 2012! So i've got 17 months, but I wanted to focus on getting into the 2nd boat for my school which is why I was trying to up the power to weight ratio. Thanks for the advice, i'll definitely look into doing it. Would you say that aiming for 1-2lbs loss per week is too much? I'm also looking at purchasing a pullup bar to add to my core stuff I do at home (Pressups - 120, Crunches - 120, Squat Jumps - 50, and Dips 120 per day), do you think that'd help strength wise?
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by Dave_Beeston)
You're going to think i'm being really drastic now but I apply in September, for entry in 2012! So i've got 17 months, but I wanted to focus on getting into the 2nd boat for my school which is why I was trying to up the power to weight ratio.
...and losing muscle will lower your power to weight ratio

Thanks for the advice, i'll definitely look into doing it. Would you say that aiming for 1-2lbs loss per week is too much?
For an average person trying to lose weight, no, it's pretty damn good.

For someone who's trying to maintain a high exercise and performance plane it's probably too much, 5lbs per week is certainly over doing it.

I'm also looking at purchasing a pullup bar to add to my core stuff I do at home (Pressups - 120, Crunches - 120, Squat Jumps - 50, and Dips 120 per day), do you think that'd help strength wise?
Getting a pullup bar is a good idea.

Doing multiple sets of 20+ reps for pushups, crunches and dips is unlikely to improve your strength or power. Quality over quantity. Once you can do several sets of 10-20 reps per set of an exercise you should be looking at adding extra weight (eg; a weighted vest for your pushups, dumbbells to the squat jumps, etc) or progressing onto a harder variation (eg; lunge jumps, ab wheel rollouts - much better than crunches).
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(Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
...and losing muscle will lower your power to weight ratio



For an average person trying to lose weight, no, it's pretty damn good.

For someone who's trying to maintain a high exercise and performance plane it's probably too much, 5lbs per week is certainly over doing it.



Getting a pullup bar is a good idea.

Doing multiple sets of 20+ reps for pushups, crunches and dips is unlikely to improve your strength or power. Quality over quantity. Once you can do several sets of 10-20 reps per set of an exercise you should be looking at adding extra weight (eg; a weighted vest for your pushups, dumbbells to the squat jumps, etc) or progressing onto a harder variation (eg; lunge jumps, ab wheel rollouts - much better than crunches).
Okay, thank you so much for your advice! I think my pressup technique is pretty good now, as I used to not be able to do 5 very wide pressups, but now I can do a good 20 military pressups. I'll look into getting a weighted vest for pressups, and will have a look at those ab wheel rollouts. Please know that this is the first time i've ost so much weight in one week, I'm normally averaging a lb or 2lbs a week. Is it pointless doing sets of these exercises spaced throughout the day? Or is it completely useless. For example with the pressups, I'll do one set before I get dressed in the morning, one set before rowing, one set included with some pilates after rowing, one set when I get home, one set before I shower, one set before I go to bed. I just do it this way so that i'm doing something and because I have fairly limited time to do it in.

Or should I just focus on being able to do 3 sets at once? Sorry for all the questions!
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by Dave_Beeston)
Is it pointless doing sets of these exercises spaced throughout the day? Or is it completely useless. For example with the pressups, I'll do one set before I get dressed in the morning, one set before rowing, one set included with some pilates after rowing, one set when I get home, one set before I shower, one set before I go to bed. I just do it this way so that i'm doing something and because I have fairly limited time to do it in.

Or should I just focus on being able to do 3 sets at once? Sorry for all the questions!
It's better than nothing but getting the bulk of your training out of the way in one go leaves your body more time to recover.

You could try using a variant of supersetting. So say that normally you'd rest 2 minutes between eat set of pushups, if you cut that down to 30-60s but alternate those pushups with a set of jump squats (eg; 10 pushups, 60s rest, 10 squat jumps, 60 rest, 10 pushups...) you allow your different muscle groups to recover between sets but you also get more work done in less time (= shorter workouts and it helps to improve your work capacity).
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Eat.Sleep.Row.Repeat.
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(Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
It's better than nothing but getting the bulk of your training out of the way in one go leaves your body more time to recover.

You could try using a variant of supersetting. So say that normally you'd rest 2 minutes between eat set of pushups, if you cut that down to 30-60s but alternate those pushups with a set of jump squats (eg; 10 pushups, 60s rest, 10 squat jumps, 60 rest, 10 pushups...) you allow your different muscle groups to recover between sets but you also get more work done in less time (= shorter workouts and it helps to improve your work capacity).
So it's better to do smaller sets but more fo them? Or, if I can, should I do: 20 pressups, 20 squat jumps, 20 sit ups, 20 dips? With a 30 second rest in between each. What's the minimum rest time? Because i'm pretty sure I could do what I just said above without a rest between each exercise, and then have a 30 second rest and do it again?
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StressReliever
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You are probably burning at least 3000 calories a day, so I would certainly not go below 2500 for fat loss.
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SMed
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You want to be a 6ft lightweight rower? Seriously?
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