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Old 07-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #1
Alan O'Donnell
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 51
Default cleaning up my diet... and getting fatter?

This is more of a point of curiosity than concern since I'm a pretty skinny guy, but I recently decided to do a little experiment with cutting out starches and dairy from my diet. Bread and alcohol especially have started giving me nasty heartburn, so I figured I'd try going very strict for a few weeks and see what happened.

A typical day's worth of eating looks like: 1/3 lb bacon + iced coffee + apple for breakfast, 1 lb salad (mesclun mix, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, grilled chicken, chopped red onions, red and banana peppers, black olives + a bunch of olive oil) for lunch, a couple plums + hard-boiled eggs for a mid-afternoon snack, every couple days I'll eat about 1k calories worth of almonds, and then for dinner I usually eat either a steak cooked in butter (should I swap that for something else?) or a half-chicken from Whole Foods (ha sometimes both). Sometimes some more iced coffee or tea (unsweetened) in the afternoon. I eat fish a couple times a week for dinner. I used to drink about half a gallon of whole milk per day, maybe more, and a little bit of alcohol on weekends, plus some occasional ice cream.

I've been doing this for about 10 days now, and thankfully I'm not getting any more heartburn (although I discovered that cherries give it to me... wtf). But I seem to be getting a bit fatter around my midsection. Is that surprising, or am I doing something wrong my diet? I figured if anything I'd lean out a bit. I'm not consciously eating any more than I used to, although I suppose the chickens from WF must have a ton of calories.

Fwiw, my training program is basically Wendler's 5/3/1 with a metcon now and then, 5'10 182lbs.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,091

What are your lift numbers?

First thing I'd do is cut out the milk to see if that was the culprit. Not everyone's body is agreeable with milk.

Looks like you need more protein in your diet as well too.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
Alan O'Donnell
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 51

Sorry, I guess I was unclear - I've cut out milk entirely (except for a very small amount of cream in morning coffee), same with alcohol and bread. So I've noticed an increase in fat AFTER cutting out the milk

Lifts: LBBS ~ 350, DL ~ 435, Press ~ 150, pullup 1rm is around 70lbs. I've been doing the 5/3/1 program for about 3 months and they're all going up nicely.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
Alan O'Donnell
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 51

Yikes, I need more protein? According to Fitday, the grass-fed 1.1lb top sirloin I just ate for lunch has 56g of fat and 165g of protein, and the spiced chickens I get from whole foods are another ~50g of fat and 100g of protein
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
Craig Brown
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 220

Try moving the fruit away from any other food, and certainly not for breakfast. Might be interesting. Maybe do your bacon and eggs together as nature intended, and eat the fruit together as a snack. The fruit + fat is the only thing I see. Lot of almonds.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:10 AM   #6
Darryl Shaw
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 707


The short version of why you're getting fat - your energy intake is greater than your energy output.

Long version - your new diet is very high in fat which increases the probability that you'll gain weight because -

- Fats are energy dense so it's easy to eat more calories than intended without realising.

- Fat has a much lower thermic effect than carbs and protein so less energy gets wasted as heat than would be the case on a low fat diet.

- Your body preferentially stores dietary fats as adipose tissue instead of using them to meet immediate energy needs.

- Fat is converted to adipose tissue in a highly efficient process with the metabolic cost involved being very low at ~3% compared with ~24% for carbs.

- Unlike with carbohydrates, protein and alcohol your body doesn't react to dietary fats by immediately and proportianally stimulating their oxidation which increases the odds that they will be stored as adipose tissue.

I could go on but what I'm trying to get across is that if you eat a high fat diet it's highly likely that you'll get fat unless you take great care to control your calorie intake but even then there's a good chance you'll gain a few unwanted pounds.
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