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Old 05-07-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
Júlíus G. Magnússon
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Default A few basic nutritional questions

I've been IFing for around two tweeks now. 8 hour feeding window 5 days a week as per the advice of Mike ODonnell. And I have to admit, I'm loving it.

I was zoning before, and although fat kept coming off, performance wise I was at a plateu and my squat and bench numbers were actually dropping.

I then started IF with the zone and started to feel what I thought was increased performance. Then I gradually started moving towards more of a paleo diet. Less carbs than the zone, more meet, less dairy, more vegetables. And I've never felt better. Maybe it's too early to tell, but I definitely feel alot better than when I was just zoning.

I was thinking about dropping the zone altogether for a more paleo oriented lifestyle.

I'd love a few comments on what I'm doing and suggestions on where to improve/add up on my diet.

Currently my goals are performance, first and foremost. The Zone body fat calculator puts me at an 8% body fat at 155lbs. Although I'm not sure how accurate that is. Basically all of my fat has always been at my waist, though, and since it's based around a waist-wrist measurement it's at the very least a good progress indicator. That being said, I would of course love to add some muscle mass and drop a couple of more body fat percentages. Those goals are secondary to performance, though.

Now here's what I'd like comments on:
  • Most of my meat intake comes from ground beef, lean pork, chicken or (rarely) canned tuna.
  • Veggies consist mostly of broccoli (along with most all meals) and mushroom with fruits such as a few grapes or part of an apple thrown in once in a while.
  • I designed a protein shake in the zone proportions while on the zone and still sometimes fall back to that for a meal replacement. It consists of whole milk, semi-skimmed milk, protein powder (with some sugars) and peanut butter.
  • Speaking of dairy, I tend to add cheese to some meals (rarely though).
  • My workouts often tend to end around the time when it's time to break my fast, for those days, I've been considering supplementing with whey protein in orange juice but I'm not sure how much sense that makes or if it would conflict with some of my goals.
  • Whole milk. Rippetoe swears by it, should I consider adding a liter (~quarter of a gallon) to my diet each day to facilitate some muscle growth?
  • Scrambeld eggs are occasionally my source of protein for a meal.
  • I'm a 21 year old student who doesn't have much experience in the kitchen. I usually coat my meat with olive oil once I'm done cooking but I also don't use it sparingly at all while frying stuff. Should I avoid that?
  • Salt and seasonings, what's the stance on that?
  • My mother suggested I boil my broccoli for just a short while before eating it or frying it. Does this negate some or most of its nutritional value?
  • Cheat meals have been occuring 1-2 times per week in the form of a large Subway and some soda or the like. Should I worry about this?
  • I supplement with multivitamin and omega-3 along with a teaspoon of creatine monohydrate before I go to bed.

I would love comments on any or all of the above points from you nutritional gurus. On what I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong, what could go better, anything.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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The hard and steady rule is just keep it up as long as you are seeing positive results. That's why we do things....to see results. If you feel like your plateauing again...then you can always change something up....usually a day of eating more seems to hit any issues with IF. You could try timing more of your daily carbs pwo to take advantage of insulin sensitivity in the muscles and then eat more fat for the other meals. It's my guess that IF most often fails because people may be eating too little calories in a shorter IF window and/or never giving themselves up-calories day....thinking more (fasting) is better....but everyone is different. There are no real "right" or "wrong" rules....just what works for you.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #3
Margie Lempert
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Julius - a couple of thoughts on your food choices:

Steaming/boiling broccoli is a great idea. Eating raw broccoli is tough on the body and harder to access nutrients. You want to get the broccoli nice and bright green. It should still have crunch to it.

I'd also suggest adding more variety to your veggies. Broccoli and mushrooms are great, but variety is even better. Think in terms of color. Green will always predominate, but a more colorful plate is a more nutritious one.

How about berries and citrus fruits? They're fantastic, especially berries.

If you are going to add milk to your diet, please make it organic if you can... ideally grass-fed. You do not want to pump your body full of the funky hormones/antibiotics that are in regular milk. Dairy is tricky in general. If you add it in, be mindful of how you feel: allergies, extra mucous, sluggish bowels... all signs that you aren't tolerating it well.

Same organic/grass-fed rules apply for your meat/poultry/eggs.

Speaking of eggs, probably the best (and most portable) way to prepare your eggs is to boil them. Scrambling eggs oxidizes the cholesterol in the yolks - bad news for your body.

Try getting some fish into your life. Salmon, cod, whatever. Go for wild.

Seasonings - yes! Salt, moderate amounts. Try to use iodized salt if you can. And check your seasonings to see if there's salt or msg in them.

Olive oil is good. So's coconut oil.

In general, seems like you are doing really well! Great work. Oh and cheat meals? Enjoy! "Being bad" once in a while is part of what makes "being good" worth it.
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