Posted by: Zane | 2008/09/04


Good morning.

I really need your help. For years now I' ve been reading all sorts of dieting advice, from natural health, to body building mags, so needless to say, I' m stumped....
Doc, this is a reallyt big deal to me as it has affected me personally for years now. I really want to lose body fat whilst maintaining or even gradually increasing lean muscle. Many say that you cant do both, but I see it all the time in the gym, it HAS TO be possible. You see, I' m a heavy lifter (5,5 years of training) and think that I' m eating well, yet I battle to put on muscle or lose fat. I' ve eaten high carbs, low carbs, no carbs, lots of good fats, loads of protein, etc. I' ve tried so many things. Now I' m on the Body for Life program (just started). They say that sometimes you wont see anything for a while then suddenly poof!! You start losing weight gradually and increase muscle. What is your take on their method of eating? If I may, I' d like to show you what my basic day of eating looks like.
7:30am - oat bran, soy milk &  1 serving whey
10am - meal replacement (Evox, no sugar, 41g protein, 47g carbs) &  fruit
11:30 - gym ( before, during and after i dring game mixed with whey, glutamine &  BCAA' s)
1pm - 1 1/2 chicken breasts, large baked potato, serving of veg, 1/2 avo
4pm - meal replacement as above &  fruit
6:30pm - fish, veg &  2 x low GI seed loaf slices
bed time - whey &  caesinite shake

Monday and Thursday evenings I train for 1 1/2 hours martial arts, and mon, wed, fri I train heavy &  intense for 50min as per program. My water consumption i' ve increased to 2 - 3L a day excluding during training, and i get about 7 hrs sleep.

Please advise me if I' m going in the right direction to achieve my results. I' m 6ft, 100kg' s, approx 17%bf.

Your help is much appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Zane
The basic principles of building lean muscle tissue and reducing fat% are as follows: 1) Exercise - plenty of aerobic or cardio workouts (e.g. running, jogging, skipping, swimming, cycling or spinning or rowing) to burn energy and reduce body fat Plus plenty of working with weights to build muscle - both processes take TIME - and can't be achieved in a short while. 2) Eating a diet that provides 2 g of protein per kg body weight while you are building muscles and then is reduced to about 1.4 g protein per kg body weight while you do maintenance Plus plenty of carbs to fuel your exercise and save your protein (this means eating carbs so that you don't have to use protein for fuel) - the diet you describe is far too high in protein and probably also too high in energy. I would seriously urge you to consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will have to obtain a diet history and then calculate if your protein and energy intakes are not excessive thus preventing you from reducing your body fat%. The dietitian will then advise how you should change your diet.
Good luck with your programme

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