Posted by: Pirate | 2004/09/28

Gaining in a balanced way

Hi there,

I’d like your viewpoints on the following:
Firstly: An easy way to determine base calorie requirement = weight (in pounds) x 17 or weight in kg x 34.7

Example: A 82kg guy needs 3066 calories per day to sustain his weight.
Secondly to provide your body with the correct balance of food stuff you need close to the following ratio: 25% Protein, 55% Carbs & 20% Fat.
So because 1g of protein = 4 calories that means the 82kg guy need 192g of protein per day (around 30g per meal in 6 meals per day).
Next you need 422g of Carbs (1g of Carbs also = 4 calories) per day (made up of simplex and complex carbs – normally the simplex straight after a workout). This gives you around 70g per meal. I don’t like low-carb diets as your body will first take the energy it needs from your muscle you trying to build and only later from your fat reserve.
Lastly you need some fat (as fat is an important building block of Testosterone). I don’t agree with no-fat diets – rather manage your intake. 1g fat = 9 calories thus you only need 68g per day or 11g per meal.

This however is the correct balance if you want to stay on say 82kg. If you however want to increase or decrease your weight, start with 300-500 extra/less calories per day to gain or loose about 1 kg per week. Don’t shock your body by trying to add/loose all at once. Remember that the additional calories must then also be in the ratio of 25:55:20.

Start by weighing everything you eat on a ‘normal’ day (breakfast is easiest cause it normally stays the same) to see where you sitting.
Eg: 50g Oats = 6.2:28.1:4.6; 250ml 2% milk = 8.25:12:5; Sugar = 10g carbs for 2 spoons. W/W Toast = 6.4:35:1.2 for 2 slices; Margarine = 5g fat. Peanut butter = 6.7:2.5:12.5. TOTAL 27:87:28
Things like Protein shakes, Meal Replacements etc are good for correcting the balance where needed and are easy to take before and after a workout.

Try to balance each meal, so you don't take all the carbs you need for the day in a single meal.


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Our expert says:
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Pirate, IC, etc.


Conrad Booysen-Biokineticist

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: IC | 2004/10/05

Pirate ,

Sorry about the confusion about my weight in the previous post.I weigh 90 kg, 26y (male)

Ive got to say that most of the nutrition programmes available are mainly for pro's using juice(my opinion).I mean really .Saying someone needs to eat -+ 300 g protein a day is quite a bit (steroids help with nitrogen absoprtion).So some nutritional info on natural's (or local)would be very nice.

Now for myself ... I gain weight very quickly if i eat a lot of carbs - specially oats/rice.So currently im trtying to loose a bit of flab aroun the waist.Therefore im eating +- 180 -200 g prot/day , about 220 - 250 g/carbs(mainly fruit - banana,apple,pear )and lots of veggies.Ive started cadio
and am taking ripped(muscle science).Hopefully within 8-10 wks i will be where i want be.

I want to start competing(" Youre not a bodybuilder unless you compete") but i still need to experiment and see what works for me nutritionally.

I used to look at the pro's(Coleman,Yates,Priest)and thought to myself i also want to be there.They looked big ,but when you look at a pic in a magazine (ex front double bi) you dont really get the idea of what size these freaks are.They are HUGE,and up until a couple of months ago i honestly thought some of them were natural.Then i saw a pic of Coleman and Priest off season.JEEEZZZZ...not human.

I have been keeping daily training / nutritional journals for the last 8-9 months.You know,ive been training since i was 16-17 ,but never really understood the value of nutrition.
Only recently i started eating 5-6 x day (clean) ,and i can tell you - what you put in is what you get out.

Now , a final thought ... MR OLYMPIA 2004 ....

1.Coleman(gotta be !!!)
2.Jackson(the best symmetry/size in relation)
4.Cormier(if in shape close to being second)

Some responses ????


Reply to IC
Posted by: Pirate | 2004/10/01

Hi IC,

Looks like it's just me and you on the forum!! - Haha.
I agree - you hear a lot of stories, I also have a booklet from Prof Tim Noakes (Health Guru of our SA Rugby Team). According to his book you need between 1.2 to 2g per kg body weight. And yes - you right - it all depends on your activity. I can't see a yoga fanatic needing the same protein as a body builder. And even Male & Female I think differ.
I'm 35y male 84kg from Durbs and into bodybuilding. More about you??
For a buidling builder I think 1g is too little but also anything over 2g is either a waste or could lead to some kidney problems, as your kidney have to work very hard to process protein.
How do you manage 2.3g - 2.5g a day?? Unless you not weighing that much.
Everybody always talks about a 'balanced' diet, but no-one ever tells you what it is! Then there are the guys with 'blanket' statements like: "If you want to loose your gut, cut down on your carbs and do more cardio". I think you have to look at each person's existing diet and training program before stating something like that. Thing is, if your a buidy builder and you cut down on your carbs too much, and you still workout hard, your body WILL have to take the energy it needs from somewhere else and because protein is the next best source it will break down your muscels for energy before touching the fat reserves. Especially in bodybuilding where you don't do hours of low intensity cardio work.
Look I'm no expert - so please, I just read an awful lot on the subject and really dig bodybuilding. So since you asked, try this:
Take a protein + simplex carb drink an hour before your workout to give your body the fast energy and some protein to utilise during your weight workout. Then take a similar drink IMMEDIATLY afterwards to help your body recover. I found this to be the single most helpful trip I've every gotton. Next keep book of your training and make sure you get enough rest, remember - you breakdown your muscels in gym, but you built them up at home (and mostly when you sleeping).
If you see your results go down, don't get depressed, take a few days off and start again. Chances are you'll come back with a BANG!
My idea of a 'balanced diet' is: your protein, carb and fat ration must be correct for every meal and per day. The rest is too much detail. I like to focus on the bigger picture. Train hard, eat 'balanced' and get enough rest.
One last thing - most of the books and receipies I get is written for the overseas market. I would still like to see some eating plans for SA. There are, but not that many. Also - nowadyas I'm very aware of the labels showing content eg: protein carbs & fat. If I don't know what something contains I try not to eat it. In that way it's easy to calculate my ratios. I also try to stick to a few basic days. So preparation is made a bit easier.

Enough said (for now) good luck - We all need that!

Reply to Pirate
Posted by: IC | 2004/10/01

I hear/read so many things about protein intake per day .Some say 30 % of cals must be protein.Others say 1-1.2 g or 2.5 g b.w.

These figures .On what are they based ? .Bodybuilding/bodybuilders surely req more than the average joe ???

Protein builds muscle ..... so training at very high intensity the more protein you have available for recovery the better ???

Some clarity please ??

(I eat +- 2.3 - 2.5 protein per day ...lbm)

Reply to IC
Posted by: Pirate | 2004/09/30

Dear IC,

I based the 82kg on my own weight (fat content is about 15%).
I started with the 'balanced' eating plan (not a diet) 10 days ago and I'm now 84.5kg plus I see no significant increase in my gut size (good news). I will give it a month and then go for a fat content measurement. just to see where I'm sitting.

400g of Cars is nothing - I personally don't struggle with that at all. I have a problem with getting enhough protein. I hoped for our Expert to voice his opinion here, but so far nothing. I did also paste my issue on DietDoc and have pasted her reply here below. According to her it ration must be closer to 15:65:20 after your body stablises. Which is good news for me (less protein) but bad news for you (more carbs). If you still battle, a carb suppliment (which is quite cheap) will help you fill the gap. Even Meal Replacement formulas normally contains lots of cars with a nice simplex/compex ratio.
I also suggest taking a protein+simlple carb shake before and after training to give you that energy you need. The rest of the day take your complex carbs.
A tin of Tuna fish (in brine) works out to 45g of protein per 170g - I can tell you I'm starting to hate tuna!!
Maybe I should start to liquedize steaks like Bruce Lee did - Haha - only joking.

Posted by: DietDoc
Dear Pirate
Many of the points you make are basically correct. However, to accurately work out an ATHLETE'S energy requirement one needs to do a rather complicated calculation using his Basic Metabolic Rate, an activity factor which is determined by the type of exercise he does and for how many hours a day. I don't usually do this type of calculation for Readers. Now your 82 kg man aged 25-50 years, only requires 2 900 kcal a day to maintain weight and I would reduce his protein intake to 15% of energy requirement, carbs to 65% and keep fat at 20%. Thus he would require 15/100 x 2900 /4 = 109 g of protein a day, which is more balanced, plus 470 g of carbs and 64 g of fat a day, which you can distribute over 3 or 6 meals. I agree that to lose weight one would reduce the energy intake by 500 kcal a day, down to 2400 kcal. Otherwise I agree with your approach of not using a carb-free diet or cutting out all fat. Just reduce the proteins a bit as 192g per day is a whopping amount of protein to ingest - this can lead to kidney strain, calcium excretion, etc. If your 82 kg man eats 192g of protein a day, this works out to 2.3g of protein per kg of body weight. According to Burke and Deakin (2000), only elite and ultra-athletes who train at high altitudes for many hours a day require 2.2g of protein per kg body weight. Other athletes require between 1g and 1.7g of protein per kg body weight a day and once you have reached steady state you only need 1- 1.2 g of protein per kg a day.
Best regards
Date: 29/9/2004

Reply to Pirate
Posted by: Ic | 2004/09/29

For my reply i will assume that 82 kgs is the subjects lean body mass .........

Your post is very interesting.I would just like to know the following....have you tried to eat 400 g/carbs a day ?That is a lot of carbs.

From my side i have struggled a lot with calories/day and correct ratios .Till one day i realized that most of the sites (net)
are giving nutritional advice with regards to lean body mass.

Ex 82 with 15 % fat = 69 kgs.Fat is not susstainable .
At a weight of +- 85 kg (with 15 % fat) i tried to eat about 3000 cals/day .200 g protein a day is fine,the 350-400 g/carbs really killed me .....til i started working on lbm instead of bm.

Just a thought


Reply to Ic
Posted by: BillaBoy | 2004/09/28

Thanks for this insightfull piece Pirate. Very nice reading!

Reply to BillaBoy

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