Losing weight-what nutritional approach

Post questions and tips on right foods and right balance of nutrients for combat sports and martial arts, individual encounter games (for example, tennis), and team games.

Losing weight-what nutritional approach

Postby tsdsensei » Dec 16, 2003 23:48

I have tried the Atkins diet and have had slower results than most. I must take medicine for seizures and this may interfer, I am not sure. For a martial arts instructor who is preparing for his next test what would a good diet be? Anyone had experience with Atkins or any other approach that was beneficial to losing about 30 lbs?
I am a 49 year old martial artist with 32 years & 5 black belts. I teach Tang Soo Do with a little Wado-ryu. Being 49 I can always use suggestions on training methods that work for my age without overdoing it.
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Re: Losing weight-what nutritional approach

Postby Guest » Dec 17, 2003 17:43

tsdsensei wrote:I have tried the Atkins diet and have had slower results than most. I must take medicine for seizures and this may interfer, I am not sure. For a martial arts instructor who is preparing for his next test what would a good diet be? Anyone had experience with Atkins or any other approach that was beneficial to losing about 30 lbs?

tsdsensei, can you articulate your specific goals a bit more? There are many ways to lose 30 lbs but they have various pros and cons. Are you looking to lose weight fast? Or would you prefer a slower approach that lets you preserve more muscle?

I've seen a number of people lose a significant amount of weight using Atkins but these were non-weight-training individuals. So I have no idea how much muscle they lost.

If you're just interested in losing weight and don't care so much about losing a little muscle you should just be able to reduce the number of calories you are taking in and increase your aerobic activity. You shouldn't need to make it more complicated than that. Don't eat junk food but don't knock yourself out keeping track of protein/carb/fat balances.

If, however, you want to preserve as much muscle as possible, then you should probably incorporate some form of weight training, if you're not doing it already. As for diet, it would probably be better to shoot for a more modest fat-loss speed of 1-1.5 pounds per week.

Whatever you decide on, don't skimp on your post-workout meal. Cut calories out of everything but that. Your body rapidly absorbs any complex carbs in that meal and uses them to replace lost muscle glycogen. It's your one meal of the day that won't get stored as fat because there is a much more pressing need for those nutrients.

Lastly, you should probably discuss any approach with your doctor to make sure it is compatable with your medication and condition.


losing weight

Postby Steve » Dec 17, 2003 17:55

Mark, thank you for your suggestions. I just started last week back to doing some light weight training during supper breaks at work. I do some bench presses, deadlifts, single arm curls, tricep presses and single arm rows and some abdominal work and do passive splits while waiting between weight sets. I am only hitting the weights about twice a week. If I could consistently lose 1.5 to 2 lbs a week I would be thrilled. I appreciate your input.

Postby javacody » Jan 16, 2004 08:32

I am doing Atkins now. If you want to lose weight quickly, induction is the way too go. You must be very strict with your carb intake (less than 20 grams) and DO NOT try to do it lowfat. Dr. Atkins' principle is that it is the high fat that is allowing you to lose weight. If you don't have his book, I suggest you get it ($6 paperback) so that you understand the principles behind the diet. Anyway, I am on induction now, and have been for 2 weeks and have lost 10 pounds. I walk 5 days a week, lift weights 2 days a week (light workout, hit most muscle groups though) and strandpulling one day a week. I prefer excercises that work as many muscle groups as possible (Benchpress/pushups, squats, stiff legged deadlift, etc. etc). Being a guy, I of course do many curls as well. :D

My muscle tone has increased significantly and I've lost fat. I've tried so many diets over the past 10 years, and they've all been low fat and I've not been able to gain much muscle on them. On this high-fat Atkins diet, I am putting on much more muscle than before. Also, concerning the glycogen that your muscle needs to do its work, from what I've read, your body can also make this out of fats and proteins. I was told to stay away from atkins because of the supposed glycogen issue, but that was a mistake.

I've been monitoring my daily caloric intake, and it is between 2000 and 2500 calories a day. Hardly a starvation diet by any means. The Atkins diet has me eating more vegatables (2 cups of salad greens a day and either another cup of salad greens or 1/2 cup of a more starchy veggie like broccolie, cauliflower, or asparagus) and more fish that I've ever eaten in my life. More than that, cravings are gone, and once your body switches over to burning ketones, you lose the bloodsugar drops that many people suffer after a high carb meal. Your energy level is just that, level. It has been a huge positive change in my life, has removed the physical desire to eat all the time, and reduced it to dealing with poor habits and emotional issues with eating (eating because of stress/boredom).

Oh yeah, this is my first post. Looking forward to sharing the little I know and learning much!
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Postby javacody » Jan 16, 2004 08:38

I also want to add, that to build/maintain muscle, proper vitamin and mineral intake is essential (obviously). You will not get everything you need from the induction phase of Atkins. You must take supplements. I would recommend a good time release multi. I also supplement with calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is very neccesary for maintaining a high energy level and I've read that 20% of the body's magnesium can be found in the muscles. From what I've read, it is the second most important mineral you can take, next to calcium. Also, recent studies (again from what I've read) indicate that a higher calcium intake can significantly aid fat loss. Your best sources of calcium are of course dairy products, but you must watch the carbs. Atkins allows cheese (not fresh though, such as cottage cheese) and cream (whipping cream, sour cream, etc).
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Postby Nightshade » Jan 16, 2004 17:18

tsdsensei - While what Atkins preaches is true, I disagree with much of what people have done with it. A brief synopsis of what makes you fat:

Insulin releases are the only thing that will ever make you fat. When your blood sugar rises too high too quickly, your endocrine glands secrete insulin, which immediately turns that blood sugar into glucose. It is then transported to your muscle cells (they always have a reserve unless you've not eaten after working out). Once they're full, the rest of the glucose goes to your liver, which stores a reserve as well. If the liver is full, the remaining glucose is turned into fat and stored for future use. This is a simplified explanation, but it will do.

The problem I have with the common Atkins diet is the amount of unbalance most people promote. Many take it as license to consume as much animal fats as they want; what they don't realize is that animal fats and proteins are very "dirty" burning energy sources, they're tough on your system. They won't make you fat, but too much animal fat can build up plaque in your arteries among other things. I suggest a more balanced approach. Instead of counting carbs, look at the glycemic index of the foods you're consuming. The higher the index number, the faster that sugar is going to go into your bloodstream, and the greater an insulin release you're going to have. Go for a relatively low carb, high fiber, moderate protein, moderate fat diet. Fiber should be between 20-30 grams per day, mostly soluble fiber. Fiber helps slow digestion of carbohydrates (leading to a lower blood sugar level and thus, less chance of an insulin release) providing a more steady stream of energy, it fills you up, it cleanses your system, it's good for your heart, etc etc. Just remember, too much of something is usually as bad as too little, and vice versa. You need fats, but you shouldn't overeat them. You need protein, but you shouldn't overeat it. The best foods you can eat are low sugar, high fiber vegetables (celery, leafy vegetables, cucumbers, fennel, chard, etc). Eat as much of them as you can get your hands on, they're the perfect balance between carbs, nutrients, and fiber. Try to keep your Omega 3s, 6s, and 9s in a 2:1:1 ratio, or at least 1:1:1. Oh, and stay the hell away from hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. They're poison.

Hope that helps,

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Postby javacody » Jan 16, 2004 19:53

I would agree with that Shawn. Many people use Atkins as an excuse to eat beef 24-7. Nowhere does Dr. Atkins say that this is a good idea. I try to mix it up and eat mostly whole foods. I eat plenty of cheese, red meat, white meat chicken, eggs, ham, sausage, salmon, tuna, and of course the good leafy green veggies (I prefer baby greens including endive, romaine, etc). I would say that most of my protein comes from eggs, then red meat, then salmon and tuna, then chicken, and then pork products.

As I get off of induction, I look forward to eating nuts and berries again.
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Postby UKfightfreak » Jan 20, 2004 09:29

I must admit I haven't read the post properly but:

Atkins - it has been shown that a greater amount of muscle mass is lot on the atkins diet than on conventional diets. This is mainly a problem as muscle uses the most calories - so you to sustain the loss you will have to eat much less than the same loss on other diets.

According to Health for Life the high low method is effective - this is where you lower around 100 calories one day and 300 the next to have a mean average of 200 per day this equals the loss of around 1/2 pound per week - add exercise onto that should mean the loss of around 2lbs per week.

And for every 1lb of lean muscle this ups your metabolism so you can eat around 50 extra calories per day.

This might not sound much but it is:

a) sustainable
b) No muscle mass is lost
c) The metabolism does not slow down
d) the starvation reaction does not kick in
e) You probably won't notice you are on a diet
f) You will probably keep it off

If you always done what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
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Postby javacody » Jan 21, 2004 08:35

I'm not sure where you got your data, but Atkins definitely does not lead to muscle loss. I've gained a couple of pounds of muscle in the last week AND lost 7 pounds of fat. I definitely disagree, please post your references. I would suggest you spend $6 on the book and find out what Atkins is really about. I've lost this weight by walking 15 minutes a day 5 days a week, and eating a 2500 calorie a day diet.

I've tried reduced calorie diets for the last 20 years of my life. They've led to nothing but heartbreak and inevitable weight gain. Dr. Atkins approach is a lifetime approach, not a quick fix. He breaks down his plan into four stages, each one progressively less strict. He basically breaks your eating habits down, and builds them back up so that you are not eating refined starches and sugars at all. If you follow his plan strictly, you will lose fat and gain muscle. Why else would everyone else be jumping on board this? There are now a half dozen diets that are variations on the Atkins theme. Each one of them preaching low carb lifestyle. None of them offer the induction phase, which leads to safe and effective rapid weight loss.

Oh yeah, I've only posted a few times on this board, but I've been posting on message boards for five years and it is common courtesy to read all the other posts on a topic before posting.
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