Training-Nutrition FAQ
From: (Paul L. Moses)
Newsgroups: bionet.metabolic-reg
Subject: Training-Nutrition FAQ
Date: 9 Mar 1995 17:33:36 GMT
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Version 3.0

1)  What is this all about, anyway?
2)  Ideological Baggage
        2.1)  Food fetishes
        2.2)  Drugz
        2.3)  Commerce
        2.4)  Supplements
3)  Who is this for?
4)  Where do I send mail?
5)  What should I submit or not submit?
6)  What's the deal??
        6.1)  Bounced mail
        6.2)  Length between issues
        6.3)  Editorial matters
7)  Where else can I look?
8)  OK, I agree with all that, but what about getting BUFF/RIPPED???
        8.1)  BMR
        8.2)  Bodyfat   
        8.3)  Carbohydrates, Fat, and Protein
        8.4)  Hydration

Complete Disclaimer:  I disclaim all responsibility for anything on the
list said by anyone besides me.  Anything I say is purely the opinion of a
layman, NOT an expert, so take it as such.   I am not responsible for any
injuries, malnutrition, scurvy, rickets, palsy, dementia, or fashion errors
that you may incur after reading this FAQ or anything on the list.  I am
not responsible for anything except that for which I specifically take
responsibility by saying so, so there.  


You've heard that bodybuilding is 50% nutrition over and over again.  But
what does that mean?  This list is here to explore any and every aspect of
food as it relates to bodybuilding goals in particular and conditioning
for all sports in general to a lesser extent.  Discussion will cover
        -  calorie counting
        -  carbohydrate/protein/fat composition of food and diet
        -  mass building diets
        -  best diets for getting ripped
        -  meal plans - 3, 4, 5, 6 a day?
        -  recipes
        -  snack suggestions

and probably a lot of other things I'm overlooking right now.   The focus
is on constructing a useful program that will get you where you want to go.
We're here to talk about making meals from real food that you can buy at
at the supermarket at a reasonable cost.


Yes, it's a pain but in the interest of "no surprises" it's probably best
to spell all this out...

2.1)  Food Fetishes

        This list FAVORS meat and dairy consumption.  If this bothers you,
go elsewhere.  Vegetarian/lacto-ovo, etc bodybuilders are welcome here, but
please, no preaching.  Since protein is a crucial component to bodybuilding
it would be foolish to rule out some of the most abundant sources of
protein, "just because".  On the other hand,  LOW FAT is *strongly*
encouraged.  If you are submitting a recipe that -is- or -may be- more than
30% fat calories, label it as such!  Vegetarian or lacto-ovo recipes are
fine, but so are meat based recipes.  

        Also, the exact balance of protein and carbohydrates in the diet
 probably will vary depending on what your goals are at a given time.
 We want to explore those kinds of questions.

        Bottom line:  Think high protein, low fat, subject to some argument.

2.2)  Drugz

        Drugs are illegal.  Please do not argue the point here.  Also,
remember that using the internet necessarily requires use of the telephone
system, and so any discussion about obtaining illegal drugs such as
steroids (or should I say, obtaining drugs such as steroids illegally) on
the internet involves an "instrumentality of interstate commerce" and thus
kicks in FEDERAL drug laws.  These include some pretty broad ones about
conspiracy, with some pretty heinous consequences.  Further, I personally
don't like the user mentality and have no desire to support it.

        Bottom line:  Don't use this list to look for ways to break or bend
the law.

2.3)  Commerce

            This list is not and will not be a marketing tool for some bozo
selling AMWAY or Skinny Dip or whatever junk it is.  Don't send mail 
advertising your miracle product here, don't send mail telling us about
the great deal you can provide on supplements, etc.  If you have done 
mail order with some place and had good results, ok, pass along the info
if you want.  Also if you've got to move and have no room for your
stairclimber in the new place, that's ok too.    

        I'd ask any personal trainers out there to avoid saying things like
"I'm in Boston, anyone in the area give me a call at 999-888-9999 for a
free consultation".   What you SHOULD do is to make a .sig file for
yourself with your phone number, fax, whatever contact info you want and to
sign all your messages with this so that people CAN get in touch with you
if they want.

        Also, the flip side consideration -your experience as a a buyer-
is important too.  If you've been ripped off or had a great experience, 
tell us about it.  (No phony, Weider-like testimonials, please ;)

2.4)  Supplements

This list is not here to perpetuate the "magic bullet" theory of bodybuilding
nutrition.  There is no wonder substance that you can buy (legally) that
will turn you into Hercules in six weeks, regardless of whatever other crap
you are putting into your body.  You need to look at EVERYTHING you eat
and make some intelligent choices on that level. 

        Questions that simply ask for recommendations for brand names, or
dosages, or sources for these things will most likely be rejected from 
the list.  If you have experience with using one or another brand and have
something to say about HOW it helped you, or what you used it for (meal
replacement, recipe ingredient, etc), that's ok.  Unfortunately megabuck
advertising budgets have made "supplements" into a focus of bodybuilding
rather than a sideline, as they really are in a rational diet.  There are
many places to discuss supplements other than here, particularly
Don't post supplement questions here that are commonly asked and answered 
elsewhere (ie on weights or Use some judgment and discretion.

Bottom line:  Real food is cheaper and better for you.


        The short answer: natural (ie nonsteroid) bodybuilders who like to
cook. The medium answer: everyone who is dedicated enough to a sport to be
serious about nutrition.  Beyond that, anyone who wants to be here.  This not a
weight-loss support list, though we'll be glad to hear that you did.  This
is not a beginning fitness list, so don't rely on it for such advice.  We
want to hear from everyone who can open the discussion in useful ways --
ways that expand what we know about food and exercise.


        Anything you would like to see in the next issue should go to:


        For requests to subscribe or unsubscribe, to get the FAQ, or for
 other matters send mail with your request in the Subject: line to:



        Strongly encouraged:  low fat recipes with nutritional analysis,
personal experiences, questions, comments, suggestions, recommendations....

        Discouraged:  flame wars, personal attacks, requests for drugs,
solicitation for customers, wholesaling or other blatant advertising, other
bad things.

6)  WHAT'S THE DEAL?!?!??

6.1)  Bounced mail
        If your mail bounces, there are two immediate possibiilities.  
First, you made a typo in the address.  Check it again.  Second, there is
a problem at dgsys (ie, on the list side of things).  If you get a strange
unix-like message back and the address is correct, then most likely the 
system here is all messed up.  Please resend the message in a day or so.
I'm not happy about that, but it's the only option since I have no control
over the administration here.

6.2)  Length of time between issues
        If you're thinking it's been a long time since you've seen an issue
of Training-Nutrition, don't worry.  Issues come out on an irregular basis,
essentially whenever I think there's enough new material for a new issue.
So if you haven't seen anything for a while, contribute something to the list.
That might be enough to get a new issue out ;)  If it's been more than a 
week or two, send a question to the request address.  

6.3)  Editorial matters
        I take an active role in putting out each issue.  I may edit your
letter before sending out to the list.  I may indicate such editing by
putting in ... where material was removed.  Then again, I may not.  I may
make a comment on what you wrote.  I may disagree with a position you have.
Don't take it personally.  I don't know you, I don't have any reason to
be gunning for you, and frankly, I've got better things to do with my time.
Chalk it up to a clash of ideas, and forget about it.  If you think that I
have made an uninformed statement and have a reasonable way to explain what
my misconception is, sure, let me know.  Send messages like that to trnutreq.
Otherwise, don't bother.  


        Right now the only directly relevant thing I can cite is _Optimum
Sports Nutrition_  by Dr. Michael Colgan, ISBN 0-9624840-5-9.

For discussion about weight training, there's the weights list.
Contact for more info.

Two magazines with some consistently reliable info are HARDGAINER and
Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness. 
 HARDGAINER ($25/year, bimonthly)
        PO Box 6365, Louisville, KY 40207 (US and Canada)
        c/o CS Publishing Ltd, PO Box 8186, CY-2091, Nicosia, Cyprus
        (foreign address for people outside the US)

 Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness  ($21.50/8 issues, quarterly)
        Cheleo Publishing, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3323, NY, NY 10118

There is also a USENET newsgroup devoted to weight training and aerobic
exercise issues called

For other food ideas, there's also the EAT-LF list and the fatfree list,
both of which are mailing lists strongly influenced by the Ornish and
McDougal diet books.

Sorry but there is no ftp site for back issues of Training-Nutrition yet.

There IS a web site, where you can find the FAQ, back issues, and even
a picture of yours truly.  Set your web browsers to:


This is the whole point, after all, eh?  At least of this FAQ and list...

Well, there are a couple things you need to do. First, you've got to be
challenging yourself in the gym in the right way for your particular goals.
Without that, the rest of this doesn't make much difference.  But if you 
are, then 
        a) buy a paperback book of food counts to get a sense of how
            healthy certain foods are (protein/carb/fat/total calories)
        b) take a good look at what exactly you are eating now and when
           in the day you eat
        c) if motivated, keep a written record of what you eat over the 
           course of a few days or a week and add up the calories, fat, etc.
                - reduce fat
                - get enough protein
                - eat more earlier in the day and less later
                - try to have smaller meals more often rather than a few
                        large meals far apart (4, 5, or 6 in place of  
                        "the big 3")

That's still fairly general advice but it will take you a long way.  Make
sure you are eating enough to power you through workouts, but not so much
that you get fat!  Also, too few calories will kick your body into
"starvation mode" where both gains in size and loss of fat are few and far
between.  Figuring out a good target range of calories depends on a lot
of factors, including your daily activity level, your basal metabolic rate,
your goals (getting bigger vs getting cut up), and other stuff too.  

Some basic touchstones to consider here are your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
and your bodyfat level.  There are numerous professional tests that can
be done to determine these accurately, but (1) these require someone else
to do them and (2) they'll cost you money.  So if you're looking for a quick,
cheap way to get a *ballpark* figure on these, you can try these simple
algebra equations...

8.1) BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate

For BMR:

Men:  11 (eleven) x bodyweight in pounds = daily caloric use
Women: 10 (ten) x bodyweight

(thanks to Bob Lowe for that formula)


Subject: BMR Calculation

Straight from the ACSM, here it is...
BMR=weight in kilos (to get this multiply wt. x .45) x 24= AKA BMR(X)
Multiply X by .40.  Add this number to X.  This is your minimum daily
maintenance level of calories.


Figuring out your BMR should give you a floor, a minimum target for your
diet planning.  You will want to set your total calories somewhere 
between 130% - 160% of BMR for mass building or 70% - 110% for fat loss.
Remember, everyone needs to experiment to see what works for them.  These
are NOT hard and fast rules, and not even guaranteed to be "healthy".
(Eg if you eat 160% of BMR by consuming only Doritos you wouldn't likely
be in as good condition as someone eating 90% BMR with fish, chicken and milk!)
These are some extremely ROUGH GUESSES only.        

8.2)  Bodyfat

For bodyfat percentage:

 For men:    Bodyfat = -98.42 + 4.15*waist - .082*bodyweight
 For women:  Bodyfat = -76.76 + 4.15*waist - .082*bodyweight

where "waist" is your waist measurement in inches, and "bodyweight" is
your total body weight in pounds.

then Bodyfat Percentage = Bodyfat / Bodyweight

Don't forget to do this last step!

Figuring out your bodyfat percentage on a regular basis
should give you some feedback as to how well your meal planning is working.
The general yardstick here is something on the lines of:
        15% bodyfat = "smooth"
        10% bodyfat = "cut"
         5% bodyfat = "ripped"

However it is much easier to get from 15% to 10% than it is to get from
10% to 5%!  Be very careful when trying to get ripped...5% BF may actually
be too low for you.  Use common sense...if people start asking about your
health or say you look too thin (notably parents :), you may need to cut
yourself some slack on the weight loss.  Or if you just can't break 8%,
ask yourself whether you really NEED to.  And you can always try again
later on.

8.3)  Carbohydrates, Fat, and Protein

(This section under construction. Please contribute info.)
        All calories are not created equal.  Fat calories may
be deposited directly as fat more easily than carb calories, and simple
sugar carb calories are more easily converted to fat than complex carb
calories.  Shoot for more complex carbs in general.

Protein vs carbohyrdates balance is a complicated question and I'll come
back to it later after it's been hashed out on the list a few (dozen) times.

8.4)  Hydration

        An inactive person requires a minimum of 1.2 liters of water
a day to keep all body systems functioning properly.  Some level of
activity (walking around, normal daily actions) doubles this requirement.
High humidity again can double the needed amount, as can hard exercise.
It may not be unusual to reach a need of 8-10 liters a day.

        To adequately rehydrate yourself at the end of the day, drink
water slowly, one glass at a time, until you have to "answer the call".
Then continue to drink more water, until the need arises a second time.

        Remember that caffeine and alcohol are diuretic, so consuming
coffee, tea, beer, etc, will cause the body a net LOSS of water.  One
indicator of insufficient water intake is the color of urine - the 
darker it is, the more water you need.  (However other medical conditions
and drugs may also have a discoloring effect.)  Since your body runs
on autopilot for six to eight hours while you are asleep, try to get
enough water  in the evening.  I mean, what else are you doing besides
watching TV, anyway?  This may even allieviate the snacking urge somewhat,
and your kidneys will be much happier, too.

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