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  • Eating enough after weightlifting

    I recently took up weightlifting. I am not spending that long in the gym, maybe an hour, and most of that is resting between deadlifts - I have been trying to lift the very most I can.

    Later that day I feel fine, but the following two days I feel very hungry indeed, and really crave sugary and starchy food. So I have been making real chips in tallow, and eating Haagen Daz vanilla icecream, as well as extra fruit like apples and dark chocolate.

    I'm wondering if I am overdoing it a bit on the food. I am still eating high-fat+high-protein (1/4 beef heart today, 2lb traditional pork chop yesterday, over half fat), but do I really need all the extra starch and sugar? I was only in the gym for an hour on Saturday morning, and it is now Monday and after a whole bunch of grapes, an orange and some dark chocolate, I still feel like a whole sweet potato this evening.

    So, how do I tell what's optimal? I'm trying to lose fat as well as gain muscle. I read that you aren't going to put on muscle so well if you starve yourself of carbs/sugars after heavy lifting, but I don't want to go so far that I overeat. Is simply pigging out until I stop craving it a good enough strategy here?

  • #2
    I think the main thing to focus on is fasting before and a big protein meal afterwards. Definitely add a little more carbs to the meal than you're accustomed to, just for the energy reboot. Do you really want to add muscle mass or just drop weight? I've kind of got the opinion you need to pick one. I'm personally still trying to lose weight and add strength, not mass, so I'm still low carb. I haven't added more carbs or upped my calorie intake.
    If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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    • #3
      I haven't been fasting before hand, but I am eating a lot of protein after. I am trying to gain muscle first, and while I want to lose fat I don't care about how much I weigh - after all, muscle is denser than fat.

      Do you think I should go to the gym hungry?

      Not eating all the sugar and starch the next couple of days feels wrong to me. I am definitely thinking about them and eating them feels different to eating sweet stuff in my normal state - much more satisfying.

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      • #4
        You are on the right track. Part of the hunger is adjustment- you tend to be hungrier when you start working out than after you've been doing it a long time.

        Also, don't sell yourself short. If you are doing real lifts like deadlift, your body needs plenty of fuel to recover.
        Lifting Journal

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        • #5
          Everyone I've communicated with on this site agrees that working out while fasted improves your lifts. Not hungry, fasted. If you want to gain muscle mass, then eat those carbs and up your calorie intake. What's helped me immeasurably is the Starting Strength routine, it's fast, easy, almost all (except bench press) compound movements like squats, dead lift, cleans, and overhead press. It makes you feel like you're building purposeful muscles, instead of staring into the mirrors at the gym straining on a machine that has a range of motion that is not transferable to real life. And I don't know about you, but I live almost completely in real life.
          The Starting Strength Novice/Beginner Programs - Starting Strength Wiki
          I don't have the book, but there's sample workouts available online and a forum thread on here that should be pretty helpful.
          If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by justyouraveragecavemen View Post
            Everyone I've communicated with on this site agrees that working out while fasted improves your lifts. Not hungry, fasted. If you want to gain muscle mass, then eat those carbs and up your calorie intake. What's helped me immeasurably is the Starting Strength routine, it's fast, easy, almost all (except bench press) compound movements like squats, dead lift, cleans, and overhead press. It makes you feel like you're building purposeful muscles, instead of staring into the mirrors at the gym straining on a machine that has a range of motion that is not transferable to real life. And I don't know about you, but I live almost completely in real life.
            The Starting Strength Novice/Beginner Programs - Starting Strength Wiki
            I don't have the book, but there's sample workouts available online and a forum thread on here that should be pretty helpful.
            Great post.
            Lifting Journal

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
              Originally posted by justyouraveragecavemen View Post
              Everyone I've communicated with on this site agrees that working out while fasted improves your lifts. Not hungry, fasted. If you want to gain muscle mass, then eat those carbs and up your calorie intake. What's helped me immeasurably is the Starting Strength routine, it's fast, easy, almost all (except bench press) compound movements like squats, dead lift, cleans, and overhead press. It makes you feel like you're building purposeful muscles, instead of staring into the mirrors at the gym straining on a machine that has a range of motion that is not transferable to real life. And I don't know about you, but I live almost completely in real life.
              The Starting Strength Novice/Beginner Programs - Starting Strength Wiki
              I don't have the book, but there's sample workouts available online and a forum thread on here that should be pretty helpful.
              Great post.
              That's a good enough recommendation for me. I will read that carefully this evening.

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              • #8
                starting strength is the way to go. for sure.

                not sure i agree with high intensity training in a fasted state. i've tried this about a million times, and it simply does not work for me. i'm not nearly as strong, and can't give 100% of myself to my training while in a fasted state. sure i can go for a light jog or do some moderate activity, but when it comes time to do some HIT cardio or stack the bar for heavy lifts, i just can't do it.

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                • #9
                  One thing I have a problem with is how can you get non-hungry but fasted if you follow something like Lean gain, where the off days are deficit days with low carb/high fat. A deficit day makes me super hungry, and I am ravenous when I wake up. That's way before I can lift. If I eat a lot more the evening before lifting, it's all good, but my calories are out (and macros). If I eat a pre-workout meal, I do not lift fasted. Ideas?

                  Oh, and I can recommend StrongLifts 5x5 as an adaptation of Starting Strength. It is pretty much the same, but have more free support materials, spreadsheets, etc.
                  Last edited by Leida; 04-16-2012, 09:04 AM.
                  My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                  When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                  • #10
                    My personal opinion and what has given me strong gains without fat gain is...

                    PreWO (approx 2-3 hours before)
                    -Protein Shake
                    -2 servings of BCAAs

                    During (Intra)
                    -Water
                    or
                    -Pure protein drink not shake (i.e. Isopure or cytomax)

                    PostWO (as soon as I get home)
                    -1 cup Greek Yogurt
                    -handful of strawberries
                    -drizzle honey
                    -pinch of unsweetened coconut shavings

                    Dinner (1-2 hours later)
                    Big Juicy Steak
                    10+ spears of asparagus
                    half sweet potato sauteed in coconut oil


                    I started with fasted (Pre), water (intra), nothing (post), and a simple dinner. I slowly added things and rearranged items until I felt I didn't have too much left in the tank at the end, nor too little.

                    Start off with your base and slowly add items. Give it at least 1 week for your body to adjust to any changes you make.

                    Just my $0.02
                    Primal (2013)
                    Locavore (locally grown foods when possible)
                    Training consists of Muay Thai, BJJ, weight training, and mountain biking

                    Would like to be in good shape by my 36th Birthday (07-07-2013)

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                    • #11
                      Yeah I would think a protein shake would help a lot. and drink milk.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by justyouraveragecavemen View Post
                        Everyone I've communicated with on this site agrees that working out while fasted improves your lifts. Not hungry, fasted. If you want to gain muscle mass, then eat those carbs and up your calorie intake. What's helped me immeasurably is the Starting Strength routine, it's fast, easy, almost all (except bench press) compound movements like squats, dead lift, cleans, and overhead press. It makes you feel like you're building purposeful muscles, instead of staring into the mirrors at the gym straining on a machine that has a range of motion that is not transferable to real life. And I don't know about you, but I live almost completely in real life.
                        The Starting Strength Novice/Beginner Programs - Starting Strength Wiki
                        I don't have the book, but there's sample workouts available online and a forum thread on here that should be pretty helpful.
                        A few of those machines are important if you move the same way in a sport or whatever.


                        Oh and I dunno about the fasting thing. Just because a few people say it here.... go to bodybuilding.com forum and ask there.

                        They also have the whole starting strength workout in a thread and have people with their own variations that some think is better.
                        Last edited by Dailytribal; 04-16-2012, 02:11 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dailytribal View Post
                          Yeah I would think a protein shake would help a lot. and drink milk.
                          I don't think I can bring myself to drink a protein shake. I'd rather eat a raw egg, or a cooked one. I already drink milk in my tea. I've started eating ice cream again (Haagen Daz Vanil.) which is all milk, sugar and cream. And I drank a pot of pouring cream today too.

                          So you don't think it pays to go into a lifting session fasted?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by billp View Post
                            I don't think I can bring myself to drink a protein shake. I'd rather eat a raw egg, or a cooked one. I already drink milk in my tea. I've started eating ice cream again (Haagen Daz Vanil.) which is all milk, sugar and cream. And I drank a pot of pouring cream today too.

                            So you don't think it pays to go into a lifting session fasted?
                            Well some would say on here that the ice cream is made with junk whatever. But I dunno I think with a protein shake you would get the protein faster into your muscles. But that is just from a few things I've heard.


                            Also why wouldn't you drink a shake?

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                            • #15
                              a protein shake is pretty close to just melted ice cream to me....
                              milk (or water depending on your goals)
                              whey powder
                              and maybe some berries
                              and maybe some ice cubes

                              Primal (2013)
                              Locavore (locally grown foods when possible)
                              Training consists of Muay Thai, BJJ, weight training, and mountain biking

                              Would like to be in good shape by my 36th Birthday (07-07-2013)

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