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The 2016 Healthy Habits Thread

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[MENTION=5076]nonsequitur[/MENTION], I think that no matter the type of diet one follows, if they eat poorly and too much of something, they will put on the weight. I've known overweight and even obese vegetarians/vegans, thinking that their processed plant-based junk food is totally okay to munch on everyday. I think that thing you said about iron and b-12 cause a lot of concern for me, since I too, am anemic. I suppose veganism is not for me.

That said, I do wonder if there is a correlation between the run of the mill (pun unintended) slaughterhouses who pump those animals with things that shouldn't be in them, like the growth hormones that can make them twice or even thrice its original size, as well as the cancerous cooking methods (barbecuing/grilling) with hydrogenated oils can make meat so dangerous to eat nowadays. What is your take? I read this book about a woman who was always obese and almost killed herself at 24 from her eating habits, and now she eats grass fed red meat and is pushing a US dress size 4 and has an amazing blood panel from the doctors. She said its not certain foods itself that are bad, but the way they are produced and marketed, if that makes sense.

That's true, but it's also overly simplistic because our biology is is different from individual to individual. As a rule, yes, people who eat lots of processed foods tend to be larger for a number of reasons (that I won't go into here). Some individuals deal well with carbohydrates, some don't. I know there's this company that tests for the number of copies of genes that produces the enzyme that breaks down carbs, so that you can find out how sensitive your body will be to carbs. There's significant amount of variation, with some individuals having a couple of copies and some having 14-16 (so they have higher levels of the enzyme). For people who don't deal well with carbs (like myself), it will be hard to be vegan and get enough protein while maintaining blood sugar levels (vegetarianism is ok because there's dairy and eggs). Then again, I also know some vegan bodybuilders so.. I guess it really depends on what works for your biology.

If you want to be vegan, I'd suggest working out a meal plan with a dietician - they won't have the genetics background that I do, which allows for tweaking of the details, but generally it can be done through starting with a basic, nutritionally balanced plan and modifying through trial and error. I don't recommend it because there's no health basis for it (veganism is an ethical choice, not a health one) but if you do make that decision, make sure that it's done smartly, and to supplement whatever the diet can't provide you. :)

About the example that you brought up, I addressed part of it in what I wrote above - a lot of it is down to individual biology. Some people break down carbs so fast that their blood sugar spikes really high even if they've had a low glycemic index meal. Some break it down so slowly that they can have a couple of donuts and it's like they had brown rice with broccoli (an exaggeration, but you get the point). Those who are sensitive to carbs tend to do well on a low-carb diet, e.g. paleo and a ketogenic diet. This is related to gender, and applies more strongly to men. There are also women who can thrive on such a diet, but some don't do well on it at all and don't lose any weight. Then there are those whose fat metabolism is really really inefficient, and need some carbs or they can't function at all.

How you eat should also be designed to complement how you work out. Many people work out to lose weight, but it's highly inefficient (won't go into the math here) and should be the other way around. People should work out to feel powerful, strong and capable, and eat to complement that performance and sense of well-being. The weight loss is just a side-effect of taking care of yourself. I think there's an over-emphasis on weight loss, but I can see how it's the most visible marker and it's so easy to exploit people's insecurities to market a miracle diet or workout that will apparently make you look like what you're told you're supposed to look like. I just want to link this article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/health/skinny-fat.html?_r=0 It highlights the importance of individual biology and how looks are not a marker for health, which should be the priority.

While it's true that the farming industry have been doing all sorts of dodgy stuff over the years, I don't think hormone injections + antibiotics is as widespread a problem as it used to be. There's quite a bit of legislation that (if not prevent completely) reduces these practices. I've heard lots of good stuff about grass-fed beef regarding its quality and taste, but the price is out of my budget. If you want to give it a go, sure, go for it. But by no means is it the only good source of red meat available. :)
 

SD45T-2

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For a great butt, I recommend squats (particularly heavy barbell squats) and deadlifts - they work the entire back and posterior chain. I can't fit most pants now because my butt got big but waist stayed small. :newwink:
 

kyuuei

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My curves are flattening out. :sadbanana:

Hello muscular thighs. Hello defined shoulders and biceps/triceps. Goodbye boobs and butt.

:( I thought this was my problem when I was in basic training... I was a C cup once upon a time. I've been an A cup most of my life, and realized my 'c' cup was mostly just odd distributions from unhealthy lifestyles moreso than actual volumptuousness I was born with.

It seems like for us females, losing general fat from work outs mean we have to replace those curves with muscle to even it out.

However. Red meat is also a good source of iron - you can get your full nutritional needs being a vegetarian (leafy greens such a spinach also contain iron) and as a vegan (provided you supplement B12) but the form of iron in greens is nowhere as bio-available (able to be absorbed by the body) as that in animal sources such as red meat and liver.

You can also try a lucky iron fish. :) it's pretty cheap and has almost as much mg of iron as red meat. It's what I recommend to my vegetarian anemic patients.
 

EJCC

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:( I thought this was my problem when I was in basic training... I was a C cup once upon a time. I've been an A cup most of my life, and realized my 'c' cup was mostly just odd distributions from unhealthy lifestyles moreso than actual volumptuousness I was born with.

It seems like for us females, losing general fat from work outs mean we have to replace those curves with muscle to even it out.
That's the impression I'm getting. A bit irritating, but par for the course. Should have known that shelling out too much money on new bras would be inevitable :dry:

(I got myself fitted today and it looks like I'm down a cup size -- C to B -- but my band size is the same. Which is not entirely what I was expecting, but makes sense.)

:D Welcome to my world when I was running.
:laugh: Yep. Runner problems.

You can build perky boobs by working your chest though - bench press/push ups are good for that, it tightens your pectoral muscles and prevents sagging.

For a great butt, I recommend squats (particularly heavy barbell squats) and deadlifts - they work the entire back and posterior chain. I can't fit most pants now because my butt got big but waist stayed small. :newwink:
These are good ideas -- I'm not doing much for either of those areas. My primary exercise is running and bouldering, neither of which focus much on glutes/chest.
 

Beorn

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I just finished a 36 hour water only fast and am ready to get going with some healthy habits.
Diet-wise I'm just trying to stick to oatmeal in the morning a light lunch and then a dinner that will typically be mostly one pot stuff preferably fast and easy.
For example tonight I made Trader Joe's Peruvian chimichurri mixed with their soy chorizo and then piled on top of it half a head of shredded romaine, grape tomatoes, plain greek yogurt and verde.
It was pretty good and the fast shrunk my stomach so I only ate half and will probably eat the other half in a few hours. Unfortunately I didn't think about the consequences of eating a mexican meal like that after a water only fast and am a bit concerned about going to the gym tonight... or out at all. :shock:

At the gym I'll probably just go through my core exercises for my sciatica and then do some treadmill/bike.

I look forward to reading and sharing more in this thread.
 

Tilt

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I finally started to eat more and got back to a normal weight/went up a pants size. Now I need to eat better to build up more muscle.
 

Lark

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How much weights lifting do you have to do in order to really get definition on your arms?
 
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How much weights lifting do you have to do in order to really get definition on your arms?

"Really get definition" is very subjective. It also differs from person to person depending not only on body fat % but also on how your genetics - whether you tend to deposit fat on the arms or elsewhere. Some guys have vascularity without lifting much, others have to go down to ultra-low body fat % to really pop.
 

kyuuei

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How much weights lifting do you have to do in order to really get definition on your arms?

It's a mixture of things.. While I don't know your body type, current status, weight, etc, I can give some general info?

Two things need to happen: low enough body fat percentage to see the results, and building the actual muscle.

Body fat will cover up muscle definition... it's sort of what it does. I'm notorious for having pretty strong abs and thighs, but I keep a high body fat percentage, so it doesn't really show the muscle definition off. So, you'll have to burn off some fat.. I agree with general hivemind online that your diet contributes heavily to this... and that counting your calories will generally be enough to cut back on excessive eating.

Building the actual muscle can also help with the whole excess fat thing. You need to give your arms a variety of work outs... Heavy weights 8-reps-per-set max one day... light and 12-15 reps the next day... body weight burn-out sessions, climbing/pull ups and push ups and the like... and you shouldn't work them out every day... so you can switch off legs/abs and arms and have a cardio day between the lot of them. If you neglect your legs and abs, you'll look like one of those odd beach-y types that have chicken legs and tons of arm definition. :laugh: Also, hitting all the muscles in that area helps.. you can't just do bis/tris.. your neck muscles, back muscles, shoulders, chest, and abs are all a part of building that strength. Keep your muscles limber and stretch and take breaks from working them too..

There are a lot of programs out there designed to build arms.. I was a particular fan of P90X and thought that program was very solid.
 

Lark

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"Really get definition" is very subjective. It also differs from person to person depending not only on body fat % but also on how your genetics - whether you tend to deposit fat on the arms or elsewhere. Some guys have vascularity without lifting much, others have to go down to ultra-low body fat % to really pop.

I think I get to be in the ultra-low body fat group :(
 
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"Really get definition" is very subjective. It also differs from person to person depending not only on body fat % but also on how your genetics - whether you tend to deposit fat on the arms or elsewhere. Some guys have vascularity without lifting much, others have to go down to ultra-low body fat % to really pop.

I'm around 17% and not a single vein was seen that day, I know girls who are 19 or 20% and can see them. At least I'm not going to die from a paper cut I guess.
 

kyuuei

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I think I get to be in the ultra-low body fat group :(

The good news is, even if you dont look super cut ultra-ripped beachbodydiet style, a liitttle cutting + hard work in muscle development and strength training will produce some pretty awesome results anyways. :) you can see muscle without being ultra-thin.
 

Lark

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The good news is, even if you dont look super cut ultra-ripped beachbodydiet style, a liitttle cutting + hard work in muscle development and strength training will produce some pretty awesome results anyways. :) you can see muscle without being ultra-thin.

I know I'm that sort because I've been lifting for a while now and even upped my game in terms of dumbells and kettle bells, although I've not been keeping track or doing work in terms of a properly calculated schedule of weight, reps, gain and progress I know I am lifting heavier than I was, I can feel some muscle development, not a lot, but it definitey does not show in any way.

Well, my goal is to gain strength anyhow, the aesthetic dimension would be a nice extra, I want to be able to do a number of standard exercises, ie push ups, but in the thousands, if that makes sense.
 

Beorn

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Today for dinner I made my standard salad and spinach tortellini with added spinach.
These are unremarkable meals, but they taste good, are relatively healthy, and I can cook it, eat it, and clean up within an hour.

14470878_10102847452734248_765025800_n.jpg


Salad
1/4 head of bibb lettuce (although usually I like romaine)
a few grape tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
some splashes of balsamic vinegar
garlic powder, pepper, and salt to taste.
1/2 tbsp Romano and Parmeson shaved

Nutrition:

Calories
108
Fat
6.4 g
Fiber
3.6 g
Carbs
10.5 g
Sodium
84 mg
Protein
3.9 g


Double Spinach Tortellini
Trader Joe's (TJ's) Pizza sauce
Garlic Powder and Red Chili pepper flakes to taste
Half a bag of frozen spinach
Package of TJ's Spinach Tortellini
1/2 tbsp of Romano and Parmeson shaved

Just boil the spinach for 3 minutes add the tortellini for another 3 minutes or so and drain. Heat sauce in pan with chili flakes and garlic powder. Toss sauce with spinach and tortellini and serve with shaved cheese on top. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition:
Calories
464
Fat
11.6 g
Fiber
8.6 g
Carbs
70.4 g
Sodium
1,348.2 mg
Protein
19.8 g
 

entropie

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I know I'm that sort because I've been lifting for a while now and even upped my game in terms of dumbells and kettle bells, although I've not been keeping track or doing work in terms of a properly calculated schedule of weight, reps, gain and progress I know I am lifting heavier than I was, I can feel some muscle development, not a lot, but it definitey does not show in any way.

Well, my goal is to gain strength anyhow, the aesthetic dimension would be a nice extra, I want to be able to do a number of standard exercises, ie push ups, but in the thousands, if that makes sense.

From my personal experience it's not only that a softgainer and a hardgainer are different in body composition but in their preferred training as well. I, as a softgainer, am not much intrested in cardio. I pretty much hate it. But some sport buddies of mine, all hardgainer, who struggle to build muscle, are doing insane cardio sessions, like 1.000 pushups.
Imo, if you want to go for size, you should train the cardio-style way but rather with a few reps and extensive weight. Thats how I like to train. My training basically consits of only 6 excersises and on days I feel really fit, I add some additional excersises to it. I do pullups, rows, bench press, dips, squats and deadlifts. Of course I varry them: back or front squats, romanian deadlifts or incline bench press. I am at around 130 lbs bench press now that's a pretty gain for me while I am not going beyond 130 lbs on squats and deadlifts, since my knee is broken. I do that 3 times a week (minus 1 at times, when I go climbing), then do 3 excersises with 5x5, 5 sets, 5 reps and a little warmup of the muscle beforehand. That works pretty well.

This works for softgainer to gain size too, yet you will need time and will have a lot of muscle aching, but I love that feeling. :)
 
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I'm around 17% and not a single vein was seen that day, I know girls who are 19 or 20% and can see them. At least I'm not going to die from a paper cut I guess.
Are you a guy? Girls who are under 20% are considered ripped by most people's standards. Females' essential body fat is about 13% - go any lower and you start having fertility issues. Most of this fat is distributed in boobs and around the hips, so if you can go under 20% the amount of fat on the rest of the body is much lower compared to a male with similar bf %.

Guys have an essential body fat % of about 5%. That's why it takes going down to approx. 10-12% to look like you have a "ripped" beach body. That's competing bodybuilder territory for females.

Within the same sex there's going to be other variables that determine how the fat is distributed, but males aren't comparable to females at all.

I know I'm that sort because I've been lifting for a while now and even upped my game in terms of dumbells and kettle bells, although I've not been keeping track or doing work in terms of a properly calculated schedule of weight, reps, gain and progress I know I am lifting heavier than I was, I can feel some muscle development, not a lot, but it definitey does not show in any way.

Well, my goal is to gain strength anyhow, the aesthetic dimension would be a nice extra, I want to be able to do a number of standard exercises, ie push ups, but in the thousands, if that makes sense.
There's a basic physiological contradiction here - you say that you want strength, but also want to do thousands of push-ups - which basically becomes arm/chest cardio. Both are on opposite sides of the training spectrum. Are you looking for strength or size or endurance?

While the "most effective" rep # differs for every individual:

Endurance means doing 15+ reps - aiming to do thousands of push ups is an endurance aim.

If you want to build size, do 8-12 reps at a 60-80% 1 rep max for 3-5 sets (fewer sets for higher rep #). You should also be eating more than maintenance (+protein) to build size - no GAINZ otherwise.

If you want to build absolute strength go for about 3-5 reps at 85-90% 1 rep max, 5-6 sets. That's more training neuromuscular recruitment, so you won't gain much size. It will lean you out though (with the right diet).

So yeah. If you want to do thousands of push-ups, the easiest way to get to that goal is to lose a tonne of weight and be super light on the upper body with a good core and cardio capacity. If you want to be strong though, it's a whole different training program to be on.
 

EJCC

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After a month of (comparatively) insane spending due to stress and lack of energy, I'm finally back to a point, mentally, where I can get back to normal spending levels.

My plan for how to do that is as follows.

1. Buy coffee beans (coarse-ground at the store) and make french press coffee in the morning
2. Eat the easiest possible grab-and-go breakfasts -- muffins (made over the weekend) or fresh fruit or granola bars
3. Keep a nice mug at work to encourage drinking office coffee in the afternoon
4. Cook 1-2 recipes per month that immediately go into the freezer, and keep said dishes at work and at home to prepare for no-energy/lazy days, and to disincentivize eating out
5. Make sure energizing snacks are always in the gym bag on climbing days, so as not to buy overpriced snacks at the gym
6. Invite friends over for dinner parties in the future -- especially crappy dinner parties, where dinner is comprised only of ingredients that were already lying around
7. GET MORE SLEEP! Self-restraint is easier when you're not exhausted
 
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Are you a guy? Girls who are under 20% are considered ripped by most people's standards. Females' essential body fat is about 13% - go any lower and you start having fertility issues. Most of this fat is distributed in boobs and around the hips, so if you can go under 20% the amount of fat on the rest of the body is much lower compared to a male with similar bf %.

Guys have an essential body fat % of about 5%. That's why it takes going down to approx. 10-12% to look like you have a "ripped" beach body. That's competing bodybuilder territory for females.

Within the same sex there's going to be other variables that determine how the fat is distributed, but males aren't comparable to females at all.
I'm female and I was dexa tested at 16% but I started a lean bulk about a month and a half ago so I assume I'm around 17% now (I maintain at about 18%). The strange thing is that even at 16% I still didn't have any veins except the few that I could still see before I started working out. My back must be at like 9% though I could step on a stage today if the rest of my body looked like it and be very competitive (that's not my sport though).

I wouldn't consider women at 20% ripped though, theres rarely any muscle separation at that point, I was lower than that before I started working out (ectomorph extreme even though somatypes are sorta bs) I would say 15% is more ripped. I guess the general population might think of it differently though.
 
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I'm female and I was dexa tested at 16% but I started a lean bulk about a month and a half ago so I assume I'm around 17% now (I maintain at about 18%). The strange thing is that even at 16% I still didn't have any veins except the few that I could still see before I started working out. My back must be at like 9% though I could step on a stage today if the rest of my body looked like it and be very competitive (that's not my sport though).

I wouldn't consider women at 20% ripped though, theres rarely any muscle separation at that point, I was lower than that before I started working out (ectomorph extreme even though somatypes are sorta bs) I would say 15% is more ripped. I guess the general population might think of it differently though.
:D*respect*

That's damned impressive. I'd say that's genetics then. You probably retain more fat there so you'd need to gain more mass in the arms to get the same effect. 😅For fig competition/modeling, you do a carb load and dehydrate yourself just before and lift a bit to pop. But for normal daily life.. yeah most of us aren't madonna. 😂

Haha yeah that was in relation to genpop. Not knowing your background I thought it would be safer to go with the "norm". 😂 What sport do you do? Generally pros are around 16-18% so that's amazing.

One conversation that I often have with my gym buddies is our jealousy of ectomorphs. We're mostly meso/endo types who bulk easily and the hard part for us is not overdoing it on the eating.. and the diet bit 💀
 
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