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Simplify this for me ... PLEASE !! =)
I don't know about you guys, but I find myself frequently baffled by nutrition, and I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent guy ...

... it's in no small part owing to the HUGE number of fad-style pieces of information that come my way during the average day, but I often feel broadsided by things like "ah yeah, but have you taken THIS many milligrams of THAT vitamin ?" or "yes, but what about your SUPERfoods ... have you eaten a tonne of THOSE today ?".

Basically at the moment I weigh - let's keep it simple and lie about a couplea pounds ... 11 stone, so that's 154 lbs or 70 kg. I would say that my bodyfat (which I've not measured) is on the UNHEALTHY end of the healthy spectrum ... and so what I would like to do is stay around the same weight, but reduce my % bodyfat, and INCREASE my % muscle mass.

I'm no idiot - I know that fat and muscle are completely different types of mass, and you cannot CONVERT one into another - this isn't alchemy, it's just the human body ... so what I am going to have to do is reduce my % bodyfat (presumably by consuming the right KIND of calories, and burning off more calories than I am taking in), and increase my % muscle mass (by consuming, again, the right kind of calories, and doing lots of weight-based exercises, which I LOVE, so there's no problem there) ...

... but ...

... that's where it ends really ...

How would you go about doing it ?

What's the best, quickest, most tried-and-tested way of doing this ? It must affect MILLIONS of men out there ...

Thanks all !!

!?!?! Shadow !?!?!

P.s. I'm aiming for realism - I want a washboard sixpack, but I'm not looking to do it by tomorrow - a realistic timetable and realistic goals - I'm not perfect, so the odd "moment" here and there are to be expected ... but I am VERY VERY committed to achieving this goal.
Realistically, you're not gonna drop bodyfat % and gain muscle mass simultaneously.
To gain muscle mass, you're going to be wanting to bulk, which even with a clean diet is gonna add to the bf%.
To lose bf%, you wanna go on a cut.

Bulking requires that you take in more calories than you are burning off, whilst cutting means going into a caloric deficit.

Even though when I first started weight training, I gained a bit of weight and lost bf%.. must be a freak of nature... or put it down to n00b gains, but now I seem to be back to the norm and I've now noticed a bit of extra flab hanging around so I'm guessing my bf% is back on the increase... and yes, I'm trying to bulk... its a long slow process for an ectromorph!

It's really a case of researching as there is no hard and fast answer - people are individuals and that can be seen in that a lot of articles will have a tendency to contradict each other... making it very difficult for someone new to the game!!!

What would I suggest... cycle your bulking and cutting... you could cycle every couple of weeks to get as near damnit to achieving a loss in fat and gain in muscle at the same time. And do more cardio work on cutting stages to help with the fat burning.

As for foods... you wanna be getting in around 6 meals a day - helps with the metabolism, 1-1.5g protein / lb bodyweight. Maybe look at a diet of 40% pro / 40 % carb / 20% fat (tis what I aim for) and vary the calorie intake based on your bulking / cutting periods.
Although some saturated fats are needed, you don't want too much so most fat should be mono and polyunsaturated. Steer clear of trans fats usually found in hydrogenated oils used to cook/prepare foods - e.g. fast (fat) food joints!

You might also want to consider nutritional supplements - whey protein (pre/post workout), casein (good before bed), creatine etc

Healthy foods to be eaten... which if you had a chef for a boyfriend say, could make some very tasty meals with this lot Wink (credit to jimjunkie on for the list)

Some healthy foods,


Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Tuna (water packed)
Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%)
Pork (lean)
Protein Powder (Whey, Casein, Soy, Egg)
Low or Non-Fat Cottage cheese, Ricotta
Low fat or Non fat Yogurt
Ribeye Steaks or Roast
Top Round Steaks or Roast (stew meat, London broil, Stir fry)
Top Sirloin (Sirloin Top Butt)
Beef Tenderloin (filet mignon)
Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
Flank Steak (Stir Fry, Fajitas)
Eye of Round (Cube meat, Stew meat, Bottom Round)
Ground Turkey, Turkey Breast slices or cutlets (*no deli or sandwich meats)

Complex Carbs (nothing enriched, bleached or processed if possible)

Oatmeal (Old fashioned, Quick oats, Irish steal cut)
Sweet Potatoes, Yams
Beans (Black eyed, Pinto, Red, Kidney, Black)
Oat Bran Cereal, Grape nuts, Rye cereal, Multi grain hot cereal
Farin (Cream of wheat)
Whole Wheat frozen Bagels, Pitas
Whole wheat or Spinach Pasta, Whey Pasta
Rice (Brown, white, jasmin, basmati, arborio, wild)
Potatoes (red, white, baking)

Fibrous Carbs

Green Leafy lettuce (red, green, romaine)
String Beans
Bell Peppers (Green or Red)
Brussels Sprouts

Fruit (If acceptable on diet)
bananas, oranges, apples, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, lemons or limes

Healthy Fats

Natural Style Peanut Butter
Olive oil, Safflower oil
Flaxseed oil
Fish Oil
Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts)


Low of Non-Fat cottage cheese, Ricotta
Low or non-fat milk
Low fat or non-fat yogurt

Condiments & Spices

Fat free mayonnaise
Reduced sodium Soy Sauce
Reduced sodium Teriyaki Sauce
balsamic Vinegar
Salsa, Jalapenos
Hot peppers and Hot sauce, Cayenne pepper
Chili powder and Chili paste
Mrs. Dash
Steak Sauce
Sugar free Maple Syrup
Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
Low sodium beef or chicken Broth
Plain or reduced sodium tomato sauce

Natural Sugar Sources


Count your macros at

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

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