If you’re curious about protein bars, eating the right macronutrients, or the difference between a squat and a lunge, you’ve come to the right place! This week’s Q & A features some great info about both diet and exercise that’ll hopefully help keep you healthy and strong.
Here’s the short list of questions based on topic:
Question #1 | Best Macronutrient Distribution For Fat Loss
Question #2 | Swimming To Get Lean
Question #3 | Best Nutrition Database Website
| Question: What site can you recommend to find out nutri-facts for veggies and fruits as they don’t have labels.|
I know there are plenty out there, but I was hoping you’d know a trust worthy one.
Thanks. – Milad
| Answer: @milad – My favorite is Nutrition Data, which is owned by Conde Naste. The information in Nutrition Data’s database comes from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and is supplemented by listings provided by restaurants and food manufacturers. The downside is after inputting the specific food item into the search bar and clicking “search”, you will need to filter the results by choosing either “vegetables and vegetable products” for veggies or “fruits and fruit juices” for fruits. These filters are located right under the phrase “Narrow Your Search”. The other thing about the database is that it has great detail including calorie information for veggies raw, cooked, or fruits with skin and without skin for example. I don’t mind this extra detail, but some find it too much. If anyone else has any other databases they like that may be more simple, please chime in!|
– Marc (Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)
Edit : he = my brother Edit : my brother gave me a protein bar today (cliff bars) or they could be energy bars.
Swimming To Get Lean
Marc, would you recommend using swimming fins and/or paddles to increase the intensity of the workout?
Do you think using that equipment would turn swimming more into resistance training rather than a cardio workout, requiring to reduce the weight lifting days to avoid overtraining?
@Dmitris – I wouldn’t look at swimming as a replacement for resistance exercise, but more as a complement and also an active rest day. An important purpose of resistance training is to stress your body and strengthen your bones, whereas swimming is very low impact. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. I think whether or not to add fins/paddles is your call as many swimmers do add them, but I think it’s really a personal preference. It can increase resistance and make the workout harder for sure.
I’ve tried quite a number of different brands of protein bars and most of them taste really bad, the numbers (amount of protein, calories, sugar etc) aren’t too good either. I’ll definitely go for protein shakes instead.
When you mention Greek yogurt are you speaking of the plain kind? Would a fruit flavored chobani be ok?
@Aaron – Sure, the fruit one is fine.
I just recently started following your website and am enjoying the content so far! I started your 20min Full Body Circuit Training workout last week and am eager to see how it will transform my body, strength-wise and visually, in the coming months 🙂
A question about your swimming workout – how many laps (down and back, as opposed to “length” which is one-way right?) do you swim per set? And by 10 swimming sprints do you mean 10 laps?
Lastly, do you think this swimming workout would aid in endurance training? I’m hoping to try a Sprint Triathlon in a couple months but am finding it difficult to make time for swimming, whereas I can squeeze in the biking and running as part of my commute to work. Any tips would be much appreciated.
@Kiki – Really happy you are following the site! When I was talking about my swimming workout, I meant swimming hard for 2 laps, or 50 meters, and repeating that 10x with minimal rest between sets (like around 30 seconds). The idea is to slowly decrease the rest and increase the intensity over time. I absolutely do think you can train for endurance events with interval training. In fact, some professional triathletes and marathoners use primarily interval training to prepare for events because it decreases the volume of exercise substantially, which aids in recovery and prevents injuries. The thing is that you will really have to push yourself to get the added benefit at a very low volume.
I love reading you articles. They are so informative. I am currently on about 55% carbs, 30% fat and about 15% protein. I am trying to lower my protein intake and eat lots of complex carbs to give me energy through my bike rides. I ride about 25-30 miles 5 days a week. Do you think those will be good macronutrient ratios? I am not trying to lose body fat. If anything I would like to gain some lean muscle. All my carbs and fats are “healthy” ie. brown rice, wheat bread, ezekiel bread, fibrous vegetables etc. And fats are from avocado, peanut butter, olive oil, nuts, etc. Will I stay lean with these ratios?
Thanks so much,
@Spencer – I think the calorie level is more important that the macronutrient ratio to prevent fat loss. If you are an athlete, i wouldn’t go much below 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Whatever ratio that comes out to once you figure out your calorie level, that what i would use for protein. The balance would go into carbs/fat.
I have been on a low carb diet. I lost my love handles. Now I am trying to gain weight but I have been eating about 55% carbs. I have noticed the love handles coming back. What do you think of a high fat diet (60-70%) and lower carbs to around 20 and have protein at 20. Would that help me lose some fat while still gaining lean muscle. What have you heard about higher fat lower carb diets?
@Sam – The short answer is that different diets work for different people for different reasons. Some people lose more fat on a low fat diet, and some on a high fat diet, but generally, if you eat natural foods and exercise intensely, and control calories, you will lose fat. The opposite is true for gaining muscle, where a calorie surplus is required. Carbs are anabolic, so they can help you build muscle, but whether or not you can build muscle on a low carb diet is controversial. As long as you have enough protein and calories, the answer should be “Yes” you can build muscle on a low carb diet. Personally, I would go for relatively high protein, moderate carb, moderate fat if I was trying to build muscle.
Also I have seen many diets such as the paleo diet which say no whole grains and starches. Will whole wheat breads, whole wheat pastas, oats, brown rice, swet potato, etc. cause fat gain? They are all healthy carbs. What do you think about whole grains? Also what do you think of the mediterranean diet while trying to gain some lean muscle?
@Sam – We have a post coming up on the Paleo diet in the next couple weeks, so that post will answer most of your questions. The questions you are asking are very controversial and there is no easy answer. Generally speaking, eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods than paying attention to how your body reacts is a very smart idea. Low fat, high fat etc., that usually does not make as much of a difference as total calories for fat loss. Many studies confirm this.