Skip to content

My take on Gluten Free. also calculating calories, ramblings, about me buring off 20% body fat.

June 8, 2011

Hi friends,

Pretend the following is in response to someone named Jan, or yourself  about “what is the deal with gluten free”.

Jan (insert your own name if you like),

It looks like you have some good responses here about gluten celiac and etc. and how much of the avoidance of gluten is something you do not have to be dogmatic about unless you doctor is prescribing zero-gluten such as celiac disease.  I do like the idea of avoiding gluten personally when convenient to help my intestines have an easy job of digesting without being dogmatic.  Bottom line for me is I try staying focused on eating healthy carbohydrate sources like oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, kidney beans, Ezekiel bread, etc…. you do want dense quality carbs for your exercise plan you described.  Notice I did list oatmeal in the low-gluten category; actually oatmeal is gluten free, however most farmers rotate oat fields through gluten crops like wheat, thus some gluten will end up on oats because of farmers rotating crops year over year.

 and regarding you said

“am working on reducing the refined carbs, sticking to portion size, getting my 8 glasses of water in and increasing my veggie and fruit intake.  I get at least 25 miles per week in doing my walking and I am adding weight training 3 days a week.  We shall see how that pans out..  ”

 I think your plan will pan out nicely! 

 Do ensure eating some lean protein sources daily, if not frequently throughout the day about every 3 hours including Omega 3 rich foods such as Salmon, and do try to get lean protein from chicken, or egg whites, or lean beef (lean beef is like top round, and about 1 pound per week is sufficient).  Toss in a limited amount of dairy, and add anti-oxidant rich (search the net for USDA ORAC database) berries (rasp, black, red, blue, straw, etc.), apples, and some cocoa powder to some recipes.

 If you have to avoid meat protein, then do your homework on vegan protein sources to ensure you are getting a good balance of the 8 Essential Amino Acids that your body is unable to synthesize Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. 


 If you find your plan is not panning out, then do the food diary/log and back that up if necessary by weighing all your food on a digital kitchen scale that measures grams so you can be sure you are getting the calories you need.  Search the net for Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculator to figure out how many calories you need. The Katch-McArdle formula is the best if you can determine your Lean Body Mass. 

 Bottom line, is calories count, even if you don’t count calories (Thanks Tom Venuto!).  The right amount are needed to achieve goals of fat loss and/or muscle gain.

 As a part of ensuring you are getting the calories you need, I will try to give you my own method of calculating the correct Macro-Nutrient Ratios for Protein, Carbs, Fat; which is normally stated in a ratio format like 40/20/20 (high protein, low carb, low fat ratio), or 30/30/30 (Protein, carb, fat, all balanced)… you get the idea.  

 My target calorie recommendations to supplement the amount of calories the BMR TDDE calculator suggest you need:

  • Protein, try to get about 0.8-1.25 grams of lean protein per pound of your desired body weight (based on articles I can’t find that fitness models, body builders, and endurance athletes use), slightly higher than the amount prescribed by USDA CDC RDA to stay alive, but very necessary when training several days a week.  Since the body cannot store/partition protein calories, you should eat protein every 3 hours.
  • Carbs, should try to get about 0.75-2.0 grams of carbs per pound of your desired body weight (up to ~5.0 g/LB if doing hours of endurance training) to match your energy needs, Know that the body can store only about 1500-2000 calories of carbs as blood glucose and muscle and liver glycogen which is depleted as we exercise.  Ensure you get enough carbs to match your energy expenditure. Again, manipulate your carb intake to ensure you get enough calories; both before, during (1+ hours of exercise) and after exercise.  The higher our heart rate during exercise, the more glycogen we burn relative to fat. 
    • When I am a focused mission on achieving a fat loss or muscle gain, or simultaneous both; I also do carb cycling with 2-3 days per week of high carbs to replenish glycogen stores and to trick the body into thinking it is not starving.  When I am really dedicated and purposeful with my eating habits, I also cycle and time carbs at specific times of day get the right amount of carbs to ensure good muscle recovery/growth: 2 hours pre workout should have complex carbs (oats, brown rice, etc. or simply maltodextrin), and within 30 minutes of post workout should have simple carbs (white rice/milk, white potato, dextrose maltodextrin blend).
  • Fats should be about 0.3-0.7 grams per pound of desired body weight, and need a minimum amount of good healthy fats (omega 3 and omega 6 from salmon, almonds, olive oil) to ensure goodness like healthy cell walls and connective tissue.  We also burn fat per hour, which the higher our heart rate during exercise, the more total fat we burn. 

 A good fat loss rule of thumb is (since even for the fitness model, body builder, professional athlete, all go through periods of needing to reduce body fat) a good rule of thumb is it is safe to burn off 0.8% total body weight per week.  If you are fortunate enough to measure body fat %, 1% of body fat % could be burned off per week (not BMI numbers, but Body Fat %: the ratio of Total Weight relative to Lean Body mass can be measured via body fat calipers, a bio impedance body scale).


 Bottom line inside of 8 months in 2009 is I burned off 50 pounds of fat when I went from 225 to 175 pounds with a change from 33% to 13% body fat (not BMI, but Body Fat %), I maintained a steady 153 pounds of lean mass throughout that entire phase.  Since then to today, I am 178 pounds, at 18% body fat, with 145 pounds of lean mass. 


I am currently starting a new 98 day fitness mission and am recalibrating my choices to re-begin the 3 days week resistance training and 3 days week cardio, including weighing foods on the digital food scale menu based eating with carb cycling.  The current mission will focus on both fat loss with simultaneous muscle growth, the holy grail of body recomposition, … it is going to be tough, but fun.

Go Massive for your Physique Delta,

Brian Hildebrand

disclaimer p.s. I am just a normal person, thus please go see your doctor or sports nutrition that has actual credentials.

p.s.s. just think about what God gives us in its natural form and try to eat those things, then go sweat some labor and use the body; your effort will be rewarded.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: