Question:

Can you give me some help and suggestions to reach my goal? I’m 6’0 and around 220 to 230lbs. I’m honest with myself and have given up the dream of being a rippedup monster; I just want to live a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight is probably my number one goal and if I can gain muscle at the same time, that’s great. I work overnight so it’s difficult to be consistent at the gym, but I can be consistent with what I eat. So, I’d love to hear back from you and hear your views.

-Erik L. 

Answer:

Your realism is admirable, Erik. Yes, it’s possible to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously with the proper exercise. One diet can help you with both. You’ll need to moderately reduce calories by reducing portions slightly and cutting out alcohol, added sugars and excess fat. Meanwhile, switch the bulk of your consumption to whole nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, beans, poultry, fish, grains, nuts & seeds, fruit and low-fat dairy that are minimally processed. 

Take a look at these two menus/plans to see the kind of changes to make: 

2600 Calories (Before)

2200 Calories (After)

111 gm Protein; 46%Carb/17%Pro/34%Fat 

123 gm Protein; 47%Carb/22%Prot/31%Fat 

 

 

16 fl. oz. fruit smoothie  

6 oz. plain nonfat yogurt 

½ cups strawberries 

2 Tbsp. granola 

 

 

2 cups spaghetti & meat sauce 

2 cups spaghetti & meat sauce 

3 pieces garlic bread 

1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese 

Caesar salad 

2 Tbsp. regular dressing 

2 cups spinach 

½ cup white beans 

2 Tbsp. low fat dressing 

 

 

Egg, sausage, potato, cheese burrito 

Vegetable frittata: 2 scrambled eggs + ½ Cup zucchini/tomato/onion cooked in 1 tsp. oil 

Whole wheat pita 

 

 

1.5 oz. chocolate covered peanut butter energy bar 

Small banana 

1 oz. almonds (about 12) 

 

 

6 oz. grilled salmon 

6 oz. grilled salmon 

1 cup white rice 

1 cup brown rice 

½ cup broccoli 

1 cup broccoli 

 

* Calculated by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist using www.NutritionData.Self.com’s MyTracking function. Findings were used along with RDN’s professional judgment. 

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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