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Nutrition & Dieting/Getting into better shape and losing some weight.


Hi Tim.

I just had a couple questions that I wanted to get some help with.  First off: 3 most basic things about me

-I'm 24 (25 in a couple months)
-I'm 5'11
-I weigh about 215-220

The past few weeks I have recently been paying some attention to daily lifestyle, and nutrition habits. Results:  Unimpressive.  Honestly, kinda bad.

So now, starting very soon (As early as starting this coming weekend)- I am wanting to make it my goal to get into better shape, and lose some weight.  I was thinking about 50 lb's.  My main life style consists of staying up nearly, if not, all-night. Then sleeping until anywhere from 12 to 2:30p.m.  For no reason, might I add.  I'm unemployed right now, but am looking- so that's why I'm usually up allnight doing stuff on the computer, watching tv or playing games, whatever.  
Until just a few months ago- I used to drink a bit, and be a smoker as well.  Now I haven't had a cigarette in about, maybe 2 months.  And I've only had a sip of alcohol once or twice within about 4-5 months.

So I figured that with this change, I should work on getting healthier as well.  During since I can remember in School, my average weight was 170-175.  I graduated in 2008, so you can tell I've picked up a few lb's and have gotten a bigger belly. From being drinking, eating whatever, whenever, until I wanted to.  

I've read multiple places, to lose weight you should eat about 5 times a day in portions.  

Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner.

I was thinking on working on my Sleeping Schedule, as mentioned earlier.  I was also thinking something like this.
Waking up & breakfast at 8:00a.m.
Snack at  10:00a.m.
Lunch at  1:00p.m.
Snack at  4:00p.m.
Dinner at 7:00p.m.

How does that sound?

Also- getting in some exercise a couple times a day would be necessary to.  Maybe start running outside in the mornings after waking up.  Then do some basic in-door exercises I can do here at home later in the day.  (I live in a small apartment), and am not a Member of any Fitness Gym, because I don't have the funding to be a member of anywhere, seeing as to how I'm currently unemployed.

Another question is:  What kinds of foods should I eat when?  So:  Breakfast, Snack 1, Lunch, Snack 2, Dinner.  What I mean by this is. When should I incorporate Fats, Proteins, Dairy, etc, etc. into which time of the day's meal?

I'm kind of a picky eater, so giving me ideas of what to eat when, isn't the wisest idea.  So if you could give me ideas of when I should eat this certain kind of food- I can probably find a list of foods in that category, and make my own Meal Plans for the week.

Thank You much, and let me know if there's anything further you need to know.

Matthew, I am so sorry to not get to your question sooner. I know you have been patiently waiting, my sincere apology.

First of all good job on getting on track with improving your lifestyle and health. At your age it is a very sure reality that you can improve your health for the better and any mistakes you made in the past like eating bad or drinking and smoking. the body can reverse all of that.

The main thing I am concerned about is your inability to sleep well. Sleep is vital to improving your health. And sleep is when the body recovers from exercise.
As for your being unemployed though, seriously use this to your advantage. You have the time to invest in working out and planning your meals so don't miss out. Of course we all need money to survive, but until you get the job, this open time is a good thing for your goals.

Your meal schedule here sounds good. I know for me, I have to eat at specific hours, that's just what works. If this works for you great. Otherwise just follow these 2 guidelines.
1. Eat within 30 minutes of waking up
2. Eat every 2-3 hours and never go more than 3 hours without a meal.

Every meal should consist of all three macronutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrate.
You want the bulk of your carb intake at breakfast and post workout. Aim for 12 calories per pound of your bodyweight. Here are some guidelines for each macronutrient

Protein: Lean sources like chicken breast, turkey breast, lean beef (sirloin) salmon, tilapia, low fat dairy, protein powder

Carbs: Whole wheat breads/pasta (must say 100% whole wheat on the ingredients, oatmeal, sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, fruits

Fat: Olive oil, grape seed oil, flax oil, almonds, walnuts, natural peanut butter,

Try to avoid the following: cured meats, full fat beef, full fat dairy, soft drinks, processed carbs like sugar, white flour foods, white rice, deep fried foods.

Check labels for foods with trans fats. If anything in the ingredients says "hydrogenated" that means there is trans fat in there.

Also be careful of packaged foods. They are usually loaded with sugar and other unnecessary fillers. Avoid a lot of fat free foods unless they are naturally fat free. When food manufacturers remove fat they replace it with sugar to compensate for the loss of taste.
Also avoid diet drinks as they can actually lead to weight gain. Once in a while is ok just don't be like these people who drink it by the gallon.

You can still workout without a gym. Do you have access to weights? If not then you can improvise. For instance, a gallon milk jug filled with water is 8 pounds. They made a great homemade dumbbell. But bodyweight exercise is fine too.
You can do pull-ups on doors or any structure you can hang from.
Try this body weight circuit. Do each exercise as listed, rest 60 seconds then repeat for a total of 3-4 circuits.
-5 pushups, 5 wide pushups, 5 close pushups (change the position of your arms)
-10 Chair dips
-10 pulls ups (if you can't do any at least hang there until failure)
-10 Bodyweight squat
-10 Bodyweight lunges (10 each leg)
-20 Crunches

If you want to make pushups or dips more challenging put your legs up on chair or other stable surface. You can add weight to the squats and lunges by holding 2 filled milk jugs or some other heavy object.
to make the whole circuit more challenging fill a backpack with books and wear it throughout the workout (with the exception of crunches)

Hopefully this helps out. Feel free to write back though anytime. And again sorry for the late reply.  

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Tim Santoro


I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.


I have earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition from ISSA. I also self taught and stay current on the fitness industry. I lost 70 pounds training my self.


SFN- Specialist in Fitness Nutrition from ISSA CFT-n Certified Fitness Trainer from ISSA

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Just the thank you from people I get to help.

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