Since I am no computer genius and I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to set up a forum page for my website I thought I’d try something a little new.  Once a week I am going to post a Q & A topic and list some common questions that I receive frequently from my friends, clients, and readers.

I got the idea yesterday while shooting the shit with a good friend of mine on Facebook.  We were just catching up but being the “fitness guru” that people see me as now I answered a slew of diet questions which I suppose goes with the territory.

I honestly love to talk fitness to anyone, anywhere, anytime….well maybe not anytime.  I do need some private time every once in a while.  My intelligence is vast but turning off the brain every once in a while to prevent system overload is never a bad thing.

Anyways, this is my attempt to not only answer the same questions over and over again but to get my readers involved and asking some questions you may have of your own.  And no Eric, “Does grunting like a barbarian after killing a sabre-toothed tiger help you lift more?” is not a viable question.  Although doing research on that one would be pretty badass.

Onward to today’s questions.  I am going to get the ball rolling with some of the questions I got last night but I want you to come up with some of your own to ask in the comments section.  Since I’m sure many of you have the same questions I think this will be pretty epic.

Question 1: I cut out most of the processed food from my diet during the day but is it alright if I have a snack at night?

Here is something you probably have heard me say 10 bajillion times (real number) on my blog many times: it depends.  What does your diet look like for the rest of the day?  Did you train today?  Are you on track with your calories for the day?  How much weight/fat do you want to lose?  How many calories are in that tiny cupcake?

Yes, I am going to be that asshole that answers a question with a question but you have to ask yourself these questions if you want to stay on track.  If you are trying to lose weight and know that plate of ribs is going to derail you and you eat them anyways then you are the only one to blame.

Question #2: Is steak bad?

Here is another question to answer your question.  How much are you having?  A serving of steak is 6oz.  Most restaurants and cuts from the grocery store surpass 10-12oz.  Those calories add up quick when you consider the side of mashed potatos and vegetables smothered in butter.  And don’t forget the pint (or two) of Guiness.

If you are referring to the fat content then I am going to go with a big fat no on that one.  As long as you keep your calories in check (since fat is high in calories) there is nothing wrong with a little dietary fat.  Saturated fat will actually aid in building muscle which should  be your main objective if you are in fat burning mode.

Question 3: How much protein do I actually need?

Again, it depends on a couple different factors.  How much lean mass do you have?  How hard are you training?  Yada, yada, yada.  The exact numbers are actually unknown but I usually tell my clients to aim for a number that supports muscle growth or at least muscle maintenance.  This can be anywhere from .6 to 1 x your lean body mass.

Lean grass-fed meats, fish, organic dairy, and protein powder are your best bets to increase your protein intake.  You should be getting some sort of protein with every meal to hit those numbers.  Stay away from sugary, processed, high carb snack foods or drinks.

Eggs or dairy in the morning, lean meats for lunch and dinner, a protein shake before and after your workout, and low-fat dairy before bed seem to work well for me when I am trying to get lean.  Add a ton of veggies, fruit, legumes, and nuts and you will literally see fat melting off like bacon grease.

Question 4: What kind of cereals are good?

If you are trying to lose tons of fat in a short amount of time I am tempted to say none but if you must crunch on the Cap’n then go for it.  I think as adults it is safe to say that any cereal with a cartoon on the front isn’t that good for you.  

I stick to Kashi, Ezekial, or anything with the word bran in it.  Just be careful if you already consume tons of veggies and buy a super fiberized brand.  Your plumbing might get a little backed up.

Question 5: Is sushi ok?

Hell yes!  Just be aware of the eel, it is high in fat and calories.

Question 6: What should I eat before I workout?

I like to put something in my stomach about an hour before I train that will keep me satisfied.  I am big on smoothies preworkout, with fruit, protein, some oatmeal and chia seeds.  Oatmeal and raisins with flax along with a protein shake is a great combo as well.  When I’m in a pinch and don’t have these things on hand, a sandwich will work or even a Cliff bar.

You are basically just looking for energy and aminos.  I’m not sure if this pertains to fat-loss but it is not healthy or beneficial to train on an empty stomach.  You do want to avoid burning muscle and/or protein for feul as it will set you back a few steps.

Question 7: What about after my workout?

I know this may come as a shock to many of you but yes, you want more protein.  This is to prevent catabolism (muscle tissue breakdown) and support recovery.  Buy some damn powder, mix it with water and swallow.  I don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand.  If you don’t like the way one tastes then try another one.  If you don’t like that one either then too bad.

In all seriousness, if you really have a severe aversion to protein powder then go right for the udder.  Remember those commercials with the little kid drinking milk that becomes a jacked fireman?  Milk has quality protein as well as carbohydrates for recover and it does a body good.

Post workout is also the best time for you carbaholics to get some.  I prefer gatorade but any kind of fast digesting carbs will work here.  Your body craves them after you finish lifting heavy shit and/or your bike sprints.  If you have been on the elliptical for an hour then no carbs for you and get your ass back to the gym to train for real.

Question 8: How do you feel about a “cheat” day?

It depends on your definition of “cheat” and whether or not it is going to ruin the rest of your week.  If you are on a low carb diet (mainly veggies) then one day where you carb-up is actually a good thing.  If you are avoiding many of the foods you love all week and doing real well then eat them so stay on track.

If you are going to gorge on pizza, fries, and fast food on your “cheat” day and completely derail yourself then maybe it is not such a good idea.  For now.  If you are new to eating healthy, you may want to hold off on junk food for a while until you have created a healthy habit and relationship with food.

I have been eating clean for so long that I pretty much eat what I want, when I want without reprocutions.  My diet is in check so if I want those ribs, pizza, or 1/2 lb bacon cheeseburger you better believe I am going to make them my bitch.

Now one might ask what would Hasselfoff do?  I don’t know but I will give it to you straight so ask your questions below and don’t hesitate to share what has worked for you when it comes to dieting to burn fat and get sexy.  I plan to answer each and every question directly in the comments section so keep ’em coming.

Written by Steve