High cholesterol and weight gain for a novice High cholesterol and weight gain for a novice

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Thread: High cholesterol and weight gain for a novice

  1. #1
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    Default High cholesterol and weight gain for a novice

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    Thank you for all your guidance in all of these forum posts. I would like some advice about my current situation after re-reading the section "Nutrition and Bodyweight" in the book. I'll attempt to give a good background without sharing too many details, so if you need any follow up information from me, please let me know. I am 25, 5'8" and about 155 lbs. According to an electronic scale (which is probably very inaccurate), my body fat percentage is about 13%. I am at the beginning my NLP after a layoff from strength training.

    Lifts:
    Bench 140x5
    Squat 220x5
    Deadlift 265x5
    Press 100x5

    I lost about 20 pounds over the past couple years. When I was doing the NLP last, I was able to put on some weight and strength. I was around 135 and weak at the beginning and got to about 170, but I plateaued around that point, struggling to put on more weight and making progress in the NLP at a deadlift around 315, squat of around 285, bench, 185. I remember also drinking lactose-free whole milk and beef a lot (I am lactose intolerant). Since then, I cut out red meat and dairy, and I was able to get my total cholesterol down to 169, my LDL down to 99, and my triglycerides back down below 90. This also came with weight loss to about 145 as a side effect, but this was not my intention. Looking around on the forum, I've also read some stuff that indicates that cholesterol is less of a risk factor than we are made to believe and that the emphasis on it may come from the pharmaceutical industry trying to influence the sale of statins, which makes some sense, but I haven't read enough about it to know one way or another.

    My diet now mostly contains of oatmeal with fruit and whey protein in the morning, lots of fruit and nuts as snacks, and fish (usually salmon, cod, or tuna) or chicken breast with my main meals. I typically eat rice, pasta/noodles, or starchy vegetables for carbs and plenty of vegetables for fiber. I also add in peanut butter for calories. I haven't tracked, but I know I'm probably not eating enough calories, and I don't want this to be what causes me to stall and not make the necessary progress.

    My goal is to get to a decent level of strength and overall health regardless of putting on a little body fat and then worry about trying to lose some body fat while continuing to strength train as recommended. I have heard that strength training works well in lowering cholesterol as well, but obviously when training as a novice, you have to eat a lot to put on weight and get in a big calorie surplus. I want to make sure I'm doing this in a way that doesn't cause my cholesterol levels to rise.

    So my questions are:
    - What is a decent calorie goal to have
    - What is a decent bodyweight for my height, and
    - What are some dietary considerations I can make so that I can be getting enough calories and protein to put on muscle mass without the risk of spiking my blood cholesterol?
    - I'm not the greatest at cardio, but would doing some on my rest days be appropriate in order to minimize any increase in cholesterol, and if so, how much and what kind is recommended?

  2. #2
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    Have you read the nutrition articles on this board?

  3. #3
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    OP, you seem very concerned about your cholesterol scores. Whatís going on with that?

  4. #4
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    Dyslipidemia is a metabolic dysregulation analogous to type II diabetes: strength training will improve it on its own. It's worth noting that all available medical science paints the pretty convincing picture that dietary interventions are all but useless for the purposes of treating dyslipidemia (the most extreme: i.e., being locked in a room with food prepared only by the experimenters, produced a decrease of 15%). This goes both ways. Eating in a calorie surplus does not "spike" cholesterol: overburdened fat metabolism does, which for someone at your bodyweight is almost certainly due to a lack of muscle mass, not an overabundance of adipose tissue.

  5. #5
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    Standard unwarranted concern. The low muscle mass is a problem whereas his perfect lipid panel is not.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    Have you read the nutrition articles on this board?
    At the time, I had only read a few, but I went and read everything now.

    Quote Originally Posted by HailMary View Post
    OP, you seem very concerned about your cholesterol scores. Whatís going on with that?
    I had high cholesterol > 200 total at some point. Just wondering whether this is something I should be taking into consideration in my diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    Dyslipidemia is a metabolic dysregulation analogous to type II diabetes: strength training will improve it on its own. It's worth noting that all available medical science paints the pretty convincing picture that dietary interventions are all but useless for the purposes of treating dyslipidemia (the most extreme: i.e., being locked in a room with food prepared only by the experimenters, produced a decrease of 15%). This goes both ways. Eating in a calorie surplus does not "spike" cholesterol: overburdened fat metabolism does, which for someone at your bodyweight is almost certainly due to a lack of muscle mass, not an overabundance of adipose tissue.
    So essentially, being in a calorie surplus and doing the proper training to put on muscle mass will be much better for overall metabolic health than worrying too much about saturated fat intake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    Standard unwarranted concern. The low muscle mass is a problem whereas his perfect lipid panel is not.
    It did take some dietary adjustments to get to this point, but your point is fair enough. Iíll focus on getting the adequate amount of calories for recovery

  7. #7
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    If you've had high cholesterol in the past then do keep an eye on saturated fat and try not to eat like an asshole when pushing the calories up. That will mean more chewing and/or more drinking your calories. But for all we know that could have been a fluke and also done at at time where you were less trained. Keep an eye on it and get strong in the meantime.

  8. #8
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    easygoing cardio on rest days, like a nice walk or gentle cycling, can be a great idea to keep things balanced.

  9. #9
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    starting strength coach development program
    aiming for about 250-500 extra calories above your usual intake could be a good starting point to support muscle growth. Don't stress too much about a specific bodyweight. Add easygoing cardio on rest days can be a great idea to keep things balanced.

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