DIET & NUTRITION:Body Fat Percentage Calculator
Celebrity Diet Plans
Practical 'Weight-loss' Tips
The Santa Claus Diet
EXERCISE & TRAINING:ABCs of Building Muscle
Basic Weightlifting Tips
How to develop a beer belly!
How to develop a six-pack!
Training Plans for Running Events
PERSONAL STORIES & ENCOURAGEMENT:Confessions of an Ectomorph!*
Reverse the Signs of Aging*
Should Men Shave Their Chest?
* Articles marked with an asterisk are still in process.
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Frequently Asked Questions!
We assembled (a list of questions asked by customers, enthusiasts, & friends) to help motivate you and give you the tools you need to succeed. Please contact us if you have a question. Maybe we'll post it!
"Skinny runts like you just assume all guys like me are on steroids!
I'm sick of dealing with guys like you! Why even ask me a question if you won't believe me when I tell you the truth!"
This quote is from a discussion with a huge bodybuilder in the mid 90s.
His tantrum changed my life for the better!
How can I get taller?I just turned 13; I have hit puberty and I am already 5'6. But with my parents genes I'll probably only grow to 5'10 to 6'0. What can I do to help grow over time?
You'll want to naturally stimulate growth hormone by eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising. If you can fit it in your schedule, I strongly recommend eating 6 to 7 meals a day.
You're only going to get so tall. There's nothing you can do about genetics; but these tips will maximize your growth potential - muscle growth and height!
Enjoy your teen years. I wish I could go back!
"What is the biggest mistake that most weightlifters make?"Poor Diet!
99% of gym membership owners under-estimate the importance of good eating habits. If you want to maximize your potential, you must pay attention to what you eat and how often you eat. As a weightlifter, your eating habits are 500% more important than your work-out habits. Diet is the single most important ingredient for good muscle growth. Based on my experience; less than 1% of those who read this fact will actually believe it. Others will continue to fail in the gym, or they will start taking drugs.
I have had a good amount of success for the last 15 years in the gym; but that success was preceeded by 15 years of failure, because I refused to pay attention to this advice given by other successful (Drug free!) athletes.
How can many calories should I eat?I'm 150 pounds and 5'6". I'd like to lose about 5 pounds a week.
I don't think you can safely lose 5 pounds a week, but regarding how many calories you should eat:
I'd start with 2,500 calories spread over 5 to 7 meals a day, combined with a semi-regular workout routine. No carbs after 6PM. Never skip breakfast.
This will encourage healthy muscle growth and fat loss. Check this article out for more details.
I'm 6'4", 235, and 50 yrs old - 48" chest, 36" waist, 17.5" arms. I eat about 5,000 calories a day but frankly, I don't spend much time counting calories or working out. However, I'm obsessive about two things: I never skip breakfast, and I never go more than 3 hours without eating protein.
Is there a safe drug or suppliment I can take to lose weight?I'm not interested in spending much time exercising.
If you change just a couple eating habits, you'll be amazed at the results: Never skip breakfast, and never eat carbs after 6:00.
Here's an article that talks about weight loss principles, in order of importance:
The article lists simple tips that are very effective, and progresses to more obsessive-type ideas that help take things to the next level. The simple tips are all that's required for excellent results. Don't worry about the difficult stuff.
And just for fun; here's an article on how to gain fat and reduce muscle. It helps illustrate points made in the first article:
This quote, from my favorite bodybuilder of all time, also makes the point:
"The secret is, there is no secret."
Which is the best procedure for getting rid of body fat?I want to lose around 30 lbs. What tips do you have, other than physical exercise?
If you can incorporated these two eating habits into your day, it will be a great start:
1. Never skip breakfast. This will increase your energy level, which burns more calaries during the day. It will also make you feel hungrier during the day. No kidding!
2. Never eat carbs after 6:00. This is hard because night time is when most people eat junk food.
Who doesn't like desert after dinner, or snacking in front of the TV (popcorn, soft-drinks, ice-cream)? Everybody likes this (I love it!), but it's generally 100% of the problem; and it can interrupt your sleep patterns.
Here's an article that goes into more detail:
How do you lose weight?I've been told im not fat but others say I have a eating habit and I need to lose weight.......
please help me lose weight and build muscle....
If you follow a few simple guidelines, you will see results.
I posted a short article about building muscle and reducing fat on 7mealsaday.com:
It's titled 'How to Build Muscle and Reduce Fat'. : )
Here are a couple cogent highlights: Never skip breakfast, Never eat carbs after 6:00 PM
The article focuses on building muscle mass, but the principles are the same for someone who wants to lose weight.
Try not to worry about how you look. (Working out just to look pretty) is not fun. Find a physical activity that you like, and start working out, etc, with a goal toward getting better at that activity. The looks will likely come as a natural side effect.
IE: Set a goal. Something other than "I want to look pretty". It's just a suggestion.
How can I lose 30 pounds in 30 days?School is starting in September and I need to lose weight.
Our weight-loss article offers both easy and aggressive 'weight-loss' techniques, in order of importance:
However; don't focus on losing weight. Focus on gaining muscle and losing fat. If you're aggressive in your quest to look 'better', you might actually gain weight in the first month of a new routine. That's because muscle is much heavier than fat.
Even better, don't focus on trying to look 'good'. Find a sport or activity that you like, and focus on becoming better at that sport - without cheating. Your training will transform you in to a healthier (and better looking) person.
Working out to try and 'look good' is boring! And there's no way to know when you've "arrived" - Looks are very subjective.
Set an objective goal, achieve it, then set another goal.
I'm a 15 year old male, and I'm very skinny. Can you help me gain weight?I work-out all the time, but it doesn't help. I also run cross-country.
I also have a very tough time gaining weight, but I managed to get 275lbs with less than 15% body-fat. So don't worry; it's not hopeless!
I read your profile and noticed you are a jogger. Here are the 3 most important meals of a jogger's day: Breakfast - That's true for everybody. Immediately after you jog. Don't wait. Eat a protein bar while you're doing your cool-down walk. 45 minutes after you jog. Your body can accept another meal 45 minutes to an hour after any intense exercise. This will keep you from shedding muscle (IE: It will allow your body to build muscle.).
Another thing I'd suggest: Don't jog (or do any heavy cardio) immediately after you work-out with weights.
Here's an article that provides additional tips:
I eat tons of food every day, but I'm still thin. What should I do?
You might need more food! I know people who eat over 10,000 calories a day in order to keep up with their training demands. I read that Micheal Phelps eats over 12,000 calories a day.
Make sure you are eating 5 to 8 meals a day. Your body absorbs nutrition better when you eat every 2 to 3 hours. (3 times a day) just doesn't cut it.
Of course, this answer is very general, because your question wasn't detailed. IE: My answer could be wrong.
For instance, if you've just started losing weight for no apparent reason, you could have a medical problem that needs attention.
Questions about Weight Training:
"What is the 2nd biggest mistake that most weightlifters make?"Over Training!
Have you ever noticed how hard the successful weightlifters work out in the gym? Most of them don't really work out that hard, compared to many unsuccessful lifters.
Bottom line; if a muscle-group is still sore when it's time to hit it again; You over-did it. Over-doing it in the gym doesn't help, and it can be un-healthy if you do it over an extended time.
How can I tone my legs?I wanna have "perfect" legs. Any tips?
My favorite leg exercise is walking lunges, and there's no equipment required. Wake up every other morning doing these just before breakfast. I do these one morning, and abs the next. ForevMi had a great suggestion too.
Please remember that looks are superficial: If looking good is your primary goal, you'll be disappointed. The goal is too subjective to know if you've arrived; and your perceived progress is only as good as the last comment heard by someone else.
Look at how Lindsey Lohan obsessed over people's comments regarding her looks in 'Mean Girls'. She's just one of millions of examples.
Whats the ideal perfect body-type?That one; in the mirror.
God created you, and you are beautiful!!
How do I increase the size of my triceps?Get started with a good workout routine, be careful not to over-train, and most importantly, eat a lot of protein.
If you use a split routine, consider targeting your triceps by working them twice a week for a month, move to another target muscle group, then come back to tris again.
There is tons of muscle growth potential in your triceps - more so than Bis; but we use bis more often in everyday life, so they are often bigger. Personally; my tris are naturally very small, but they are now one of my best developed areas.
Here's an article about building muscle and reducing fat. It's titled, 'How to Build Muscle and Reduce Fat'. : )
I'd say 'good luck', but you don't need it.
How can I lose muscle mass in my thighes?
You'll need to focus on cardio and very high rep-type exercises: Jumping rope, jogging (not sprinting!), bicycling (but not hills, and not sprinting), etc.. If you work with weights, use very low weight during this period; low enough to do more than 15 reps at a time.
Do this, and you'll lean out your muscle and shed fat in your thighs.
For more details, check out the section of this article titled - "Choose a rep and set range that's consistent with your goals:"
Personally; I think big thighs make people look young. But I'm generalizing. I don't know a great deal about your situation.
Abs - The most popular muscle-group in the gym:
I'd like to have a 6-pack by the time college starts in the fall.I'm already slim and athletic. I also do sit-ups and crunches 5 days a week, but I don't have ripped abs. I need to have a six pack by September. Please help!
Sit-ups and crunches are good for you, but they won't give you a 6-pack. You have to dump some fat around your middle so the ab muscles will show. The trick is, dumping the fat without losing muscle, and without drugs:
The bottom line is, you have to SPOIL your body so it will stop trying to accumulate fat around your middle: Our bodies accumulate a small amount of fat around our midsection to protect us against starvation, dehydration, etc.. You can minimize this effect by teaching your body, at a metabolic level, that it will never get hungry, thirsty or tired.
Eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours,
never let yourself get dehydrated,
get plenty of rest, and
On a related note; bodybuilders have the most spoiled bodies on the planet, except around contest time, when they severely dehydrate themselves to get that popular look.
If you're already fairly thin waisted, it won't take long - maybe a month, but you HAVE TO EAT RIGHT. Never, ever miss a meal.
Advice for Beginners:
What's a good workout routine for beginners?
If you have access to a gym, I really like circuit training for beginners. Single set of 15 reps; several machines that help you get a total body workout. Start with some good cardio to warm-up - Jogging, jump-rope, or rowing. Hit the circuit. Cool down with a brisk walk - I like to eat a protein bar while I'm cooling down, or drink a protein shake.
After a few weeks, You should be able to do this routine 3 times a week without being sore 2 days later. At that point, you can start looking into split routines.
A great diet routine will also do wonders for your progress in the gym. I can't over-emphasize how important this is.
How many days a week should I to go to the gym?
2 - 5 is fine if you're talking strictly about weight training. I work out 3 to 4 times a week for about 25 minutes - Never more than 30 minutes b/c I don't like to 'live in the gym'.
Aside from that; you can, and should, do cardio every day. I jog 2 to 3 mornings a week, and I walk about 2 miles every day.
One suggestion - Don't do heavy cardio immediately after you work out. You'll retard muscle growth. This is a purely superficial suggestion, but you might as well get the most out your gym-time, right?
BTW: Under most circumstances, eating is more important that exercise. I'm assuming, of course, that you're exercising to become stronger, or to reduce body-fat.
Here's a favorite quote from an elite power-lifter. I approached him because he seemed to do more talking than working out, yet he was amazingly strong! I wish I remembered his name:
"I like to work out for about 30 minutes, then I sit back and watch everybody else over-train.
Why should I wait till I'm married to have sex?
Every physical relationship, outside of marriage, ends in pain. That's been the case with every single relationship I know of. At least one member takes the role of victim at some point, and everyone ends up getting hurt.
And if you come to your marriage with physical relationships in your past, there will be a seed of mistrust in the marriage. Saving yourself is respectful, it's difficult, it builds character and self-discipline, and it shows respect to both you and your future spouse.
There are so many more reasons to wait, including disease prevention; but at critical times of temptation, all those arguments can be forgotten, and all you're left with is, "it's the right thing to do".
The strength of character you develop, by doing the right thing, will be carried over to other aspects of your life - personally and professionally. If you fail in this area, there will be repercussions - That's just the way life works! You can certainly start over, and you should, but temptations will be even more difficult than before.
I'm trying to become more flexible for cheerleading,but I can't get past a certain point. I need to be able to do side splits and front splits. How can I take things to the next level?
I earned a black-belt in my late 40s, which demanded the flexibility to do the splits and more! Here's the top two things that helped me. Stretch after exercise, any exercise! You're body is warmed up at this point, so it's a great time to stretch. Do 'toe touches' in a hot bath. Same reasons as above. You can stretch further, with less risk of injury, when your muscles are warmed up.
Be consistent. It's not going to happen all at once. Your flexibility will improve over time, but you have to stay at it.
Regarding stretching after exercise - and anything else worth doing: You have to be willing to take criticism (look silly) in order to achieve your goals.
I used to stretch after sand volleyball while while the rest of my team was talking or drinking, and while the next team was warming up. People teased me & called me obsessed, a hopeless cause, etc.. They were all nice people, but they were letting their insecurities show, big time. That's okay.
In the end, I had a great black-belt test! It took well over a year for me to 'do the splits'; It could take you less time than that.
Work hard (and smart) toward your goals, achieve them, then set new goals. Don't let anyone discourage you.
I think our next published article will be about stretching. Stay tuned!
Advice for Teenagers and Teenage Athletes:
Can I grow taller before school starts?I'm 16 and 5'5 I want to be at least 5'8 before school starts. I try to eat as healthy as I can. I also stretch often and I stay away from drugs.
Unfortunately, your height is pre-determined by genetics. You could have a growth spurt between now and September, but your genes are going to determine that. I had a friend who grew 3 inches from age 18 to age 20. It's hard to predict, but good nutrition will help maximize your potential: Eat 5 to 8 nutritious meals a day. Never miss a meal!! Work out occasionally (especially with your legs) to naturally release growth hormone. Get plenty of sleep. Good training principles will help maximize your growth, muscle growth and otherwise. So follow the suggestions in this article:
At 16, you might just hit a growth spurt between now and the Fall, whether you eat right or not.
Bottom line; be happy with who you are. I know tall people who wish they were short, and vice versa. We want what we don't have.
Personally; I want to be built like a power-lifter, but I was born with a very thin bone structure. Oh well.
My 15 year old son is starting to lift weights,how do I figure out how much he should work out with?
I love these kind of questions! At your son's age, he'll be fine as long as he works smart, rather than hard. Use weight that he can lift 10 to 15 times. Don't test his 1-rep max too often. That's intense for lifters of any age. Don't go back in the gym if he's sore.
More than anything else, he needs to Eat Right, and Eat Often! Diet is actually more important than exercise!! I can't emphasize this enough! Anyone can work out hard in the gym, but most people don't follow thru and eat right, so most people fail to meet their potential. And teenage boys have a TON of potential.
If he wants to get strong, make sure he eats every 2 to 3 hours. Missing a workout occasionally is no big deal, but Never, Ever Miss a Meal.
I know this advice is hard to believe, so here are a few articles to back it up:
The last link is a collection of celebrity diets. The ones who figured out how to grow muscle without using drugs.
Best of luck to your son!
Why don't I have an appetite?I hardly ever eat. I'll get hungry, eat a few bites, then I'm not hungry anymore. I've always been a big eater. Why is this?
Also: I run cross country and track in HS.
You should consider seeing a doctor if your appetite has suddenly changed; but it also could be perfectly normal.
When I hit my teens, my appetite completely disappeared. I'd have to remind myself to eat. I'm 50 now, and I still don't have much of an appetite.
Some people have an issue with food; some don't.
Congrats on running cross-country and track. That's impressive! You should develop a habit of eating enough to keep your strength and weight up. It's not about your appetite, whether strong or weak.
IE: I'm 6'4" and I like to keep my weight around 235, so I have to eat about 5,000 calories split into 5 to 8 meals a day. When I was younger, I needed 6,000 calories a day. And when I was into Powerlifting, I ate 9,000 calories a day to get my weight to 275.
Sounds like you're a driven person, so I'm confident you'll figure out how much you need to eat in order to achieve your goals.