T Nation

A Newbie Cry for Help

Hello everyone. I have been reading T-Nation for a few months now and I have read a large majority of the articles. Starting around Aug 1st I really wanted to lose alot of the weight that had built up over the past few years. ( I was at 210 lbs and I’m 5"9 )

I read alot of the articles and was particularly inspired by the transformation article on gustavo pacho. So I set a goal weight of 170 pounds. I cleaned up my diet a good bit and read up on a lot of nutritional information on the site and others. I go to the gym for probably a total of 10-12 hours a week. (I’m currently deployed and I have plenty of time to kill)

Now here is my problem. I know I have gone about things the wrong way I guess I was really embarrassed to ask for help :confused: earlier. I pretty much followed the caloric intake of a Velocity Diet. For the past 2 months I have been taking in around 1100-1400 calories a day on top of running 5 miles a day around 4 times a week. This along with a full lifting schedule.

I know how I went around my diet and exercise wasn’t right but I am happy with my weight loss of forty pounds. I didn’t lose really any muscle mass and I think I added some. I still have fat to lose (it never seems to end) and I want to get rid of it pretty bad.

I guess what I’m asking for is help to guide me with nutrition and a good exercise plan for my goal.

Currently like I stated before I have a caloric intake of on average 1000-1100 calories on a non workout day with 180 grams of protein and usually less than 20g of carbs.

On a workout day I hit about 1400 calories with 200g of protein and less than 20g of carbs.

I supplement with a multi-vitamin and fish oil.

I never cheat on my diet. I’m pretty boring when it comes to food so it doesn’t ever bother me. I have devoured countless amounts of plain tuna and chicken heh.

As far as an exercise plan goes I’m kinda at a loss for words. I know I want to burn fat (doesn’t everyone) I guess I just don’t know where to go with my workout plan. I do alot of cardio and powerlift quite a bit but no formalized plan.

I want to get all of my stuff together and get focused. I am aware the majority of this post probably seems scrambled but if anyone has any advice at all I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.


Starting Strength:

Also, how are you getting 180 grams of protein on a 1000 calorie diet? What exacty does that diet look like? How much fats are you getting in a day?

Keep eating clean (but eat more, get that calorie count up), build as much lean mass as you possibly can (lift hard), and stick to low intensity cardio if you are concerned with cutting out more fat.

pretty simple to do the math isnt it

on non work out days
1100 cals
180g 710Cal Protein
20g 80Cal Carbs
~35g 315 Cal Fats

~63% protein, 7% carbs, 30% fat

Well the protein shakes I have are a little more than 300 calories per and have about 66g of protein. 3 shakes and a couple cans of tuna I may hit around 1050 calories or so with 180g + protein. As far as grams of fat go umm… I don’t remember ever adding it up but I would guess around 20-30g of fat.

I work 3 24 hour shifts a week on average so I can normally be in the gym on four days. I’m used to spending 2-3 hours in the gym. That workout doesn’t seem like it would take very long. Not knocking the program or anything but if I have time to do more should I?

How many calories should I increase by?

and blake you have dropped 40lbs and are down to 170 if im correct, and you want to keep losing weight? im not sure what your goals are

Well before I lost forty pounds I thought I would be alot leaner than I am. I’m not a fatass or anything but I do want to get leaner. I guess I should have said fat loss. I’m cool with being 170 but I would LOVE to be at like 10% body fat.

I’m not looking to be some hulking behemoth or anything.

i almost went through/ not finished going through the same exact thing as you, i went from 200 to 165 at 6’2 and thought i would be lean and ripped at that weight but i sort of had the skinny fat look going, and i really came to a conclusion as much as i wanted the 8pack at the time I could not afford to lose anymore weight. Im up to about 175 now and still got ways to go, but my looks is definetly starting to balance out. There is still some fat in the stomach area and there might be slightly more building but you start looking much better.

I also lost about 30lbs the “wrong” way, but im not sure if you would agree, to me losing weight is extremely easy. If i were you i would not keep dieting down for too much longer. Try to gain some muscle and then lose the weight correctly, hiit and low carbs are the way to go.

Thats just my personal experience though, i think its very hard to get the ripped lean look if you come from a place of very little muscle mass, and if i have to guess, id say you are at a place where you are stalling in your progress because the body will really start to adapt to those calories.

And dont be scared to put on some weight, because as long as you work out hard you will never end up close to being the fatass you were. And the more muscle the more calories you will burn.

Also dont be scared to start looking like hulk there is a long long way and alot of hard work to go, you wont get there easy.

These are the lessons i learned/am learning myself.

Best of luck to you

My advice will be very similar to believedat. I actually have a similar history to you as well OP. I peaked at 210 pounds when I was 16, and then gradually lost weight to a low point of 160 pounds at 5’9". My face looked anorexic, but I knew I was still a bit chubby on my stomach and chest. My caloric intake was really low, and I figured I was messing my body up.

After much thought (and reading that increase in muscle mass would increase metabolism), I decided to start gaining mass. I’m at about 176 right now, still chubby, but I feel much stronger after beginning Starting Strength (not all of the weight difference came because of Rippetoe’s. I highly suggest doing that program. Either use the Starting Strength post for info, get the book, and/or use thia website: startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ

Read, absorb, practice, and enjoy.

I appreciate the input guys. I have printed out that starting strength programa and I will start it today.

How many calories should I increase by?

By the way of cardio how much should I do per week. Like two or three sessions at 30 minutes?

[quote]blake_jamison wrote:
I appreciate the input guys. I have printed out that starting strength programa and I will start it today.

How many calories should I increase by?

By the way of cardio how much should I do per week. Like two or three sessions at 30 minutes?[/quote]

again it would be better if you stated your goals, are you going to be bulking, cutting, maintaining… then someone might be able to give you an approximate calorie intake, but its still different for everyone

also i would replace the cardio with HIIT, its less time consuming, easier to stick too, and much more effective, be it sprinting or something like burpees


My goal is to keep cutting. I have very little interest in bulking.