T Nation

Calories Intake for Strength Gains - Weight 291lbs


#1

Hello

First of all I want to apologize for my english.

Im 23years old, For the last ~4years I have not trained seriously. Only 1-2times(even less) per week and without plan or diet.
But I decided to totally dedicate to training. I chose 531+BBB. But i need help with a calories intake.

More info about me
6’3" 291lbs BF:25-30% .I have desk job for 10-12h per day.
Shoulder circumference: 59" - 150cm
waist circumference: 45" - 115cm
Arm: 19" - 49cm

Bench: 355x1
Ohp: 245x1
Squat: 375x1
Deadlift: 365x1

As you can see I have strength imbalances because for the last ~4 years I did not do any legs or deadlift workouts

So I have a problem with the calculation of a diet. How much calories should i eat for optimal strength gains and not become WAY more fatter and how many proteins/fats/carbs in my situation. Right now im eating ~4200cal 335protein/400carbs/130fats with very clean diet. Is that enough? Its very difficult for me to determine whether it is sufficient.


#2

Cut your carbs waaay back and in turn up your good fats…

also look up Jims articles on ‘Viking day’/heavy conditioning


#3

Cutting carbs to like 100grams? Is it not counterproductive? I mean i want to gain strength and get rid off my strength imbalances and by the way do not become way more fatter.


#4

You should be fine. I’ve found protein is the macro that determines my performance more than anything. If I go below my requirements training next day will be harder.


#5

Personally, lowering carbs was the worst thing I ever did but each to their own.

If you’re recovering okay keep eating what you’re eating.

If you’re struggling to get work done or dropping weight fast, eat more of everything.

If you’re getting soft eat a bit less of everything.

Being unable to eat without a phone to tell you it’s okay or a calculator and nutritional information reference seems a poor long term strategy to me


#6

No it is not counterproductive in your situation. I would say you need to lower your carbs even below 100 grams. You can gain strength as long as you keep your protein intake very high. Since you need to lower your carbs, you need to increase your protein and fat intake. Shoot for at least 3 g of protein per kg of your bodyweight. You really shouldn’t be worrying about getting enough carbs in your diet at 30% body fat. And you shouldn’t aim for “not becoming way fatter”, you should aim for becoming way less fat. Honestly, I really think that what you should be doing now is not maintaining your weight or worrying about strength imbalances. You have strength imbalances precisely because of the reason you just said: You haven’t done any lower body work in a long time. Therefore it doesn’t require any special work. It will catch up. Just eat A LOT of protein, lower your carbs significantly, do a 5/3/1 template as written, and don’t ever skip conditioning & mobility.


#7

Like I said cut carbs AND raise fats. This will keep energy and mood up.

For a young guy 290lbs with a desk job is not good.


#8

Every single diet ever written results in failure. 100%.

The only thing that has worked, 100% of the time, is developing great habits and having the discipline to follow those habits. Discipline is simple. The only people that don’t have, don’t want to have it.

Great habits don’t involve anything other than consistently following common sense rules.


#9

Thanks for all answers.

Jim I agree with you about great habits, but before you develop these great habits you must know how they look like. For example for me its a balanced diet - each meal contains a fair amount of proteins/carbs + some fats. But as you can see above a lot people advises other approach with high protein/high fat and low carbs.

And to be honest I feel lost right now. I do not expect magic pill or exact numbers just some general guidance, some good base to start with.


#10

I shoot for 1g carb/1g protein/.5g fat per lb of bodyweight and reduce either fats or carbs by 5-10% a time. Fats no lower than .3. I’m sitting at 330/6’5 and work a pretty strenuous trade job and 400 carbs is a lot for me. If I’ve hit that range it’s usually, because I’ve eaten some junk food. I tried an extreme approach to cutting carbs first and my performance dropped off and I was miserable honestly. It’s best to find something sustainable that can become a habit/lifestyle. Excessive calories are excessive calories no matter what source they are coming from. Healthier choices will carry you further than others. Opt for complex carbs throughout the day and higher glycemic carbs before and after training if at all. When meeting or slightly exceeding my protein requirements, everything else seems to fall in place as it keeps me satiated and harder to make wrong choices. Keep in mind, that if you exceed one, something else has to be cut. Cutting carbs would be the quickest, but it’s also a bitch. I would think working a desk job would make it easier, but in my case, I would be unemployed, weak and single. A 1/1/.5 ratio would be a good start to find a balanced baseline and you can tweak the numbers as you go. It’s slower than a more extreme approach, but it’s sustainable in the long run.


#11

If carbs includes veggies/fruit and consists mainly of whole foods then you have everything you need to know with this strategy. Just listen to your body for quantities.

I saw a cereal box on the weekend which had “NO FRUIT!” plastered across it. I thought what type of bizarre world are we living in where a food item which grows out of the ground, provides fibre plus lots of micro nutrients is evil? Yet a bit of tofu manufactured to death, had all sorts of crap added to it then moulded into the form of a sausage - which actually bounces if dropped, is seen as a health item.

BTW, I recommend not eating anything that can bounce.


#12

Thanks for all answers.

I watched a lot of pictures and I think im closer to 23-25% bf than 30%.

This is how i eat everyday

Breakfast - Eggs, oatmeals, wholewheat bread, Protein Shake
Workout
After workout - Protein shake + 1-2 bananas
Meal 1 - Chicken breast + rice + olive oil + veggies
Meal 2 - Chicken breast + rice/potatoes + olive oil + veggies
Meal 3 - Chicken breast + rice + olive oil + veggies
Before bed - micellar casein shake + peanut butter

I follow what I eat from the beginning of the month, so this is what im really eat everyday and not what I was planning to eat.
This gives me about 3900-4200cal per day, for example today - 365p/340c/150f.

I have a plan that if my weight and waist circumference increase after week then I’ll reduces the calories by 100-200.

Sounds like a good plan??


#13

As your having carbs both before and after workout there’s no real need for a further 2 rice meals but its clean food so not the end of the world I guess.
-Just make sure you really bring it when training


#14

I would add the extra olive oil if I wanted to get in some extra calories, like Paul Carter recommends in one of his articles, which is not necessary for you as far as I have understood. One thing you can do to avoid unwanted fat gains and actually lose fat, is not eating fats & carbs together. Go either high carb or high fat, but not both. It is just like training; if you want to add something, you need to take something out. High protein is the only constant that shouldn’t change. None of this is written in stone, of course, just what I have read and experienced. Good luck man.