T Nation

Can't Drop the Fat!


I need some help in this arena .....

250 lbs
14 % Bf

My Week Day diet

6:30 AM
Turkey (1/8 pound)/ Mustard Whole wheat organic sandwich
muscle milk light shake
Coffee black
500 KCal

9:00 AM
ON Whey protein 20g
Almonds/ Cashews
200 kcal

11:00 AM pre-workout
On Whey
Surge Workout Fuel
120 kacl

1:30 PM post workout
Surge Recovery
Chicken or Tuna or Turkey wih rice and veggies
700 kcal

4:00 PM
Isopure zero carb protein
200 kcal

7:00 PM dinner
Fish / Steak with rice and veggies
1 fruit
700 kcal

Muscle milk light
110 kcal

Total 2530 kcal

Week End
Similar to the above
lunch would be pasta or BBQ

I also take
Multi vita

2 1 hr spinning clases per week
3 30 min steady state treadmill energy walk



Couple things...

I don't remember exactly the nutrient breakdown for muscle milk...but it appears you ingest a fairly high percentage of your dietary intake from carbohydrates for starters. Out of SEVEN meals you listed, only TWO don't contain a large amount of carbs. IMO opinion you don't need anywhere near that many for what you are doing. I think your first concession would be to forgo the muscle milk at the end of the night. Slowly reduce from there.

You also don't mention what you are doing resisitance training wise. I don't have much problem with your cardio choices provided you are really pushing those intervals in the spinning classes. You could mix in an interval session on a rowing machine every now and then but that's fine picking at this point.

How long have you been following the meal plan you listed? Do you find is sustainable or do you need mroe variety?

You also really don't mention liquid calories? From the sounds of it the only liquids you ingest are 1 black coffee and your various protein shakes? No water?

Really, 14% at 250 is not really that bad, not everyone can be <10%.

But we all probably need more info to make an informed suggestion.


depending on your lifting regiment, you're doing too much cardio. You're taking in 2500 calories, which is clearly already a caloric deficit for you, 250 lbs, 14% bodyfat? I can lose weight on 2500 calories and I weigh 200 lbs. You might be wasting away your muscle, which in turn is slowing your metabolism down...that's what I think.

If your resistance training is intense and well thought out, I would check out Starnes and Harris's carb cycling articles. Very helpful. I actually don't mind the muscle milk, it's a second alternative to Metabolic Drive, it's a descent blend of proteins. What are the breakdowns? Fats, carbs, protein? What does your training look like?


How long have you been dieting so far and how much have you lost?


Regarding weight training is in sync as well, normally train in a pyramid set so ill just state my heaviest rep

Wide grip pull up 320lb ( me plus 70 Lb ) 6 reps
Followed by assorted back supersets
Shoulder press 215 6 reps
Followed by assorted supersets

Followed by assorted supersets
Legs (mild)

Arms dumbbell curls 60 lbs 8 reps
Shoulder press 215 6 reps

Legs (heavy) machine press 1000 lbs 4 reps

Wide grip pull up 320lb ( me plus 70 Lb ) 6 reps
Incline press 315 6 reps


I started about 4 weeks ago; I have lost like 0.3 % BF ( and there is a lot error here ) the mirror is my best scale....no 6 pack yet ....only 4 marsh mellows ...

There are no liquid calories; I drink 2 gallons of water a day , caffeine limit to 200mg, no sugar, sodas, juices or alcohol

The diet stated above is a rough summary, I try to keep to:

During the week
250 g protein
180 g carbs or less
70 g fat or less

On weekends
Carbs go up to 300 g


Alright taking into account the new information you provided.....

  1. You have only been doing this for 4 weeks, Rome was not built in a day as they say. Hence why I asked if you thought the way you are eating is sustainable for you long term/consistently.

  2. If you are trying to lose weight/body fat, you are most likely better off dropping that split routine and going with total body sessions concentrating on the major muscle groups only. Meaning don't waste too much time killing your shoulders and arms and other similar small muscle groups. Just don't do much for you from a metabolic standpoint. Legs, back, chest.

  3. Yeah I am still going to go with lowering the carb intake and increasing fat intake a bit to compensate. 300g on the weekends? That sounds crazy.

  4. What are you doing the rest of the day? Is it an office type job? Do you sit a lot? There are 24 hours in a day..you can train as great as you like for 1-2 hours a day, but if you are sitting on your ass the rest of the remaining 22-23 hours..it's not hard to see which side will win. In short...MOVE.


I would agree with Dump Truck almost completely. You need to be doing full body workouts, 3x a week, or at least check out Charles Poliquin's Lactic Acid Article, those workouts are SO hard and extremely good for you. If you'd like, I could send you workouts I've done that will rid your body of fat, guaranteed, but lord are they hard, real hard. Like previously mentioned, depending on what your daily activity is, I don't think you NEED to drop your carbs, if you're on your feet all day, and you start doing more full body workouts, then consuming carbs on training days is fine. But if you sit at a desk, then keep your carbs to breakfast and workout nutrition. And why the 300 grams on the weekends?


Well, normally if you are in a deficit, you will noticeably lose something in 4 weeks. So the most likely possibility is that you are not in a deficit and need to drop calories more.

Switching carbs for fat is not some magical panacea of fat loss; if fat cals are too high, you still won't lose fat despite possibly lower insulin levels. (You will tend to drop water/glycogen weight when dropping carbs of course.)

I also think you have to be careful with metabolic workouts; if you built your muscle with a split routine, then switch to circuits where you have to drop the weight a lot due to low rest periods, you can lose muscle. I personally did much better on CT's Destroying Fat which has metabolic elements to accelerate fat loss (explosive lifts and that blasted alactic work) but keeps heavy lifting as well. There is also some well-timed low-intensity cardio included.

Another possibility is that your weekday diet has you in a deficit, but the extra carbs on the weekend offset some of your losses, plus cause you to retain extra water, masking any fat loss that may have occurred. I wouldn't take in the extra carbs on the weekends when you're not training. Get most of your carbs in after your workouts. On the weekends when you're not training, DROP the carbs and cals to a big deficit and do cardio on those days.


My biggest mistake in this game has been cutting too often and not realising how much muscle you lose on the journey. Sure I'd get shredded to the bone but I'd end up too skinny for my liking. So, I'd basically start bulking again. Ohhhh, the frustration of this!!

Now 6'4" at 250 at 14% will probably be something like 210 at 7% (just guessing but I don't think I'd be far off). Personally if I was 6'4 I think I'd be equally unsatisfied if I was just 210 at this height.

So I'm not telling you what to do mate but just passing on my .02.

Basically there is no way in hell I'm cutting again till I actually feel like I've got too much muscle for my liking. Consequently, during the cut I'll actually be happy to lose the 'excess' muscle and end up exactly where I want and maintain it stress free FOREVER.

This doesn't mean I'm joining the ques at dunkin doughnuts either. Eating slightly above maintenance, high protein, low carb, plenty of movement between meals to keep muscle growth at maximum potential but keeping fat at bay also.


Good info above. Here are some thoughts to consider:

Did you go through the two week low carb induction phase <20 g? Many insist this to be a must as it forces the body to learn to burn fat for fuel, sparing muscle protein. Part of this mechanism is through GH secretion which breaks down fat for fuel but inhibits protein catabolism. It will also help drop insulin sensitivity quickly.

Definitely try the lactic acid training, it will also stimulates GH. I'd start with Poliquin's 12 rep circuit while you are <20g. If you do these two things you won't want significant post workout carbs as you will want to ride the GH high.

Try to cut out the grains and add some saturated fat. Cooking ground turkey in coconut oil can be tasty and help your goals. Grains, especially wheat, may also inhibit leptin receptors and generally mess up your GI track. See Stephan's interesting posts below for more info.



Thank you SO much for the advice!

Last week following some of your tips:
1.- I switched to single muscle workout, working with a friend and following his routine
2.- Less intense cardio (no spin classes only 20 min steady state treadmill walking @ 75 % AT)
3.- And controlled the Carbs on the weekend not to exceed 150gr

Today I see some immediate gain in form and size, which I assume comes from working different tissue sin the muscle group.

But I still have this layer (like half inch over me that feels like a suit ) and although Im big enough I have no definition or vascularity .

I believe Water retention must be my biggest problem, I sweat a lot and in the cardio classes I leave a "pond" under the bike I also drink a 2 gallons a day trying to avoid dehydration and storing excess water.

Any advice on the above ?

My Actual stats is 261 lbs At 14% Bf so losing some muscle is no concern I gain very easily , if I could get to 240 with 10 % this would be Great


Drink less than 2 gallons per day. You are sweating a pond because you drink two gallons per day. Try one gallon per day and see if that helps. Reduce the sodium from the turkey source and the almonds/cashews. Don't know the sodium content of the MM or ON proteins, but watch them, can get away from you. The sodium will enhance water retention and cause puffiness.

I calculated your cals @ 2,780. 45p 32c 23f
I would say your carbs are too high if you are trying to lose. Reduce carbs from 32 to about 20-25, add the calories to protein and a small amount to fat. Try 50-25-25 or 55-20-25. See what that does for you.

Good Luck.


Ill focusing this week on a low carb diet try to keep under 60 a day and eval the results next monday.

I was of the belif that i needed to hyper hydrate my body so that it would not store any excess water ..... Ill reaserch into this , but for this week ill limit the water intake and test you idea



No you do not NEED to be doing a full body workout 3x a week. What may work for you may not work for another person. I have never done a full body workout in my life and have had no problems achieving what I want in the gym...


To the OP, not that you can't acheive your desired results by some manipulations in diet and training but have you ever though of dropping the HOT-ROX and trying an ephedrine/caffeine stack? Or Albuterol? They can be useful tools if diet and training are in check.


From my experience in fat loss going low carb lower calories for a couple days then high carb high calories for 1 day then repeat has worked. I would say to eat more I will lose more fat on a 3000 calories diet with a lot of activity as opposed to when I've gone a substantially lower calorie diet that is of course if carbs are low. If your 250lbs 2500 calories is way too little imo. Doing bb complexes then interval cardio works very well. Doing total body workouts help but isn't absolutely necessary. And be patient. Hope this helped man good luck.


This Week Im proceeding as planned above

Strip the carbs as much as I can and only eat when Im hungry, and dropped the water consumption to a 1 Gal, 3 days in and definition is around the corner . I have lost muscle mass also but that is a cost im willing to pay; Goal is to get to my short term goal 240 with 10%, 256 now.

Ive dropped HOT-ROX I have mixed results with this product, Regarding Albuterol, this only has proven useful to me when Im 2 or 3 weeks away from a specific milestone, during the rest of the year use it time to time when im feeling short breathed for some high intensity cardio




At the risk of sounding like a T-Nation plant, you should check out CT's Refined Physique Transformation article on this site - where you will find the exact macronutrient formulas and training plans for successful fat loss.

I state this with confidence because I'm on day 46 of a CKD/training plan inspired by the above but using John Berardi's caloric guidelines and BCAA meal replacement plan. The benefit is that these are tried and tested. Stick with it with minimum disruption and you are literally guaranteed success.

From what I've read, and with respect to yourself, it sounds like you are a bit all over the place in terms of what to do. That's what I was like until I adopted the above. Then it's a case of planning and execution. With all the guesswork, frustration and ad hoc bits removed you will progress faster - and it's more enjoyable getting there.


As you have received mixed comments on full body workout advice I thought I'd post as I am a proponent of including both (although I don't think any of the pro lactate training people said they didn't also do heavy training). Here's what I suggest:

Day 1: Heavy lifting chest/back + alactic work**
Day 2: Lactate-inducing workout 1 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work
Day 3: OFF
Day 4: Heavy lifting quads/hams
Day 5: OFF
Day 6: Lactate-inducing workout 2 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work
Day 7: OFF

**Alactic work = sprinting

I'm just starting this program again. it worked wonders for me in the past. I have a training log if you care to follow me.