T Nation

Confused On Leaning Out


I pretty much know a lot about clean dieting and exercise (personal trainer)-however, I have been quite frustrated and confused on reaching my goals: to lean out(burn fat) and transform my body into something it has never been before.

I am avg-athletic build, and want to lean out, get "cut." I am eat right everyday, and cheat once a week. I workout 6 days a week for 2 hours(weight and cardio days only)-1.5 hrs for cardio and ab day. I know your body is a science, and I am trying really hard to figure this out! I need help-


First off, what are your stats? You're not going to get 'cut' unless theres some muscle underneath.

And whats your diet and workout plan look like? You say you know alot about diet, but you're not getting results, which leads me to beleive you know alot of wrong stuff about diet.


My suggestion is to abolish "cheat day". What matters is the total number of calories that are stored as fat vs. burned from stored fat over the full period of time that you dedicate to losing fat, not arbitary units of time such as a day or week.


It sounds like through determination you will accomplish your goals! but It can be pretty damn frustrating to bust your ass and train really hard and not getting closer to your goals! I may get stomped for saying this but it sounds like you may being doing too much work(too much is never enough, but in some cases it can cause a negitive effect)!

Alot of Scientific research has be done and the results are posted everywere so keep researching and take what you like and can do from each program and adopt them for yourself. Id like to give you some tips but I am not sure what your physic is like now, so someone mentioned posting your stats!
Do that and if I have any tricks and tips to pass on Ill post them for sure!
GOod luck


I am not sure what your question is? You state alot of things but don't really ask a straight question.

Are you asking if what you are doing is enough? Are you asking for additional tips to what you are doing? Are you asking how long this will take? etc.

If you are asking any of the above or even want to know something different more info is needed and photographs would help.

Age, weight, height, W.O., current diet etc.


He didn't say "cheat day" he said cheat, which I take to mean a cheat meal. There is nothing wrong with that. If you have at least a 1000 calorie deficit each day, one meal isn't going to change much at the end of the week. We all know that being on a diet for a long time kills your metabolism and the occasional cheat is just the thing you need to juice it up.

As for the OP, I think the solution to your problem is pretty easy. Forget almost everything you know about dieting and start over. I've done that a couple times and continue to make progress. There are quite a few different avenues you can go down in trying to get cut. Carb-cycling is a good one, for example. I know it can be frustrating, especially when you think you should know it all (as a PT).

Bottomline- you need to mix it up now and then to keep your body guessing.

I do agree you may be over doing it on the cardio. You really shouldn't need to do that much to lose fat. I went through the same motions about a year ago. I would do over 1 hr a day every day of the week. Some weeks I would lose a pound, others I would gain. My diet was pretty consistent, with minimal cheating. Now that I'm a little smarter I can do 20-30 minutes a day 3-4 days a week and get better results. My diet is still fairly consistent. My training has increased, so that may have something to do with it.

You should read any/all articles by Chris Shugart on here. He is king of leanness and I pretty much take anything he says for gospel. Go to his Blog and read the latest article "Out of Balance". This may specifically help you right now. Again, everything he writes is with leanness is mind. Not to sound weird or gay, but he's my personal Jesus.


If you're at a 1000 calorie deficit a day, you've got your shit to sort out.


Why is that? I've successfully lost over 80lbs this exact way, and continue to lose. If my maintenance is around 3000 and I only eat 2000, all while getting 250g protein, how is that a bad thing? I would call that a pretty standard diet, and about the foundation for most of the programs on this site. T-Dawg 2.0 for example, plus many others.

Be careful spouting off about stuff you obviously don't know about.


I agree (but with rrjc). A 1000 calorie deficit may be good if you are trying to lose 80lbs, but I dont think that it is going to be the most effective way to go if you want to go from 10%bf to 7%bf and have any muscle left at the end of it. A 1000 calorie deficit is going to destroy a lot of muscle at those levels.


Ok, I can buy that. I guess I figured the guy above was nowhere near 10%bf already or he wouldn't have made a post like this. Most guys that low already have their shit figured out and aren't complaining.


I too believe you may be working too hard. Do you feel tired, unmotivated, overtrained? Backing off might actually take your body out of "survival mode" that it could burn more fat.


leaning out, and not being a fat slob are two vastly different things

1000 calorie deficit is 1000 calories under maintenance, not 1000 calories less than you used to eat

sounds a little overboard, and probably lose muscle mass


I know that 1000 cal deficit means 1000 cal under maintenance. If you had actually read my post above you would have noticed I actually said that.

As for "probably lose muscle mass" I doubt you can substantiate that. A lot of coaches on here say it's basically a myth and most people can cut fine without losing much mass, at least for a short while.

Why is it most cutting diets on here suggest you start out at 500 below maintenance (like T-Dawg 2.0) and then drop it over time if your progress slows. Are they all wrong?? Is 1000 too much, probably for some, but not people like me who are endomorphs.

I did concede that going that low for dropping from 10-7% isn't the best idea, but "leaning out" in particular is not that specific of a term. Going from 15-10% is also "leaning out". Going from 10-7%, IMO, is getting cut, which I know the OP did say above but I must have missed that.


What site have you been visiting? MOST of the guys asking about getting cut are skinny dudes who just started lifting this past year.


If you are losing fat with a 500 kcal a day diet, and then stall, the drop in extra calories is actaully taking into account the you may have established a new maintenance level. The new drop is to try and get you back to 500 kcals below maintanence.

Simple math.


Hahaha... good point!


Ok. I'll buy that. I was just over-simplfying for the sake of over-simlifying.


At least he didn't ask how to bulk up like Brad Pitt in "Fight Club"


I agree, and I find it as sickening as you. Based on the majority of people on this site he probably needs to pack on some serious muscle before he thinks about cutting (hopefully he is one of the exceptions to the rule). But if he is going to try and lose some fat he will do it regardless of the comments he gets here so I would hope that he would do it with some common sense, and not a 1000 calorie deficit. I know that is a lot to hope for, but maybe, just maybe.............

The only person that I am kidding is myself right?


OK, point taken, but I wasnt expecting this guy to ask how to lose 80 lbs.