T Nation

Continuing My Nutrition Education

Been training 7 months, and know that I have a solid program and foundation for strength and fat loss. Focusing heavily on my diet now since the more I learn this is clearly my largest problem area.

That being said, I think im still in the early stage where it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle mass. Or at least thats how its been going, slowly but seems to be working.

If I stick to the 1.2-1.5 gm protein per pound body weight per day. Keep my carbs inline to a minimum…where should I be calorie wise? Caloric Surplus or Deficit? Or does the thing I am doing below make sense? It is a Dr. Clay idea from his how body builders should eat article, but just want to make sure I understood it.

On training days I have been sticking to 14x bodyweight in cals per day.
Non training days sticking to 11x Bodyweight

Thoughts, Opinions and feedback much appreciated.

What is your primary goal? I personally think one should focus on one goal at a time. I know others will disagree, yet this way one will understand what is actually working in their program. If there is any design flaws, the one goal at a time protocol will show them more readily. Your numbers look good as far as program design goes, yet remember bodybuilding is also a sport of illusion. The leaner one becomes, the more muscle one can see, the larger they appear. Just think about it…


Primary goal to maintain strength while eliminate fat

These “beginner gains” as they are sometimes known are only going to last so long. To “elimate fat”, not that you can spot reduce fat is going to require a caloric deficit. Your not going to be as strong whilst eating a caloric defecit and I would expect you to lose some strength whilst your cutting. That said, it is not entirely impossible to maintain or even increase strength whilst cutting, only it is going to be a great deal harder. Layne Norton, an accomplished natural bodybuilder, follows a protocol where he bulks for a period of 5-6 weeks or so then cuts for 1-2 weeks.

You could almost picture it as little mini bulking/cutting cycles frequently. He does this because whilst on a bulk, hormone levels like Leptin and Triiodothyronine/T3 are high and they are involved in losing fat. So therefore you are best utilising them whilst they are elevated for one or two weeks when you cut, then when they begin to return to normal and you won’t get the enhanced benefit, bulking starts once more. Not everyone advocates this approach, it works for Layne Norton but it may not work particularly well for you. Your very well allowed to try his approach and see how it works for you but I think since your a beginner, don’t get too caught up in these specialised diets. You either consume less calories and lose fat/muscle/strength or you continue to bulk and add quality muscle/strength then think about cutting bodyfat later on. I see very little point in cutting if you have little muscle mass/strength to start with if your a teenager then now is prime time to add mass/strength to your frame.