T Nation

Critique My Diet! (Fitday Screenshots)


I am 5'11"
Estimate myself to be 16-20% body fat...

I workout 6 days a week...
Day 1: Chest/Shoulders
Day 2: Interval Cardio
Day 3: Biceps/Triceps/Calves
Day 4: Steady State Cardio
Day 5: Legs/Back
Day 6: Light cardio

So far I've been making very good strength gains, but I've decided to cut so I can fit into my prom dress (JK)

but seriously, I want to melt the fat now, not later...

Anyways, I have noticed that on my off days (when I consume half of my normal calorie intake, i feel a little lethargic. I feel like I'm taking in too many carbohydrates... but I'll let you guys judge that.

Lifting days, I feel pretty energetic..
I also take 2 HOT-ROX in the morning, 1 before working out.

Cardio is always done in the evening
I probably don't drink enough water... (less than 1gal/day)

I've attached fitday screenshots of my food intake breakdown
Its not organized into meals, really, I think I'll start doing that.
I typically eat every 4 hours or so, I wake up late and go to bed late.


Honestly, when I decided to lose weight I got blinded by the idea that the less I eat the thinner I'd get. WRONG! Your fitday screenshot says 1600 cals one day then 2200 the next. That's enough to power a small rabbit. Honestly man, we're lifting weights, running, and living active lives...we need more cals than your average joe. When I dropped cals too low, I hit a wall physically and mentally. I not only stopped losing weight, but I started to gain weight at around 1600 cals a day. Granted I'm 6 foot 2, and weighed around 175ish at the time. To give you an idea of what I do now - I'm gaining, so I took my BMR, added some cals, and voila. My BMR is 3,200 to 3,400. That means to MAINTAIN my weight, I need to eat ~3,200 cals a day. When I decide to lose some weight, I'll probably start off by subtracting 500, = 2,700, and monitor my fat loss with a weekly weight in. When that stalls, I'll add some steady state and subtract another 200 cals. It's simple, but it's easy to overdo. Just like you can't force feed your way to muscle gains (to a certain degree), you can't undereat and expect to get ripped. You'll just get skinny fat, and you'll be losing MOSTLY muscle. Not good for a TMAN if you ask me


BTW, I was bored so I just used the Harris Benedict equation, and I got your number. I said that you were 20 yrs old, although you may not be....Anyway, at your height and weight, to maintain, you would need to take in ~2850 kcal per day. With this info, I'd say that you should start your diet at ~2,500 kcal. On day 1, weigh yourself. 7 days later, weigh yourself. Keep doing this every week, and don't change ANYTHING until you STOP losing 1-2 pounds per week. When that happens, add in cardio (or do more if you already do it), and take away another 200 calories....It's pretty simple, just don't pig out on "refeeds" and don't starve yourself either.


i agree with hliss's advice...start off with more cals, and then adjust from there...

as for your macros...

your protein needs to be higher...protein is the most muscle sparring macronutrient...

i would start off with

protein - 1-1.5g x bw
fat - .4g x bw
carbs would be differential...

you can cycle calories/carbs upwards on training days and lower on non training...it's really just simply eating more on training days...people make this too complex when it is extremley simple...


Instead of wasting time on fitday and on here making threads, start using the search function.

Also, 5'11" at 175lbs and "16-20% bodyfat"? Let's see a pic of that. If you seriously have that little muscle, you should focus on that first. And this is coming from another beginner currently bulking--I'm not giving training advice, but seriously....there have been about 1,000 threads made exactly like this one, and they're all equally stupid.

And you're 20 years old. Stop pissing away money on supps and start learning about nutrition and discipline. Supps help those who already have the other pieces in place. You clearly don't know anything about getting those pieces together. Again--use the search function.

As far as your diet--it's pretty much a mess.

You're perpetually keeping yourself in starvation mode.
You eat no vegetables.
10% of your daily calories come from corn chips.


While I appreciate your attempt, your blatant disregard for real tangible knowledge is kind of giving me a sour vibe

A) There is little to no evidence to suggest starvation mode is caused by a slight deficit in calories
B) Corn chips are the ONLY thing in my diet that cannot be considered 'clean' (and I only eat them because I don't want them to go stale)
C) Clearly you didn't look at my post. On Friday, no vegetables, on Saturday??? Vegetables. I just picked some up, relax sparky.
D) I have 16" biceps, pumped, I have a 1rm of squat of 295, I am fairly satisfied with my muscularity at this point (considering I started at 220lbs with 13" biceps pumped), and I train Mixed Martial Arts and want to compete in a lower weight class, is that a problem with you? buffnoob?
E) Pissing money away on supplements? Ok, sure, I'll just stop.. spending money on HOT-ROX...and protein powder? Damn, all that money... just wasted! (FYI I've lost a total of 50 pounds, bulked up a total of 20, then lost 20 more, losing zero strength along the way, with no regard to diet, now I'm changing that)
F) The search function is essentially useless since diet is very subjective... finances, height, weight, training regiment.. etc. ALL vary.

As for the GOOD advice from HLSS
Thanks. I know I've been low on fats and calories, so I picked up some natural peanut butter last night and ate my way up to 2800cals. I went comatose but I woke up feeling a bit more refreshed than normal, not to mention I like having a delicious snack.
Ended up at 130g of fat for the day, and they were all from good sources (excluding chips)
Feels good, man

P.S. I'm 21


Good stuff. Bricknyce, a notoriously honest dude who tells it like it is lol, gave me some good advice...BULKING - 1 to 1.25g protein/lb BW, 20 - 30% fat, rest carbs. CUTTING - 50% protein, 20-30 % fat, rest carbs. Obviously this gives you wiggle room on which macros to choose, but it gives you the framework to set things up. Personally, I've treid bulking w/ 1.25g/lb BW pro, and the rest fat, but I got nowhere until I added carbs. Everybody is different, but the common denominator is that you NEED a lot of protein (especially when cutting), and you NEED fat (to survive). The only macro the body can live without is carbs. And don't forget about things like multivitamins, Superfood etc to make up for lack of fruits/veges if you're not getting enough. Vitamins and minerals are important micronutrients that often get overlooked, especially in a hypocaloric diet. You can PM me anytime or any other dudes who have dieted successfully AND unsuccessfully lol!


Just a couple of things:

  1. As a concession, if your OP had been more specific (e.g. about wanting to drop weight classes, etc) instead of coming across as a "hai guyz, I'm taking HOT-ROX and eating practically nothing. How can I improve up on this????", then I probably would have taken treated your question with the seriousness it deserved. Realize that this forum has a ton of those type of posts for every person who is seriously trying to accomplish a goal.

  2. I'm not huge (yet)--just another guy trying to climb my own mountains (in my case, pursuing BBing). In fact, I'm smaller than you are (much to my chagrin--trying to improve it), ha.

  3. I stand by the comment with regard to HOT-ROX, regardless of your goals/etc. You came on here posting (nothing personal) some sh***y 1600 calorie diet. I think of supps like that as being primarily for people who have committed themselves to a goal enough to do some reading about it and whatnot before resorting to aids in such a fashion.

  4. Most males aren't satisfied with muscularity at 20% body fat.

But for some serious input, if I were you I would calculate how much you're burning a day and cut off about 500 calories, depending on how long you have to make whatever weight you want. I've lost a lot of weight in the past too, and I know that doing so teaches us a lot about our bodies--put that knowledge to work for yourself and eat things you know your body responds well to. The goal here is to minimize the catabolic effects of severe calorie restriction. Also, bear in mind that for "making weight," water manipulation can be a very useful tool.

Anywho, not looking for an internet fight--your OP just came across as "another average post"--I suppose whether it is or not will be determined by whether you actually reach your goals (and I put myself in the same boat). Best of luck to you!

I'll also defend the search function here--I know you think diet is just so highly individualized as to be beyond the reach of mere other people, but I would suggest that you give it a shot.


Posting pics of my progress (since I was called out)

April 2008:

March 2011:


That's some awesome progress. What are your lifts? If you don't have a lot of strength, then it would be wise to bulk up, build some muscle, then cut down. You can't cut down without muscle, or you'll look like a wimp. I've done it, it's not a good look.


I listed lifts earlier..

Bench: (I don't do barbell because of a prior rotator cuff injury)
I do 90lb dumbbells in each hand for probably 3-4 reps max
otherwise I regularly lift with 75lbs per hand for 6-8 reps, 3 sets

Squat: 295lbs 1rm

Deadlift: At least 350 (I have pulled 350 a few times, never 1rm)

Leg Press: 600? something like that, can't remember the last time I was near a real leg press machine anyways

Curls: 120lb barbell(In the squat rack... wink wink) for each set as of yesterday, dont' see the point in a 1rm for that..

So I would say I'm sitting decently strength wise for my weight..

I know I won't look that pretty when it's done, but I want to compete in jiu jitsu at a lower weight class sooner than later