T Nation

Developing a Fat Loss Nutrition Plan

New Guy

I’ve been reading T-Nation for several months now, but this is my first post here on the forums. I guess a little background might be helpful.

I’m 25 years old, 6 foot 4, and have always been big. Played the line in high school football, but after college things got bad, real bad. At the beginning of this year I had my Phoenix moment when I realized I was buying XXXXLT shirts. I also realized I was a fat, pathetic, lazy piece of shit.

That had to change.

I had to weigh myself on the laundry scale at the back of the hospital. When I did, I discovered I weighed 440 pounds. (Damn.) Now, I’ve lost a hundred pounds and am sitting in the mid 330s. I’ve still got a long, long ways to go and am working hard to change my life and get away from being the token fat guy.

My immediate goal is to be back in the 200s by my sister’s wedding in December. Past that, I will be 240 by next summer, and I’ll see what they lay of the land is then.

To do that, I need to take my nutrition to the next level, and this is where I need your guys’ help.

I start my new job in less than a week, and with that new job comes the first stable, decent income I’ve ever earned (working in the nonprofit world didn’t earn me the big bucks, or really, small bucks, either).

Now that I won’t have to be living hand to mouth, I have the chance to actually buy good, healthy food and even indulge in supplements.

I’ve made some good progress this year in my battle to lose weight and get healthy, but the nutrition side of the health triangle has always been my weak spot. It’s time to correct that.

Thus Far

My nutritional plan for weight loss has been pretty basic: 2500 calories a day broken evenly over five meals. Granted, there have been some general, healthier moves from my former french fries, Chinese buffets, and Dr. Pepper lifestyle. Avoiding fried foods, drinking water, drinking lots of water, switching to diet soda, et cetera.

I’ve even tried to track my food with a nutrition log. But in all reality, I haven’t had any kind of real, substantial plan to attack my nutrition with like the thought out plans I’ve had for my weight training and cardio.

I eat, and record what I eat so my number stays below my goal. I cheat, and then try to wing it the rest of the day. I leave myself open for crappy eating because I don’t have a plan. My analogy? I’m like my rail thin friend who came with me to the gym one lifting day. While I pounded my way through my full body routine, he aimlessly hopped from one machine to the next with no idea of what the hell he should be doing.

Being that guy is unfortunate, but KNOWING that you’re that guy sucks. It’s like I’ve lost my nutritional innocence and can’t go back to my life of caloric ignorance and bliss.

So, it’s time to take my very elementary meal plan, give it some tweaks, and crank it up another notch for the next round of highly focused weight loss, what I’m calling my 14 Weeks of Hell (to get to my sister’s December wedding under 300 pounds).

To take my nutrition (and fat loss) to the next level, I need your help (scroll to the bottom for the questions). I’m going to describe my nutrition goals and plan, and then I’ll ask for your help in developing a meal plan and other answers to other mysteries of life.

The Plan

The goal of my nutritional plan is to help me loose fat (and not muscle). Lots of fat. I’m a hundred down so far, and have at least another hundred to go. So, I’ll be operating in a caloric deficit of approximately 20% below my daily energy expenditure.

By and large, I plan to adapt the Carb Cycling Codex by Christian Thibaudeau.

However, I plan on doing some modifications and simplifications to Thib’s program in order to make my transition into a full fledged meal plan successful both now and for the long term.
I’ve got enough going on with my life that crunching a lot of numbers and counting days and over-analyzing macronutrients is going to be way too much for me.

My major adjustments are: b Use a two day carb cycle[/b] (higher and lower) rather than the three day split (high, medium, and low carb days) listed in the article. Higher carbohydrates go with days I lift to give me the energy to work hard.

b Simplify the daily meal plan.[/b] Thib gives three examples based on workout times. Each has six meals daily with varying makeups to each meal. With the exceptions of the two midday meals, every meal is different in macronutrient composition.

Here is what he posted as the evening workout example:

Meal 1 (upon waking up): Carbs + protein meal
Meal 2 (10:00) Carbs, protein, and green veggies
Meal 3 (12:30): Protein, fat, and green veggies
Meal 4 (15:30): Protein, fat, and green veggies
Meal 5 (Post-workout, around 18:00): Protein and carb drink
Meal 6 (21:00): Carbs + protein meal

Again, in an effort to make my personal work with a meal plan successful and implementable, I am going to be making some changes in the number of meals and their composition:

Meal 1 (Waking Up) Carbs and protein
Meal 2 (10:30am) Carbs and protein
Meal 3 (2:00pm) Protein, fat, green veggies
Meal 4 (5:00pm) Workout / post-workout nutrition (carbs and protein)
Meal 5 (8:00pm) Protein, fat, green veggies

As you can see, I’ve standardized my meal setups into two categories (discounting the workout nutrition): carbs and no carbs. As has been recommended numerous times, I’ll only be eating carbs in the mornings and during my workout / immediately after it (I’m in the gym every day weight training, HIIT, or just occasionally jogging on the elliptical).

My goal is to build up to a handful of easy to prepare recopies that I can quickly make and have stocked and ready to go. Having a smaller number of variables makes meals easier to standardize, and thereby making the plan easier to stick with in the long term.

Mike Roussell’s article Preparing for Battle was a really good intro to the practical side of all of this.

I want to implement a base macronutrient ratio of 40% carbs, 40% proteins, and 20% fats. Balanced nutrition - enough said. I like the appeal of low carb diets for their miracle working fat loss powers, but I like the idea of being able to sustain this plan over the long haul even more. And really, that’s what this is all about for me: transforming my life from the 440 pound fatso to someone lean, strong, and healthy.

Daily Caloric Goals & Carb Cycling

I’m using the Harris-Benedict formula to determine my basal metabolic rate:

66 + (13.7 * (weight in kg)) + (5 * (height in cm)) - (6.8 * 25)

Looking at the activity level chart in Thib’s article, I would multiply the BMR rate by 1.4 (Light) or 1.6 (Moderate) for my lifting days. If I was to use my current weight (335), with the BMR formula and then apply the activity level multipliers and then the 20% caloric defect, I get some ludicrously high numbers: 3300 and 3775, respectively.

There’s absolutely no way that can be right, but I’m at an impasse of how to correctly calculate what my daily caloric intake should be from a nutritional / physiological / scientific standpoint. Everything I’ve done up until this point has been simple guesswork.

If I try and calculate my macronutrient ratio based on body weight (instead of caloric ratios), the numbers get wonky again. If I set my protein goal at 1.25g/pound and carbs at 1.25g/pound, that already puts me at almost 3700 calories. I’m already over my daily limit on the light activity day and close to my moderate activity day, and that’s before I’ve added any fats to my diet!

I’m really at a loss of what the best way to sort this out would be. Should I just set a semi-arbitrary pair of caloric goals and/or decide on an ‘ideal’ body weight and then work backwards?

Workout Nutrition

Here’s an area that’s absolutely new and foreign to me: workout nutrition. As I mentioned in the beginning of this, I’ve been in the po’ house the past few years, including the last eight months of my lifestyle change.

There simply hasn’t been money in the budget for shakes and supplements, so I’ve tried to make due by eating protein as quick as I can after my workouts. Now, I’ll be looking into a during and post-workout shake full of carbs and protein to act as my fourth meal of the day.

T-Nation advertises Surge a lot. That may be an option, but I’m wide open.

My Questions For You

Knowing all of this on a theoretical and academic level is just fine and dandy, but I need some help actually implementing my plan in the form of creating meal choices.

1. Number Crunching: Even though I’m a hundred punds lighter than where I was in January, I’m still a big, fat guy with a long way to go. So, I’m at a loss of how to calculate my BMR, calorie goals, and amounts of macronutrients. Simply plugging in my weight of 335 doesn’t seem to make sense to me, as the numbers just end up being ridiculously high! Should I just pick a lower number to crunch numbers with?

2.Daily caloric intake. Thibs doesn’t out and out state it, but from reading his article, what I can gather is that the daily caloric intake varies based on the amount of carbohydrates eaten (75% on low days, 100% on mediums, and 125% on heavies). Protein and fat stays the same. OR, calories remain constant, but the fats and carbs percentages vary. Which is it?

3.Meal plans & recipes: I’m not much of a chef, but I’m learning. So, I can use anything and everything you guys have got about meal plans (and yes, I’m reading all the stuff I can find on T-Nation… likely as you read this). I’m going to be pre-purchasing my food and prepping it a few days in advance according to my plan. ‘Fail to plan, and you plan to fail,’ right? This way, I can just toss it into the microwave and be good to go in a few minutes, as I hate spending 20 minutes to cook unless it’s grilling on a Sunday while watching the NFL! I could just use some help in putting all this theory into use. A big part of that for me is developing a stable set of go-to recipes that I can draw from time and time again.

4.My daily meal plan: I know going to 6 or even 7 meals is best, but for now I’m staying at five. Simplified and pared down from Thib’s example (the early evening workout plan), does what I listed pass the mustard?

5.Pre/post-workout Nutrition: Now with a decently paying job, I can afford to think about supplements and the like. I have yet to do much research, but as long as I’m writing this post, I’d be happy to hear your recommendations.

I didn’t… And I don’t expect anyone else to read this man. Sorry.

I apologise. I was a prick before. But I actually ended up reading this. Hopefully someone gives you advice. I don’t have time to at the moment, (plus I’m not that qualified either) but I’ll post soon if nobody has. You seem determined and like you actually may have good discipline when following a laid out plan. Good stuff.

I don’t want to be a dick, but carb cycling isn’t for you, you are too fat for it to work optimally, carb cycling is for people who are already relativly lean (~10% bodyfat) and don’t need to gain a lot of muscle either. Read this article: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/refined_physique_transformation

I would try following his nutrition advice in it.

As for a workout plan, try this: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/destroying_fat_war_room_strategies_to_maximize_fat_loss

  1. Number Crunching: Even though I’m a hundred punds lighter than where I was in January, I’m still a big, fat guy with a long way to go. So, I’m at a loss of how to calculate my BMR, calorie goals, and amounts of macronutrients. Simply plugging in my weight of 335 doesn’t seem to make sense to me, as the numbers just end up being ridiculously high! Should I just pick a lower number to crunch numbers with?

The easiest thing to do (instead of wasting time staring at your calculator) is to make a food log and see how many calories your taking in. From there drop it 300 to 500 calories and see what the difference in your weight is. There are a shitload of calcs you can get caught up in; dont’. Get your protien to 1g/lb (or there abouts) and you’ll be able to adjust the fat/carbs from there.

2.Daily caloric intake. Thibs doesn’t out and out state it, but from reading his article, what I can gather is that the daily caloric intake varies based on the amount of carbohydrates eaten (75% on low days, 100% on mediums, and 125% on heavies). Protein and fat stays the same. OR, calories remain constant, but the fats and carbs percentages vary. Which is it?

I agree with the response of another guy here, your wanting to loose fat fast and you have alot to loose; so carb cycling isn’t the best choice for you. carb cycling is good for people looking to slowly gain weight while staying somewhat lean. If you want to be in the 200s by december (correct me if i misread) then I suggest looking up the v-diet; that is the best way to loose a large amount of fat, fast.

3.Meal plans & recipes: I’m not much of a chef, but I’m learning. So, I can use anything and everything you guys have got about meal plans (and yes, I’m reading all the stuff I can find on T-Nation… likely as you read this). I’m going to be pre-purchasing my food and prepping it a few days in advance according to my plan. ‘Fail to plan, and you plan to fail,’ right? This way, I can just toss it into the microwave and be good to go in a few minutes, as I hate spending 20 minutes to cook unless it’s grilling on a Sunday while watching the NFL! I could just use some help in putting all this theory into use. A big part of that for me is developing a stable set of go-to recipes that I can draw from time and time again.

If you go with the V-Diet; being a chef won’t be a problem for it is all protien shakes; basically. but if you don’t go with the velocity diet, then your just gonig to want to keep it simple stupid (K.I.S.S.). look up other peoples food logs and see what we are eating. here is what i’m eating, its pretty simple.

breakfast: shake with egg, milk, whey, oats, bananna
snack: shake, oats, apple
lunch: chicken, bacon, potatoe
snack: chicken, rice (preworkout)
dinner: chicken, pasta (post workout)
snack: 4 eggs & turkey pepperoni

now; i’m bulking…so all the carbs aren’t what you want…but it’s just an example of how you don’t have to spend alot of time or know how to cook GREAT in order to get the foods you need.

4.My daily meal plan: I know going to 6 or even 7 meals is best, but for now I’m staying at five. Simplified and pared down from Thib’s example (the early evening workout plan), does what I listed pass the mustard?

Crap, I can’t remember what you said about this. 5 meals is fine…it’s the totals and the timing that matter most.

5.Pre/post-workout Nutrition: Now with a decently paying job, I can afford to think about supplements and the like. I have yet to do much research, but as long as I’m writing this post, I’d be happy to hear your recommendations.

Surge is outstanding and alot of people on here love it; including myself. I’m poo’ right now so i’m just mixing unflavored whey with gatorade powder.

Meal 1 (Waking Up) Carbs and protein
Meal 2 (10:30am) Carbs and protein
Meal 3 (2:00pm) Protein, fat, green veggies
Meal 4 (5:00pm) Workout / post-workout nutrition (carbs and protein)
Meal 5 (8:00pm) Protein, fat, green veggies

if this is what you were aiming at; then its not too shabby. you have the basic set up if you dont’ do the v-diet.

Eat less than 30g carbs a day. Eat eggs, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork (any meat is what I’m getting at). Also drink low carb shakes with cottage cheese and nut butters (watch your carb intake though) spinach, peppers, mushrooms, zucchinis, eggplant and stewed tomatoes.

All those foods are low carb and you’ll most likely see drastic weight loss if you stick to them. Cheat once or twice a week. and as the other posters said, keep a log so that you monitor carb intake.

Focus on macronutrient intake before calories. Eat 1 (at least) protein per pound, get good fats in (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil) and keep carbs very low. I think we can all agree that this would work if he follows it?

Looks like I went way overboard on the information, didn’t I? So thanks for replying.

After reading the replies, my big question is what in the world should I set my daily caloric intake to? From there, it’s easy enough for me to sort out the rest of the macronutrient stuff, but with me being the 335lb. fatass, I’m hesitant to say I need a half-ton of protein and ten thousand calories a day just because I’ve got over a hundred pounds of fat on my frame.

Does that make sense?

@waldo: In the various carb cycling articles I’ve read by Thib, he only makes mention once (in passion) that carb cycling is for people who are lean and wanting to get shredded. I suppose that may just be common knowledge I wasn’t aware of.

However, wouldn’t the general principle of having more carbs on lifting days and less on off / cardio days be true, regardless? Or am I missing something?

@B rocK: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I may try the Velocity diet in the future (eyeing it for early '09, actually). But for right now, I need to learn to / discipline myself to get on a strict, healthy, preplanned foot plan.

If I keep up my weight training, HIIT, and stay on top of my nutrition, I won’t have any problem crossing the 299 mark by mid December.

@rudilerm: I won’t be going strictly low carb for a number of reasons, but my initial thoughts were that a form of carb cycling would strike a good balance between a balanced diet and low carb approaches.

If carb cycling is out, I’m considering a basic 40/40/20 split, but would 30/40/30 be as good or not? Or really, am I just splitting hairs at this point (as I suspect I am)?

Meat/eggs + essential oil/nuts + green veggies + fish oil.
Water or green tea.

6 times a day. 2-3 hours apart.

Cheat once a week with a high carb meal.

You will lose the fat and you don’t need to worry about calories.

“What about cheese? What about X?”

Too complicated for you. You have spent a long time enjoying food. Now - stop, and eat like a machine - the human you are supposed to be.

P.S. Before anyone comments, yes, I know it is very possible to enjoy meals of meat and fats. I do it frequently. This person does not need to worry about calories, taste, or anything at this time.

Speaking from experience going low carb is not as difficult as one thinks. Especially when you can eat as many green veggies as you want. I agree with Ksommer in the fact that for me at least having a diet that was “open” in regards to what I ate wouldn’t work. I know if I can eat something based on 1 macro nutrient. I’m still playing with my daily intake of calories, but I don’t get lost in it. I’m more concerned about keeping my protein high, and my carbs low (30-40g) Cheat days constitute the same diet but I add in steel cut oats for breakfast and I treat myself to Surge during/after workout.(which happens to be leg days)

OP you can try the balanced, lower calorie approach, but if you seriously want jumpstart your weight loss, going low carb will do that. It’s why so many coaches on here talk about it, especially for bigger guys. (I started at 285 btw, and am now down to 255 - 6’5")

If I were you (and I’m not, but just my humble opinion), I would go ketogenic for a while and see how you react. Hop on dailyplate.com. You can track your food intake, exercise and weight, etc very easily, really cool tool. Here are some examples of meals I eat on a daily basis:

Breakfast: 1/2 serving protein shake with water, 6-8 ounces of meat(steak, chix, turkey, fish etc), green veggies if desired (steamed broccoli, frozen spinach or kale with hot sauce)
Breakfast #2: 6-8 ounces of meat, green veggies at will, 3 omega eggs (scrambled, over easy, omelet with peppers and spinach, whatever)
Lunch: 6-8 ounces of meat with salad and vinegar/olive oil/spice/herb dressing
Lunch #2: 6-8 ounces of meat with handful of mixed nuts (I use Planters Nutrition mixes), cucumber slices

Almost all of my non-cheat carbs come from trace carbs in meat and shakes(marinades, fiber etc), green veggies, and some fruit. There is no need to eat oatmeal, whole wheat products or sweet potatoes while trying to lose weight. Just because they are “good” carbs does not make them essential or beneficial in losing weight. Fruit and veggies will do just fine!

You could do a post workout shake of whey, glutamine and glycine (NOW brands has both) to mimic the effects of Surge without the added carbs. Mega dose fish oil, find a multi-vitamin you like, any supps beyond that are up to you (but I wouldn’t go crazy with stimulants) Get your rest, get into a nice routine but remember to get a variety of protein and vegetable sources. Search the Physique Clinic for Bartl’s thread, I think the diet and exercise plan he was successful on could work well for you too. Stay positive, stay motivated and grind it out.

[quote]TheImperial wrote:
New Guy

1. Number Crunching: Even though I’m a hundred punds lighter than where I was in January, I’m still a big, fat guy with a long way to go. So, I’m at a loss of how to calculate my BMR, calorie goals, and amounts of macronutrients. Simply plugging in my weight of 335 doesn’t seem to make sense to me, as the numbers just end up being ridiculously high! Should I just pick a lower number to crunch numbers with?

2.Daily caloric intake. Thibs doesn’t out and out state it, but from reading his article, what I can gather is that the daily caloric intake varies based on the amount of carbohydrates eaten (75% on low days, 100% on mediums, and 125% on heavies). Protein and fat stays the same. OR, calories remain constant, but the fats and carbs percentages vary. Which is it?

3.Meal plans & recipes: I’m not much of a chef, but I’m learning. So, I can use anything and everything you guys have got about meal plans (and yes, I’m reading all the stuff I can find on T-Nation… likely as you read this). I’m going to be pre-purchasing my food and prepping it a few days in advance according to my plan. ‘Fail to plan, and you plan to fail,’ right? This way, I can just toss it into the microwave and be good to go in a few minutes, as I hate spending 20 minutes to cook unless it’s grilling on a Sunday while watching the NFL! I could just use some help in putting all this theory into use. A big part of that for me is developing a stable set of go-to recipes that I can draw from time and time again.

4.My daily meal plan: I know going to 6 or even 7 meals is best, but for now I’m staying at five. Simplified and pared down from Thib’s example (the early evening workout plan), does what I listed pass the mustard?

5.Pre/post-workout Nutrition: Now with a decently paying job, I can afford to think about supplements and the like. I have yet to do much research, but as long as I’m writing this post, I’d be happy to hear your recommendations.
[/quote]

I can see you are serious about your goals and applaud you for taking the time to write things out in such detail. I am particullarly impressed by the fact that you have done your homework, come this far and made the progress you have. That being said let’s get started:

In terms of calculating calories, I somewhat agree with B rock in that a food log would be helpful but, I also agree you need a starting point. When I calculate things for clients I begin with protein, it is the most metabolically active maacronutrient and it is the thing you should calculate first. I would estimate your lean mass around 201 lbs (I know that may sound low but without knowing your BF we can only give it a best guess). With a lbm of 201 I would suggest shooting for about 2.0grams per lblbm so we arrive at 404 grams of protein. Next we adress your fat intake, it should be (at this point) around .65/lb lbm so we calculate that number and end up with 130 grams of fat. Of the 130 grams 25grams should come from fish oil, 80grams should come from monounsaturated fats (olive oil is a great choice) and each day you should get an additional 1T from macademia nut oil (or 1 serving of macademias) (-which may on some days put you slightly over 130grams) 3 grams a day of Evening Primrose Oil the rest should come from the fat in your foods. Carbs at this point I would leave out (except for vegtables which you are free to eat as much as you like and a small amount of dark berries).

For simplicity sake I will write out a sample day for you:

1.10 oz Lean grass-fed beef, 2 servings Asparagus, Balsamic dressing (Newman’s organic lighten up Balsamic)

2.Shake (2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 1 T cinnamon, 1/4 cup Blueberries, 2 cups frozen organic spinach 1 whole omega 3 egg, 2T greek yogurt)

3.10 oz Chicken Breast, Large salad (spring mix lettuce, cherry tomato, gorgonzola, pine nuts, balsamc dressing)

4.10 oz Salmon or other fish, french cut green beans balsamic dressing

5.10 oz Turkey breast 1T macademia nut oil (I don’t know when you train but the MNO should be in the meal following your workout after your shake) 2 Servings broccoli lemon juice

Drink 8oz green tea with each of your meals and an ADDITIONAL gallon of h2O/day

Supplements:

  1. Fish Oil (I like flame out, smart blend, and krill oil I rotate the source every 2 weeks) take with each meal EXCEPT immediatly post workout.

  2. Superfood (this, greens + or Poliquin’s Greens would be a good choice)

  3. HCL do the acid test I have described in other posts to assess your correct dose. I recommend the Poliquin brand but, if price is prohibitive go with any beatine HCL (It would be better to spend the money on food)

  4. Metabolic Drive (I owuld use vanilla or banana for the shake recomendation I gave you)

  5. Glycine (buy as a powder)
    Glutamine (buy as a powder)
    Whey Isolate (I would use AST or Poliquin)

  6. BCAA’s (I would use xtend by scivation)

for your workout nutrition:

Before:

1 Scoop Whey isolate

During:

40grams BCAA

After:

Build up to 20grams glycine (DO NOT TRY THIS AT FIRST start around 5grams)
20 grams glutamine
80 Grams Whey isolate

additionally 4 grams of carnitine l tartrate would be helpful

You can grill your food for the week and freeze it so all you have to do is heat it up when it is mealtime.

If you haven’t seen it yet I would also check out precision nutrition as it has a wealth of information but, above all some great food pred tips and recipies.

That should have the weight dropping off and preserve the muscle, good luck and keep us posted.

To save money on supplements check out www.thejuiedmoose.com they carry some Biotest too!

[quote]TheImperial wrote:

<<I had to weigh myself on the laundry scale at the back of the hospital. When I did, I discovered I weighed 440 pounds. (Damn.) Now, I’ve lost a hundred pounds and am sitting in the mid 330s. I’ve still got a long, long ways to go[/quote]

Congratulations! That is a fantastic accomplishment so far. And from the rest of the post, I see you have done a lot of homework. Good job.

[quote]My nutritional plan for weight loss has been pretty basic: 2500 calories a day broken evenly over five meals. . . .

I’ve even tried to track my food with a nutrition log. But in all reality, I haven’t had any kind of real, substantial plan to attack my nutrition with like the thought out plans I’ve had for my weight training and cardio.[/quote]

I have helped a few overweight friends with nutrition and (sometimes) workout plans. With nutrition, you can do just fine without a complicated plan – for awhile. What you have done is just fine – cut out the junk and limit your calories.

When that quits working, because the body adapts, it’s time to get more specific.

For example, I first cleaned up my diet, but didn’t count calories or grams of anything. Then, I started counting/logging. Next, I dropped the impact (starchy) carbs in favor of a fat-adapted diet.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Hell for fat loss. I have seen SO MANY PEOPLE fail by taking calories too low, where they initially lose quickly, but where the body rebels and dials the metabolism so low, it’s impossible to lose any more fat even on low calories.

There are some enlightening studies on this phenomenon, but I’ve also seen it happen to a number of people I know.

I don’t know if that’s what you had in mind, but I’m warning you just in case. :slight_smile:

I advise people to lose about 1-2 pounds of fat per week, with occasional plateaus (it’s not linear; some weeks you may lose more, some less).

[i]It’s much more important – AND MUCH HARDER – to sustain the fat loss forever than it is to lose it quickly.[/i]

Sounds good. I recommend that you track your progress with a skinfold caliper. If you can get a friend to pinch skinfolds in EXACTLY the same spot each week, you can get reliable feedback as to whether you are losing fat, muscle, or both.

[quote]By and large, I plan to adapt the Carb Cycling Codex by Christian Thibaudeau.

However, I plan on doing some modifications and simplifications to Thib’s program in order to make my transition into a full fledged meal plan successful both now and for the long term.

I’ve got enough going on with my life that crunching a lot of numbers and counting days and over-analyzing macronutrients is going to be way too much for me.[/quote]

Hmm. First of all, I think if you were to ask Coach Thibaudeau, he would recommend the Refined Physique Transformation for you, not the CCC. The CCC is for guys looking to break below 10%. It is not optimal for you.

And RPT is much simpler than what you are describing here.

And you can EASILY transition into more carbs when you are lean.

For example, if you follow a fat-adapted diet for awhile until you lose all the fat you want to lose, and if you wish to try eating more carbs, it is easy to add some PWO and see how you do. Then add more at breakfast and see how you do. Etc.

The advantage of a fat-adapted diet like RPT is that you will lower insulin. At higher bodyfat, you are virtually guaranteed to be very insulin resistant, meaning that your muscle doesn’t use carbs very well, so they easily get stored as fat.

You might as well reduce your insulin levels and get your body burning fat for fuel around the clock.

Over the course of a day?

or a week?

or a single meal?

You see what I mean. Macronutrient ratios are not that important, at least not daily or weekly averages.

I applaud the long-haul thinking.

However, I disagree that low-carb is not sustainable. I’ve eaten low-carb for 6 months and could easily do it forever. I have 2 friends doing great who say that they will be happy to eat this way forever.

I will be experimenting with amounts and timing of carbs; in fact, I’m beginning to carb cycle now. But I will choose either more or less carbs based on objective measures of how I do.

[quote]I’m using the Harris-Benedict formula to determine my basal metabolic rate:

66 + (13.7 * (weight in kg)) + (5 * (height in cm)) - (6.8 * 25)

Looking at the activity level chart in Thib’s article, I would multiply the BMR rate by 1.4 (Light) or 1.6 (Moderate) for my lifting days.

If I was to use my current weight (335), with the BMR formula and then apply the activity level multipliers and then the 20% caloric defect, I get some ludicrously high numbers: 3300 and 3775, respectively.

There’s absolutely no way that can be right, but I’m at an impasse of how to correctly calculate what my daily caloric intake should be from a nutritional / physiological / scientific standpoint. Everything I’ve done up until this point has been simple guesswork.[/quote]

I’m not an expert on the Harris-Benedict, but it probably applies to a population that doesn’t really include you. And it is, at best, an estimate.

These are regression formulas derived from the data from a certain population. They give a good estimate for a person who is average in that population. I would guess that the population does not include people of your weight and bodyfat %.

So ignore the formula. You already have a pretty good idea of a calorie baseline if you have been losing on 2500 per day. From what you say, it sounds like you averaged 2 pounds/week for a year, and some of the deficit came from diet and some from workout. That sounds good.

If you follow CT’s RPT, as I strongly recommend, a comprehensive plan is laid out, including workout nutrition and other supplements.

I don’t remember if the article mentions it, but I also recommend magnesium and vitamin C supplements for low-carb dieters. A good multi, plus separate magnesium, is what I do.

This is a big request! I’m working on some stuff now to help my friends, and it is a lot of work to put together. Like writing a book or something. . .

Five is perfectly fine.

Good luck and congratulations on your accomplishment so far.

Keeping it simple is the best thing you can do.

I have a spreadsheet that is pretty good if you need help tracking your food. Nutrition is so important. You can’t out-train poor nutrition.

If you feel hungry you might want to eat the Benefiber tablets and you can eat as much celery as you want.

Here is a pic of what my spreadsheet looks like. Although you may also want to try Fitday.com