Diet and Routine Question for Tampa-Terry and All!

Hey TT,
I thought I would jump on the band-wagon so to speak and get your “expert” advice on my diet and training…haha.
My stats are as follows…6-1, 185lbs, with 7-9%BF. My goal is to get to 195-200lbs, yet keep my BF at relatively the same level where its at right now (which I know is a hard thing to do). I know you cant put on weight AND lower BF%, but I want to gain a little weight and keep my BF%…make sense??? Any who. Here is a typical day of eating for me (sorry if this gets too long).

6 Egg Whites (100 cal, 21P, 2C, 0F)
Oatmeal (300 cal, 10P, 54C, 6F)
Banana (92 cal, 1P, 23C, 0.5F)
Whey Protein (89cal, 20P, 1C, 0.5F)
Totals: 581 cal, 52P, 80C, 7F

Snack: (post workout)
Protein shake (320 cal, 30P, 48C, 0.5F)

Within The Hour After Workout:
Cottage Cheese (270cal, 42P, 21C, 0F)
Yogurt (45cal, 3P, 8C, 0F)
Grape Nuts (60 cal, 1.5P, 10C, 0.5F)
***I combine 1.5 cups of cottage cheese with about half container of yogurt with a little grape nuts to make it a little more palatable…;o)

Totals 695 cal, 77P, 87C, 1F

Tuna (135 cal, 30P, 0C, 2F)
Cheese (30 cal, 5P, 2C, 0F)
Slice Wheat Bread (90cal, 4P, 18C, 1F)
Peanut Butter (100 cal, 4P, 4C, 8F)
Salad (romaine lettuce, cucumber, shredded carrots, fresh broccoli)

Totals: 415 cal, 43P, 28C, 11F

Protein Drink (170 cal, 28P, 12C, 0.5F)
Protein Bar (290 cal, 24P, 37C, 5F)
Apple (80cal, 0P, 21C, 0.5F)

Totals: 540 cal, 52P, 70C, 6F)

Cottage Cheese (90 cal, 14P, 7C, 0F)
Tuna (135 cal, 30 P, 0C, 2F)
Mixed Nuts (170 cal, 4P, 6C, 16F)

Totals: 395cal, 48P, 13C, 18F)

Ground Turkey (240 cal, 56P, 0C, 2F)
Cheese (30 cal, 5P, 2C, 0F)
Green Beans (50 cal, 2P, 8C, 0F)

Totals: 320 cal, 63P, 10C, 2F)

Egg Whites (100 cal, 21P, 2C, 0F)
Low Carb Drink (110cal, 15P. 2C, 4F)

Totals: 210 cal, 36P, 4C, 4F)

***I try to take 10 fish oil caps per day (100 cal, 0P, 0C, 10F)

***I take a protein drink with water in the middle of the night also
(89cal, 20P, 1C, 0.5F)

3345 cal
391P (47%)
293C (35%)
60F (16%)

WHEW…sorry about that!!! I try to taper off of carbs during the day…pretty much after 6PM, I take in very little carbs. I am wondering if you have any suggestions?? I think I need to eat more calories can lower my carbs a little. So, instead of 1.5 cups pf oatmeal in the morning, I am only going to eat 0.5 cups and add a chicken breast to my eggs to compensate. And I will probably add some very lean (93%) ground beef in my diet also to add some fat and calories. The only problem I have is that I can’t afford to buy certain supplements I know I should have (ie…Grow! and Surge)…I just buy a brand of whey protein I get at my gym. Do you have any suggestions of other foods I can buy to add some calories, if that is what I need to do for my goals?

Oh…I forgot to mention my workout routines…haha. Well, I just finished a month of Christian Thibadeaux’s OVT program and I am taking the recommended 2 weeks to do something different. So, I took his Canadian Cannons workout for arms and applied that routine to all body parts (I wrote to him, and he said it is alright to do). And then, after two weeks of that, I will do another month of OVT. In terms of cardio, I do anywheres from 3-5 days per week at 25-30 minutes (but lately I have been doing only 3 days). I fluctuate between interval training on the treadmill to doing the eliptical machine and stairmaster. I guess it depends on how I feel that day. Sooooo, thats about it. I hope it all made sense! I would GREATLY appreciate your input. Any advice, suggestions, words of wisdom would be great…(wink wink). Hope to hear from you soon…Tony

Okay, Tony. This is one I’ve been dying to sink my teeth into, and I’m glad you asked. But before I start, I need to let you know that my approach is a bit “different” from the typical T-Mag/T-Nation approach.

Rob Faigin in his book Natural Hormonal Balance has a BB version diet. The goals of the diet are to put on muscle while maintaining (or dropping slightly) BF. He uses a low-carb approach and strategic carb refeeds. (You’ve never heard those words come out of my mouth before, have you? (wink))

Here are the rules if you care to experiment on yourself.

  1. Carbs on a daily basis are kept to less than 30g.

  2. Even at 30g, avoid fructose (fruit), honey, sugar, galactose (milk & milk products). Take in veggie carbs, spinach and mushrooms to get the most bang for your carb buck.

  3. Take in 2g or so of protein per pound of BW. Running your numbers, I’d recommend 9 “meals” at 40g of protein per meal.

  4. That leaves fat. With carbohydrates restricted, fat will be your chief source of calories. And without sufficient calories, you can’t build muscle. And though fat is not restricted, it is important that you take in quality fats; i.e., high dose fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, macadamia nuts (the nuts that are the highest in fats and lowest in carbs).

My particular twists or deviations from Faigin’s plan might be to keep carbs at 30g on non-workout days and raise that number to 60g on workout days, to allow for Surge.

Also, I would eat a heckuva lot of spinach and mushrooms and any other carb sources that are high in satisfaction but low in carbs.

Now, let’s get to the carb refeeds. The rules are:

  1. You need to carb up on Day 3 and Day 7 of any given week. Alternatively, you could carb up every 4 days, which is what I do.

  2. A carb up consists of 2 meals with 100g of starchy (not sugary) carbs; rice, potatoes, pasta. My favorite is spagetti, but it could also be yellow rice and black beans or oatmeal. That’s the minimum, Tony. If you can eat more than 100g in 1 sitting and want it, go right ahead. My BW is a lot less than yours, and I can eat 100g x 2 no problem.

  3. During a carb-up meal, fat should be as low as possible. I’m generally able to keep it at zero. Protein in each of those two meals should be kept to <20g.

  4. Since carb ups can cause craving flare-ups, you might want to eat your two carb-up meals the last two meals of the day so that you sleep through any cravings you might have had and upon waking, your carb-up is just a distant memory. When you eat them is optional, though if you were inclined to go a different route, I’d pick first thing in the morning or post-workout, as those are times that we are more insulin sensitive.

Some high fat meals? Chicken salad with celery or tuna fish salad with celery. I have no problems getting in my fat. I could easily eat 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil with a chicken breast or added to my eggs. There are so many ways.

Okay, I’m sure I’ve left something out, but at this point I’d really like to know what you think.

Now, what I can tell you as a personal testimonial is that when I was doing Atkins (<20g of carbs/day), after a month, I started gaining weight. It was the darndest thing since I was trying to LOSE weight. I’m sure looking back (since I was working out), that it was LBM that I was putting on. And Atkins, of course, does not utilize strategic carb refeeds.


Hey TT,
First off…thanks for such an awesome response. I appreciate the great amount of input you put into my inquiry. All I have to say is…WHEW!!! That was quite a bit to take in. I do have a ton of questions for you again though. Alright, here it goes.

I have NEVER dieted before, so I am a little apprehensive to restrict my carbs to 30 grams per day. Should I maybe start off with the T-Dawg 2.0 diet and then work my way down to 30 carbs a day?

You recommended 9 “meals” per day with each meal consisting of 40 grams of protein each. Absolutely no problem there! The question I have here is this…would chicken breast, ground turkey, tuna, lean beef, and egg whites be alright for my protein sources, in conjunction with my whey protein??

You stated I should keep my carbs to 30 grams on non-lifting days and up to 60 on lifting days (so that I can use Surge). Well, unfortunately, I cant afford Surge…so after each workout, I but “The Shake” made by Eclipse (320 cals, 30P, 48C, 0.5F)…would that be a decent substitute?

In terms of fats, you stated I should keep it to fish oils, flax seed oil, olive oil…should I stay with capsules, or would it be easier to buy the liquid form? Where can I buy the liquid form…Wal Mart, Eckerds? And for olive oil…how would I take that? Should add a tablespoon to veggies or would I just cook my meat in it?

I’m a little worried that I wont be getting enough calories with this approach. Am I wrong to assume this? By your calculations, how many should I be consuming per day for my goals?

Oh, and I plan on using OVT for my workouts for the next month. Phase I was great, after NEXT week, I will start phase II. I am thinking I should start that diet with Phase II…what do you think? (Remember, goals are to put on 10-15 lbs, but keep BF% relatively where its at now, maybe lower it a little if all goes well…(wink).

Your suggestions on carb re-feeds was great! I understoood everything. I think that I would use the every 3rd and 7th day approach, and eat my meals in the morning and post workout when I more insulin sensative.

Well, thats it for now. I await your response. Or anyone elses for that matter! Hope to hear from you soon…Tony G

I have one suggestion about your choices of protein, and when you are eating them. Casein, which is the main protein in cottage cheese takes a very long time to digest, instead of eating it after your work out go for the eggs, or whey protein which are very fast to absorb. Also go with the cottage cheese before bed intead of the eggs for the same reason, it will stay in your system longer keeping you out of a catabolic state during your 8-10 hour fast. If following his diet, go with sharp cheddar or some other dairy source for your protein at night.

Live Hard, Love Hard, Laugh Hard, & Heal Fast!


if i was to use this diet with my workout, would i get thinner?? i want to lose weight to have more defined muscles…thanks


Hey ChahleyMan,
This diet gives me around 3300-3500 calories per day. I weigh 185 at 8-9%BF. So, it all depends on your measurements and goals. Obviously, if you weighed more than me, you would require more calories. I have been able to maintain my weight and physique for quite sometime using this diet, however I am looking to put on some mass AND lower my BF…so I have to tweek it to get different results. I am going to try the “Cheaters Diet” with carb re-feeds twice a week and see where that takes me. You might want to check out the article “Foods That Make You Look Good Nekid”…which will give you an idea of the type of foods you need to eat. Good luck

Tony, you were saying you’ve never dieted before, so I’d make some additional recommendations. Don’t just jump in; research the subject exhaustively before starting.

I see you’re following/participating in Timbo’s thread, so that’s an excellent start. Additionally, I’d recommend that you get and read Faigin’s book on Natural Hormonal Enhancement. You need to know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing and what the potential benefits or negatives might be for given changes/tweaks/fine-tunings you might make to your diet.

Even though I gave you some “interesting,” albeit “different” advice, be sure to read up on different and even contradictory approaches to mine. Evaluate the logic for its applicability to your situation. People tend to champion those approaches that work for them. When in reality, many approaches (or different approaches?) will work.

Here’s what’s really important. We’re all biochemically unique. Different things work for different people. Let’s use me as an example. Both my grandmothers died from complications of diabetes. My mother has diabetes and has fought morbid obesity all of her life. You can darn well bet they were insulin IN-sensitive (not a good thing) and that they did not process carbs well/efficiently. You can also darn well bet that genetically I lean toward insulin IN-sensitivity as well and that I probably do not process carbs well. I don’t.

I already know the approach I recommended works for me, and it’s what I intend to follow once I drop BF and start bulking. Faigin just gave it some structure.

Okay, now in answer to your questions . . . (grin)

Should I maybe start off with the T-Dawg 2.0 diet and then work my way down to 30 carbs a day?

Tony, I like the idea of doing T-Dawg. If you are hypercaloric (above maintenance calories), you’re going to put on weight. That’s probably what I would recommend. <30g of carbs is really, REALLY low. Until you’ve been without them, you’ll never realize how much variety and quality of life carbs provide us.

Would chicken breast, ground turkey, tuna, lean beef, and egg whites be all right for my protein sources, in conjunction with my whey protein??

Bingo. You’re dead on!!! The deal on this one is trying to get more meals so that your protein intake is kept to less than 50g in any given meal.

Re Surge, you’re right, it’s expensive. I pay about $3 per serving, and you might be able to get it for less if you shop. How much are you paying for your current solution and what’s the difference between the two? Actually, you don’t have to answer me. I was just trying to make you think. (grin) Read up on Surge in the article archive. You might change your mind.

Re the fats, I find liquid to be cheaper by far than capsules. The high-dose fish oil (6g of EPA/DHA) I take poured over my tuna. It costs me .50 a day for 6g and I get it from Shop the 'Net for your best prices. Even with shipping, it’s less than local retail. In answer to your question on how to take it, I like to add flaxseed oil to my protein shakes, to my chicken (never while cooking, but afterwards), tuna eggs. I’ve gotten so used to the taste that I think it actually ENHANCES the taste of just about any protein I eat.

I’m a little worried that I won’t be getting enough calories with this approach.

It doesn’t matter what number you start with, after a week or two you’re going to raise or lower calories to speed up or slow down weight loss. Which brings up another point. You REALLY need to keep a food log to track your food intake and your weight and BF progress. It’s the only way you can make subtle changes to your program along the way. My diet and the numbers and the macronutrient percentages are an ever-changing, dynamic approach, driven by my results (or lack thereof).

Okay, that’s it for now. Hope that helps.

ChahleyMan, getting thinner or bulking has as much to do with whether you’re hypocaloric or hypercaloric (i.e., whether you are above or below your maintenance calories). The diet I outlined for Tony was based on his taking in maintenance calories-PLUS. His goal is to put on some muscle, while keeping fat gain to a minimum. It’s not an approach I would recommend for most people, unless they’ve read up on the approach and the particulars. If you are intrigued or interested, I would recommend that you start following Timbo’s thread on strategic carb refeeds (a critical component of the approach Tony and I are discussing).