T Nation

Diet Doesn't Work. Tried it All. Help/Coach Needed


Hope someone can help me.

I am keto since 2 years eating 2500kcal without refeeds. Lost 35kg on this. But right now I am on a stall for 6 months. I tried it all. Cut out cheese, milk, sweeteners, nuts, raised protein, lowered fat, did refeeds, lowered protein, lowered kcal, raised kcal.

I even did a 3 month reverse diet with a BB but also... nothing.. I just dont know what else I can do?

Does someone know a coach? expert? specialist?
My bloodworks look great..
so no clue what is wrong...

male, 31years, 132kg 35%BF, 188cm

training 2-3x stronglifts 1x yoga



Weight Loss and Waist Gain or Vice Versa, What Gives?

If you had cheese, milk and nuts in your diet, you weren’t keto.


I cut cheese out a while ago :slight_smile: and I have been excreting ketones even with cheese :wink:
Also tested blood ketones and tried more fat (according to jimmy moore) but still…

I even lost before on more kcal with sweeteners nuts and cheese

but right now there is nothing… I just dont know… Like I said I als switched macros kcal… all…


Neither StrongLifts nor yoga are exercise methods which work towards shifting the body’s set point to a leaner level.

I understand you may enjoy them, and might not enjoy training such as Vince Gironda’s or Christian Thibaudeau’s methods of weight training for leanness, or high intensity interval training.

More of the same will yield more of the same, as you’ve realized.

So what is the priority? You won’t be handling remotely the same weights doing a Gironda style routine for example.


I always thought stronglifts is good to start and gain strengh?
I mean muscle is important to burn fat right!?

HOW can I lose weight and change Body composition then?

I suppose it is a nutrition problem neither the less… because before it was only nutrition which changed the weight


Cardio has become a dirty word on this site, but it works when done in correct amounts and not used in place of actual weight lifting.

Have you incorporated any in your program?


The factors that trigger change in metabolism from weight lifting, as opposed to change in strength, are the exercise momentarily driving cellular energy reserves extremely low (specifically, the cell senses levels of AMP, which become high as ATP and ADP are exhausted), from the cells becoming hypoxic (very low oxygen), and from occluded blood flow.

All of which occur in the kinds of training mentioned above, and which do not occur in powerlifting or strength style training.

This partly is why powerlifters tend, most of the time, to look like powerlifters. You’re training in a way that helps look like a powerlifter, not like for example a sprinter, or a bodybuilder who trains as mentioned above.

Thibaudeau’s fat burning training methods are in many articles on the site. Vince Gironda’s training out there a lot on the Web but I don’t have particular links. For example though, his 8x8 training is 8 sets of 8 reps, with no more than 30 seconds rest between sets and more preferably working down to more like 15-20 seconds, AND (importantly) with the reps done relatively slowly both up and down, with constant tension on the muscles. How much weight is used? About half of what you’d usually use for 8 reps!

That’s just one way. But typical strength training, the cells are not exhausted at the ends of sets, there was little occlusion of blood flow, and no hypoxia generated.

There are many articles on high intensity interval training as well. This could be sprinting, or sled pushing, or could be weights with routines such as Tabata.

I would disagree that it’s fundamentally a nutrition problem now, unless I’ve misunderstood your nutrition. Any number of people would lose fat on your present nutrition and at your lean body mass, if your bodyfat percentage figure is correct. You were doing so yourself before. So it’s a question of your body’s setpoint: it is resisting losing further fat. To resume losing fat, that set point issue will need to be addressed, and one of the ways I would do that is with training that’s proven to shift the body’s metabolism towards fat loss, rather than training which is in no way optimized to upregulating fat burning.

It’s true that adding muscle aids in burning fat, but how rapidly are you adding muscle with this routine? You’ve seen your recent results. StrongLifts does not employ the training techniques that change the metabolism towards burning fat probably because that was never a goal of the program, and certainly isn’t the main point of it.


On your bloodwork, your TSH is good as is your free T3. It’s possible that given your large weight loss, the free T3 doesn’t give fully the effect we might expect, due to possible elevated reverse free T3 which wasn’t tested. However, you don’t need to test it as there isn’t any action I’d take differently depending on the result.

Your Vitamin D level is very poor: supplementation would be very advisable. Where Vitamin D is deficient, total replenishment amount is typically about 600,000 IU. For example this can be achieved by taking 10,000 IU per day for 60 days or about 8 weeks. It’s not unusual to require about 4000 IU per day thereafter to maintain optimal levels.

Incidentally, while 10,000 IU per day may sound like a very high amount, strong sun can provide this amount naturally in fairly short time per day. It’s not a really high amount. Medically, replenishment is usually done with even larger, though fewer, doses for the same total written above.

Vitamin D can make a big difference to fat loss, and I’d absolutely encourage taking care of it, but it won’t be the one thing that does it for you.


hmm interesting

I always heard… “no cardio” “only weight lifting” to gain strength and stuff…

so cardio it is then?

what should I do with the kcal and macros?

more protein anyway?
how high should I go with kcal?
I am at 2000kcal right now…


I never – other than for quite brief periods in special circumstances – recommend dropping below 12 cal per day per pound of in-shape bodyweight which is how I usually express it, as people often don’t know their LBM. But based on LBM, it’s 13 cal/lb, or 28.6 cal per kg.

So if your bodyfat figure is correct, that’s 2450 cal, which is where you were, almost exactly. (50 calories won’t make significant difference.)

The problem isn’t your calories having been too high, it’s your body having a set point at your current fat level despite your calorie value being suitable for losing fat.

Your metabolism is poor now, which is why you were not losing fat on these calories. It would get worse on lower calories.

I’d go back to the 2500 calories. If Chris comes in on the thread, it could be that he’d advise going somewhat higher: if he does, I’d defer to his advice there.


Low intensity cardio of moderate duration can be of some benefit, but the greater benefit by far is as I’ve posted above.

On protein, I didn’t download from Dropbox: you may have given your current figure. If it’s below about 180 g/day, then increasing it to 180-300 g/day may help.


I am trying to go for 200g protein per day but it isnt really nice trying to also keep fat down (100g) :slight_smile:
so no joy in nutrition at all…

hmm havent tried Vince gironda style exercises yet… (ever^^) but yeah will try and have to add cardio anyway I guess then…


That’s good news. Moving to much faster paced training, with continuous tension on the muscles, and lighter weight will really help.

How can lighter weight help?

Let’s say your 1RM on an exercise would be 100 kilos. You’re training with 80 kilos, doing sets of 5.

How much energy do your cells have left after your last rep? A lot. You could probably still lift 70 or 75 kilos again. That’s a lot of reserve energy left.

The time under tension is also, typically, low when doing the 5 reps.

When taking a lighter weight as far as it can go, you’re taking your cellular energy levels much lower, increasing the time under tension, driving their oxygen levels lower.

When strength is the big goal, this can be an unappealing way to train. But long term you won’t set yourself back on strength, and gettting your metabolism back and getting your bodyfat lower could come first now. Also high intensity interval training (sprinting, Tabata, etc.) There are many articles on T-Nation.


does someone coach anyway? I guess advice is still needed for me… I am just completely unsure anymore…

what could I do nutrition wise ?
should I keep 200 protein 100 fat no carbs?

do you guys recommend “NHE” by rob faigin?
Do I need a refeed for metabolism?

I asked a BB guy and he gave me more a low carb (80) low fat (80) high protein (200) nutrition plan but I am unsure if usefull at all or if refeed and ketogenic with high protein (200) and mod fat (100) is better!?


The “BB guy”’ gave you a program with only 1840 calories. As you’ve already lost over 20% of your starting bodyweight and your fat loss stopped at only 13 calories per lb LBM, the last thing to do is to drop to 1840 calories!

200 protein and 100 fat would be fine. That’s 1700 calories. You’ll need 800 more, which is 200 g carbs, which is fine but, by the way, not ketogenic. (It doesn’t need to be.)

I lack the information as to whether Chris Shugart or Christian Thibaudeau are taking online clients presently, but you could PM and ask.


hmm you sure it doesnt need to be?
I dont want to raise carbs to quickly due to longterm keto…

I thought I could start with carbs after training first without fat and cycle the carbs this way or something similiar?


but it is more useful to cycle carbs to training days (weight) for increased muscle building and go high protein mod fat on HIIT days right?

else 200 protein 150-200 fat maybe?
and training 200protein 100 fat 200carbs?

is that better?


Do yourself a favor and read the book “The Fat Loss Bible”.

Long story short from the book:

  • for fat loss it’s only total calories that are important… this means low carb is irrelevant and only leads to water loss via glycogen depletion
  • for muscle retention macros play a role… i.e. you want around 1 g prot / kg BW, 0.5 g fat / kg BW and rest is carbs.
  • lifting is also important for muscle retention
  • cardio is optional and only increases calories burned… but you could also just eat less instead.

My personal experience has confirmed all of this, but I’ve found that after 8-12 weeks of a 500-800 cal/day deficit, fat losses slow down/stop. At this point I do 2-4 weeks at slightly above maintenance calories and lift like crazy. After that I continue with a 500 - 800 cal/day deficit again, cut back the lifting and the losses resume. With this method I’m down from 25% to 15% BF so far.

My guess is that you’re calorie counting is off somehow and you’re eating more calories than you think you are or you’re overestimating your calorie burn from exercise. This because 2500 cal for someone your size should correspond to about a deficit of 800 cal without even factoring in burn from exercise. If you’re eating nuts/cheese or other calorie dense food, it is critical to measure the weight of food you’re eating as a mis-measurement will have a huge impact (100 g of nuts is about 600 calories!).

RMR (in Cal)= 370 + LBM (in kg) * 21,6

Total calorie burn = RMR * Factor

Factor = 1,3 for sedentary
Factor = 1,5 for light - moderately active
(My factor is about 1,48 and I have a desk job)


I know this is always the first question but NO counting is accurate and to be fair … I highly doubt that our ancestors weighted the animal they killed before consuming it :wink:

I have seen that it is a hormonal issue/state which yields the most impact ( on me at least)

Being 1800kcal low fat 2 years ago with 4x 2h exercise (insulin high) and “loosing” 2kg and then switching to keto with 2500kcal and losing 35kg … so sorry… no…
I can sadly see it now also quite clearly happening again … (fool me)… even IF I reduced my BMR/RMR (which is more likely due to lowering kcal too much and for a long time!!!) that cant explain all the issues I am experiencing right now…

BTW: I am right now stalling (2000-2200kcal) and lost before on “refeeds” with higher carb and/or kcal amount… so sorry… no :wink:


[quote]eraser51 wrote:
I know this is always the first question but NO counting is accurate and to be fair … I highly doubt that our ancestors weighted the animal they killed before consuming it ;)[/quote]
EXACTLY right: key point.

The difference in results is from various factors resulting in differing setpoints. So the great majority in the past stayed lean despite not weighing their food, whereas with factors that are common today, even weighing of foods may result in remaining stuck at high bodyfat despite caloric intake that “should” result in fat loss, and did when closer to the setpoint.

This is part of why working to improve the setpoint, rather than trying to push the body yet further from the same setpoint, is what’s needed.

(The various factors including at least: physical activity and types thereof; exposure to high glycemic foods, high fructose intake, and high linoleic acid intake; and changes in gut microbiome resulting from the above food changes, reduced exposure to soil, and modern practice of essentially sterilizing most food, with all these factors having effect by changing gene expresion.)