T Nation

Diet Plateau


I've been low-carb for 8 weeks now (been lifting for 4 years) and in the beginning it felt great, my boy adapted well, i dropped some noticeable weight and my BF dropped, to exactly what I don't know as I don't agree with the caliper's results, but it definitely dropped.

But for the last 3 or so weeks it's felt like nothings progressing, training wise I was doing supersets with minimal rest but I grew pretty tired of that, so I've changed back to high set low reps, incorporating 10x3, 5x5 and IBB into my workouts now to improve strength and gains.
Cardio is 2-3 low intensity sessions a week.

I don't know if the training method is what's slowed down progress in shedding the remaining fat or my diet? It's pretty basic as in eggs/turkey bacon breakfast, protein shakes/bars/veg during the day, meat/fish with veg dinners, shake/cheese before bed. Supps wise I got all the multi vit's, Omega 3, flaxseed, Vit B, Potassium and taking VPX Meltdown as well.
Carb intake daily hovers between 40g-50g, protein around the 150-170g, calories approx. 2000. Fat not too sure. Oh and a cheat day/re-feed Sundays.

Should I mix this diet up now and add something to kick start it again? I'm worried maybe my metabolism has gotten used to it now? I'm happy to continue as is as I feel great, low-carb is pretty much a lifestyle change altogether for me now so I'm only looking to gradually increase the carbs to 100g or so a day in a couple of months, but until then is there something I'm missing/doing wrong to improve progress?

Height: 5'11
Weight: 185lbs
BF: Calipers said 8% but that's BS, it's more like 11-12%.
Age: 24
Bench: 130kg
Overhead Press: 80kg
Squat: 140kg
Deadlift: 130kg


How big are your cheat days on Sunday? I have experimented with cheat days in the past but they don't work for me because I can easily eat 6k calories in one day if I don't pay attention, thus derailing an entire week's worth of progress.


Have you had a cheat day? Do that.


well........ the last 2 cheat days started off with a box of Krispy kreme's and to be honest it filled me up to the point i struggled to eat properly the rest of the day. Sunday gone I managed to get a couple of chicken wraps down me but I couldn't get past 2 meals after the donuts.
Next week I'm definitely cutting them out as I felt awful, but what kind of structure is best to keep my progress going? Something like Weetabix breakfast, brown rice lunch etc. with maybe a treat dinner (ie pizza) ok?
I've gone back to lifting heavy for low reps again the past week so haven't really been hitting the same aerobic status as supersetting was, so does that become a factor? Maybe up the cardio to a couple more HIIT sessions in the week? My BF all over is generally low now, it's the final stubborn bit around the gut that has stalled.


Try higher carb and lower fat on the refeed day. Sounds like things like odnuts kick your butt. What you said could work, or even go with more sugary stuff if that helps you get the carbs in.

How has your strength held up on the diet?


Cut out the "cheat days"..or add in more low intensity cardio probably around 5 times a week (120 bpm heart rate)


Strength's held up surprisingly good. If anything there have been improvements and the level of intensity hasn't suffered at all. Hence the reason sticking to low-carbs is now a lifestyle choice as opposed to a diet.

The donuts definitely give me a beating, the good news is though I over done them the last 2 weeks to the point I don't wanna look at another one ever again! So this Sunday I'll look to get some weetabix with banana/blueberries in, and try eat cleaner during the day.


A lot of what I read is that a cheat day, or better yet a re-feed, is actually important in a low-carb diet? So if I altered a "cheat day" to a cleaner day of high carbs would it benefit me or have the same kind of affect as my disaster Sunday was?


There is a difference between a "refeed" and a cheat day. Cheat days are usually associated with all out eating fests, which get out of control real quickly. As I mentioned earlier, a true cheat day can reverse your week's progress. It doesn't sound like you are taking them to the extreme's that some people (myself included) take them too, so it may not be an issue. However, more frequent refeeds could certainly help you. If you are doing restricted calories + low carbs then you may want to try 1-2 refeeds per week with higher carbs and lower fat (as someone else metioned). This can help mentally as much as physically with the dieting process. On refeed days I shoot for 100-200 calories above maintenance level.