T Nation

Diet Questions

Hi all,

I have been reading the T Mag forum and articles for a few months now and first wanted to say that this website is fantastic in that it combines dynamic training techniques all while breaking calorie restricting (I wont use the dreaded “D Word”) down to a science. I am 22 years old and a soccer player but while I am in shape, I am not ripped in my abdominal section - specifically the lower ab region and obliques. I have been weight lifting for years, where I do most of my lifting in the off season (Oct/nov - January) and am doing cardio training/playing the other months. I try to watch what I eat and modified my diet a few months ago to try to get ripped. Some of the major changes are:

  1. eating only whole grain bread instead of white enriched flour (I dont make it a habit to eat alot of bread at all -I try to stay away)
  2. NO pasta
  3. No dairy - I use soy milk
  4. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables

I really try to be conscious of what I eat but I have a few questions:

  1. How much calorie intake/restriction do I need to get ripped?
  2. What foods should I stay away from? are fruits bad?
  3. What meals can you recommend?
  4. What range is considered “low carb” and low fat for daily intake?
    Please shed some light on this whole confusing task of getting ripped. I am 5’9/10 and ~160 lbs. My goal is to shed body fat and get my abs rediculous ripped…HELP

No offense pal, but you haven’t read enough if you’re using soy milk(STOP drinking it, then type “soy” into the search engine and find out why). Besides that you sound like your making some good dietary mods, however all your other questions all depend on you (very individual stuff). I’d reccomend the T-dawg diet, but that wouldn’t be good because your an athelete. You’ll have to experiment to see what works well for you.

  • Interesting article regarding the soy milk.

How can I figure out what diet is good for me and how many grams of carbs, protein, and how many calories is under the diet plan or being a “low carb diet” or “low fat diet” Also, on average, how many calories should I aim to intake if I wanna shed bodyfat (which I guess in essence is shedding pounds)? What foods are low carb but are good for snacking? What foods should I stay away from and at what times, etc. It would be great if there was a comprehensive eating guide where it describes, snack and meals to eat and times to eat, etc. What ab exercises do ou recommend for seriously targeting and tightening the lower abs and obliques - I seem to never be able to feel a burn when I do abs there. Thanks for the help everyone…support is important

I agree with JJ - and yes, quit drinkin’ that SOY! It is all a matter of experimentation. Regarding fruits, I personally can eat watermelon, oranges and mangoes during a cutting phase. And you’re still eating breads , but NOT pasta. While it’s the other way around for moi. So you see, it is experimentation. And seeing what works best for you and your goals. There has been alot of discussion in the forum and in this site regarding low-carb diets. The Fat Fast Diet is zero carbs and very extreme. Food journals are always good when beginning a fat-loss program - especially when you are learning about what foods effect you and how. Maybe you should begin one?

Sounds like you need to read the ‘Foods That Make You Look Good Naked’ article at T-mag. Just run a search using the search engine over there, not the one here. The ‘Diet Manifesto’ article may help too.

  1. How much calorie intake/restriction do I need to get ripped?..start with 500 below maintenance and then drop further if you don’t see any progres… 2) What foods should I stay away from? are fruits bad?..I seems like you already know the answer. Read the articles mentioned by other posters. Fruit is ok. Dried fruit should be avoided if possible, but it can be ok if you need to pack a lot of food for a day. Eat lots of vegetables. At the expense of vegetables, I eat too much fruit and bread. Fruit and bread (I prefer the low cal/ low carb sprouted varieties) are great, it is just that vegetables are the king of carb choices on low calorie eating… 3) What meals can you recommend?..read Massive eating and the fods that make you look good nekid and go from there. Cottage cheese must become your friend…4) What range is considered “low carb” and low fat for daily intake?..low carb = less than 100g/day. Low fat = less than 40-50 grams fat day, but that is my opinion.

J.,You’ve been reading this site for a few months and you’re drinking soy.Bad boy.I don’t know where you are looking but there is a ton of shit on getting ripped.FastFat,Dawg,Don’tDiet etc.You are 5’10’ 160,sounds and you’re not ripped? Just wondering,why are you so desperate to get ripped abs anyway?

I am reading the question, then see the words: Soy milk and start to laugh, what the hell are you thinking?

Soy is the devil, do your research!

soy is ridiculously estrogenic. its no wonder the abs aren’t ripped. and why in gods name are you 5’10" and only 160 yet have a fat belly? i think you need to call bill phillips and seek his sage counsel.

Patricia, why do you eat watermelon while you’re on your cutting phase? I thought watermelons are high on the glycemic scale and have a huge amount of glucose?

Guys, thanks for all the responses. To clarify, I do not have a gut at all - I simply want to get shreadded where all of my abs are rediculously defined and I know this one part is diet and one part is building the muscle underneath for it to show once body fat is reduced. I have the muscle but I want to reduce my body fat (I know one cannot spot remove fat) and tighten up my abs. The rest of my body is tight with very good definition - it is simply that I have my fat stored in my obliques (like most guys) and lower ab region (slight pudge so to speak). I have stopped drinking soy milk by the way (out to the garbage). I just find that I am always hungry and I know that it is not good to starve one’s self but at the same time if I eat, I am not creating the calorie deficiency I need to lost body fat. I do the cardio, etc but it seems like this fat is stubborn. Are there any supplements that will help break down the adipose?? Thanks for th support all, I learn something new every day here and please continue to help me out by answer the posts more. Anyone have some good ab routine that are more dynamic and better than the regular routines one usually finds?

J, have you looked into Coach Davies’ articles? I too am a soccer player (former collegiate level…now I just play indoor), and if I only had access to all this info when I was your age or a bit younger I could’ve achieved so much more than I did. I found that doing many of the olympic lifts (snatch, cleans, push-press, etc.) helped my speed and explosiveness tremendously. What’s this got to do with diet? Well I did this program for six weeks of my last cutting phase and it worked surprisingly well even though the majority of my sets were 6 reps or less (w. the exception of one-arm dbell snatches). Basically I limited carbs initially to 150g/day (approx. 30 percent of daily cals) w. the exception of game days, where I went up to approx. 200 or so. My carb sources were oatmeal, low-glycemic fruits e.g. apples/oranges, green veggies and Surge. Obviously you need a solid cardio base, but don’t overdo it. I found the Renegade Rope routine to be of tremendous value, although it was a struggle initially. It only takes 24 min. to complete. There’s no quick fix to getting ripped…it took me 14 weeks to get down to five percent from a starting point of 12.5. I maybe could’ve done it a bit quicker but I tend to lose too much LBM if I try to lose fat too quickly. Unless I missed it, you didn’t mention what your b.f. is now. You’ll have to get between a legit 5-6 percent if you really want to be ultra shredded. If you’re a 5’10, 160 lb. soccer player, I doubt your bodyfat is too high. Look into Berardi’s Don’t Diet and the Foods that Make You Look Great Naked articles and this will provide you with all the info you need to get a good diet going. Best of luck!