T Nation

Dieting Problems

Im 18, and 5’ 9". I weigh 220 pounds and about a 38 inch waist. I have no idea how to calculate bodyfat percentages, but if I had to guess, I’d say around 23-26%. I don’t really look extremely muscular, but I don’t look really fat either. In the past, I have lost alot of weight using a 1700 calorie diet.

However, lately I haven’t had success with 1700. I’ve also tried 1800 and 1900 calories, and right now I’m on a right around 2000 calorie diet. Nothing seems to be working. Although I dont have a strict diet, I have been drinking alot of water, and eating somewhat cleaner.

The only thing I noticed is that I’m not as bloated as when I started. Based on the past, I do know that at a 3200 calorie diet, I gain weight rapidly, like a pound a day. So if any of you guys could help me out that’d be great.

You can start by counting your macros instead of just calories.

What are you trying to do? Gain muscle, lose fat, etc…What does your training look like? What foods are you eating (sample of days intake)?

It’s hard to make a suggestion with the limited information you typed.

1700 calories is great for a female trying to cut bodyfat, not a 220 lb male. You need to serious reevaluate your diet. You should be looking in the ball park of 3000 calories. If you’re gaining a ton of fat with that many calories, you’re diet and training likely suck. Also, gaining weight does not equal fat gain.

We need more info like usmc said.

All good points mentioned. An average, a well muscled 200 lbs man will usually have a BMR of about 3000 cals. This is assuming of course that proper attention is given to addressing the needs for specific macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats).

My wife is about 5’2, maybe 113 lbs, and she’s dieting on the same amount of calories that you’re eating at 220 lbs.

Step 1- figure out your maintenance calories (for current bodyweight) - lotta online calculators.
Step 2- figure out a nice healthy (‘reasonable’) deficit from that # (300-500 IMO) to get a target #
Step 3- Plan out how much protein you need a day to maintain your current lean mass.
Step 4- Add about 50-75g of protein to that number, and break is down into 5-6 smaller feedings.
Step 5- Figure out how you’re gonna get 100-200 cals a day from healthy fats
Step 6- Fill the rest in with healthy carb sources

Follow that for a couple of weeks while training intelligently, and see what happens. I have one client who started off seriously overweight. She was eating once a day, and easily under 400 calories at that. All I did was make a simple 5x a day eating plan, of the most basic, can’t screw up foods, and have her take walks a few times a week. She’s been dropping 4-5 lbs a week on average. Here’s the crazy part: I only doubled her calories! She’s still eating a stupidly low amount of calories each day, BUT her body has gotten so tanked from what she had gotten it accustomed to, that this got everything moving again. Now, we’re actually raising her #s every week!

Hope that helps a bit.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
All good points mentioned. An average, a well muscled 200 lbs man will usually have a BMR of about 3000 cals. This is assuming of course that proper attention is given to addressing the needs for specific macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats).

My wife is about 5’2, maybe 113 lbs, and she’s dieting on the same amount of calories that you’re eating at 220 lbs.

Step 1- figure out your maintenance calories (for current bodyweight) - lotta online calculators.
Step 2- figure out a nice healthy (‘reasonable’) deficit from that # (300-500 IMO) to get a target #
Step 3- Plan out how much protein you need a day to maintain your current lean mass.
Step 4- Add about 50-75g of protein to that number, and break is down into 5-6 smaller feedings.
Step 5- Figure out how you’re gonna get 100-200 cals a day from healthy fats
Step 6- Fill the rest in with healthy carb sources

Follow that for a couple of weeks while training intelligently, and see what happens. I have one client who started off seriously overweight. She was eating once a day, and easily under 400 calories at that. All I did was make a simple 5x a day eating plan, of the most basic, can’t screw up foods, and have her take walks a few times a week. She’s been dropping 4-5 lbs a week on average. Here’s the crazy part: I only doubled her calories! She’s still eating a stupidly low amount of calories each day, BUT her body has gotten so tanked from what she had gotten it accustomed to, that this got everything moving again. Now, we’re actually raising her #s every week!

Hope that helps a bit.

S[/quote]
Stu I know you do nutrition programs for people.Do you see this type of thing quite a bit.People wrecking themselves on such a low calorie level and having to increase it with small changes to get it running up to speed again.I am always amazed at how the body responds to things such as this.Also thanks for all the info and help you provide on this site,i always take away something from your posts.

[quote]Doh wrote:
You can start by counting your macros instead of just calories.[/quote]

I know.I have trouble because I am eating pretty much what ever is for dinner, I got roughly 20-25 dollars to spend a week on food. I still live with my parrents.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
What are you trying to do? Gain muscle, lose fat, etc…What does your training look like? What foods are you eating (sample of days intake)?

It’s hard to make a suggestion with the limited information you typed.[/quote]

Im currently on 5/3/1 and yes im trying to cut fat. Really my only goal is 32 inch waist. I really try to eat 2 servings of cottage cheese, 2 cans of tuna, Maybe two scoops of whey. Then what ever my mom makes for dinner, Ill usually use my fitness pal to add up all the calories.I eat things like peanuts, eggs if there in the house. I try to get a couple serveings of some type of vegtables.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
All good points mentioned. An average, a well muscled 200 lbs man will usually have a BMR of about 3000 cals. This is assuming of course that proper attention is given to addressing the needs for specific macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats).

My wife is about 5’2, maybe 113 lbs, and she’s dieting on the same amount of calories that you’re eating at 220 lbs.

Step 1- figure out your maintenance calories (for current bodyweight) - lotta online calculators.
Step 2- figure out a nice healthy (‘reasonable’) deficit from that # (300-500 IMO) to get a target #
Step 3- Plan out how much protein you need a day to maintain your current lean mass.
Step 4- Add about 50-75g of protein to that number, and break is down into 5-6 smaller feedings.
Step 5- Figure out how you’re gonna get 100-200 cals a day from healthy fats
Step 6- Fill the rest in with healthy carb sources

Follow that for a couple of weeks while training intelligently, and see what happens. I have one client who started off seriously overweight. She was eating once a day, and easily under 400 calories at that. All I did was make a simple 5x a day eating plan, of the most basic, can’t screw up foods, and have her take walks a few times a week. She’s been dropping 4-5 lbs a week on average. Here’s the crazy part: I only doubled her calories! She’s still eating a stupidly low amount of calories each day, BUT her body has gotten so tanked from what she had gotten it accustomed to, that this got everything moving again. Now, we’re actually raising her #s every week!

Hope that helps a bit.

S[/quote]

According to the online calculater, im around 3200 calories for maintenence. My problem is geting a strict diet with limited funds.

[quote]pats18 wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
What are you trying to do? Gain muscle, lose fat, etc…What does your training look like? What foods are you eating (sample of days intake)?

It’s hard to make a suggestion with the limited information you typed.[/quote]

Im currently on 5/3/1 and yes im trying to cut fat. Really my only goal is 32 inch waist. I really try to eat 2 servings of cottage cheese, 2 cans of tuna, Maybe two scoops of whey. Then what ever my mom makes for dinner, Ill usually use my fitness pal to add up all the calories.I eat things like peanuts, eggs if there in the house. I try to get a couple serveings of some type of vegtables.[/quote]

I would suggest you walk around with a journal and write down every sinlge thing you eat/drink for atleast a weak. Then reflect on it. If it has a package write down the Macro break down (be careful of serving sizes).

Look for fluctuation in calories and macros through the week. Posted it here and someone much more experienced will probably comment on it.

Do you do any cardio or just lift? Personally, I find I lose fat better when I add in a “finisher” to my workout. Could be a couple sprints, complex, etc…Just something to get me sucking wind pretty bad.

[quote]pats18 wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
All good points mentioned. An average, a well muscled 200 lbs man will usually have a BMR of about 3000 cals. This is assuming of course that proper attention is given to addressing the needs for specific macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats).

My wife is about 5’2, maybe 113 lbs, and she’s dieting on the same amount of calories that you’re eating at 220 lbs.

Step 1- figure out your maintenance calories (for current bodyweight) - lotta online calculators.
Step 2- figure out a nice healthy (‘reasonable’) deficit from that # (300-500 IMO) to get a target #
Step 3- Plan out how much protein you need a day to maintain your current lean mass.
Step 4- Add about 50-75g of protein to that number, and break is down into 5-6 smaller feedings.
Step 5- Figure out how you’re gonna get 100-200 cals a day from healthy fats
Step 6- Fill the rest in with healthy carb sources

Follow that for a couple of weeks while training intelligently, and see what happens. I have one client who started off seriously overweight. She was eating once a day, and easily under 400 calories at that. All I did was make a simple 5x a day eating plan, of the most basic, can’t screw up foods, and have her take walks a few times a week. She’s been dropping 4-5 lbs a week on average. Here’s the crazy part: I only doubled her calories! She’s still eating a stupidly low amount of calories each day, BUT her body has gotten so tanked from what she had gotten it accustomed to, that this got everything moving again. Now, we’re actually raising her #s every week!

Hope that helps a bit.

S[/quote]

According to the online calculater, im around 3200 calories for maintenence. My problem is geting a strict diet with limited funds.[/quote]

Your parents would have a problem stocking healthy food in the house? Eating well does not mean eating expensive. Rice, coconut oil, veggies, and lean proteins are not costly and you can build any physique with those things.

[quote]jppage wrote:
Stu I know you do nutrition programs for people.Do you see this type of thing quite a bit.People wrecking themselves on such a low calorie level and having to increase it with small changes to get it running up to speed again.I am always amazed at how the body responds to things such as this.Also thanks for all the info and help you provide on this site,i always take away something from your posts.[/quote]

Man, you wouldn’t believe the conditions some people get into. The female client I spoke of above was actually put on a single meal, liquid diet by a medical doctor! When we initially spoke, and she told me how every time she was in this particular doctor’s office, she’d see the ads on the walls advertising the product her put her on. I was appalled! This MD was selling the product to his clients. Sadly, this is a common practice. I have several friends who are chiropractors, and they seem to be the biggest culprits when it comes to “doctors” doling out bad nutrition advice and hawking supplements to their clients. It’s a different ballgame of course if someone has actual knowledge of nutrition of course, but very often, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

And then there have been a few competitors that have been really drilled into a hole by other coaches. There’s this one guy, who works with mostly female clients. He has no real background in nutrition, or any science that I know of. Nor has he ever competed himself, so I’m not quite sure where he feels his knowledge base comes from. Anyway, he always seems to spring up at contests, and despite having always been very polite towards me, after having one of his female clients go into detail about the situation he put her in,… well, let’s just say not all coaches seem to have their client’s health in mind.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]jppage wrote:
Stu I know you do nutrition programs for people.Do you see this type of thing quite a bit.People wrecking themselves on such a low calorie level and having to increase it with small changes to get it running up to speed again.I am always amazed at how the body responds to things such as this.Also thanks for all the info and help you provide on this site,i always take away something from your posts.[/quote]

Man, you wouldn’t believe the conditions some people get into. The female client I spoke of above was actually put on a single meal, liquid diet by a medical doctor! When we initially spoke, and she told me how every time she was in this particular doctor’s office, she’d see the ads on the walls advertising the product her put her on. I was appalled! This MD was selling the product to his clients. Sadly, this is a common practice. I have several friends who are chiropractors, and they seem to be the biggest culprits when it comes to “doctors” doling out bad nutrition advice and hawking supplements to their clients. It’s a different ballgame of course if someone has actual knowledge of nutrition of course, but very often, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

And then there have been a few competitors that have been really drilled into a hole by other coaches. There’s this one guy, who works with mostly female clients. He has no real background in nutrition, or any science that I know of. Nor has he ever competed himself, so I’m not quite sure where he feels his knowledge base comes from. Anyway, he always seems to spring up at contests, and despite having always been very polite towards me, after having one of his female clients go into detail about the situation he put her in,… well, let’s just say not all coaches seem to have their client’s health in mind.

S[/quote]

on that note stu do you ever come across lets say extreme endomorphs or ffbs as shugs calls them that you have to lower calories a lot for? me for example, I’m finding that at 6’3 and 220 pounds about 14 percent bf i have to have my cals at about 1900 a day with no carb to get the desired 2 pounds loss per week, if so in these cases i presume i jus gotta roll with it

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]jppage wrote:
Stu I know you do nutrition programs for people.Do you see this type of thing quite a bit.People wrecking themselves on such a low calorie level and having to increase it with small changes to get it running up to speed again.I am always amazed at how the body responds to things such as this.Also thanks for all the info and help you provide on this site,i always take away something from your posts.[/quote]

Man, you wouldn’t believe the conditions some people get into. The female client I spoke of above was actually put on a single meal, liquid diet by a medical doctor! When we initially spoke, and she told me how every time she was in this particular doctor’s office, she’d see the ads on the walls advertising the product her put her on. I was appalled! This MD was selling the product to his clients. Sadly, this is a common practice. I have several friends who are chiropractors, and they seem to be the biggest culprits when it comes to “doctors” doling out bad nutrition advice and hawking supplements to their clients. It’s a different ballgame of course if someone has actual knowledge of nutrition of course, but very often, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

And then there have been a few competitors that have been really drilled into a hole by other coaches. There’s this one guy, who works with mostly female clients. He has no real background in nutrition, or any science that I know of. Nor has he ever competed himself, so I’m not quite sure where he feels his knowledge base comes from. Anyway, he always seems to spring up at contests, and despite having always been very polite towards me, after having one of his female clients go into detail about the situation he put her in,… well, let’s just say not all coaches seem to have their client’s health in mind.

S[/quote]

Stu,

I’m curious as to the liability associated with dishing out meal plans to clients. Do you have clients sign a waiver or anything of that nature? Do you have your RD or a nutrition certification?

I’ve always been interested in some type of nutrition certification to help people reach fitness goals because I love tweaking my own diet to get different results, but I am always worried about liability.

Thanks

Hey guys thanks for the help. I hit about 3000 calories yesterday. Somewhere around 175 grams of protien lol. Cut me some slack on the macros. I do make it a point to eat pretty clean carbs, protien , fat, fiber. I lost about one pound. 220- 219. I know you guys are thinking im probably gunna loose some muscle, thats fine.

At this point I just dont want to be wearing 38 inch jeans anymore. Ill try to let you guys in on my progress, and let you know if I stall. If i start losseing fat too quick Should i up the calories? I do want to loose some initial weight kind of fast, just to give me some motivation.

[quote]pats18 wrote:
Hey guys thanks for the help. I hit about 3000 calories yesterday. Somewhere around 175 grams of protien lol. Cut me some slack on the macros. I do make it a point to eat pretty clean carbs, protien , fat, fiber. I lost about one pound. 220- 219. I know you guys are thinking im probably gunna loose some muscle, thats fine.

At this point I just dont want to be wearing 38 inch jeans anymore. Ill try to let you guys in on my progress, and let you know if I stall. If i start losseing fat too quick Should i up the calories? I do want to loose some initial weight kind of fast, just to give me some motivation.[/quote]

Eating 3000 calories will allow you to progress when your progress starts to stall. You can easily take away 100-200 calories or add in more cardio. Eating 1700 calories a day will not allow you to keep progressing once you stall. As many other have said before, it is a marathon, not a sprint.

lol@ gaining a lb/day on 3200 cals…

I can haz maths?!

[quote]PGND17 wrote:
Stu,

I’m curious as to the liability associated with dishing out meal plans to clients. Do you have clients sign a waiver or anything of that nature? Do you have your RD or a nutrition certification?

I’ve always been interested in some type of nutrition certification to help people reach fitness goals because I love tweaking my own diet to get different results, but I am always worried about liability.

Thanks
[/quote]

Oh yeah, it’s very important that I continually stress that I am not a doctor, or RD. There have been a few occasions when people have referred to me as their nutritionist, and I’ve had to correct them in front of people.

As far as doling out nutrition advice, different states have different regulations. New York, for example, limits specific titles, but not the actual practice of giving nutritional advice. You must also understand that even if you do have what is accepted as “fundamental nutritional knowledge” (lots of good certification programs out there actually), you cannot give what is referred to as “Medical Nutrition Therapy.”

For the most part, people reach out to me more due to my success as a physique competitor than any real curiosity as to classes, and certification seminars that I’ve taken. I liken it to finding a retired pro baseball player to improve your swing. You don’t really care so much to find out if he’s taken an actual coaching class (he has -lol), merely that he was so successful in his competitive days.

If you have any curiosity as to certificates, and that sort of path - I certainly had no intention of going back and getting a 4th college degree! - shoot me a PM.

S

Im looseing about a pound a day, pretty jacked up lol. current weight 218, should I up the cals a litle? or ride it out? P.S. everyone says im fucking nuts eating this much, but fuck it. It Works!!

[quote]pats18 wrote:
Im looseing about a pound a day, pretty jacked up lol. current weight 218, should I up the cals a litle? or ride it out? P.S. everyone says im fucking nuts eating this much, but fuck it. It Works!![/quote]

Your scale readings may be going down a lb each day, but you’re not really dropping a lb of fat each day. What I believe is happening, is you’re ‘normalizing’. Your body is adapting to your current nutrient intake, and once you reach the point where you’re maintaining your lean bodyweight, everything will settle in. I’m sure the daily scale progress will have slowed by that point.

Definitely don’t change anything for now.

S