T Nation

Eating in Too Low of a Deficit?


Hi, so I’ve been following Christian for a very long time now and a response from him (anyone as well) would be amazing! He has been my idol for awhile and frankly he resonated well with me because he has stated he is very much an endomorph like myself.

So my current situation is i ended a bulk at about 205lbs and through cutting carbs to around 100g per day and mostly through pwo carbs I have dropped down to 193(I’m 5’11 and 12 percent bf, top 4 abs visible when flexed) in a 2 month time span and also lost a good amount of body fat. Calorie intake was 2400 down from 3000 at the end of my bulk and everything looked great, workouts were 6 days per week with hiit training added in after the first 6 weeks. My problem is i am still sitting at 193 after another month (3 months now since cutting) and no weight loss and also no visible change in leanness even after dropping calories by 200 (I take pictures every month)

My current diet is 2200 a day 100g or less carb with 200-250g pro and 60-90gf and I follow a 16 hour fast protocol where I break my fast with my pwo shake and rice cakes. Contemplating lowering it again but my question is am I even eating enough for my current level of activity (4x per week intense lifting and 3x per week hiit with a standing job) and what would be the best course of action to get the fat loss rolling again? I’ve heard everything from taking a diet break to upping calories to lowering calories and everything in between. Any guidance would be greatly greatly appreciated and I’ll also just say I love reading the articles here especially by Christian and also anything by John berardi both I think are awesome!


Not CT, but here’s my $0.02

  • you calories are probably too low right now, especially being very active
  • your carb intake is probably too low, and fat intake marginally too high (just IMO)
  • the fasting window is a bit long

I’d suggest trying:

  • up calories to 2400 cal/day
  • switch to something like 210 g protein, at most 55 g fat and the rest carbs (which will be around 270 g)
  • reduce your fasting window to 12 hours
  • intra workout carbs are key (30-50 g), but have plenty pre and post training too. Try having the equivalent of 15-20 g of protein during training along with carbs. Plazma is ideal for this.


I was actually thinking somewhere along those lines myself(fats always felt a little high but was a side effect of low carb), to clarify the fats were certainly higher when doing lower carb and lower when doing higher carb. I was doing carb cycling but I think keeping carbs consistent might be beneficial for me. To be honest as a former fat kid my relationship with carbs always had me afraid to really up them much beyond 200g occasionally. I really appreciate your input! And if anyone else has suggestions feel free to post them.


Everyone is different so the fasting and low carb approaches may work for some, but not all. I read most of the articles on T-Nation; I browse the forums daily; and I follow a handful of training logs. @MarkKO 's log is the most detailed thing I’ve seen out of all of that content when it comes to nutrition. Go look at his log! You’ll have to backtrack a little ways. I only started following in the past few months but he’s laid out his entire nutrition plan for the next year or more. He’s cut from 225 down to 180 and has a plan to add quality muscle mass over time. I think you could learn a lot from reading into his approach and looking at his transformation.

And now a different thought on your issue: are you actually measuring body fat or just looking at the photos? And if you’re only using photos, do you take pics of your back and legs? You might have some subtle changes in your composition but don’t notice it if you’re focused on your abs. The first place you add fat will be the last place you lose it. For most men, it’s the abdomen. You could be decreasing fat in your back and not notice if you’re only looking at yourself in the mirror. Just a thought.

And lastly, if you’re not already, take circumference measurements. I track neck, chest, abdomen, waist, hips, quads, calves, biceps/triceps, and forearms. I track abdomen for obvious reasons–I want a six pack. I track waist for the similarly obvious reason. I find that hips actually give me a measurement of my glutes. The rest are pretty common measurements. I once heard that bodybuilders strive to have equal measurements of their neck, biceps, and calves for symmetry. I have no idea if it’s true lol


Thanks I will go look at his logs and see what can be adjusted although I think his advice has been pretty solid. I take a bunch of pictures, front relaxed, side relaxed arms down, side relaxed arms up and back all wearing undies to see any change in legs. I can say that I did see a change in legs but not necessarily leanness just a bit smaller. Also I think it important to note I have been doing some form of intermittent fasting for 2 years although I follow it loosely( loosely meaning although I only have generally 1 to 2 solid meals per day I’m getting in a protein shake in the morning and pwo shake with rice cakes) im more of a frank Zane guy and not an Arnold guy so I can say symmetry is my main goal. I’m going to try upping calories and keeping carbs consistent while ditching carb cycling for now, as always the advice is much appreciated and I’m still thinking on the best approach but I’m a huge fan of criticism aslong as it helps me improve! If anyone else has ideas please feel free to post them I’m loving the advice so far you guys are great!


My clothes track my weight gain.


i would keep the same amount of calorie but decrease training days ! thats great you are training really hard, but your body can’t even recover from it ! i was like you, was training almost everyday and i like to train hard, but i always feel tired and drained, didn’t know why at this time because i was not understand how’s working out ( supposed to be good for the health ) can crash me down. I talked to a guys and he told me to only train 3-4 times a week and to go walk the others day, enjoy the sun and go outside. To do something else. Thats what i did and my body changed so much, i feel good, always 100% ready to kill my workout, i added solid PR and lost fat too !