T Nation

Fat, Confused and Frustrated

Stats
Weight: 252
Heigh: 5’ 10"
Fat: 34%

Yes I am overweight, this is why I am here. Sometimes reality hits us on the face, and I got hit pretty hard. I consider myself an intelligent guy, so I decided to do research before I started weight training. I have basic knowledge of most of the classic exercises from training in a rugby team during my college years, but I wanted to find something optimal for fat burning.

I read The Truth by Frank Sepe, which basically talks about seperating your program by muscle groups and even goes as far as talking about nutrition. However he does everything by weight, apparently if I was 252 pounds of muscle I would have to eat 5 chicken breasts a day…that’s not counting any carbs I would have to eat.

I also read The Abs Diet, that mostly focuses on having a full body workout, moving from exercise to exercise within 30 seconds and doing the entire exercise regiment twice, that way you get a cardio and a weight lifting workout at the same time. Which is what I am currently following for the past week.

Then I found T-Nation and excited I started reading the articles section of it. It seems that information contradicts itself with everything I read. Velocity Diet, Carb cycling, powerfoods, separate your training in muscle groups, do not separate your training in muscle groups and use compound exercises, do cardio, don’t do cardio, have a cheat day, don’t have cheat days.

You get the point, can someone out there point me to the right direction? I assume each person has a valid point if his advice is followed properly, but with such wealth of information I am frustrated and confused about what I am supposed to be doing.

I want to lose weight, what training regiment should I follow? What nutritional plan should I follow? Even if you point me to an article I would appreciate it.

I understand your frustration - bear with it.

Ok you want to lose weight - one goal at a time - remember that. Simple - cut your calories beloew maintenance level. Eat less than lets say 100g or carbs a day, and you’ll lose weight.

Try your body weight in pounds x 18. Eat that much, it’ll take time but you have to have patience, bulking or cutting. Try the T-dawg diet, with either 10 x 3 for fat loss or Lactic acid training - I’ve had good results with both - especially Lactic acid training - just search for it.

Use salmon oil (6-10g a day - Flameout if you can afford it), green tea and a limited carb diet. You will lose weight this way. Fast carbs are used after a training session and you should limit your general carb intake to the after training period, this is when your body needs them. Remember, you NEED protein and fat, carbs are only needed in the right situation. Protein intake should be at least 1g per pound of body weight a day, maybe 1.2g - 1.5g for optimum results. All this with a strict diet and decdication will give you the results you are looking for.

Eat small amounts often, 5-8 times a day. It increases your metabolism this way, and you’ll lose fat faster. Eat your largest meal in the beginning of the day, smallest at the end. Also, end off the day with slower proteins, such as cottage cheese or metabolic drive.

Hope that helps some.

Check out Waterbury’s Summer Project. (Most Recent Articles) Pretty straight forward. With regards to diet, remember your goal: to lose fat. This should not be too difficult as long as you use common sense (the post above me fleshes out some basics) and work hard with your chosen program.

BTW, to take a page from Lonnie Lowery, carbs are ok as long as they are lower glycemic index (slower digesting, like oats, etc) when eaten earlier in the day. (Except for postworkout nutrition) So you don’t need to go cutting out carbs completely just yet, but remember to use healthy, low GI carbs.

I really appreciate the two responses I have received up until now.

Edit: Oh man, The Waterbury Project looks insane! Thanks

They key, at least for me, was to progressively change bad habits for good, slowly, one at a time. You want a permanent change in your life, which means changing your behavior patterns. If you make too many changes, too quickly, nothing sticks. Stay away from advanced, fancy stuff. Simple is good for you. You can’t do complex until you can do simple.

Read this: http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640350

Then this, especially this (and everything else by Berardi): http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459493

Incorporate those habits into your life. You’ll get leaner, guaranteed. Don’t go nuts – slowly replace bad eating habits with good over time. Start with ditching calorie containing drinks and eat lean protein and fiber with every meal (a al Danny John). Eat more veggies. Lots of small meals.

The goal of all this is to boost your metabolism and lower insulin spikes. Skip the fancy diet for now–they’re useless until you can actually comply with them. Don’t count calories. Don’t starve yourself and don’t be hungry all the time. In fact, don’t be hungry. Hungry will make you want to eat things that are not good for you.

Once you get into it, get Berardi’s Precision Nutrition. Most of the information is here somewhere, but it’s a nice, neat package.

Read everything Shugart has to say about FFBs (Former Fat Boys). Start here: http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-118-diet That’s not you yet, but it will be. It will help you realize that the advice people give to skinny metroboys is not for you.

Get out, get more active. Walk – you’ll feel better and burn fat. If you’re really out of shape (trouble breathing after most exercises) weight training will get you into better shape, up to a point. But don’t do endless hours of cardio – that’s often counterproductive.

Pick a program based around complex, multijoint movements. There are lots on this site. Waterbury’s Big Boy Basics is a pretty good starting place. Stay away from the machines and the isolation exercises for now. Circuit training, like you’re doing, is okay-ish, but it really does two things inefficiently. If you’re up to it, do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or some fasted morning cardio (search for 100 Workouts from Ripped City).

Start slow, and check your ego, or you’ll probably get hurt. Learn how to do the exercises properly. Then keep lifting progressively heavier things.

Good supplements include: protein supplements (Metabolic Drive), fish oil (Flameout is great, whenever it gets back in stock) and the new HOT-ROX Extreme. Surge is excellent, too.

Though much of this has already been said, I feel somewhat obligated to contribute because I’ve been in a similar situation…

Eating small meals every 2, 2 1/2 - 3 hours or so is definitely foolproof…it’s especially great because you should never really feel hungry.

Additionally, your stomach’s filled with great, nutritious food that you don’t really feel the need to eat any junk. As far as the cheat days go, I would definitely agree with keeping one, it simply keeps everything in check, so you don’t feel the need to fall off the wagon and just start chowing down…

A solid basis in your diet regimen, and generally a lifestyle change is where it’s at, the fat will most likely be coming off fairly easily in the beginning if you stick to it, and that will motivate you to keep going.

As far as finding different advice through research, there are obviously varying viewpoints, theories, and ideaologies. The important thing is to realize that you can always tweak the programs so that they work best for you

Feel free to PM me with questions

[quote]Kritikos wrote:
Though much of this has already been said, I feel somewhat obligated to contribute because I’ve been in a similar situation…

Eating small meals every 2, 2 1/2 - 3 hours or so is definitely foolproof…it’s especially great because you should never really feel hungry.

Additionally, your stomach’s filled with great, nutritious food that you don’t really feel the need to eat any junk. As far as the cheat days go, I would definitely agree with keeping one, it simply keeps everything in check, so you don’t feel the need to fall off the wagon and just start chowing down…

A solid basis in your diet regimen, and generally a lifestyle change is where it’s at, the fat will most likely be coming off fairly easily in the beginning if you stick to it, and that will motivate you to keep going.

As far as finding different advice through research, there are obviously varying viewpoints, theories, and ideaologies. The important thing is to realize that you can always tweak the programs so that they work best for you

Feel free to PM me with questions[/quote]

You need to cut all the fat out of
your diet. someone said “Remember, you NEED protein and fat, carbs are only needed in the right situation.”

yes you need fat only if you want to
end up in the grave. FAT clogs arteries, yeah too many carbs can put
on weight but carbs never blocked
an artery or caused a blood clot.

high FAT diets are linked with cancer
high meat diets are linked with disease

so please by all means eat lots of
FAT and PROTEIN, i mean, plants can
kill you. A diet high in vegetables
and fruit will be your downfaul, while
a diet high in FAT and PROTEIN could
be your answer!

eat like a truckdriver… remember
the sickest people are vegetarians,
the most healthy people on the planet
are people that eat the most protein
and fat in their diet.

eat lots of steaks and chicken (60%fat)
its the golden secret to health

carbs are evil… carbs are just there
to feed to the pigs, cattle so THEY
can get big (it won’t work on humans)
so you can raise more meat.

carbs don’t work in humans, only in
livestock.

in fact, do not even eat one carb.

or you will get fat.

[quote]jim_ohio wrote:
You need to cut all the fat out of
your diet. someone said “Remember, you NEED protein and fat, carbs are only needed in the right situation.”

yes you need fat only if you want to
end up in the grave. FAT clogs arteries, yeah too many carbs can put
on weight but carbs never blocked
an artery or caused a blood clot.

high FAT diets are linked with cancer
high meat diets are linked with disease

so please by all means eat lots of
FAT and PROTEIN, i mean, plants can
kill you. A diet high in vegetables
and fruit will be your downfaul, while
a diet high in FAT and PROTEIN could
be your answer!

eat like a truckdriver… remember
the sickest people are vegetarians,
the most healthy people on the planet
are people that eat the most protein
and fat in their diet.

eat lots of steaks and chicken (60%fat)
its the golden secret to health

carbs are evil… carbs are just there
to feed to the pigs, cattle so THEY
can get big (it won’t work on humans)
so you can raise more meat.

carbs don’t work in humans, only in
livestock.

in fact, do not even eat one carb.

or you will get fat.

[/quote]

Dude. Seriously, you need help.

For the purpose of your weight loss, restricted carbs is about the right way to go. When I’m trying to lose weight, I keep my carbs to slow acting ones in the AM, and then my postworkout Surge. Other people have mentioned it, but TDawg 2.0 is a nice diet that’s relatively easy to follow. And as for the anti fat flamer there, he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. The body general stores fat when insulin levels are high. Insulin levels spike after carbohydrate intake. So, if insulin is low, your body is less inclined to store fat.

As for what training regimen to follow, it depends on how much lifting you’re done before. I’m assuming it’s been awhile since you’ve been a gym rat, so you probably want to start off with something basic. I don’t think 10x3 for Fat Loss is going to be the one. When I’d been out of the gym for awhile, I came back with Waterbury’s Total Body Training; I liked it a lot.

You can do it!

I am also starting back on my weightloss journey and creating the body I know I can have.

I am not totally focused on being some idea of what is beauty, but I am focusing on being healthier and having lower fat, more lean muscle, and overall better health.

Keep up the good work, you are onto a great start!

I might check out the ABS diet book myself.

[quote]suchaprettyface wrote:

I might check out the ABS diet book myself.[/quote]

I honestly do not know what to think of that book. If you like reading Men’s Health then you will enjoy it, if you find it to softcore then you will not enjoy it.

I’m a beginner as well but I thought I’d share my expirence. I started working out 6 weeks ago and I’m looking to gain muscle and drop about 25 pounds of fat. At that point I won’t be ripped but I’ll be pretty fit. I like working out but I hate doing cardio unless I’m playing soccer which I’ve been doing about once a week.

I’ve been trying to get big while losing fat at the same time but I’m going to start following the advice from a previous poster and focus on losing weight first and then focus on gaining muscle after I’m at my goal weight.

I have had very slow, if any, results from modifying my diet to eat healthy foods as well as workout. The only thing I’ve had good results from so far was a variation on the velocity diet. I have to eat more then liquid so I had oatmeal in the morning, A can of tuna fried up in a little olive oil with spices for lunch, and a chicken breast for dinner. I’ll also have protein shakes before and after I work out with either an apple or banana after I work out as well. I’ll also have 1-2 more protein shakes when I’m hungry. It’s not nearly as hardcore as the velocity diet so it’s a lot easier to follow but I still got good results from it.

I don’t weigh myself often so I don’t know how much I’ve lost but I can tell I’ve had significant gains so far.

[quote]jim_ohio wrote:
You need to cut all the fat out of
your diet. someone said “Remember, you NEED protein and fat, carbs are only needed in the right situation.”

yes you need fat only if you want to
end up in the grave. FAT clogs arteries, yeah too many carbs can put
on weight but carbs never blocked
an artery or caused a blood clot.

high FAT diets are linked with cancer
high meat diets are linked with disease

so please by all means eat lots of
FAT and PROTEIN, i mean, plants can
kill you. A diet high in vegetables
and fruit will be your downfaul, while
a diet high in FAT and PROTEIN could
be your answer!

eat like a truckdriver… remember
the sickest people are vegetarians,
the most healthy people on the planet
are people that eat the most protein
and fat in their diet.

eat lots of steaks and chicken (60%fat)
its the golden secret to health

carbs are evil… carbs are just there
to feed to the pigs, cattle so THEY
can get big (it won’t work on humans)
so you can raise more meat.

carbs don’t work in humans, only in
livestock.

in fact, do not even eat one carb.

or you will get fat.[/quote]

WTF???

And who the hell is [i]jim_ohio[/i]?

read the new to T-Nation? thread at the top of this section
and then go to vroom’s beginner’s thread

I think dropping your calorie level to just below maintenance is bad advice.
First, you have no idea what your maintenance level should be and maybe not even what that means.
Second, your maintenance level has you fat (your words).

My point is you just need to eat cleaner and make better food choices.
See Berardi’s g-flux stuff… and buy his precision nutrition program… worth every penny and then some.
Let us know if you need any help locating any of this.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
jim_ohio wrote:
You need to cut all the fat out of
your diet. someone said “Remember, you NEED protein and fat, carbs are only needed in the right situation.”

yes you need fat only if you want to
end up in the grave. FAT clogs arteries, yeah too many carbs can put
on weight but carbs never blocked
an artery or caused a blood clot.

high FAT diets are linked with cancer
high meat diets are linked with disease

so please by all means eat lots of
FAT and PROTEIN, i mean, plants can
kill you. A diet high in vegetables
and fruit will be your downfaul, while
a diet high in FAT and PROTEIN could
be your answer!

eat like a truckdriver… remember
the sickest people are vegetarians,
the most healthy people on the planet
are people that eat the most protein
and fat in their diet.

eat lots of steaks and chicken (60%fat)
its the golden secret to health

carbs are evil… carbs are just there
to feed to the pigs, cattle so THEY
can get big (it won’t work on humans)
so you can raise more meat.

carbs don’t work in humans, only in
livestock.

in fact, do not even eat one carb.

or you will get fat.

WTF???

And who the hell is [i]jim_ohio[/i]?[/quote]

uhhh… yeah, I just saw that also… wtf?!
To the original poster, please ignore everything this person is saying.
I almost think the person was trying to be sarcastic, but it just ended up making no sense at all.

[quote]tad wrote:

See Berardi’s g-flux stuff… and buy his precision nutrition program… worth every penny and then some.
[/quote]

If you are serious and looking for a sustainable lifestyle that gives you results, you will get no better advice than this.

[quote]tad wrote:

See Berardi’s g-flux stuff… and buy his precision nutrition program… worth every penny and then some.
[/quote]

If you are serious and looking for a sustainable lifestyle that gives you results, you will get no better advice than this.

Read the simple not stupid blog heading under Shugarts Hammer. Do not over complicate things. Start simple with basic whole body training three times per week with 3 days of cardio work. Don’t go to hard ease into it.

As far as diet goes start simple there too. Just cut something out that you know is bad like fried foods or soda. Then after a few weeks cut soemthing else out like pizza (just examples no idea what you eat. Then after you cut out the food you know is bad start to tighten things up by getting in more fresh veges and lean protein (i.e better food choices overall).

With supplements go basic with a multivitamin/mineral and some essential fatty acids.

Every month or so reasses and refine. It is a journey that really never ends. It is about learning and improvement but you can not do it all at once. Think long term change not short term diet.

After a good 3-6 months of getting your feet wet and establishing a base ( consistent six months) come back and get a more invloved program. May take longer but you will be better for it.

Last is to keep a food log and exercise log can not stress this enough.

good luck

good luck

Hello. I haven’t been ‘fat’ like that myself in the past, so I can’t speak from personal experience.

But I think that there are some things that would work for anyone…

  1. Sleep - try to get 8 or 9 good hours each night. This really helps. It gives you energy and speeds up your metabolism.

  2. Water - drink plenty of water (not soft drinks, etc). Water is great for you - there’s a million reasons why - and if you’re currently drinking soft drinks, STOP DRINKING SOFT DRINKS NOW. Another benefit of water is that it can help ‘fill you up’ when you feel hungry from eating less than you’re used to eating.

  3. Basically, try to eat a bit less than before, and what you do eat, try to keep it as clean as possible. Fruit and vegetables are great. Food that has plenty of protein is also great.

So, in summary…

  1. Get plenty of good sleep.

  2. Drink plenty of water. There are no calories in water.

  3. Eat clean food, especially protein, fruit, vegetables.

That’s just my two cents.

What I wrote above is about sleep and nutrition, etc.

As for exercise and weightlifting…

I wouldn’t go too crazy about cardio. I think the most important thing is for you to develop some strength and some muscle. Higher levels of muscle speeds up your metabolism. If you want to do some ‘cardio’, how about just going for a nice medium-long walk? It’s not too stressful, and if you’re trying to lose a lot of weight, you don’t want to stress your body too much (you’ll also be lifting anyway).

I’d just follow a simple lifting routine, focusing on the basic exercises - eg. squats, bench presses, deadlifts, a couple others (rows and presses). Do 3, 4, or 5 sets of maybe 6 or 8 reps of each exercise (just my suggestion).

I don’t think you should worry too much about advanced bodybuilding techniques, etc. What you want to do is just to get your diet and lifestyle in order, and to start getting stronger and build some muscle. It’ll take time, but it’ll happen, and when you have the muscle, your metabolism will improve a lot (and you’ll lose more fat then).

Good luck and I hope it goes well.