T Nation

Fat & Flabby, Help Getting Lean


I've spent several days reading and researching on diet and different programs. The diet part I think I have a firm grasp on - eat more lean protein from whole food sources, increase veggies decrease, or remove complete, processed carbs/simple carbs and eat only complex carbs when i chose to - usually around workout times.

because I'm fat I can probably get away with eating less carbs than others might normally require. good fats are good and required for losing/burning fat. fish oil, avocado, olive oil, etc. stay away from trans fats, eat small frequent meals instead of big, infrequent meals. drink lots of water. green tea is good. i don't necessarily need a fat burner yet, I can save that for later if/when i plateau.

If i stick to the above, dietarily i should be pretty sound. what i'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is what the right program might be for someone like me. i've lost a bunch of weight, but i still have more to lose and, more than anything i'm just baggy, saggy and flabby where i want to be lean, firm, and muscular. I want to drop fat not "get big," but many of the programs and beginner tips seem geared toward people looking to increase size and increase muscle gains. I don't want to gain.

Is there a simple beginner program I should be doing or that would be good for me? I've seen mention of destroying fat/warroom strategies by Christian Thibaudeau but in all honesty i think that's just too advanced for me. I've never lifted more than some dumbells in my life. Well, okay, that's night true. I've bench pressed a little. Starting strength seems geared toward increasing size, and i'm not sure it's right for wanting/being interested in rapid fat loss.

Should I do the routine paired with the V-Diet?

Guys, I know I must sound like a complete no-nothing schmuck, and yeah, probably if I spent longer digging I might be able to figure something out. A lot of times I see the answer of just do something and because I'm starting out anything will work if I put in the effort, but it would be nice from a self confidence standpoint to know that my program and my goals are in sync.

I've lurked on here for months working up the courage to post pics and ask hopefully informed questions without annoying people or wasting anyone's time. So if anyone has any advice or can point me in the right direction, thank you!




Hey! You seem to have your head right to make some changes - good.

Get a starting point diet-wise, and make good food choices. Don't overestimate your protein, carbohydrate and fat needs, get help with this if you're unsure. Alot of 'big boys' who carry a lot of fat make the mistake of eating for their total weight, and not lean weight.

As for a program, pick the most basic beginner's program you can find. You'll progress great sticking to the basics and learning the lifts, getting your body used to more activity.Starting Strength might be good, google it.

Also, you're in the gym for an hour, but the rest of the time you can also make changes that will impact your level of progress greatly. Always say yes to the most active choice you can make, so if the choice is between going for a walk to see a friend or staying in and playing WOW, you know what will make you lean and mean down the road.


Like amonero says just stick to the basics to begin with and you'll start to make positive changes. The key is consistency, don't expect miracles, but if you stick at it and keep your diet in check you could be half the man you are in a year (literally).

Kudos on posting pics and deciding to make a change in your life. Get on it and post here on a regular basis, there are some really helpful people here if you prove you have the commitment.


Hey, with only a year under my belt any advice i give you would probly be wrong but id just say with your situation and goals a healthy diet and some cardio and perhaps some circuit training could do wonders.

Good luck with your goals brah


A couple of possible suggestions (from a newbie as well):

You may want to consider getting a body composition test which can be done with a DEXA machine, these are found in doctor's offices and are usually used to measured bone density. The reason why I suggest this was because I was using an impedience meter to measure body fat but the DEXA (which is far more accurate) said I was 7% fatter than the impediance meter. That was a rude awakening I really needed.

You can use that is as a baseline scan of percent body fat. Then go about your training, and have it done about a year from now--that way you can determine how much muscle (or fat) you have gained/lost.

When I did this, I was shocked to learn that when I lost 10 lbs it was all in lean muscle. This has caused me to reorganize my training so that the emphasis is on weight lifting and I'm going to be far stricter on my diet.

Also, consider having your testosterone levels checked, you have a morphology that may suggest low testosterone (my levels are on the low side of average). This is good information to know, because with me it provided an explanation as to why I have so much trouble building muscle and keep fat so easily. And also why my sex drive is lower than normal (in my mid 40's)

Good luck!


Dude Im pretty new to this myself but ill offer what little advice I can.

First off read everything by JB in regards to diet, start with his article "the 7 habits of highly effective dieters" and follow the advice he gives diet wise to the ends of the earth.

Next find a good weight plan or routine, since your starting out I would suggest 3 days, total body workouts. Have a look at Chad Waterburys article on total body workouts.

Next start doing some cardio, not so much for weight loss(thats more diet related) but just to make sure your cardiovascular system is in good health. Anything will work, I personally like a inclined walk on the treadmill as its easy on your joints or BB complex's are simply amazing.

Lastly, commit and keep it simple. Just try to make every day count and take things as they come.

The simpler you keep thmgs for the first few months the better off youll be, that I can promise.

After a while youll start to see improvements and that will motivate you.

Anyway dude, its not much but hopfully it will help get your started.

I really wish you the best and hope things go well for you with your goals.


I'll offer a couple tips. First, this is one of the best articles I've ever read:

The take away is that at your weight, simply walking for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day will yield fantastic fat loss results.

Next, my recommendation would be to find a very basic barbell strength training program. Someone mentioned Starting Strength (Rippetoe's version) and I would second that recommendation. Pick up a copy of the book on Amazon, it's one of the best investments of time that I've made in learning to lift weights. The program is pretty simple, and it's not horribly exhausting and taxing on your body like "war room strategies" as you mentioned before.

Good work on the progress so far (you said you made some, so I'm assuming you have) and it sounds like you have the right idea about cleaning up your diet. I do want to mention that the "small meals" thing is not necessarily true. That is by far the most popular method of dieting, but other people have had sucess using other strategies such as "intermittent fasting". Check out Martin Berkhan's blog on intermittent fasting, he's had pretty major success with his clients eating 2-3 big meals a day. At the end of the day, making right food choices and controlling the overall calorie intake is more important than the meal timing.

Good luck!


Pick any wellrounded basic lifting routine, do cardio, and keep a food log. It really is that simple.


Following on from the 'do cardio' point, make a conscious effort to move about more during the day. I have no idea about your daily routine but things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, maybe walking to work 1/2 days a week to start with (if possible). If not maybe park further away and walk some of the way. Een stuff like waking to the store etc can have a massiv effect if done consistently.
Good luck.


Hey it's great to know you've taken this decision for yourself. By the time you're done i'm pretty sure you'll be more than happy.
As of now you don't need to worry about the complex stuff. The down side (which is obvious) is that you're going to have to work for a while before you get to where you want to be, but because you're carrying quite a bit of excess weight it means that you don't need to be as perfect with your diet as some of the others to see amazing progress.. The best that i can come up with:

1) Drink water, lots of it!
2) Lay off the sodas and absolute junk.. By that i mean things like fries, cakes ice cream bars and things that have absolutely no nutritional value..
3) Don't worry about calories.. If you quit the absolute junk you're gonna make great progress. Also you don't have to worry about follow the PERFECT diet all day long.. You'll do good even if you don't have the perfect protein carb fat intake etc..

The reason i say this is because i know it's hard for someone who's been living off pizza's and burgers all his life (no offence meant) to suddenly switch to oats mixed nuts flax seeds and all that..
By the time you see really good progress you'll get used to eating better.. then you can worry about the rest.

So right now, drink lots of water, try eating at least 2 whole eggs a day, i'd reccomend the StrongLifts 5x5 program for you (others may not).. Point is, lift heavy 3 times a week, cardio for another 3, even if it's just a 20 minute walk.

You will see results in a month, i can guarantee that. Just don't lose motivation son.. Good luck and keep posting!