T Nation

Fat Loss Intervals/Blitz- CT Thank You

Hey CT,
Just want to thank you for your article, fat loss: fast or slow, because I have found the golden bullet for me in terms of losing fat that fits my 2A profile, using the fat loss intervals approach.

I like how I can dial in for 3 weeks and reset every 4th week on maintenance calories to reassess how I’m going. Using the intense dieting allows for quick results in fat loss which for me drives my motivation and knowing every 4th week I can re fuel my body allowing me to keep going strong!

Quick question-

  1. Now that I’ve lean right out, I’m looking to gain some muscle/weight and I was wondering which way would be the best strategy diet wise to go:

Aim= gain 0.5 – 1 lbs a week (closer to 0.5 lbs)

Option A: Have a control day (drop carbs down to 50g) once a week while eating slightly higher calories on the other 6 days of the week


Option B: Have no control day but eating equal number of calories all 7 days and use a fat loss blitz approach (2-4 weeks) when I feel I’ve (if I do) gain to much fat over the muscle/weight gain period (maybe after 12-24 weeks depending on how much I store).

Both options would have total weekly calories being the same just different ways of implementing them.

I’m leaning towards Option B but not sure, any help would be great, or if you think another strategy I’ve not mentioned would be better love to hear it.

Thanks for the help

I would recommend something similar to option B.

3 weeks growth blitzes where you have a good surplus then 1 weeks “control” which is either maintenance level of caloric deficit depending on how your body composition is changing.

I like the sound of that, working off a similar structure as the fat loss intervals, which obviously works great for me being a 2A. Cheers.

Just a couple of short answer questions to tie this up-

  1. Just to understand, what’s the theory of having that control week every 4th week either at maintenance level or calorie deficit? Particularly if I stay at maintenance level, maybe something to do with letting my body settle at the new weight before consuming a surplus/increase weight again?

  2. The control week should I carb cycle or should I have equal amounts of calories each day for the week as I would during the growth blitz?

  3. If I think I need to have a calorie deficit for the control week, what percentage of restriction compared to maintenance should I have?

  4. For the growth blitz, as a guide should I aim for a 0.5 - 1 lbs gain per week?

  5. Can protein stay the same during the muscle blitz and control weeks? Just manipulate carbs and fats?

  6. Finally on protein some articles I’ve read you have mentioned 1 x per pound, 1.25 x per pound and 1.5 x per pound, what is best? I’ve been using 1.25.

Thanks again, I really believe this will be a game changer approach for me in gaining muscle/weight effectively while controlling my aesthetics.

Well it depends on how you are progressing. If you are gaining more fat than you want, go with a deficit. If you are fine with your level of “fatness” go to maintenance. No more complicated than that.

Don’t get things too complicated. Use the same structure as during the growth weeks, but an adjusted caloric intake (same protein level though, or even slightly higher).

It depends on how much fat you gained compared to what you think is acceptable. But a good starting point is reducing caloric intake by around 500 kcals per day while slightly increasing protein, so decreasing calories from carbs/fats by around 600.

That’s normally what I recommend. The obvious limitations are 1) at first you will gain more if you are coming off a dieting phase, from glycogen storage alone. 2) You can easily have weight fluctuations of 2-4lbs per day due to stomach content, water retention, etc. So it’s kinda hard to precisely measure a 0.5 - 1lbs gan in a week.

Control week should be equal or (ideally) slightly higher in protein (around 25g more).

Then stick to 1.25, certainly do not go down.

Fantastic can’t wait to get started. I’m leading in on a couple weeks at maintenance just to sort out my exact maintenance level so using 0.5 - 1 lbs a week will wrk perfectly as a guide.

Just one last question-

  1. WIth protein, should I count the protein I consume from carbs such as rice, oats, bread and pasta or only from complete proteins sources meats, eggs and protein powders?

Thanks agian for the help

Although this is is a very anal question, it is not a bad one.

If you really want to be super precise about it, I’d likely count protein from veggies and grains at 50% value from a protein amount value (while still counting the full calories)

Lol yeh I know it’s anal and I never did count them as my protein total but I just noticed today my oats meal had 17g of protein so it just got me thinking as it’s a large amount do I count this?

Ok great I’ll make them 50% value of a complete protein value

  1. But what do you mean by ‘while still counting the full calories’. Could you elaborate on this, I just quite don’t understand what you mean?

Thanks again appreciate it

For example let’s take the oatmeal that might have 17of protein, 1g of fat, 40g of carbs… the caloric total would be:
17 x 4 + 1 x 9 + 40 x 4 =
68 + 9 + 160 =
237 calories

If we count only half the protein total we now count 8.5g of protein. Since each gram of protein protein provides roughly 4 calories 8.5g of protein would be 34 calories. So if you were to only count half the calories from protein (since you are only counting half the protein toward your total content) the caloric total would be 203 calories instead of 237.

But an incomplete protein still provides the same “energy/calories” as a complete protein so we can’t use half of the amount to get your caloric intake.

So even though you are only adding 8.5g to our protein total we still use the full 17g to count the caloric content of the oatmeal.

Ok I thought you meant that…

So using that protocol, as I use the full protein amount in counting the calories while only using 50% for my protein amount, where should I decrease the other 50%, from carbs or fat?

To explain-

In a meal I need 150g carbs, 10g fat and 50g protein

From my carbs I get 25g protein so 12.5g goes to my protein amount while there is 12.5g left to count towards my total calories. Should that 12.5g be taken away from the carbs total, 150g - 12.5g = 137.5g?

My god haha, in all honestly am I best just to count the carbs and fats from my grain sources and just leave my protein to the complete sources I have already organised through meats, eggs and protein powders? My diets in terms of meals is mainly consistent day to day for ease purposes so working off that and making adjustments calories up or down is easy when needed to.

Thanks again

Well, truthfully it won’t make a big difference either way because it’s next to impossible to gain fat from extra protein and even if you are 20-25g over estimation it will have zero ill-effect.

Ok great I’ll just stick to what I’ve been doing, been working so far so why change.

One final thing, during my fat loss intervals my protein was at 225g (1.25 x lbs), when I move into my muscle blitz, should I have protein at 200g and when I do the maintenance or calorie deficit week increase protein back up to 225g while dropping carbs and fat?

Thanks again