T Nation

Fat Loss Meal Plan Critique

Ok, so it’s been a while since i’ve been serious about my fitness. I used to know what I was doing, and at one point managed to drop about 60lbs of fat while gaining 20lb of muscle. That was 8 years ago, and now i’ve gained most of the fat back, but have maintained lean mass.

I’m 6’4’’, 32 yrs old, 245lb, BF 30%

I know how to lift, and I know how to do HIIT, which is basically the only cardio I can tolerate without getting bored.

My goal is to lose fat AND gain muscle. I think that since I am so overweight this is actually likely if I continue to work out 5 days.

Here is a single day’s meal plan. I would love to know if I’ve got my timing/macronutrient ratios correct. ALL feedback is greatly appreciated.

Wake-up (6:30am):
2 scoops protein ? 46g protein
Kcals: 184

Cardio (6:50am ? 7:20am)

Meal 1 (8:00am)
1 scoop protein shake ? 23g protein
4 egg whites ? 12g protein
1 serving oatmeal ? 8g fat, 26g carbs, 6g protein

Protein: 41g
Carbs: 26g
Fat: 8g
Kcals: 340

Meal 2 (10:00am):
1 scoop protein shake ? 23g protein
1 peanut butter sandwich ? 17g fat, 41g carbs, 17g protein

Protein: 40g
Carbs: 41g
Fat: 17g
Kcals: 477

Meal 3 (12:00pm):
6oz tuna ? 3g fat, 33g protein
2 cup whole wheat noodles ? 2g fat, 84g carbs, 16g protein
1 cup broccoli ? 9g carbs, 5g protein

Protein: 49g
Carbs: 84g
Fat: 5g
Kcals: 577

Pre-workout (1:30pm):
2 scoops protein ? 46g protein
Kcals: 184

Workout (2:00pm ? 3:45pm)

Meal 4 (4:30pm):
6oz chicken breast ? 3g fat, 30g protein
2 cup whole wheat noodles ? 2g fat, 84g carbs, 16g protein
1 cup broccoli ? 9g carbs, 5g protein
Protein: 51g
Carbs: 93g
Fat: 5g
Kcals: 621

Meal 5 (7:00pm):
6oz chicken breast ? 3g fat, 30g protein
1 cup broccoli ? 9g carbs, 5g protein

Protein: 35g
Carbs: 9g
Fat: 4g
Kcals: 212

Pre-sleep (10:00pm):
1 scoop protein ? 23g protein
Kcals: 92

Total:
Protein: 331
Carbs: 253
Fat: 39
Kcals: 2687

Hey, there, mylesmg. You may be new to T-Nation, but I can tell you’ve been doing some serious reading. (grin)

I’d approach things with slightly different numbers. Let’s compare. I think the answer lies somewhere in between what you through together and what I would have proposed.

mylesmg’s Proposed Plan

Protein … 331g (1324 calories)
Carbs … . 253g (1012 calories)
Fat … … 39g (351 calories)
Total … … 2687 calories

TT’s Proposed Plan

Protein … 245g (980 calories)
Carbs … . 100g (400 calories)
Fat … … 98g (882 calories)
Total … … 2262 calories

What I would propose provides you with 1g of protein per pound of body weight. I’d bring you in a bit lower on protein and carbs and quite a bit higher on fat. You’re going to have to trust me on the fat thing, but fat doesn’t make you fat if you’re eating at a slight caloric deficit.

Nonetheless, your plan comes in at a caloric multiple of slightly over 10 times body weight, and my plan has you coming in at a multiple of 9 times body weight. That’s too low starting out. So here’s what I would propose.

Hit your protein and fat numbers dead on. Track those two macronutrients. Beyond that you can have UNLIMITED amounts of fibrous green veggie carbs. You won’t be hungry, I promise. You don’t have to weight, track, measure or count your fibrous green veggie carbs. They won’t interfere with fat loss.

The only carbs I do want you to track are the 3 servings of fruit you’re going to eat every day (a serving for you should be 100-120 calories) and 1 serving of beans (1 serving = 1 cup of cooked beans). The only other carbs you’ll be consuming will be the starchy carbs consumed in the meal following resistance training. After we flesh out your plan a little better, I’ll give you some hard numbers on how many starchy carbs to consume.

Along those lines (“lines” meaning resistance training), could I talk you into doing resistance training 3 or 4 days a week and doing your HIIT only on days you’re not doing resistance training? I want you alternating. Even though I know you’re highly motivated, more is not better.

Questions? (grin)

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
Hey, there, mylesmg. You may be new to T-Nation, but I can tell you’ve been doing some serious reading. (grin)

I’d approach things with slightly different numbers. Let’s compare. I think the answer lies somewhere in between what you through together and what I would have proposed.

mylesmg’s Proposed Plan

Protein … 331g (1324 calories)
Carbs … . 253g (1012 calories)
Fat … … 39g (351 calories)
Total … … 2687 calories

TT’s Proposed Plan

Protein … 245g (980 calories)
Carbs … . 100g (400 calories)
Fat … … 98g (882 calories)
Total … … 2262 calories

What I would propose provides you with 1g of protein per pound of body weight. I’d bring you in a bit lower on protein and carbs and quite a bit higher on fat. You’re going to have to trust me on the fat thing, but fat doesn’t make you fat if you’re eating at a slight caloric deficit.

Nonetheless, your plan comes in at a caloric multiple of slightly over 10 times body weight, and my plan has you coming in at a multiple of 9 times body weight. That’s too low starting out. So here’s what I would propose.

Hit your protein and fat numbers dead on. Track those two macronutrients. Beyond that you can have UNLIMITED amounts of fibrous green veggie carbs. You won’t be hungry, I promise. You don’t have to weight, track, measure or count your fibrous green veggie carbs. They won’t interfere with fat loss.

The only carbs I do want you to track are the 3 servings of fruit you’re going to eat every day (a serving for you should be 100-120 calories) and 1 serving of beans (1 serving = 1 cup of cooked beans). The only other carbs you’ll be consuming will be the starchy carbs consumed in the meal following resistance training. After we flesh out your plan a little better, I’ll give you some hard numbers on how many starchy carbs to consume.

Along those lines (“lines” meaning resistance training), could I talk you into doing resistance training 3 or 4 days a week and doing your HIIT only on days you’re not doing resistance training? I want you alternating. Even though I know you’re highly motivated, more is not better.

Questions? (grin)[/quote]

First of all, I would like to thank you and express my appreciation for your thoughtful reply. I really do appreciate it.

Working out 5 days a week is not really that flexible for me for 2 reasons:

  • It’s my escape from a highly stressful life (I love to lift)
  • My workout partner is quite reliable, and I owe it to him to show up when I say I will. We have an agreement of 5 days of mutual motivation and spotting.

That being said, I don’t really like cardio. I feel like a hamster in a wheel, so if I had to just do cardio one day a week, that would be fine (Saturday would be the day, leaving Sunday with nothing but rest).

Ok, so now here is my adjusted diet. It’s not perfectly in-tune with your recommendations, but it’s pretty close I think. The hardest part is getting all the fat. I guess I will just have to supplement with EFAs and such.

Oh, and I didn’t calculate the calories for each meal. This thing took long enough as it is (and it’s just one friggin’ day). Of course I’ll use it as a template for every day.

Wake-up (6:30am):
1 scoop protein ? 23g protein
2 tbsp peanut butter -16g fat, 8g protein
1 banana ? 35g carbs

Protein: 31g
Carbs: 35g
Fat: 16g

Cardio (6:50am ? 7:20am)
Saturday OR Sunday only

Meal 1 (8:30am)
4 whole eggs ? 12g protein, 24g fat
1 apple ? 20g carbs

Protein: 18g
Carbs: 20g
Fat: 24g

Meal 2 (10:00am):
6 oz beef ? 10g fat, 35g protein
1 cup broccoli ? not tracking

Protein: 35g
Carbs: 0g
Fat: 10g
Kcals: 477

Meal 3 (12:00pm):
6oz tuna ? 3g fat, 33g protein
1 cup beans ? 38g carbs, 13g protein

Protein: 46g
Carbs: 38g
Fat: 3g

Pre-workout (1:30pm):
1 scoop protein ? 23g protein
2 tbsp peanut butter -16g fat, 8g protein

Protein: 31g protein
Carbs: 0g
Fat: 16g

Workout (2:00pm ? 3:45pm)
Monday ? Friday

Meal 4 (4:30pm):
6oz chicken breast ? 3g fat, 30g protein
1 cup whole wheat noodles ? 1g fat, 42g carbs, 8g protein
1 apple ? 20g carbs

Protein: 38g
Carbs: 62g
Fat: 4g

Meal 5 (7:00pm):
6oz chicken breast ? 3g fat, 30g protein
1 cup broccoli ? Not tracking

Protein: 30g
Carbs: 0g
Fat: 3g

Pre-sleep (10:00pm):
1 scoop protein ? 23g protein

Total:
Protein: 252 (1008 calories)
Carbs: 155 (620 calories)
Fat: 68 (612 calories)
Total: 2240 calories

mylesmg, that’s a heck of an overhaul!!! You make it look easy. (grin)

I’ll be back in the morning with my thoughts, and I’ll share a few of my tricks, too.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
mylesmg, that’s a heck of an overhaul!!! You make it look easy. (grin)

I’ll be back in the morning with my thoughts, and I’ll share a few of my tricks, too.[/quote]

Great! I’m looking forward to more feedback.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
mylesmg, that’s a heck of an overhaul!!! You make it look easy. (grin)

I’ll be back in the morning with my thoughts, and I’ll share a few of my tricks, too.[/quote]

Great, looks like I’ve nailed it then.

It’s a bit more than I like to see, but I understand where you’re coming from re working out and needing to be there for your lifting partner. It really depends on which goals you’re putting first. If losing weight and/or improving body composition is the higher priority, then cardio, resistance training and diet need to support that goal. For other people, performing athletically might be the higher priority (imagine a football player or a marathon runner). In that case, diet and everything else is designed to support athletic performance.

An acceptable compromise in my book would be 5 resistance training sessions that did not exceed 45 minutes in duration.

I know you’re probably wondering why I’m focusing on your workout, but it’s based on past experience. Diet, cardio and resistance training are like a 3-legged chair. If you take one of the legs out from underneath the chair, it will fall over. The trick is to do all of what is necessary (create a stimulus for growth) and not one iota more. It’s not just a case of diminishing returns. You actually start having to deal with overtraining issues (higher cortisol levels which results in lost LBM (Lean Body Mass) and an immune system that is negatively affected).

Take it under advisement and do some more reading on the subject, mylesmg. There isn’t any reason you can’t be there for your lifting partner and do those things which are supportive of YOUR goals!!! (grin)

Cardio? I’m fine with your doing HIIT once or twice a week. The largest part of your results are going to come from your diet.

If you really need to keep the cardio in at 6:50, then make your first meal of the day a scoop of whey protein. Cardio should not be done fasted state if you’re talking any degree of intensity (any more than walking). That being the case, anything more than a scoop of whey (maybe added to your black coffee?) is going to delay gastric emptying.

If you’d like to see how I work through all the issues of designing a diet, check out http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1509230. The first thing you do is figure out the times of your meals in relationship to your workout. Then you figure out the structure of your meals (i.e., which meals are P+C and which are P+F. Then you put in a serving of fruit in your P+C meals and the olive oil you’re supposed to get in one of your P+F meals and the flaxseed oil in the other P+F meal. You add beans to the meal you are hungriest and a brassica (like broccoli or cauliflower) in any meal you like. Adding in the fat isn’t as much of a problem as you might think. You can drizzle olive oil over steamed veggies. You can eat steak or salmon. Eggs have fat. You can use your flaxseed oil to make a salad dressing. There are lots of opportunities to add fat.

Fat keeps you feeling full. Good fat suppresses inflammation and keeps your hormones balanced and your brain chemistry (mood) good. Think of fat and carbs like two kids riding a See-Saw. As one goes up, the other needs to come down. We’re cutting a lot of carbs out of your diet, so we need to raise your fat intake. If we didn’t, you’d have too sever a caloric deficit and lose muscle weight.

Another benefit of adding good fat into your diet is that the body starts using some of it for energy. Your body has to make differen enzymes to break down fat than it makes to break down carbs. So for people eating at a caloric deficit and consuming good fat as recommended, there body is learning how to draw on stored body fat to meet what it thinks is a TEMPORARY caloric deficit.

Designing a diet is part art, part science … and pure magic when properly done! (grin)

Why don’t you read the thread I mentioned and see if that doesn’t help.

As far as tricks go, since you know you need 40g of protein at every meal, write down every possible form of protein you might eat. Then go to www.fitday.com or www.nutritiondata.com and look up how many ounces of that protein you need to eat to get 40g of protein. You’ll need to pick leaner protein sources in general because by the time you add in your olive oil and flaxseed oil, there’s not a lot left over.

That’s one of the tricks I was telling you about. If you have a list of protein sources and the number of ounces you need to eat, all protein sources for all meals are interchangable!

Another trick, for those of us who don’t have a lot of discretionary time is to do a bunch of cooking on the weekend. Cook a bunch of chicken breasts. and bag up individual portions. You can put 'em over salads. Tuna makes a portable meal. When I cook salmon, I cook the whole darn filet, skin it and put it into a container in the fridge. 110 grams (about 4 ounces) is a serving. I know the number of ounces I need for every protein source I eat.

Questions? (grin)

Ok, so time has passed, and I basically have thrown out what I was going to do altogether. Now I’m doing high-rep lifting with violent intensity, and just eating good food.

For instance, yesterday I had:

7:30am - 1 Scoop VP2 Protein
8:00am - 6 egg whites, 1 serving oatmeal (I like it dry)
11:00am - 1 grilled chicken breast, 1 banana, 1 serving oatmeal
1:00pm - 1 grilled chicken breast, 1 banana, 1 serving oatmeal
2:30 - 1 scoop VP2 protein
3:00 - Lift my ass off
5:00 - 1 scoop VP2 protein, 12oz Grape Juice
6:00 - 6oz Ground Turkey, 1/4 cup cheese
9:00 - 6oz ground turkey, 1/4 cup cheese
10:00 - 1 cup low fat cottage cheese.

so far I’m down about 10 pounds (been doing this for a month). This means I’ve gone from 255 to 245. I’m certainly not disappointed, and honestly, I feel like I’m gaining muscle. Even if I’m not actually gaining muscle, I FEEL like I am.

I feel frickin great.

I split my workouts into 3:

Monday - Push and Calves
Wednesday - Pull and Forearms
Friday - Legs and Abs

Back day looks like this:
Warm-up 10 minutes on stationary bike.

All in one set:
Assisted Pull-ups x6
Close Grip Pull-downs x6
Wide grip pull downs x6

All heavy, all intense. By the time I get to the third part, I can’t do another rep… except I do anyways.

I do 3 of these giant sets. If my heart rate starts to drop at all, I work in a set of calves between sets to keep me freaking out. I polish calves off at the end of the workout, making my total calf work about 6 sets. If I don’t do alot of calves in between my other giant sets, then I do more at the end.

The other days are essentially the same. I do some direct arm work at the end of the back and chest days too. I don’t care too much about direct arm work, but that crazy cramping burn pain makes me make faces. I like that.

All I care about in the gym is that I keep proper form and don’t injure myself, and that I lift with animal, ferocious, crazy intensity. I don’t care what anybody else at the gym thinks. I’ll make myself cry if possible.

Anyways, it’s so much fun I can’t stop.

Ok, I’m back on this thread again. I had a really rough couple of years, but I’m back on the bandwagon. I ballooned up to 270lbs over the two years, but have in the last few months dropped 30lbs. This was done basically by cutting calories, getting more exercise (a lot of disc golf), and eating healthier foods.

I am tracking all my calories on www.DailyBurn.com, and have a COMPLETE diet log of every calorie I’ve eaten since July 13th. It’s not a lot of data, but it’s enough to let me know how much I need to eat to gain/lose weight. When I do the math my BMR is about 2700 calories. I figure if I’m on a 2200 calorie diet, I should be able to see about a 1 pound a week weight loss with no exercise.

My goal is to make my weight loss each week 2 pounds. I’m 240lb/27% today, so losing 2lb a week seems pretty reasonable. I really believe that I can gain strength while doing this just because I was starting from such a horrible place.

I just wanted to post here that I’m getting back on this thing. I was reading back in the original post on this thread and I’m actually 5lb lighter, and 3% lower BF than I was when I originally posted. Thats encouraging. Also I got my diet under control first this time, and now I’m adding more intense training.

Here is my public profile on daily burn for more: http://dailyburn.com/locker_room/mylesmg