T Nation

Fatty Tries to Get Lean(er)

I’ve been lurking for a while now and reading up mostly on nutrition. I figured I’d post my diet plan here, just in case someone thinks of improvements on it.

My weight on monday was 137.2 kg / 302 lbs. My height is 192 cm / 6 feet 3 inches. My Bodyfat was 36.6 %. Though I am not sure how accurate the body fat is, since I have one of those gizmos that uses an electric current to measure it. For example it gave a reading of 18% for a friend who was only a month away from a bodybuilding competition, but the readings are atleast consistent, so I use it to see if I am making progress.

I’ve been fat most of my life. Mainly due to crappy school food and not eating breakfast, so I tended to fast all day and gorge in the evenings. I have been lifting for 10 years, but I have usually squandered any and all progress with some brainfart of a diet. I gain muscle and strength quite easily, but I also gain fat easily (most probably due to a poor diet). I am after strength, but I feel that my excess bodyfat is a big hinderance. So I want to drop it to around 20%.

I lift 3 times a week at the moment. Mainly DLs and presses. I have also been working on my squats (which I detest) and on my core muscles (which, thanks to using isolating machines in earlier years, have been lacking). I have also been dragging a sled once a week, punching bag sparring once or twice a week and walking for 30-60 minutes in the mornings (once or twice a week at the moment and increasing the frequency as long as it doesn’t eat into the few muscles I have).

Food:

My main source of nutrition is a shake with around 30 grams of whey protein, 20 grams of rapeseed oil and 10 grams of either flax seed oil or fish oil. I find it convenient, if not very tasty. Also its a very effective way to control my diet, since I can easily substract from them or add to them.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with flax seeds and rye bran. 100 g / 3.5 oz of cheese.

2 hours after breakfast I drink my first shake and eat some veggies. I keep drinking the shakes 2-3 hours apart until I get off work and/or I bother to make actual food.

In the evening I usually eat a couple of steaks with veggies on the side.

Before going to bed I eat 400 grams / 14 ounces of cottage cheese (I’m not sure how wise this is, but I figured that if it releases slowly over a period of 4 hours it would be advantageous to eat more of the stuff).

It all adds up to around 8 meals with a total of around 2600 kcals, with around 270 grams of protein.

Its all still a work in progress. I am at moment concentrating on improving my lifting and workout schedules. I have rushed and, thus fucked up, my diets in the past and want to get this one right.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. And I’m sorry if this post has messy grammar. I am not fully concentrated at the moment.

  • POC

Hey POC,

You’ll have to provide a little more detail. I only counted four meals in your post, not eight. Two steaks in the evening? That’s way too much saturated fat, especially if your goal is bodyfat reduction. Stick to lean protein sources, like skinless chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, etc.

Your last meal should be consumed at least an hour before you go to sleep. You’re not going to get quality sleep while your body is chugging through that last meal of the day.

The shake is fine, but it’s really more beneficial to eat whole foods to obtain the “thermic effect” of the digestive process (burning calories to actually digest the food). Stick to whole grains, green and red vegetables, and lean meats (only an occasional serving of red meat). Also, are you doing any cardio to help burn the fat?

[quote]Vicar Philip wrote:
I only counted four meals in your post, not eight. Two steaks in the evening? That’s way too much saturated fat, especially if your goal is bodyfat reduction. Stick to lean protein sources, like skinless chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, etc.[/quote]

I drink 4 shakes over the course of a day. With breakfast, one ‘real’ meal and the cottage cheese, so its 8. And I eat the steaks around 5 pm. I use steak because I don’t find any taste in lean meats and I have to keep this up awhile so it helps me stick to the plan.

I have not noticed any decline in the quality of my sleep, but then again I haven’t really paid attention to it.

I walk in the morning, drag sled once a week and spar with a punching bag once or twice. I’m trying to slowly increase my cardio and find what my limit is. In the past I have always overdone the cardio part and ended up either completely exhausted or injured.

Hell, I use to wake up at 3 am and go for 3 hour walks, lift in the evening and still do an hour of cardio after that… Of course I only managed to keep that up for a few days before it caught up with me.

  • POC

I see that you have a plan, and that is good, but how long has this plan been in place? If it is at least 2 weeks and you haven’t lost weight, something is worong. Keep it simple. For those with higher body fat, fat loss should be the primary goal, enless there are specific needs for high body mass. Economics of energy.

If all that you do does not result in a weight loss and that is your goal, cut the intake. Creating a net deficit by caloric restriction is easier than by expenditure.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
how long has this plan been in place? If it is at least 2 weeks and you haven’t lost weight, something is worong.[/quote]

I’ve been at this for around 2 weeks. Thus far (last week) I have lost around 0.22 pounds of fat per day on average and gained 0.44 pounds of weight per day. I’m checking my stats tomorrow, so I’m not sure yet how this week has gone. The weight gain was a bit suprising, but I figured I can’t trust the initial stats.

well I have heard both, that checking stats everyday is pointless and also have heard that those who are on a reduction diet do better when they get more feedback, more often. Which of the two goals is more important to you? If what you are saying is accurate, then you are on a roll, I wouldn’t change a thing.

If the event that the primary goal is fat reduction, some will have you set a goal of absolute weight loss with some attention to lean tissue retention, while others will be from the slow and steady crowd. I started a weight loss at all costs for me yesterday.

At the end I am going to devote 6 weeks of just above maintenance for lean tissue regain. Mixed goals, mixed results. Best of luck to you

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
well I have heard both, that checking stats everyday is pointless and also have heard that those who are on a reduction diet do better when they get more feedback, more often.[/quote]

My main reason for not checking too often is that I’ll become demotivated if I don’t see results each time. And that might cause me to either abandon the diet or cut down on calories.

Thanks. And good luck to you as well.

  • POC

Howdy,

Your diet doesnt look bad, but I do wonder what goes in your protein shakes. Just personally, I wouldnt mix the amount of fat you do with your carbs at breakfast. At this point in your diet, probably wont even matter, but its not a bad idea to start setting good habits.

You need to read the “Former Fat Boy Handbook” and take it all of it. Some of it may not be useful yet, but some is. I started at 300lbs at 5’7" and got down to 170.

Congrats on making your change though! Always good to see people make the right steps to improve their lives.

Josh

P.S.- The comment about your last meal “should be an hour before bed” is a decent rough guideline. However, given your high body fat, and the fact that you are just beginning, I wouldnt give going catabolic a second thought. Dont think you have to gorge on cottage cheese at night to keep your body from eating itself at night.

[quote]EnTransit wrote:
I do wonder what goes in your protein shakes.[/quote]

40 grams of unflavoured whey protein which should have around 30 grams of protein in it, 20 grams of rapeseed oil, 10 grams of flax seed oil or fish oil and 16 oz of water.

I figured I should try to get enough nutrition in the morning, since I subsist on the shakes for the next 8 hours. And I don’t really like the cheese, so its easy to leave out if necessary.

I’ll look it up.

I’m not actually that worried about catabolism. I can pretty easily gain back what I may lose, but I thought that it might help keep my metabolism going better during the night.

  • POC

Some of the advice on here you might want to give a try. I know someone above me talked about eating more whole grains which is great but you want to try to eat on a low glycemic index so your body has more time to process the energy your intaking. If you need help with what these foods are here is a site:
http://www.holisticonline.com/Remedies/weight/weight_diet-Low-GI-foods.htm

As for the steak, steak is ok but extremely high in fat. If your going for fat reduction and don’t like lean meats, try sprinking some kind of herb or spice while cookin the skinless chicken brest to give it some flavor.
As for the workout, I would really have to see what your doing but it doesn’t seem like your doing much if all your doing is squats, deads, and presses. Look at some of the programs on here.

Don’t forget to do your cardio!!! Try to do it for long periods of time not just a jog every now and then. Keep your fat metabolism working!! Good luck!

[quote]EnTransit wrote:
You need to read the “Former Fat Boy Handbook” and take it all of it.[/quote]

I just read that article. As a FFB, I found it very interesting and it showed me some flaws in my diet and exercise plan. My girl always wants to go on long walks, and I’ll be damned if she isnt going to get her way now. That was the only part that I didnt like. Ha ha. Hopefully I can get to the “shredded” stage he talks about and start some clean bulking.

Well, it seems that there is a flaw in my plan or my scale is busted. My weight has gone from 302 pounds to 304 pounds, while my body fat has risen from 36.6% to 37.2%. That would mean that I’ve gained around 2 pounds of fat in 5 days and actually lost some lean body mass.

Considering that I have not strayed from my food plan and that 2600 kcals should be low enough, I am inclined to believe that the bioelectrical impedance analysis device I use to get my body fat percentage is not very accurate.

I don’t want to cut down the calories so I’ll have to increase my cardio and lifting.

On a positive note, my overall fitness level has increased. I can now easily run uphill on my morning walks without getting winded. Where as before I’d be huffing and puffing for a good 10 minutes after that.

A friend also pointed out that I might benefit from drinking more water. I’ve never liked drinking water in large amounts, but I guess it can’t hurt.

  • POC

If you are not cutting your intake of calories and you are increasing your expenditure of calories, you are still cutting calories. Check your budget. You wanna work overtime every day or find a way to cut your spending. One way or another, if you want to lose fat with any appreciable speed, cut calories. Try to maintain strength levels.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but isnt 2600 cals a little low for this guy??? That is right around where I eat and I am 205 lbs. I lift 3 days a week and do cardio 3 days, and I usually eat around 2400-2600 cals in a day and continue to lose weight.

I think you should be somewhere around these numbers: Lets say you weight an even 300 to make it easy. Take 300x15=4500. That is the MOST you should eat in a day to maintain or lose weight. Now take 300x10=3000. That is the miniumum you should eat on any given day. That is what your body needs to run correctly. I think you should be eating around 3200 cals and see how you fare then. Like I said before, someone correct me if I am wrong here. This is what I used to get down to 205 from 280lbs. Every ten lbs that comes off, just recalculate and go from there.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
If you are not cutting your intake of calories and you are increasing your expenditure of calories, you are still cutting calories.[/quote]

I don’t want to touch my food intake, because I have done so with past diets and my metabolism has very quickly slowed down. I may be wrong, but I thought increasing expenditure would be a better option.

Problem is that 2600 calories should be below my maintenance requirements. I estimated that my maintenance should be around 3100 calories and reduced 500 from that. But again, I might be wrong with these figures.

  • POC

[quote]boss99er wrote:
I think you should be eating around 3200 cals and see how you fare then.[/quote]

Thats why I don’t want to go down from 2600 calories. I thought I’d start with it and see how it goes, but I am pretty suprised that nothing has happened. I am basicly where I started two weeks ago.

  • POC

[quote]PredatorOC wrote:
EnTransit wrote:
Just personally, I wouldnt mix the amount of fat you do with your carbs at breakfast.

I figured I should try to get enough nutrition in the morning, since I subsist on the shakes for the next 8 hours. And I don’t really like the cheese, so its easy to leave out if necessary.
[/quote]
bah… . I hate this “rule” and dont see the sense in it at all… . I wouldnt get any calories in the first half of my day if I limited fat. …

[quote]PredatorOC wrote:
Thats why I don’t want to go down from 2600 calories. I thought I’d start with it and see how it goes, but I am pretty suprised that nothing has happened. I am basicly where I started two weeks ago.

  • POC[/quote]

Well then, next week, try kicking it up to about 3100 and just see what happens. Try it for two weeks. I think you may be too low so your body is in starvation mode and it is storing the fat it has and is actually using muscle for energy. Just give it a try, if it still doesnt work, adjust some more. You will find that “sweetspot” eventually. But the bitch of it is, after you lose some weight, you have to find it again.

I used the Katch-McArdle formula for BMR, and it looks to me that your daily calorie needs for maintenance should be up around 3500. As boss99er suggested, try going up to 3100, you may very well be putting your body in starvation mode.

BTW the formula is as follows:
370 + (21.6 X lean body mass in kg)
You said you were 304 at 37% BF, so your LBM is 192. 192lbs. = 87 kg.
370 + (21.6 X 87) = 2250
2250 X 1.55 (activity factor) = 3487.5

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
PredatorOC wrote:
EnTransit wrote:
Just personally, I wouldnt mix the amount of fat you do with your carbs at breakfast.

I figured I should try to get enough nutrition in the morning, since I subsist on the shakes for the next 8 hours. And I don’t really like the cheese, so its easy to leave out if necessary.

bah… . I hate this “rule” and dont see the sense in it at all… . I wouldnt get any calories in the first half of my day if I limited fat. …[/quote]

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=199ess2

Read that article, and then be smarter.