T Nation

FFB Unite!


I thought it would be cool to start a thread with a collection of tips for the FFB. Chris has written a ton on this, but I was curious as to what some of you out there in the trenches have found out about our physiology.

Some background on my story:
I lost a good deal of my fat ass via anorexia years ago before I knew any better. I wasn't really concerned with fitness at all, I just didn't want to be fat anymore.

So I went from a 255lb fatso to a 185lb skinny fat guy. I still had love handles and probably 12" arms. It was sad, however I discovered T-Nation and things have changed for the better to say the least.

That being said, trying to add lean body mass has always been a uphill struggle. Losing fat I can handle, I know what works and what doesn't, but putting on muscle still has me stumped. Winter for me, is always a very difficult time of year.

I have never been all that lean, I'd guess 12% BF is the leanest I have ever been, but the second I start to increase calories I just seem to get fat. I have a hunch this is purely psychological. The last month or so has been mostly my fault, I haven't really been paying much attention to my diet and doing the classic eat everything in sight bulk diet, I should have known better, but I learned my lesson fairly quick and I'm back on track now. I'm trying out CT's Carb Cycling and I seem to be doing ok, though I've only been at it for 10 days now.

A few things I have learned though my quest to gain muscle:

  1. Eating junk will only make me fat. I still need to eat clean and keep cheat meals to a minimum.

  2. Carb intake on non training days needs to be kept at a minimum.

  3. Carbs MUST be consumed on training days or else I can hardly unrack the bar.

  4. Over-doing cardio does not apply to me.(to an extent)

  5. Skipping meals causes me to return to my former fat boy ways, eating WAY too much food that is usually none to nutritious to begin with.(Pizza, nachos, donuts, ect) If I eat something every 2-3 hours I'm fine, if not...ehhh...

  6. Carbolin-19 was MADE for us!

  7. Water keeps me lean and helps me grow the right stuff.

  8. Basing my training off compound movements(read that ALL exercises are compound movements)is the best thing I ever did.

  9. The more sleep I get, the leaner I am.

  10. The more sex I have, the leaner I am.

It would be awesome if some of you could post some other ideas/tips/stories, this kind of thing fascinates me because we really do fall into our own category, at least from a nutritional standpoint. So if you all have any secrets to share go for it!


Here's a question:

What do you with someone who simply wants to clean up their diet but is not necessarily committed to working out. It seems like many of T-Nation's diet plans revolve around workout nutrition and maximizing intake around those hours. It seems like a more moderate plan (Dr. Lowery's comes to mind) of simply selecting better food choices and tapering carbs off into the evening is best. Other recommendations would turn your inactive average Joe into at Atkins P+F follower almost exclusively.


As a FFB the biggest help to me was learning how to split meals into small, protein dense servings and spread them out over the course of the day. And then I also found that Carbolin 19 was made for me. I have reshaped myself tremendously since incorporating that into my diet. Also, carbs are of course a potential devil. I respond acutely to carbs, which is why it has taken so long to lose excess flab. I still am after a leaner me, but since I grow fairly easily, I haven't been too concerned with trimming down. I find that short, intense workouts are best and a lower rep count really is for growth. Any questions are welcome.


Alcohol is our worst enemy.

How are you guys using Carbolin 19? 2 capsules per day? 3? 4? I used 4 per day for a couple of months and made good progress but was also on good programs and eating well. Since then, I have continued making progress in terms of strength gains but have gotten fatter. Too many variables to decipher what was/is giong on.



Oohh so true about alcohol. But beer is sooo good. I use 4 caps of Carbolin 19 and have been for over two months. I am gaining weight, but losing the love handles that nobody loves at the same time.


See, I've found I react acutely to high GI carbs. But I've been taking in huge amounts of veggies (trying to hit JB's recommendations of 10 servings on non workout days) and I've seen nothing but improvements. My carbs are at my lifetime high (and so is my caloric intake) but my physique is responding better than ever. I think because I've repressed my metabolism and food intake for so long, being on a perpetual low carb diet, coming off of it has sent my body into muscle producing overdrive.

It really seems to be all about the timing and food selection, moreso than a specific macronutrient profile - something JB has long argued for.


Timing is important. I have just recently started to fully understand and apply JB's mehtod. I now can feel the pump when I eat high GI carbs on the weekend. It's something I never experienced before. 11 years training and still learning.


How did you go about coming off your low carb diet? I'm on the AD at the moment, but carb cycling by CT is next on my list - once I've refined it completely.

I also have the problem of gaining too much fat back when bulking but this has been due to a sloppy diet at that point.

Honestly I think that nutrient timing for us FFB's is the most important.

Sleeping lots definitely makes me leaner - after a good night's rest I'm sure I look better in the mirror.


I would say slowly increase carbs over the course of a couple weeks. Learn to cylce them while you do this to avoid storing too much of them.

Lots of sleep is a must for me as well. I have to get about 8-9 minimum.


I so freakin look forward to this day.


What are you waiting for man? Get to it!


I am at it, but I still have to lose more flab before I can be in total body mass gain mode. THAT is what i look forward to.


I think, recently, there has been too much emphasis on being an FFB and getting ultra-lean before bulking. I realized, as I kept cutting on a T-Dawg style diet (no cheat meals though, only refeeds) that I was cutting into nothing. I was morbidly obese for the first 20 years of my life and basically ran myself down to 125lbs at 5'8".

I know I became obsessed with the very dry look low-carb diets bring. I very much got hooked on them, thinking I was 'carb intolerant.' But recently, I've simply tried eating as closely to Berardi and Lowery's habits without counting calories. Yes, I'm taking in my carbs certainly, but is it really compromising my physique? I don't think so. My lifts are skyrocketing. In just the past week I've added 20lbs to my deadlift. Talk about an anabolic rebound!

I think every FFB deserves atleast a two week period where they eat not according to a strict plan, but eat according to a methodology and see how their body reacts. You might be pleasantly surprised.


One more note - consistency, not novelty. I fell into the Yo Yo Dieter pattern when I was on a diet that allowed cheat days. We FFBs show, very viscerally, that cheat meals through rapid water gain and fat cell expansion. Despite this never being 'real fat,' psychologically, the 2 or 3 inch expansion of my waist and the perpetual bloat would send me into a Hollywood-style crash diet after the binge. Of course, my body would think I was dying, so by next weekend, I was binging again. Don't let this happen to you!


Man, I could have swore I wrote this. That is exactly what happens to me when I go off on an escapade of eating crap.

One thing that sparked my interest, a poster said something to the effect of:"not so much the micronutrient profile of what you eat, but selecting good food choices". I was curious to ask if you found this to be true when cutting or bulking, or both? And how so? What would these meals consist of?


You'll lose the flab by busting your ass in the gym. I never worked out to lose weight. I have always ate and lifted to grow. Gaining control of how and what I ate and making sure to give it my best in the gym made the fat disappear.


I know its an old post but heck takes a hell of alot of gym work to burn the fat! Let the diet burn the fat and use the gym to get the body how you want it.

Dont buy into this low carb stuff thats flouted around now as carbs are fuel simple as that without fuel you cant burn fat. But anything is low if you are calorie restricted.


I'm not really into labels or alot of that stuff,I think when you start to label things like hardgainer and former fat boy it leaves for a cop out for alot of people. Obviously thats not the case with many of the people on this particular thread who have gone on to make great progress.

As far as my tip goes. I've found the best gains of my life on the Anabolic Diet. I know some people don't think that it will work for them but for me it has helped me gain very little fat even though I've gained 15 pounds in the last few months. I feel great all the time.

Btw I agree with the cardio thing someone mentioned. Muscle loss has never been a big deal for me even if I don't cardio 30 minutes everyday. I've also found my body responds much better to more challenging kinds of cardio. Sprints,running stairs and playing sports than 45 minutes of mind numbing work on the treadmill.


As a former FFB myself, I've found that low-intensity morning cardio (45-60m) pre-breakfast is the ticket to perpetual leanness.




Well, Im certainly a FFB. I went from 290lbs to 170lbs in a little over a year. I started on Atkins, and then my diet progressed as I got smarter and leaner. Here are somethings I have learned about myself...

1) Be prepared. If you dont have meals readily available to eat at the right times then you will be more likely to eat too much later on, even if its the right kinds of foods.

2)Avoid "trigger" foods. For me, its salty carbohydrate. When I go into a Mexican restaurant I dont even let myself touch the free chips. I know if one hits my lips I will eat the entire basket. Everyone has foods like this.

3)"Tommorow" will never be today. I find that when you fall off the wagon, a lot of people say "Well, I will get back on tommorow, but have fun tonight" Tommorow rarely will come. Today is where its at!

4) Radical diets WORK! However, they also leave us afraid of food. People who are on Atkins extensively lower their tolerance to CHO and fool themselves into believing carbs are bad.

5) Consistency. I have found my best results came from eating the same thing, at the same time EVERYDAY. This seems boring, but its the BEST way to measure results. I suggest eating the same thing everyday for a month or so till your eating habits become a no-brainer.

6)PWO Drinks wont make you gain weight.

7)Grow some balls. Friends are the most toxic people. You will always be pressured into boozing or "cheating just a little" when you go out with friends. LEarn to stand up to social situations.

8)Cheat days dont exist. Cheat days ruined my progress. People who formerly VERY obese like myself tend to easily fall back into the comfort of feeling stuffed.

9)P+F/P+C meal dileneations make it easy to come off atkins.

Coming off LC diets...

This is the most perfect plan I have found.

1) change one P+F meal in your day to P+C (start with breakfast)

2) Monitor for two weeks

3)Still losing? replace another P+F one more P+C meal (after workout)

4) Monitor progress for 2 weeks

5) Rinse and repeat.

I have learned so much about myself from the process of losing 120lbs. We should come up with a FFB handbook that can compliment Shugarts.