T Nation

Getting Back Into Lifting After Long Period Off


#1

Gentlemen,

New user here! Looking for some minor help and advice.

Here is my story: I'm currently 28, Male. I left for training for the national guard back in 2012, during my time training in Georgia it was amazing. Workout in the morning, workout in the afternoon, all the food I want. Life was good and my body reflected it for the 8 months I was there. Then I came home, things progressively got worse and the picture attached is of me three months ago (will update tonight)...

I have been following the 5/3/1 plan religiously since that picture. I am also trying to follow a carb back-loading diet along with my workouts. The diet is my underlying issue. I follow it pretty well throughout the week, and allow one cheat dinner on Saturdays to go along with my one day of drinking. My main issue is I have no idea how many macros I should really use based off my body fat. I bought a caliper on amazon today so i can measure my body fat% but I am currently guessing I am 15-16%.

My eating routine is generally as follows:

Wake up: coffee with coconut oil

Noon: one turkey burger patty (will be taking with a handful of almonds soon)

4PM: one turkey burger patty (will be taking with a handful of almonds soon)

7:30PM: Pre-workout shake; hydrolyzed protein shake with creatine
Workout shake; hydrolyzed protein shake with leucine
Post-workout shake ; hydrolyzed protein shake with leucine and creatine

Dinner: 4 pieces of whole wheat toast, 2 whole sweet potatoes, or 1 cup of rice, and ~1/2 pound of chicken

Before bed: sometimes cottage cheese or casein protein shake

I would like to clean up my diet with a goal set on getting lean, any suggestions?


#2

It looks like you aren’t eating any vegetables at all. I would definitely fix that. Can’t go wrong with something green and leafy.

I personally don’t like eating pre-made burger patties (which is what I assume the turkey burger patty is) as I find they tend to contain a lot of unnecessary crap when the goal is to just eat some sort of meat. I like a slow cooker to make large batches of meat that I can eat the next day, or premaking some steaks/burgers/some sort of meat and going with that approach.


#3

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
It looks like you aren’t eating any vegetables at all. I would definitely fix that. Can’t go wrong with something green and leafy.

I personally don’t like eating pre-made burger patties (which is what I assume the turkey burger patty is) as I find they tend to contain a lot of unnecessary crap when the goal is to just eat some sort of meat. I like a slow cooker to make large batches of meat that I can eat the next day, or premaking some steaks/burgers/some sort of meat and going with that approach.[/quote]

x2 on all of this.

Your post workout meal is a ton of carbs and a little protein, but I think we can do better. And, as ThePunisher has pointed out here, nutrients in the rest of the day are very sparse.

Do you have a slow cooker, OP?

I’m happy to offer specific “easy meal prep” suggestions. I eat dinner from my slow cooker every weeknight (usually with meals containing 5 or fewer ingredients), but it’s all great stuff.


#4

I have been cooking all my chicken in a slow cooker, I just bought the thing and cannot stop cooking with it, 10/10 investment.

As for the pre-made patties, I will try switching. My buddy owns a farm and I have been trying to work out a deal on grass fed beef.

With the greens, where do you suggest I add them in my routine?

Lastly, is there a certain percentage I should follow with my carb macros at ~15% bodyfat?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get it down a little better.


#5

Thanks,

I do have a slow cooker, I actually just bought it, I would love some easy meal preps.


#6

There is no wrong place to add veggies. Eat them first thing in the morning if you want to just get it out of the way, eat them right before bed, eat them with every meal, etc. As much as I have tried, I have found that you can’t overeat vegetables.

EDIT: I will add, I’m speaking more from just a “eating better” approach. Nutrient timing is a mystery to me, and someone with a bodybuilding background/perspective could probably shed some light on an actual ideal time to add veggies if your goal is maximizing some sort of bodycomp effect.


#7

The core of that diet looks pretty good to me as far as meat and protein, but you need more vegetables. Something like Superfood (on this site), or one of the competing “greens” products should help in a pinch, but add in some broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onions, carrots, peppers, etc.

Beyond that, if you want to gain weight, eat more; if you want to lose, eat less. I would adjust this based on what’s happening in the mirror and on the scale. This is a lot more reliable than trying to find some sort of “ideal” macros. (There’s certainly a time and place to do that, but I don’t believe this is the time.)


#8

[quote]HungerGainz wrote:
I have been cooking all my chicken in a slow cooker, I just bought the thing and cannot stop cooking with it, 10/10 investment.
[/quote]

Great stuff. I always prep my dinner in the morning while sipping my coffee and come home to delicious, ready made meals. Here’s a past thread where we kicked around some recipes:

Another I’ve been specializing in lately is simply (animal flesh, preferably something fatty like a roast, or a whole chicken/drumsticks/wings, or lamb shoulder, or pork shoulder) + 1 pound carrots + 1 onion + 1 potato.

[quote]HungerGainz wrote:
As for the pre-made patties, I will try switching. My buddy owns a farm and I have been trying to work out a deal on grass fed beef.
[/quote]

Good idea. I know budgets can be tough, but if you have the means, grass fed beef is well worth it IMO. You can also do tricks like buying bone-in and cheap cuts of meat (I buy bulk orders of wings, drumsticks, livers, etc).

[quote]HungerGainz wrote:
With the greens, where do you suggest I add them in my routine?
[/quote]

Everywhere. Anywhere. Just so you’re eating something with nutrients besides meat. I don’t know how religiously you need to avoid “carbs” during the day but I can’t imagine the carb hit from a handful of kale is such that you can’t have some with your lunch.

[quote]HungerGainz wrote:
Lastly, is there a certain percentage I should follow with my carb macros at ~15% bodyfat?
[/quote]

Outside my expertise, I’ll refrain from comment.


#9

I’ve consistently been hovering around 170 on this diet. I usually weigh myself in the morning. Granted it has only been three months I was hoping to see better results in my cutting. I will post pics tonight.


#10

Oh, another slow cooker thought: save all the bones from whatever meat you’re cooking and put them in a freezer bag. When you have a bag full of bones, dump the whole bag into your slow cooker with a few quarts of water and let it simmer for 12 hours. Save the broth and use it as cooking liquid in future recipes.


#11

Also, about the easiest, tastiest slow cooker recipe ever.

Put a pork shoulder in a slow cooker. Put in enough “good” rootbeer to cover it. Cook for 8 hours. Drain the liquid and use two forks to pull the pork apart.

You can mix equal parts of rootbeer with Heinz chili sauce and reduce that by half on the stove to make a simple barbecue sauce.

A little bit of liquid hickory smoke makes this even better.


#12

Here are the pics, took them at work in that bathroom. Not sure how to post more than one picture at once so i’ll do two separate posts.

BTW: I know I’m incredibly pale, I live in Michigan.


#13

Just made that slow cooking thread one of my favorites! It’s going to be a rough day after reading all these.


#14

Pic 2