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Getting Back Into Shape. Nutrition Advice?

Ok so I’ve been out of training for about 4 years now and have got fairly out of shape,

31 y/o
135lb lean body mass
45lb fat

Anyway I’m starting StrongLifts 5x5 on Monday but right now I’m looking at my diet with the intent of dropping bf% and holding as much muscle as possible before trying a lean bulk

I used an online calculator for calories and macros and have worked out

Average Daily calorie intake

Training days 1889.8
Protein 150g
Fat 54.6g
Carbs 199.5

Rest days 1546.2
Protein 150g
Fat 101.4
Carbs 8.3

How does this look to everyone I was thinking perhaps rest day carbs were low so perhaps drop a little bit of fats to bring carbs up closer to 30g,

Any advice would be great

That’s a hell of a low number. Chances are you won’t hold muscle at all. Online calculators and the like aren’t generally very accurate, and unless your composition details are from a DEXA they probably aren’t accurate either and only really useful for monitoring - provided you use exactly the same equipment.

Quite often it works better to simply take your bodyweight and multiply it by 14 (so for you that’s 2500 calories). That’s the low end of what is going to be around maintenance for you, so you could start there pretty happily.

For a macro split, I favour Paul Carter’s 0.8 to 1 x bodyweight grams of protein/20 per cent calories from fat/remaining calories from carbs. For you that would be 180 g protein/55 grams fat/320 g carbs. It worked very well for me, but if you prefer there are plenty of people who do well with higher fat and lower carbs. You just want to keep protein around a gram per pound of bodyweight. If you’re going lower carb, you’ll probably go up to two grams protein per pound or so.

You can play around a little with when you eat your carbs (around an hour before, during and and just after training can be good); and eating either carbs and protein or fats and protein but not carbs and fat in the same meal can help. Neither of those are essential by any means though.

Then it’s just a matter of being patient and consistent and reducing calories a little every time you stall (so a week or so where you dont see any drop at all. A day or two of no drop doesn’t mean much). You want to make those reductions as small as possible. Hell, if you start at 2500 calories, next step would be 2400, etc. As a rule of thumb you never want to go below bodyweight x 10. Once you reach that point you’ll probably start needing to think about cardio.

What I would also highly recommended is taking measurements because the scale can be very misleading. If you go chest, waist, hips, arms and thighs and monitor that, as long as your hips and waist measurements go down while the others stay the same or increase, what the scale says doesn’t really matter.

In terms of training lifting weights is a great choice. Stronglifts, however, is garbage. For your goals, mostly probably training more like a bodybuilder will help. It doesn’t have to be complicated or even a set program, although there are many on this site that are great. Probably the most important thing is for you to keep track of your rep records at a given weight for every exercise you do and over time try to beat them.

A very simple way to train that would work is going four times a week, full body. Pick six exercises for each day. Start at three sets of eight reps at a set weight. When you can do three sets of 12 reps, add five pounds and start back at eight reps. Don’t be afraid of mixing barbell, dumbbell and machine work. They all make you grow. If you want to save time, superset your exercises.

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Thanks I think the calculator I used worked out calories from lean body mass instead of total body mass, would this be what has caused such a low calorie amount?

Pretty much. It’s also just that, an estimate. At my leanest I was around 165 in terms of LBM and I was eating 2300 cal/day. It was rough, I had very little energy.

When it comes to getting leaner, ideally you can get results with the highest calories possible. Not only is it less unpleasant, it gives you more room to drop calories when you need to. If you can manage to build a little muscle early on in the piece it’ll help a lot too, because muscle needs energy to just exist. That helps lose fat and means you’ll be able to do it with slightly more calories than otherwise

So would a breakdown like this work in theory

Protein 240g
Fats 130g
Carbs 90g
Total calories 2490

I know that’s almost half my calories from fats however I suffer with gluten intolerance and find I get bloated easily with carbs if they aren’t basically sugars, I tried low carb a while ago now and had some success with it however wasn’t counting macros was just keeping carbs below 30g a day which was fine until Keto flu started,


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That should be fine, yes. With carbs that low you could also keep them for during and just after training to get the best out if them. A couple of Gatorades and some fruit and you’re there.

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When it comes to getting leaner and then adding muscle, Paul Carter is IMO the go to guy for reading. He manages to put very simply what you need to do.

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Hey Mark, do you know what that article Paul lays his diet advice out in is called? I remember seeing you link it before (probably over a year ago) but I can’t remember what it’s called to search it.

This one


Thank you.

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along with bettering your diet you can use rapidcuts shredded, that helped me the last time i was cutting down