T Nation

Getting Heavier. Need Advice on Leaning Out!


I am 27, I’ve used to be a competitive rower when I was younger ( I started lifting weights when I was 15) and when I was 20-21 I stopped rowing (I needed more time to study and work) and focused solely on weightlifting. When I was a rower I used to weigh 165-170 lbs. Over the course of the years I started gaining weight steadily (I am not very tall, 5’7) something that I liked in the beginning but that, after years went by, started to become a problem. I used to have a very demading job (I am an engineer) with lots of travel and I blamed my weight gain to that in the beginning. I switched my job in order to get my life back on track about six months ago, but it is not working out as I expected. I weighted about 202 lbs when I quitted my last job and I am now approaching 220 lbs. I do not fear getting heavier but I don’t know if it’s healthy or not. Some lifts for you to consider (1 rep max):

Back Squat: 400 lbs
Front Squat: 330 lbs
Snatch: 225 C&J: 300
Bench Press: 240 lbs

I train 3 (or 4 if I can) times a week, and I’m heavily focused on olympic weightlifting.

To be honest, I went to the doctor, did blood work and got scanned, and everything seems fine. However, he told me that it would be best for me to be lighter, and he recommended a nutritionist. This woman knows about food and is trying to help me, but she is not a sports expert and I don’t think that the diet she gave me is working. Right now I eat five times a day:

  1. When I wake up at 6.30AM, I eat a cheese sandwich with coffee and a banana.
  2. At 10 AM I eat some nuts and dried fruit.
  3. 12.30 PM in general is when I have lunch at work. I try to eat clean, avoid bread, and always try to have a combination of meat and vegetables. I am very hungry before lunch, always.
  4. I have a small meal at 4.30 or 5 PM before training, usually the same food I eat for breakfast.
  5. I have dinner at 10 PM usually. After training I am very hungry. If I had to be objective I would say I eat a lot, but clean. I also tend to eat very fast.

Basically I would like to change my diet for good. I know I won’t be a champion in bodybuilding or weightlifting, and I don’t pretend to have the habits of one, but I would certainly like to be able to take my shirt off when I like or being more active, which is something that, as I became heavier, was more difficult. I used to run after lifting a couple of years ago, but now it’s kind of difficult for me. On non training days I tried running but the day after I feel very sore and my lifting numbers go down. I also tried walking but I don’t feel that as exercise.

I like being big and strong, I am not “obese” but I know I am overweight, I can post some pictures if that helps. Over the years I tried lots of diets: Eating 6 eggs in the morning, having mini meals,etc, but it did not work. I am completely natural and I only want to eat what I need to keep gaining strength, but not at the expense of becoming unhealthy. I always was kind of overweight (that’s why I started rowing) and I want to be able to keep lifting and being healthy. I honestly do not know how to get back on track.

Sorry for the long post, I tried to describe my situation as best as I could. I have a lot of discipline and I want to finally be able to show what I train for, which is why I am posting this online. If you need more information about my training or diet, please let me know. I will also try to upload photos if that’s what you need to know my current situation better.

P.S: English is not my first language, so please let me know if something was not clear.


What was the diet you were given?


Basically the diet I was given was the 5 meals a day diet described above. I’ve been trying to follow it but I can’t seem to lose weight with it. I don’t know how to tweak things up in order to change things. I would like to incorporate conditioning but don’t know how to do it in order to not affect my strength training. I could go nuts and decrease calories but I want to take a balanced approach. Something realistic would be to lose 10 to 20 pounds in 2-3 months. I don’t know how to do it without affecting my training.

Okay, have a read of this: https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/simple-diet

once you understand it, dont do it :worried: instead, read this:

And use the phases in the second link to get you to diet in the first link as your final goal.

The basic idea is you should be able to get back to 200lbs fairly easily, so dont throw everything you have at it now. Wait until you need it. Thoughts?

Have you tried doing any type of conditioning?

Those diet pages look very promising, I guess I could try something like that or a gluten free diet for a while… Thanks for the links!
As for conditioning, I tried running but my legs do not like it at all (my knees get really sore afterwards). Perhaps swimming?

As like O lifts try this…

I’m a fan of IIFYM. IMHO, eating “clean” mostly works because it’s such a pain in the ass to eat vs. eating “junk”, that you eat less than your TDEE.

I like my junk food, have self control over how much I eat, and don’t mind counting macros.