T Nation

Help a Powerlifter With Fat Loss


#1

Its true - I’ve decided to temporarily forego another competition and drop some excess fat. I figured it a good idea to start a thread where I could ask for advice on my diet, to which I’ve devoted far less research time over the years.

To start I’m 25, 5’6", and started at 245 lbs a week ago. I’m down to 238.4 as of this morning, as a week of cleaner eating has demolished a ton of water weight and bloat. I’m not counting calories (yet), and will wait to do that until weight loss stalls. All junk food has been eliminated and my diet in a nutshell is:

Breakfast
3-4 whole eggs
1 piece of toast
Protein shake

Lunch
Chicken/Steak
Veggies

Snack
Greek Yogurt

Dinner
Chicken/Steak/Fish
Veggies

And another protein shake before bed. Simple, but you get the idea. I will have a moderate serving of rice or potato with lunch and/or dinner if it is available but the goal is to keep carbs in check. I have a peanut butter sandwich before training and some gatorade after training though, which helps with energy. My #1 barometer is my strength. I know I may sacrifice some limit strength on my big 3 by dropping weight, but if any lift drops off too fast that will be my indicator that I am losing at too quickly of a rate. At that point I will likely increase carbs a bit or start counting calories. I’m shooting for 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week (initial week of water weight loss not included). I will also resort to counting calories/macros should weight loss stall. I’m not using any planned cheat meals, but I will occasionally partake in social situations (wisely).

Am I overlooking anything? Thanks for anyone willing to help.


Simon Says Rub On Ya
#2

Low carb as a motherfucker, which not everyone can handle.

Really it’s just a case of seeing how you go with it and fine tuning, as I’m sure you already know.

When are the carb ups?


#3

Not sure! Any tips are appreciated… To be honest I didn’t figure this to be a “true” low-carb diet that would require carb-ups as I’m probably getting 100 g carb per day. Am I wrong about that?


#4

Let me backpedal here before I look like a complete idiot… I realize it is low-carb and if my energy suffers (it hasn’t yet) I will certainly add a cheat meal or a high-carb meal. Like I said I will have rice and potatoes when available, just in moderation.

Keep in mind I am NOT lean, somewhere between 20-30% body fat to give a very broad guess (never got it measured). I am pretty confident I can get the first 15 lbs off without counting calories or macros or getting too crazy strict. Once it becomes more challenging I will adjust and add these methods as necessary.


#5

well why not just try having your diet as you’ve written it out, without:[quote=“max13, post:1, topic:221758”]
a moderate serving of rice or potato with lunch and/or dinner
[/quote]

or:

and then just carb up every 10-14 days or so, making the carb ups more frequent as you get leaner?

I wouldn’t worry too much about energy dropping or strength levels going down. So long as protein is high and you’re training as hard as you can, IMO losing muscle mass isn’t a concern. You probably will feel a bit weaker and have less energy, but isn’t that the point? A negative energy balance?

I dunno though, mate. Lots of ways to get where you want to go.


#6

What is the benefit of doing no carb with occasional carb-ups over keeping carbs low to moderate throughout?


#7

(HUGE amount of broscience coming your way, based almost entirely on my own experience and that of clients I’ve trained in the past)

probably not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, I just personally find I feel better doing it that way than titrating measly amounts of carbs. Also the bigger carb ups seem to give a little more freedom in terms of over-eating, as in you can eat more carbs in a single day than you can when you’re eating little amounts every day, if that makes sense. Like, 500g of carbs in a refeed has a more positive effect on your weight loss and metabolism than 100g of carbs every day for 5 days (obviously depending on about a billion other factors).

And if you’re a “low-carb flu” kinda guy, having a little bit of starch/sugar every day is a surefire way to prolong the agony of becoming fat-adapted. Not an issue for some; a total pain in the arse for others.

In any case, I would say that if you’re planning on eating 100g of carbs or less for a prolonged period of time, then it’s a good idea to have the occasional refeed.

Then of course you have a carb-cycling approach to consider…


#8

Thanks @Yogi1. I guess the answer is just feeling it out for myself in the end. This will take a few months anyway so I’m sure there will be adjustments. I think I’m going to stick to what I have for now, for no reason other than I feel good and it is working.


#9

ya, I mean you might feel amazing when you cut the carbs and spend the rest of your life in ketosis, or you might cut your calories by 500 and want to end all life on the planet just for a Big Mac.

Won’t know 'til you try!


#10

Is there a specific goal? Are you looking to drop a full weight class or something? Or just lean up and get away from “stereotypical powerlifter build”? That’ll have some influence on how to adjust things, since adjustments are based on progress and progress is based on whether or not you’re getting closer to your goal.

Yogi pretty much all the bases. Seems like a low-ish carb approach (having some carbs in 2 or 3 meals a day), so carb-ups will be basically as-needed or might not even be an issue. I definitely like simple carb cycling when performance is still a priority. Another easy way to shave down overall calories if/when you need to is to swap out the pre-workout peanut butter sandwich (fat and carbs) for some protein and carbs (plain BCAAs, Surge Workout Fuel, etc.).

Are you changing your training at all? Guessing you’re not getting away from heavy work, which is fine and a solid idea, but are you including any kind of cardio? That would be another thing to factor in.

Big Macs are way over-rated. Terrible bread to meat ratio, tastes like a warm lettuce and bread sandwich with Russian dressing. Double-quarter pounder with cheese, no onions, FTW.


#11

have to agree; never really been the biggest fan of Big Macs. The main issue is they’re not big enough to justify their name.

I had my first ever 5 Guys burger reasonably recently and that rocked my fast-food world. The closest to me is like a 25 minute car ride away which curtails my addiction, but only slightly.


#12

I didn’t begin with a specific goal, but to throw a number out there I think if I could get to 200-205 that would be a good starting point to honestly assess my ideal weight class and begin to add strength and/or size and prepare for another competition. I think that is also a good target to honestly assess how much actual muscle mass I have put on over the pasr few years.

My training to this point was a meet peaking cycle. Due to conflicts with work my training was interrupted and I came to the decision that this particular meet was not in the cards (Oct. 22). In making that decision I came to the idea to lose the weight in the meantime. I will be ditching the meet-specific training for 5/3/1, because I am familiar with it and it is easy to program and it should allow me to continue pushing my strength. I will add conditioning consisting of weight-vest walking on lower body days and interval sprints on upper days (so, 2 each).

Five Guys has the best fast food burger for my money. Even better than All American, blasphemy to fellow Long Islanders like @Chris_Colucci and I.


#13

As for this, I always had a PBJ before training and simply cut out the J. I don’t like training on an empty stomach and feel my performance suffers. The sandwich fills me up more than a liquid, which I’ve tried. Should I reconsider this?


#14

Start with 13 x bodyweight calories (+/-100 kcals per day to give wriggle room)
1g protein / lbs bodyweight
15 - 30% calories from fat (no lower the 0.3g fat/lbs bodyweight)
Carbs the rest
20+g fibre

Make small tweaks (up to 200kcal if things went horribly wrong) each week based on results.

Dont be frightened of bread or pasta but dont eat shit.


#15

Coming from a fat powerlifter who was sitting around 240 who cut to 196 at my lowest (back up to crazy lean for me 218) do not drop your carbs. Keep them as high as you can while dropping fat as low as you can and then increasing workload through training, cardio, and making daily activities a little harder (parking further away from the grocery store). Have 5 meals or so a day just to help keep you satisfied lean protein, complex carb, and fruit or vegetable in each leaning more toward vegetables. Post training I’d drop the PB Sandwhiches in favor of a fish, chicken, or protein shake and some rice with tiny bit of oil. During training if you can afford it HBCD with BCAA. If you can’t then do Gatorade and BCAAs but do it during your training not after. following training have another meal.

Just my recommendations that worked for me that I still follow.


#16

Thanks @Reed. RE: BCAA’s, I had tried them in the past but was convinced they weren’t doing anything for me. I have seen a large number of others lately recommend taking them during training so I’ve been contemplating giving them another shot.

What kind of difference do they make for you?


#17

@Reed did Amit coach you during your weight loss as well? Was it nutrition or just training that you engaged him for?


#18

All good choices, but I will usually go with the fish shake.


#19

I just notice when combined with HBCD I notice I can squeeze out a few extra reps per set on set above 8. Not a big 1rep max kind of blaster but reps equal volume and intensity and intensity and volume over time equals bigger PRs.

@amitsapir has done my nutrition for almost 2 years with a few months break here and there. I ALWAYS do 10x better when working with him. Not because I dont know what to do but, because he holds me accountable and I do it. Amit is an amazing coach no matter the goal and if you can afford to work with you are dumb not to. As for training I am currently start week 2 of his programming today. Our goal is all around general strength and mass right now so, not just focusing on the big 3.


#20

Awesome … Unfortunately I cannot afford a coach at the moment. I used one to prep for my last meet (training only, no nutrition) and I learned a ton. Will definitely be an investment I make when I can afford to again!