T Nation

Help me get back on track!!

Well, I blew it. Last week I attained the best physical condition I’ve ever had at six percent bodyfat. Diet was great and I was really doing well on Meltdown. Anyway, I fell into a severe, and I do mean severe, eating binge that began last Sunday and ended today. Lots of fast food and sweets, and I haven’t worked out once this week. This seems to happen to me a couple of times every year. How long would it take to undo six days of serious diet damage? I saw in one of Don Alessi’s columns he recommended someone who was in a hurry to lose fat do six Meltdown sessions per week (A,B,A,B,A,B, and Sunday off). Would this be enough to get back to where I was? Any other suggestions? Please help!!

My question is, why is it so imperitive that you get back to that point in a hurry? You would probably be better served by taking a more circuitous route.

Ask yourself this: how did you get to 6% fat in the first place? It seems that would be the best way to get back.

Don't be too hard on yourself about your binge week. It happens to everyone. Just get back into it and you'll be back in shape. One week of cheating isn't going to completely destroy your physique, nor should it make you any less proud of the progress you've made overall.

An option you might want to consider is the Cheater's Diet from a few issues back. It'll help get you very lean, and it incorporates cheating and carb refeeds; my guess is that the inclusion of these cheats during the dieting might help prevent an entire week of binge eating.

Hope this helps.

To add to John Roman’s suggestions, you should read “Damage Control” by John Berardi - that’ll also help provide you some info. And stop thinking you failed. You really didn’t. You misread signals. You’re body was telling you to “eat”, especially since with Meltdown training it ain’t best to have a BF% lower than 12. You say you were at 6%. Anyways, your body was saying “eat, eat - I need MORE”. And while you did just that, you say you ate junk.

Next time, eat more red meat, eat more of what you usually eat. FIRST. If the junk food craving is still there - save it for that ONE day. ONE.

Also, back to training, since you're more than likely still at a relatively low BF%, look into 5x5 or other training program. And do look into the Cheater's Diet for the reasons John Roman outlined. You'll be fine in the meantime. Good luck!

Thanks John! Actually I know what I need to do…I am a regular T-Mag contributor who chooses to remain anonymous due to the shame of getting off-track like I have. I guess I have an unhealthy obsession with this to an extent…I’ve lost focus not only w. my routine but everything else as well. I’m seriously thinking of hitting the 6x/week meltdown. Can I get back on track within two weeks? Just to give you an idea, my waist has gone from 29 to 31.5 in six freaking days…not good. Yes, there’s some water issues there but my diet has been absolutely horrendous. Think of how a competitive BB eats after a show and imagine someone eating like that every meal for a week. I know how to train, and I have a full arsenal of supps including MD6, T2, Surge, BCAA’s, etc. so I’m going to attack it fully. I just feel like I’m starting all over again and I hate it. I guess that’s good incentive not to let this happen again. Thanks for the advice!

Thanks for the insight, Patricia! You all are right-on with everything you say. I was going to wait until Monday to start back up, but I think I’m gonna get in there after work tonight and start my journey again. I’m curious though as to why you say Meltdown is better suited for the higher b.f. levels…is it a question of lean mass maintenance, because I wasn’t losing much if any muscle, and strength was going up every workout. I’m on every supplement in the book pretty much though with normally a picture perfect diet (CP/Alessi-style). I certainly enjoy something like 5x5 better, but I couldn’t argue with the results I achieved on Meltdown.

hey bro. just some of my input…i’ve been doing the cheaters diet for two weeks…let me say it really does help with cravings when you plan on cheating two NIGHTS a week. and yes even knowing it’s a good diet i do feel crappy after a healthy carb up nite…then i break out the calipers and see the body fat steadily going down…dont feel bad man…we’re all human sometimes…but if you wanna try this diet, it really does keep your sanity. just my .02

I think many of us have been in your position, I know I certainly have. It seems that most of the damge done on heavy binges like this are more psychological than anything else. You probably gained some fat, but you are hypersensitive to the visual result since you were at such a low bodyfat percentage. You also may be retaining quite a bit of water and feel totally bloated. When I hit below seven percent, it feels as if my body rebels and sends out massive hunger signals. The urges to binge are incredible, but they can dealt with properly. Right now I would suggest that you get right back into a moderate routine and try to balance yourself out for a week or two. If you try to crash diet right away, you may just end up having the urge to binge again since you have already “let yourself go”. Just return to your regular habits and keep in mind the physical damage you have done is completely reversible.

First, quit beating yourself up. getting to 6% bf is a remarkable accomplishment. you should be patting yourself on the back. As far as pounding yourself over a wk long binge, you can reverse yourself at this very moment by taking a deep breath gathering yourself, and remembering what got you to 6% in the first place. I doubt very seriously your bf has got up by any huge standards, although pychologically you probably think you have. I would think that if you resume your program (meltdown) or maybe start a new program (5x5) or strip sets along with your usual diet you should be okay. Don’t force yourself into overtraining by guilt. Good luck and keep your head up. By the way as a competitive bbuilder I feel your pain.Now quit worrying and just do it.

This is why I love this site so much. It’s not that I don’t know what to do…I just needed a “group hug” so to speak. Gonna resume my original program…dance with who brung ya, right? I’m not going to crash-diet. I’m gonna keep cals at 10-12x bw for 2 days, 15x bw one day with periodic carb meals just as Don Alessi recommends. I may, however, throw caution to the wind and hit 6 weekly Meltdown sessions for the next two weeks. Not that I don’t believe in 5*5…it’s a great program, but I definitely lose fat quicker with Meltdown/GBC type routines. Thanks so much to all for the words of encouragement!

Hey, dude: Basically, Meltdown relies on your own bodyfat stores for the energy needed in the program (this is REALLY rough, but the best explanation in layman’s terms I can come up with at this point). THIS has been discussed, maybe not at length, but to some degree on the forum. I WISH I could direct you to the threads, alas, I can’t . I can tell you that Joel and Jason were involved in those discussions.

I really think at this point you should consider the 5X5 protocol. I found it to be really effective. And to be extra honest, I have not tried Meltdown Training. I was just at a point where 5x5 made more sense for me. And the program did work (for me and Ko).

But I'm glad to hear that you'll be back on track and have not let this past week discourage you! **hug**

Well, after seven days of pure gluttony with my diet and eight days of no training, I FINALLY got my sorry butt back into the gym. I decided to go back to Meltdown (glutton for punishment I guess), and I lost quite a bit of strength; however, it shouldn’t take too long to get back. Within one day of eating my normal diet, I already lost about an inch off the waist…amazing how bloated one can get with a few days of “less than stellar” eating. I just wanted to once again express my sincere gratitude to you all for your support…not one person flamed me when I likely deserved it. Y’all are the best!

Dude, first thing you need to do is calm down. Second thing you need to do not even think about doing Meltdown 6x a week. That’s a prescription for LBM, sounds like to me. Just get back on your program, exactly as you had done before. Just get back on track, that’s how you got there the first time, it’ll get you back home again.

Hey, fallen t-man. I've heard about going 2 days lower cals, and one day higher cals. why exactly do you do this? Ive also heard that 2 days low carbs and one day higher carbs is supposed to be real good. any thoughts? thanx!

Well, if you really WANT someone to flame you… :slight_smile:

Nah, slipping off track happens to everyone. No biggie. Just get back on that horse (or some other similar aphorism - take your choice). As a side note, I found that my strength went down considerably after doing the Meltdown protocol for about three weeks. But it is great for fat-loss. Guess it’s just a matter of choosing your priority - but then you knew that, right?

diesel_dawg, that idea is called Calorie bouncing. Essentially, it os one of many ways to “keep the body guessing.” By varying your overall caloric intake every few days, as well as your macronutrient breakdown, you prevent the body from adapting to dieting.

It will take much longer for your body to reach a point where it will kick into "starvation" mode and trigger all of the normal physiological responses, such as metabolic slowdown, etc.

However, you do still lose fat, because your overall total weekly calories will still fall below maintenance. Hope this helps.

Crazy obvious who you are “Mr. 6mm ab skinfold”… anyways I wanted to know how you ended up getting that low? How many refeeds a week did you do, and what type of guidelines did you use?

It’s called the zig-zag method…I believe Dr. Fred Hatfield came up with it, but many others utilize it. Don Alessi talked about it in a previous Iron Dog column. By alternating low and high cals, it keeps your metabolism from slowing down. You can do the same thing for bulking…two high cal days w. a lower cal day to minimize fat gain.

I figured someone would know who I am…I don’t have any real secrets to my pre-binge condition. Letter-perfect diet, good supplementation (MD6, T2 and T2 Pro alternated, fish oils, bcaa’s etc.) and of course the training. I also keep my b.f. levels relatively low year-round. I used the Poliquin/Alessi style diet (as you likely already knew since you recognized me from a previous thread) for the majority of the time. Initially I wasn’t doing any carb refeeds…just getting them post-workout but then I switched to Sunday carb-ups (either a 200 g. meal or 1/2 day depending on my mood). My training consisted of a Doug Hepburn-style powerlifting workout (31, 55) the first few weeks, then switching to Meltdown I the last few.

I forgot calories. Most of the time I was at 2400 cals/day (at bw of 160) and then I cut back to 1800-1900 for two days with a higher day of 2400.