T Nation

Help, Nothing is Working!

This is discouraging, two months into diet and training and I have not lost much weight.

Here’s the deal. About a two years ago, I was 277. I started working out and controlling my diet, slowly but surely, I came down to 225. Then, last fall, I went to college. Didn’t diet or anything, but maintained my 225. Now, following a strict diet and working my butt off in the gym, I’ve had no results these last two months.

In fact, there was only one instance where I lost weight. Last week, I got the stomach flu, then got my wisdom teeth pulled, so I didn’t touch much food. So Tuesday, when I weighed myself, I came in at 217. 8 pounds in one week, not too thrilled about that since its mostly water + fasting. I weighed myself today and I’m already 219. Speaking from experience, I wouldn’t be too surprised if I’m back to 225 in two weeks.

Here are my current stats:

Age: 19
Height: 5 foot 10
Weight: 219
BF %: ~23%

My diet, currently, consists of little carbs, lots of proteins and fats. As of today, I’m going at ~2500 calories a day. I’m experimented with as low as 1800-2000 and as high as 3000-3200. No success at any of the three ranges.

A typical day looks like this:
9am: Oatmeal + 3 scoops of protein
1pm: Can Plain Tuna + Udo’s Choice
3pm: PWS
4pm: Chicken Breasts + Canned Veggies
7pm: 3 scoops of protein
9pm: Dinner

Dinner is the killer for me, since I part of an Asian family who demands I eat white rice. Not only that, but I eat very late. The food is mostly fat also, but I usually try to indulge in veggies and leaner meats while eatting a very small serving of rice. Not much I can do here as a poor college kid. Still, it’s not a big enough deal to blame my lack of progress on.

Exersise, I’m working out 4 times a week. I’m not doing a wussy workout. Deadlifts, lunges, squats, stiff legged deadlifts, etc… are all part of my routine. On off days, depending on how much energy/time I have, I do interval training, either do 25 minutes of sprints, or 40 minutes of jumping jacks.

This is really discouraging, as I’ve never worked harder, yet the results just aren’t there. It’s not as if I’m being lazy. I’ve been stalled before, but never this long. I’ve been reading this site for awhile and I consider myself pretty well informed, but it’s not working out.

While I’ll probably never stop working out, keeping the diet and cardio consistent is really difficult, and well, it’s just not enjoyable since it feels like I’m doing it for nothing.

A long post, but if anybody has any tips or advice, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

EvilMage, welcome to T-Nation. I see you’re fairly new.

If you’re willing to make a few changes, you can create a situation where that 9:00 pm meal works FOR you instead of AGAINST your waistline.

Eat at 9, 12, 3, 6 and 9. Work out from 5:30 to 6:30. Sip 1/2 of your Surge during the workout and 1/2 upon completion. Eat a reasonable amount of rice, veggies and make sure you meet your protein requirements at you 9:00 pm meal.

To get an idea of why I consider PWO nutrition vitial/critical to your success, read John Berardi’s Article, “Solving the PWO Puzzle,” I & II, www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460833 and www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=462147.

If you’re eating those starchy carbs in the meal following your workout, you’ll find they’re used to refill muscle glycogen. Rice is ideal food PWO.

Limit the days you lift weights to 4 days a week. Select a well-designed progressive program that utilizes compouund, multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts, pullups, rows, tricep dips, military presses and variations of the different bench presses. The other 3 days a week (if you have to eat that rice meal at home at 9:00 pm), do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Any day of the week that you can get out of eating that rice at 9:00 pm, you can skip the HIIT. Do not take Surge after HIIT.

Since you’re fighting a plateau, I’d like to see you drop the oatmeal in the morning and add in some green veggie carbs (10g or so of Net Carbs) at each of the meals before your workout.

I’d also like to see you add in another meal. Currently you’re stuffing and starving – the body thinks so, anyway. We’ll calculate protein and fat requirements in a little bit, but what I’m recommending is slightly smaller meals but more of 'em. If you can’t get in a meal at midnight because you’ve gone to bed, go ahead and drink a bi glass of water before you go to bed. When you get up in the middle of the night to hit the restroom, chug down the premade shake you have sitting in the fridge, waiting for you.

Okay. Let’s calculate protein and fat requirements.

TBW = 220 lbs.
BF% = ~23%
BF. = 48 lbs.
LBM = 172 lbs.

Protein Requirements = LBM x 1.5g = 260g of protein per day. Divided by 6 meals, that’s 43g per meal.

Fat Requirements = LBM x .4g = 103g of fat per day. Divide this number/amount between the first few meals of the day, or maybe save a little for your middle-of-the-night protein shake.

BTW, going back a bit. In that 9:00 pm meal, make sure you’re getting as close to 0g of fat as possible. Veggies are good, rice is good, protein is good. Fat is NOT good in that particular meal. Are you familiar with limiting fat in P+C meals and why?

That ought to give you a running head start. Keep a food log. Weigh, measure, count and track everything you put into your mouth. It’s called precision nutrition, and it allows us to tweak your plan so that you continue to make progress and don’t/won’t plateau.

Questions? (grin)

i’m asian too…so i know what ur talking about

tell your parents to buy some brown rice. even though it doesn’t taste as good (in my opinion), its far better for you than white rice.

for Tampa-Terry:

“If you can’t get in a meal at midnight because you’ve gone to bed, go ahead and drink a bi glass of water before you go to bed. When you get up in the middle of the night to hit the restroom, chug down the premade shake you have sitting in the fridge, waiting for you.”

are you serious? i thought doing that would be bad for your body cuz thats when your metabolism is the slowest since your in a state of rest…but what do i know…i’m overweight too :confused:

Hmm, working out later in the evening before dinner seems like a good idea. It’s tough eating no fat (you know how ‘normal’ people cook), but I’ve definitely been giving it my best shot.

My workout indeed does incorporate those things, I did Meltdown my first month.

The oatmeal I eat because its high in fiber and doesn’t cause much of an insulin spike (or so I hear). However, I can give it up and see if it helps.

The reason I don’t have 6 meals as usual is because after 9am, I have 3 hours of classes accomplanied by an hour and half of driving. However, I’ll see if there’s any snack I can bring by. I’m going to hope a premixed protein shake in a sports bottle won’t be too bad after 2-3 hours.


Was it correct to assume that it’s not a good idea to eat fats in the morning since I more or less went through an 8 hour fast from sleep? If so, I’ll probably add some udo’s choice to the shake I mentioned earlier to bring with me.


You mentioned drinking a protein shake in the middle of the night. I’ve read about that, but never considered it since it seems a bit extreme and not something I could do (I have enough trouble getting up already). However, say I eat dinner at 8pm and sleep at 1am. Is there anything stopping me from eating/drinking a small pure protein meal in between? I know it’s not the same as the middle of the night thing, since it’s only been a few hours since I’ve last had food, but it might help split up my meals more.

jo3, good question! Having a small protein shake with slow digesting protein in the middle of the night would actually be a good thing. When you fast (like when you sleep through the night and don’t eat), the body starts breaking down muscle.

I’m not suggesting that you add another 100 kcal or so of protein to what you eat already. You’re just going to be spreading it out a little better.

Evilmage, I just finished watching JB’s DVD “No Nonsense Nutrtition,” and he talks about working through “issues” that get in the way of our having the body we want. To recap or paraphrase, think of excuses or issues or problems as an “OR.” Example, I can eat perfectly and have the body of my dreams OR I can be a decent son and part of my family. For you, your issue might be eating that 9:00 pm meal with your family. For others it might be school or the fact they have to entertain clients in the course of their work. We all have our issues and things that get in the way of what we want.

But sucessful people use the word “AND” instead of “OR.” Ask yourself the question, “How can I take control of my diet and work towards the body I want AND spend time with my family?” I can throw out ideas, but ultimately, you have to come up with answers that work for you.

Like the fat thing. Combining P+F+C is not optimal to body comp. Do a search on Berardi on the forum and start reading some of his articles. I’ll start you off with a good 'un, though. Check out www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460027. It’s a summary of a lot of Berardi’s dietary wit and wisdom.

While you’re trying to get a handle on things, go ahead and keep a food log of everything you’re eating. Eat to hit the numbers I gave you. If you know exactly what is going into your body, exactly how many carbs you’re eating, along with protein and fat, we can make some very precise adjustments.

The way we’ll make adjustments is let 2 weeks go by to see how your body responds. If you’re not losing weight, we’ll drop calories by 200-250 calories per day.

Re eating fat in the morning, there’s nothing wrong with it. You’re going to be cutting out the oatmeal. Try an omlette with a few veggies instead. Try and cut out some of those shakes if you can. It’s better to chew as much of your food as possible and save shakes for emergencies.

Re the hour and a half of driving, you can always pack up some beef jerky & nuts. It’s great snack food. I’m always taking my food with me and eating on the run.

Eating before you go to bed, say midnight, is an excellent solution! That not-eating-for-12-hours thing was not good. Once again, we’re not talking about your eating more food; we’re talking about your eating more meals, with smaller amounts of food. You’re going to get the same amount of protein and the same amount of calories at the end of the day, when you add it all up, but the amounts you eat in any given meal will just be a little smaller. The good thing is that you’ll be providing your body with a steady stream of nutrition. That’s a lot better than providing it a WHOLE BUNCH, more than it needs. If you provide the body more than it needs at any given meal, it’s going to store it as fat.

Pick up some AccuMeasure 2000 calipers. If you search on the 'Net you can find something for less than $15. It’s a one-point/one-pinch test that you can do yourself. Start weighing yourself once a week and recording the number. Check your BF%, too and see what’s going on with your LBM; i.e., is it going up or down.

Questions? (grin)