T Nation

Help with Current Diet

this was 180#

this is 159#

Yes a look is my goal. I really just want to be low body fat exact # is whatever just want nice abs lol. I know this is superficial but I used to be a fat boy so I just wanna be that guy for a bit.

As mentioned my main issue is where do I go from here? The cardio is killing my motivation; I’d almost be willing to cut out more food if I could do less cardio. It’s not that it’s hard it’s the time it takes.

I spend 90min working out sometimes a bit longer if I need to wait for equipment. Add 80 min of cardio and driving time I’m at 4 hours a day. Not that I am not willing to continue doing this but my girl is about to kick my ass hahaha. “You never wanna go out to eat” “You’re never home” etc :expressionless:

This is 210# to 165# over 4 or 5 months two years ago. This is when I first found out how to meal plan and do cardio. Before that I just ate everything cause I thought that’s how it worked. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Thank you for all replies so far! Any advice or insight is much appreciated. I still have a lot to learn.

Does anyone think I should reduce protein and increase carbs or fats or maintain this current diet? What should I remove next once weight loss stalls? Or should I go to maintenance for a bit?

I made this a few months back and I think it’s a good reference. When Your Cut Stalls

The only thing I think that applies to you though is your starting point for cardio (wayyy too high) and it seems like you started way too low on calories too. You haven’t really given yourself much room. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it–your calories are scary low right now for your activity levels. I don’t believe you’ll be able to get the look you want this round. I’m gathering you’re in no rush here and open to focusing on the long game, so I wholeheartedly would encourage you to work on getting that metabolism humming again. Like 2500+ cals/day, less than half your current cardio and not gaining any fat. (Endgame though…not suggesting you just start here tomorrow.)

Thanks for sharing more photos for reference. From the looks of it, you’re definitely depleted and seem to be carrying alot of stress/water weight…not surprising given everything you’re throwing at your body.

I’m happy to walk you through the reverse dieting process if that’s something you’re willing to give a shot. If you have the discipline to dedicate 4 hr a day to lifting+cardio all the while suffering such an extreme deficit, I have no doubts you have the meticulousness to properly “heal” your metabolism.

In the meantime, I would suggest a cheat meal or a refeed day once a week. I’d be curious to see what happens if you change nothing else for a few weeks but just pick a day to either do an evening cheat meal or a refeed day. Personally, I’ve always started implementing them when I hit your current level of leanness and find them essential both physiologically and psychologically to get me to next level abzz. We natties need to find our own tricks since we can’t cheat with all those creatinez and drugz :stuck_out_tongue:


I’d cut back. Cut back on cardio and workouts while keeping the diet the same. To me it seems you’re in an overtraining state right now

Thank you for the replies! I should cut cardio by 50%? I’m definitely interested in the reverse diet. Yeah I’m all about this for the long game. I was going to create a new diet plan split 40%carbs 40% protein 20% fat. Does this make sense?

For the cheat meal/refeed? What is the protocol for that? I know this sounds dumb but I really do not want to be fat again hence why I’m prbly in this spot to begin with. As stated in one of my earlier posts I usually do a burger and fries but could I eat until I am full for a single meal? I used to get a medium pizza with cheese bread and wings but I thought that was too many calories.

I really appreciate all the help. I’ve been losing my mind over this. I had a physical job but due to covid I’m sedentary and that has warped my mind about my TDEE and fat gain.

I definitely agree with carrying the water weight I’ve considered cutting out some sodium to possibly counter this. I’m not a noob but you guys have extensive knowledge over me.

EDIT: also in my op I forgot to add the supplements I’m taking I will add those and the dosages I’ll add those 2marro.

Hey! Mind if I chime in too?

First off, CONGRATS man. You’ve got some solid progress going on from the looks of your photos.

I’d definitely agree with this. OR you can slightly increase calories, cut back on cardio, and add in maybe 1-2 days for weight training OR you can keep cardio and weights the same and increase calories a bit more OR drop cardio significantly and ramp up the weights while also increasing calories a bit more. And I’d suggest trying all those options for a bit just to see which yields better results for ya.

It’s really dependent on the individual. A lot of people usually devote a cheat meal to eating pretty calories dense foods. Pizza, ice cream, fatty foods, sugar heavy foods, etc. Some people employ cheat meals as simply eating an extra serving of their favorite meals, having one extra meal, etc. some people do refeeds by upping their carb intake for a certain amount of time, or for a specific day, etc. It’s really up to you, but I’d suggest employing a cheat meal/ refeed in such a way that it’s not going to either derail your progress, or upset your body/stomach in any way.

If a cheat meal is going to cause you to binge, or if it’s going to turn into a cheat week or cheat month, I’d say just don’t even go with a cheat meal, and instead work on a slow increase in calories. Adding in another meal would be the simplest way I can think of to start.

I too am experiencing something similar to what you’re going through. I’ve managed to drop my calories to a pretty low sub 1,200-1,300 and it was a bit surprising to see you’re at 1400 because that’s hella low for guys.

But all in all I think you’d do well just upping your calories to say 1600-1700 playing around In that range, see how you respond, and adding in another weight training day, and maybe giving yourself 2-3 or 1-2 days dedicated to cardio.

How is your training set up? As far as your PPL scheme. Do you have any strength goals or anything? Are you interested in possibly doing other strength training setups? Maybe that’ll also give your fat loss a good push in the direction you want for it to go?

Hey man, can’t really comment on the diet much—I’ve got my own issues I’m trying to figure out—but I did want to say: really nice work in terms of your transformation. We’re of a very similar build, and I’ve dropped from about 208 in Jan 2020 to my current 170 (and have been as low as 164 during that time). You’re looking great, and you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

FWIW, I’d take what the folks here are saying to heart—they know what they’re talking about and have provided lots of great advice here.

Best of luck, MrDaven!

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Also, two T-Nation articles that I found particularly useful:

Following CT’s advice from these and training with Best Damn for Natties has really helped me over the past 6 months, in particular.


@jskrabac Not sure how individual reverse dieting has to be, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the process. I’ve recently stopped tracking my nutrition obsessively but will be continuing to eat similarly for another six weeks or so, and then I’d like to slowly work back to my new maintenance levels without regaining all the fat I’ve dropped while dieting.

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If I remember right, you’re kind of eating the same thing every day right? If that’s the case, it could be as simple as just adding a little to whichever meal is least satisfying (always dinner for me) once every week or two.

That’s correct: I’m sticking with the same basic foods and (now eyeballed) quantities with which I had success while tracking, but trying to alleviate the obsessive attitudes that crept in with it.

I really like the idea of loosening up on a meal here and there—that’d be dinner for me, too. That alone would help reduce some of the family friction my previous patterns have caused. (I also like it because it’s simple!)

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Thank you for all the replies. I’m going to reduce cardio to 60min 5x a week and not change diet for 1 week. I’ll post the weights next Saturday along with a picture and let you guys be the judge. I sometimes feel when I am in this hard of a deficit my judgment is very clouded. I know for sure my mood goes to shit quite quickly when dealing with adverse situations.

Cheat meals are quite hard for me to be honest. I always feel extremely guilty and have a hard time enjoying it mentally. I totally understand the family issues. The amount of times I’ve had to forgo a meal with family or brought my own food has made things quite strange.

As far as adding food back into my diet where do I start? When I started this diet the chicken and beef meals both had 6oz of carbs. One had 6oz rice one had 6oz sweet potato.

A Control Chart for what it’s worth.
Need more data to prove you lost a statistical amount of weight. Beta Error is high until there is about 25 data points.
I can update if you like.


Can you elaborate on this sir? I’m a big fan of data. I use the Renpho scale app so it has a similar chart.

What follows will be easier understood if you have a fair understanding of statistics.
A Control Chart is used to test if data (or process) over time is predictable. That is to say, the next time you weigh your weight should be between 171.98 (Lower Control Limit) and 175.92 (Upper Control Limit). These limits are +/- 3 sigmas (standard deviations) from the mean (average). If it is above or below those limits, it is out of control (or not predictable).

There are other tests that indicate “out of control”. These “out of control” signals could be Alpha Error and need to be investigated. In your case trying to lose weight, a weight falling below the LCL means you have statistical proof that you lost weight. It wouldn’t likely be Alpha Error, but your diet has actually changed the process.

Generally speaking, everything within the control limits is “noise” and everything outside the control limits is a “signal”

The Moving Range graph notes the amount of variation of your weight day to day. This will likely stay in control throughout.

This does get heady and may be very uninteresting.

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No. If you spontaneously cut cardio in half you will gain weight very quickly. You have to very slowly and progressively climb out of this if you don’t want to balloon back and then have to repeat this cycle. It’s really easy to get fixated on what SHOULD be based on others feedback or TDEE calculators, but all that really matters is what you’ve currently done the past few weeks. So if you eat 1200 cals, 2hr cardio a day, lifting 2x a day and your weight stalls, guess what? THAT’S YOUR BODY’S NEW MAINTENANCE! That’s why I suggested you try and slowly turn this ship around before you hurt yourself

For reverse diet, the idea is to increase cal so slowly that your body doesn’t even realize the increase. And I’m talking like each week bumping carbs ONLY +10g/day. Then 3 months from now you’re ~2000 cal and 6 months you’re at ~2500, and typically you will gain very little if any weight and no fat.

As far as macro split, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re getting adequate protein. Comes down to personal preference if you like carbs or fat more. Do you crave bacon when you’re starving? Or a bag of skittles? Or both? Lol.

Honestly, the whole idea is that there is no protocol lol. Give yourself a break from even thinking about calories for a meal, or a day. Eat whatever you want, but don’t get to that point you feel like you can’t even bend over or you’ll throw up (i.e. classic Thanksgiving evening feeling). Whatever you do, you’ll be fine! If I were to share the contents of one of my weekly cheat days, I’d terrify too many people on this forum and be asked to leave. :laughing:

Nah, don’t worry about sodium unless you’re literally adding half a jar of soy sauce to your chicken everyday. Like I said, it’s from stress of undereating and overactivity.