T Nation

Help with Current Diet

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.


Great post all around, but I’m just now even coming around to the idea that this is real - I’m beginning to believe!

Okay that actually makes sense. I have to reverse this as I came into it.

Also one last thing; should I keep the same diet on rest days or change it to account for lower activity levels?

Actually not quite. Reverse diet is much much slower. The idea is to make such small changes that your body doesn’t even notice. With cutting it’s opposite–you need the changes to be significant enough to jump start the weight loss momentum again.

Whether you eat less on rest days comes down to preferences again. Too complicated for me personally. I sometimes even prefer more calories on rest days to help with recovery if anything.

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Okay. Thank you. I re-read your article you posted earlier. Going to implement 70min of cardio instead of 80min and maintain diet for one training block 8 days.

Also I had a cheat meal last night; hence why no weight update. Will post a pic after workout today. Definitely feel better. Was feeling like shit after workout yesterday.

One way to explain fat loss is inertia (or buffer).
When I changed my diet from “off season” to “contest mode”, I didn’t start losing fat (weight) immediately. It usually took a week to ten days before the scale would show progress. Our body tries to maintain its current composition. We have to be persistent to overcome the inertia to remain the same.

“Contest mode” meant I dropped all processed foods. I prepared all my meals. No milk products. Absolutely no bread or sweets. (I kept a day, usually Saturday where I had a cheat meal, maybe two, to help keep my metabolism from stalling)

That’s too much if you want to take a proper meticulous reverse diet approach. I was not being hyperbolic when I suggested adding just 10g carbs/day for the week. For you that’s only 2-3% increase in calories. We’re talking micro changes that are almost negligible so your body isn’t forced to recalibrate. Same goes for cardio. Next week should be like 75-78 min down from 80. Then maybe 73-76 week after that, etc., etc. As I said, you can’t come out the way you went in. Adding 10 min of cardio is something I would recommend when a cut stalls. For reverse, drop maybe 3-5 min only. There really isn’t a precise algorithm for this, as you have to be diligent with tracking how your body is responding to the microchanges week by week. I realize this approach isn’t for everybody if you’re not extremely patient; however, I’ve found it much more bearable than the frustration of repeating bulk/cut cycles with minimal progress to show for it.

To put it less than delicately, right now your body will be a fat storing machine. Something to keep in mind as you slowly relax things.

Good to hear. Sounds like it was needed.

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