T Nation

Help with my fat loss plan...

Hi, I’m looking for some tips/suggestions for my fat loss plan. I’m currently at 18% BF, 6’2", 231 lbs. I’m following JB’s Don’t Diet plan (taper), but my cals are down significantly from what he recommends (his calculations put me at 3350, but I eat about 2700). Training wise, I started Meltdown 1 yesterday. Here’s my typical day:

8 AM: wake, take 1 T2Pro, 1 serving PowerDrive, prepare my meals for while I’m at work.
8:30 AM: Meltdown training, 1.5 scoops Surge w/ 1-1.5 L water.
9:15 AM: post workout, 1.5 scoops Surge w/ .5 L water, 1 g vitamin C.
11:00 AM: MRP (Grow or Myoplex) with a banana or apple or pink grapefruit.
1:30 PM: 1 cup 1%MF cottage cheese, 1 scoop Low Carb Grow, 1/2 cup (dry measure) oatmeal. 1 T2Pro.
4:30 PM: 1 can tuna, salad w/ romaine, spinach, onions, tomato, 1 tblspn each of Udo’s and balsamic vinegar, and either 1 tblspn shelled hemp seeds or 2 oz avocado. 6 g fish oil (2 g EPA/DHA)
7:30 PM: arrive home from work, do lactic acid interval training (1 min jump rope, 2 min rest X 6). 1 T2Pro.
8 PM: 1 can wild pink salmon, 1 oz light cheese, 2 cups broccoli (nuked), maybe 1/2 cup cottage cheese.
11 PM: 250 mL egg whites, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 60 mL salsa, 1 tblspn extra virgin olive oil (straight - yech!), 6 g fish oil (2 g EPA/DHA).
midnite: go to bed.

I generally drink between 5-7 L of water a day, a large coffee w/ 1 oz 2% milk, maybe a diet Coke, and I try to have a couple of cups of green tea as well.

This is a fairly typical day for me, of course my meals do change. The reason I’m posting is that I’ve kind of plateaued, my weight hasn’t gone down for a week or so. I took a carb refeeding/cheat day on Saturday (first one since Jan 5). It wasn’t quite a ‘clean’ refeeding, as I did have some fat, but it was close. I’ll weigh myself tomorrow and see where I stand, but I’m looking for any tips that might help me out. I’m going on vacation for a week on Feb 22, and I’m trying to get to 225 for that, although now I think that’s not going to happen. Please let me know what you think. I’m a big boy, so I can take the criticism, constructive or otherwise.

cut out the fructose @ 11AM.

eat the fructose when you wake up, pre workout. this will refill liver glycogen from sleeps depletion, and help maintain a healthy thyroid output.

eat a whole serving of surge 1hr post workout.

get some ECA and some ALA and your golden.

Thanks, Phaeton.

So my new sched would be:

8 AM: wake, consume 1st meal P+C, (with fruit/fructose)
8:30 AM: workout
9:15 AM: finish workout
10:15 AM: consume 3 scoops Surge.

I guess I’ll give that a try for a while and see how it goes. That’s something along the lines that JB himself had recommended to me.

Re: ECA, I’ll pass. Caffeine alone gives me the jitters sometimes, and I’m awfully afraid of what ephedrine would do.

I will try to add some ALA to my diet. I’ll assume this will be part of my P+F meals.

Thanks again for the tips.

Tim, you’re doing a heckuva lotta things right, and you gave some pretty precise information there, which is helpful.

The Same thing happened to me, and I was doing JB’s Don’t Diet diet and Meltdown, so I’ll be glad to share with you some of the things I did to break my MULTI-MONTH PLATEAU.

  1. Drop your calories a little, say 200 calories.

  2. Start a new workout program. I’d recommend Joel Marion’s Ripped Rugged & Dense, which is a 5x5 strength program. But do it in the evening and save your mornings for your cardio. Plan on doing RR&D for 4-6 weeks, at which point you’ll be selecting a new program.

  3. Save 8:30 for fasted-state cardio. It can be the HIIT lactic-acid training you’re doing. Eat your first meal of the day after the cardio. No Surge.

  4. Fruit and milk products are definitely GOOD food, but there are some problems associated with the types of sugars that make up those foods. They preferentially refill liver glycogen and if they can’t refill liver glycogen are converted to fat and stored. Just as a test, try a couple of weeks where you put the fruit and milk products on hold.

  5. There is a benefit to chewing your protein instead of drinking it. It’s called the thermic effect of food. Any time I hit a plateau I’ll cut out MRPs and protein shakes for a week or two.

  6. Continue to use JB’s Don’t Diet diet, but try it T-Dawg style, specifically the latest version of T-Dawg 2.0. Cutting your carbs should kick fat loss back into gear.

  7. Do your homework on cheat meals, on the forum and in the article archives, both. I credit a lot of my success to strategic carb refeeds.

Once again, Tim, you’re doing a lot of things right. It’s just part of the process, working through plateaus. I hope this gives you some ideas of how you could shake things up a bit. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Hi, Tampa Terry.

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I do have a few follow up questions, though (shocked? I thought not :))

  1. You suggest starting RR&D. I’ve just started Meltdown (yesterday), did you not have good results with it? Also, I recall in the RR&D article that Joel recommends this only for people with BF around 12 or less.

I’m a little hesitant to do the weight training at night. One reason is that I play hockey 2 nights a week, so that can interfere. However, it’s something I’ve thought of doing, I’d just have to see how a schedule would work. I really prefer working out in the AM, first thing, so I have no problem doing the AM cardio in a fasted state. I gather you would suggest alternating light cardio with some HIIT or lactic acid training (jumping rope like in Meltdown)? Or HIIT/lactic acid interval everyday?

Your food suggestions make sense. I generally use the MRPs purely for convenience, as it’s easier to prepare 2 meals + MRP to take to work than 3. I guess I’ll have to get a bigger cooler.

Thanks again, I appreciate and respect the advice you’ve given, and give others as well.


Meltdown is a good program. Plan on using it for a month to six weeks. At that point, it would be a good idea to switch to something else. RR&D would be a great one to switch to, and there are others that would work also. You could even alternate every month between the two.

Don’t worry about the recommended BF% on RR&D. I believe Joel has since retracted that.

If you like training better in the morning, you should continue doing that. I just am a strong advocate of fasted-state cardio and like to break up a workout and cardio so that the metabolism gets a boost TWICE in a given 24-hour period. It’s your call, though.

It would probably be a good idea to do more steady-state cardio (at a lower HR, say 70-75%) because Meltdown is pretty intense cardiovascularly to begin with (if you’re doing it right, that is). HIIT would be good for the 5x5 program. That way you get the best of both worlds; i.e., you’re exercising/using two different energetic pathways.

If I missed something, let me know. And if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.