How Can I Improve My Diet/Workout Plan

Goals: Fat loss down to 10%, maintain muscle and strength

Here is how i currently eat, please let me know your thoughts on what I can do to improve (i do cheat but at most 1 meal a week, but its usually once every 2 to 3 weeks)

  1. 7:00 am: Food - 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup coffee, 1/2 cup almond milk, 4 oz greek yogurt. Supps - beta alanine, 2400 mg fish oil, 1.5 scoops whey protein, multivitamin = 550 calories
  2. 11:30 am: .8 cup rice, 1 chicken breast, 1/2 - 1 cup veggies (usually broccoli, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, etc) - 400 calories
  3. 2:30 am: .8 cup rice, 1 chicken breast, 1/2 - 1 cup veggies (usually broccoli, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, etc) - 400 calories
    (4pm-5pm workout) = pre workout - ON amino energy 1 scoop, 1 scoop creatine, intra workout - 6 grams BCAA 2:1:1, Post workout - 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 scoop casein, 1 Banana, 350 calories
  4. 6 pm Chicken/fish/meat of some kind, veggies - ~400 calories
  5. Before bed: 2400 mg fish oil

~2100-2200 calories total
macros: ~240 carbs, ~60 fat, ~210 protein
Weight: 180
Fat: 18%

Workout routine (following a 5/3/1 with some modification)
sunday - off (active recovery)
monday - heavy lifting (strength focused) (squat)
tuesday - heavy lifting (strength focused) (bench)
wednesday - 1-2 mile walk with 60lb weighted vest
thursday - heavy lifting (strength focused) (deadlift)
friday - heavy lifting (strength focused) (overhead press)
saturday - hypertrophy focused lifting (usually squat based)

Sometimes throw in 1-2 more weighted walks in the week.

The only things i can see to add into this is HIIT or some other cardio. I know the fat loss will be slow with this type of routine but i have plateaued around 18% fat for about a month. Clearly something needs to change to continue the fat loss. Any input is appreciated.

Check out some of Paul Carter’s articles. I think they may be helpful.

I’m a huge advocate of the 5/2 diet that you can find on tnation. Other than that, your diet seems to be good, try carb cycling.

Thanks, do you have any specific article recommendations? I read pretty much everything on t-nation so i may have read them at some point.

I know about the 5/2 diet, but what do you see as the main benefit? do you see the “2” portion as a benefit? everything i read tells me dont “cheat” but have a carb loading day every 7-14 days, which is usually what my cheats are.

It’s a recent one about sprinting.

The “2” is stands for two fasted days. It helps with insulin sensitivity, which is a powerful tool for shedding fat and putting on muscle

And carb cycling is a lot more detailed than just carb loading every 7-14 days.

Ok I thought you were referring to eat good 5 days, don’t care 2 days. The other but inferior 5/2. I know nothing about carb cycling so I will look into it, was just referring to the generic practice of carb refeeds

^Give this a shot

Refeeds are for cyclic ketogenic diet, which is a carb cycling diet but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea if you aren’t an advanced lifter.

Thanks again, I have been lifting on and off for a long time, but planning on keeping on it for a long time going forward. Considering the gains Ive been getting in my lifts, I am definitely in the beginner phase, so not an advanced lifter at all.

Do you think that calories should increase on the “5” days?

I got a lot of questions.
How long have you been lifting?
How long on this 5/3/1 program?
How long have you been following this diet?
Have you had to lower calories since starting, to continue to lose fat?
How much weight have you lost so far?
What has your strength gains/loss been?

It looks you’re doing the right thing.

Fat loss will stall if you stay at the same activity level and calorie intake; this is normal. If fat loss stalls, eat less or move more or both. I prefer to eat less.

Ive been lifting on and off for about 15 years. The past 4 1/2 years have been this though, 3 years no lifting, 6 months lifting, 6 months off, 6 months lifting. My technique is good but as far as muscle growth and strength gains, i am in the beginner phase imo. (I should also mention that in the past although i knew the technique of lifting pretty well I was clueless about diet)

been doing the 5/3/1 for 2 months, before that it was another similar powerlifting/strength training program. 5 days a week lifting.

been following this diet for 2 months. before thats it was similar but about 1700 calories a day, did some research and that was too low. Dropped a lot of weight but probably lost muscle.

I started at 195 and about 30-32% body fat, now i am at 178 and about 18%.

Stength gains have been significant, in January my deadlift started at about 220 and now is right around 400 1RM (will be testing 1RM next week so this is ballpark, previous 1rm was 370 in early february). Again contributing this to beginners strength gains and muscle memory. Last year before i took a break i was at about 375 1RM. All other lifts have made similar progress.

I am really posting this because the past month i have not changed body fat at all. Everything i read and study tells me that if something isnt working for 2-4 weeks, change it up. At the time of posting i was not sure what i could change. I am going to try the 5/2 beginning with my first fast day tomorrow. If you have a better suggestion or advice along with that, I am happy to take any advice.

Thanks again for any input you can offer.

You diet is way too high in carbs and way too low in fat, in my opinion

Why? Can you give some more detail to back up that statement?

It’s just easier cutting on low carbs, generally speaking

Great job on the deadlifting. Looks like you’ve made some decent progress on the weight loss front, too.

I like to listen to Dr. Israetel; you can find his credentials online. And lots of wonderful information.

He says, “The maximum amount of fat you can take in and still perform at your best and be healthy is undefined. There is probably no such thing as too much fat as long as calories are in check and other nutrients are being consumed in sufficient quantities.”

See Mike Israetel - Fat intake recommendations: 1.) The... | Facebook

He does give a minimum recommendation of .3g per pound of bodyweight, which would be 53g for you.

If your fat loss stalled, drop calories or move more. Those are really your best choices. It’s that simple. For fat loss, being in a deficit is king (don’t take my word for it; Dr. Israetel’s opinion). If you are not losing weight at a given calorie intake, you are no longer in a deficit. Your calorie intake needs (TDEE) will decrease as you lose weight, for a few reasons, so you should expect to have to further lower calories and/or move more to continue to lose weight, at some point.

after reading this, seems you were right, What's the Best Diet for Losing Fat?

Thanks, it does seem that lower calories are in order (or moving more). Personally i like to move more if i can. Eating less is very hard for me to do as 2200 calories a day already feels low. I have been known to put away 6000 calories without a problem, granted thats mostly crap food, but needless to say i have a big appetite. I think eating fattier food may help me too with satiety. Just gotta lower the carbs in response to that.