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How LOW should I go?

At 5’9, 15% bodyfat, and 155lbs, how low should I drop my calories? And specifically, how about the carbs?

I’ve heard never to go below 2,000/day… yet at my weight, eating 2,000kcals/day would hardly elecit a loss of 1lb/week. I’m not on any androgens or anything like that, just plain dieting with HIIT.

Also, do you guys like the 40/30/30 p/c/f type split for dieting, or even lower than that?

Do you use Massive Eating guidelines (PC and PF) for dieting was well as bulking, or just bulking? I’ve seen conflicting views on this.

Thank you.

you should read the t-dawg diet, and some other dieting articles listed in the frequently asked questions. They will answer your question(S).

Check out this article, if you haven’t already.

I’d go for Massive Eating & some HIIT with an aim of the holy grail – getting lean and putting on some mass at the same time. At 5’9" and 155 you should have some room for some additional beef on those bones.

at 155lbs and 5’9" you dont have the mass to worry about cutting. The goal should be steady lean mass gain and the leanness will begin to come. I would use the massive eating guidelines and stay in positive caloric balance.

As far as macro breakdown. I use 50/20/30 year round not matter whether Im bulking or getting ready for a show. It works well by just adjusting the cals.


I have to lose weight for wrestling, it’s not because I want to be leaner (although, I do), I’d much rather gain weight if it weren’t for wrestling.



Is your macro breakdown in the form of P/C/F? If so, why do you go so low with the carbs? I saw how much progress you’ve made in your photo post and was just wondering.

depsyphor remember your an athlete I don’t know if you should being doing low carb/ high protien diets as an athlete.

When you lower carbs, you lower glycogen stores which will limit you ablitiy to exercise at high intensity.

I wouldn’t follow low carb diets if I were an athlete.

I’m not low carbing, not now or ever. Right now my carbs are lowER, because I’m not training yet (except HIIT and a bit of cardio).

Once practice starts, carbs will be raised, right nowthey’re at around 190 (which is still pretty damn high for dieting).

Depsyphor, don’t worry about calories. Worry about what you need for performance.

As an example, I’d recommend about 1.25g to 1.5g of protein per pound of LBM when dieting. (Higher when bulking, of course). And since you do care about performance and function, since you are an athlete, you’d darn well better go for quality food choices. Fat intake should be .5g per pound of LBM, and your choices should be flaxseed oil, fish oil, olive oil, nuts, eggs.

Carbs are what you’re going to have to manipulate. If you maintain weight on the P and F numbers above and 190g of carbs per day, you need to play with a couple of things.

  1. Carb types.
    a. Green veggie carbs most of the time (nothing in a box!)
    b. Starchy carbs in your whole-food pwo P+C meal (sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal, brown rice)
    c. High glycemic carbs (Surge) after weight bearing exercise and intense wrestling sessions lasting at least one hour.

Stay away from fruit. Stay away from milk and milk products. Stay away from all carbs in a box (except oatmeal, the real kind).

Take in your carbs only after wrestling or weight lifting. P+F at all other times (including cardio).

On days you don’t lift weights or wrestle, use it to go predominantly P+F. In other words, you’ll be higher calories and higher carbs on days you work out and lower carbs/calories on days you don’t. Keep your body metabolicly confused.

Finally, when you’ve incorporated all of the above, if you still aren’t losing weight, adjust carbs downwards (no more than 25g per day) to create a little more of a deficit. Monitor energy levels and don’t hesitate to spike your quality carbs if you find yourself energy depleted.

No beer binges, right? (grin)

One huge problem I have is eating enough sans carbs. My mom won’t buy me flaxseed oil, or anything ‘crazy’ like that (in her words). So I used to just eat lots of oatmeal (she’d buy plenty of that).

Now I can’t eat as much (I eat 1cup/day for breakfast, probably gonna make it 2/3cup soon). Even almonds have carbs! Agh!

Maybe I should buy some flaxseed oil? Fish oil? What would you suggest purchasing MYSELF that is ESSENTIAL?

PS - Bringing food to school and eating it that is P+F is pretty difficult, as beef jerky is expensive and my mom won’t buy me any… I don’t want to eat lunchmeat straight up and be a social pariah either. Suggestions? If I just ate almonds, there’s no protein, and if I ate almonds and whey protein, the whey would be absorbed ridiculously fast, which makes it worthless! Suggestions?

Thanks again/

Hey, there again, Depsyphor. Boy, a lot of difficult issues you’re stuggling with there.

I understand the getting your mom to buy what you need/want thing. There are only three options. One, get a part time job. Wash cars on Saturday if you have to. Two, divert money you do have access to, to buy what you need. (Movies, birthday money, Christmas, allowance). Three, continue on the way you are, struggling to manage your body composition, doing the best you can, and wait until you leave home.

One thing I might suggest is that you enlist the support of your coach in talking with your mom. On a practical/competitive level, you need to drop weight, be strong and healthy. Food intake is one way (probably the most important way) to manipulate things to the positive.

It boils down to priorities. The same goes for the social pariah thing, too. You can be like everyone else and you’ll look (and perform) like everyone else. Since I don’t want to look like the rest of the population – soft, flabby and obese in a lot of cases – I eat differently. I care more about how I look than the odd looks I might get because I’m chowing down on a can of tuna. But those are all issues you’re going to have to work through yourself.

If you have a grinder at home, consider buying flaxseed in bulk (cheaper that way) and grinding it (fresh each time). Flaxseed or flaxseed oil is going to be tastier, cheaper and less “odd” to your mom.

You’re getting there, Depsyphor!!! (grin)

I’ve gotten good results with a caloric intake that was only 11 times my bodyweight.

There are a lot of tweaking you can do to prevent excess muscle loss. Adding fish oils and flax oil is probably the smartest you can do. Vitamin C and Ginseng will ensure cortisol levels are kept in check which will also prevent excess muscle loss.

If you do cardio, alternating 30 seconds at a sprint pace with 90 seconds at a moderate jogging pace will also optimize your results - possibly by spiking growth hormone levels higher which stimulate fat loss and helps preserve muscle mass. Following this system will also stimulate higher threshold musle fibers with the fast sprints.

Supplementing with ZMA (make sure it has NO calcium in the ‘other ingredients’ portion, usually calcium carbonate) will target the common deficiencies in these two minerals experienced by weightlifters. Deficiencies lead to less than optimal hormone profiles which lead to lesser results. Targeting these deficiencies has been shown to improve strength gains considerably as well as body composition.

Obviously following JB’s guidelines and an intense routine will make it or break it, but these guidelines can make a big difference when you look in the mirror 6 weeks from now.

I am doing RR&D2.0 which requires me to lift for under 30 minutes (6 days a week, though). It is obviously very low volume (2 exercises per workout oif a 5x5 nature), and so I have ample time to perform 15-20 minutes of HIIT after each workout.

How many days a week should I perform HIIT? I would do it on all 6 if I wasn’t afraid of hindering muscle gains or burning out. It lets me eat a little more while cutting, and its oh so painful (but in a good way).

How many times/week would you guys suggest doing HIIT on an elliptical, 30min sprinting with 60sec rests? I sprint a total of anywhere from 8-12 times during the workout (usually around 9), and it takes me under 20 minutes, so I’m out of the gym in 45-50 minutes tops. I don’t want to run the risk of hindering muscle preservation because I do HIIT so much, and I also want the fat to come off quickly (obviously).

Thanks for your reccomendations, this thread is helping a lot.

PS - On a side note, what should I DEFINITELY purchase as far as fats go? What would give me better bang-for-the-buck, flaxseed oil or fish oil? We have extra virgin olive oil at home, too, should I be taking in some of this as well? I’m really not well-educated on the different types of healthy fats, sine I’ve been bulking all I was doing was eating almonds and natty pb, but it seems like the oils might be a better option to maintain LBM.

Oh God.

I had been calculating my maintenance calories at around 2,400ish (Harris-Benedict formula APPROXIMATION). But now, when I redid it (using the Don’t Diet plan), that number turned into 1675 calories.

Am I doing the math wrong?

Here’s my stats…
17 years old
15% bodyfat
Mesomorph/Endomorph (leaning towards endomorph I think, my family is all overweight, and I definitely have a tendency to be chubby).

If my MAINTENANCE is 1674, I’m gonna shoot myself in the face right now. I don’t know if I can live on anything less than 1900-2,000cals/day, even when I’m not wrestling. My lifestyle now is 99% sedentary, the only exercise I get is lifting weights and doing HIIT.

Am I doing the calculations wrong? If not… God help me…

Thank you once again.

The stupid HS kid who really appreciates all the help

Okay I messed it up, I recalculated with the Harris-Benedict formula and figures I need between

2100 and 2500 calories

to maintain my current weight. The 2100 calorie number comes from a ‘sedentary’ lifestyle, the 2500 comes from ‘moderately active’.

Here’s the Q: What the heck am I? Sedentary or moderate?

The only exercise I get is lifting and HIIT, and I sit around all day at school, at home doing homework, etc… so am I sedentary (my typical life) or moderate (b/c I lift and do HIIT).

Thanks. Keep all the helpful responses coming!

What do you guys think would be a reasonble macronutrient ratio for me to aim for while cutting? I’m having trouble designing a diet with less than around 175-200gg of carbs (about 35-40% of my total carbohydrate intake), but I’m trying.

I consistently lose weight with my carbs around that level and I don’t out weigh you by much. I also don’t have to do much cardio either. Just try it and see if it works. It’s all an experiment and those calculations aren’t very exact.