T Nation

Ideas to Get as Lean as Possible


Can you quantify how much that is? It might be individual dependent, but it would be a benefit to know for a benchmark.

I’m currently on a low carb, Keto diet.


For sodium I cannot. It depends on your tolerance and how much you sweat. For water shoot for about a gallon per day… soft drinks, diet soft drinks, sugary juices, milk and the likes do not count in the total. Only pure water, green tea, water with liquid flavoring added (small amount),


You understand that a true keto diet is not low carbs/high protein right? A REAL keto diet is no carbs/moderate protein/high fat


CT what do you think of Keto diets?



Nothing is retarded except clear cut broad statements.

There is no doubt that keto or even regular low carb diets work when it comes to fat loss. Some will even argue that they are better for preservation of muscle mass during a caloric deficit.

But… and this is from a guy who did low carbs dieting for years and still do for short periods when needing to get leaner fast…

  • I do not believe that you can add a significant amount of muscle while on a low carbs diet. Or at least it is a lot more difficult. This is especially true for the natural. For years I believed that you could gain size when doing low carbs because I went from strong and fat to lean and muscular while on it. I looked a lot more muscular and believed that I had thus added muscle. In reality I likely stayed at the same muscle mass but the leanness created the illusion of size.

Objectively speaking I’ve never been able to add muscle mass while low carbing or intermittent fasting. I’m not saying that it is absolutely impossible. But for most (except the genetic freaks) it will be very hard to do and a slow process.


Yes, my daily intake has less than 20 grams of carbs, mostly from fiber. I didn’t put much thought into the implications of that statement.

Every 10-14 days, I’ll have a cup of rice, sweet potato, etc in the morning before a heavy deadlift day. Then go the rest of the day on high fat, moderate protein.

Coming Back After 3 Months. No Idea Where to Even Look

What are your thoughts on Metformin for carb control?


@ CT ever try gotu kola for inflammation?


Very bad… some serious side effects including on the kidneys and not even that effective. The natural supplement berberine is actually just as effective and a product like INDIGO 3G actually targets muscle insulin sensitivity, which is even better than just improving insulin sensitivity.


Yeah but if your protein intake is high and fat intake is low it still applies


Thanks coach. Interested in Indigo, just too $ to pull the trigger.


Following this thread along, interesting as always.

CT–Since the goal of contest dieting is definitely to get as lean as possible, can I infer from that that you would be amenable to the idea of short spurts of very low carb dieting between longer low-moderate style targeted carb phases to help accelerate fat loss without really impairing yourself long term given the issues with keto/VLCDs and muscle? Anecdotally speaking I find such an alternating approach valuable.


Totally excited about these new tips. I’m entering the final week of the Velocity Diet now, and hope to continue the progress I’ve made. I just bought a big thing of baking soda the other day after reading this post. The food choices - leafy greens, mango, pineapple are all things I highly enjoy so it will be no problem to eat more of them!


@CT are there any workout methods that you add in as well?



Loaded carries mostly, and increasing the density of my workouts… I dont really use strength work to get leaner


thoughts on this ?

From Charles Poliquin

  1. Always start with a meat and nut, or meat and dark fruit breakfast.

  2. Learn to enjoy black coffee in the morning with breakfast and as a pre-workout.

  3. No more dairy or limit dairy to a dessert

  4. The darker the green vegetable the better it is for you. The darker the berry the better it is for you. Examples of dark green vegetables: spinach, kale, broccoli, brussell sprouts, etc… Examples of dark berries: blueberries, cherries, acai berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc…

  5. Stay away from dried fruit it is the equivalent of candy. Drying fruit concentrates sugars.

  6. Drink a lot of water (2 glasses at each meal). You will adjust.

  7. Green Tea and Yerba mate are excellent teas for fat loss.

  8. Limit processed carbohydrates: breads, pastas, etc… opt instead for sweet potatoes, yams, and beets. Rice is better than grains. Quinoa is great!

  9. For salad dressings oil based dressings are best (ie. olive oil and balsamic vinegar)

  10. If you are going to cheat and have a cheat meal limit it to Saturday or Friday. Sunday is the start of the week and it makes Mondays easier.

  11. When you drink alcohol that is vegetable or plant based is a better choice: potato vodka (Kettle One), Tequila (agave plant) and Gin (Juniper berries).

  12. Stay away from juice (it is liquid candy)

  13. No soda, pop or fizzy pre-workouts. Diet soda is not an option either. Soda, pop and pre-workouts are not good for the protective lining of your esophagus.

  14. When you get a craving try a spoon full of peanut butter or a spoon full of whip cream.

  15. Don’t feel guilty if you slip up just get back in the right direction. The goal is health.

  16. When you limit your carbohydrates you must increase your good fat intake (fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil and cla)

  17. Cook with coconut oil.

  18. Use a protein powder post workout for muscle recovery.

  19. Try not to eat 2.5 to 3 hours before bed.

  20. Make Yourself More Alkaline: Put Lime in Your Water

The more alkaline you are, the more anti-catabolic you are and the less cortisol you’ll produce. Having a healthy pH that is more alkaline is critical because without the correct pH blood level, the body’s enzymes can’t function, negatively impacting protein synthesis. In fact, studies show that low pH levels lead to diminished protein building, a major concern for anyone striving for high energy and a lean physique. The simplest way to shift your pH up towards alkaline is to always drink water with lime in it. Lemon is okay if lime is not available.

  1. Meal frequency is not an issue.

  2. Increase fibre (Metamucil is a good idea)


How about lime mixed with bi-carb?

And why is lime better than lemon?



I don’t necessarily agree. I’ve done that for a long time, but not anymore. First because I’m not eating red meat anymore, or as little as possible, because of its pro-inflammatory impact (grass fed beef might be different) but also because I’m not a lot more insulin sensitive than I was.

While the "meat and nuts: breakfast might be a good idea when you are insulin resistant, I don’t believe it to be the best option when you are insulin sensitive.

Make sense since coffee has been shown to have many health benefits. I personally do not like coffee though so I can’t talk from experience.

[quote=“nickj_777, post:147, topic:220483”]
No more dairy or limit dairy to a dessert [/quote]


[quote=“nickj_777, post:147, topic:220483”]
The darker the green vegetable the better it is for you. The darker the berry the better it is for you. Examples of dark green vegetables: spinach, kale, broccoli, brussell sprouts, etc… Examples of dark berries: blueberries, cherries, acai berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc…[/quote]



Agreed, but it is what I find to be the hardest, personally.

Agreed. But when having lots of green tea I suggest adding a bit of lemon to it (to prevent kidney stones)

[quote=“nickj_777, post:147, topic:220483”]
Limit processed carbohydrates: breads, pastas, etc… opt instead for sweet potatoes, yams, and beets. Rice is better than grains. Quinoa is great! [/quote]


Agreed, although I personally don’t use any dressing.

I’m not huge on cheat meals. I do believe in carb-ups (if you are using a low carbs diet) but ideally with non-pressed carbs. I don’t like to plan cheats. I find that for many people they make dieting harder, not easier. After a few weeks of dieting you will start to crave, then be obsessed with your upcoming cheat day… and it can make it much harder to stick to your diet. I also find that a cheat gives you enough of a taste to make you continue craving junk food. I find it better to stop eating “cheat food” altogether… understanding that you might have some “accidents” but do not plan to eat cheat food on purpose.

Agreed. But I’ve always been a vodka man so it’s easy for me to agree!

Agreed. I find that more people screw up their diet because of what they drink rather than what they eat.

Agreed. Giving up diet soda was the hardest thing to do for me. I used to drink as much as 3L of it each day.

It depends on your psychological profile. While in theory the density of nutrients in these foods should help with cravings, personally having just a taste would simply drive me to have more. I’m the kind of guy who, when he eats one cookie will eat the whole box.

Agreed. The biggest issue I see when people have an “dietary accident” is to say “screw this, I ruined my day, might as well ruin it for good and start over tomorrow” then overindulge… or the opposite: they punish themselves by starving themselves the next day to compensate… two really bad habits that will do more harm than the actual slip up.

Agreed. Learned this the hard way. Low carbs AND low fat = feeling like crap and losing muscle.

[quote=“nickj_777, post:147, topic:220483”]
Cook with coconut oil. [/quote]


I believe in consuming nutrients prior to the workout to load up the blood with aminos., But I also believe that having a protein shale Afterwards.

[quote=“nickj_777, post:147, topic:220483”]
Try not to eat 2.5 to 3 hours before bed. [/quote]


[quote=“nickj_777, post:147, topic:220483”]
Make Yourself More Alkaline: Put Lime in Your Water[/quote]

I agree with making yourself more alkaline. But lime is only one of the way to work toward that. EVERY meal should be alkaline.

TOTALLY agree.


While it can be done, mixing both can be tricky. You have to put the lime juice first then gradually add bicarbonate, really slowly, when it stops foaming, add water.


Thanks for the response CT!