T Nation

If You Looked Like Me....


I know this is a strange post, and I took it to the beginner's forum because i know what happens when you post something like this in any other, haha.

Here is the deal, i have been doing mainly cardio and light weights for 3 months, since January 2009 when i weighed 292 pounds, now i am down to 239 and I want to look good and be fit for summer.

If you were me, and looked like i do now, what would you do/how much would you eat to get into a muscular/ripped body by say...July?

Start lifting heavy and throw in some HIIT in the mornings? Maybe carb cycle? I am just completely lost as i dont really want to gain any of my fat back, i already have enough haha.

Here i am at 239.


If I looked like you...I would do this:

Hope someone else helps you with nutrition...By the way, very funny post!


Well done buddy.
Good progress.
I'd suggest a basic weight training program and maybe cut down on the cardio a little. Your fat wont come back on if your diet is good.


By cut back on the cardio, do you mean, like instead of 20-30 minutes M-F maybe do sprint style or HIIT on every other day?


Nice job so far!

These articles should be helpful.

Refined Physique Transformation

Destroying Fat
War Room Strategies to Maximize Fat Loss


in a Waterbury "get lean" phase, he recommends HIIT 3/w following each weight routine. i did this and it was a good balance of muscle and fitness.

i followed that complex link and it sounded pretty damn good. fun as hell! and if you followed it 3x/w, i doubt you would be doing much HIIT afterwards since it is so metabolic. maybe some jump rope before and after is what i would do.

you've made great progress!! try the basic idea of ~20g of protein every 3 hours eg. 3/4 cottage cheese with carrot sticks as a snack and 6oz chicken breast (or steak or buffalo or fish...) with fresh spinach and red peppers for a main meal.

i also find it helpful to get some periworkout nutrition of carbs and protein on lifting days.

bread isn't evil, but i found it to be an edge if i cut it out of my diet: no bagels and no pizza (oh my!) and no alcohol of course.

i hope you come up with a good plan and post back with your success =)


I'd echo this. Complexes were arguably the single most effective thing I added to my training when I lost weight (I dropped around 80 lbs), besides diet that is. It's a good article but I'd be wary of introducing them without some coaching or spotting. It's not hard to dramatically increase the metabolic cost of each exercise by chaining them together. This is effectively the main principle by using complexes. Be careful though, these workouts are murder and it's really easy to let your form slide as those last few reps approach. In other words using familiar exercises might be a safe way to start and achieve similar results.

I'm also a fan of HIIT. Depending on what machines you have access to, the methods vary. I know there's some articles on the subject around.

Log your food for a week, seriously. Don't exclude ANYTHING. Total up the micro nutrient values for a few days to get a better idea what you're really eating (you might be surprised). The food log is an invaluable tool. You just can't help but learn a ton about your eating habits and diet is probably 75% maybe even 90% of the picture.

I had a lot of success (as have many others) with carbohydrate restriction, but simply eating clean and shifting the balance away from carbohydrates and more towards proteins and good fats alone often produces results. Skip the dinner roll, have more fruit or vegetables etc. Articles and knowledgeable people here can probably give you more specific advice if "carbohydrate restriction" etc is too vague.

Hope that helps! Grats on the weight loss by the way :smiley:


Wow, guys, thanks a lot for the help and info. I really have been working hard just to not be extremely fat, and lately ive had this huge itch to get some mass put on, but i just keep getting lost. I am like, "Ive done so well at fat loss that people will think ive given up trying if i start gaining from trying to bulk muscle" and i fear that i will gain too much fat back trying to bulk. And then im afraid ill be too little if i just keep cutting. Whew, this decision of what to do over the next couple months is tough.


Excellent progress bro. Very impressive.

Stay dedicated to whatever program you decide on, that's obviously key.

Personally I don't even have a cardio program because I burn more calories lifting weights anyway.

I work out five times a week, for an hour and a half, and I have had great success maintaining a good weight. Whatever you do just get intense about it, and stick with the program.


A more conventional approach, feel free to change the exercises if you don't know some of them:

For a good overall plane, if you can get into the Velocity diet:



Could be an idea:



have you thought about the Velocity Diet (i see some other posters have suggested it as well).

a bunch of trainers on this site, with a lot of experience, have put it together as a pretty tried-and-true way of losing fat successfully. it's pretty error proof (i.e. if you follow it, you WILL get results) and straight forward to implement (there is never any guessing about what is and is not allowed in the diet).



I have but as of this point in time, the Velocity is a bit expensive. I do like the idea and yes, its only failure is on the hands of the person doing it because its laid out there haha.
Personally, I enjoy food and think i would have a rough time on Velocity, but would not be opposed to doing it in a pinch,like say one month out of heading to the beach or something after i had a solid muscular base.


well done on the fat loss man


yeah dude well done. And what ever you do dont get complacent now [or at any time really].

If you want to work on fat loss and get some stronger/bigger lean mass I would recommend a few things.

Tell us what you eat now, roughly.

This will be good to see what your mind looks like re: food choices.

I would alter most of your food choices to be low carb and then begin to cycle your carbohydrates.

And example would be go for 1 whole week {VLC] very low carb [<30g] and get most of your fiber from flax seeds [milled/blended/ground].

After this first week keep going VLC kee p it up until you get to your leg training day [and/or your highest work volume day where you lift the biggest weights] and then grab about 2g of carbs per lb of bodyweight that evening. keep te carb choices helathy as in yams, oatmeal, beans, brown rice and all the boring shit.

Then keep this VLC every day but one per week cycle going for about 2 weeks. take measurements, scale weight, BF% if you have access and compare with before carb cycling. If you gain no fat [very likely] then pick another very hard training day and take 2 cute little yam/oat/bean carb ups per week and maybe get some fruits in during those periods.

See what you can do whit those 2 carb ups adn start adding more carbs to those two. add 50% to each every 2 weeks that you dont fatten up and find the place where you can carb up and stay lean.

All your VLC days should be about 60% fat calories and 40% protein. You might what to move it around a little but this works fairly well. make sure you get a good amount of food in on these VLC days. thats why we need to see your current intake to determine where you metabolism is at. even then its a loose guess that only you can tune into.

and hit up one of the good heavy lifting programs on here. I usually put an athlete like you on and EDT program:


but pick what works best for you. be sure to keep going through a whole program and dont change in the middle.



Here is my current diet plan:


1 pack weight control oats
4 eggs
1 oz blueberries in oats


1/3 cup almonds
1 can sardines
1 hard boiled egg


1 pouch of tuna
1 1/2 cups spinach
2 slices double fiber wheat toast


1 small apple
4 hard boiled eggs

Shake (Post Workout)

2 scoops body fortress with 1 cup milk


1 8oz grilled chicken breast
1 cup green beans
1/2 cup cottage cheese

this should total to around

Calories: 2333
Protein: 253
Carbs: 130
Fats: 80

I was told where i posted this diet on another post that i should lower those carbs to below 100.

I can only train weights on Monday to Thursday due to schedule also.