T Nation

Is this bad?

I started the Cheater’s Diet combined with Meltdown training on November 11, weighing in at 172.2lb 17.1%. Today is November 15, and I’m weighing about 164.0lb 16.4%. Now, assuming the scale is correct, that means I’ve lost 8.2lb in FIVE DAYS, 5.7lb of it being LBM! All I can say is: crap!

Why? I’m eating the perscribed amount of calories (if not a bit more), doing some cardio as per reccomendation, and I blarfed about 1400 cals of carbs down on wednesday, yet I’m shrinking like a slug in the sunlight. The only thing I can think off is that I was taking 5g of Creatine/day before I started the diet, so my muscles might have less water in them now. I can still lift as much weight as I could before starting the diet, if not even more!

Supplements I’m taking: Fish oil, Bulgarian Tribulus, quality multivitamin, chemical EC(16mg/200mg) twice a week before workout, and calcium. I’m also taking in about 1g/lb protein. Doing maybe about 3-4 hours cardio/week (not more than 30min at a time). To give you a better picture of the fluctuations, here’s my BW for the past 5 days: Mon’172.2—Tue’165.4—Wed’165.8—Thu’167.2(this is after eating night)—Fri’164.0(today).

Now, I’m not sure what the problem is, or if there even is a problem. Please tell me what you think, and suggestions are welcome. Just don’t tell me to start using Mag-10, because I live in Canada.

Harkonnen, I’m afraid you’re in a bit of a bad spot. Because the cheaters diet is so hypocaloric, the use of Mag-10 or some other androgen is essential to preserve lean mass.

Unless you can get your hands on it in Canada, you will have to use a much more moderate diet approach. You might try using a less steep caloric deficit and adding Methoxy-7 to help preserve mass. Or, you could simply pick a diet.

I am sorry if you have not gotten good results, but my advice would be to come off of that diet before you lose anymore LBM. Sorry again, and hope this helps.

When you’re talking about losing lbm, can you tell just through your lifts? I’m really bad with the calipers, so would it be safe to say that if my lifts are staying stable, or increasine, then I am preserving my lbm? Thanks.

You cannot consume only 1400 calories a day and do 3-4 hours of cardio a week without using some sort of androgen; that is stated right in the article.

If you want to continue with the cheating approach, go with a 300-500 calorie restriction and a keto (less than 40 grams of carbs a day) diet, with 3 moderate intensity cardio session (30 mins at 70% max HR) and meltdown. Do a carb overfeed once every 4-5 days lasting about 8 hours with a macro breakdown of 70% carbs, 20% protein, and minimal fat. The overfeed's caloric value should be around that of your maintenance intake.

Just to ease you up a bit, i'm sure you only lost a few pounds of lean mass, maybe 2, and the rest is water/glycogen weight. By restricting calories that much, you will lose a lot of water and glycogen very quickly, especially with Meltdown and all that cardio.

Make the neccesary adjustments and you'll be okay.

This does not seem to be as bad as I originally thought, because today I got a new number that surpasses all the others, as it is indeed a good number. 163.4 16.0%. That means that I’ve lost 3.3lb FM and 5.5 LBM, which I think is for the most part water due to my ceasing of creatine intake and its sudden occurence. Note that the difference between day one and day two was a stunning 6.8lb! This in itself is ridiculous and causes me to suspect that was merely water or food within my intestines. I will stick to the diet for a while mre and see what happens, but thanks for your suggestions.

the rule of thumb is lose no more than 2lbs a week if not on androgens… are you sure its lbm, not water that you lost…

 Hold on there big boy.too much ado about nothing. u didnt lose one ounce of muscle. U lost water weight and glycogen. U can lose up to 10 lbs of water and glycogen weight alone in the first couple weeks- u can and u WILL. for every lb of glycogen that is lost u will lose an additional 3 lbs of water. Happens everytime, dont sweat it.  or u can write TC and CY and maybe they will do what they did to me which is ask u if u want a xxxsmall size t-shirt they made especialy for their sister. Either way they will tell u what i just told u which is u didnt lose one ounce of muscle and u wont lose one ounce of muscle if u use the information available at t-mag.com and johnberardi.com.

Thank you for the words of encouragement; I will stick with the diet and see what occurs. I am considering increasing my cal intake by approximately 300 calories, and will do so if I see/feel I’m losing LBM. I know that what the scale says may be cause for alarm, but I just don’t trust that damn thing…not just yet anyway.
Tomorrow, sunday evening, a feast at my aunt’s house! This diet is like a girl that really knows how to tease: keep the good stuff back until you can’t handle it anymore, then blasts you so hard you can’t get up for an hour :smiley:

Brent- no, its not a good way. Your strength can go up due to nuerological factors while actually losing LBM. I believe that both tape measurements and calipers are the most accurate way to guage LBM loss/retention.

diesel- a 1500 cal restriction + Meltdown + 3-4 hours a week of cardio and no androgen = muscle loss; period. Granted, its probably not as bad as he thought (some of that is water, yes), but LBM has started and will continue to lessen if this individual doesn't make some adjustments.

The chances of not losing actual muscle while regular consuming that little of calories and doing that much activity without higher than natural androgen levels is somewhere between highly improbable and impossible.

Yep, if you did loose any muscle mass it was probably 1lb. Muscle Mass is extremely tough to loose. All you lost was glycogen stores and water. How are you testing your bodyfat??? Also, with this protocol the refeeds will refill glycogen stores which can last till the next refeed. I really think you lost zero muscle, how is your strength? also, when loosing LBM, you have an extremely soar feeling in certain areas! was that an issue? and they last for about three days.

 My bad - I didnt notice he was actully taking in about 1400 cals. What I said still stands, however things go very diffrently in this scenario. With a caloric intake of 1400 calories I would better make sure U take in a good andro/steroid, because otherwise u can and pobably will lose lean mass. Sorry, thats the way it goes. I'm  big proponent of a more sane diet and would strongly encourage u to use T-Dawg since Im so partial to it. Regardless, don't sweat it. As u mentioed u stopped taking creatine and, assuming ur carb intake was drastically dropped, i would expect ud have lost a good couple lbs of water weight in the first 1-2 weeks as a result. Simply modify ur diet accordingly. No diet is a perfect fit, and u just adjust it to urself if results are less than good. Not to sound contradictory to my previous post, I would strongly suggest u bring u caloric intake up to a more sane ammount for someone of ur weight who does not use anabolic substances. Since ur still at a high bf level I would start off at 1600 cals a day and progress from there. Just incorporate, apply and modify. G luck!
 I'm not familiar with all the corners entailed in the cheaters diet. However I am a big proponent of strategic carb refeeds in lieu of all out cheats. In the long run Ur bound to make more progress in trimming down. Just thought I'd throw in another couple .01.

Well, I’ll try to clarify some points.
I take in “1510” calories on non-cheat days. However, this usually ends up being closer to 1600, sometimes even 1700, and that’s fine with me.

On actual cheat days, wednesday I follow the “be-careful” guidelines; I try to eat mostly carbs and max out the cheat meal at about 1500 cals.

Today, however, there was a feast at my aunt’s house at about noon. I ate everything in sight: roast veal, salad w/mayo, roast potatoes, carrot cake, rum coconut balls, baklava, butter-bread, feta-cheese, filled pepper-halves, juice, some more veal, and some more juice, then some more rum balls, carrot cake, baklava, and slipped into a coma. I woke up two hours later to find myself feeling stuffed, so I ate a banana just in case. Ate another banana when I got home, and drank a liter of orange juice. Now, I’m thinking I’ll finish the day by eating some tuna and protein to fill up my protein stores, because I feel that I got under 100g P from all that food; what a shame :0)

In response to the wasting feeling, I do not feel it. The only thing I feel is my muscles burning from the lactic acid caused by Meltdown Training. I’ve also decided to cut down my cardio to 4x30min a week, as this will allow me to cut down on the amount of visits to the gym to 4. My strength is only getting better. I’m keeping with the diet, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure my glycogen stores have been refilled Boxer Al. :0)

In response to your keto diet suggestion, I will only say that it’s not an option currently. It…Cloggs me, if you get my drift ;0)

Do a search for “how often should carb up” and follow that protocol. I would like to see your carb session be a little higher calorically. I still think you need to up the calories while still limiting your carb intake on strict days.

Well, today was the moment of truth. Maybe it’s just the fact that I got 6 hours of sleep and got up at 6:30, or maybe it’s something else, but for the first time in a long while, my pull-ups SUCKED. I mean, BAD. First set, I did 8/10, fine. Second set, 5? Third set, 3, fourth set, 4 again. It’s pretty obivious this diet is fucking me over, so I turn to you for help, Joel, since you seem to know what you’re talking about.

I will give in and try the T-dawg diet, and tell you how that goes. I checked it out, and i like it better. I love peanuts and meat, and really don’t like fat restrictions in my diet, so it’s time for me to try the dawg! You have converted me.

Ok, Joel, I read the whole thread; what I will do is start at -500 below maintenance, ketogenic. How far keto must I go? I’ll start at 20% carbs, because I really can’t handle eating pure meat and nuts. If it is required, though, I will try. I will also do carb refeeds, 3000 calories every Sunday spread over 8 hours, 70% carbs, 20% protein, but I will strive to consume at least 1g protein/ lb body mass during Sunday.

I’d go with carbs post training only and strive for less than 50 a day. You will probably be able to get away with the refeeds on every 4th or 5th day due to depleted glycogen stores. I would try a refeed after your workout every 5th day to start and adjust as neccesary. What kind of training are you doing?

I’m doing Meltdown training (2nd week). It’s been working well for me, so I’m planning to finish the remaining 2 weeks. As for the cardio. I’m doing 230min at 70% HR cardio (for endurance), and 220min sprint intervals with 60s rest : 20s sprint ratio (for speed). Once I go into week 3 of Meltdown I’ll substitute the 2*30min sessions for the jumprope recoomendations.

As far as the carbs are concerned, T-dawg says that it’s fine to consume 30g/day (excluding the post-workout shake). I find I usually get more like 50g a day, and this is fine, because I really can’t live without eating vegetables and peanuts. Ketosis or not, if I don’t shoot up my insulin levels with sugar (except post-workout), with a 2500 kCal/day diet I’ll lose fat for sure. Time will tell.