T Nation

Keeping the Fat Off


I've been working on fat loss since April 1 (with a couple two week breaks), went from 215 18-20% BF to now 183 9-10%, aiming to drop a few more and end the cut in a few weeks around 180 8%. I've been largely following CT's protocols, heavy lifting to maintain muscle and a CKD.

Now that I see my abs, I really want to keep them. I don't really want to go much above 10% ever again, and I certainly don't want to balloon up to 18% on a big bulk.
In general my body does not handle carbs well and historically I've been around 13-14% BF

At the same time it's time for me to go on a mass-building plan.

So I'm curious as to what people suggest after my cut is over
1) With the first two weeks after the cut I've heard
a) It's important to stabilize at your weight so your body gets accustomed to being that lean
b) You can get big rebound gains when switching to mass-gaining nutrition following a long cut

So should I aim to maintain or get the rebound gains?

2) In terms of maintaining single-digit BF indefinitely while gaining mass, my intuition says perhaps I can do that by following the very carbilicious para-workout protocol while maintaining my carbs near 0 the rest of the day. Is this accurate? Am I sacrificing gains a lot by doing this?


Hey dude....First off great job...ABS rule....


but what I would suggest is start adding carbs in post workout only. and not too much either...
Like 50g or so...do that for a week and see how your body responds (I doubt you will have a problem with this) after about 2 weeks doing this...add a little pre workout as well...probably only about 25-35g to start and see how you respond (I would go with something slow digesting like OATS or something like that) after about 2 weeks of that add some carbs (again slow digesting) into your breakfast...Just try these out and see how you are responding....remember, since you are lean now...your body will probably handle carbs a lot better..


check that out as well...It really helped me...I did basically the same thing that you are trying to accomplish, and this is how I did it....I find eating carbs morning, pre, post workout is fine...and don't be afraid to have refeeds once in a while...hope this helped?


That makes sense, slowly add the carbs every couple of weeks.

What about overall calories? Bump fat intake during the rest of the day 10-20g every two weeks or so? And similarly for reducing energy systems work?
And would you change the lifting routine to something with more volume immediately or better to ride out my current low-reps strength routine through the first few weeks of the switch-over?

Thanks for the article reference.
Have you tried the cinnamon and apple-cider vinegar?
By "once in a while" do you mean once a week? I'm currently carb-upping once a week on my CKD so I figure just continue that when I end my cut?


Have you tried the cinnamon and apple-cider vinegar?

I used to put cinnamon in all my meal replacement shakes. and used apple cider vinegar in mornings (wow great wake up call) or with heart burn.

I wouldn't change your carb up. But Dutch sounds about right. I wouldn't up fat calories while increasing carbs. Give a few weeks at just carbs around your workout and possibly in the morning. Energy systems work depends on you. As a FFB I still include cardio in my routine (NEPA or the occasional sprints).


Have you found the cinnamon and vinegar made a difference?

OK. Sounds good. What I think I'll do is slowly implement the peri-workout nutrition protocol from CT gradually. Like
Weeks 1&2: Workout Fuel right before WO
Weeks 3&4: WF before, Finibar first half during
Weeks 5&6: Finibar and WF before, Finibar first half
Weeks 7&8: Finibar and WF before and during
Weeks 9+ full protocol

While otherwise maintaining everything the same.


That's a good idea. You haven't followed the protocol yet? I personally don't see a reason to gradually work up to the full protocol. I'd try to use it right from the beginning.
For the rest of the day I'd go very low carbs. I would also recommend you read the protein pulsing thread.

You will, of course, sacrify some gains, compared to eating 200g+ in addition to the protocol. But you will still be able to make some gains, which is great.

Aim for one very-low PROTEIN day a week, too (see pulsing thread).

Thib outlined a sample meal plan somewhere for somebody who asked quiet siilar questions. PM me if you can't find it.

By the: good job! Stay motivated and focussed!


All good recommendations, could not have said it better myself.


Hey guys

If someone could give me some more info on the low protein day, (micronutrient ratios/fitting it into your weekly shedule etc) I would fully appreciate it. If it's to much of a mission, info on where to find it in the pulsing thread would suffice. I've had a look but it's a monster thread and I'm gettin square eyes looking at my comp screen.

ta very much in advance



Don't drop the energy system work! Keeping a high level of conditioning will be a major part of keeping fat gain to a minimum while bulking. Plus, lots of blood flow will keep capillary density up and flush the muscle with nutrients.


I've been doing the protocol on refeed day, I'll admit the pump is off the chain

If I'm doing the protocol with every workout, should I continue to have a carb refeed day? It seems pointless if I'm fueling my muscles with glycogen before the workouts

Is there anything wrong with having the low-protein day the day after my refeed day (so carb day on Sunday, fat day on Monday)?


as I understand it, take in the minimum amount of protein needed for basic functioning, which is something like 60-80g. Have a couple CH pulses comprise a chunk of that. The rest depends on your goals. So I figure for myself, to keep fat gain down, it'll be mostly calories from fat. So meals will be fats+fibrous veggies, and calories around or below maintenance level


Immortal Technique's the shit by the way (that's the dude in your avatar yeah?)


I know CT wrote a great article entitled "Mondays with Thibs: Beef Up Your Composition" which talks about adding mass while avoiding too much added fat... that article's awesome, don't know if you've looked at it yet or not, just trying to help out. He talks about the use of "Control Days" which seem like an awesome idea for getting big without getting fat...certainly without gaining as much fat as you normally would, and I don't think you'd be sacrificing much, if anything, in the way of gains--of course CT would know that better than I would. Just thought I'd bring it up because it's a great article, check it out if you like.


I've seen the article. The main thing I got from it that was new was to add cinnamon to shit

Soon school is starting, and with morning classes, I will only have one off-day I can do morning fasted cardio on.
That said I do bike to school, so the overall cardio amount will only slightly diminish, but I won't get that morning fasted cardio.
I could maybe do it on my lifting days depending on my schedule, would that be detrimental to gains?

Overall right now with nutrition I'm aiming for:
225g of protein
90g fat
50g carbs
This adds to just 1900 calories.

Then on my workout days I have 1 FINiBAR, 1 Surge Workout Fuel, 1 Surge Recovery pre-WO and 20g CH during workout, and 20g 60 min after workout. This adds 9g F, 39+21+25=85g C, 13+13+20+20=66g P so
81+340+264=685 more calories

Carb refeed day, I double the peri-workout nutrition and have about 40g F, 200g P, and 150g C the rest of the day

Low-protein day I'm shooting for 80g P, 50g C, 100g F, which is 1420 calories, which is way below maintenance. Though in actuality I probably get a bit more fat and protein but not by much. Is having low calories part of the point? Is low protein day a "control day"?

So far it's hard to tell what changes in my body composition are happening as I've only been doing this for two weeks. But my scale weight seems to be fluctuating wildly but overall is going down. Which would make sense since overall this is below maintenance

I'll see if this continues once school starts and the cardio dips a bit, and if my weight continues to drop I'll double the peri-workout nutrition.


Some measurements so far:
Week 1: Weight=182.2, Right Bicep=15.25, Right Thigh=22.75 (I start DC here. I did a cut before and kept nutrition the same except for workout fuel before the workout)
Week 2: Weight=181.8, Right Bicep=15, Right Thigh=22.5
Week 3: Weight=176.7, Right Bicep=14.875, Right Thigh=22.125 (here I realize I can afford to add more calories and carbs without getting fat, so I introduce Thib's pre-workout protocol, 2 servings on carb refeed day, and 1 serving the other two days)
Week 4: Weight=179.8, Right Bicep=15.125, Right Thigh=22.125
Week 5: Weight=178.9, Right Bicep=15, Right Thigh=22.625 (this was measured yesterday)

Is it too early to tell whether I should make any further adjustments?
I am progressing in weight, so maybe I'm getting some mass while also losing some fat here. My waist size measurement actually continued to drop (31.75 to 31.125 during this time).
DC is a pretty demanding routine, and I would expect to get a bigger rebound than this following the cut, so perhaps I should bump the pre-workout protocol to 2 servings every workout day.
My biceps did not grow during this time, though I guess it's still too early to say anything