T Nation

Lifestyle Change Starting Today

Hey all

I’ve been reading T-Nation articles for about 2 months now, so much great information. Used to check out bb.com, but since coming here think I’ve finally found a great source of knowledge to last me… well, a while.

Anyways, onto my query. I’m a 26 year old fat bastard. Even though I’m bulky, at a staggering 121kg (266lb) and only 180cm (5’11) with about 27% body fat, I need to lose at least 20, hopefully 30-35kg of body fat. Went to see doc about a blood test (routine) and turns out I got a fatty liver (even though cholesterol levels are fine) so most likely cause is me being a fatty, fat fat. This, I think was the final straw that managed to kick me out of the stupor I’ve been in the last 2 years or so.

One of my concerns is my current routine. I work in IT Support and do shift work (12 hour shifts) which revolves around a 9 day working week. The pattern is 2 day shifts (7am - 7pm), followed by 2 night shifts (7pm - 7am) then 5 days off. Yeah, I know its a lot of time off each ‘week’ but it also means I’ve spend weeks at a time doing bugger all, gaining sweet World of Warcraft skills and generally getting lazy, apathetic and placing myself in my current predicament. This needs to change.

This is where my body is at now:
http://img185.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bodyxw9.jpg

I’ve been thinking of doing the T-Dawg diet. Eat every three hours, stick with chicken, tuna, turkey, lean red meat, oats, broccoli and lettuce, cut all junk food and soft drinks and booze and drink about 2-3 liters of water a day.

Exercise wise, I was thinking of doing Chad Waterbury’s Total Body Training but modifying it to 4 sessions per 9 days. So, my schedule would be something along the lines of this :

1st Day Shift - Weights + 40 minutes of Light Cardio
2nd Day Shift - 45 minute Spin/RPM class (lesmills.com/global/en/members/rpm/about-rpm.aspx)
1st Night shift - Weights + 40 minutes of Light Cardio
2nd Night shift - 45 minute Spin/RPM class
1st Day Off - Rest
2nd Day Off - Weights + 40 minutes of Light Cardio
3rd Day Off - 45 minute Spin/RPM class
4th Day Off - Weights + 40 minutes of Light Cardio
5th Day Off - 45 minute Spin/RPM class

On top of this, whenever I can, I go to a Thai Kickboxing class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will start power walking with my sis most nights that I�??m free. I tried running for 3 weeks, but was starting to screw my Achilles tendon up. I also got a stationary bike at home, so will do 20 minutes of light, fasted cardio most mornings (whenever I get up).

Supplements-wise, taking a multivitamin, fish liver oil, L-Carnitine, Green tea extract (or something along those lines), ON 100% Whey powder and glucosamine (for joints) and possibly an EC stack as well.

So, with all that in mind, its your turn guys. Please, give me further advice/suggestions/help/tips/pointers or shoot down what I said and correct me. Anything more/less I should/could be doing, food and diet, schedule, etc. I need to pull my finger, hand and elbow out of my arse and start beating my body into shape and have nothing planned(besides work of course) till the rest of the year(ie. no holidays) so have a good 7 months to lose at least 25kg. Also, I live in Australia so certain supplements may be hard to come by (what with us having one of the most anal customs in the world)

Thanks in advanced and appreciate all responses guys

Gaston

Oh, as a side note, are the weight watchers / lean cuisine frozen meals a decent meal? I didn’t have time to prep my food for work, so just got some fruit, a small tub of yoghurt and two of those meals to keep me going throughout the day.

the lean cusine and weight watcher meals IMO are crap.
they focus on portion control which is fine for some but if your already thinking about the t-dawg diet its very simple diet.

if you need speed in cooking just get a rice cooker and a george foreman grill

throw your greens and vegis in the rice cooker with a small amount of water and start it then put your slab from critter of choice onto the foreman grill your good to go.

I place frozen chicken breasts on the grill with a spritz of lemon and some salt and pepper and in almost 10 mins there done

all I buy is this
animal products (mainly lean beef roasts custom ground)and eggs,chicken
greens
morning oatmeal
milk
some fruits like apples and oranges maybe once or twice a week

drink more water than 2-3 liters a day personally 4-6 liters would be cool,dont count how much just watch your pee.
urine should be clear with a slight yellow tinge to it if your well hydrated.

as far as lifting and stuuf look into ripptoe’s starting strength its well accepted on this site as a great starting place
what you have looks alright if you can handle all the cardio.
I know I cant handle all the cardio I warm up with 20 mins on a recumbant bike before working out and cool down with 20-30 more and thats all I can do.

start slow and simple you are in a good place with great people that will help if need be.

few questions

the whey,when and how are you taking it?

fish liver oil (isnt that shit horrible) how much are you taking

would you mind writing down a sample diet for people to look at and comment on? (sorry if i missed it)

and also if you can get Biotest products Flameout is wonderful.
huge pills filled with fish oil with very little fish burp
also I store my generic pills in the freezer and I have no fish burp.
if you take enough fish oil its wonderful for mobility and your joints so you may not need the other thing you take for joints
(spellings bad enough I dont wat to try spelling that but you know what I mean)
another important supp that I found was milled flax seed

I wouldnt worry about an EC stack yet and about the green tea extract I would say just drink green tea
you need tons of water anyways
they sell ice tea makers in stores I have one its a godsend

Hey nichaaron, thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

Yeah, if I got time to prep food for work, i’d have been fine, but forgot to cook my stuff the day before, so ended up coming to work with not a drop of food on me. Just was thinking in case of emergencies/lack of planning on my part.

Sorry about forgetting to stick my sample diet plan, oversight on my part. Here’s what I had in mind:

Meal #1 - 1 cup of Oats, 1 cup of milk, 1 scoop of protein, handful of blueberries
Meal #2 - 1 apple, 1 banana, scoop of protein in water
Meal #3 - 1 steak(approx 10cmX3cm, 1cm thick), 1 cup of steamed vegetables
Meal #4 - 1 banana, 1 orange, scoop of protein in water
Meal #5 - 1 chicken breast, 1 cup of lettuce
Meal #6 - Tub of yoghurt

Anyways, with the Whey, currently I take it with my oats for breaky(either as porridge or in a blender) and also try to take it twice throughout the day with a cup of water(got a shaker)

Fish liver tablets(or cod liver I think) i take 6 tablets a day(two with each main meal) and each tablet I believe has 1000mg of the fish oil?

As for flaxseed, I got a bottle of flaxseed oil(actual oil, not tablets)… is that as good?

I’ve had knee surgery in the past(ACL reconstruction and damage to meniscus on both knees) so need all the help I can get with joints. Knees are fine atm, but just notice they hurt more as I get fatter(yet another reason to lose plenty of weight)

As for the weights, does it matter that I’ve done weights before? I was doing solid gymming about year and a half back but got lazy and fat since then, but its not like i’ve never done weights before.

[quote]Frenchie wrote:
Hey nichaaron, thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

Yeah, if I got time to prep food for work, i’d have been fine, but forgot to cook my stuff the day before, so ended up coming to work with not a drop of food on me. Just was thinking in case of emergencies/lack of planning on my part.

Sorry about forgetting to stick my sample diet plan, oversight on my part. Here’s what I had in mind:

Meal #1 - 1 cup of Oats, 1 cup of milk, 1 scoop of protein, handful of blueberries
Meal #2 - 1 apple, 1 banana, scoop of protein in water
Meal #3 - 1 steak(approx 10cmX3cm, 1cm thick), 1 cup of steamed vegetables
Meal #4 - 1 banana, 1 orange, scoop of protein in water
Meal #5 - 1 chicken breast, 1 cup of lettuce
Meal #6 - Tub of yoghurt

Anyways, with the Whey, currently I take it with my oats for breaky(either as porridge or in a blender) and also try to take it twice throughout the day with a cup of water(got a shaker)

Fish liver tablets(or cod liver I think) i take 6 tablets a day(two with each main meal) and each tablet I believe has 1000mg of the fish oil?

As for flaxseed, I got a bottle of flaxseed oil(actual oil, not tablets)… is that as good?

I’ve had knee surgery in the past(ACL reconstruction and damage to meniscus on both knees) so need all the help I can get with joints. Knees are fine atm, but just notice they hurt more as I get fatter(yet another reason to lose plenty of weight)

As for the weights, does it matter that I’ve done weights before? I was doing solid gymming about year and a half back but got lazy and fat since then, but its not like i’ve never done weights before.[/quote]

ok I will also let some others feild this for me but my opinion

you need vegis,you have a handfull of lettuce try and add alot more.
do not skimp on them and make the greens the darker the better.

the whey will be best used for after you workout,when you do start.
whey is a fast absorbing protein and will help with recovery so post workout is best but mixing some with your oats in the am is good too.I would add a little eggs in the am also.

you should actually work out your calories you need a day because to me this seems really low on calories.

it seems kind of weird but its mentioned here every day.you need to eat to loose weight.

flax seed oil is great for the amount of omegas it has in it,you do not need it for that your taking in the fish oil,look into whole seeds and a mini coffee grinder,or milled seeds.they have good fat and lots of fiber,which helps with everything.
looks like you are trying down the right path with the diet but,bottom line more vegies,fruits,and more food.

and as for working out,yes it maters.
muscles have a memory,if you were an athlete before then it will be eaiser for you to get back into the swing of things than a fresh,wet eared newbie.
also you may have along with your old good habits,many bad habits.
history of injury changes things a bit too.

for you I would say no running,no heavy squats or heavy deadlifts,for now anyways need to get reconditioned to prevent injury.

I would say take what you have now,read the stickies front to back,look into a simple starting strength program like stronglifts,or rippetoes, and start light and do not try going too fast.

Uh… Frenchie? That’s not the T-dawg diet. You need less carbs, and a bunch more fat. And more veggies, as Niccharon said.

Think half-dozen eggs and a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for breakfast (or dinner, if you really like your oatmeal). Think 8oz. of ground beef (patties are nice) as a snack. Chicken salad with EVOO. Not fruit with protein shakes. Real food keeps you fuller, longer. The vitamins from fruit can be replaced by broccoli, spinach, lettuce (darker = better) and bell peppers (veggies, in other words).

The Weight Watchers meals you got are okay in a pinch. If you get there again, peanuts and beef jerky are a better ‘oh crap I forgot all my meals for the day’ solution.

The fact that you’ve lifted before may or may not matter. It’ll be easy to get to the point you were at before… but depending on what you did, that might not be that much stronger than where you’re at now.

As far as your joints, I don’t think you necessarily need to baby them, but you do need to be carefull with your squats. Specifically, make sure the weight is on your heels and that you’re going as deep as you can. This will keep the tension on your hips and not on your knees. Full squats are also starting to be used more commonly in rehab settings specifically to rehab knee problems, so when people start telling you depth is bad, laugh at them.

Deadlifts should be no problem. Your knee moves like, 30 degrees during the entire exercise. They’ll be fine.
That said, if something hurts, don’t do it.

Ground flaxmeal trumps flaxseed oil, and fish oil trumps flaxmeal. They both contain essential fatty acids, but the type in flaxseeds (ALA) has a low conversion rate into usable form (DHA/EPA) in humans. While cheaper, it’s not as effective (it’s ABOUT as cost-effective, if you do the math post-conversion). Flaxseed meal has a bunch of fiber though, which kinda boosts it’s position in my eyes. Your Cod liver supp should be cool.

CW’s TBT should be cool, but do it as it’s recommended. I don’t think it calls for quite that much cardio.

And why did you switch it to a 9-day pattern? I know your work schedule’s long, but… unless I’m missing something, you need to just do the program the way it’s written. That’s what it takes to get the results it promises.

Otep hit the nail on the head- stole my post and stated it better. Here are some additional thoughts though:

  1. I would echo/reinforce that 40 minutes of cardio after an intense TBT session is a little overzealous on your part. If you work out in the PM, take an early morning walk for about 40 minutes (I prefer on an empty stomach since you have fat to lose, but there are obviously different learned opinions on this-- I am only speaking from experience).

  2. Use google to find some Waterbury workout log sheets for excel. They are easy to find. YOu have to track your progress on that program and like any undulating periodization program you aren’t just going to remember everything you did for each lift at all set/rep schemes.

  3. While you should stick with the program, I find that M-W-F of TBT is is too much and you will feel worn down quickly. Just shoot for 3 times in 7 days- ignore the formal “week” breakdown. IOW, don’t be afraid to do Monday, Thursday, Sunday…Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday- or whatever.

I have abandoned TBT, but for a metabolic kick, some solid strength gains and improvements in major lifts, it should do the job since you are a fatty fat fat right now. When you get down to a decent BF% and you want to bodybuild, find a good split. Of course, you could use a split now and be successful but I am working with what you have posted.

[quote]nichaaron wrote:
ok I will also let some others feild this for me but my opinion

you need vegis,you have a handfull of lettuce try and add alot more. do not skimp on them and make the greens the darker the better.

the whey will be best used for after you workout,when you do start. whey is a fast absorbing protein and will help with recovery so post workout is best but mixing some with your oats in the am is good too.I would add a little eggs in the am also.

you should actually work out your calories you need a day because to me this seems really low on calories.

it seems kind of weird but its mentioned here every day.you need to eat to loose weight.

flax seed oil is great for the amount of omegas it has in it,you do not need it for that your taking in the fish oil,look into whole seeds and a mini coffee grinder,or milled seeds.they have good fat and lots of fiber,which helps with everything.
looks like you are trying down the right path with the diet but,bottom line more vegies,fruits,and more food.

and as for working out,yes it maters. muscles have a memory,if you were an athlete before then it will be eaiser for you to get back into the swing of things than a fresh,wet eared newbie.
also you may have along with your old good habits,many bad habits. history of injury changes things a bit too.

for you I would say no running,no heavy squats or heavy deadlifts,for now anyways need to get reconditioned to prevent injury.

I would say take what you have now,read the stickies front to back,look into a simple starting strength program like stronglifts,or rippetoes, and start light and do not try going too fast.
[/quote]

Nichaaron, thanks once again for your reply.

With the whey, I do take it after my workouts, but since I thought that by having it with snacks, it boost my protien intake throughout the day(only recently realised that I was on like 60-90gm of protien a day!)

Re-reading the t-dawg diet, it would seem that I need 3930 calories a day for maintenance. I’m getting nowhere near that much as that’s about 655 calories a meal!

However, most of yesterday I was hungry two hours after eating so obviously i’m not getting enough food in. I’ll increase my calories for today and see how it goes.

Yeah, I stopped running already(was having problems with my ankle and possible achilles tendon as well). As for squats, i’m only squatting 70kg(+ whatever the bar weighs) so not really heavy. Deadlifts, I suck at as my back’s usually the first thing to go. But never really done them(or bothered training my back before) so can’t complain.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Uh… Frenchie? That’s not the T-dawg diet. You need less carbs, and a bunch more fat. And more veggies, as Niccharon said.

Think half-dozen eggs and a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for breakfast (or dinner, if you really like your oatmeal). Think 8oz. of ground beef (patties are nice) as a snack. Chicken salad with EVOO. Not fruit with protein shakes. Real food keeps you fuller, longer. The vitamins from fruit can be replaced by broccoli, spinach, lettuce (darker = better) and bell peppers (veggies, in other words).

The Weight Watchers meals you got are okay in a pinch. If you get there again, peanuts and beef jerky are a better ‘oh crap I forgot all my meals for the day’ solution.

The fact that you’ve lifted before may or may not matter. It’ll be easy to get to the point you were at before… but depending on what you did, that might not be that much stronger than where you’re at now.

As far as your joints, I don’t think you necessarily need to baby them, but you do need to be carefull with your squats. Specifically, make sure the weight is on your heels and that you’re going as deep as you can. This will keep the tension on your hips and not on your knees. Full squats are also starting to be used more commonly in rehab settings specifically to rehab knee problems, so when people start telling you depth is bad, laugh at them.

Deadlifts should be no problem. Your knee moves like, 30 degrees during the entire exercise. They’ll be fine.
That said, if something hurts, don’t do it.

Ground flaxmeal trumps flaxseed oil, and fish oil trumps flaxmeal. They both contain essential fatty acids, but the type in flaxseeds (ALA) has a low conversion rate into usable form (DHA/EPA) in humans. While cheaper, it’s not as effective (it’s ABOUT as cost-effective, if you do the math post-conversion). Flaxseed meal has a bunch of fiber though, which kinda boosts it’s position in my eyes. Your Cod liver supp should be cool.

CW’s TBT should be cool, but do it as it’s recommended. I don’t think it calls for quite that much cardio.

And why did you switch it to a 9-day pattern? I know your work schedule’s long, but… unless I’m missing something, you need to just do the program the way it’s written. That’s what it takes to get the results it promises.

[/quote]

Otep, thanks for the reply mate!

With regards to strength, nah, I’ve actually lost a fair bit of it in… well, every exercise possible really.

I kinda like squats actually. Physio and surgeon said any additional muscle in my legs(calves, quads, hams, etc) is all good cause they all run through the knee joint so add additional support.

With cardio, yeah it doesn’t really say in the article itself. Its just that I need to be more active in general(plus doesn’t hurt to increase your calorie expenditure throughout the day) Maybe will not do Spin/RPM on days off training as it destroys me legs every time(so mixing it with squats means i’m hitting legs 8 days every 9)

Also, regarding the 9-day pattern, I find that trying to stick with a 3-day-per-7-day-week training program is, at best, a major pain in the butt, if not impossible at times. As I mentioned, a 9 day program or something to that extent would be much better as it syncs well with my work and routine.

If I was to do TBT but do it 4-days-per-9-days(something like what I posted up earlier) would it hinder my progress? I’m obviously in no position to have a decent opinion here, but I’d have a much easier time doing that than trying a 7-day program and having it all over the place. Hope that made some sense :expressionless:

I dunno… should I consider using another training program to help burn the lard and build lean muscle mass? Been reading through a few of Chad’s exercises programs and all that comes to mind is a quote I read here “The best program is the one you’re on” :expressionless:

[quote]trextacy wrote:
Otep hit the nail on the head- stole my post and stated it better. Here are some additional thoughts though:

  1. I would echo/reinforce that 40 minutes of cardio after an intense TBT session is a little overzealous on your part. If you work out in the PM, take an early morning walk for about 40 minutes (I prefer on an empty stomach since you have fat to lose, but there are obviously different learned opinions on this-- I am only speaking from experience).

  2. Use google to find some Waterbury workout log sheets for excel. They are easy to find. YOu have to track your progress on that program and like any undulating periodization program you aren’t just going to remember everything you did for each lift at all set/rep schemes.

  3. While you should stick with the program, I find that M-W-F of TBT is is too much and you will feel worn down quickly. Just shoot for 3 times in 7 days- ignore the formal “week” breakdown. IOW, don’t be afraid to do Monday, Thursday, Sunday…Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday- or whatever.

I have abandoned TBT, but for a metabolic kick, some solid strength gains and improvements in major lifts, it should do the job since you are a fatty fat fat right now. When you get down to a decent BF% and you want to bodybuild, find a good split. Of course, you could use a split now and be successful but I am working with what you have posted.[/quote]

Trextacy, thanks for your input.

With regards to possibly, excessive cardio, don’t I want to increase my energy expenditure as much as possible? When I work, i’m flat out busy and usually only have 2 hours or so to cram weight training + cardio, so tend to do light cardio for 40 mintues(heart rate sits at about 130bpm).

I actually got a small notepad that I carry to the gym with me and just keep track of what I do, how many reps and sets as well as weight. :slight_smile:

As for fasted cardio, yeah will be doing it most mornings if possible(bar when I get back from night shifts of course) as I’ve read that it helps.

Today’s meal plan is looking something like this:

Meal #1 - 1 cup of Oats, 1 cup of milk, 1 scoop of protein, handful of blueberries
Meal #2 - 50gm of peanuts, 50gm of beef jerky
Meal #3 - 1 cup of sliced chicken breast, 150 grams of steamed broccoli
Meal #4 - 1 handful of peanuts, scoop of protein in water
Meal #5 - 1 cup of sliced chicken breast, 150 grams of steamed broccoli
Meal #6 - Dinner with friends(probs baked fish + vegies)

Today’s meal plan looks good. You could use more fat though.

Re-do the T-dawg diet calorie requirements using your Lean Body Mass instead of your actual weight. Fat tissue doesn’t burn as many calories as muscle and organ, so they don’t count.

Lifting 4 times in 9 days is cool. You should have enough recovery in there. If not, you’ll adapt.

About the sheer volume of cardio you want to do… while it’s true that you want to [quote]want to increase my energy expenditure as much as possible[/quote], but that fat loss won’t be linear. Over the long haul, your metabolism will downshift, and you’ll need to either a) drop your calories or b) add more cardio or c) take some time off dieting.

What I’m finding to be effective is to figure out the lowest kcal point and highest activity level I can stand. That’s what my diet and plan look like for my last four weeks of my cutting cycle (13-16). My training gradually builds up to that point, with me starting with higher kcals and less training, and building up, week by week, to my highest level.

What this does is it keeps your diet one step ahead of your metabolism, so that you’re always losing fat. It also provides a mental window of ‘I will be doing this for 16 weeks’, which allows you to make sacrifices you wouldn’t ordinarily be willing to if you didn’t have a time limit.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Over the long haul, your metabolism will downshift, and you’ll need to either a) drop your calories or b) add more cardio or c) take some time off dieting.
[/quote]

this is so true
what I found eaiser is this lets do generic numbers here
maintaince at 3000 and dieting at 2000.

like go 4 weeks at 2000 cals then after that you will stall maybe sooner mayber later but you will stall.

go back to 3000 for another month you will gain a little weight but you will again stall on that too. then lower back down untill once again you stall ect.

you will find that you will go up and down but long run you wont gain as much as the fat lost.

I read someplace someone did that or is doing that I dont remember maybye someone can correct me on this.before actually trying this.