T Nation

Love Handles No More

I’ve been doing the Rippotoes Starting Strength for a few months now (the first couple months were me simply figuring out how to lift correctly, work on form, etc, etc). But now I’m stalling with Bench, Military, and Rows. I feel like I’m simply not getting anywhere (and it’s downright discouraging).

I just don’t know what to do with my diet. I follow Berardi’s rules (suggested in another thread), but I’m usually hovering around 1800 calories (without carbs, I’m having a hard time consuming calories).

My meals throughout the day are usually lean meat with veggies and fruit. For the first time in my life – I’m full ALL THE TIME.

My ultimate goal is to look good (lean). So I still have love handles (which I’ve had my whole life) and I WANT TO GET RID OF THEM.

I need some direction that my diet should take. I feel like it’s holding back my lifting progression…which is holding back my physique progression…but I really, really don’t want to get fat first. It has always been so hard for me to lose weight (fat) that I’m kind of terrified to go back to that.

Help!

I feel you with not wanting to go back to that. I went from 230 to 170 and was feeling great but I couldnt lift for shit. I just started eating right and a lot again and gained back a lot of muscle, a little bit of fat but no biggie.

What helps it to take a picture of yourself once or twice a week. I would do that on the morning I weighed myself each week just to kind of guage a different perspective other than the scale. Use calipers also they’ll let you know if your adding a lot of fat.

The pictures is a good idea. I’ll do that. Are there any sample diets out there that anyone knows of (just an overview)? I simply cannot eat a lot without the use of carbs. Veggies, meat, and low sugar dairy…it’s just tough to meet all the requirements.

And I did’t want to jack my calories up to 3000 to find that all it does is make me fat.

[quote]luthar28 wrote:
Are there any sample diets out there that anyone knows of (just an overview)? I simply cannot eat a lot without the use of carbs. Veggies, meat, and low sugar dairy…it’s just tough to meet all the requirements. [/quote]
If it was easy, everyone would do it. Seriously though, try adding 100 calories to each meal in the form of a little more meat or olive oil, or a handful of peanuts. If you’re following Berardi’s rules and eating every 2-3 hours, you’re getting 5-7 meals a day. If you’re only eating 1800 cals a day, that means that on average, you’re only eating 360 calories per feeding. By adding 100 cals per meal, you’ll add between 500 and 700 calories to your diet, and it should be hardly noticeable.

[quote]And I did’t want to jack my calories up to 3000 to find that all it does is make me fat. [/quote] Valid concern. The best way to avoid that is to increase your calories gradually. Maybe add 300 cals and eat like that for 2 weeks, then add another 300, and so on, until you get up to where-ever you need to be.

That’s a great idea to add something small to every meal. Okay, and instead of going crazy and adding 1000 calories to my diet instantly, do it slowly so I can see (or not) the results. I’ll give that a try.

And yes, I’m following Berardi’s rules (as much as possible anyways). Feels like I’m eating ALL THE TIME. Which I really am. Every 2-3 hours…oi.

I’ll keep a detailed food log – maybe I’ll post a sample of my day. See where I can make improvements.

You get used to it. After a while, you’ll feel like eating your hand if you don’t get food every 3 hours.

Do you know of any sample diets (just a day or two) of someone who follows Berardi’s rules? One of my other problems (aside from not being able to progress in weights) is that because I’m not used to this ‘carb-less’ world, all I eat are chicken breasts, veggies, fruit and some dairy.

By doing that, it’s tough to eat a lot of calories. I’m sure there are some imaginative ways to get calories while still following Berardi’s rules.

Hell, eating out is a nightmare (everything comes in a bun, bread, crust, or tortilla).

Salads and steak are your friend at resturants. Most places will sub the roll out for an extra serving of veggies, and most fast food places have salads with meat these days. I would also highly recommend picking up Berardi’s gourmet nutrition cookbook. He has a sample here
http://www.gourmetnutrition.com/

[quote]luthar28 wrote:
Do you know of any sample diets (just a day or two) of someone who follows Berardi’s rules? One of my other problems (aside from not being able to progress in weights) is that because I’m not used to this ‘carb-less’ world, all I eat are chicken breasts, veggies, fruit and some dairy.

By doing that, it’s tough to eat a lot of calories. I’m sure there are some imaginative ways to get calories while still following Berardi’s rules.

Hell, eating out is a nightmare (everything comes in a bun, bread, crust, or tortilla).[/quote]

There are a ton of recipe threads on here and on the sister site. You just need to do some searching.

If you are limiting yourself to eating only chicken breasts, veggies, fruit and some dairy, you are going to have issues. Try beef and fish. Don’t be afraid to add some peanut butter to your shakes. Whole fat foods work great for adding calories (I’m talking about the milk and cheese). Your choice of veggies is important as well. Avocado provides some fat that is good for you and isn’t very filling.

I really think you haven’t read enough Berardi to know how to eat per his rules. Do a search on him and you’ll see that he provides a lot of recipes that are easy to make and very delicious. His chilli is some good stuff and packed with calories.

I’ve actually ordered Berardi’s cookbook – just waiting for it arrive.

The roll – the most useless portion of eating out. Good to know you can sub that out.

Is steak better than chicken BTW?

You are expected to stall out on Starting Strength after s few months - hence the name! Both the book and post have ideas on what to do next , but if any other program catches your eye - go for it.

I used that escalating density training and lost about 7 pounds while getting stronger, try that maybe.

[quote]HoratioSandoval wrote:
You are expected to stall out on Starting Strength after s few months - hence the name! Both the book and post have ideas on what to do next , but if any other program catches your eye - go for it.[/quote]

I’m sure I will stall – but I’m still at ‘starting’ strength. I’m a weakling! I’ve stalled at 125 Bench Press…which is low, so I’m going to blame this on my nutrition. I may be a weakling, but I’m not scrawny – I just can’t believe that a pathetic 125 bench press is where I’m destined.

SS says that I’ll stall on Military, then Bench…which has happened. But even after deloading, I’m still not progressing. So I’m guessing that it’s nutrition and diet.

I’ll admit – I’m scared. Yes, that’s right…scared. Scared that I’ll get fat again. That by screwing around with my diet, I’ll lose all my gains of the last five months. And then I’m scared I’ll give up because obviously, I want to see results.

you need way more fat in your diet

beef
eggs
butter
fatty cheese (no lactose)

Hmm - hard to say why you’re stalling at that weight.

However, it sounds like you don’t really care how much you lift, so I wouldn’t change your nutrition just to increase your bench.

I’d get on a program where you are progressing every week, then change your diet. You will need to eat more, but as long as your lifts are going up, it’ll be hard to mess up the diet.

[quote]luthar28 wrote:
HoratioSandoval wrote:
You are expected to stall out on Starting Strength after s few months - hence the name! Both the book and post have ideas on what to do next , but if any other program catches your eye - go for it.

I’m sure I will stall – but I’m still at ‘starting’ strength. I’m a weakling! I’ve stalled at 125 Bench Press…which is low, so I’m going to blame this on my nutrition. I may be a weakling, but I’m not scrawny – I just can’t believe that a pathetic 125 bench press is where I’m destined.

SS says that I’ll stall on Military, then Bench…which has happened. But even after deloading, I’m still not progressing. So I’m guessing that it’s nutrition and diet.

I’ll admit – I’m scared. Yes, that’s right…scared. Scared that I’ll get fat again. That by screwing around with my diet, I’ll lose all my gains of the last five months. And then I’m scared I’ll give up because obviously, I want to see results. [/quote]

Dont worry, you wont pork up over night. Just pay attention to yourself and things will be gravy.
mmmmmmm gravy.

besides I had the same problem, until I realized it sucks to be small, especially after youhave been 240 pounds, even though most was fat. Not being able to throw some weight around sucks

[quote]johnward82 wrote:

Dont worry, you wont pork up over night. Just pay attention to yourself and things will be gravy.
mmmmmmm gravy.

besides I had the same problem, until I realized it sucks to be small, especially after youhave been 240 pounds, even though most was fat. Not being able to throw some weight around sucks
[/quote]

I hear what you’re saying. One time before (just before I got married) I lost a ton of weight. But I also lost a lot of muscle mass (not that I’m muscular, obviously with that bench press!) but when I played sports, it was embarrassing how easily I was pushed around. I’d like to prevent that this time. And hey, if I can get stronger while looking good, well, fantastic!

But what I’m hearing is go slow and steady. I’ll give that a try. I’ll look up more recipes (already found some by Berardi). More fats too, eh? Hmmm.