T Nation

Math Doesn't Add Up!

OK so I am finally getting offf my lazy fat ass and starting to log my food. I was going to try and follow the 2.0 version of the T-Dawg diet but in figuring out my daily breakdown of calories the math was not adding up. I weigh in at 220lbs so I figure my coloric intake should be in the neighborhood of 3300cal. If I follow the 1.5 grams protein per pound of bodyweight I get to eat 330g/1320cal of protein. If i also allow myself to eat the 100g of Carb a day then I get to eat 400cal of Carbs. Add these two together and you only get 1720cal. Where is the rest supposed to come from? I cannot see eating almost 1600 calories from fat to make up the lost calories??? Someone explain this to me I want to be able to take my shirt off when I go to the beach in two months…


You can and will get a lot of calories from fat, remember it’s 9 calories per gram for fat. On the other hand, if your goal is weight loss then I would do on of two things: You can figure your body fat % (close estimate) and then figure your Lean Body Mass (lbm) by taking fat % (move decimal two places left) times weight. That gives you your fat mass, subtract that from your body weight to get your LBM and then figure calories off that. Or, you can project what weight you are shooting for and figure calories off that. Good luck!

Well, first off, you’re not subtracting 500 cals. You can start there if you want; you don’t have to do the break-in week thing. Subtract it now.

Second, this is exactly why we said these things are individual and only you can figure it out. Start somewhere and adjust. There’s no easy way around it. Much depends on how fat you are, which is why some suggest to go by LBM. Problem is most people won’t go figure that out and if they do, they usually guess way off or use a poor form of testing so the number is really wrong anyway. (Or more popular, keep getting their bodyfat tested by different means until they get a number their egos can live with.) Hence our plain old bodyweight suggestions. It gives you a place to start, it’s easy to do, and the rest is up to you.

And as we’ve seen, even super scientific and drawn out formulas can be off. Most agree that Berardi’s Massive Eating/Don’t Diet numbers are way too high, in spite of the complex formula. So why even go complex? It’s all going to come down to experimentation anyway.

On a side note, it’s my observation that most people aren’t happy on a diet unless they’re starving and miserable. No wonder the Fat Fast is so popular. It doesn’t have to be that way. I think more people would be happy with the T-Dawg if we said to eat 900 calories a day. That way they’d feel like hell, starve, lose “weight” rapidly, have terrible workouts, regain all the fat, and shit once a month. Just like a real diet is supposed to be. [Mini-rant over.]

A closing tip: It’s okay to start a diet with too many calories. Just improving food selection will go a long way. Starting with too many is better than starting with too few. This is about long term health and looking good naked, not an ego satisfying but ultimately unsuccessful diet where you gain it all back. Leave that to the sheep.

Chris sorry if you got the impression that I was worried about the amount of calories. Quite the contrary, I am more worried about the amount of fat because I have a family history of heart disease. Yes I know that that only pertains to a few of the available fats and if I watch myself then I should be able to get the 1500-1600cal from fat without causing too much trouble to my system. I just wanted to make sure that I had the calculations correct as this is the first time I have tried anything like this. Admittedly I could stand to lose 20-30 pounds so the T-Dawg is the beginning of trying to look good nekid :slight_smile: I figured i would start today in just logging what I am eating when I think i am eating clean and then make some decisions from there. I already know that my protein intake is way too low and my carb intake is way too high. So i will probably start on Sunday by bring these two items closer to what you suggest in T-Dawg 2.0. I have a goal of getting to 199lbs by March 10th.

By the way, I love the mag. I had all but given up on Fitness magazines because I felt that the writing style and the articles were poorly written. I stumbled across your website 2 months ago and it has radically changed my view towards training and eating. So Thanks!

Some pros and cons about fat:

Pros: When you eat more fat, you are more satisfied more quickly. Fat doesn’t mess with your insulin levels too much. Energy levels are more constant with more fat in the diet. Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for good health. Fats help you make Testosterone. Mediterrianians eat more fat and have less heart disease.

Cons: Fat is more cheaply stored by the body as fat (in terms of calorie expenditure) than either carbohydrate or protein. Saturated fat and trans-fatty acids are bad for you in terms of blood lipid content.

Soution? Stick to polyunsaturated (especially Omega 3) and monounsaturated fats. They'll lower your risk of heart disease.


Hi, Marcus. I know you have concerns about fat because of family history, but odd as it may sound, that’s the exact reason you should be taking in GOOD fats; i.e., monounsaturated fat like olive oil, flaxseed oil and fsih & fish oil.

Omega 3 fatty acids reduce platelet stickiness, reduce inflammation, risk for CHD and stroke, reduce cholesterol levels. Reducing carbs will reduce triglyceride levels.

Eat lean, low-fat meat and supplement with flaxseed oil and salmon. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, this is a topic you need to be reading up on. T-Dawg & Omege 3 fatty acid supplementation (in conjunction with reducing your saturated fat intake) is just about the best insurance you could take out for your heart.

One last thing, when you reduce the number of calories you take in from carbs, you have to go up in fat. If all you do is reduce carbs and keep protein and fat intake the same, you'll be suffering from extreme calorie deprivation, which will result in severe muscle loss. Think of fat and carbs as a see-saw. When one goes up, the other has to go down. Otherwise you're going to put on some serious fat mass.

Best of luck to you, Marcus!!!

I think chris meant for you to drop those 500 calories from fat sources. Still, it is a fat diet so yes you’ll be getting a lot of fat.

Thanks everyone. I will start taking some Omega-3 supplement capsules. I already eat a lot of tuna and salmon. More so recently since my doctor is threatening cholesterol and blood pressure medication. And i am only 29! I am going to ask him to give me till march and between now and then going to get my body weight down and do more cardio. I had been focusing alot on the heavy lifting and feel as if I have added significant muscle mass in the past 3 months(muscle memory is a great thing!). i am getting back on the horse after laying off for a couple of years. I have added 50 pounds in the past 5 years and would love to see some of that come off without losing too much of the muscle mass that I have gained. But between eating clean and supplementing with some good oil and losing the weight through excercise i think I can turn this barge around!!!



One more thing–obesity causes 1/2 a million deaths per year–just by losing the extra fat, you’ll reduce your risk for heart disease. So make it happen.
Good luck to you.


…those deaths are, of course, in the USA.


Marcus, a bit late but anyway. My BP was also being monitored because it was a little on the high side, and I am only 27. I was not obese, just a bit “chubby” around my hips and legs. In my case, dropping 20 lbs normalized my blood pressure. My “high” (systolic? diastolic?) pressure is a bit too high still, but the low pressure is the one that actually kills your heart. So what I’m saying is that the temporary stress that T-dawg might put on your heart should be well offsetted by the fact that you are dropping weight. Of course, monitoring your BP and cholesterol is always a good thing. But flax and fish oils that are an integral part of T-dawg should counteract the saturated fats you get from other sources.