T Nation

Need Help!

Hi everyone, I need your opinion on what to do. I’ve been following a whole food, clean 95% of the time diet plan to lose fat (want to keep lean muscle during this phase) and I have been on it for 8 weeks now.

Heres a breakdown of what I have done as I started at 143 lbs, 22%BF and I am 5,3

First 3 weeks I was logging my food and I was eating around 1750 cal. whole foods but carbs Fibrous every meal and I was eating 5 meals a day, I went from 143 to 138. Weight lifting 4 days a week, cardio 2-3 days as I had just finished my paddling season

Then I started planning in advance my meals, cal, macro % I started with 50% carbs, 20% fat and 30% protein and I increased my cardio to 4 days a week.

Nothing moved, so I moved macros to 40-40-20 and increased cardio to 5 days a week

Nothing moved again so I started cycling, 40-35(sometimes30)-25, I then dropped 2 lbs and 0,5 in fat %

Took one week back to maintenance another week was sick to stuck to maintenance cal continued weight training but did only one cardio session to get rid of the damn cold I had.

Then last week, went back to cycling and cardio ( I do 3 days fasted cardio) calories are 1800 to 1750 on my 3 low days and up to 2200 for maintenance plus higher carbs on that day 55-35-10, but I don’t like those days as I am always hungry, the carbs seem to make more hungry even though they are clean (sweet potatoes, oats more fruit thow on that day)

I lost 3 lbs (way too fast) and only 0,5 BF (measured inches on my fat caliper) So I am losing muscle which I don’t want.

What do I do, going back to 40% carbs doesn’t seem to work as I tried it and when I go lower carbs I lose muscle.

Suggestions?

Thanks

Well at first glance it seems like you are impatient. You need to commit to a eating plan and stick with it for longer than 2 weeks. Fat loss is a marathon- not a sprint (with the exception of the V-Diet).

As for your macro ratio. There really is no magic ratio that works best for everyone. I would say in all of the examples you listed, your protein intake seemed low (probably why you lost muscle). I typically eat a 40/30/30 (protein/carb/fat) for maintenance and it works pretty well. For fat loss I’ll usually go 50/30/20 (Protein/Fat/Carb) which works pretty well.

You also might want to consider adding in something like Fahrenheit (http://www.f-heit.com) which should aid in fat loss. HOT-ROX Extreme is good too, but I believe the advice for a female is still to go with Fahrenheit. Maybe that’s changed? The coaches and mods can weigh in on that one if they know.

I can say upping you cardio is typically not the correct thing to do. Losing fat is 98% diet, at least from my experience and what I’ve seen. Keep upping your cardio and you’re sure to lose muscle (as you’ve experienced).

Good luck.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Well at first glance it seems like you are impatient. You need to commit to a eating plan and stick with it for longer than 2 weeks. Fat loss is a marathon- not a sprint (with the exception of the V-Diet).

As for your macro ratio. There really is no magic ratio that works best for everyone. I would say in all of the examples you listed, your protein intake seemed low (probably why you lost muscle). I typically eat a 40/30/30 (protein/carb/fat) for maintenance and it works pretty well. For fat loss I’ll usually go 50/30/20 (Protein/Fat/Carb) which works pretty well.

You also might want to consider adding in something like Fahrenheit (http://www.f-heit.com) which should aid in fat loss. HOT-ROX Extreme is good too, but I believe the advice for a female is still to go with Fahrenheit. Maybe that’s changed? The coaches and mods can weigh in on that one if they know.

I can say upping you cardio is typically not the correct thing to do. Losing fat is 98% diet, at least from my experience and what I’ve seen. Keep upping your cardio and you’re sure to lose muscle (as you’ve experienced).

Good luck.[/quote]

This is a very good post. I am in complete agreeance.
When dieting up the protein, lower the carbs (I too use a 50/30/20 pro/fat/carb ratio) for steady fat loss. And keep the cardio short but intense versus the long, paced out cardio sessions. See these articles for why -

http://www.mindandmuscle.net/mindandmuscle/magpage.php?artID=86

http://www.ast-ss.com/articles/article.asp?AID=97

Keep it less than 20 mins for cardio per session. I prefer the elliptical trainer on the interval setting. I currently get 300 cals burned in 16 minutes at level 13 of 20. My heart rate is way up there (about 180+) but it’s not too high as I’ve trained my heart for that over time.

I also agree with the addition of Fahrenheit for additional fat loss.

Good luck!

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Well at first glance it seems like you are impatient. You need to commit to a eating plan and stick with it for longer than 2 weeks. Fat loss is a marathon- not a sprint (with the exception of the V-Diet).

As for your macro ratio. There really is no magic ratio that works best for everyone. I would say in all of the examples you listed, your protein intake seemed low (probably why you lost muscle). I typically eat a 40/30/30 (protein/carb/fat) for maintenance and it works pretty well. For fat loss I’ll usually go 50/30/20 (Protein/Fat/Carb) which works pretty well.

You also might want to consider adding in something like Fahrenheit (http://www.f-heit.com) which should aid in fat loss. HOT-ROX Extreme is good too, but I believe the advice for a female is still to go with Fahrenheit. Maybe that’s changed? The coaches and mods can weigh in on that one if they know.

I can say upping you cardio is typically not the correct thing to do. Losing fat is 98% diet, at least from my experience and what I’ve seen. Keep upping your cardio and you’re sure to lose muscle (as you’ve experienced).

Good luck.[/quote]

Impatient? No I’m trying to find the right ratios to stop losing muscle and only lose fat…

Protein ratio was 40% but you’re suggestion about upping it to 50% sounds good to me as I feel better when I eat lots of protein and that was my plan for the next couple of weeks to see how my body responds.

Fahrenheit supplements is not an option… but thanks for the suggestion.

John Berardi’s suggests carbs (fibrous) only after training so basically all your carbs are fibrous, does anybody follow this and if so what do you eat and how do you feel?

[quote]barbiegirl wrote:

Impatient? No I’m trying to find the right ratios to stop losing muscle and only lose fat…

Protein ratio was 40% but you’re suggestion about upping it to 50% sounds good to me as I feel better when I eat lots of protein and that was my plan for the next couple of weeks to see how my body responds.

Fahrenheit supplements is not an option… but thanks for the suggestion.

John Berardi’s suggests carbs (fibrous) only after training so basically all your carbs are fibrous, does anybody follow this and if so what do you eat and how do you feel?

[/quote]

Why is Fahrenheit out of the question? Can’t handle stimulant based fat burners? There are options out there that are not stimulant based and work very well (such as SAN’s Blaze).
Have something against them?

Personally, I cannot live on low-GI, fibrous carbs alone while dieting, especially post workout. I use them during meals only. Otherwise my mood, energy and focus all get super low. And if dieting past 6 weeks the muscle loss kicks in hard on veggies alone.

While maintaining 20% carbs during dieting I ensure I have high-GI carbs pre and post. Example would be a Surge drink (or gatorade and good whey protein isolate powder taken seperately - pre-workout) and a chicken breast and small microwaved baked potato withing 30 mins post-workout (about 25g carbs).
Especially if you’ve done cardio with your workout!
You do have to replace muscle glyogen (sugar) post-workout if you want to have energy and recovery and be able to hit the weights the next day. Recovery is half the battle!

Also, taper your carbs throughout the day to the point where dinner is lots of low calorie, fibrous veggies with a high protein source (chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, etc). Have a small serving of plain yogurt just before bed (protein, calcium (at key time for women; good for fat loss as well) and its GI is only 36 which is low).

If you have any other questions ask.

[quote]barbiegirl wrote:
Impatient? No I’m trying to find the right ratios to stop losing muscle and only lose fat…[/quote]

Didn’t mean to offend. Just reading your post it looked like you were jumping all over the place doing 1 week of this then 1 week of that, and when that didn’t work switched to something else. It seemed like you never stuck with something for more than a couple weeks. That’s where the impatient comment came from.

Why not for the next couple months? Only two weeks on something (unless something goes horribly wrong- you gain 10lbs let’s say) is usually not enough time to properly judge how it is working or how it will work.

Not an option because of why? It’s ok if you just don’t believe in supplements, or don’t want to spend your money on it, or even if for whatever reason you just “can’t” use it and don’t want to say why. Just keep in mind it would help.

I would say no, most people don’t follow this. It would be impossible. Plus JB is somewhat of a hypocrite as he invented Surge (one of the most non-fibrous carb source out there) and suggests it’s use immediately after training. I could never live on just fibrous carbs alone.

One thing you may want to look at is the P/F and P/C methodology. If you aren’t aware of this, it basically means you eat protein/carb meals early in the day and protein/fat meals later in the day. And if at all possible you avoid eating p/f/c all in the same meal. It’s a little more in depth than that, and you’d need to search to find more info. I have somewhat, read: loosely, followed this in the past with mixed results.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
barbiegirl wrote:

Protein ratio was 40% but you’re suggestion about upping it to 50% sounds good to me as I feel better when I eat lots of protein and that was my plan for the next couple of weeks to see how my body responds.

eengrms76 wrote:
Why not for the next couple months? Only two weeks on something (unless something goes horribly wrong- you gain 10lbs let’s say) is usually not enough time to properly judge how it is working or how it will work.

[/quote]

Barbiegirl - Eengrms76 is completely correct. Impatient, while it may sound harsh does appear to fit. There are changes that happen when macronutrients are changed. And it takes more than a couple weeks for these things to flush out before you can actual count your results as real results.
Example: a high protein, low carb diet will lead to weight loss quickly. High protein can act as water expeller, as can low carbs. (Increasing intake of water is essential on these diets).
So the scale the first week might say you’ve lost 5lbs but it’s probably water.
Keep these things in mind. Try something for AT LEAST 4 weeks before judging “results”