T Nation

Newbie Diet/Workout Question


Ok. I am new to the board, and I have read all the newbie stuff. It didnt quite answer my question, so I am going to throw it out there (please bear with me).

I joined a gym this summer, and they routinely have a 12 week/90 day challenge similar to "the biggest loser". That is, they make teams of 5, have mandatory 3 times a week workout, and the team to lose the highest bodyfat percentage at the end of the period wins $1000. We have a bodpod on site, so that takes care of the discrepancy between weight loss and fat loss.

I initially had started with the first phase of p90x nutrition (i have read, please dont kill me for mentioning p90x lol), which was protein/carb/fat ratio of 50/30/20. I had used that for about a month along with a fat loss work program by alwyn cosgrove (nrol - squats, deadlifts, inefficiency, etc).

Within 4 weeks, I gained 10 lbs. What is crazy is that I used to go drink 3-4 times a week ( i played in a billiards league and would be up at the pool hall practicing/drinking), and now its 3 times a month. That coupled with taking all the pizza/spaghetti/chef boyardee crap out of my diet, I am really scratching my head on the weight gain.

Now, I understand that there is some muscle gain, as my weights have gone up each time I go into the gym. I feel better, I look better, and I am happy with making strength gains. However, I was at 29.4% bodyfat, and the goal here is to decrease that.

I switched over to a paleo/carb cycling diet (6 days on/ 1 day refeed), but I can't honestly comment yet because it has only been 5 days. Then again, I have 8 weeks left in the competition. I will have another bodpod composition test in two weeks, which will let me know what's been going on.

So my question is, does jumping ten pounds in 3-4 weeks make sense? I didnt work out for years prior to this, and I have always stayed in certain weight ranges. 4 weeks ago I was 6'4 and 194, now I am 204. I will always stay within a pound or two of my range, months- years at a time. So something so dramatic is really unusual, and is definitely not me eating worse. Ideas?


is it common? not really but its not unbelievable either

i would stick with what ever you were doing if muscle gain was your main priority. this "paleo" diet you're doing will probably make you lose more fat than the other one though - if you want to win the comp...

either way you'll probably add some muscle and lose some fat over the course of the competition.


I do want to gain muscle, in the long run. Although I have done a lot of reading, I am new to really using a gym. Last time I worked out regularly, it was a bunch of isolation exercises on machines, and my diet was piss poor, so I never really got far with it. I will stick with this diet for at least the next six months, as I don't see any inherent problems with it (although I may add some carbs as I lose fat ). I was just really surprised by such a big jump, especially since I now hover at that weight rather than the previous weight.

Thanks for the reply -


post your diet.

we may be able to help you


well, I am now doing a form of paleoish diet. Basically - I do 3eggs+2whites 3x daily, 2 protein shakes daily (possibly an extra one peri workout - with carbs). I do 5-6 meals a day, i just make up a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, mix it with a can of mushrooms and a can of beans, and use this as the base for a meal, for which I add some protein (fish, chicken, beef, etc). 1 day weekly I have prelunch diet as normal, but go heavy carb/calorie for lunch and dinner. Like I said, I switched over to this only five days ago, so I am not expecting it to have done miracles yet. Before August, I was eating decent, but sedentary, lots of carbs, and drinking 3-4 times a week (a night of drinking would be 1200-2000 calories depending on if/what I ate afterwards). I know my diet was better, but if I can't lose on this, I will be very frustrated!


so how many calories would that be and grams each of carbs/fats/protein - not including green veggies/mushrooms?


From what I had read (4 hour body), under this diet you really didnt have to count. I just eat until I feel full. The egg mixtures are running at 300 calories, the shakes are at 225 (post workout - 275), and then its 4-6 oz of lean meat with the veggie/mushroom/legumes. I know that I am getting at least .8-1g or protein per lb, I will have to do some calculating though on the other part.

The initial diet had me around 3000-3200 calories. I read a lot of mixed messages on whether to calculate calories based on weight or lean mass. Most of y'all on here are operating at a much leaner mass, so maybe those numbers wouldnt be that much different as they are for me at the moment.


I will repost in a few what it breaks down to, thanks for your help!


If I had 8 weeks and wanted to drop the most weight possible to win a competition...
I would do the V-Diet.
The V-Diet will cure you of some bad eating habits and give your fat lose a swift kick in the...


The veggie/legume/mushroom mixture is about 660 calories, and I end up eating about one of those daily. I will add either a tilapia filet (93cal), can of tuna (289cal), 4oz of chicken (100g) or whatever meat my gf has cooked up.

So a day looks like:

morning - eggs (300 cal), v8 6oz (37.5cal)
breakfast - 1/4 mixture (165cal), 2 tilapia fillets (190cal)
mid morning - protein shake (225)
lunch eggs (300 cal)
mid afternoon 1/4 mixture (165cal), tuna (140cal)
somewhere in afternoon - protein shake (225)
dinner - fajita burrito - beans, lettuce, beef fajita, pico de gallo, (465cal)
side of guacamole(3oz/110cal)
before bedtime - eggs (300cal), spoonful of pb (100cal)

non workout days - 2981.5
workout days - 3256.5
If it is a workout day, there is an extra recovery drink at 275 calories.

protein - 247g --988 calories
fat 103g --927 calories
carbs 61g --244 calories
veggie/bean carbs 80g --320 calories

protein 40% fat 37.5% carbs 22%(coming most from vegetables and legumes).


count carbs in bean minus the fiber.

for the sake of the competition, yeah the v-diet should work (although i see no reason why you cant do it with whole foods) or you can check out the anabolic diet - which is a little less drastic but if youre consistent with either you will drop a good amount of fat

oh and V8 is ghey...