T Nation

Nutrition and Macronutrient Diet

Hello All!

Wondering if you guys could give me some advice on my diet plan and macronutrient breakdown. I am 23 years old and 5’10 and 162 pounds. I workout using circuit training for about an hour 5-6 days per week. I suffer from low testosterone at the age of 23 which is a bit weird.

Monday: Back & Shoulder w/ jump rope after everything
Tuesday: Barbell complex & Bi’s and Tri’s
Wednesday: Legs & Chest accessory exercises w/ battle ropes after each set
Thursday: Full body Rowing Circuit
Friday: Shoulders and Back w/ cardio in between
Saturday: Chest & Legs w/ cardio in between
Sunday: off

I am looking to gain some muscle and fat as I have been measured at 3% body fat by a nutritionist using calpers and underwater measurement.

The nutritionist suggested I eat 3,000 calories per day with a macronutrient breakdown of:
Fat: 40% 133 grams
Protein: 15%112 grams
Carbs: 45% 337 grams

Currently, I am eating around 2,500 calories per day and have a breakdown of:
Fat: 25% 70 grams
Protein: 32% 200 grams
Carbs: 43% 270 grams

What have you guys experienced? Am I eating enough based on my activity level?

Appreciate any insight you may have.

Low Testosterone

Precisely, how did you determine that you have Low Testosterone? Did you have lab work done?

Your Body Percentage Is NOT 3%!

The “nutritionist” did not correctly measure you correctly.

Men cannot live at percentage below approximately 3.5%. Pro Bodybuilder obtain readings that low but ONLY for short periods.

Low testosterone levels are associated with extremely low body fat percentages. Thus, if you have lab work that shows your testosterone level is low, a low body fat percentage is most like one of the primary causes.

Caliper Protocol Criteria

There is a definite method used with calipers. A knowledgeable technician can obtain a “Ball Park” Body Fat Percentage on most individuals.

The protocol mandates that the technician use a tape measure and pen. Each site is measured and marked with a pen to ensure the correct spot is measured.

That is the first clue in determining IF the individual measuring you is qualified.

Individuals who do not follow the above protocol don’t know what they are doing.


I question if you have a REAL “Nutritionist”. The ONLY individual who can Legally write a Diet Plans is a Registered Dietitian or a Medical Doctor.

Ironically, Medical Doctor have virtually NO nutrition education.

Many individuals claim to be “Nutritionist” because they took some online course. However, they are not Legal Nutritionist.

That means…

  1. They may or may not know what they are talking about.

  2. The can be sued for writing diet and prescribing nutrition information to be followed.

3,000 Kcal Per Day

How did the “Nutritionist” come up with this number???

One of the keys to gaining or losing weight is…

The Three Day Recall

  1. Count the number of calories you consume in a three day period. One of those days need to be a weekend day, when you eating pattern changes.

  2. Add the three days up, then divide by three to determine you “Average Daily Caloric Intake.”

  3. To gain weight, you then need to increase you “Daily Caloric Intake” by approximately 20% (Research Drs John Ivy and Layne Norton).

A 20% increase in daily caloric intake ensures a greater percentage of muscle is gained vs body fat, providing you have a well written training progrm.

Consuming “Mega Calories” leads to ggreater gains in body fat.

[quote]Fat: 40% 133 grams

Protein: 15%112 grams

Carbs: 45% 337 grams[/quote]


The percentages are acceptable.

Each meal needs to contain approximately 30 gram of quality protein (meats and/or dairy). Research shows that around 30 gram of protein per meal trigger muscle growth.

2,500 Kcal Per Day

If you’re currently consuming 2,500 kcal per day, increasing it to 3,000 would makes sense. Going from 2,500 to 3,000 would be an increase of 20%.

[quote]Fat: 25% 70 grams

Protein: 32% 200 grams

Carbs: 43% 270 grams[/quote]

The percentage are in the acceptable range.

Low T

IF you really have Low Testosterone, increasing muscle is more difficult.

IF your body fat percentages is low (it’s NOT 3%!), increasing your body fat percentage will increase your testosterone level.

Research has demonstrated that Bodybuilder’s testosterone levels drop like a rock when they drop down to around 3% body fat.

Research demonstrated in one case study that after the contest was over, it took around three month for the Bodybuilder’s testosterone level to return to normal levels after increasing their body fat percentage.

Only “Starving Ethiopian” live and maintain body fat percentages of 3%; the quality of their heath is poor and their longevity is low.

[quote[Am I eating enough based on my activity level?[/quote]

Daily Caloric Intake Calculators

…have NO value.

The Three Day Recall Diet is the most effective, practical method. That is your “Yard Stick” for weight gain or loss.

  1. To gain weight, Increase your Daily Caloric Intake by 20%.

  2. To lose weight Decrease you Daily Caloric intake by 20%

  3. To maintain your weight, maintain your present caloric intake.

Kenny Croxdale


Hi Kenny!

Thanks for the detailed response. I appreciate it.
I have been dealing with low testosterone for about a year now. I have had numerous blood tests and was on clomid and arimidex for 6 months without any success in raising my testosterone levels. I am now on novarel injections 3 times per week.

I had no libido, lethargic , mental fog, no motivation, no morning wood. Basically my manhood has been taken from me.

I got my blood work done and my total testosterone was 32 n! I got it done several times and the highest it has been is 100. My LH and FSH are negligible and I have no sperm production.

Here are a few pictures. And the nutritionist I saw is a registered dietitian who has experience with body builders and athletes. I am also a collegiate basketball player.

Appreciate any feedback you may have.

If you are not putting weight on then no, you’re not eating enough. Start at 3000, if you’re not adding 1-2lbs per week then add a bit more food.

If you’re putting over that amount of weight on then dial it back a bit.

If you’re going to be lifting 5-6 days per week, you may want to look at a bit more protein.

  1. Have you always been super lean or have things changed recently?
  2. How long have you been doing your training consistently? When did you take a break last (week off?)
  3. Have you had a fasting blood sugar test? If so, what are the results.
  4. Is there any reason to believe that you had low T growing up, aside from the current test? (Being 5-10 and 162 suggests that you had fairly normal development.)
  5. With your current calories, what actual foods do you eat in a week? Do you abstain from meat, eggs or dairy?
  6. Have you had low blood pressure or light headedness?
  7. Is there a family history of autoimmune disease?
  8. Do you feel that you have normal libido?
  9. Have you had a testicular exam?
  10. How is your sleep quality?
  11. Have you ever had cortisol levels checked?
  12. Do you happen to know your cholesterol levels?

Just a few points so far.
You may be extremely low bodyfat, but most regression equations only go down to about 3.5-6.5% so you could basically be bottoming out on the test, but not necessarily below 6.5%. That is still a big problem but it means that you are carrying over 150 pounds of non-fat bodyweight on a 5-10 frame which is above average. Also, there are really 2 explanations for pathologically low body fat. One is enzymatic (which could be purely genetic, or nutrition based) and the other is hormonal (which could be autoimmune related, nutritional, environmental, disease related and likely only partially genetic). I think that the first assumption would be that your low body fat levels are causing your low testosterone and also that you have not always had low T, but if you have always been super lean, that may change my mind on that.

I have always been pretty lean. I grew up playing sports and played basketball in college so I have always been active.
I have been training consistently for as long as I can remember. I have not really taken a week off in a long long time.

There is no reason to believe I have had low testosterone my whole life as I had libido and was sexual active but the past year i have had no interest or desire in sexual activity. I have lost motivation, mental fog, depression and lethargic all the time.

Currently I am eating around 2,500 calories per day with roughly 270 grams of carbs, 200 grams of protein and 80 grams of fat.

I eat a lot of chicken breast, pork loin, turkey, lean ground beef, fish.
I also have greek yogurt, peanut butter toast and fruit as my snacks.
I eat a lot of vegetables and I mean a lot.
2 eggs in the morning whole 4 egg whites.

Breakfast: 2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
100 grams of vegetable (Brocooloi, cauliflower
100 grams of vegetable,(zuchini, eggplant, brussel sprouts)
Bed of steamed spinach or kale
50 grams of avocado
Bell pepper

Lunch & Dinner
5-6 oz protein
Large portion of carbs (Quinioa, brown rice, beans, sweet potato, barley_
Roughly 35-40 grams of carbs from above
100 grams vegetables
50 avocado
bed of steamed spinach or kale.

Snacks: greek yogurt, toast, peanut butter, fruit

I also feel as if my low body fat is causing these issues.
I have my blood test tested numerous times over the past year and the highest I have been is 100 ng.

I just started HCG injections since clomid and arimidex did not work. I was on 100 mg of clomid everyday and had no success.

What was under 100 ng?

Any talk of LADA (late onset type 1 diabetes) or addison’s

My testosterone.
They checked addisons and did a MRI on my pituitary gland and that came back clean.
My doctor, urologist and endocrinologist have not said anything about late onset diabetes.

How many IU’s of Novarel per week? If you are doing HCG mono therapy, it can take quite a lot to raise T in some men, up to 9,000 IU’s per week. Men that I know who are on TRT do a lot better with T at 100 mg and HCG at 1,000 to 3,000 IU per week (of course with a competent urologist).