T Nation

RE: Help For Girlfriend?


My girlfriend is about 133lbs @ 5'1". She is very muscular and at about 20% BF. SHE has been struggling to lose some BF, weight, and basically streamline her physique. She trains 6-7 days/week cardio 30-45 mins a day with 5-6 days weight training. She eats very, very clean and low cals. She has prob been eating around 1000 cals/day mostly lean protein, very low fat, low carbs. She has also been a fatburner, taraxatone (diuretic) junkie for a long time. I think her problems are that she eats too little healthy fat and has probably slowed her matabolism with too little food + too long on stimulants. I have recomended 6 days cardio alternating 20 min HIT and regular cardio in the mornings. 3 days circuit training(meltdown Type). But I need help with the diet I dont know wheteher to add cals to boosts metabolism, carbs are already very low??? Not sure where to go???

  1. Way too much exercise

  2. Way too little food

  3. Why on earth is she an habitual diuretic user?


She probably does need to slowly increase her calories. That is way too few calories. Have you read "Foods that Make you Look Good Nekid"? That would be a good start to compare if she's eating healthy. My approach to eating healthy is simple: Protein with every meal (beef, chicken, fish, cottage cheese, raw nuts, or eggs), and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. If she did that (and ate enough), she would be healthy and achieve her goals. Also, she should be eating at least five times a day to keep her metabolish cranking so she can eat more and burn it up.

As for training, I'd highly suggest she back off on the cardio. It's way too much and she is basically eating away her muscle and preventing herself from getting leaner. She should weight traing four days a week and perform HIIT 2-3 times a week. That would work better for her. Let me know if you need more info.


What is her macro breakdown? saying low carb means different things to many people. You need to see how many grams of P/C/F she is getting in during each day.

Have her keep a food log and then analyze that.

My guess would be not enough protein and not enough quality carbs at the right times.

what kind of weight training and cardio was she doing in the past?


First of all, what is she doing weight traning-wise? And could a sample of what she eats on a typical day be posted, please?

Meltdown training combined with 6-days a week of cardio/HIIT? Yikes. Okay....uh, has she been athletic all her life? Does her need to eat so few calories, continually rely on thermos and to perform SO much cardio stemming from a fear of her being too "bulky"?


ugh. i got tired just reading that post...if shes very muscular she probably needs at least twice the amount of calories. maybe only an additional 500-700...i don't know. the absolute best thing you could do for her is find a good sports nutritionist that will help her. or print out every article from John Berardi...food is definitely needed, especially carbs and fats. if fat loss is stalled she could try a lot of different things...all involving more clean food.


I'm quite sure other veterans such as Pat will have great suggestions, but something that jumps out at me:

  1. Too low calories
  2. Too little good fat
  3. Too much cardio
  4. Too much weight training

5-6 times/week for both cardio and weight = overkill. There's dimishing marginal return as you add more and more, and eventually you get NEGATIVE marginal return. I think your gf is at that level. JMHO.


Hopefully some of the more knowlegeable T-men and vixens will help you out on this. But to me it sounds like she is eating to few calories, especially for the amount of training she is partaking in. My suggestion is to make sure she is getting enough protein as well as to add more healthy fats to her diet, possibly with some fish oil or flax oil. Sorry I don't know much about womens nutrition but I hope this helps to some degree!


Does nobody read the ezine anymore?

Click the bit on the left that says
This Week's Issue

both of you read the T-Vixen Rondtable (and last weeks) and Reader Mail. There is a reply with some good likes there.



I say slowly bring up the fat levels. Sounds like she's freaking starving herself. Wean her off the "fatburners" and junk, keep the carbs low, and let her metabolism normalize somewhat before you try to burn off any more fat. Sounds like she's been hammering it way too hard for way too long and her body is really resistant to any change at this point.

Good luck. She needs more calories by far.


The usual:

  • Too much cardio
  • Too little intensity in weight training
  • Too few calories


Ike: good one,

First thing I thought when I read this post. Scary.

Listen, there are quite a few articles for your gf to read. And I mean: your gf, not you and then you translate it to her; but have her SIT down and take the time to read 'em.

Hyphnz mentioned that you could find a link to no less than three of these articles in this week's Reader Mail. Go there, get 'em. Now.

You gf needs to be educated on the just the very basics of nutrition. First thing is that 1000 calories; no matter if you're a sedentary beanpole is too little. 1000 calories is a snack. Also, if she has a fear of getting too bulky - it's time for her to wake up in the 21st Century and realize that women aren't ever too bulky. But it's usually the other way around: they're not carrying enough LBM; hence the thoughts of, "I must eat no more than a canary." Another thought: unless she has recently had her BF measured (measured by two different sources and a average is figured out), she could be carrying more than 20%. Just a thought - since fat takes up more space than lean muscle mass.

As for her training: stop Meltdown NOW. Does she perform ANY compound movements? If not, get her to begin. Just have her start on bench, deads and squats. Three days a week of weights, throw in 2-days of HIIT and maybe one day a week of cardio. Until she finds a balance. I'm just throwing this out - seems like 7 straight days of training while consuming no more than 1000 calories a day and add to that mix diuretics or thermos and you're body would go into standby mode, too.