Realistic TRT Recomp Progress

My wife wants a pet so badly and I know how much emotional support and connection they can provide. But they also feel like a hassle. At this point, we can drop everything and travel for a weekend on a whim. It’s awesome and a time in our lives we’ll never have again (with kids coming in the next couple years). But maybe a less time and money consuming pet would be a good solution.

You can pretty much leave a cat for a weekend and be fine, so there’s that. Not that I like cats, I prefer dogs, but they can be a hassle for sure.

There’s apps where you can drop your dog off with someone else (who likely has a dog themselves) for cheap with little notice to stay for however long. Dog food costs $50/month (at most) for my 50 lb Australian cattle dog. Get her a dog and I promise both of your lives will be drastically better.

Dieting is hard for me as well. Keto is really the only way for me to get really lean and stay that way. I just like good food. Growing up Italian with a father who ran many of the top restaurants in New Orleans food is a big part of life. I find it fairly easy to eat high protein/high fat very little carbs though. Coupled with TRT you can make good lean gainz. If diet is your issue I’d look into keto. One of the bigger guys here has been on keto for a while and has had a lot of success with it. The pics above are of me when I fall off of keto and eat my weight in carbs.

Keto worked well for me too. It’s the first dieting strategy that ever helped me get lean. The rules are so black and white and you just feel satiated. Plus the clear-headedness is awesome.

I will say, though, that I think it played a role in my hormonal dysfunction, so it’s important to get bloodwork and make sure things aren’t going haywire. It’s also probably important to cycle carbs in – I was following keto for 2-3 years with no breaks in there.

When I’m dieting, I prefer now to just be strategic with carbs. In a perfect world, my day goes keto-carb-keto – high protein/fat in the AM, clean carbs around an afternoon workout, and back to high protein/fat for nighttime. I’m currently eating 250g carbs but bring it as low as 100 when dieting.

@rise80 @bkb333

This is how my keto has evolved as well. I usually have one day a week I go heavier on carbs and my overall protein intake is much more than keto really recommends. Now that I’m going back to it I’ll be doing it that way as well.

I have run keto a few times. That is the one I can stick to better than others being that it is so clear cut.

When I ran it, I kept my protein higher also. Too long of lifting to get myself to lower it to 25% or whatever the old school keto recommends.

What you guys are talking about is actually just low carb dieting and carb cycling. It’s not really keto, even though they call it “modified keto”. The high protein intake keeps you from actually going into dietary ketosis.

I don’t recommend true keto dieting for more than 6 weeks btw, not that I’m any kind of expert or one to listen to… just my opinion based on my own experience and research.

Read the post I quoted above. There’s quite a bit of info showing higher protein doesn’t knock you out of ketosis. Dr Dominic D’Agostino changed his thought on this view as well after researching keto’s effect on athletes and their diets.

I’ve read it before. Consider though, athletes train for endurance multiple hours every day. All of the glucose being converted from the high protein intake is going straight to muscle stores and not into serum blood concentrations, so of course they maintain higher ketones to support normal vital functions because all converted glucose is being utilized (burned up) for available energy.

If you train like an athlete then my statement doesn’t apply to you. If you’re like most of us with full time jobs and train only an hour to 2 hours a day, then my statement stands.

I personally won’t carb cycle in keto because when I am on it I dont want to kick myself out of ketosis at all and have to get back in it. On the glucogenesis with protein from what I have heard it only happens as a last resort. Cant remember for sure, as its been a while, but I want to say you would have to be extremely low calorie for it to occur. I may be off on that and it could of been something else that would cause it but it doesnt just happen normally. Edit: It was extreme amounts of protein that would cause glucogenesis that would kick you out. Not an expert by any means but was told that and shown citations from doctors that I am not sure where to find now.

Your body prefers glucose for quick energy. Your muscles run on glycogen. Carbs are already in this state for the most part. Fat can’t be converted to glycogen directly, but protein can. The body can utilize ketones, but it performs much more efficiently with glucose, and the brain runs in glucose explicitly.

That’s why keto ONLY really works without a performance hit in athletes with high protein intake. They have to get glucose from somewhere. The body can run vital functions on ketones and use the glucose for muscle energy and brain function. Athletes who remain in dietary ketosis are eating a higher protein diet, but utilizing all converted glycogen with energy expenditure.

Yeah, I was just calling it keto for shorthand. It’s far from nutritional ketosis-inducing and not even TKD or CKD – just a way of eating that’s lower-carb, derived from what I learned while going keto.

It’s pretty simple for me, really: carbs improve my performance and contribute to muscle gain but also make me hungrier. So I eat them all day when I’m trying to gain weight and eat them at strategic times when I’m trying to lose weight. If I’m too hungry, I just lower carbs and increase protein and fat. This way of eating also helps with eating ‘cleaner.’

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You have the right idea padewan!! Lol

It’s funny because the people around these forums – who exercise regularly and do resistance training – are the last people who really need something like keto. We actually earn our carbs. But 95% of the US population, who are sedentary and overconsuming junk foods, could probably benefit from going keto.

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I’d say that for me, my biggest focus is cardiovascular and overall health. A very close second is that I like to look like I workout. If I’m putting in all the effort, I want it to show you know? Being “peeled” is not so much a priority for me anymore. That level of BF is not healthy, and it’s really more about gaining the approval of, and impressing other people. Think about it… You push yourself into an unhealthy state to “prove to yourself that you can do it”? Unless it’s making you money it’s not worth the strain and stresses to your body. The only really reason outside of that (if we’re being honest with ourselves) is that affirmation of someone else saying DAMN!! I guess as you get older you really don’t care as much about what others think of you. You try to be the best person you can be, and just be happy with yourself. My target (where I like to live) is around 12%-15% BF. That’s a good healthy level and it’s low enough to show definition without being “stage ready”.

Thanks for your kind words brother. This is definitely a very bad angle for a pic. I just posted that because it highlighted my love handles lol. Arms have always been naturally big but I’ve evened out over the last couple years. I‘ve put a ton of focus on other areas to try and balance out. I’m starting my house hunting / moving recomp on Monday. I’ll try to get some better pics at the end of the 6 weeks and do a before / after comparison. Should be fun and a I love putting my money where my mouth is. It keeps me honest and retains humility, and at the same time gives me the opportunity to re evaluate things and purge out bullshit.

I’m going to push the limits of everything I’ve learned for the next 6 weeks and see what level of change is actually possible in that short of a time frame at my age. We’ll see! Lol

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This gaining phase has been revealing. I hadn’t previously been on a precise ‘bulk’ where I was eating totally clean, hitting protein daily, and tracking…ever. It had always been messy.

This time around, I’m armed with more knowledge and a far improved endocrine system.

I’ve been hovering in the low 180s (weighing daily) and actually struggling to consistently gain weight (T3 playing a role, perhaps?). I’m up to 2700 cals/day without really gaining weight and thought my maintenance was 2200. My midsection is a bit blurrier than usual, but I haven’t been packing on fat — no love handles.

I’m confident I’m gaining good mass…just very slowly. I was sure eating this much would lead to way more rapid weight and fat gain. It speaks to the value of tracking everything.


I know I’m going to care more about this as I age. In your 20s, it’s still easy to prioritize other things, like aesthetics, because cardio comes easily and death feels far away (which is a silly POV, but everyone feels bulletproof when they’re younger).

I could run a 5K without training pretty effortlessly right now. But I’m certain that won’t be the case for long and this – prioritizing my heart – is going to be a game-changer in the coming years. I’m also trying to accrue mass when I’m younger because I view adding muscle as the hardest thing to do, fitness-wise, and I know I won’t have as much bandwidth when I have kids.

I agree with you about the lack of health at a certain point (like sub-7%), but I don’t see any issue with maintaining a very lean look (7-10%), which shouldn’t harm your health.

Knowing you look awesome does a ton for self-confidence, for some reason, and that has downstream effects. You know what Deion said: You look good, you feel good; you feel good, you play good; you play good, they pay good. It just gives you a pep in your step that translates to other domains of life.

Looking forward to tracking your progress! Given your knowledge and all the motivation you must have stored up over the past few months, I bet you can pull off something amazing if you’re able to make the space in your life for it.

I’m not a big dessert guy, but the wife is, and she loves it when I join her. This stuff is prime – not very expensive ($3/pint where I live), 240 calories per pint, and tastes way better than Halo Top (much creamier).

She made some black-bean brownies (actually taste incredible, regardless of how they sound) that we devoured with this.

Highly recommend if you’re dieting and have a sweet tooth.