Okay, T-Bow. Let’s have some fun running the numbers.
At 178 pounds & 28% BF, you have 128 pounds of LBM. To start with, you need to eat enough protein to protect that LBM while dieting. As a general rule, I start off by recommending 1.5g per pound of LBM. So here’s the first number you need to write down and memorize.
Daily Protein Requirements = 192g per day.
If your goal really is to drop BF (vs. dropping scale weight, which means you don’t care whether the weight lost is muscle or fat), then you absolutely, positively need to eat in a way that protects LBM. That means eating a MINIMUM of 6 meals a day. I’d recommend eating every 3 hours. It’s not a case of eating more, but taking what you eat and dividing it into more (smaller) meals.
Rule #1: Protein every meal. Protein requirements per meal are 32g. Example, a can of tuna is roughly 32g. 5 ounces of chicken and lean ground beef will run roughly 30g. Get a nutritional desk reference or use fitday.com to plan your meals. And keep a food log, fershure. So many times we think we’re eating so little, but when we add up all the numbers, we’re shocked. A handful of nuts, a taste of this or a bite of that adds up fast!
Fat requirements are based once again on LBM. Only this time plan on .4 to .5g of fat x LBM. I’m going to split the difference. So here’s the second number you need to write down and memorize:
Daily Fat Requirements = 60g per day.
Since T-Dawg 2.0 is a favorite of mine (gets people great results without feeling hungry or deprived), I’m going to start out by recommending 70g of carbs on days you don’t work out (i.e., lift weights; cardio doesn’t “count”) and 100g of carbs on days you do work out.
But here’s the deal. The reason you get extra carbs is so that you can optimize your PWO nutrition. Part of that 100g of carbs you get is going to be 49g of carbs in your Surge. This is a must if you want to work out and maintain your LBM. It’s the single most important supplement I take (that and fish oil).
So let’s see, to recap, we’re talking:
- 6 meals
- Protein every meal
- Either P+F or P+C meals (you’ve read John Berardi’s articles, right?)
- PWO nutrition (Surge)
So let’s talk about sources.
Fish, scallops, shrimp, salmon, tuna (fresh or canned), chicken breasts without the skin, steak, lamb, lean ground beef, eggs, protein powder.
Raw (not roasted) nuts, olive oil, saturated fat (found in meat & eggs), flaxseed or flaxseed oil, fish oil, Udo’s Choice blend.
As a general rule, since your carb intake is going to be low, I’d recommend that you draw only from green veggie sources. Avoid your starchier carbs; oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes, etc. Avoid carrots, beets, corn and peas, too, as they tend to be higher in sugar.
As far as working out goes, limit lifting weights to no more than 1 hour per session and no more than 3 or 4 days per week.
Andersons is right about the type and amount of cardio you’re doing being catabolic. You really need to invest in a heart rate monitor. Mine cost about $49. There’s nothing wrong with daily cardio, but it either has to be short & sweet (<20 minutes) if it’s intense, like HIIT, or it needs to be of low-to-moderate intensity (70-75% of MHR) if you like longer sessions (45 minutes to one hour). I have a feeling the biking you do is more intense than you realize.
You won’t be getting any more calories than you are right now (1700 on WO days and 1600 on non-lifting days), but getting enough protein, optimizing your PWO nutrition and backing off a bit on the cardio will all go to helping you preserve LBM, make sure the weight you lose is fat and improve your current energy levels.
BTW, please don’t use the Tanita to calculate BF percentages. The number it reports is greatly affected by levels of hydration. And when you cut carbs, your level of hydrations is very much affected. Even scale weight is not a perfect measure of your success at dropping BF.
As an example, I put one of my friends on a similar diet. For the whole month she lost 2 pounds, but she called me shrieking that she could get into a size 8 pair of jeans for the first time. Tremendous body composition changes (i.e., fat to lean ratio) even though there were only negligible changes in scale weight.
Okay, that about does it. Questions? Thoughts? Anyone else want to jump in with their thoughts?