Some Successes, Questions, & Data

Hey everybody, I’ve been a T-Nation reader, but Im pretty new to serious training. So some background first, in Feb 2007 I weighed 255lbs and due to some issues (a knee injury) I decided it was time to cut the crap and lose the weight. I had always been fat, so I figured Id drop something like 15lbs and call it a day.

Once the ball got rolling however and I knew I could keep it going, I did. By July 2007 I weighed 185lbs and been lifting constantly for a few months.

I started out cutting too many calories, which I think may have made me a little too carb/calorie-phobic. however, I talked to a friend of mine who was into bodybuilding who told me to eat every 3 hours (which at first I thought was crazy, lol) and that that should help and of course it did. About 2 months ago I started getting into a lot of the nutrition side of things here at T-Nation and have since been working on that.

But my problem(s) is: I have a lot of loose skin around my abdomen, my chest is still a bit flabby (kinda, its hard to explain). And I dont honestly know if my gains in the gym are good or if theyre just ok.

Now previously I would have just cut some calories and see the fat drop, but I dont know if I can. I get around 2400 calories a day (I say around because some days its more some days its less). I am carb cycling and I get plenty of protein (at least 1.5g/per lbs a day) also my healthy fat intake is good (plenty of olive oil, almonds, so on.

Im trying to plan ‘cheat days’ where I get above maintenance (today was one), but within the past 6-7 months Ive had maybe 6 cheat meals total.

So, the bulletpoints for those who dont want to read all that (cant blame you)—

Went from 255 (Feb 2007) to 185 (July 2007)
Lifting 5 days a week
Getting (at least trying to eat) 2,400 Calories a day
Been ‘dieting’ for 7 months straight, only just started to carb cycle, before that it was all low carb, even lower calories.

In anycase here are some stats:
Age: 19
Height: 73inches (6 foot, 1 inch)
Weight: 185
Bodyfat: 12-15% seem to be the numbers Im getting, dont trust em though
Waist: A bit under 32"

Average Day’s eating:
Meal 1: 1/2cup rolled oats (w/ water, 1 scoop whey protein, 8 raisins), Protein drink (1 scoop protein, some instant coffee) Maybe a peach
Meal 2: 3oz Ground beef (93% lean), 1 cup low fat yogurt
Meal 3: Salad with some meat, either chicken breast or beef
Meal 3: 1/4 cup almonds, 2 servings of beef jerky
Meal 4: Chicken breast, 1/2 cup rice
PWO drink: 2 scoops protein (going to start adding creatine now, just bought some)
Meal 5: Chicken breast, 1/2 to 1 cup rice
Meal 6: 1/4 cup almonds

So like I said before, Im at a loss now, Ive weighed 185 for a while now, normally I wouldnt mind, but Im not thining out or becoming defined as I stay at this weight.

So what do I do, have I been “dieting” too long? Should I eat more? (i think i calculated it out to 3,200 calories for maintenance) Do I keep cutting or do I try to add muscle or what? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

First congrats on losing all that fat. I know it feels great.

Your skeletal structure and muscle mass are what gives your body it’s shape in the absence of excess fat. To get the shape you want from where you are now will require substantial gains in muscle which won’t happen on 2400 calories a day or in six months. You don’t want to turn around and start gorging yourself right after dropping a bunch of fat, but you will need more good food and some serious weight training which go together.

Flip through Vroom’s beginner thread at the top of the beginners page. Most of all you need to get some patience. Losing the fat was the easy part, especially for you it appears. Gaining lean weight is a whole new world and takes commitment, consistency and TIME.