T Nation

Spinning in Circles. Fatty Needs Diet Advice


#1

Over educated and Under experienced in major fat loss. Can someone with similar experience and requirements please suggest what worked for them.

I am 5'11" 286lbs. about 30% BF. Ex football MMA background but now in mid 30's and very out of shape. My biggest issue aside from self control is cost. As my income varies month to month I cannot always buy large amounts of meats and have to rely on Rice, Pasta, potatoes etc to fill in the calories so Low carb does not work for me.

I am thinking of doing the Big breakfast, Med Lunch, Small dinner and working the carbs the same way (very few in evening) Whole grains and Potatoes as the main sources aside from veggies.

Does anyone have a better idea while keeping the overall costs down? I do not have to go ramin noodles cheap but $3 plus a lb for Chicken vs getting 5lbs of Potatoes for the same. Am I missing a good protein source that is cheaper then Chicken?

My end goal is to lose at least 60lbs. I will reevaluate and may even try for sub 200lb.

Thank you in advance.


#2

1 pounds of MEAT>>>> 5 pounds grains and crap

Buy fattier meat. chicken thights instead of breast. Peanut butter, butter, est. If you are severely overweight eating a large percentage of your diet as grains and potatoes, It's going to be next to impossible to make progress.

don't eat out, get a better job, do what you have to in order to eat well.


#3

I keep the eating out to a minimum. Job is great pay over the year. It is the paycheck to paycheck Where I need to be lean sometimes. I will look into the fattier meats as I tend to try to only get the leanest cuts. I figured paying less for less meat and more fat was bad. Thank you


#4

Loosing weight on grains & veg can be done but not a good idea in terms of performance/ body composition

How much money can you spend approximately for a day/week for food?


#5

$5 a day consistently. I like and try to get lots of Fresh veggies. I even Garden to get them but I just moved this last month so I lost my crops for the year.


#6

No offense to any previous posters, but anyone telling you that you won't be able to reach your fat loss goals while eating grains and potatoes is simply wrong. Food sources do not matter for body composition, OP. Your body does not recognize foods, only the energy value and nutrients in these foods. You can also consume your carbs at any time of the day; don't feel a need to limit them at night. I would suggest that you choose some macronutrient targets to start with, and hit these consistently for a week or two and see how your body responds (ie did you lose weight or not). Make adjustments accordingly. A good place to start would be to take your bodyweight times 12, and have this as your beginning calorie intake. Then divide these calories up amongst your macros.

Anywhere from 1 to 1.5 g per lb/bw would be a good place to start with protein. Fat could be anywhere from .25 to .5 g per lb/bw. Then whatever calories you have leftover after fulfilling your protein and fat needs will be your carbs. If you lose weight the first week on these starting macros, bump up your carbs by 20-40 g. Repeat this process each week until you find your "sweet spot," or the point where your weight stabilized. This will be your true starting point for your fat loss phase, where you will make adjustments to your macros and add cardio as needed.

My biggest suggestion would be to do as little cardio and eat as much food as possible to elicit fat loss. Too many guys jump right in with multiple cardio sessions per week and "low carb" diets, where a single hiit session and just dropping 50 g carbs would have gotten the ball rolling. Sure, the over agressive guys will see quick weight loss to start, but they've used up many of their "bullets" for fat loss already, and will have less changes at their disposal when fat loss stalls, as it inevitably will.


#7

No one said you can't lose weight while consuming grains. I said an obese person eating primarily refined carbs is a good way to fail.

And you are wrong. Macros affect composition period. A calorie is not just a calorie. Carbs fat and protein all have very different physiological effects on the body. Not to mention the very different effects of macros on appetite, energy, and overall health which is necessary for training.


#8

Here's my 2 cents:

Eggs are cheap, if you can't afford free range organic start with regular. Beef stew is cheap, the point of the fattier meat is that you eat the fat (learn to eat it if you can't "handle" it). Try to stay low-ish carb but add enough carbs so you don't feel deprived and make sure you have enough energy to train. Over time you should be able to adapt more to a fatty acid metabolism and get rid of any insulin resistance issues (which I'm pretty sure you have right now). Don't eat out at all, bring some hard boiled eggs with you to tie you over if you have to.

Making large cheap meat stews and refrigerating/ freezing portions works really well and ends up being quite cheap if you don't get too fancy on the ingredients.
From a health perspective I think it would be better to try and minimize carb intake right now. However, don't go overboard with it because you may initially not be able to handle that.

Good luck


#9

I apologize if my post made it seem that I was saying all calories are equal. I was preaching the importance of macros. What I meant is that a carb is a carb. So, he could eat theoretically eat the majority of his carbs from "refined" sources if he hits his macros. Obviously a majority of calories coming from whole food, nutrient dense foods is most optimal. The majority of my carbs the last 10 or so weeks of my recent prep came from low fat ice cream and white bread though, and it didn't hinder my fat loss at all


#10

I add walnuts to almost every meal. Not too expensive when bought in bulk and extremely calorie dense. I also eat a lot of eggs as well. I too am also a bit cost friendly so figured I'd give you what helps me. High fats and low carb really helps me man. You just have to slowly adjust to that feeling of not being full. Also coffee/green tea throughout the day works wonders. Good luck! Currently cutting down as well so I feel your pain. Mindset is everything.

Chizeled


#11

Sorry but i have to disagree with you pwolves, i think food sources do matter for body composition, especially while trying to loose weight

Eating low fat ice cream & white bread would just make me crave a lot more of it, plus not fulfilling at all (fibre?)

A carb might be a carb for a bodybuilder, judging by your picture, but most of the times doesn't work for others without the dieting discipline

It's telling some one overweight to keep eating donuts but just not too much, it doesnt work that way, otherwise no one would be overweight

OP, i'd say drop the grains and change them with beans/chickpeas/ lentils, which ever is the cheapest

Keep the veg, you can have sweet potatoes as well, they're technically a veg

I dont live in sates but Ofal is usually a lot cheaper and usually a better idea than meat anyway, if you can stomach it

Eggs, fattier cuts & cheaper beef stews are all good idea as well

All the best


#12

First off, if diet adherence has been an issue for you in the past, I wouldn't do this. I personally find dieting easier if I save the bulk of my calories and carbs for later in the day, as late night cravings or going to bed hungry is wayyy harder for me to avoid otherwise.

Also, while low-carb is a viable option for many, it's in no need necessary or better, just a different approach. Carbs are cheaper, I'd say use them now and as the diet goes along inevitably you'll have to lower them. I agree with Pwolves, and a calorie IS a calorie. It's a unit of measurement, saying otherwise is like saying a centimeter isn't a centimeter. However, hitting ones macros with MICRONutriently dense food will be better for health, satiety, and overall energy levels long term likely.

If money really is tight, and you're really 30% BF, I'd even say eating a little less than protein than 1g per pound of BW wouldn't hinder body comp improvement at all in the beginning. Just consistently hitting something like:

Pro: 275
Carbs: 250
Fat: 140

consistently for a week or so, just to see what your true maintenance is, would give you a good place to start from IMO


#13

My misunderstanding. That I agree with. But I would caution that there are big differences between the physiology of a competitive bodybuilder and a guy who is obese and been sedative.


#14

In terms of dietary intake a calorie <> a calorie. Fiber has calories, but your body get no energy from them. A calorie of protein actually provides less energy to the body than a calorie of sugar. Calorie in terms of the amount of energy released when a food is literally burned is always a calorie. But calories in terms of the energy retrieved from food by the human body is not equal to that and is different for different types of calories. This also ignores the fact that the different types also effect things like cell metabolism in different ways meaning the differences are compounded even further when you talk about calories in terms of energy balance.

There is also some research out there showing that different approaches are most certainly better for certain people. There are drastically different dieting results for low carb vs low fat in people who are insulin resistive. Basically people who are in shape can diet either way, but if you are really out of shape the odds are you are far better off low carb.


#15

OP, I recently completed a 50 lb cut under similar circumstances as yourself. You can check my log if you like... I think it starts somewhere about halfway in.

The posts above are correct, but I think they're perhaps arguing about some things that don't necessarily matter yet.

Here's MY general advice in order of importance, it may be wrong, so feel free to ignore it:
1) Cut out the junk... duh. This alone will probably drop 20 lbs over the next couple months.
2) Eat pretty much the same protein on workout and non-workout days... sorry, there's no way around this, really. You may be able to get by w/ .8g/lb if you can handle being a little hungrier, but most suggestions are to go higher for cutting.
3) Measure your food. This is the most tedious part of everything, with the first month being the worse.... but you're making a big difference in your life. Do you really not want to accomplish it because you were so lazy you couldn't spend 2 min. to look up how many carbs are in that cup of milk?
4) If you eat clean, just worry about macros.... calories will be fine.
5) Limit dairy, bread, and nuts to 1/x day each. But don't feel you have to eat any of these.
6) Limit shakes to 2x/day

I'd say that's enough for now.. as you go along, you can implement carb/calorie cycling, periworkout nutrition, and carb ups, but 1 thing at a time. The advantage of carb cycling and periworkout stuff, is it's a good time to squeeze in some junk food like cereal after a workout.... but it's less important than reducing overall cals. Yes, our bodies don't handle all food sources the same, but you aren't at a point where that matters yet.

Re: the saving money
- Buy meat a meat market. Supermarkets cost too much, except for something on special. If you have a hispanic neighborhood around you, they often have meat markets where you can buy in bulk. Asian markets also often offer this. I get 10 lbs of chicken quarters for 7 bucks.
-I don't think low carb is any more expensive than low fat. You like veggies.... stir frying veggies or just throwing some olive oil on top is probably the best way to get your fats in.
-Walmart can also be cheap. Chicken breasts here are $2/lb and I can get tilapia for like $3/lb. Granted, you have to buy at least 5 lbs, but it doesn't last as long as you think.


#16

WOW! Thank you guys. Am I understanding that more small meals vs. the 1-3/day is better or does it matter?


#17

Really doesn't matter much. Totals are far more important. There are some differences, but for your situation it's pretty inconsequential. The best way to go would be what you are the most comfortable with. Eating fewer meals can make prep and staying on track easier for some. More meals can help some people control appetite.


#18

are you active? i presume you lift if youre on this site. if thats all you can afford, eat it. the people saying low carb is the only way to go are full of shit, sorry. keto is appetite supressive, that is all of its benefits. people seem to think its magic because you drop a tonne of water weight on it, thats not fatloss. if you are in a deficit, you will lose weight.

this has been proven over and over again. for active people, a calorie IS, by and large, in most cases, a calorie. again, this has been proven over and over, only idiots dispute it. a bulk with very high fat leads to higher fat gain, but in a deficit, it doesnt matter. just track your calories accurately so you know if youre not losing fat, what you have to reduce


#19

I don't have any advice that hasn't been said but I wish you luck and hope for the best! Tight budgets are something I've struggled with.


#20

Some great things said here. I too, have faced the situation of not having enough consistent money to eat properly. Aside from getting on food stamps (don't rule that out), there are several ways to cut the cost of eating. You say that you already don't eat out and that you buy and grow vegetables so that's a good start.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box to get the job done. There are many "odd" cuts of meat that can be had for about a dollar per lb. Chicken quarters, chicken liver, pig neckbone (there's alot of meat on it: slow cook it until the bone turns to gel). A whole new world opens up when you are open minded. It helps to go to a "poor folks" grocery store. Most towns have a nice grocery store such as Whole Foods, or Publix, then at the bottom tier you have your Food Lion, IGA, etc. Each region is different but I guarantee that yours has what you need if you look. Learn to cook these overlooked animal parts. They are very healthy as well. We never eat organ meat and marrow anymore but it is rich in things that we need. The 5lb packs in the bins in the middle of the aisle are your friend.

The other way to truly cut your costs is to go hunting and bring back a deer. You will be eating extremely lean, delicious meat all winter for only the price of a license and the gas to get you to a national or state forest. Of course there is a steep learning curve there but the payoff is incredible. Don't bother hunting anything smaller or you will spend all of your time processing game when you could be out working and earning money for food.

Just remember to think a little differently and don't ever feel like you're "stooping" to get what you need. There is always honor in going out, being resourceful, and providing for yourself.