T-Dawg Help

Was hoping I might get some real-world forum advice on how to best use the T-Dawg diet. I’m a 185-pound guy with an extremely fast metabolism and have to eat carefully to keep hard-fought muscle gains. My goal isn’t to get massive, but to put on 10 pounds or so and get lean up gradually. I’m no saint, but eat fairly clean, keep a detailed food log and train hard.

As it relates to T-Dawg, I’m trying to figure out if it will help accomplish the goals I laid out above. If it does, I’m struggling with some of the caloric guidelines that the diet details. Specifically, I’m having a hard time with the math of how you can get the required daily calories with the gram/day protein and carb guidance the diet prescribes. Take the example given of a 200-pound man with daily needs of 3,000 calories per day. According T-Dawg v2, he should eat 300g/day in protein (1.5x body weight) and as much as 100g/day in carbs. By my math, this translates into 1,200 calories per day in protein and 400 calories per day in carbs. Thus, to get to the 3,000 calories per day that this guy would eat during the “break-in” phase of the diet, he would need to eat 1,400 calories per day in fat, or roughly 155g.

Maybe I’m thinking about this wrong, but at that level of fat intake, my alarm bells start going off. Just seems off. I’ve actually had my BMR tested and that same 3,000 calories per day “maintenance” intake is exactly what I need. On top of that, I’m burning at least 500 calories per day in the gym. Thus, using the guidelines in T-Dawg, I’d need to eat 280g protein, 100g carbs and 164g fat to put myself at a 500 calorie per day deficit (for me, 3,000 calories). So, either this is right or I need to eat more protein or more carbs to consume less fat.

Appreciate any thoughts….


Hi and welcome to the forum!
Your problem is one that has plauged atheletes for all time, how to gain and keep muscle and lose fat at the same time.
It is my personal belief that you simply have to do one and then the other. let me clarify that, I think that if you want to gain mass you have to eat well in addition to working hard at the gym. And, if you want to lose fat you have to concentrate your eating and your workouts towards that goal. I think that there is a happy medium there but I don’t think that T-dawg is the way to go for your goals.

Tdawg was orginally designed for fat loss and it’s a near ketosis diet. Tdawg is for ppl like me who have a slower metabolism and have extra fat to lose or the guy who is 8% body fat trying to get to 7 or 6% for a show. So it’s primarily for fat loss. What you want to do is gain muscle. While some have reported muscular gains on this diet that is not the focus of the diet.

What I would recommend is that you go to the main page and look in the faq. There there are sub-heads with different goals. You will find that many of the diets are either to gain muscle mass or to lose fat. I can’t recall a diet designed to do both, tho there may be one out there on this site. If you are a hard gainer ( according to John Berardi) it’s likely your diet. Do a search on his name here at T-mag. I think the answers you seek are in his writings.

Good luck


You shouldn’t do T-Dawg if you want to gain weight. T-Dawg is for people who want to lose fat. I’d do JB’s Don’t Diet or Massive Eating if you have such high metablism. (You lucky dawg, you!)

First, T-Dawg is not the optimal diet if lean mass is your goal.

Second, too many people are stressing over the recommended calorie level. Like any diet, it’s just a recommended starting point, particularly for someone that has never kept track of cals (and there are many of them out there, believe me). Tailor the cals (and protein) to your needs. Many “experts” do not recommend overdoing protein on a quasi-keto diet due to glucose conversion (Lyle McDonald, Don Alessi and the late Dan Duchaine)generally recommend 1 g./lb or a little less), where others such as many of the T-mag staff, Charles Poliquin and Dr. Mauro DiPasquale) recommend otherwise (1.5-2 g).

If you’re at any kind of calorie deficit or maintenance level, I wouldn’t expect to achieve your 10 lb. lean mass goal or whatever it was. At least a slight caloric surplus is needed, and for most people a much higher carb intake (30-55 percent of daily cals from carbs). You’ll lean up pretty well with your intake eventually though. Hope this helps.

It doesn’t sound like t-dawg is the proper diet for your goals. T-dawg was created to cut body fat levels significantly.Take a look at JB’s “massive eating”. You can put on a decent amount of lean mass through this program.

I’ve been using the T-Dawg diet at a 80% calorie deficit for 3 weeks now, along with Christian T’s OVT program with increase in strength, LBM, and minor reduction in BF. It’s not a bad program if you’re worried about BF and what to increase LBM.

if you have an “extremely fast metabolism” why are you having trouble leaning out?