T Nation

Tampa Terry

Hey TT,
I have been on the forum for the past 6 months or so, and I have only recently started to reply to threads. I have to say, that I have the utmost respect for your advice and knowledge that you give to people. I have a quick question for you. When someone writes to you about advice on thier diet…what kind of info do you require from them. And what type of calculations do you use to assess someones diet? I know this is a vague question, but I am hoping you will respond and we can converse. Thanks for your input…Tony G

Hey, Tony. It’s not too complicated, and I don’t “require” anything. But the more information that’s provided, the more useful and on-target the advice I can provide.

Usually, BW and BF% are helpful. Whether someone wants to cut or bulk. What they’re currently doing with their diet; i.e., carb/fat/protein grams and calories. How much cardio they’re doing and what type of workout they’re following. That would be pretty much what I would need. I’m usually not shy about asking if I need additional information. (grin)

Thanks for the kind words. You made my day!

OK, TT, I’ll take you up on your offer, since you’ve helped me out in the past with the ART suggestion for my shoulder, and sharing your fish oil experience with me (I finally relented and went with the caps- the lemon/lime oil just about did me in- triggered gag reflex even when pinching nose and slamming it all at once)

My goals are basically exclusively fat loss right now. I’m doing Coach Staley’s EDT for Fat Loss program he posted back here a while ago. On off days, I’m doing light cardio (stationary bike) in the AM, followed by stretching out the body parts I abused the day before.

According to my weekly averaging on the Tanita Scale, weighing myself around the same time 1st thing in the morning, I’m 217 at 16.5% BF. This translates to 181 LBM.

My diet follow’s Berardi’s don’t diet protocol. Using his formula, I should be consuming 2,500 calories per day (LBM in KG of 82 times 22 = 1804, plus 500 = 2,304, or Maintenance Level (ML). ML times activity rate of 1.2 = 2,764. ML times .1 = 230 + 2,764 = 2994. Times 85% = 2,544).

So, my meals are generally P+C first 3 meals, and P+F last 3, the exception of course if I work out. If so, then I start with 2 P+C meals, then a P+F meal, then my next 2 meals are P+C (which includes my post-workout Surge), and finally a P+F or just P (low carb grow with water) before bed. So I guess on that day I’m sort of cheating and having 4 P+C and only 2 P+F. Could that be part of my problem? In looking at my food log, it looks like I’m averaging around 250g of protein per day, around 180g of carbs on workout days, versus around 120g on non-workout days (not counting fiber in carb content BTW). My fat intake also changes accordingly, with around 70g on workout days, and 90 or so on non-workout days. The fat comes mostly from fish oil caps (24 grams of fat and 240 calories to get 7.2 grams of EPA/DHA) and Grow bars (2 per day @ 8g each give me 16 grams there). The remainder comes from olive oil on salads, mayo (only around 10g- I take it easy with that) on my tuna, and cottage cheese. I do have one cheat meal per week in which I don’t count calories, but don’t gorge myself- just have what I’m craving. I do it about 2 hours after my workout and surge intake, so hopefully most of it is going towards recovery.

I’m making decent progress, having been only doing everything right (food log, religous workouts, weighing and body fat at same time every day) for about 2.5 weeks, but wanted to get your expert insight as to where you see I could improve. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Hey, Nick, I’m glad I finally found your message. It’s 'bout darn time, huh? (grin)

Okay, you ARE doing things right, and you are making progress. How much have you lost for the 3 weeks you’ve been on your diet?

I ran your dieting calories through another formula, and I like the 2500 number you’re using.

The 250g of protein is not bad. Make sure you don’t go below that number. I’d actually like to see you raise it to about 275g of protein.

By now you probably know that I’m a passionate advocate of the low-carb approach to dieting. But carbs are a real quality of life thing. They provide variety. They provide all sort of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients.
And if you’re making progress, I’d really like to see you keep things the way they are. HOWEVER, I would really like to see you add in 25g of protein, and subtract out 25g of carbs. Your macronutrient ratios will change, but not your calories. That slight change would be a very good thing.

Okay, that’s pretty well it. I think it’s an awesome effort on your part, very well done. Once again, I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond.

Thanks for the advice Terry. It will actually be 3 weeks Sunday, so I’ll know more then, but in two weeks, I’ve stayed at the same body weight and dropped a half a percent body fat. A half a percent each week would be fine with me, but who knows if I can keep it up. In order to take out the 25g of carbs and add in 25g protein, I could basically drop one of my Grow bars out of the rotation, and add in an all protein meal, like steak, chicken, or fish. Do you have any suggestions? It seems I’m already up to my ears in tuna and chicken… Thanks for your advice, good to hear I’m on the right track!

There are so many types of protein I love. If you do your cooking on Sunday, you can stock up for the whole week.

I like roast beef, chicken, of course, shrimp, salmon (canned and fresh, both), tuna, pork tenderloin (smoked in a smoker), scallops, lamb. What’s important, Nic, is that you get your protein from as many different sources as possible. And making it taste good with flavorings and seasonings is equally important. Diets are tough enough as it is.

Nick, one last thing, since you told me that you’re losing BF, but not weight, I’d like to see you drop your calories by about 250 calories per day. But hold off for one more week before you do that. Make the one change I recommended and give it a week to see what the results are.