T Nation

Terry, dieting while conserving lbm?

In light of summer coming up and t-men everywhere trying to lean out but stay big, I hoped the esteemed Tampa-Terry would bless us with a comprehensive program. Here’s my deal. Terry what do you think? I am using OVT to try and continue building mass. I thought about a meltdown style workout, but OVT just appeals to me more. At 206 & 13%, eating a diet similar to T-dawg, P+c, p+f protocol, etc. how many calories would you recommend? I’m trying to take in about 100g or less carbs, mostly surge pwo and then misc. carbs throughout the day. My job involves a good bit of walking some days, but some not so I have to be a bit intuitive day to day. Anyways what do you think?

So the goal is to put on some muscle and reduce BF while doing so. What you have going for you is you’re coming back from a lay-off. So if you dial everything in properly, I expect your body will respond nicely.

Okay. Let’s run the numbers. You carry roughly 180 pounds of LBM. I’ll go lower sometimes, but I like to start out using 1.5g of protein x LBM. That works out to 270g of protein per day or 45g of protein per meal if you’re eating 6 meals. Fat requirements / minimums are .4g x LBM. That works out to 72g per day. If you were taking in 100g of carbs per day, that works out to 2,128 kcal per day.

The thing is you carry a fair amount of LBM (which generally increases carb requirements), and you’re wanting to put on muscle. I’d like to play around with that 100g CHO number. Have you ever noticed how a good bulking diet has a fair amount of carbs? Without sufficient carbs, recovery is hampered (i.e., not optimal). Too many carbs and you put on fat. Manipulating carbs is the key to achieving your goals.

Since OVT is a four-day-a-week program, I’d like to see you carb up on quality carbs one of those four days. Take in 2-4 times LBM in carb grams. I’ll list sources in a bit. The other three days you’re working out, I’d like to see you take in 180g of carbs. That’s your LBM in carb grams. The days you don’t work out, I’d like to see you take in virtually no carbs.

So as an approach, there will be days (days you don’t work out) that calories and carbs are low, so you’ll burn fat. There will be the one day you’ll crank up your metabolism by overfeeding. But the good thing here is that on all days you do resistance training, you will have enough carbs to repair and lay down muscle.

I told you I don’t do what I do by counting calories. (grin)

Carb sources for overfeeding and eating your LBM in carb grams: Oatmeal (slow-cooked or steel-cut), yams, sweet potatoes, brown rice. Nothing exciting. It just gets the job done.

Additional carb sources: One cup of green veggies at 3 or 4 meal. You can have any “green” veggie that is less than 50 kcal per cup.

Additional considerations:

  • Make sure you’re getting your 6g of EPA/DHA. In addition to a whole host of health benefits, it has nutrient partitioning benefits as well. If you buy the liquid version (Health From the Sun, Ultra Omega 3), 1.5 tablespoons will give you the 6g you’re looking for. Take it in divided doses.

  • Avoid dairy and dairy products if you can. This is a personal prejudice of mine. I can go into it if you like.

  • Have a serving of fruit at every carb-containing meal on those days you’re eating carbs.

Apayne, I know this isn’t what you were expecting when we spoke. But it’s not about calories. It’s about manipulating your calories and carbs to reduce stored body fat and put on LBM.

One of the things you mentioned above was that there are some days you’re active in the course of your job and some days you’re not. Don’t worry about that aspect of things. You’ll be taking in enough carbs and calories for building and repair and general energy levels. It’s just that some days you’ll be hypocaloric (below maintenance calories) with intent. It’s all part of the plan.

One final thing. If you decide to test out my approach, you need to put your blinders on for 3 weeks. There are days you’re going to feel terribly bloated due to water levels and increased glycogen stores. It drives some of my scale-conscious clients absolutely crazy. Just weigh once a week; same day. The goal should be to put on two pounds per month. Modest, yes, but you’re want to reduce BF at the same time.

Questions, thoughts, comments? (grin)

Terry,
Thanks for the response. Plan sounds great, not as crazy as i thought:) The once a week carb-up day sounds sort of like a constructive cheat day. Mmmmm, caaaarbss, ( insert Homer Simpson gurgle here). Coupla questions. The green veggies carbs, are those “free”? In other words would I eat those pretty much every day, which is what I’m doing now. Also, the two pounds gain a month; is that simply switching out 2lbs of lbm for 2lbs fat mass or can I expect to lose a little more fat(hopefully)? I am definitely going to give it a shot. Thanks Terry, you rock!

Terry, what are the reccomedations for Carb intake for someone eating at just above maintanence(moderate bulk)? 2 grams per lb lbm?

apayne, yes, the green veggies are “free.” They’re a staple, a mainstay. You eat those every single day, no matter what. They should be eaten every day, but are all the more important on your (virtually) no-carb days. They provide fiber and variety, but they’re also thermogenic to some degree. Just remember, green veggies, not some other carb source.

Also, the two pounds gain a month; is that simply switching out 2lbs of lbm for 2lbs fat mass or can I expect to lose a little more fat(hopefully)?

That’s what we’re shooting for, apayne. Just make sure you’re tracking your body comp and taking measurements to track your progress so that we can make adjustments down the road. Since you travel, I’m hoping you take your own measurements (mm with calipers and at least your waist size in inches). We want assessments to be as non-subjective as possible. And having different people measure you throws too huge a variable into the mix.

On a number of different levels you’re creating an optimal environment for fat loss and protein synthesis. However, each of us has a unique metabolism and responds differently. Let’s just see how it goes.

blam, that’s a hard one. As I said above, we’re all unique and respond differently. I tend to make recommendations based to some degree on a person’s activity levels and with some information about their current situation and body comp and goals. Even then, recommendations are only a starting point and adjustments typically need to be made at about 2 or 3 weeks.

Do you want to start a thread and give me some more information? I’d be glad to stop by with my thoughts.