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The Right Diet for Fat Loss?


So, some background... From April of '09 to October of '10 I lost a total of just under 250lbs. I went from 426 on April 10th, 2009 (which was down from a scale-busting 440lbs. the previous summer, in July of '08 before I "got serious") down to 180lbs. on Oct. 23rd. 2010. It was exhausting, and excruciating.

I would alternate different dietary habits... I cut out all junk food right away (I was a potato chip fiend) and eventually cut out all drinking of alcoholic beverages. I stopped drinking diet sodas as well. At one point I was following the diet outlined in Waterbury's Body of FIRE and by the time I got down to 178 I was a ball of stress due to a lot of factors in my life work and personal.

I still wasn't pleased with how "flabby" i appeared in the mirror, even though the scale was showing me the progress and I was a lot smaller than I had been. I felt like shit all the time. I stumbled across this belly fat cure book by Jorge Cruise and decided to give that a try.

In it he talks about all these suguar-free, sugar-alochol options like ice cream and all this crap I hadn't eaten in over a year. Combine this with the holidays and me stressing the fuck out over work and personal life challenges and well... i blew it.

No excuses, really. The blame is on me... but here I am back at 220lb, up 40lbs in 6 weeks. I binged. Hardcore. i went crazy on every sweet, fatty junk thing I could find. Nearly every day. It was a complete collapse of the habits I had formed over the previous year plus.

In a lot of ways I don't even understand what happened, because I NEVER had a sweet tooth before. I was the salty foods guy.. fried foods, potato chips, pizza, potato chips, chex party mix at the holidays, chinese food... that was what got me to 440lbs in the first place. So WHY was/am I suddenly craving fucking pumpkin cream cheese muffins and chocolate smothered dates and raisins and anything else I can get my hands on? My doctor suggested that this was a "fight or flight" response to all the stress. A craving of fast, simple carbs.

Anyway... enough background. The real issue I now face is, obviously I want to get back to where I was the RIGHT way, and while I want it as fast as possible, I also don't want to wind up right back here in another 6 months. I obviously need a lot of work in understanding my relationship with food and how to deal with stress in other ways. Got it.

That said, I'm wondering if anyone here would offer advice / critique of my current diet to help me gauge how effective it will be for relatively rapid fat/weight loss. A typical day of eating goes like this:

3/4cup egg substitute with 1 slice of fat free cheese
1 slice low sodium toasted Ezekial bread w/ 1/2 tablespoon of natural, chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup of oatmeal w/ 1tblspn unsweetened cocoa pwder & 2 packets of Truvia

Mid-Morning Snack
Small handful of almonds (about 5ish)
3 Egg whites

1 can Tuna (chuck light or white albacore)
1 tablespoon reduced fat mayo
~2 cups (or 3oz. Broccoli florets)
a full romaine heart bunch from one of those "hearts of romaine" 3-heart packages you get at Trader Joe's or other grocery stores. I estimate this to be about 2 servings, since most bags suggest there are six servings in a bag, and I use the whole thing in three lunches.
Then I either have 3 to 5oz. of baby spinach or 1 cup each of steamed zucchini and yellow squash slices.

Afternoon snack is usually a couple slices of deli turkey or a handful of almonds (again, roughly 5 or six, and sometimes I sneak in 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter, too)

Dinner is 1 serving of Trader Joe's canned chicken (1/3 cup, which is 70 calories according the can) with mixed veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, green, orange, red bell peppers & red onions, 3oz. broccoli

Throughout the day, I drink about 3 quarts of water, several cups of green tea (Tazo china green tips) and usually have one or two 3-shot espressos mixed with hot water (i order the espresso and add the hot water myself because it's shockingly 50¢ cheaper than ordering an Americano) and chew anywhere from 6 to 10 sticks of sugar free Trident to help curb my sweet craving.

Resistance workouts right now are a little scarce, but I'll be adding in weights next week (my schedule right now just doesn't permit as I'm coming off a 2 week vacation and am chained to my desk at work) but for the most part it's 40-45 minutes of swimming every morning before breakfast (because I really love swimming, and don't want to give it up even when I do weights) and two or three 30min. walks at 3mph. during the day (i try to hold at least 1 work meeting as a "walk and talk" just to get in another walk).

Where can I improve, what should I be doing different?

The idea here is fat/weight loss, quick cutting. I'd like to drop 25 or 30lbs before deciding on what I want to do next in terms of weights training.

Any help/input you can offer is greatly appreciated.


40 lbs in 6 weeks is some serious binging dude. I don't have a ton of time for a critique, but you are eating way too little. You've probably been doing this for a while, so your metabolism has probably slowed down. First, get serious about weights. Adding muscle mass is a ridiculously easy way to increase your metabolic rate on top of the actual calories burned during workout. Even more, the calories you do take in will go towards building muscle.

Some guys will recommend more, but at LEAST get 1.2 grams protein per lean body mass.

Bump up your calories by 100 a week until you get to a normal level. You don't need to go this low even if you want to drop weight retarded fast.


you are eating a lot of low fat, you need more fat. You also seem to be eating a lot out of a can and as previously stated without some heavy deadlifting/squatting and benching you're going to struggle a lot more to lose that weight. Also add sprinting for fat loss. Build up gradually
cliff notes
-eat foods closer to their natural state (learn to cook it's fun)
-eat whole foods (include the fat)
-workout as hard as your body can handle(allowing recovery time)
-if possible cut out/eliminate carbs


Wow! Someone else in the same boat that I'm in (or was. I was at 420 at my heaviest and down to 300 now. Ain't worried about getting lean, just moving and breathing easier). The biggest thing that Helped me was to move past the whole "fat is bad" bullshit. I have a sweet tooth from hell when I don't have enough fat in my diet. I'm not saying to start eating lard sandwiches ad naseum. I couldn't do it. What I did do was add in a little bit here and there until I found the happy spot that I could eat and stop and not want to eat 12 cookies or 2 chocolate cakes. Here are a few suggestions:

Switch to whole eggs (1/4 cup substitute equals 1 egg I think). Keep the fat free cheese for now. Look for omega 3 enriched eggs, but don't sweat using regular eggs if you can't find/ afford the omega 3 eggs for now.
Pick either the bread or the oatmeal. If the oatmeal drop the unsweetened cocoa and Truvia and add fruit instead (apple with some cinnamon sprinkled in the oats is good. So are your favorite berries)

Mid morning snack:
Same as breakfast, use real whole eggs. Or deli meats, just watch for nitrates/nitrites if you're sensitive. Increase the amount of nuts if you're eating lean meat.

Looks good actually. Do you add anything into the tuna? Celery and onions (scallions) work well.

Mid afternoon snack:
Think along the lines of your morning snack. Use both foods not either/or.

Rehanb said it best: "Learn to cook. It's fun." Plus you can impress your significant other (or potential one as the case may be). You don't have to get too crazy either and any leftovers you can eat the next evening OR take for lunch the next day. Vegetables look good, work on adding "cooked by you" meat (any kind) in there.

Check out The Anabolic Italian Kitchen http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/la_cucina_anabolica_italiana and
Chris Shugart's V-Life recipe forums http://velocity.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_bodybuilding_velocity_recipe?pageNo=1&s=forumsNavTop

for some healthy and tasty recipes. Adjust portions to suit you, but keep in mind your binging AND your end goals.

Of course the other guys have mentioned training hard/heavy. Good luck and hopefully this will help some.

Edit: Forgot to say something about supps. Look to increase your fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K) and B vitamins first. You don't have to go super duper high (in fact that may "hurt" more than help), but look for RDA/RDI amounts. Except vitamin D. That one is way to low. Get that one tested and follow presciption advice (done at doctor's office). Also looked for mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols for vitamin E.


-if possible cut out/eliminate carbs[/quote]

Why? Keto diets are very hard to follow especially if you don't cook.
A lower carb/carb cycling approach is much more reasonable.


Basically what others have said, eat some fats. Get some salmon (there are a couple companies selling pretty good alaskan salmon canned or frozen if time is an issue) and real whole eggs in your diet. Avocado is an awesome source of both fat and fibre(crucial on a fat loss diet) and guacamole makes everything better. The lime juice, garlic and jalapeno that go into it are good for you too.

If you can, switch from the low fat mayo to extra virgin olive oil or something like that to dress your tuna.

I like a drained can of tuna, a couple splashes of EVOO, crushed red pepper, lemon juice, black pepper, sea salt and chickpeas.

You need to get some serious exercise in your life if you want to be happy with your body when you reach your target weight. There is no legitimate excuse to not get resistance exercise. You can workout on your bedroom floor with nothing but your hands and feet if you put your mind to it. 15 minutes a day every day of body weight squats, pushups, planks and bridges combined with your swimming and walking will give you great results.

When you get the time buy some weights or get to a gym. Resistance training is the best cure for that flabby look.

Unless you want to look like a bag of skin when you're done get to it.


hence the if possible


Yeah, this part is seeming more and more obvious to me, too. In the day or so since I posted this, I've decided to go the radical direction of going on the V-Diet/workout for six weeks, and through the course of that I'll be reading Precision Nutrition and learning more about what the next workout routine would be.


Why do you think the V-Diet is right for you? My guess is that six weeks on a protein sparing modified fast is going to be extremely difficult.


Why wouldn't it be possible? Very easy to avoid carbs. Nobody's got a gun to your head. Don't give anymore advice.


I want it to be difficult. I want to challenge myself and get back the discipline and determination I had before I slacked off and started re-gaining weight. My guess is, after being sub-1000 in calories per day in May & June of the summer (at least), taking in ~1700-2050 calories in shakes isn't going to be the complete nightmare for me that it is for some people. I spent two months basically starving myself to get from 220 to 200 the first time, and it was brutal. This will be less brutal and will come at a time when I desperately need to refocus and re-calibrate myself before I let them get too much farther out of hand.


VT, Don't cut your cals so far down. Just increase your workload. If you wanna have a real low cal day once a week that's ok, but that sub 1,000 cal diet will negatively effect your metabolism big time.


you aren't making any sense, firstly you say that it is hard to do, i point out that he should if he can handle it then you say it's easy to do? whatever dude.....


I'm not sure what disability you have and I'm sorry you can't understand simple English.
I SAID running a KETO diet is hard to do correctly.
Avoiding carbs is not hard.
What's so hard to understand?
There's more to doing keto than just eliminating carbs.


Why make something harder than it has to be? These kind of yo yo diets are only going to lead to shitty results in the long run. It doesnt sound like you have been happy with your previous results, so why keep trying shitty starvation diets? I don't care how many calories you are taking in, an all liquid diet is going to feel like a starvation diet and your results are likely going to be on par. Eating like a gastro surgery patient is probably not the best, safest, quickest or easiest way to build a solid physique, so why do it? Just because it's hard? Spend that mental energy on your workouts and eat a diet that is actually appropriate to your goals. My $.02.


You have the Precision Nutrition why not start there? Lots of help and support on their forum as well.