T Nation

Tryin To Get Lean

I thought I would start a thread for those of us that are now or were at one time over 25% BF
to try to learn the secrets of getting lean.

I have been using AM HIIT hill sprints, "the winning formula", MD-6 stacked with T-2, Caloric Deficit, and a very low carb diet to reach my goal of 12% BF by October.

I am very interested in what others have done or are currently doing to reach their goals.

I am also interested in macro breakdowns and low or no carb food choices that are tasty and high in protein.

As always your opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Well, I finally reached a BF% of 11-12. I’m actually up from 10-11%. Reason being? Been on a fabulous bulking training routine for about three weeks (with thanks to Joel Marion). Before that, 5x5 and have been seeing consistent gains.

So, next week I actually am going to do the following: upping my rope jumping sessions from two nights a week to three. May even throw in a early morning session. Continue for three more weeks with the Natural Bulking Training. After that it's back to 5x5 - except the five day program rather than the three. I'm not going to compete in November, but October. I fully intend on coming in as NUMBER ONE in my class. As for diet, I'm going to eat the bulk of my carbs earlier in the day. Will not eat past 7PM. Ko and I will train around 8PM. Going to use Methoxy7, GROW, Surge, Creatine, Fish Capsules,Vitamin C and a Multi Vit/mineral. Late August, I begin boxing again twice a week. I'm SO excited! I just KNOW I'm going to be stepping up on stage in October in the best shape ever! And after I qualify for Team Universe the rest of the year is going to be devoted to preparation for that National show. Woo Hooo!

NONE of this would be possible, of course without any of the information I have gleamed from the forum. I'll see if Ko can post, KraigY with info on the food choices. Since he's gonna be my chef during my prep. Hey, good luck to you!

I dont know Patricia kinda went off on some tangent about herself but, if I were you, I would not go for cheat days since you dont have a lot of time to do this. Cycle your calories, 5 days less calories, 2 days more calories.

If there are any secrets or tricks out there PLEASE share them. I don’t want to hear, “Oh just go on a fat fast for 4 weeks.” Anybody who does that either has enormous will power or moved to Antarctica and took nothing but flax oil and psyillium fiber with them. How do you guys do it? Especially what are those mental skills you have to keep it going?


Would you mind detailing your “bulking” routine?

Gosh, yorik: good question about “mental skills” when you’re in the midst of a “lean cycle”. I find that when I don’t have the focus during that time, that all is usually for naught. The mental skills, focus or whatever is acquired over time and experience. I useto use “rewards” like “cheat days” as a way to help maintain my focus during the week.

But KraigY: Have you been on a low-carb diet for sometime already? And you know what I consider to be a tasty food that is also high in protein? Red Meat. Yum. Hopefully you're supplementing with a good protein powder like GROW.

Pick an average calorie set point about 500 calories below maintenance (example 2500). On days of higher volume training, up the calorie intake to 3400 (from example), but on days of no training, drop the carbs as close to 0 as you can and decrease the calories to 2000 or so, supplement with L-glutamine use stimulant usage to help with the energy levels and increase metabolism. (don’t worry about the adverse effects of caffeine because you won’t be eating carbs) Organize your carbs for post/pre/during workout drink and within 6 hours after. Go Baradie style for the meal types.
Meal that is great on just fat and protein:
14g natural peanut butter
175g Cottage Cheese
2 sweeteners
shot of 14-28g of flax oil. (Note: eat flax before and it makes the rest taste amazing)

3 eggs
75g cottage cheese
14g of flax/udo’s…369…

Carb protein meals that are great:
125g low calorie cherry yogurt
125g Cottage cheese
60g large flake oatmeal
40g of whey protein
2 sweeteners

Free days or cheat days are not needed as you should be eating above maintenance 2-3 times per week; yet achieving the same average near the end. I have had great success with a 25-30% protein, 10-20% Carb, 50-65%Fat.

Don’t loose it, if you have to; treat yourself as damage free as possible. You might as well have a high calorie good nutrition day than an attempt at low calories failing in a binge that messes up 2 weeks of nutrition.

And another thing, set smaller goals like within 3 weeks loose 3lbs. Focus fully on the short term, and make sure that each goal will eventually add up to what you want overall. And go progressive; as the weeks roll by; refine what you are doing make it more hardcore; it makes things progress in an upward spiral of physiological wins.

I have so much more stuff I would say but you might just think I am an idiot.

Good luck.

When I used to train for basketball in college I had a program from Fred Hatfeild II that, along with practice and a clean diet, helped me keep a low bf%. That was my favorite program. But renegrade training is creeping up, that will rip u up too

Kraig Y – I have been fighting this battle for many years. Last year I did almost 1000 miles on a treadmill but was not very successful, to much cardio. Around March 2002 I started buying Creatine, Whey and an ECA stack. I work at a college and was able to get my percentage of body fat tested…. 25.7%. I was very disappointed but it gave me a starting point. My goal had always been to reduce weight but the real goal is % of body fat. I want to get down to about 10-11%. I currently do about 4 six mile sessions on the treadmill per week… walk for 30 minutes for .5 hour at 4.5 mph and jog 30 minutes at 5.7 mph for .5 hour and walk the last 15 minutes at 4.5 hour. I lift weights four times a week and continue to development my routine. I like to make a change at least once a week… be it more weights or different reps or different exercises, constantly increasing my routine. I climb a 121 step tower twice a day on my way to work. I have recently been doing pull ups. At first I could only do three but have increased to two, six rep sets. My goal is to be able to do two, 15 rep sets. The tower has a perfect support bar for this. As far as eating I first concentrated on reducing fat in my diet and now take fish oil to make sure I am getting enough of the essential fats. I next increased my protein intake by eating turkey, chicken, salmon, and eggs. I try to drink three protein drinks a day. The last piece that fell into place that I have gotten great results from is reducing carbs. I have reduced the amount of bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice and have replaced with fruits and veggies. Example… When I eat a meal I just order a salad and green veggie with my chicken/fish no potatoe/rice. I eat about every 2 hours. I never knew I could eat so much and lose weight. This has allowed me to lose about one pound every 3 or 4 days. I have had great results. The last time I got my % of body fat tested I was at 17.5% and that was about 6 weeks ago. I can’t wait to get tested again. I will be 40 in October and want to reach my goal by then. Probably the biggest difference has been all of the information I have gotten off of the internet… mainly from this site. It has been an eye opening experience… I just feel stupid for not figuring it out sooner. Well I hope this is information you were looking for… good luck.

What I used to tell my clients who were in your situation is this. Rather then focusing just on calories and losing the weight we need to focus more on improving the long term function of your body. Sure you could go on an 800 calorie day liquid diet with a bunch of stimulants and such and drop a bunch of weight really fast but is that really changing anything long term? Probably not… Everybody knows naturally lean guys or gals who can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce. My goal would be to get your body functioning more like that naturally lean guys or gals body and fortunately with todays science and supplementation that goal is not so far fetched. I think you will find the people who’ve gone from a high % of bodyfat to a lower and maintained it without too much trouble have all used the type of nutritional and exercise principles advocated throughout this site. Study as much as you can as there is no real secret…the information is out there you just have to take the time to sort through everything.

DAN! say more man, i love your theories, they make sence, more calories on a day that u train to get a good muscle gain… sweeeet idea… keep em coming

I am not in a 25%bf range,but I’ll share my diet with you. Basically, and this changes over the years depending on my weigth and some other factors, I eat 120g of carbs,max.50g of fat and the rest in protein(cca 2200cals all together). I’ve tried several different approaches over the years, and there weren’t any significant differences between particular diets. This simple approach works fine for me. I eat two carbs plus protein meal in the morning,so from 12am I am totally carb free. On training day I eat one carbs meal in the morning and one after the training.

I don’t change anything particular in my training.I add two abdominal sessions a week (on a mass period I don’t do abdominals) and one cardio or HIIT session.

During that 12 weeks I never, and I do mean never have a cheat bite,much less a meal. Since I am on some kind of stimulant all the time, I almost never feel hunger, but I do feel the lack of carbs(carb:oatmeal and nothing else).Maybe some people can tolearate cheat meals,but even one cheat meal a week can ruin my diet.

I don’t know any interesting food choices, but I’ve seen low-carbs breads, keto cookies and stuff like that on netrition.These might be interesting for you.

I always end my diet with two days of filling myself with carbs, creatine and glutamine. What I found interesting is that I can carb up with worst possible food like pizza and lasagne for example, a still look great afterwards.

Patricia,do you practise carbing up before your competitions, and if so, how do you do it?

LONG POST. I was a fat ass my whole life and then my junior year I started to mt. bike, weight train, and eat healthier. at this time I was uninformed, that is, I hadn’t discovered this sight. My diet was mainly high carb, low fat, paying no attention to protein. I ate healthy though, avoiding fast, greasy food, eating fruits, vegetables, bk cereals, sandwiches, and I didn’t count calories. Over about 1.5 years, I went from 242 to 185. Now, last october, I was told to eat six meals and eat more protein, so I got whey. I started eating about 300kcal every 2 hours, and ate about 100g whey a day. From early-mid october 01’ to (I can still remember the day) about 1 week before christmas of 01’ I was losing scale weight and noticing a difference in the mirror. I plateaued at 165. I started reading T-mag, became much more educated and decided to try a keto diet. From about feb. 02’ until may 02’ I tried the keto diet. I lost few pounds, but nothing like I had expected. In june 02’ I started to train with free weights, as I as using a bowflex, which suck, since sept. 01’. Right now, I know I am a little leaner than six months ago, and my weight maintains steady at about 167-169. ADVICE: Eat sufficient protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats, exercise. I don’t know if I would go low carb, that is 30g per day. I started to eat healthier, and exercise and the weight just kept coming off, I’d lose 20-30 lbs, then plateau for a month, perhaps two, and then lose another block of fat. I regret that I had a bio impedence test at 210 lbs, this put me at 22% I think, and thats about 164 LBM.Currently, my LBM is about 140-142, via bio impedence. No telling what LBM was at 242 lbs. I am in the same boat as you and need advice. I still don’t like the way I look and want to lost 15-20 lbs of fat. However, I feel that since I have had cutting on my mind, and that has always been my goal, for the last two years, my metabolism is probably crap. I know you should be about 10% when you start to bulk, but I just don’t feel that I have any muscle to work with. I know that over the last year my strengh has gone down. (I used to workout at a gym, then bought bowflex when my membership was up). Diet right now: 50% p, 30% c, 20% f, 1.5g/lb protein, cals at about 2000-2200. Should I just gain some muscle for a couple months and then cut down? Also, i know some tolerate carbs better than others, like I said, I never payed attention to the amount of carbs I ate, and I would eat 3 or 4 bowls of wheaties a day. Could this mean that I tolerate carbs well and should decrease protein a little and eat more carbs? I have given this a lot of thought though, and I think the bottome line is metabolism. Sorry for long post, but I have been frustrated and have been meaning to address the board.

Hey,I know how you feel bud! I was at the same place! I did ALL the right kind of food intake weight training & cardio but for 5 weeks NO fat came off! I was at 268 lbs 25% fat. I did the calculation with LBM and BF stuff,came out with the right amount of calories,protein,carbs & fat. I ate 5-6 small meals a day,used the higher then lower cal. day thing. Nothing!! I finally said the hell with it drop my cals down to 1700-1900 a day.I try to get in 180-200 grams of protein take fish oil caps and oatmeal is the only carb I take in(except after workout-banana+protein & creatine. I have been using this for 3 weeks and I have lost 7%BF but my strength is staying up. Please dont pick apart what I have here,I did not go into detail on EVERYTHING! I do keep everything I do…training,diet,weight & body fat on a spreadsheet. I you want it Ill send it.

Since your trying to lose weight I’d make sure to kick your protein levels to 1.5gm to 2.0gm. per lb. Lets say your starting at a 200lbs. Kick your daily protein level at 300 grams at the least. Since you are low carbing it, 350 t0 400 would be ideal. This will help you retain lean body mass. Also add Methoxy 7 to your supp program

I have been lifting heavy for about a year and have seen massive changes in my physique and strength (but I am still fat). I have been doing the don’t diet plan for most of that time. I just started a very low carb diet (30-40 Grams per day) using grow and Isopure zero carb as well as myostat, T-2, MD-6, fish and flax oils and psyllium.

My macro breakdown now is 45%P 13%C 42%F using LBM x 12 as a basis for a caloric target =(1650 Calories)

My diet now is chicken, lean red meat, low glycemic fruits and vegetables, nuts, non fat cottage cheese and low carb and no carb protein shakes. I have been training for a triathlon (which I competed in last weekend) so my workouts have changed from 5x5 (thanks joel I love 5x5) to swimming, biking, and running which I plan to continue as well as early morning HIIT hill sprints until I reach my LBM goal. but until that time no more beer (boo whoooo). Any Thoughts ?

Hi KraigY. My suggestion? Drink beer. :slight_smile: kidding.

Well, I don't see anything missing in your plan. Just remember that as you get leaner, overtraining can become a issue. SO, do as some others have suggested, which is vary your caloric intake. On some days, eat more, others not so much, etc. I do know that Methoxy 7 helps in maintaining that all important LBM as you get leaner - maybe you should consider that as part of your supplement list?

As for nutritional breakdown of foods, we have the Nutrition Facts Desk Reference at home. It lists over 40,000 foods and the nutritional breakdown of each. It's by Dr. Art Ulene. We refer to it just about every day. A must have, I'd say.

I to recently lowered my caloric target. I was using John Berardi’s don’t diet recommendations and they were to high for me. Now I am using LBM x 12 (1650c) and this is more like it for me. As for Diet and training log check mine out at.

www.fitday.com/WebFit/ PublicJournals.html?Owner=kraigy

Thanks, KraigY

Thanks for the great advice! Have you tried following the winning formula protocol it is making huge changes in my physique and might work for you too.


Thanks, KraigY

Dude the winning formula rocks