T Nation

Weight Loss Routine Needs Help


Hey Everyone,

I havent posted in a while and was just looking to see if i could get some help. I know i do not look like anyone on the front page of the site, but i would like to start losing weight. At one point 2 years ago i lost about 70ish lbs, and then went to college and put most of it back on but now it is more muscle. I go to the gym almost every day minus the past week because of work.

But all i really do at the gym is walk on the treadmill, elliptical or any other cardio machine. I have had shin splints from running so sometimes it gets really painful when i am on the treadmill.

The First time i lost weight i basically just threw together a diet plan basically consisting of cottage cheese, fruit, and grilled chicken and i stayed with it for about 6 months until i had to go to school and could not follow it. I also had a boxing trainer and we trained like 3-5 days a week.

I'm roughly 5'8", 220 maybe(havent weighed in a week or so) but i would like to lose a large chunk of my weight again. I felt so much better when i was thinner.

I have read a lot of the articles and i do not want to just drink shakes all day or some of the extreme ones. I was wondering if anyone knew of a diet plan designed for eating at a dining hall(all processed foods), and if they knew a beginners workout routine for a few days a week


Ok, lets start with the basics. You need to eat 10-12 servings of veggies and fruit a day. That means that you're going to be raiding the salad bar at you dinning hall every meal. Ideally, you want to eat every 3 hours or so, and have some veggies or fruits and at least 20g of protein with each meal. For fat loss, you want to get most of your carbs from fruits and veggies, so you'll want to avoid breads, pastas, and sugary sauces.

Also, you want to try to get at least 100g of healthy fats, which means olive oil, nuts, and fish. The closer you can stick to these guidelines, the better. Also, try to eat a consistant amount each day. That way, if you aren't losing weight, you can reduce your intake some to get the weight off again.

As far as working out goes, do starting strength. After you lift, spend 20 minutes walking on a treadmill or some such. On days when you don't lift, get on an exercise bike, and peddle at a easy pace for 60 seconds, then sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat this for 6 minutes, and gradually increase the time up to 20 minutes as you get in better shape. After 2-3 months, switch to CT's Destroying Fat workout and re-work your diet if you still need to lose weight.


Thanks for the quick reply. The veggie and fruit part isnt too hard for me fortunately because i am just used to eating it. For eating protein there though there is not much besides tofu in the sense of something healthier. Every other protein is fried or like deli meats/hamburgers and that kind of thing. It is just really disgusting in general, and the salad bar is basically all there is to eat.

By the healthy fats part, I was told once to mix a shot of olive oil and flax seeds and just take the shot and i thought it was the most disgusting thing ever. I was wondering the best way to get these healthier fats into a diet in these conditions.


I really like using olive oil in place of salad dressing, makes it much more edible. Also, nuts are a great source of healthy fats, as are fatty fish, if you can get your hands on them. Sardines are great. Does you salad bar have eggs or chicken as a salad topping? Other sources of protein include beans, cheeses, and nuts.

If the hamburgers are grilled, they actually aren't a bad source of protein, get two, toss the buns, and cut them up and mix with salad. One other thing to keep in mind is that at this point, even small changes will help you lose weight. There is a tendency a lot of people have to try and take an all or nothing approach, when in reality a beginner can make a good deal of progress by doing simple things.

If you lift with a focus on strength, get as much protein as you can, and try to clean up your diet some, you'll be suprized how quickly you can progress.


There is nothing wrong with hamburger and really deli meats. its protein eat up. Go get a ton of caned tuna and salmon and such. Cook ahead it just take a little effort.


So you gained 40-50 lbs of muscle? How much of the 70 lbs that you put back on really is muscle?

It seems to me if you had the know-how and ethic to slab on that much lean mass, cutting some weight would be the easiest thing you have done in the last 2 years.

How long/often are you walking? Looking to jog or run to cut weight isn't really the most effective way to go about it. Check out Complexes, Tabata, Hiit, or just stick with incline treadmill walking. These used consistantly, weight training, and a good diet will always result in weight loss.

So you burned more calories than you took in? You also had a decent protein intake coupled with weight training? Alright, let's uh.... do that again? This time, do a little research and prep into creating a more healthy and effective diet.

  1. Work Hard.
  2. Burn more than you eat.
  3. Keep the lean mass gains in mind.
  4. Don't let uncontrollable events in your life turn into excuses for letting yourself go. Adapt! There is always a way.

Others here will recommend you keep the current caloric intake, but with more balanced and effective macronutrient numbers and start pouring on the lean mass through some serious lifting. This will effectively lower your overall body fat %, build strength and size, and will increase the rate of metabolism.

Good luck!