T Nation

What a Newbie's Done, What a Newbie's Doing


Hey guys newbie here with some questions.

I'm 6'1" 262 down from 287 and a max of 315 at one point. I went about this the wrong way, starving myself and diet pills. Lost a lot of muscle. Went from being able to do 19 pushups at 287 to only 11 at 262.

Since I realized this was the path to long term fatness I have changed to a higher calorie/ higher protein diet and an exercise program that involves full body workouts 3 times a week (Squats, Bench, Rows and various isolation depending on time) and a sprint workout once or twice a week.

I am trying to limit carbs but have insane cravings for sugar when I wake up in the morning. Don't know what causes this other than coming off three months of around 1200 calories a day.

Also coming off a three week fight with pneumonia that saw me getting two steroid shots and taking prednisone. I am also taking Clomid for low Testorone as prescribed by my doc.

All that being said. I have not lost any weight in over a month. I do appear to be getting much stronger and have more muscle mass.

So question is.....

Should I try to cut fat or build muscle? Now I know that typically I would be told to cut fat but since I'm coming off a few months of doing it the wrong way and losing so much muscle/wrecking mtabolism I thought it might make more sense to bulk first.


Keep working towards losing fat. You can still incorporate weight training into your workout with good results.

Look into perhaps trying carb cycling. After being in an extreme caloric deficit for that long your muscle growth should respond better with more food intake. Also for those cravings, have you tried calorie free drinks?


I have been trying to kick Diet Dew but I usually start the day with one and a protein shake plus eggs and some form of meat, fight carb cravings for a couple hours and then end up eating cereal.

How does Carb Cycling work?


look for Mio water flavoring. it comes in a bunch of different flavors and it's sweetened by Splenda iirc. you can drink it and make flavored ice pops to try and ease the cravings.

when I was dieting I wouldve shanked a fool for a cookie...

read the Indigo-3G logs and see if you can pick out any good info. also MODOK's thread and Stu's threads in BB forum for some tips on dieting down.

one thing I can tell you is to be careful with too much HIIT and not enough calories. on my diet phase I did anywhere up to 4 HIIT sessions a week, preceded by "fasted" morning cardio (walking or elliptical), and followed by steady state cardio later in the day. I finally got to see my abz, but in hindsight I may have also lost a significant amount of muscle. I'm reading from Prof X/MODOK/Stu's threads to maybe be more conservative with HIIT, maybe be more aggressive with carb intake especially on HIIT days, and to gradually decrease calories over time. even on HIIT days, i was limiting myself to 100g carbs peri-workout. ymmv, ofc. you'll have to find the right mix of activity, diet and recovery for you.


There's a few articles on this website. Here's one to get you started:


Keep in mind, the above is very definitely a good thing, and actual progress. Regardless of your main goal. Losing fat + gaining strength can be pretty difficult to do, gaining strength + maintaining weight is not a bad thing by any means, imo


The Get Shredded Diet by Dr John Berardi has a excellent strategy on calorie intake and macronutrient split.