T Nation

What Am I Doing Wrong to Get Lean?

Been lifting for 3 years. Started super fat 280 pounds and got down to about 165. About 13-15% Body fat. From there I started powerlifting and eating heavy got to 230 about 16-20% body fat, cut to 215, about 14-16%. From here I bulked again (ik way to extreme) but got up to 260 at my heaviest was hitting awesome new PRs, I cut down to 230 about 15-17% Body fat. And no matter how hard I try I just cannot get under that 14% mark and have abs and good definition. Wondering if someone can give me some tips to change diet differently. Here’s what I have tried and what I am currently doing since I have been stuck at 230.

I’ve tried just eating low cal good set of macros I forget exact numbers but around 300ish carbs 260 protien and 60 fat 2600 calories, tried carb cycling at same calories no results. Now I’m about 3600 calories and feel great gaining strength and size but no body fat change in months. All my nutrition programs were done by professionals and followed to the exact. Never cheat on my diet. All these diets I’ve tried I’ve been to to nutritionist and professionals to have my diet figured out and no results I can’t see the problem. Training is 100% there. I power lift 6 days, for cardio I do conditioning such as yoke sled or tires. I’m drenched in sweat and exhausted at the end. I have vegetables every meal, lean protien, white rice or whole grain pasta as my carb sources. Cannot see where my issue is. Trying to find some outside advice

You are eating at or above maintenance. Your body is not special if you are not losing you are eating too much.


I’ve had my macros done though. I was eating 600 below maintance for months and was not working that’s why I upped it to just maintenance.

I can’t eat any less than what I was eating before I was starving all day at 2600 calorie

Be aware calculating your macros on a website is a rough estimate, it’s not a guarantee. The only way to know what works and what doesn’t is to try things, take data (pictures, weight log, etc.) and see what’s effective. @xXSeraphimXx is spot on:

If you want to get lean, you’re going to have to deal with being hungry. 2600 cals is still a lot, if you’re hungry then you need to address your food choices. Which leads me to my next question, what’s your diet? You seem very meticulous, so please post your meals, food choices in each meal, etc.

Ultimately, if you’re not losing, you need to create more of a deficit. I know you may feel like you just can’t go lower than 2600, but believe me, you totally can. Again, you and I are the same weight and I’m eating way less than you, and am not starving. Hungry sometimes, sure, but that’s a mental obstacle that you can either deal with, or not.

Just for comparison, a very good friend and client of mine when we started working together a little over two years ago he was 365lbs. Currently, after 2 years of working together, he’s 190lbs. He stalled out similar to you at 230, and rather than adjusting calories, we adjusted macros and put him on a keto style diet of high fat, moderate protein and very low carbs. You may find adjusting macros could be helpful here. Additionally, raising fats and lowering carbs should keep hunger at bay since fats keep blood sugars low and take a long time to digest.

Not trying to be a negative guy, but just based on these two statements, it doesn’t seem like they could have been followed exactly if you don’t know the numbers.

Are you weighing your food, every meal, every day?

If you were not ‘abs in’ lean at 165; what makes you think you should be at 230?