T Nation

What Diet has Worked Best for You?


#1

For cutting for gaining mass without much fat gain what have worked best for you? I think it's interesting how different macronutrient breakdowns affect different people so what has worked best for you for cutting and for putting on muscle? Keto, Carb cycling, steady calories at a certain ratio, etc....


#2

The cheat to lose diet. Though I started off at a higher bf% than you most likely. I felt the no carb phase really worked well.


#3

Any diet you find worked well for gaining weight?

To everything, just to be clear, this is not just about weight loss but also what has worked best for putting on muscle without a ton of fat.


#4

By far and away the best results I have ever gotten from a specific diet would be HIGH protein, moderate fat, and med/low carb.

Oatmeal with breakfast, waxy maize pre/during/post workout and then the rest of carbs from veggies and some cottage cheese before bed.

Also making sure I only pair P+F or P+C, never all three or just F+C.

From 268-280 in 4 months with no visible increase in bodyfat.


#5

A smart carb cycling approach seems to work well for gaining mass while keeping fat at bay.

For me, "smart" means low carb (protein, fats, and green vegetables) throughout the day (including breakfast) using a variety of food sources, although mostly solid foods (as opposed to shakes). Carbs are ingested during the para-workout window and consist mostly of Surge, SWF, and some sort of starchy carb for my first solid meal afterward.

When looking to get cut up, usually start to drop the PWO carbs, slowly replacing them with glutamine, whey hydrolsate, and BCAA's. Nothing fancy, but it seems to be doing the trick for me.


#6

And this is what you have done recently correct?

Any idea what your total breakdown of calories/protein/carbs/fat was? And were you only consuming carbs breakfast and peri-workout?


#7

Any reason why not all 3? Is it something that just helps you control your calories,insulin or does it have to do with digestion?


#8

So basically a TKD/TCD? How high do you bring fat up to since you have low carbs? Macro breakdown basically


#9

Not really sure what TKD/TCD means, but I am guessing it has something to do with low carb/ketosis. The thing that I've found is that provided everything is on-point with regards training and nutrition, the amount of time spent in an actual ketogenic state is minimal. The majority of progress always occurs in the tapering phase (or whatever it's called), while I am still lowering carbs/calories.

For example, I recently did an 8 week cut, during which I probably lost about 6% body fat. Out of those 8 weeks, only one was actually VLCD or ketogenic since I had made such good progress while lowering carbs. To answer your question though, I just made sure to lower carbs a little bit each week, maybe reducing my daily intake by about 20g each week. This way I am lowering calories while lowering carbs and I can incorporate them back in the same way. Nothing too drastic and very easy to handle (mentally and physically).

Week 1 I was probably 40/20/40 PCF and week 8 I was probably close to 50/Trace/50 PCF. I did make sure to offset some things however, like adding coconut oils and olive oils on days that I train legs, while adding a bit more protein to my PWO shakes.

I think you really just need to make sure you stick to whatever plan you follow and the results will come.


#10

Sounds like you have a good plan for yourself. Did you implement refeeds during this time or just keep daily calories/ratio's pretty consistent?


#11

"look at what you eat"

personally i have no strict diet, but i also dont eat crap either..i eat everything in moderation, 6x a day. a big breakfast, a small lunch, and a big dinner. along with 2 small snacks inbetween them all.

its worked well for me, but everything is different for each person.

mostly this is for gaining muscle, but for cutting, i like a low carb high protein diet to cut. really good for me personaly


#12

Yes I've been doing this loosely for about 3 months now,but been really strict with it the past month and a half though, and the muscle has been piling on. Here's what I'm eating.

50g whey 5g leucine
10 whole eggs +1 1/2 cups oats mixed with skim milk
75g whey +4 tbsp EVOO
Pre W:50g whey +30g waxy maize +5 leucine +5g creatine
Peri W: 25g whey+30g WM+5g leucine
Post W: 75g whey +60g WM +10g leucine +5g creatine
1.5 lbs ground sirloin +handful spinach leaves+salsa
75g whey +4 tbsp EVOO
2 chicken breasts +handful spinach leaves
4 tbsp natty PB +1 cup 4% cottage cheese
50g whey +5g leucine

Very high protein, pretty high fat, and a decent amount of carbs. Not really sure on the calories/macros and I don't feel like figuring it out haha sorry


#13

Well I have reached 280 before combining all 3, but it was sloppy. Probably 17% BF. It was an issue of creating an insulin spike and feeding my body fat at the same time. It just didn't work as I planned.

Now I'm eating a little more calories than I did before, yet I'm at 280 again at ~13% bf. By only spiking my insulin at key times it's really helped my body composition. I'm also able to react better to carbs now. For instance, now when I have my oatmeal in the morning I feel like I'm on a stimulant, I get a huge energy rush whereas in the past it made me feel sluggish.


#14

The best results I get when cutting are to eliminate all shitty sugars/sweets/processed carbs (except immediately before/after workout) and avoid wheat and cows milk at all costs.
I simply can't shift that tricky last 3/4% unless I do that.

Leave the wheat to field mice,leave the cows milk to calves.If you have any doubts,try it,or even eliminate one or the other,for just two weeks,and I'll bet money you train better,sleep better,digest better,you name it.


#15

other than that,high protein,moderate fats,moderate carbs,lots of veggies and fruit,up my coffee/caffiene intake to 3 cans/cups,and drink one metric shit-ton of water.Also try to have one or two very low carb or even borderline fasting days,when I feel like it,I don't like to be too strict with that approach...feels good to keep the body guessing...


#16

You sir, are a beast! lol man thats a lot. So on days you don't workout are you only having carbs for breakfast? If so it looks to be around 100g of carbs on off days and 225 or so on workout days.

I know you used to eat 8-900g of carbs a day in the past but said above that calories are about the same now or a little higher. Do you feel this approach has helped you gain more muscle at a faster rate even with much lower carbs? Or just helped you stay leaner while adding muscle at about the same rate?


#17

care to explain? To some people 200g is low while to others they mean less than 30. And would you even have low carbs while trying to gain?


#18

Thanks man, yah on off days the only carbs I have is from the oatmeal,veggies and cottage cheese. I drop the 3 workout shakes and substitute with a 75g whey 4 tbsp EVOO. Thanks for calcing that out for me :slight_smile:

I think this approach is helping me put on muscle VERY fast, much faster than with the high carbs. Since I've been doing this I have added 5 lbs every session to my big lifts and have yet to plateau (knock on wood!), before I would have a good few weeks and would hit a wall. Right now I'm gaining about a pound every 2 weeks, sometimes a little less. But as long as my lifts are still moving I am not too concerned.

I've also had some pretty bad elbow pain but the high fats are really helping with that, it's not much of an issue anymore. Another cool thing is I have struggled with some terrible back pain for years! It really put a damper on my training. But, along with stretching my calves (DC style) and switching up my diet, the pain is gone. I mean completely gone.

Another issue I had with heavy carbs is I would constantly be out of breath and generally just felt like shit running around at 280 all day. I feel great now at the same weight, the best I've felt in a long time.

Basically, I just feel healthier.


#19

Thats great man, glad its working so well for you.

Just for the hell of it I wanted to see what your fat added up to and I got roughly 280g on workout days and 340 on off days....CRAZY! lol....


#20

haha damn, that is a lot :stuck_out_tongue:

EVOO ftw!