T Nation

Where Am I Going Wrong?


I'm around 175lbs, looking to lean out to around 160lbs. At the moment, my training routine is 4 on/1 off like so:

Day 1: Full body A (4x8 squats, bench, BOR, 3x12 isos)
Day 2: Heavy bag work (2 mins ON:1 min OFF) 30-40 mins.
Day 3: Full body B (4x8 SLDL, chins, OHP, 3x12 isos)
Day 4: Repeat day 2.
Day 5: OFF

I'm just stuck at 175 lbs though, each week I'm disciplined in the gym and in the kitchen but I just can't seem to shift any of the weight.

As for the dietary side of things, I'm taking in 2200 calories a day, entailing around 200g protein from sources like chicken, fish, whey, granola and eggs. I eat 5-6 times a day and stick to complex carbs except for the simple carbs PWO. For example:

6am- protein bar (30g protein).
8am- bowl of porridge at work.
9am- protein shake.
12- chicken, rice and spinach.
3pm- protein shake and granola.
5-6- workout
6pm- whey powder with dextrose (200cal total).
6.30-7- either wraps (chicken, spinach, salsa), veg with chicken or chicken, rice and spinach (if a cardio day).
8pm- protein bar.

Can anyone critique? Is my calorie intake too high/low/about right? Why am I not seeing the results on the scales that my hard work craves?


How tall are you? And how fat are you?


Maybe try getting three days in the gym instead of 2. Dropping rest days to 2 days a week instead of three. Also, try cycling carbs and calories so your body doesn't grow adjusted. Have you been dieting for a while? Sometimes in long bouts of dieting your body's metabolism will get killed, so you need to repair it before trying to diet again.


You just might be carb sensitive, in which case, cut out all the rice, porridge, granola and bread/sandwich wraps for a few weeks and see what happens.


How tall are you? What are you drinking during the day? Water? How much?

Other than that I would cut out the carbs after your Post WO shake. The wraps and rice aren't the best choice at that time if you are cutting...


5 foot 10, around 10-11% BF.

What I meant was a cycle of 4 on to 1 off, so I'm actually in the gym 5 or 6 times a week depending on where in the week the rest day comes. I've been dieting for around 6-7 months now... so you think my metabolism may have stalled? Could this be causing the drowsiness and fatigue I'm feeling in the evenings, falling asleep 9.00 ish? How would you 'repair' my metabolism?

OK, so I cut out the carbs... what on earth am I eating with the protein then? Literally just veg/fruit?

See above, 5 foot 10. During the day I drink water, I'd estimate around 4 litres in addition to that which I have with my porridge oats in the morning. As for the post-PWO carbs, I'd always thought that it was essential to 'refeed' carbs (for want of a better word) after a workout to get your energy levels back and ensure you can perform the next day?


You are trying to get downright skinny.....the carbs in your PWO shake should be plenty.


160 at 5 10?


6-7 months is waaay too long for a diet. I crushed my metabolism a few years back from long term dieting and I couldn't lose weight even eating 1500 calories a day. I would start eating a maintenance level of calories for about a month or so to repair your metabolism. Calculate what you should be eating based on your lean mass and level of exercise. My guess is it would be in the range of 3000 calories or so at your weight (that's a rough guess, spend the time and calculate it). You may gain a few pounds back at first, but don't worry about it, it's the best thing for the long term.

Do that for about a month or so, maybe longer until you start feeling normal again. Just make sure you don't gain "too" much weight back.

Then when you try dieting again the weight will fly off.


Thanks for the help guys. Is this standard dieting advice then, taking 'time out' from time to time to restore your metabolism and then plunge back into it? How long would you recommend as the maximum time one should spend dieting without a 'break'? In the maintenance phase, should I be keeping carbs as low as possible or is it just a case of trying to restore homeostasis?


Or, as an alternative, how about using the 'rest day' every 5th day as a bit of a metabolic 're-feed' day, compared to the strict, lower calorie 4 days with exercise before? How does this sound? If good, how many calories etc would you recommend, macro breakdowns etc?


Perhaps it's just me but trying to shift 15lbs down to 160lbs when you are already 10% BF is a tough ask! If your body comp is correct you have 17.5lbs of fat. So you want to shift most of that, maybe some fluid, and as little lean mass as possible? Good luck! You will need it.

Perhaps you should re-evaluate your stats (are you really 10-11% BF; do you have excessive fatty deposits around the midrift?) and goals (dropping weight class, etc, I assume you may be a fighter).


That works during dieting, but what you need is a good month off of dieting. Eat normal maintenance calories and don't worry about the macro's too much unless you start getting fat, then go at the diet again.

Typically I wouldn't recommend anyone dieting for more than 12 weeks. Professional body builders will start dieting farther out than that, but they have the help of experts to make sure everything is in order.


Thinking out loud though, rising up to maintenance calories shouldn't see me gain any weight though should it? Say I slowly rise back up to around 2600-2800 for a few weeks? Then when I'm happy that I've adjusted and settled at this level I drop back down to my current dieting levels and my body should be primed for fat loss again right?


Any other opinions?


Cut the starchy carbs, add some fat. Fish oil, EV olive oil, maybe some nuts. Also some "protein bars" can pack a good amount of carbs that will add up, be careful with that.

This is general weight loss advice - I agree that after 6 months of dieting you'll need to "reset" your metabolism before you get back. After you do that a few weeks, go back to your old diet with these suggestions.

I would add a third strength workout so you aren't doing the same routine all the time.