T Nation

Yet Another Beginner

Hello everyone. I’m not a complete beginner and have sort of lifted weights for a few months but my circumstances have changed and I need some advice. I am currently 16 years old, 6’2, 210 lbs, unsure of bf%, a relatively online calculator would be great.

Overall I am aiming to cut down my bf% to about 10% and build up muscle for rugby season (the spring for me). I’m currently concentrating on fat loss until I reach about 10% before trying to build more muscle but I can’t make it to the gym most days. As a summer job I have been working in construction and in 3 weeks I have managed to lose 10 lbs. Unfortunately this loss is plateauing somewhat as I haven’t lost much recently (it was probably the shock my body received from working 10 hours a day). I eat clean and eat on average something like 6 meals throughout the day (not huge meals).

My usual diet looks something like:

Breakfast: Generally a large bowl of fruit topped with plain yogurt and granola, sometimes 2 eggs, slice of tomato and 2 slices of whole grain bread made into a sandwich

Mid-morning snack: Something like 2 nature valley or whatever bars for energy as well as some fruit like cherries (the bars are relatively healthy each containing about 150 calories and 3 grams of protein, I eat them mainly for energy)

Lunch: 2 homemade wraps (nothing processed about them) containing a variety of vegetables and usually chicken or sliced steak (normally chicken), 591 ml of gatorade

Mid-afternoon snack: usually 2 cups of fruit like grapes or something

Dinner: A variety of vegetables, garden salad (homemade vinaigrette dressing), and usually chicken or other meat

Before bed snack: umm…whatever there is. Usually something containing protein. Today it was a nutrition muffin (or something of the sort) with a bunch of omega 3 fatty acids, a bunch of dietary fiber and 10 grams of protein.

Plus a whey protein shake throughout the day (3 scoops, 710 mL) Overall I suppose I’m eating around 3000 calories a day?

I work 5 days a week with each day ranging between 8-10 hours. I normally get home at about 6:30-7pm. I also do HIIT while I’m at home for the hell of it. I probably burn around 5000 calories a day (physical job + HIIT). Should I be eating a lot more? It already feels like I am eating plenty already. Also should I look into a body-weight training program (I can’t access a gym at the moment) to help combat loss of lbm? If I do start one I’d have to up my caloric intake even more. Also any advice on my diet is appreciated (I do realize that I am not eating enough protein), advice on getting protein would be appreciated too. Also my step mum is anti peanut butter lol. Thanks for advice in advance!

Ok, first impressions.

1.) Your diet sucks.
2.) Your “workout” sucks.
3.) Read this. All of it.


Then ask questions.

I know my diet sucks which is why I asked for general advice on it. I’m planning on starting the t-dawg diet anyways but a little advice never killed anyone. My workout consists of me basically lifting and moving a ton of wood and other carpentry materials. I also read the beginner thread before I even registered here. I mentioned that I don’t have access to a gym earlier in my post. I was wondering how many calories I should be eating considering how many I burn in a day.

The t-dawg diet would have me eating 3150 calories a day however I am constantly working with no stop except for about 40 mins of lunch and breaks (all added together is 40 mins) over an 8 hour work day. Nevertheless, thanks for replying. I would have gotten the exact same reply at the MH forums if I had a new account and was asking the same question so no worries.

Well if you’re going to give the T-Dawg diet a shot, see what happens. The body is more complicated than just simple numbers. Plateaus happen, don’t sweat it. You don’t lose fat smoothly and evenly. You can lose 2 pounds one week and a pound the next. Stick in there, tighten up the eating with the T-Dawg and see how it goes.

Sorry but I’m not gonna agree with the diet sucking. It’s a lot better than some on here. Sure you might have overdone it with the fruits and veggies, but it’s more of you underdoing it on things like meat and more protein. Put some more oils in there and maybe try turning those sometimes and usuallys into always. I think your undereating even for weight loss and maybe that’s where the plateau is coming from. Your body is saying “alright well at 3k calories a day I can’t afford to lose more weight I gotta keep what I have”. So try just eating more of what you’re eating right now. As far as a routine if you’re convinced you can’t get to a gym or buy some shit for your house I don’t know what you expect us to tell you.

Maybe I was too brief in my last post. Here’s what I meant.

1.) That does not look like a 3000 calorie diet. I know it will be a pain with your work and all, but a food log will really help, and give you accurate numbers to work with. You do need accurate numbers.

2.) Your diet looks fairly carb heavy, with a lot of fructose, which some studies show is more likely to be stored as bodyfat, instead of converting into muscle glycogen. If your goal is fat loss, improvements could be made here.

3.) You don’t have a protein source with some of your meals, and most of your protein comes in shake form. The shakes aren’t bad, but replacing them with whole foods would make your body expend more calories to break the food down. Thermogenic effect of food, feeling full, constant stream of amminos, etc.

4.) You’re 16, your body is primed for growth, maybe you might be better served by increasing LBM? Which will increase your resting metabolic rate, as well as lower your body fat % the more you gain.

5.)As far as being able to workout, take a look at some strongman activities. If you can get to a field, try to get an empty keg and do clean and presses, throws, maybe get a sledge hammer and beat the crap outta a stump, find a big rock and pick it up, drop, repeat. No gym is no obstacle. Checkout www.rosstraining.com for some good ideas on workouts that don’t require a gym.

Well, I hope this helps. Looking back at my last post, maybe I should have said “unfocused” instead of sucked. The diet is certainly healthy, but not structured for body recomposition. BTW what is your job?

Thanks everyone for the replies. I’m glad that they have become more specific as time passed.

Drake I work in construction as a partner of a general contractor. For the past several weeks we have been building parapet walls on a few schools as well as some miscellaneous jobs thrown in here and there. The majority of my day is comprised of lifting and moving large amounts of plywood, 2x4’s, 2x6’s, etc… Some days are easier than others, some are harder.

As well as lifting I haul a shitload of tools up the side of buildings and whatnot. With my current job resulting in me burning roughly 5000 calories a day (mon-fri), approx. how much should I eat for optimal fat loss?

I don’t eat sugary foods like twinkies and joe louis because I don’t really have a sweet tooth so I’ll be ok there for my diet.

[quote]Brant_Drake wrote:
Well, I hope this helps. Looking back at my last post, maybe I should have said “unfocused” instead of sucked. The diet is certainly healthy, but not structured for body recomposition. BTW what is your job?

Do what the man said. If you want it even simpler:
you should have 6 meals a day, each meal having at least 210/6 or 35gm of protein.
Start reading food labels
A lot of those energy bars have a LOT of sugar,my advice would be to severely limit the sugar you consume (except for maybe your post lifting meal which should be whey and maltodextrin or whey and glutamine imo) So stop eating those bars until you can understand what it contains.

Make sure you consume at least 40g of fiber each day (read labels, add the numbers).
Have a whey shake in the morning first thing before tossing in the rest of your breakfast. For remaining meals try to have a combination of proteins.

Drink a gallon of water daily.

Avoiding combining high carbs and high fat in the same meal (like whole eggs on grain toast) is a useful strategy that worked for me and many others.

Start lifting using a program given on this site.

Your body can be trained to survive at a range of caloric intakes imo. IF you want to gain LBM or lose fat or whatever, why not start with bodyweightX13 (or BW X 15 for that mater) and make adjustments from there?

I think you should be able to start something at this point. Read the articles mentioned PROPERLY and give it all time to sink in.

I literally have no access to a gym right now and I don’t have a home gym so I can’t start a weight lifting program other than a BW program. I drink something like 4 liters of bottled water a day so I’m good there. I’ll make sure not to eat eggs and the bread at the same time. I’ll chug a whey shake before breakfast. I need more protein in my diet but I’m finding it hard to pack lots of food with protein.

Could someone post some less-known examples of food containing lots of protein (apart from peanut butter :frowning: )? So far I’m lacking protein in my 2nd and 4th meal so something snack-able would be nice.


Some lesser known tropical legumes have relatively high levels of protein. “High crude protein levels occurred in Lonchocarpus sericeus (28.03%), Albizia zygia (32.90%), and Gliricidia septum (34.15%).”

Ezeagu, I.E., et. al. Chemical composition and nutritive value of some wild-gathered tropical plant seeds. Retreived July 31, 2007 from http://www.unu.edu/unupress/food/8F173e/8F173E0p.htm

Eat meat.

Hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, nuts. All things you can take to a construction site and all have good proteins.

Eggs, nuts and beef jerky are all high in fat. Beef jerky also is very high in sodium. Are they still ok to add to my diet?

Also here is the nutritional information for the Nature Valley bars that everyone is ragging on.

Fruit & Nut:
Per 1 bar
Calories 150
Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 75mg
Carbohydrates 25g
Fibre 2g
Sugars 13g
Protein 3g
Calcium 2%, Iron 4% of daily value (based on 2000 calorie diet)

Apple Cinnamon:
Per 1 bar
Calories 150
Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 75mg
Carbohydrates 25g
Fibre 2g
Sugars 12g
Protein 2g

Calcium 2%, Iron 4% of daily value (based on 2000 calorie diet)

buy a big pacage of chicken breasts, grill all of them - pop em’ in the fridge and eat. other than meat, you can get protein from nuts, eggs are a big one, cheeses have protein, cans of tuna save me a lot of times when I’m in a hurry and dont have time to cook something or am out of meats - just eat the whole can for about 37.5 grams of protien. Any way you can find to get protein is better than nothing but whole foods are generally better than shakes excluding post WO and if your in a real rush.

Hope I helped a bit - I’m a beginner too, so let me know if you have any questions about starting to eat cleaner and bigger, it was hard for me at first but I feel as if I have it somewhat down for now.

Thanks for the advice. I used to use tuna but at the moment I don’t have any. I’ll just go out and buy some I suppose. Right now I’m more focused on slimming down than eating bigger. It’s going relatively well and I’ve been losing 2-3 pounds a week on average so it’s going pretty good. Another pound came off the scale today :D:D:D:D. I checked 5 times just to make sure lol.