T Nation

You asked 4 it (fat loss 4 fatties)


Hello all,

I have received several PM?s lately of the like:

I have told people I would rather respond on the forumn, so if anyone else is interested they can join in also.

I will try and keep it breif and then if there are direct questions we can go from their.

The strict diet that shed 85lbs form May-August while actually gaining strenght and LBM.

Very simple really.

I simply limited carbs to less than 20g a day. That?s it. No counting cals, macro?s nothing. Just keep the carbs LOW. I actually averaged around 10 a day. Now this carb count included every source of carb, no subtracting fiber, those dreaded sugar alcohols, none of that. If it was a carb it counted. Even a stick of sugar free gum with 1g of sugar alcohol was counted toward my total for the day.

Diet was mainly meat. In all forms. If I was hungry I ate, and ate a lot. Ribs, steak, fish, just eat. You really wont be hungry befor long though.

DO NOT LIMIT k/cals.

Make sure to take in high doses of vitamins though. I was taking a 1 a day pill 3 times a day. Plenty of water also.

This got me down to 215 and I could stay there and did eating as much as I wanted and more as long as carbs were kept LOW.

Then I decided after a year stuck where I was that I wanted to go further. I dropped cals and kept the same carb count. Bad idea. don?t do it. Lost major LBM. Dietary disaster. Lesson learned. don?t make my mistake. It did get me down to low BF% but the cost outweighed the product.

I then was turned on to T-mag by JB after stumbling on his site and receiving some greatly appreciated advice and help. THANKS AGAIN JB

This is wher the transition began. I slowly eased into a T-dawg type of plan. Watching cals and slowly adding carbs back in. Just take it slow. I would add 10g of carbs every two weeks. Evaluate, and move from there. Take your time. This can be tough. I had to fight my self and slowly get comfortable with carbs again. You wont regret having them again, YOU NEED THEM.

A food log at this point is a must. Slowly transition to full blown T-dawg, and spend this time finding your maint. K/cal level. Knowing this level is I feel one of the most helpful #?s anyone can learn about themselves. If you know this you have the power in your hand to lose or gain as needed.

In short. Over the next year I simply took the time to log everything and learn. Bulk for a month. Cut for a month. Yes I am recommending that you yo-yo to your hearts content. Now I don?t recommend this to anyone wanting to make great positive gains in LBM and physique, for that the yo-yo approach is very over rated. For someone who has been a fatty though this learning is a must. The more you do this the better you will know yourself, and you will learn that losing fat is a breeze. Take as much time as needed. It is a long life, and this is no short fix but a life style change. I did this for over a year.

After I became comfortable with the fact that I had the ability to lose unwanted fat anytime I needed safely by returning to my WELL documented bulk/cut cycle diet I was able to begin the real fun. Time to play with carbs and see what I could do.

At this point simply pick a diet or amount of carbs and go. Give it a good run. Go for a month. If you get fat oh freaking well. YOU KNOW HOW TO LOSE IT.

The point I am trying to get at here is experiment. Have fun. Find what works for you. Gain a healthy relation ship with carbs and food in general. Learn to enjoy and look forward to real food. Good food. Whole food. Foods that make you look good nekid.

It is all about finding what works best for you. Everyone is different. I am just now making good progress in the gym again. This is due to all the time I spent perfecting my diet. I am now eating more carb than I ever dreamed of potatoes, rice, beans, squash, bread, pasta, all that and more. I am currently on a six week PH cycle bulk. Sure I will gain some fat. You simply have to to make muscle gains. But I am comfortable with that. I am now able to bulk and limit my fat gain, and if it gets out of hand and I put on god forbid well say 20lbs of greasy bubbly fat during a bulk. Screw it. I have the ability to lose it with no problem, and I will have learned from my latest dietary disaster.

Well I know there is a lot of detail not in here but this is the jest of it. Feel free to fire away with the ??s on direct issues. I just wanted to give an outline. To give every detail of the last 4yrs would take days, and page upon page of forumn space.

Time to go lift, kick my own A#$ in the gym and then enjoy my acorn squash, English muffin, veggies, and lean chicken breast. Gotta love those Bulks, even more when you are not afraid of being FAT ever again. (< you have to get this befor any real progress will ever take place in the gym)

I hope this helps someone,


Great story phill,

20G of carbs a day. Wow! That takes some discipline. What impressed me more was that fact that you continued to perservere.

Thanks for the update,



Thanks, Phill.

It's sort of a wake up call and a reminder to look at the bigger picture rather than just one small part of it.


Great post Phill, I hope some people listen to your advice!



It really wasn't hard after I made up my mind to change. It became a lifestyle. It was harder to let carbs back in.

Hope it helps someone.




I have also lost a good bit of weight(88 pounds). What kind of stategies have you used to put on lean mass?

Things like carb intake and calorie increases over maintenance.

I seem to have trouble putting on weight without a good bit of fat gain.



Good work. Truth is you really have to experiment and find what best works for you.

I have tried many many approaches. Recently as far as carbs go totally giving up my "CARB FRIGHT." OOOHHHH. I am making better progress now than ever befor. Following the dont diet type of plan. Making sure I get my protein, and fish oils. Other than that just schedualing P+c and P+F around training.

K/cals has been the big battle. Finding just what works, and what doent. I have doen massive eating type stuff and sure put on muscle but way to much fat. I like the slower long term approach much better. Upping your cals by 250 over maint. and be in it for the long haul. There is no quick fix in this game.

You also have to realize that you MUST carry some fat to put on muscle. Sad fact is most of the time former fatties like myself must carry more fat to add mass then someone whom has never been fat. This I think is due to the fact that once you have the fat cells you dont lose them (without lypo or something)

So when I begin a bulk my mid section smooths out pretty quick. But it just has to. I gotta live with the smoothed out lower abs. The trick is to just not let it get out of hand. You cant just stop the bulking cycle due to this initial smoothing though. It will stop at a point and you will begin to build lbm. As long as you arent like 1500 cals over maint.

So in short I usually go 250 over maint for my long bulk session last month, not those over hyped two week pack it on cycles. As far as carbs I am finding that I react very well to a fairly high carb diet with the carbs in the AM and around training.

My exception to this is when I go on a PH cycle like the 6 weeker I just started Monday. I increase the cals up to around the 500 over maint. area. and drop my fat levels to minimum and get theM in only 2 P+F meals. The rest is P+C.

Oh, I will also during my Longer bulks I spoke of befor add a week or two every now and then that I will up the cals a bit higher and train extra hard for that time. 2 a days and such for a shock, then back to the 250 over maint. and the slow and steady progress. I would say a usual bulk for me is around 2 - 3 months befor I will take a couple weeks to cut some fat off then either right back to bulk or maint. a while.

Hope all that blabbing helps some how.

TRY the long haul approach. 250 over and only up it when progress has stalled. If you bulk at the same K/cal level long enough and add LBM you will actually start to lean out and quit gaining wieght, the you know to up cals again.

WoW I am rambling and need to go get some work done. I'll check back in a bit.



Good stuff Phill. THanks for the story


I would be very careful of this approach. The human brain needs 20-25 grams per day to operate optimally. 10 grams seem extremely low.


Thanks Phil.

A lot of what you're doing is actually the same thing I'm doing. Being a former fatty though it just takes longer to build up LBM without putting on a lot of flab. I don't mind putting on some fat but I don't want to put on too much fat. Yo yo dieting has not worked for me.

I prefer the slower lean gains now.


Great post


You are eating carbs whether or not you want them. All three macronutrients are present to some degree in all food whether the package says so or not. I don't think it'd be possible to get down so low that your liver glycogen took a dump. Also remember that protein can replenish glycogen via glucogenesis.


Thanks all I hope it helps someone.

As far as being carefull with this approach sure. You should be carefull with any diet though.

As far as the brain fuel deal. I think that is overrated. Personally I had no problem living on such a diet for several years during which I was getting my first college degree and graduated with honors so it didnt effect me to much.

Once you adapt you are good to go.

I am not saying by any means that the diet isnt lacking in vital nutrients, or that everyone should do this. That is why I stressed the WARNINGS. Also would like to stress again NO COUNTING CALS. Just eat.

Then move to a smarter diet.

Jason, I feel ya. I still battle my own head during a bulk. I am only 5 days into my current bulk and PH cycle and have softened up greatly. Gained 10 lbs all ready. Much of it is water, but I went from fairly ripped to soft looking in no time. This is only 300 above maint.. I have to still fight back the urge to drop the cals. I MUST EAT TO GAIN. I will simply have to carry this water and fat to make great gain.

Like you said it is all about going the long haul approach. Limit the fat gains and try and never be a couple weeks of cutting away from being lean. Slow and steady.

Hope some of this made sense. I am still working on my first cup of coffee.



Great post, Phill!

If you were to do this all over, would you still use the 10-20 g of carbs approach for so long? Do you recommend it to others?


No, Once I stalled out I could have changed it up. I satyed with the same diet for about a year and half simply eating and limiting carbs as such. It was a life style and I was happy with what I had accomplished. I was addicted to it.

Looking back I wasted a year and a half. After dropping all that weight and stalling for a couple months I wish I would have begun what I ended up doing down the road.

But I have no regrets really. I cant. But yes to keep advancing I would have made the slow transition earlier.

Hope that helps,



This is a great post and one that I was needing. I’m a fat body right after recovering from hernia, bone spur and torn labrum in same hip and bad shoulder. I have some good mass under neath however, I’m probably around 24% BF. Finally getting started again with heavy lifting (BP, DL, SQ, PU, OHP) every day.

My question for you is about the fat content of the diet you described above. I’m good with the no carbs as I usually eat paleo/keto but not sure about the fat content of a low carb high protein diet. You did say "don’t count calories but wasn’t sure if you were watching fat intake.



And your body can produce far more than 25 grams of glucose from fat metabolism.


Things that did not exist when this thread was last active: Youtube. iPhones. The Colbert Report. Honey Boo Boo.

Just saying, it’s from 2004 so it’s unlikely (however hopeful) that you’ll get a reply.

Generally, low carb/high protein goes right along with moderate to high fat, no problem.


ahahahahaha, that’s hilarious. I figured as much for the protein/fat but just confirming.

I could definitely do without Honey Boo Boo and probably YouTube since it’s so damn addicting.

hilarious response though. Thank you again for the reply.