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Thread: Maintaining on 4000cals...but look like crap

  1. #1
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    Maintaining on 4000cals...but look like crap

    So I am 290ish pounds, and I have been to see a nutritionist.
    He is a sports nutritionist and has worked with a powerlifter before.

    He cleaned up my diet a lot (I was eating pretty crappy for a while) and I ended up on ~4000 cals (3800-4000 depending on meat choices)


    The breakdown is:
    Carbs 43% - 424g
    Fat 34% - 147g
    Protein 23% - 214g


    I have been on this for 3 months...and have been back to see him (but he didnt really offer any advice).
    I am still 'fat' with a lot of flab around my midsection...and no where else.

    The scale has not change a single number over the 3 months...but I haven't really change appearance either

    I am a powerlifter and strongman and I train 4 times a week...but I dont even look like I work out (my first comp I was asked by the meet director if I have ever trained before, when I asked for a 660 opener on squats he pooped himself)

    Here is the diet he wrote out:
    --------------------------------
    Breakfast

    1 cup of oats
    1 cup of skim milk
    2 tbsp of berries
    --------------------------------------
    Pre training

    2 slices of heavy fruit loaf/cinnamon toast
    200g cottage cheese or ricotta
    -----------------------------------------
    Post
    40g whey+ 5g creatine
    -------------------------------------------
    lunch

    200g low fat meat
    1 cup of rice
    2 cups of vegetables
    ------------------------------------------
    Afternoon tea

    200g yogurt
    10-15 almonds
    2 pieces of fruit
    --------------------------------
    Dinner

    200g lean meat
    2 cups of pasta
    2 cups of veggies
    1 tbsp of oil
    ------------------------------------
    Before Bed

    200g of yoghurt or cottage cheese
    1 piece of fruit




    Does anyone have any advice?

    I have tried to clean it up even more and take out some of the carbs.
    This week I have started to eat whole foods only and steer clear of pasta and other starchy foods

    I would love to 'recomp' I guess and stay the same weight, but actually have notable muscle mass
    Last edited by endpoint; 10-14-2010 at 12:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    By recomping, you'd be building or maintaining muscle mass at the expense of body fat for energy. It takes much longer to do.

    Do you do any type of cardio or anything? If not, simply add that to your regimen and you will drop fat.

    Already do cardio? Then drop kcals by 200 each day and you should be on your way.

    A lot of it is just monitoring everything and making adjustments.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    By recomping, you'd be building or maintaining muscle mass at the expense of body fat for energy. It takes much longer to do.

    Do you do any type of cardio or anything? If not, simply add that to your regimen and you will drop fat.

    Already do cardio? Then drop kcals by 200 each day and you should be on your way.

    A lot of it is just monitoring everything and making adjustments.
    There is a bit of cardio in there.

    The only thing is, because I am training for strength I am fearful of dropping my calories in exchange for dropping strength.
    I cant gain much strength with this diet as is.

    Strength will always be the number one goal, followed by muscle mass, then leanness
    Last edited by endpoint; 10-14-2010 at 03:55 AM.

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    If you want to cut fat then you're going to have to put your other goals aside momentarily. Take a few months and cut.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holto View Post
    If you want to cut fat then you're going to have to put your other goals aside momentarily. Take a few months and cut.
    So you think 4000 cals is right for a 290lb person deadlifting, squatting and doing strongman events 4 times a week?

    It seems kind of low to me...but I totally have it all wrong. If I go to berardis site and use his calculator it has me at 7000 to put on muscle. surely to lose fat I wouldn't drop 3000 cals.

    How does the macronutrient profile look? How does the meal timings looks.
    Thats what I am really asking.

    I just feel frustrated that I have been all the way down to 2700 a day and I cannot lose weight.

    I am willing to lose a bit of strength...but this is just getting ******ed. I dont understand whats happening

  6. #6
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    I can't really give you any expert advice on dieting but there a couple of articles you might find interesting on the main site about powerlifters losing fat:

    http://www.wannabebig.com/interviews...ncent-dizenzo/
    http://www.wannabebig.com/training/m...s-bench-press/

    You sound a bit discouraged and maybe these interviews will show you it's possible and make things seem a bit more positive.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    So you think 4000 cals is right for a 290lb person deadlifting, squatting and doing strongman events 4 times a week?

    It seems kind of low to me...but I totally have it all wrong. If I go to berardis site and use his calculator it has me at 7000 to put on muscle. surely to lose fat I wouldn't drop 3000 cals.

    How does the macronutrient profile look? How does the meal timings looks.
    Thats what I am really asking.

    I just feel frustrated that I have been all the way down to 2700 a day and I cannot lose weight.

    I am willing to lose a bit of strength...but this is just getting ******ed. I dont understand whats happening
    The red part there is just a huge red flag for me.

    On 2700/day were you losing weight?

    on 4000/day were/are you losing weight?

    The Fitness Industry is a 1 billion dollar industry.
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  8. #8
    Continuing... Time+Patience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    So I am 290ish pounds, and I have been to see a nutritionist.
    He is a sports nutritionist and has worked with a powerlifter before.

    The breakdown is:
    Carbs 43% - 424g
    Fat 34% - 147g
    Protein 23% - 214g

    I would love to 'recomp' I guess and stay the same weight, but actually have notable muscle mass
    I would say that this diet setup is very terrible and I would really look into no longer going to see this sports nutritionist. There might be a reason that he has worked with "a powerlifter" before ("a" meaning a single powerlifter).

    If you weigh 290 pounds and he has you taking in just over 200 grams of protein them something is wrong. By looking at the macro breakdown your protein intake is the smallest % which is very wrong IMO.

    I'm not an expert in the world of powerlifters and their dieting techniques, but I would guarantee that their protein breakdown isn't the smallest % in total macronutrients.

    The biggest changes that I would make, and I would make these immediately, is to increase your protein intake. I would try to increase your protein intake to a MINIMUM of 300 grams a day, and I'd actually recommend 350-400 grams of protein a day. For an example I weight 200 pounds and am taking in around 320-350 grams of protein a day.

    I would believe that you could increase your protein intake and not have to change much else, as that would increase your total caloric intake to around 4,500 calories a day or so, especially with you weighing around 300 pounds.


    One method that I followed for about 4 weeks, which resulted in a nice little body recomp, was eatting relatively clean for the majority of the week and having 1-2 days where I ate not so clean.

    Another method that I always try to follow is what my meals consist of; I try to make sure that I am eatting a fairly good amount of protein each meal and then I make sure I either eat carbohydrates or fats with the protein. Some people don't follow that as much and some people believe in it.

    I try to think logically of the P+F or P+C in each meal as I believe it gives your body more separate macronutrients to digest and utilize for energy. They say that you can utilize fats for energy as well as carbohydrates, but I look at it like this if you have fats and carbs then your body will most likely utilize one of those sources for energy and "hold" onto the other macronutrient. It's not a scientific theory of mine, but it's more of my hypothesis.

    You can also go the simple route of alternating carbs for days in which you working out or exerting more energy. On days where you workout you can increase your carbs, and days where you don't workout take away the carbs from 1-2 meals.

    If there's anything that isn't clear and you'd like a bit more information I'll give you what I know from personal experience, but I am not the type that reads articles and looks for the scientific reasoning for how and why certain methods work. I don't love the research as much because it CAN'T be applied to every single person, some methods work for some and some methods work for others.
    Last edited by Time+Patience; 10-15-2010 at 08:01 PM.
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  9. #9
    Continuing... Time+Patience's Avatar
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    Another little note, I'm not sure about the time of your workout (I'm assuming it's early) but I'd like to see more whole meals in your diet. I think it's hard to go the first 3 meals without eatting something of "substance" like chicken and rice or a meat sandwich.

    I try to eat 4 "whole" meals, which I mean as chicken, eggs, steak, tuna, or fish. I've noticed that my body utilizes whole foods better, and they are more fulfilling. Try to get some variety in, which is something I've been doing more recently, even with carbohydrate sources, I try to vary it now: rice, oatmeal, bread, potatoes, beans, and sugary post-workout carbs.

    I think you could totally revamp your diet, but it'd be nice to know what direction you'd like to go.

    Read through the various options that you have, such as carb rotation, lower fats, etc. and we'll see if we can help you develop a knew diet.
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  10. #10
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    Protein is also said to aid in fat loss. And with powerlifting your damaging muscle tissue and probably other things like your tendons and even bones in which protein will aid in reconstructing the damages done to them during your workout
    Age: 18
    Height: 5'11"
    Weight: 203lb
    BF: 10.8%
    Still natty
    It does not weigh 1200lbs, it's whatever my mind makes it weigh.

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    Thanks Time+Patience.

    I think the carb rotation is the direction I will head.
    I agree the protein is way to low....it 'feels' very low.


    Holto:
    I was not losing weight on either.
    2700 was crap though. Very little protein, lots of bad snacks...but I reached that level out of being frustrated and over eating and not having results. The nutritionist thinks I shut down my metabolism.

    Thanks everyone

  12. #12
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    Overall, your diet actually seems quite healthy! In terms of variety anyway...

    Perhaps the quantities are too much?

    One thing I also recommend to everyone is to cut sugar intake AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!

    If you can drastically reduce any sugar intake you currently have, it will have a major impact on your overall health and weight. A positive impact of course!

    Also, try looking to add/replace with more natural and raw foods to your current diet.
    My Weight Gain Diet Blog: Muscle and Weight Gain

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    Quote Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    Holto:
    I was not losing weight on either.
    Were you gaining weight on 4000? I think it's important that you discover your maintenance.

    The Fitness Industry is a 1 billion dollar industry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holto View Post
    Were you gaining weight on 4000? I think it's important that you discover your maintenance.
    Nope Didn't gain on 4000 either.

    As I look into it more, the carbohydrates seem to be the problem. Not the calories, amount of meals, but the carbohydrates as well as the marco balance

    Hopefully someone with a clue about nutrition will answer
    Last edited by endpoint; 10-18-2010 at 11:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Something isn't adding up here. There's no way you can be maintaining on 4000 calories and maintaining on 2700 calories. Your body will adjust your metabolic rate some based on your intake, but a 1300 calorie difference a day is very large. I would start with getting your bodyweight in protein and then fill in the rest of your calories with carbs and fats. If you feel like carbs are a problem, then don't go crazy with the carbs. If you have truly been tracking and calculating things and aren't losing any fat at 4000 calories, then you will have to drop the calories a bit. You can't necessarily go by calculators for predicted calorie intake, you have to track your own intake and then adjust accordingly.
    If you still don't have any luck, I would suggest hiring someone like Shelby Starnes to do a custom plan for you. He will give a plan and then make adjustments each week based on your weight and appearance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Something isn't adding up here. There's no way you can be maintaining on 4000 calories and maintaining on 2700 calories.
    Thanks Sean. That was what I was getting at but often I come across as snyde.

    Endpoint: You need to determine your maintenance. That's your first step. Once you get that sorted you can start playing with macro ratios and what not but I doubt it will make much difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holto View Post
    Thanks Sean. That was what I was getting at but often I come across as snyde.

    Endpoint: You need to determine your maintenance. That's your first step. Once you get that sorted you can start playing with macro ratios and what not but I doubt it will make much difference.
    so having a high insulin sensitivity will not effect someones body composition?
    Last edited by endpoint; 10-19-2010 at 06:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    so having a high insulin sensitivity will not effect someones body composition?
    Perhaps once an athlete is into single digits of body fat. Lift heavy and eat smart and you have complete control over your body composition.

    The biology is quite complicated. Focus on the physics (the total calories) and the biology will sort itself out.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holto View Post
    Perhaps once an athlete is into single digits of body fat. Lift heavy and eat smart and you have complete control over your body composition.

    The biology is quite complicated. Focus on the physics (the total calories) and the biology will sort itself out.

    I wanted to quote this to emphasize it. I think this is a terrific point.
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    So it has been been 2 weeks where I have cut out 80-90% of the carbs and added more fat sources,

    I am getting 4000-4500 calls, and I am already seeing a reduction in fat (there was a bit of water loss in the first week). I am no where near ketosis (well I dont think so as there is more than 100g of carbs)

    I dont think calories were the problem with me, more the excess carbs.

    6lbs in week one
    4.5 in week two

    Thats including a re-feed on Saturday and Sunday

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    Looks like you got everything in check bro. And like people said, stop wasting your money on a sports nutritionist. They learn outdated information that doesn't apply to powerlifters.....the sign in my university caf says that an athlete should have something ridculous like 60 or 80% of their cals to come from carbs.

    Good luck with everything....little changes to the diet over time when things stall should lead you to where you want to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    I dont think calories were the problem with me, more the excess carbs.
    Endpoint your body just does not work that way. The weight loss from the carb depletion is a reduction in gycogen and it's temporary. It will impair your ability to train and recover.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holto View Post
    Endpoint your body just does not work that way. The weight loss from the carb depletion is a reduction in gycogen and it's temporary. It will impair your ability to train and recover.
    This is completely incorrect. The weight loss from reduction in carbs to the level he is at is mostly water. And if the weights are going up, it is clearly not affecting recovery. If he is timing how he eats his carbs correctly, he should be fine and will most likely drop fat (which is what he is experiencing).
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  24. #24
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehopkins932 View Post
    This is completely incorrect. The weight loss from reduction in carbs to the level he is at is mostly water. And if the weights are going up, it is clearly not affecting recovery. If he is timing how he eats his carbs correctly, he should be fine and will most likely drop fat (which is what he is experiencing).
    As long as hes in a kcal deficit. You can't eat more than maintenance and drop body fat...even if it was a reduction of carbohydrates.

    I should also note that the type of training also dictates how many carbohydrates are needed. Metabolic training induces glycogen depletion at a much faster rate than power training. And there really isn't anything wrong with more carbohydrates. At the end of the day, it's kcals. You can't tell me that thermodynamic energy equilibrium doesn't exist and somehow a low carb diet magically gets around this.
    Last edited by RichMcGuire; 10-22-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehopkins932 View Post
    The weight loss from reduction in carbs to the level he is at is mostly water
    Yep. One glucose molecule bound to 4 water molecules = GLYCOGEN

    Quote Originally Posted by ehopkins932 View Post
    And if the weights are going up, it is clearly not affecting recovery.
    Well that's just a horrific oversimplification. One can recover well enough to be improving and still not be recovering optimally.

    Rich addressed the other parts of your post I had issues with.

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