View Full Version : A n00b here that could use some help

11-15-2009, 12:58 AM
Over the past year, through calorie cutting alone I have lost 60 lbs. I am 27, 5'11", and currently weigh 180. I am not terribly overweight, but do have a substantial gut and noticeably flabby chest. I suppose with my age and height I should be at about 170. On a daily basis my calorie consumption runs from around 1600-2300, my carb intake is around 250g-400g, and my protein is about 115g-200g. Sporadic, I know. I am a vegan and just recently started taking a protein supplement to get my numbers up, so I probably couldn't use too many diet tips on here. That aside, I started lifting a week ago after finding a beginner program on here that worked for me and have since been reading as many articles as I can. I am a bit confused as to where I should go from here though. I have a vacation planned for June and would like to be in amazing shape by then, so I would like to use my time as effectively as possible. I don't want to waste time getting skinny and then start putting on muscle but I would also not like to up my caloric intake to put on muscle and then have a bunch of it sitting unseen under fat. Should I do some sort of split with 3 months dedicated to building muscle and 3 months to losing fat? I also wasn't sure if maybe because I don't really have a huge amount of weight to lose if I shouldn't just lift and pack on the calories and everything would just kind of slowly even itself out. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

11-15-2009, 10:34 AM
You have 7 months. To start with, I wouldnt drop my calories any lower than 2000. A good range for you would be between 2000-2500 if not a little higher. Those are the calories I use when cutting and I am the same height and weight as you. If you are just beginning, you will have the ability to build muscle while still losing fat. Focus on getting stronger while losing fat. After a few months, you should have a handle on it as far as what works for you nutritionally, and training wise. I am pretty sure though, dropping below 2000 calories would make be a mistake.

Look at my profile pics if you like. As i mentioned, I am the same size as you (different body compositions though) In my first pics, I had been working out for almost a year but needed to lose fat. My second pics are after 14 weeks of cutting and about 13-14% bf. During this time, i didnt go below 2000 cal (worked hard though). I lost a tad of strength in my bench, but others such as the deadlift and squats went up. This is after a year of weight training - you should be getting stronger in all areas while shedding fat. If not, look at your training and/or diet.

You have 7 months. Try this for a few, re-evaluate and make changes if necessary.

11-15-2009, 11:39 AM

Since you are so close now, I would go ahead and spend another 5 weeks losing 10 more pounds. Get to 170. Let's say that takes you till January 1. Then spend 5 months eating clean and lifting HEAVY, growing very slowly (1/2 pound per week average) up to no more than 180-185 pounds. Then spend 4-5 weeks before vacation losing 10 pounds of fat taking you back to 170-175 again. You can look great! It's ALL IN THE DIET and lifting HEAVY!

What you are looking for when you are cutting weight is to lose no more than 2 pounds per week to maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss and then for 5 months when you are trying to put on muscle, you want to gain no more than 1/2 pound per week as that is really about all the muscle gain you can expect in a week. Obviously your diet has to be really dialed in to do this.

Your last cut just before vacation should be very rewarding as all your hard work will start coming out.

11-15-2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks a lot for the advice guys. It's a great help to have some specific answers to questions posted here on top of the wading through pages and pages of information available on the site. I was wondering if you could you also look at my carb and protein intake and tell me how that looks? I'm trying to find a balance, but it seems like conflicting information overload when I read different articles on how many grams of each I should actually be taking in.