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Diet or Maintenance?

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  • Diet or Maintenance?

    Current Stats:
    Height: 5’8
    Weight: 186lbs
    Neck: 14.9”
    Waist: 39.7”
    Hip: 36.6”
    Estimated body fat: 28%

    Hi Dr Jordan! Long time podcast listener and a fan. I’ve also read your article “to be a beast”. I wanted to get some advice on my current diet please and I’ve written a "little" about my previous history in case that helps.

    I have previous “bro workout” experience, so doing curls and deadlifting basically. In January I did the NLP and tried to follow everything to the dot. My body weight went from 180lbs to 200lbs. I ate around 3,500kcal with 1-1.1g of protein per lbs of weight. I’m sure that my waist measurement did not change and I measured around 28% body fat still.

    Best Lifts after 3 months of NLP:

    Squat: 220lbs for 3x5 (stopped after this as I was told to eat even more food and gain weight due to feeling like dying under a mere 220lbs)
    Deadlift: 300lbs 2x3
    Bench: 132lbs 3x5 (I admittedly neglected benching)
    Press: 121lbs 3x5

    Recently, I decided to drop my body fat level to 20% or below (ideally 15%). After 70 days of steady weight loss, I got stuck around 186lbs somehow, although I didn’t add or change anything in my diet. I literally eat chicken, lean mince, pasta and rice. After this, (involuntarily) most days I would barely eat 1,300kcal (just 1.5 meals a day maybe) as my appetite was heavily suppered due to my new ADHD medication. But I still did not shift past 186. Somehow, my waist measurement still did not change either! This was my diet when I dropped down to 186lbs.

    Calories: 2,000
    Protein: 180g protein
    Carb: 230g (aprox)
    Fat: 30-40g

    Now, I’ve decided to start the NLP again to gain back my strength and do it better this time around. I also mainly want to come down to a healthy level of body fat. However, my dilemma is in how much I should eat while training. Should I eat at maintenance (which is around 3,000kcal according to online calculators but it sounds like a lot), and if yes, what kind of macro split should I aim for? OR should I eat at a caloric deficit? Here is what I calculated in accordance with your “to be a beast” article:

    Calories: 2125
    Protein: 230g
    Carb: 186g
    Fat: 50g

    Sorry for the long *** post and thanks again!​

  • #2

    Thanks for the post and I hope you're doing well.

    With respect to a recommended macro split, I don't think it matters save for personal preferences and getting enough protein (e.g. 1.6g/kg/day).

    For weight management, I'd suggest reducing weight slowly via a modest energy deficit given your waist measurement.

    Training-wise, I wouldn't run NLP, as it demonstrably didn't work amazing for you and it's missing a lot we'd want in a program such as different rep ranges, exercise variety, conditioning, and autoregulation. Our Beginner Prescription/Template would be a better choice.


    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


    • #3
      Thanks for getting back to me Jordan and I hope you've fully recovered from your injury now (if i remember correctly).

      I just have a few follow up questions if you don't mind.

      1) In terms of weight management:
      -Should I start at my projected maintenance calories (3,000) for a few weeks and then start stripping away calories from carbs?
      (my food ends up being low fat by default)
      -Should I decrease, let's say, 200kcal from my maintenance and start there?

      2) And in either case of the above, am I correct in assuming that I'll drop calories (e.g 100kcal) each time my weight plateaus rather than having predetermined dates when I'll reduce calories further? (having typed this, the first one makes way more sense )

      3) I shall switch right away Doc! I've seen that there is the free Beginner Prescription and also the Beginner Template that you can buy, did you mean I can use either one of these or should I use a specific one?

      Thanks again!


      • #4
        Make sure you get some fruits and vegetables in (don't see any in your cut diet) and check your fiber intake as well!


        • #5

          Yep, I'm back 100%. Thanks for asking.

          If you're not currently losing weight week-by-week, I'd probably lower the energy intake a bit + add the conditioning from the Beginner Prescription/Template. If you are losing weight, I'd carry on. Your weight shouldn't plateau for a long, long time with this deficit. Rather, adherence may become an issue and if you note a plateau- that'd be where I start the investigation.

          Start with the Beginner Prescription for free if you like and see how it suits you. If you want the extra info (lengthy ebook) and programming in the full template, you can pickup the template as well!
          Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
          ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


          • #6
            Great to hear Jordan and thank you for the advice. In that case I'll make the changes you suggested when the deficit stops working and i've already started checking out the Beginner Prescription!

            Thanks again!