Advice on cutting nutrition Advice on cutting nutrition

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Thread: Advice on cutting nutrition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Question Advice on cutting nutrition

    • starting strength seminar february 2023
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    I've been trying to do a cut to lose excess fat I built up from poor macro breakdown early in the NLP, but feel like I'm having very slow progress and want to get more information on whether I'm moving in the right direction. Feel like I really messed up my nutrition early on and got really fat unnecessarily. I do want to lift more weight but I don't want to be any bigger than I got in 2021 (42-44" waist, ~200 lbs), so I want to cut, maybe down to 170-180 before bulking again. I'm also unsure about what changes I should make to my lifting program for this.

    My stats: 27M, 5'6", ~95kg (about 210lbs), I think I'm at low 20s bodyfat, but big ring of fat around my belly I'd like to delete.
    Started lifting August of 2020, mostly stuck to NLP but stagnating
    Lifts:
    Squat: 245x5x3 (best I've ever done was 275, before I got covid around a month ago, dropping due to back pain)
    Press: 120x5x3
    Bench: 165x5x3
    Deadlift: 230x5x1 (best is 240, same as with squat)
    I never trained the power clean

    For nutrition, my main concern has been getting enough protein, so I try to eat as much meat as I can.
    Mostly lean ground beef, milkfish, chicken, eggs. I think I usually get 175-200g of protein

    I don't weigh the food I eat. I tried it for a few weeks and found it very exhausting, I think that's because I was trying to be too exact. Also unsure about food app accuracy because I live in SEA and not NA.
    I cook maybe 75% of the food I eat. Others are cooked by parents, typically low fat low sodium kinda food.
    Recently for the cut I've also reduced the amount of carbs I eat. Generally no snacks and sweets.

    I really haven't got a clue how many calories I'm eating, but I'd be surprised if it was much more than 2000 calories

    An example might be:
    6 eggs for breakfast
    around half a kilo of ground beef (e.g. tacos, tomatoes, ketchup, maybe sour cream, recently no tortillas/shells) I count in my head this as ~40g of protein
    for dinner maybe two fish or 300-400g of chicken drumsticks
    usually 3 servings of protein before bed.

    Questions:
    What kind of macro breakdown and overall caloric intake should I target?
    Am I too light on carbs to be training at all?
    Is there any midpoint between eyeballing everything and having a spreadsheet?
    What sort of progress should I be expecting, and how can I validate that what I'm doing is working?
    Is it possible to get down to ~15% BF without doing starving myself? If not, how low should I hope to reasonably get, assuming poor genetics?
    Should I add cardio or other physical activities aside from the four main lifts?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    The reason you have excess body fat is because somewhere along the line you were Not Doing The Program. Maybe actually DTP and eat a modest amount of calories versus "doing a cut" and your body will recompose accordingly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    I'm honestly not sure that I can still be doing the program, I've not read everything that's been written but most of what I've read says months, not years. Can I still be doing the program as described? Previous to this I was stuck at 250lb squat for a while, and then got to 275 by adding 2.5lbs every two or three workouts. Does this count as doing the program? Assuming I can, what should my calorie target be? Is 35p-40c-25f a good breakdown?

    I really struggled with form early on trying to do the program. Can a coach who isn't trained in Starting Strength be reliable in terms of providing feedback on form?

    Also, supposing that I try to reset my work weight down a little (e.g. because I cannot squat correctly at the work weight), should I be altering my diet in response to that? Is resetting the work weight down 10-20 lbs to a level where I'm confident my form isn't utter garbage a good idea?

    Can I assume that, following the program, eating correctly, etc. I should theoretically be able to reach a 400lb squat eventually? I ask because I think the answer is no, and thus am trying to temper my expectations accordingly. For example, I've tried measuring my vertical jump and got 16", which I understand to be abysmal. Because I have always found academics much easier than physical activity, I assumed that I may be able to lift heavy but not to the same extent that Rip expects in The Clarification.

    Lastly, I started the program in mid 20s bodyfat, with plenty of cardio and a caloric deficit that had me losing weight steadily (down to 130lbs). Does this mean I should expect my bodyfat to settle in the same range (rather than the 16% Rip mentions in The Clarification)?

    PS: I did go through the book once but mostly focused on how to do the lifts. Sorry if I'm asking questions that are answered in there. I just bought a hard copy of the book and will re-read.

  4. #4
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    Months not years assumes you are doing it correctly. Many people do the program incorrectly just like many people play the guitar incorrectly when buying a guitar and trying to learn from a book/youtube video etc. Your deadlift being that far behind your squat is one red flag for me. Have you considered hiring a coach?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Have considered getting a coach, but I think Starting Strength coaches are out of reach for me. Can't afford online coaching + none in my country. Can a coach who isn't trained in Starting Strength be reliable in terms of providing feedback on form?

    Maybe I should post in general Q&A about this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    starting strength coach development program
    No I wouldn't go with a generic "trainer." Online would be the next best option. Email me at robert@weightsandplates.com and let's chat more.

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