• I currently weigh approximately 200 pounds and just entered my 3rd week. .  My clothes are starting to feel better, my face is definitely thinner (less bloated) and my arms seem more defined.

     I have been happy with the visual results and have learned to ignore (or try to ignore) the scale because logic would tell me that if I loose fat, but gain muscle, my weight should fluctuate, but not at the rate I desire.  Remember, muscle weighs 2x the amount of fat by volume.  In the past I have worked out religiously and lifted weights 2 times per week which I “think” is one of the reasons I have seen such quick results in the definition of my arms.

    The problem I have is there seems to be lots of contradictions on these posts:

    -Most say follow the book, hit your high points and you are all set. BUT…-if I'm a male and eat 6 palm size servings of protein a day I am only getting 120-140 grams/day.  Which seems low if I am 200lbs and want to build muscle.

    -some say you should eat as many grams as you weigh, other's say you should eat as many grams as your body weight (ex fat) while others will say to eat as much as you WANT to weigh.

    What makes it even more confusing is to look at the past meals of the champions.  Some were eating 9 meals a day and consuming 200+ grams of protein. WTH??

    I have been having 6 meals a day (3 real meals and 3 supplements).  My caloric intake is approximately  1,600-1,800.  On an average day I consume approximately 130 grams of carbs and 160 grams of protein.  I feel good with this ratio although I might try to up the protein to 180 in the next few weeks.  I would have thought that I would have lost more weight due to my caloric consumption, but I also realize that it takes time for the body to adjust to anything different…and eating healthy 6 times a day is certainly different for me. Plus have enjoyed my “free days”…ha ha

    Anyway, I am definitely committed to the 12 weeks and I look forward to any observations/thoughts.

  • Right now your are trying to lose weight, so don't worry to much about protein gr per lb right now.  You are doing the right thing.  Just keep your log of what you eat.  If you are feeling sluggish then try adding 100 more cal but with some kind of protein...whether it's fish, chicken, beef or just a protein drink...see if that helps ya

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • I don't think there are contradictions.  It's more a matter of what results you are trying to achieve.  

    The BFL program in the book is a simple and very efficient way of getting in great shape and developing goal setting, motivation, and discipline.  You can get great results without spending 2 hours in the gym (like a lot of body building programs) and you don't have to count calories which also takes up a lot of extra time.  A lot of people doing the BFL program have day jobs and families that take up most of their time.  I'm one of those but I also want to stay healthy and fit so this program is perfect for me.

    If you are looking on body building sites you will of course see them talking about eating a certain amount of protein and carbs and calories.  If you spend enough time reading these articles you will find that most conclude that everyone is different.  There is no one rule that works for everyone.  It takes time experimenting.  That being said, they also offer advice on starting places such as a gram of protein for each pound you weigh or some might say 1.5 grams per pound.  So if you follow the 1 gram per pound rule and after a good enough period of time you don't see results then you know you should change something up and maybe add more protein.

    Something that might help you if you haven't already done this is to measure your % body fat.  This will help you decide if you need to focus on burning fat or gaining muscle.  You may just not be seeing the muscle because you have more fat to burn.  The fat burning results especially come from the cardio days so make sure you are hitting those intensities well.

    To get to some of the contradictions you may have read about people eating differently, I am one of those who ate slightly differently than the suggested BFL plan.  However, my thing was that I'm a hardgainer and a skinny guy so it's very hard for me to put on weight and muscle.  I used the BFL plan as my base but the only things I did differently were to add more carbs and protein to my diet.  When I did the challenge last year I was trying to get 175 - 200 grams of protein in the last 4 or 5 weeks because I realized I wasn't making the gains I wanted.  I still followed the exercise plan and for the most part the eating plan but I had to have that extra 1 or 2 servings of protein and 2 or 3 more servings of carbs.  I think for a lot of people though the meal plan is a very good balance.  For my wife it worked perfect for the results she was after.  I would say for you to just stick to the meal plan in the book to see how it goes.  Remember it takes time to see changes so you may just want to go through the whole 12 weeks before deciding it's not working right for you.  

    I hope that clears up a little confusion and if not, please post back.

    Best wishes,


    2012 Body for Life Champion

    Men 18-29

  • Dave - thanks. Very helpful. My only observation is that people tend to populate these posts with their personal recommendations, but without highlighting their goals: lose weight, get lean, gain muscle, etc. Some people say BFL is not too scientific and other's post these complex caloric/protein/carb algorithms. It can be confusing that they don't put a lot of context behind their recommendations. Even when you look at the meal plans of the past winners there does not seem to be any repeatable least for the male winners.

    So, I agree with what you are saying. Find what works for you.. it will require patience and a lot of attention to details.


    Thanks for replying


  • jtcer,

    As far as finding what works for you, I recommend giving BFL a chance as far as a base plan if you are looking for a simple easy to follow plan.  That's where I started and after about 8 weeks after I realized I had kind of plateaued I knew I needed to do something a little different and that's when I started eating more.  

    I think at face value the BFL program looks like there isn't as much research behind it because it is designed to be very easy and efficient so anyone can get results in a limited amount of time.  I think the reps and sets pattern works really well to warm you up and get your mind and body ready to lift as much as possible by the end.  The cardio has a great balance of low and high intensity so you burn a lot of calories in very little time.  The meal plan may not be exact with calories but it is an easy way to get pretty close to what most people need without having to spend the extra time counting calories.

    2012 Body for Life Champion

    Men 18-29