I’m sure you get this sort of question a lot, but I don’t remember a clear answer in any TTMJ or board post. I completely understand if this info isn’t something that you disclose to just anybody, so no pressure…

Anyway…I’ve put on a good 30 pounds since starting your program a few years ago (and most lifts have skyrocketed). I have never done a BFA, but I would expect, based on looks, that I’ve increased at least 5% BF up to probably 20% to 25%ish.  At 235lb, I am carrying some extra weight.  I know that I could do a LOT better in the metcons, and eventually on the field, if I trimmed down.  Currently, I consume about 75% of my carbs in the PWO meal, with probably 15% in the pre-workout meal. It’s usually a few cups of milk pre-workout and 1.5 quarts post workout with a piece of low GI fruit.  The rest is low GI vegetables and sugars from nuts throughout the day.  I don’t have a very active life outside of CFFB due to my long-hour desk job, which will change in a year or two.

So, based on all of that, do you have any suggestions on how to cut fat?  I understand that some lifts will drop because I’d lose some mid-section support and likely a little muscle, but I would like to retain what muscle I’ve gained as much as possible.  I’m generally willing to do whatever I can to accomplish this, whether it is through diet or getting off my ass every hour and taking a short walk.  I just need a proven strategy.

Thanks in advance.

Clinton Canaday


Here is the skinny, no pun intended. You are on the right track, you just need to stay away from the sneaky foods responsible for you holding some weight and replace them with better choices.

Ditch the milk, fruit and nuts. Those three together can be problematic in the hunt for reduced body fat.

Here is nice and simple…get all your caloriess for meat, starchy veggies and fat (coconut oil and olive oil). Check my TTMJ post on “Just tell me what to eat.”

If leaning out is you goal, cut the calories back to 15 cals per lb of body weight, which should put you around 3500 cals a day.

The standard…1 gram of protein per lb of body weight or around 23% to 25% of your total caloric load. Get this from meat…no protein shakes, milk…straight up animal flesh.

Carbs should be about 25-30% of total caloric load done in the pre/post workout meals. Remember to keep fat to a nil in the pre/post workout meal, as we want things to hit the system fast., as fat slows absorption in the gut. While not advantageous in the pre/post workout meal, this is key in the other meals.

Just to say it again, no shakes. The insulin response from the whey/dairy (lactose) can problematic for leaning out. Avocados are a no-no for leaning out. I learned this from my friend, Josh Bunch, from Practice CrossFit. Keep fats with saturated fat (animal and coconut) and mono-unsaturated fats in the form of olive oil.

Drink 1 oz of water per 2 lbs of body weight. Not staying well hydrated is a major player in the fight to lean out.

Get 8 hours sleep, at minimum.

Limit coffee to 1 cup a day in AM, as too much coffee can cause cortisol release and that can be a problem. Supplement with green tea extract, I take a decent handful in the AM, as this will get shit started right.

Ditch anything responsible for systemic inflammation. Beans, gluten, corn, rice, processed sugars or anything you cannot pronounce.

Start supplementing with BCAAs (10 grams) pre/post workout. Leucine is the key player for an anabolic effect and will keep you from losing muscle.

Lastly, cut the drinking back or ditch all together. And I don’t imagine you smoke pot because you have a job, are highly motivated, don’t live with your mom and don’t steal from your friends, but just for anyone reading, I would like to quote my friend, Jim Wendler, “Don’t smoke weed, what are you 16 years old? What the fuck?”

I think this covers it for lean out time. Take a before pix, and a weekly pix and hopefully along the way you will take a pix where you think, “Hey, I am not chubby anymore.” Visual feedback from a pix is great, as mirrors lie.

Hope you can make Tampa seminar, as I will have some new information to drop. The only way I wont be there is if the girls are kicking and screaming.