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Old 07-13-2011, 09:50 AM   #11
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You can do all the “pump sets” you like, but as long as you are lifting girl weights, you’re gonna have a girl body.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
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Iron Addict on Timed Carb Diets.

Timed Carb Diets

A timed carb diet works on the same basic principle as a keto-diet. Take away the bodies preferred fuel source (carbs) and provide enough fat in the diet that the body will switch to using fat as the fuel. But instead of going 5-6 days without ANY carbs, this diet allows you to take in carbs when they are most needed, and least likely to spill over into fat stores—right after the workout. Also, since we are not worried about actually hitting ketosis and staying in ketosis, if you slip, or just feel the need to bump up carbs a bit to replenish glycogen stores, you didn’t just bump yourself out of the ketogenic state you just spent 2 days to achieve.

What do these diets accomplish?
Fat is burned as the preferred fuel source and protein (read that muscle) is spared.
Performance in the gym stays good.
Thyroid function remains higher for a longer period of time.
You don’t go out of your head waiting 5 days to eat some damn carbs!

OK, now the how-to of a timed carb diet. Again, we are trying to get the body to switch from being a carb or protein-burning machine into a fat burning machine. Remember, if caloric levels are low, and carbs, thus insulin is high, your body will convert protein to carbs via glucogenisys and that is to be avoided at all costs. Anyway, to get on the path of burning fat as fuel, we simply remove the carbs out of the equation, AND keep fat in the diet at (at least) a 40-50% ratio. This lets the body know there is still a primary fuel source (fat) and allows it to be burned as fuel, while sparing protein

So, we decide to start a timed carb diet on Monday. Sunday night you cut out the carbs about three hours before bed. When you wake up in the morning blood sugar levels will be very low, and your body will be wanting some carbs---too bad, it doesn’t get any! You will eat only fat and protein. Ensuring fat makes up at LEAST 40% of the caloric profile. You may have a leafy green salad with oil based dressing, or some string-beans, or other such low-carb veggie, BUT NO MORE THAN 6-8 grams of carbs per feeding. You keep this up right until pre-workout, where an apple is allowed IF you feel the need to put a few carbs in your system to raise energy levels. MOST guys do not find this to be necessary and if it does not provide a big advantage DON’T do it. If the carbs don’t help much, have a small protein drink and proceed with the workout.

Post-workout, and it’s time to replenish the carb-stores in the muscles you just worked. As the vast majority of you already know, immediately after a hard weight training session there is a “window of opportunity” in the muscle cell when insulin sensitivity is very high and the body is most receptive to nutrient uptake. So…..you slam down 65-100 grams of fast liquid carbs (malto-dextrin, dextrose, and yes, even sucrose will work). About 10 minutes later follow it up with a 65-100 gram whey protein drink. As soon as you are hungry again, you can eat a small “regular” meal with a 40/30/30 protein/carb/fat profile to “top off the tank” of glycogen stores in the muscle. Then, you are back to zero or trace amounts of carbs until the next workout.

You then repeat the this format for a maximum of five days, and then have a 1-2 day carb-up. On days that you don’t train, you don’t eat any carbs except for a green salad or two. You do not have to run these no carb to carb days for the full five days and for many of you, having a lower ratio of no carb Vs. carb days will be advantageous. Also you do NOT have to do the carb days back-to back. You may do a couple of no carb days, followed by one or more carb days. This is determined on YOUR metabolism and how fast you want to drop the bodyfat.
Pretty simple huh? Well, I haven’t given you ALL the details, but close enough to get most of you at least much closer to being able to put together a successful diet plan on your own, and if you want to have ALL the details in place, consider having me train you!

Do’s and don’ts:
If you don’t keep the fat ratio AT LEAST 40% your body will just continue to use carbs as fuel. How does this happen if all you are eating is chicken breasts as an example? Well your body has no problems converting protein to carbs and WILL do this if it doesn’t sense an alternate fuel source (fats.)
This type of diet tends to work best with lower overall workout days, so if you are a volume trainer who is in the gym 6 days a week (bad idea in any case IMO) you will see decreased results since every day will be a carb day. It will still work however.

Log your food intake for at LEAST a week to ensure you are hitting your numbers for both macro-nutrient profile, and overall kcals. You might just find out how far off you are from where you “thought” you were.

Your carb-up days are designed to refill the glycogen stores in the muscle, and bump up caloric levels a bit to keep your thyroid off balance. They are not go all-out berserk pig-out days. MANY, MANY lifters make this mistake and cancel out all the fat loss they achieved up until the carb-up day(s).

Do cardio when dieting. No it is not mandatory, but it makes such a big difference for such little effort and time expended that is extremely short-sighted to not include it as part of your fat-loss plan.

Don’t be in a big hurry to drop the bodyfat. You didn’t get fat overnight (well, some of you almost did) so don’t try to lose it overnight. You should work along the lines of about this much fat loss a week:
150-200 lb trainees, 1.5 lbs a week
200-250 lb trainees, 2 lbs a week
250+ 2 to 2-1/2b lbs a week

Going much more aggressive than that and strength gains will slow or stop, and catabolism may set in.

If you are just starting a reduced volume (or realistic training program) the scale may be worthless at first. Many people are able to gain a significant amount of muscle when dieting like this. Use the mirror and calipers (or better yet hydro-static weighing) to determine your rate of success.

You WILL end up looking flat by day 3-4, this is NOT representative of what you will look like when fully carbed-up. Remember, each gram of glycogen in the muscle brings 3 grams of water with it. When glycogen stores are down (and they will be) when doing low carbs you will “appear” smaller. It’s just water, don’t sweat it!

This type of diet lends itself well to getting a large percentage of daily caloric levels from protein powder and EFA’s (essential fatty acids), and that makes it convenient to do.

I will at some point put out another article aimed at how to stay lean while adding mass, and as you might guess it is a variation of this basic format.

There you go, get that damn bodyfat off you and become a true bodybuilder. You know, one who isn’t afraid to take his shirt off-lol.

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Old 07-13-2011, 10:31 AM   #14
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Important Dieting Tips

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Without going into specifics on actual dieting techniques, I will give some good general guidelines that are often overlooked, or simply not known. Here goes.

1. If you have a lot of weight to lose do NOT try and do it all at once. The maximal time I have trainees do fat loss diets are 12-16 weeks. And 16 weeks is the MAX. If you are not at your goal within 16 weeks, take 4-5 weeks and reefed. This does not mean eat all you want for the 4-5 weeks, it means add calories and perhaps carbs if doing a low/no carb diet and get your diet a bit over maintenance. This will allow your metabolism to rebound give you both a mental and physical break from dieting.

2. Crash dieting (extreme caloric restriction) rarely works. All it does is shut your metabolism down a very short time after you start the diet, and/or catabolizes a lot of muscle. Aim for a 400-600 calorie a day restriction, and along with reasonable cardio you will create a decent deficit. If you are already doing as much cardio as you can or care to, you may need a bigger caloric decrease. This all varies a LOT between people of different bodyweights and bodyfat compositions as well as the individuals metabolism. So while the suggested number will work for many people, it will not work for all.

3. If you are not weighing and logging your food at least some of the time, you are simply guessing about your diet approach. Guessing is fine I guess, if you want haphazard results. The average person is simply not good enough to “eyeball” their food and get it close enough. If you absolutely will not do this you had best ensure you eat the same basic things daily so if you are not getting the results you want, you can make changes at least off of a known quantity.

4. Be creative with your food and think outside the box when it comes to seasoning and food choices. So many people get stuck eating the same things that taste the same way day in and day out that it is no wonder they quit their diets. There will have to be sacrifices made, that is for sure. But you don’t have to make it so Spartan that the entire time dieting is an exercise in depravation.

5. Take your morning body temperate FIRST thing in the morning for 4 days in a row BEFORE starting a fat loss diet. This means BEFORE EATING and BEFORE ANY activity. Morning temp should be 97.5-98.1. If it is a bit lower that is fine. If it is consistently 96.5 or below, you should either postpone the diet until you get it back up by eating a bit more and if at all possible having your thyroid checked. Trying to start a diet with a severely slowed metabolism will make the diet a very difficult task. At 96.1, your metabolism is already slowed 15-25% for most people and to get at a number well below maintenance with your metabolism that dampened already will require a very low caloric and nutritional profile for YOUR body. Please take into mind that SOME people have a naturally lower basal body temperature, so what will appear as low for a normal person will be the norm for a person with the low body temperature type metabolism. These people are not the rule but the exception. Trying to diet with an already crippled metabolism rarely works and the calories and nutrients end up having to be so low that muscle is usually sacrificed. Continue to monitor temperature while dieting. If your body temperature plummets, you can bet your metabolic rate has also plummeted. Careful measurement can tell an experienced person when to either drop calories, or discontinue the diet for a short time to get metabolism back up and running correctly.

6. If you are not getting stronger while dieting—at least by small increases you likely have something out of balance with the workload, cardio, or caloric deficit/macro- profile. There is simply no reason to not be able to get at least a bit stronger unless you are at 8% or below, or are extremely advanced. Low and intermediate level lifters should be able to still make strength progress until about 8% or so bodyfat.

7. If you are dieting and do not do resistance training, you are much more likely to catabolize muscle tissue when losing weight. ANY type of resistance training including bodyweight exercises is better than none.

8. Unless you are doing circuit type training for overall conditioning and strength, using weight training to burn extra calories is misguided. People often go on cutting diets and increase their volume and frequency to “use more calories”. This is a very poor way of burning calories and the opposite of what should be done. Most people can use the same training volume they use when massing, others need to reduce it a good amount. Doing high volume/high frequency routines when dieting is a chief cause of muscle loss.

9. Train for strength when dieting. You are not likely to gain much muscle if you are on a cutting type diet opposed to a recomp. So doing hypertrophy specific type workload is not your best bet. A 10 x 10 may work well for size gains and some strength gains when massing, but is not likely optimal on a cut. Lower, to mid volume work with an emphasis on strength will allow neural gains to continue to occur thus allowing you to get stronger while dropping bodyfat.

10. Step diet when going to very low levels of bodyfat, or if you are a person who’s metabolism slows fast. Many people can start a diet at a reasonable caloric deficit and keep going a full 12-16 weeks and still drop fat the entire time at the same caloric level. Other people need to slowly adjust calories downwards every 4-6 weeks or so to keep bodyfat coming off.

11. If it “appears” that fat loss has stalled do NOT panic and drop calories drastically or increase cardio drastically. Most people’s bodies lose fat cyclically and also, at different stages of fat loss the ‘appearance” of bodyfat reduction “looks” more dramatic than at other stages. Wait at LEAST two weeks of no scale or mirror improvement to drop calories or increase cardio. This rule may not apply to people doing contest prep.

12. Fat loss does NOT come off most people in the areas they are usually most concerned about in the initial stages of a diet. For guys it typically comes off the extremities first and the waistline last. For most girls, upper body fat is lost first and lower body fat (thighs/butt) is the last place the body pulls from. Putting a tape measure around your waist for guys, and legs/butt for girls every week to measure fat loss will usually lead to a very frustrated dieter. As a trainer I have people tell me frequently they don’t think they are losing much weight during the initial stages of the diet, but after getting pictures or seeing them in person I point to their arms, legs (for guys) and face upper chest area and all of a sudden they notice all the separation and less fat in these areas that they failed to see before. People tend to just focus on the areas that they want to reduce while not understanding that the body sees the major fat storage areas as “survival” fuel and gives up that part of the bodies stored fat last.

13. Avoid stimulant fat burner supplements. These almost always produce an increase in stress hormone chemicals, primarily cortisol. High cortisol levels make it difficult for the body to burn fat, and tell the body to catabolize muscle tissue. There are plenty of non-stimulant based fat burning supplements that increase the rate of fat burning without promoting a stress response. Things like forskolin, TTA, and some of the mild thyroid boosting supplements along with ALCAR and other products that increase mitochondria output. Green tea has been proven to boost fat burning up to 4% by itself and has a wide variety of health benefits. Caffeine in reasonable quantities is acceptable even though it is technically a stimulant—just don’t go overboard with it.

14. Make sure you are getting a high dose of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) DAILY! This will help the fat come off faster, reduce overall protein needs a bit (difficult mechanism to understand so you will have to trust me on this) and ensure you remain healthy while dieting. 6 grams a day of fish oil should be a minimum.

15. If you are doing a diet that has a reasonable amount of carbs in it you can do HIIT cardio. If you are on an extremely low carb, or no carb diet you are better served by doing low intensity cardio. High intensity cardio requires glycogen for fuel. If you are already depleted on carbs the body will catabolize muscle to fuel your high intensity cardio sessions. You can bypass this to a certain degree by doing a PWO feeding after your HIIT sessions, but this is not really an option for the way many diets are laid out. BOTH methods work for fat loss—don’t let anyone tell you different. But they work by entirely different mechanisms and diet composition needs to be taken into account when planning cardio.

16. High impact cardio such as running is much more likely to result in muscle catabolism as the same degree of intensity done with low impact. Running while dieting is a poor combo for most people.

17. Once at a low caloric/nutrient level in the final stages of a diet it is often a better idea to increase low intensity cardio than to reduce calories.

18. When adding mass at least 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight is needed for optimal mass gains. When dieting you can go as low as 1 gram per lb of bodyweight for guys, and .75 for girls. Going below this number is a primary reason why people lose muscle when dieting. If you are losing a lot of muscle when dieting, you are simply doing something or many things wrong.

19. Calories are NOT calories. You can gain fat while being on an under maintenance caloric level by simply having your macro nutrient profiles screwed up. I read a very well conducted study recently where they took over 1500 people and put them on a diet that was 1000 calories below maintenance levels and the primary macro-nutrient was fructose. The vast majority of the people actually GAINED bodyfat while eating 1000 calories less than maintenance levels. The scale weight went down, and when they tested body composition they determined the people had lost a lot of muscle while actually storing more bodyfat. Without going into diet details as this is not what this article is for, the simple take home message is carbs are not your friend on a fat loss diet. That is not conjecture, just basic physiology.

20. EFA’s and BCAA’s can be extremely helpful in muscle mass retention on a fat loss diet. That is an article unto itself. Do some research!

Hope this helps some people with their fat loss goals!

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Old 07-13-2011, 10:51 AM   #15
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Basic Diet Information

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The forum gets plenty of brandnewbies that have absolutely zero idea how to go about dieting to add muscle or lose bodyfat. This article will not be an in depth summary of all the diet types and how to implement them, but a very basic overview of how to get started with a diet. There are plenty of articles on actual diets if you will take the time to do a few searches on the forum.

The numbers given are basic starting points and will NOT be correct for all lifters--they are starting points and will work for getting you in the ball-park. Everyone has different metabolisms and some people are quite frankly gifted metabolically and some are genetic trash. That is reality.--deal with it.

First, I will put in a shameless plug and tell you that the easiest way to get started on a diet is to sign-up for an account on Redpointfitness.com. I am part of the design team and Redpoint will truly take the guesswork out of both diet and training for you. That said, lets get started!

Part one, and the most important part is determining your maintenance level caloric number. This is easiest if your current diet is neither adding or losing scale weight. If that is the case, go to fitday.com or one of the other free calorie counters on the web and WEIGH and enter your EXACT diet WITHOUT CHANGING ANYTHING. Do 5-7 days of this and take the totals and average them. That will be your starting number.

If your diet is slowly adding weight, or slowly losing weight, do the same thing and then add or subtract 200-400 calories a day from the number you get. That will be your starting point.

If you are trying to add mass, the guidelines are simple:
1. Protein at 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight unless you are over 20% bodyfat. If you are over 20% bodyfat you should not be massing and should lose the fat first.
2. Complex carbs and fats make up the rest of the diet. Complex carbs should be 60 or under on the GI scale. If you are an ecto, mesomorph, teen or in your early 20’s you may do well on 40% or even more carbs. If you are and endomorph, or 23+ you will likely do better on 20-35% carbs.
3. You need essential fatty acids. 5-8 grams of fish oil will do. The rest of the calories will come from fats, these can be mono, poly, or saturated depending on what you believe about saturated fats.
4. You need a caloric surplus of 200-400 calories a day depending on how long you have been lifting. If you are a newbie, you may be able to eat 500-700 extra calories a day—I said MAY—not can. Most people will just get fat doing this. Muscle is built relatively slowly and adding ½ lb of muscle a week will result in gaining 24 lbs in a year. How many people other than pure beginners actually do this?

If you are trying to reduce bodyfat, the guidelines are also simple:
1. For MOST people trying to reduce bodyfat, carb control is an extremely big part of the equation. Unless you are a teen, or an extremely fast metabolism ectomorph, carbs should not be more than 20% of overall calories when trying to lose fat, SOME people are exceptions to this, but if you want to go with the odds, assume you are not
2. You need to coax the body into losing fat, not force it. The biggest mistake people make is trying to lose fat too fast. This usually results in the metabolism just slowing down so much it matches your caloric deficit. A 200 lb male should NEVER attempt to lose more than 2 lbs a week and that is an absolute maximum, and only works for people with good fat burning metabolisms. 1.5 lbs a week is a better goal for a 200 lb male, 1 or 1.25 for a lighter guy—sorry, most of you simply don’t want to hear this, but that is the reality. And BTW, this is not MY standards, but the standards of every single good strength and conditioning coach and dietician you will find that has any credentials.
3. If you create a 500 calorie a day deficit AND carbs are reasonably reduced, you will lose approximately 1 lb a week. If you are going to be doing cardio, factor the calories used doing the cardio into your deficit. A 4 mile per hour walk for 45 minutes burns approximately 300-350 calories for a 200 lb male.
4. Fat loss will NOT be linear and you will lose the most weight when first starting the diet.
5. Dieting for more than 16 weeks without a break is NOT recommended for Most people.
6. Diet types for MOST people should work around the principle of having long periods of the day where carbs are low or not included. This can be a ½ day timed carb diet, a timed carb diet (TCD) or a keto. Teens should NOT be doing a keto diet unless they are obese and very insulin resistant. Most teens can just cut carbs to 20-30% of the diet, create a calorie deficit and do some cardio to drop fat. They should NOT be doing any kind of drastic diet like a keto and should not do an aggressive caloric deficit diet.

The concepts are all simple—the disclipline is what is usually lacking. See this article for more info:

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