A Review of the Different Types of Popular Diets

At times it can be confusing to pick a diet. There are many different diets being marketed at any given time. How is a person to know how they differ and which one is right for them? Categorizing the diets into groups that share basic characteristics is a good way to start understanding popular diets. [Read more...]

Glycemic Index, Carbohydrates and Fat Loss

There are several camps of opinion when it comes to the virtues of high- or low-glycemic index (GI) carbs and performance. There are seemingly conflicting results from dozens of studies trying to figure out if high or low GI carbs are better for exercise performance. Fortunately, I’m not particularly interested in the performance angle for this article. That being the case I’m going to borrow the results of a recent carb study to shed light on the virtues of high or low GI carbs for fat loss. [Read more...]

Vegetarian Diet for Building Muscle Mass

Q: I have been training for the past 5 months. I am a vegetarian. What is a good vegetarian diet that will help me gain a lot of muscle mass? [Read more...]

Understanding the Difficulty Women Have in Losing Lower Body Fat

Photo credit: Millard Baker / Muscletime

Having worked with many different female clients, I can attest to the difficulty of getting their lower body as lean as their upper body. Over the years I have tried many different strategies to get them to lose lower body fat like men. One thing I have learned is that patience and commitment make all the difference. If you have those two with you, science can help with the rest. [Read more...]

Bodybuilding Precontest Competition Tips

2008 Mr. Olympia Posedown

Photo credit: Muscletime

Q: I have been doing Bodyopus since February for a Bodybuilding contest later this month. I read your article on precontest guidelines. I am down to 191.6lbs at 6.5% bodyfat. I am 5’8″ tall. What is your definition of low carbs? What would you do to define low carbs? What parameters would you look for to define low carb intake? During this low carb period are you in ketosis or out of it? Do you have any other suggestions regarding the last 8 days before the show? [Read more...]

Bodybuilding Nutrition for Fat-Free Muscle Mass

Q: You seem to know a lot about bodybuilding nutrition so I guess you are a good one to ask this question. I am currently trying to put on as much lean fat-free muscle mass as possible. I want grow and expand while staying cut and ripped (no excess bodyfat). I was wondering, how should my caloric intake for a non-gym (rest) day differ from my caloric intake for a workout day? I would figure it would be lower but I have no clue. [Read more...]

Do You Have an Eating Disorder? If You Are a Dedicated Bodybuilder, Some Shrinks Think You Do!

IFBB Pro Bodybuilders at the gym

When you think of eating disorders you may typically think of anorexia (Def: Refusal to eat anything until you are extremely thin and malnourished) or bulimia (Def: Eat all you want then go in the bathroom and make yourself throw up until you are thin and malnourished). Recently some Harvard docs have decided its time to define yet another eating disorder, a disorder specifically seen in one particular population, bodybuilders. You may have been aware that we bodybuilders have qualified on several criteria (DSM-IV) for eating disorders like anorexia or even bulimia. Certainly our preoccupation with food has led some researchers/therapists to think of us as having “issues” with food. Now they are sure we have a problem and want to help us by clearly defining it. They call this new type of eating disorder, “Eating Disorder, Bodybuilder-Type” or simply ED, BT. [Read more...]

Training While on Low-Carb Zone Diet

Q: I am following Dr. Sear’s Zone diet to lose some bodyfat before I start my mountain bike racing season this year. Because of my training schedule I have to do several high intensity workouts during the week and I find that I am unable to recover from workout to workout on the carbohydrate intake I am currently consuming. Though I usually try to keep my carb level at about 220-250 grams for the day, on the days I indulge in the Ultra Fuel/Whey Protein post work-out shake nearly half of the day’s carbs are in the shake (100 grams). On workout days should I account for the nutrients in the shake in a different way? Possibly allowing for a higher carb intake on workout days? [Read more...]

Pre-Workout Meals and Pre-Bedtime Meals

Q: I have heard varying suggestions for pre-workout meals and before bedtime. Several authorities seem to be dead set against food (especially) carbohydrate consumption will inhibit Growth Hormone release by raising insulin levels. I work out late in the evening and I am not sure whether I should be eating carbohydrates after my workout. On the one hand I want to replenish my glycogen stores, but on the other I don’t want to stop the release of growth hormone when I go to bed. I would be grateful for your thoughts on this subject. [Read more...]

Going on a Diet? The Protein Supplement You Choose Might Make a Big Difference

Everybody knows that when you go on a diet, consuming a bit more protein will help you hold on to hard earned muscle. The reason for this is that, skeletal muscle is your body’s main “store” of protein and when food is scarce the body uses this protein for glucose (sugar) production. You can blame your brain for this. You see, your brain and central nervous system rely almost entirely on glucose for energy, fat is out of the question. In order not to slip into a hypoglycemic stupor, or even worse, a coma, the body has set up a system that goes around breaking down muscle tissue in order to feed its glucose manufacturing centers in the liver. A necessary evil I guess. [Read more...]