Berardi's food combination's

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by Cliner9er, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    I was talking a PhD canidate (PhD= pile it higher and deeper.) ;) and he was telling me about ALL this research on using food combinations to reduce BF and gain LBM. The rules were protein and carb meals with no fat, OR protein and fat meals with no carbs. My argument was that at the end-of-the-day it wold make no difference and he wanted to blab about insulin levels, lipids, blah, blah. Is there any validity to this dietary approach, or is this just another fad in the wind? Thanks for the responses. ;) ;)
  2. Calkid

    Calkid New Member

    I'd like to hear from the big boys on this one. Don't know enough about diet to help you out.

    I did read the Berardi article (it's on his website, Massive Eating, part 2)

    From what I remember the protein+carb meals are to trigger insulin release for anabolism, but because there's no fat present, insulin can't act to store much fat. Then the protein+fat meals are to get the benefit from EFA's when there's no insulin present so it won't get stored.

    He's also big into letting insulin sensitivity determine macronutrient composition, with high insulin sensitivity people eating a lot more carbs than they otherwise would.

    I found thearticle

  3. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    I wasnt going to bite, but oh well, I gotta write something

    Berardi's 'food combining' has changed a little since the origonal posting.

    In his Appetite for construction column, that gave a setup of the 'massive eating' idea.
    Basically was this

    Meal #1 (650 calories – 56 protein, 84 carbs, 10 fat)
    Meal #2 (660 calories - 70 protein, 7 carbs, 39 fat)
    Meal #3 (630 calories – 58 protein, 78 carbs, 10 fat)
    Meal #4 - Pre-Workout (660 calories – 70 protein, 7 carbs, 10 fat)
    Same as meal #2
    Meal #5 – During training (160 calories – 40 carbs)
    Meal #6 – Immediately Post-Workout (420 kcal – 35 protein, 70 carbs)
    Meal #7 – 90 minutes after Biotest Surge (730 calories – 50 protein, 110 carbs, 10 fat)
    Meal #8 – (560 calories – 55 protein, 7 carbs, 35 fat)

    Now these days he seems to be recommending a more P+C all morning, and P+F in the afternoon, which would make more sense, but still wouldnt make a lick of difference.
    Whats wrong with the meal combinantion theory

    Well this
    1) Meal 1 has huge amounts of carbs and no fat, and meal 2 has lottsa fats and no carbs. Would this make a difference. Well yes, because the metabolic effects of a huge loading of carbs (in this example 85g or so) last for around 4hours + after a meal. RQ rises very quickly and stays that way for a long time, as does glucose and insulin. Especially if the carb is low GI, because the glucose is leaking slowly into the body, rather than all in a rush, so insulin will be raised for longer, but much lower (and insulin at starvation levels is enough to halt fat burning).
    2) Fat doesnt need insulin to be stored. This is what the ASP (acylation stimulating protein) is for, which is predominantly under the control of chylomicrons, which are the way long and medium chain fatty acids (as well as cholesterol) is transported from the gut to the liver (but seem to take the long route via basically anywhere). Sure you could argue that ASP is also stimulated by insulin, but nowhere near as much as chylomicrons affect it.
    3) Now looking at the potential opposite effect, which potentially makes #1 in my list all wrong anyway. Fat is slowly absorbed. So if you eat your 40g of fat with meal 2, the chylomicrons are actually just peaking in hte bloodstream around 2-3hours after that meal. Just in time for the peak of insulin from meal 3 :) So potentially you could make them fatter doing it that way, as you are raising both fats, carbs and insulin all at the same time :)
    4) it doesnt make a difference. What makes a difference is fat balance over a number of day/weeks. You can get a positive fat balance from eating too much fat, eating too many carbs (stores the fat you eat = +ve fat balance), which basically all requires you to eat more than maintenance. THe amount of lean vs fat you gain depends on starting BF% genetics training and a pile of other factors.
    In a negative energy balance its all going to make jack difference.

    As i have read on another board. Get adequate protien and some fat, and its highly likely you could get someboyd ripped on table sugar as their main carb source (not that it would be very appetising or anoretic)
  4. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    It all seems to be an roughl isocaloric diet at the end-of-the day anyways. Thanks for the input Aaron.
  5. Mad Amos

    Mad Amos New Member


    Since you REALLY seem to have a great handle on this stuff, I'd like to pick your brain if I may...

    If I understand you correctly, macronutrient manipulation and control of meal loads & timing can certainly play a role in determining body composition, but it's all quite moot in the presence of a caloric deficit.
    My questions, with the above understanding, are these:

    1.) How do these factors impact a maintenance diet? What would be the best nutritional protocol at this time?
    2.) How would we manipulate these same mechanisms when bulking?
    3.) We all know to keep our carbs low-GI, our protein @ around 1g/lb, and fat (derived mostly from EFA sources) at less than or equal to 30% of total calories consumed for the day. What, then, is the IDEAL amount of carbs to ingest?
    4.) Finally, you alluded to insulin, its effect on lipolysis, AND its "lifetime" within the bloodstream following a meal. Assuming one is at a caloric deficit, is there a way to further control this effect (through meal timing, GI value/carb-load, and subsequent insulin control) so we can maximize our "ordinary" lipolytic mechanism, or do we just let it all come out in the wash at the end of the day? What about during maintenance or bulking?

    Thanks in advance for the help, my friend!!!
  6. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Basically no impact on maintenance (which is a rather exact term). Of course you need adequate protien to maintain muscle, and adequate EFAs (which isnt much really - for removing deficiency anyway) but after that, very little. It has been shown that you can eat pure sugar on a maintenance diet, and it makes no difference.
    Preferably, when bulking you would want to start from as lean as possible, and not allow yourself to get overfat. Eat as many calories as you can get away with, without eating too much (a fine line I know)
    Where your extra calories come from, and their split doesnt appear to make much of a difference. Well unless you are talking about eating around training, which is a completely different picture.
    about yaay much <spreads arms really wide>
    Well it depends. Clinically, there is no requirement for carbs (maybe some for fibre, but thats a differnt thing). Certain areas of hte body require a certain level of glucose even when fat adapted (areas of the kidney, RBCs brain etc) which gives around 50-100g perday. And most people notice a decline in mental performance when eating less than 100g per day. Then with training on top of that, a total body routine may be using about 50-100g carbs on top of that. So if you do not want to deplete the body of carbs (at least not when bulking) you would be looking at around 100-200g carbs depending on various things (body size etc). Some on this site still have problems with depletion eating 300g carbs, but thats usually with 2x daily training. When bulking, I dont mind a value of 2-4g/kg bodyweight as a starting point, then try and monitor water balance somewhat (daily measures of BF will help estimate this, especially when eating 'maintenance') THe value of 3-4g lies in amongst the available research on the subject area. (most other recs of 6g/kg are extrapolated from the 3-4g thru a wild estimation)
    Insulin is a great hormone. On a cellular level it can turn lipolysis off nicely, and increase fat uptake to a degree. But levels in the blood after 'starvation' are enough to do this (altho not in the whole body). A balance of the hormones leads lipolysis. A bit of give and take really. A high carb meal (high or low GI) will release insulin and to a certain extent, shut down whole body lipolysis. But after this peak has died away, the body will return to its resting fat oxidative state.
    what carbs will do is alter fat balance, so if you increase the amount of carbs, you will decrease teh amount of fat burnt and therefore have more stored.

    So basically (Without taking training into account)
    Say somebody had maintenance at 3000kcal

    if they eat 1000kcal protein, 1000kcal cabrs and 1000kcal fat thats an isocaloric diet, at balance (ie fat balance will be 0)
    If you reduce their carbs, you get
    1000kcal protein, 500kcal carbs and 1000kcal fat. You are in negative energy expenditure. But the calories will be made up from somewhere (without adaptation of course) so the fat balance will be -500kcal
    If you decrease carbs but increase fat you get
    1000kcal protein, 500kcal carbs 1500kcal fat (most people would think this by itself would cause fat loss) you also get 0 fat balance, because while there are less carbs to reduce fat oxidation, there is also more fat from the diet available to burn so the net balance is 0
    If you go keto but really up the fat
    1000kcal protein, 0kcal carbs, 2500kcal fat
    you have a +500kcal fat balance, becuase while no carbs are there to stop fat oxidation (protein will to an extent as well) there is a vast quantity of fat from the diet, so it has to go somewhere, basically stored.
    Going for a similar thing (in the old concept) a high carb low fat bulking diet
    1000kcal protein, 2000kcal carbs, 500kcal fat
    would still equate to a +500kcal fat balance, because you are supplying large amounts of carbs, which will help you store all the fat in the diet rather than oxidise them (which is how high carb diets will make you fat, you dont turn carbs into fat very well, but you store fats from your diet extremely well)
    What was the question again.:blush
    Oh yeah, insulin.
    THe best way to minimise insulin is going fully extreme keto. But, from the research this doesnt really show any advantage over non-keto diets (except for satiety)
    So basically all that the final diet comes down to is one that allows you to reduce calories, without feeling deprived/hungry. Basically adequate protein, adequate high fibre carbs (they are usually low GI) and adequate fat (to which lyle mcd has stated somewhere around 7-14g per meal is adequate).
    If you are low energy (~1500kcals) have 3 meals per day rather than trying to get to 6, because small meals dont blunt hunger as much as large ones.
    Did I awnser anything? my brain isnt working too well
  7. Mad Amos

    Mad Amos New Member

    Thanx for the in-depth my eyes hurt :D

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe what you're saying is:

    1.) If you're cutting, macronutrients mean squat so long as you're expending more than you're consuming.

    2.) If you're at maintenance, macronutrients mean squat so long as you're expending as much as you're consuming.

    3.) If you're bulking, macronutrients mean squat so long as you're expending less than you're consuming.

    Basically, then, macronutrients mean squat so long as energy balance is in line with your current dietary goal. Does that sound about right?

    Two final questions, Aaron, and I think I can finally wrap this up (though I sincerely hope others are benefiting from our discussion):

    1.) Is there any advantage in pursuing both low-carb AND negative calorie balance? IOW, using the convention presented in your own hypothetical examples, what if they require 3000 calories for maintenance and consume a diet consisting of the following:

    1,000 PRO
    0 CHO
    1,500 FAT

    They're effectively pursuing a ketogenic approach but at a 500 calorie deficit. Is this efficacious in any way?

    2.) What are your thoughts on the "proper" amount of calories to consume for cutting? I've always advocated eating at BMR so that the body would a.) have enough calories to cover basic metabolic needs (thereby minimizing catabolism and "starvation response") and b.) cause ANY activity greater than mere existence to be relatively lipolytic (as it would, by definition, expand the energy deficit), such that tying your shoes would burn fat. And, of course, in conjunction with this one would consume the prescribed 1g/lb of protein and 30% fat from EFAs (yadda, yadda). What do you think of such a protocol?

    Thanks again !!!

  8. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Apart from the provisional adequate protein which is the most important thing to get.
    I have a study of people eating basically protein and sugar (with a tiny bit of fat) at maintenance, but guess what, they maintained weight. So yes :D
    Basically, from everything I have read. Sure, there comes a point that carb intake gets so excessive that some fat will be formed from carbs, but generally that requires massive overfeeding. (~10G/KG LBM for ~2 days+)
    the biggest potential advantage is most people find keto diets blunt their hunger (but not all, I get hungry easily from any diet). FOr weight training, a carb load would also be useful.
    depends. General activity level is the main determinant. To get reasonable weight loss, I have to go around 7-8kcal/lb because I do next ot nothing. I drive most places, I dont walk as much anymore (winter) and basically sit on my butt at a computer most of the day. So calories can vary. Of course, do the minimum reduction by either diet or exericse that you can get away with so the body doesnt react as quickly to the negative energy balance. But once you start getting lean, you have to become slightly more brutal with the approach really. Some people get away with no aerobic activity, most people seem to require it. I do best with a hard diet, and a heavy refeed with moderate to higher aerobic work. Basically maintain or reduce the loss of muscle to the minimum.
    For your idea, basically you would be looking at 10-12kcal/lb (usually a good estiamte of BMR - I have an spreadsheet on calculating BMRS on my webpage) and then eating 1g/lb protein, 30% fat and eating the rest from low GI carbs in the end. Just to try to reduce hunger as much as possible.
  9. boggy

    boggy New Member

    how do I know if I'm having carb depletion problems?
    (I am on a 2xday split)
  10. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    I can track mine with refeeds. Take a keto based diet for hte best example, becuase it will have the largest difference.
    Say i start my carbup thursady, my morning weight can be 106on thursday, by friday morning, I have gained ~2kg, and by saturday morning I can be 109. Fully loaded, so htere is 3kg of glycogen/water gain (not counting the food in my belly)
    You can do the same with BF measures. IF you get accurate enough, you can track muscle decrease durin the week, and then see where it goes with a refeed.
    However, being depleted will not end the world, its most apparent during the 15's, but if the negative Carb balance is only small, you may not be that depleted by the time you end hte 15s, and the demand is smaller for the 10's and really small for the 5's
    as I said above, people who train 2x per day suffer the most, because its very demanding.
  11. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member


    I just started a 2x/day, 4-week cutting cycle (15s and 10s only) using supersets. My goal is to drop 4-6lbs of nasty fat in that time. I weigh 175lbs, mid-teens BF% (guesstimate) and my activity habits are like Aaron's (pencilneck computer geek job).

    My diet will consist of 190-220g protein, 30-40g fats daily, and carbs will vary from around 100-150 on off- and workout-days respectively. Totals calories will be around 1800 (off) or 2100 (workout) daily.

    I'm hoping not to have to screw around with refeeds, but we'll see how I feel after a week or so - never done it like this before.
  12. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    With a slight decrease in energy, you dont have to screw around with refeeds, but there will be a point where hunger increases, weight loss stagnates etc, when you should either take a break from dieting, or reduce calories etc
  13. Mad Amos

    Mad Amos New Member


    I forgot to you advocate eating below BMR? And do you have any specific "thresholds" for caloric deficit before you entertain the thought of a refeed?
  14. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Yes, if the person requires it (which is obviously a very loose reply)
    Varies person to person, body fat level to body fat level.
    BF is a better estimate rather than calorie intake, as leptin is more related to bf (in the long term at least).
    I think its somewhere around this
    >15% once a fortnight
    10-15% once a week,
    <10 1-2x per week
  15. Pauly

    Pauly New Member


    Do you think its possible to do refeeds by feel? I started with weekend refeeds (4000cal sat, 3000 sun, 2300 mon-fri) and the weight came off fine. I got to a point where I thought i was ready for smaller, more frequent refeeds (every 4th day for one day instead of two) as my bf got quite low.

    While the fat is still coming off, and the muscle is still staying on. the loss has slowed somewhat. I expected this since my average calorie intake has increased slightly.

    Im thinking of extending the period between refeeds a bit, to drop the average intake back down a bit and get some more fat off, but without sacrificing muscle. Is it possible to dothis by feel? I mean to go low cal until i feel a bit depleted and then have a one day refeed? This might be every 5th day or 6th day or so.

    Would a better idea be to drop the calorie intake further on the diet days so that the average intake comes down that way? (ie 2000cal diet days, 4000 refeed day).

    Any thoughts appreciated...

  16. Mad Amos

    Mad Amos New Member

    I'm going to add to Pauly's question...

    We seem to agree that there is definite efficacy with regard to refeeding, and that the need for such is relative to current BF%.

    I also understand that refeeds, in order for them to be less lipogenic, must be relatively "clean" (low fat, protein, fructose/sucrose, fiber, etc.) and comprised primarily of CHO (from both low and high GI sources).

    The question is, how much is too much? How much is too little? If we know that we need to eat "clean" CHO to get maximum leptin expression with minimal lipogenesis, how much of this CHO do we require without over- or even under-doing it?

    Care to elaborate...? [​IMG]

    And one "final" [​IMG] thread:

    If low-carb approaches amount to a hill of beans when cutting (i.e. negative calorie balance), and they mean as much during maintenance (since it's been shown that maintenance can occur on a diet of pure sugar), then WHEN (if ever) is this protocol efficacious?

    Would I want to pursue a low-carb/high fat (so that more fat is burned instead of stored while adding lean tissue) diet when bulking, or would this be detrimental to muscle gains?

    How DO we best balance and time our macronutrients/meals when bulking so we gain as much mass and as little fat as possible? Would low fat, high carbs be better?

    How much protein? Does too much lead to increased proteolysis?


    Sorry to bug you, Aaron my friend...but I guess continually dealing with pests like me is part of the stigma of being the resident keeper of knowledge [​IMG].
  17. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Potentially, depends really. what would your maintennace level be? as if you are 700kcal below maintenance it would be ok to go by feel. Are you using low carb/mod carb or high carb?
    more than likely. If lean weight is going up and BF is going down, dont worry about a refeed too much.
    Will work fine, your already reasonably lean (from your piccies - congrats), if you feel depleted give a refeed ago.
    if you are wanting to lose fat, and just maintain as much muscle as possible, I would go quite low in calories, and do a massive refeed. Of course, once hte calories get low, the actual amount of carbs goes down quite a lot, so the refeed will need a decent amount of carbs in it. Depending on diet levels, 8-16g/kg can be used.

    But in the case of, if what you are already doing is working, dont mess with it :)
  18. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Usually a refeed is also a carb load, becuase of the amount of people doing low carb these days. But if you are resting noramlly on high carb, more fat will not matter too much, because 1 day of refeeding isnt going to make that big a difference in the overall picture.
    If you start from a mostly depleted position, (say 3-4days of low carb, and some work outs during this) you can probably get awaywith somewhat around 10-16g/kg (lean weight) carbs, with adequate protein and a low amount of fat. Generally high GI (if you are doing a 1day refeed). This fulls you up very quickly. I think lyle does bagels and milk, where as I use a flavoured carb solution so I dont get sickly full (Im takin in somewhat around 1200g carbs (4800kcal) plus about 150-200g protein (dont go out of my way to get it) and a relatively low amount of fat (~50g or so) and my bodyfat has been going down. I try to avoid too much fructose and that type of thing.
    I go from normal physical activity. If they are doing nothing all day, people will have to eat below BMR to get decent amount of fat loss. For the people who do lots everyday, (fidget, work, everything really) they can sometimes get away with a whole heap of energy.
    thats why I dont like people saying "you shouldnt go below 1200kcals(female)" becuase , if the female is quite small, and not doing very much, in order to get them losing a reasonable amount of fat, sometimes you have to cut things down quite low. (which sucks)
    certain states of insulin resistance may require a lowering of carbs. But for the most part, there isnt a definate need for low carbing. Im doing it at the moment (which is agaist my better judgement sometimes) but I am combining it with a specific training/other goals. And for once it seems to be blunting my hunger (which is a huge bonus-and the main reason why low carb seems to work better for free living individuals)
    More than likely detrimental. But thats for a keto diet really. You could have a low carb diet (based on a percentage total energy) becuase you ate 4500kcal to gain weight, but only ate 200g carbs per day (enough to replace glycogen/brain utilization). Carbs also taste nice, so we may as well enjoy as much as possible. :D
    if you over feed the body pretty much anything, it will store it. If you are bulking, its best to do so after a diet and/or from being relatively lean. You get a better ratio of muscle:fat. Once you start getting around 1:1 gains, its probably time to start cutting.
    Experiemnt if you have the time. Try for around 1g/lb, and then for the next cycle try for around 1.5 and just see how your body reacts. Genearlly you increase it when using anabolic aids, a natural can only uprate protein sunthesis so much, so adding more proten wont make a differnece.
    Psst. Hey Guido. It's all so clear to me now. I'm the keeper of the cheese. And you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it. That's why he's gonna kill us. So we have to beat it. Yeah. Before he lets loose the marmosets on us! Don't worry, little missy! I'll save you! [​IMG]
  19. mikeh

    mikeh New Member


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A Ren or Stimpy fan ??
  20. Mad Amos

    Mad Amos New Member's the shaven yak in his mystical canoe!
    Just what I always wanted...SHAVING SCUM!!!

    Thanks again Aaron for your continued insight!!! [​IMG]

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