Diet and nutrition

Discussion in 'HST FAQ' started by Blade, Jan 21, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    All weight loss programs that recognize a few basic, yet important principles of proper weight loss can be effective. These principles include:

    - Exercise (not appetite) should be the "primary" strategy for controlling body weight and increasing health.
    - Eating habits must be adjusted not only to ensure weight loss, but also to ensure adequate nutrition.
    - Fat loss will slow and eventually stop on any weight loss program.

    Of course, when trying to apply these principles to each individual, some concessions and a little creativity may be needed to reach goals and overcome plateaus.

    You should count calories for at least a week to establish what your caloric intake is (99% of the dieters over- or underestimate this), and your macronutrient ratios.

    - Create a caloric deficit. 10-12kcal/lbs works great for most people. 14-15kcal/lbs may be better for someone with a high activity level during the week.
    - Eat 1g/lbs of bodyweight in protein.
    - Get 25% of calories from fats, mostly EFAs.

    Aim for 1-1.5lbs/week of weight loss. If you lose more and notice your strength decreasing, you may be sacrificing muscle and should increase calories.

    Basically, you just have to:

    1. Meet certain requirements: caloric deficit, protein, EFA's. That's required of any diet, no matter the interpretation.

    2. Figure out the rest of the diet dependent on the person. If they are active, have decent insulin sensitivity, and enjoy eating lower GI carbs, a moderate to higher carb diet will probably be sufficient. Something like 50/25/25 or 40/30/30. If they are very inactive, highly insulin resistant and/or simply won't remove the high GI crap from their diet, reducing carbs further or removing them competely may be the only workeable approach to get calories/hunger under control.

    So there's what's required (deficit, protein, EFA's) and there's what's optional (everything else). What's required isn't up to debate: it applies to everyone. What's optional depends on the needs of the person.

    The ease with which a person loses weight depends on several factors. Some of these factors include:

    Body size (height, frame size)
    The amount of lean mass (muscle) a person has
    Hormone levels
    Without going into too much detail, the bigger you are the more calories you burn in a day. Likewise, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. So the bigger and more muscular you are, the easier it is to lose weight.

    Hormones like estrogen can make losing weight much more difficult. testosterone, on the other hand, facilitates fat loss. This alone can account for some of the differences seen between men and women.

    Additionally, thyroid hormones play a major role in regulating body weight. If you have been "sort of dieting" for a long time, your thyroid levels may be reduced. The only way to get thyroid levels optimized for fat loss is to refeed yourself with more healthy food and calories for a couple weeks before attempting to diet again. Blood tests may also be helpful in detecting hormonal deficiencies that may hinder weight loss.
  2. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member


    On the one hand, higher volume/shorter rest burns more calories, depletes more glycogen (which tends to enhance fat burning to some degree) and the hormonal response may be beneficial from a fat loss standpoint (although the GH pulse is fairly small and short-lived). But it may not maintain muscle mass as well because of decreased tension requirements.

    On the other hand, heavier/longer rest training tends to maintain muscle mass better but doesn't burn as many calories (well, not during the workout, the damage may burn considerable calories in the day or two after) or generate the same hormonal response.

    So the combination of HST and moderate-intensity cardio should work just fine. When you get into 5s/negs, you may add drop sets or high-rep sets to enhance fat loss, as well as the other improvements discussed in the 'drop set' thread.
  3. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Getting rid of stubborn bodyfat - by Lyle McDonald

    Without going into the brutally long and complicated mental computations that led me to this (and I'm still working on the overall scheme), here's my current thoughts on how to approach it.

    First and foremost, this is one of the places where morning/pre-breakfast cardio is probably crucially important.

    An hour or two before cardio, take 200 mg caffeine with 1-3 grams of L-tyrosine (NO ephedrine).

    There are two segments to the cardio:

    - The first segment is for mobilization, to get those stubborn fatty acids out of the fat cell.
    - The second segment is the oxidation part, to burn them off in the muscle.

    For the first segment of the cardio, use a machine that you don't normally use. So if you normally do the treadmill, do the first segment on the stairmaster or bike or something. Just make it different.

    First segment:
    warmup: 3-5 minutes
    go hard: 5-10 minutes. I mean hard, as hard as you can stand for the entire time. This will NOT be fun on lowered blood glucose. I've considered putting intervals here but haven't found the data I need to make up my mind. If you do intervals, go something like 5X1' all out with a 1' break (10' total intervals)

    Rest 5', just sit on your butt, drink water, try not to puke.

    Go to your normal cardio machine. Do at least 30 minutes at moderate/high moderate intensity (below lactate threshold but decent intensity). I'd say 45' maximum here but I'm still making up my mind and looking at data.

    Go home, and wait and hour before having a small protein meal (25-50 grams or so). No dietary fat. 2-3 hours later, go back to normal diet eating. Your daily calories shouldn't be any different than they were already, they are just distributed differently, you only have 100-200 immediately after cardio, and then the rest afterwards.

    I'd do that maybe 3 days per week to start, and see what happens.

    Why this works

    To get stubborn fat mobilized, you have to overcome a fairly severe resistance in terms of both blood flow and lipolysis, this requires very high concentrations of catecholamines (adrenaline/noradrenaline). Sadly, jacking up levels of catecholamines (necessary for mobilization) limits burning in the muscle which is why you follow the high intensity with low intensity.

    Basically, you jack up levels to get the fat mobilized, and then let them fall so that the fatty acid can be burned in the muscle.

    I have a study showing that Ephedrine before intense activity lowers the catecholamine response, that's the reason for avoiding it. Studies also show a lower than normal catecholamine response as people adapt to a given type of cardio; doing a different machine will result in a higher catecholamine response than you'd other wise get.

    The bigger problem with stubborn fat has to do with:

    - Blood flow to the fat cells: which is typically very low, odds are your butt is cold to the touch compared to other areas of your body
    - It's harder to mobilize: both because of impaired blood flow, and because of adrenoceptor issues.

    Oral yohimbe (0.2 mg/kg) can be effective when used over the long term. Don't take it within 3-4 hours of taking ephedrine, and start with a half-dose to assess tolerance (some people get really freaky responses from it). IF you can find pharmaceutical yohimbine, it's far far better than the herbal version (and most of the herbal versions are crap, the only one I trust is Twinlab Yohimbe Fuel).

    Taking the yohimbe with caffeine prior to morning cardio does seem to help with very stubborn fat.
  4. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Lyle discussing the various dieting approaches

    Here's the thing: all hypocaloric diets cause fat loss. And, for the most part, once you meet some basic requirements (mainly protein and essential fatty acids, without generating too massive of a deficit), the differences in fat loss are pretty minor and even more highly variable. Some folks appear to do better on keto diets (although I suspect that's the carb-load more than anything) but some do better with moderate carbs. Even there the differences are minor. Folks were reporting *maybe* 3 lbs extra fat loss over 12 weeks for CKD vs a Zone type of diet. Others reported better fat loss on the Zone type of diet. These were lean folks who were meticulous about counting their calories.

    As far as I'm concerned it becomes a case of food/appetite/calorie control at that level (note: one exception is that women will tend to lose bodyfat better on lowered carbs, men might mobilize ab fat more effectively but that's debatable and highly variable). If a higher carb diet makes you hungrier and you eat more calories, you're going to lose less fat. Because you're eating more.

    I've got a study here looking at wrestlers who were at 6% bodyfat. They were all on hypocaloric high-carb diets and they lost fat just fine. They were all on 12.7 cal/lb and 55-60% carbs. Yeah, they all lost some muscle but that's what happens at that bodyfat level, almost no matter what you do.

    Seriously, as long as there's a caloric deficit, carbs don't magically prevent you from losing fat despite what many seem to think. Any 'magic' from a particular diet interpretation usually has to do with people spontaneously (or more easily) reducing calories and eating less. Which is fine, controlling hunger/etc. is crucial to diet success.

    Even Duchaine, in one of his last Ironman columns commented on this. He mentioned that all of the goofier diets didn't seem to really give the expected benefits. It became more an issue of limiting diet breaker foods (typically carbs) at that point.

    The reason being that most of what you lose (fat vs. muscle) is being controlled by internal determinants (leptin and all the hormones its controlling). So composition of the diet, beyond meeting protein and EFA requirements, and not creating too big of a deficit, tends to be fairly irrelevant outside of calorie/appetite control.

    Even the simple "Eat less fat" is based on the presumption that if people follow that advice, they'll eat less total calories. Same with 'eat less carbs' (or more radically no carbs) or 'eat less sugar' (Sugarbusters) or the complicated food combining stuff. Whatever.

    It's all a way to trick people into eating less without making them fixate on food (which causes psychological anxiety). Which isn't an inherently invalid concept, don't get me wrong. Of course, in reality we find out that while such approaches frequently do work for a while, people invariably compensate and end up eating about the same amount. But they have been so convinced by the diet book's spiel that calories don't count, that you can't get them to even count the calories at all. Atkins dieters are notorious for this: even if they haven't lost a pound in months, they will refuse to accept that they still have to monitor calories because of the line Atkins fed them.

    One of the most staggeringly 'brilliant' comments I read one time in a review paper was to the effect of "While we don't know what the ideal diet for the treatment of obesity is, it will most likely contain adequate protein, sufficient dietary fat, and emphasize fruits and vegetables."

    Seriously, 3 decades and 10 billion dollars worth of nutritional research and they came up with what my grandmother knew 50 years ago. I mean duh.

    The bigger problem is arguably this: getting people to follow whatever dietary and/or exercise changes they make. Frankly, the issue of how to lose weight is trivial. The issue of how to get people to maintain their behaviors in the long-term is not. Obesity treatment research HAS to get away from the focus on this or that diet or macronutrient. It needs to focus on the behavioral stuff, getting people to change their habits for long enough to break old patterns.

    Of course, statistically, most people fail at any behavior change they attempt. Stopping smoking, alcohol, whatever; the failure rate is generally pretty high. It's human nature: change begets anxiety and we don't like anxiety. It's usually easier to go back to old habits then to develop new ones.

    As well, there is a psychological aspect of 'goofy' diets that appeals to many (it used to appeal to me). Basically, in order to stay on the diet they have to really, really believe in it. That means being fed a really good line of hooey by the diet book author. Zone dieters are generally *convinced* that the reason they're losing fat is because they are IN THE ZONE. Try to point out that they're losing fat because they are on a severely calorie restricted diet that is adequate in protein and fat - and they'll have none of it. Basically they have to believe in the diet to follow it long-term. Again, not a real problem except when the line of hooey that the diet book author is feeding people is such crap that it gets them into problems.

    You'll note that most diet books are mainly an attempt to 'sell' the reader on the approach to tie into this psychological aspect of it all. Chapter upon chapter of why that particular diet is superior. This typically includes crapping on the mainstream dieting establishment, crapping on all other diets that are out there, and making up some reasonable sounding science to support whatever diet is being pushed. Because most diets can be summed up in about 3 pages but that doesn't sell books. The rest of the book is food lists and meal plans which makes it easy for the average person to follow it. But most of it is simply to convince the reader why the diet is superior and/or valid because that makes people more likely to stick with it.

    Yeah, seriously, don't get me wrong. There may still very well be advantages to lowcarb diets over other diets (although even that is highly individual) even if increased fat loss at the same calorie level isn't one of them.

    If nothing else, they do help to ensure adequate protein intake. A mistake that many make on high-carb diets (and one I have made) is eating too dang many carbs, which means that protein and fat (and EFA's) get shorted. Personally, I think a 75% carb diet is horribly imbalanced. I ate such a diet in college (didn't know any better and listened to my professors, which was a mistake).

    You simply can't get enough protein or EFA's (or you can get one but not the other) when carbs make up that much of your diet. But I have routinely seen people eating like that (female clients would frequently be eating like 80% carbs, 10% protein and 10% fat). People tend to get and stay absurdly hungry on such diets as well which doesn't help with compliance in the long-term. Nor does it help with controlling total calories.

    I don't even think that the 60/30/10 diet that Dan presented in Bodyopus is particularly balanced. Fat is too low. Yeah, he did actually state that fat would be 18% when you figured in EFA's but it's still on the low side IMO.

    However, if you were to move someone from 75%/whatever to 50% carbs, 25% protein (or 1 g/lb) and 25% fat, I suspect that that would make a HUGE difference. Not because you're reducing carbs per se, but rather because you're finally able to get sufficient protein and fats (and can get enough EFA's).

    I really suspect that's why so many people do report what appear to be magic results when they move to Zone or lowcarb types of diets. They tended to have been following crappy diets to begin with (too high in carbs and/or too low in protein; usually the latter) and just about any change would have been an improvement. Keto and Zone diets force people to get sufficient protein and fatty acids (and hopefully EFA's). They are superior to a 75% carb diet for that reason alone.

    They also control hunger better. Meaning better compliance and calorie control. Both of which are crucial aspects of a diet. In that sense (hunger/calorie control), lowered carbs may very well be considered to have a 'metabolic advantage'. And one that makes such diets very beneficial from a fat/weight loss standpoint.

    But in terms of causing significantly greater fat loss/less muscle loss at a given calorie level, the data just doesn't seem to be there. Not in the research, not in the real world. Not assuming the person is getting enough protein and EFA's in the first place. Basically, that's the issue in a lot of studies. Take someone with a crap diet (usually too little protein) to begin with, and a keto diet will be superior. Ketosis is VERY protein sparing if your protein intake is inadequate to begin with (many studies give 50 grams of protein or so while dieting). Assuming protein intake is adequate to begin with (at least 150g/day or 0.9g/lbs of bodyweight), ketosis doesn't appear to have much of an impact.

    And don't get me wrong, I really wanted it to be true, I really wanted such diets to cause greater fat loss and spare muscle better. I really did. This is just one of those cases where I don't think the research/real world results support the idea that they do.

    Now, some people do seem to benefit further (again, mainly calorie control/hunger) from reducing carbs even further (to 40% or 20% or even lower). Or even eliminating starches completely (this may help to break various food preferences/psychological carb addiction issues). Usually it's folks who are severely insulin resistant (generally very overfat, inactive, and were consuming the crappy modern diet to begin with). They can have a horrible time controlling appetite/hunger with even the smallest amounts of carbs in their diet because they have such severe rebound hypoglycemia, which tends to promote hunger. Removing carbs (starches, not vegetables) completely may be the only practical way to control hunger and reduce calories. Which is fine too.
  5. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Gaining muscle mass

    Read the following articles:

    Eating for Size

    Pre/Post-exercise nutrition

    Exposing the myths about protein

    Calories should be high. Take bodyweight and multiply it by 18 or 20 depending on fat gain. This should give you about 500 to 1,000 above maintenance. Protein should be at least 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight. Avoid saturated fat (within reason).

    Take a protein supplement before and after training. Use creatine as well. EFAs should be included (Fish oil and CLA).

    Actually, most guys take in too much protein. It isn't that too much protein will hurt them - assuming they are healthy to begin with - but too much protein can actually inhibit gains. I know, it sounds totally contradictory to what you read everywhere, but it is true. Let me explain.

    The ability of the body to grow is effected by the ratio of protein to carbs. It is an inverted U shaped curve - or bell curve - where the top or highest point of the curve is a ratio of 12-15% protein to carbs (diet consisting of ~15% protein). At one peak you have all carbs, at the other you have all protein. It has to do with thermogenesis and hormones.

    So, if a skinny guy wants to gain weight, he needs to plan a diet where he gets 15% of his calories from protein.
    Now this may seem contradictory to the general rule of 1 gram per pound bodyweight. I'm not saying that a guy can't gain weight with more than 15% calories from protein, I'm only saying that weight gain is greatest at 15%. He will be ok with an intake of 0.75 grams/pound FFM to gain muscle. In fact, everybody should use FFM instead of bodyweight to plan protein intake, but sometimes it's just too hard to figure it out, so most people use bodyweight.

    For a guy who isn't all that skinny, or even a little fat, he should increase his protien intake to 20-25%. This will increase thermogenesis and prevent some fat gain as calories increase above maintenance.

    The problem with protein cycling is that it is hard ot get ahead of your body when it comes to managing protein. The body adapts fairly quickly to changes in protien intake. If you eat more during the day, your body will get rid of more during the night. That changes according to intake on a daily basis.

    Longer term, your body will adjust to a drop in protein intake over the course of 12-14 days. In other words, you will go into a negative nitrogen balance on day one, and it takes about 12-14 days for your body to be able to reeduce protein breakdown to the point of reaching balance again.

    Some may argue about the different turnover rates of muscle protein and splanchnic proteins. This should have led to real success from protein cycling, yet it hasn't.

    If you do decide to cycle your protein, I would not drop your intake below 15% (or ~1g/kg bodyweight) while maintaining total calories. Then keep protein intake at this lowered level for at least 2 weeks.

    Your diet can effect Test and IGFBPs. IGFBPs dictate how much IGF-1 is actually available for your body. Too much protein relative will lower insulin, and thus available IGF-1 and free test levels. Too little fat will also lower test levels. Keeping fat at 30% of total calories is optimum for testosterone.

    I'm sorry for any confusion I may have caused by my previous comments about amino acids a mechanical load.

    Maybe this will help clarify. If you starve a guy, and surgically remove his gastrocnemius, his soleus will double in size to compensate, even though he is not eating.

    Now this does not mean that this is something you want to do. It only shows that the body is able to increase the size of a muscle when nutrients are next to nill. Nor does this mean that he would grow all over from simply training with weights. More than likely he would not grow unless he was fed.

    So, as far as you and I are concerned, we need both protein and carbs to get our muscle to respond well to lifting weights. I deally, you will consume your protein and a few carbs both immediately before and after training. This is the whole reason why I formulated my pre and post workout proteins. So that if you took them right, you would icnrease your chances of growing as much as possible. Add a few carbs to them and you are set.

    There is some interesting research on protein coming out that indicates that when you add carbs to your protein, more of it gets "trapped" (incorporated into gut proteins and/or oxidized in the gut and liver) in the gut. This is because of the anabolic effect of insulin on enterocytes. Insulin isn't really anabolic in skeletal muscle but it helps nonetheless.

    Anyway, my point is this, Take your protein without (or with less) carbs immediately after you workout. This will allow more amino acids to skirt past your enterocytes and liver and make it into the blood stream where they are taken up by skeletal muscle. Then take your carbs one hour later, which still allows you to take advantage of the metabolic "window" post workout.

    Several small meals aren't as important as you might think. You can get the same benefit from eating meals that take a long time to digest (e.g steak, fiber, fat). However, in the period immediately surrounding your workout, I would suggest a small meal both before and after. Ideally they would be liquid meals. Then a big slow digesting meal 1-2 hours later.

    If you are dieting, many small meals can help retain some mass by preventing acidosis and controling appetite.

    Consistant macronutrient ratios throughout the day are not as important as you might think either. I wouldn't worry too much about it. However, do not compromise on your meals immediately before and after your workout. These should never be without protein.

    Well, it is true you don't want to buy protein of low biological value. But for the most part, nobody sells any so its a mute point. Casein, whey, and egg are all very high biological value proteins. This accounts for about 99% of all the protein powders you can buy, at least for bodybuilding.

    Besides, Gelatin isn't worthless. It just doesn't have a very good amino acid profile.

    It is important to realize that not all "hydrolyzed" protein is gelatin. You can buy whey hydrolysates and even casein hydrolysates. To hydrolyze a protein simply means to predigest it. BTW, it isn't necessary to predigest your protein at the factory. Your stomach does this just fine all by itself.

    Guys don't want too much soy protein either. It has demonstrated estrogenic effects. So, thats good. But once again, unless they are selling soy, its obvious there is no soy in their product.

    This kind of advertising/marketing is like having a restaurant put out an ad that says, "Our food is poison free!". In essence, so what? So is everybody elses.

    Here's a tip, and this is totally objective. buy Primer and Driver and rest easy at night knowing that you can't buy a higher quality protein.

    I would not suggest that you eat raw eggs.

    Even if you refrigerate your eggs right away after purchasing them, you don't know what they have gone through from teh time they left the chicken. It has been documented several times in the States where durign shipping and storage they haven't been kept at safe temperatures...before they are ever purchased by the consumer.

    If you're sick of eggs I would just try to eat something else. Its just not worth getting really sick.

    It is true, or at least believed, that big meals can make you feel sleepy. This has been attributed to a number of things, including an alteration in serotonin levels, and “sludging” which refers to the slowing down of the flow of red blood cells through micro-capillaries. Whether this is a fact or not, remains in question. We have probably all felt this effect of a big meal before, but more often than not, we don’t really notice any effect of eating.

    Insulin, though it obviously lowers blood sugar, does not overwhelm the effects of catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline) that are released upon the onset of exercise. Catecholamines increase blood sugar and alertness/energy levels.

    Now, a comment about goals. With HST as well as HSN, our primary goal is hypertrophy. We care only about how to get the muscle to grow as fast as possible. When it comes to nutrition during exercise, this means keeping cortisol low, and amino acid levels high. Carbohydrates help to keep cortisol low, while protein helps to keep amino acid levels high. Combine this with drastically increased blood flow to muscle tissue (pre-workout nutrition) and you have optimized the environment to favor net muscle accretion…growth! No fat in the preworkout drink. How soon you drink it depends on how long it takes to digest. You want the Amino acid levels high in the blood stream as you begin your workout.

    You'll see no difference between using dextrose (glucose) or maltodextrin. I add about 7tsps (~20grams) of NOW brand dextrose to my Primer before and then 7-14 (~20-40grams) tsps to my Driver afterwards. It gets really really sweet with 14 tsps so I just ad more water. Primer+ and Driver+ will both have glucosepolymers.

    The percentage of calories absorbed doesn't change as intake goes up. So, you absorb 90% of a 2k calorie diet and you will absorb 90% of a 3k calorie diet.

    With distilled water you lose all the minerals. I would agree, any claims about water sources and health are irrelavent (splitting hairs) beyond infectious organisms, high levels of heavy metals and other inorganic poisons, and radio activity.

    Fiber helps to slow down the digestion/absorption of carbs. This "tends" to lower insulin levels which in turn "may" help to prevent fat gain, and perhaps faciliate fat loss. Fiber is good.
  6. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Comments by Lyle

    Bryan Haycock advocated a 15/85 ratio between protein and carbs for optimal "weight gain". It was not clarified further, and I would like your input on the subject.

    Bryan is probably basing this on a paper I came across/sent him a year or two ago (1). In short, it looked at the influence of protein on growth in both animal and human models (in humans, it was during weight regain during refeeding). It demonstrated that both insufficient and excessive protein intakes produce less than optimal/maximal gains. Insufficient amounts provide less than optimal amino acid amounts so growth is limited. Excess protein stimulates protein oxidation and TEF which burns off calories that could otherwise go towards growth.

    Optimal levels for humans was in the 15-20% total calorie range.

    And are the protein requirements of an AAS-using athlete overrated?

    I personally think so. If you pay attention, most of the suggestions for massive protein intakes are coming from...people selling protein powder. It's amazing how that works.

    At the same time, AAS does jack up protein synthesis above normal, I can see 1.5-2 g/lb for drug users. I see little point to go higher than 1 g/lb in non-drug users but that assumes a couple of other things (mainly adequate caloric intake).

    You have mentioned that about half of ingested protein is converted to glucose in the absence of carbs, but do you have any estimations of this when ample amounts of carbs are ingested as in a common bulking diet?

    As far as I can tell, this number is relatively absolute, carbs or not. It's simply the way the liver handles amino acid intake.

    Although protein synthesis is greatly elevated with a higher protein intake, protein breakdown is also elevated - but I believe there are studies pointing to an overall higher net accretion of protein, correct?

    yes -ish... Studies using nitrogen balance show better balance with higher protein intakes. Critics of these studies point out that, based on the nitrogen balance values, there should be a monstrous gain in LBM (on the order of 5-10 lbs of muscle if you extrapolate the nitrogen balance data) during the length of the study. These gains are not occurring by measurements of body composition. More likely, nitrogen balance is giving skewed results, especially at high protein intakes.

    I also see a point in limiting fat intake to e.g. 20-25% in the presence of higher amounts of carbs, but would there be reason to expect significant de novo lipogenesis on a 600g+ carb diet?

    Doubtful. In the presence of 'high-fat' diets (basically anything over 10% of total calories), DNL is totally downregulated. As well, odds are that the amounts of carbs needed to stimulate DNL are going to scale with bodyweight. 600 g carbs at 250 lbs is only 5.3 g/kg. That's not even close to what's required. Also, in a hard training bodybuilder who was depleting glycogen, it becomes much less of an issue.

    Ultimately, fat gain comes down to how much of an excess of calories you are creating, and how well you're partitioning them to muscle vs. fat. Both excess fat and carbs can make you fat, even if the mechanisms are different. One of the advantages of drug use is that it can significantly impact partitionining: for a given caloric excess, more goes to muscle vs. fat. So for the same excess, you get a greater proportion of LBM:fat gains.

    There are some pretty extreme intakes in AAS-using BBs - e.g. 5000kcal+ for 200lbs guys not uncommon. Given 2g/lbs of protein and the metabolic rate of a drug-using, hard-training guy - that might actually not be too excessive, correct?

    Sure, 18-20 cal/lb is one of those rough starting place types of things. I've known a natural or two who had to go 25 cal/lb to get significant weight gain. There are some folks who simply burn off excess calories (as heat) no matter what they do; odds are these naturals were one of them. But 25 cal/lb for a drug using athlete probably isn't out of the question.

    Ok, so here are my personal opinions on the whole mass gain thing. As with fat loss diets, I look at it mainly in terms of what's required (from a physiological standpoint). The rest is details and/or optional.

    1. It must be hypercaloric. Obviously.

    2. Sufficient protein: for non-drug users, I see little point in going above 1 g/lb as long as it's high quality and you meet #1. Some people swear 1.5 g/lb gives them better gains. I suspect they are confusing issues (i.e. eating too few calories and using protein as an energy source) but whatever.

    3. Adequate dietary fat: 20-25% total calories to make sure hormones are optimized. Some of that needs to come from EFA's but some should be saturated as well. Red meat = good.

    4. I would certainly put carb intake above keto levels (100 g/day) for hormonal reasons. Odds are it'll be much higher than that. How much higher will depend on total caloric intake and how much fat you eat.

    5. Pre workout shake containin 25-30 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein.

    6. Post workout shake containing about 1 g/kg carbs and 30 grams of protein or so

    Oh yeah, and the true secret to mass gains: stack ferulic acid with gamma oryzanol. That's the TRUE secret of the pros! :D

    (1) Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1999 Nov;23(11):1105-17

    Gluttony and thermogenesis revisited.

    Stock MJ.

    Department of Physiology, St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK. [email protected]

    The evolutionary and biological significance of adaptive, homeostatic forms of heat production (thermogenesis) is reviewed. After summarizing the role and selective value of thermogenesis in body temperature regulation (shivering and
    non-shivering thermogenesis) and the febrile response to infection (fever), the review concentrates on diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT). Animal studies indicate that DIT evolved mainly to deal with nutrient-deficient or unbalanced diets, and re-analysis of twelve overfeeding studies carried out between 1967 and 1999 suggests the same may be so for humans, particularly when dietary protein concentration is varied. This implies that the role of DIT in the regulation of
    energy balance is secondary to its function in regulating the metabolic supply of essential nutrients. However, individual differences in DIT are much more marked when high- or low-protein diets are overfed, and this could provide a very sensitive method for discriminating between those who are, in metabolic terms, resistant and those who are susceptible to obesity.
  7. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Pre- and post-workout nutrition

    Pre- and Post-workout nutrition article

    I would suggest you leave the carbs out of the pre-workout, and add them to the post workout drink. This should allow fat to be mobilized during exercise, and at the same time, replace calories with carbs instead of fat post-workout, with an over all effect of preserving muscle and losing fat.

    I'm sure you already know this, but your calories throughout the rest of the day are going to make a big difference too.

    It depends on your goals really. If you are trying to get big at all costs, you want plenty of carbs in both your pre- and post-workout drink.

    If you are trying to grow while leaning out, you will want no carbs in your pre-workout drink, and delayed carbs about 30 minutes after your post workout protein drink.

    If you are trying to get lean and keep as much muscle as possible, use only protein pre- and post-workout, then have carbs with your first whole food meal following your workout.
    These are just guidelines. There is nothing special about them. You can still get lean with carbs in your pre-and post-workout drink. You can still get big without carbs in your pre- and post-workout drink. Overall calories is still the most important factor and shouldn't be forgotten while nit-picking over subtle physiological mechanisms, etc.

    In order to minimize muscle loss during cardio you should treat it just like your other training. Take a pre-cardio protein drink and then follow your cardio immediately with another protein drink.

    This may increase amino acid oxidation, but it will spare muscle proteins as well as not interfere with fat mobilization (unlike carbs pre- and post-workout).

    And there is some benefit to delaying your carb intake for a while after cardio. This of course is assuming you are trying to lose fat as fast as possible (short term).

    The pre-workout protein is still beneficial because it is shuttled to working muscles at a much greater rate than when only taken post-workout, and allows higher intracellular amino acid levels for recovery afterwards.

    I see guys “eating big to get big” with a thousand calories over what they need, 500-600 grams of carbs per day, and still choking down 75g of sugar in their protein because they think they have to replace all that glycogen they just burned training HIT on bench and sitting around gabbing to their buddies while eyeballing themselves in the mirror. Not only that but they are often training each muscle group once a week, perhaps because their glycogen stores are frightfully low! Why is everyone so afraid of not going into hyperglycemic shock after their workout?

    The macronutrient composition of a protein meal effects where that protein is ultimately deposited and incorporated into new proteins. This is due mainly to the effects of insulin on amino acid uptake in tissues that will either deaminate and/or retain that protein well before your muscles ever see it. Such tissues include the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small and large intestines, and the splanchnic bed (liver), then into the periphery which include ALL organs and tissues of the body, not just muscle tissue.

    It turns out the insulin causes fewer amino acids to make it past these first pass organs/tissues. Why? Because as I said, those tissues will take up a greater percentage of those amino acids and use them for their own purposes or deaminate them.

    A model based on the collected tracer data demonstrates the effects of carbs on the partitioning of ingested proteins. (note the difference between fast and slow proteins as well)

    Milk protein
    Splanchnic proteins 18%
    Peripheral proteins 34%

    Sucrose and milk protein
    Splanchnic proteins 35%
    Peripheral proteins 26%

    Sucrose and soy protein
    Splanchnic proteins 37%
    Peripheral proteins 19%

    So, this data/research is what my comments were based on. Of course the absolute amount of protein ingested can make these facts less important. You can simply overwhelm the system with quantity and get more amino acids out to the muscle tissue. But as far as my earlier comments are concerned, I stand by them as accurate.

    Here are a few papers that illustrate these points further.
    1: Fouillet H, Mariotti F, Gaudichon C, Bos C, Tome D. Peripheral and splanchnic metabolism of dietary nitrogen are differently affected by the protein source in humans as assessed by compartmental modeling. J Nutr. 2002 Jan;132(1):125-33.
    2: Fouillet H, Gaudichon C, Mariotti F, Bos C, Huneau JF, Tome D. Energy nutrients modulate the splanchnic sequestration of dietary nitrogen in humans: a compartmental analysis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;281(2):E248-60.
    3: Fouillet H, Gaudichon C, Mariotti F, Mahe S, Lescoat P, Huneau JF, Tome D.
    Compartmental modeling of postprandial dietary nitrogen distribution in humans.
    Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Jul;279(1):E161-75.
    4: Gaudichon C, Mahe S, Benamouzig R, Luengo C, Fouillet H, Dare S, Van Oycke
    M, Ferriere F, Rautureau J, Tome D. Net postprandial utilization of [15N]-labeled milk protein nitrogen is influenced by diet composition in humans. J Nutr. 1999 Apr;129(4):890-5.
    5: Fouillet H, Bos C, Gaudichon C, Tome D. Approaches to quantifying protein metabolism in response to nutrient ingestion. J Nutr. 2002 Oct;132(10):3208S-18S.

    What I meant to convey was that a greater percentage of a single dose of protein might reach your muscles if there isn't a lot of insulin at that moment. I did not mean to sound as if there was a way to absorb protein without your intestines or enterocytes being involved.

    Based on those studies looking at the effects of carbs/insulin on regional protein deposition it's possible that if I take 20 grams of protein without carbs, I might get a greater percentage of those 20 grams to make it through first pass metabolism by the splanchnic bed, and therefore be available for uptake in the muscle.

    On top of this, research on Eukaryotic Initiation factors have made me further question the benefits of so many post workout carbs for well fed bodybuilders. It doesn't hurt to figure out what direct role, if any, carbohydrates play in post workout protein synthesis. For the sake of body composition, I like to maximize amino acid uptake into muscle (hence the Primer) without relying on so much sugar intake.
  8. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Leptin and setpoint

    The observation of a "set point" is the result of the activities of several hormones. Leptin is the most well know and easiest to explain.

    Leptin acts on the brain to reduce food intake. Leptin also effects other reproductive hormones like Test and estrogen. This makes sense from an evolutionary view point (i.e. linking food supply to fertility).

    When leptin drops, appetite goes up and reproductive hormones go down.

    Leptin also increases fat mobilization and reduces fatty acid uptake into fat cells.(good) As a result it also spares muscle tissue during caloric deficit.

    Fat cells produce Leptin when they are happy (growing or at least well fed). When fat cells begin to shrink because of less food or more exercise they produce less leptin.

    So, just by looking at this one hormone (1 of many involved) you can see how your body is sensitive to the amount of fat tissue you have. And that the amount of fat tissue you have ultimately effects your metabolism, and muscle gains/losses.

    The activity of leptin is also dependant on the leptin receptor. Some people may have more receptors or better working receptors, and this may account for their ability not to get fat.

    Keep in mind that your set point can be "reset" with exercise and proper diet.

    Ok, to be more specific. As you might expect, there are a few things that effect your metabolism. They are:
    >muscle mass
    >activity level
    >Food intake
    >Diet composition

    From the top, can't do much about age...oh well.
    Can't do much about gender either.
    Muscle mass we can increase.
    We can increase our activity level.
    We can increase our food intake.
    And we can adjust our diet composition.

    There is also a belief, that if you were never "obese", especially from childhood, you can normalize things at a lower body fat level if you are able to normalize nutrient intake while avoiding fat regain. In otherwords, you can increase leptin levels by increasing food intake. So, if you can increase food intake without icnreasing body fat, you will stay at that new lower bodyfat afterwards.

    Diet is another BIG issue here. Certain foods lend themselves to making you fat. Other foods do not, even at equivalent calories levels.

    Supplements can also help. Omega-3s and CLA have a direct leptin like effect on fat cells.
  9. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    The bottom line

    1) The leaner you are, the higher your "Partitioning Ratio" (P:Ratio). This means more energy from the diet will be directed towards lean body mass. The opposite is true if you are fat.

    2) The P:Ratio also works in the same way while dieting. The leaner you are, the more lean mass you will lose while dieting. The opposite is true if you are fat.

    3) The higher your calories above caloric balance, the greater the percentage of dietary fat that will be stored as fat. Diets such as the Isocaloric-Zone are not a good idea when eating a lot of food. The reason is that your carbs will more than meet your energy needs and all the fat is then stored. When calories are deficient however, the lack of carbs prevents significant fat storage and even facilitates fat loss.

    4) The more calories you burn, the more you can eat. All exercise creates an anabolic environment when calories are sufficient. So it is better to eat more, and then use a little cardio to keep the fat in check, than to simply eat less.

    5) There is a difference between weight gain, and lean mass gain. Just because 15% calories from protein is the most efficient ratio for weight gain (meaning the least energy loss), it does not mean it is the best for every person in every situation. For a very tall guy who is very lean and has trouble putting on any size and/or weight, keep protein lower in relation to carbs. For a shorter stocky guy who isn't terribly lean (12-14%) you should keep protein higher to keep the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) higher.

    6) Protein is always more anabolic when combined with carbs. [NOTE] HSN Primer and Driver don't have carbs in order to allow you to control your own carb intake, not because it is better without carbs.

    7) It is better to significantly increase calories incrementally rather than over night. And extra 100 calories added to the diet each week is a good place to start. This allows a modest adjustment of the body's metabolic rate to increase at a closer rate to the increase in caloric intake. This helps you avoid some fat gain in the beginning.

    *8) Using additional testosterone significantly increases a person's P:Ratio. I have seen lean guys weighing 230-240 able to consume 4,500-5,000 calories per day and still get leaner each week unless they pushed the calories even higher. This is extremely unusual for a natural lifter, so unusual I have never seen it happen. My comments on diet are always based on the assumption that an individual is training naturally.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page