Diet optimization guide

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by il_dottore, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. il_dottore

    il_dottore New Member

    This guide is extracted from Tom Venuto book:
    Burn the fat feed the muscle

    Hope will help everybody to optimize his diet

    Lean mass stays the same and body fat decreases

    Fantastic! Your diet and exercise program is working as planned and you're on your way to reaching your goal.  Don't change anything. Keep up the good work!

    Lean mass remains same and body fat remains same

    Nothing is happening either way; you're at a standstill and you need to make some adjustments to get yourself moving again.  First, increase your cardiovascular activity level.  You can increase the number of days per week as well as how long you are exercising at each session.  If you don't lose body fat within the next week, then you can reduce your caloric intake systematically by 100-200 calories at a time, provided you do not drop below your maximum allowable calorie deficit.   Keep your nutrient ratios the same unless you've been stuck for more than two weeks. If you've been stuck more than two weeks, you might want to experiment with a moderate or low carbohydrate diet and or zig-zag carbohydrate cycling.

    Lean mass stays the same and body fat increases

    You're in a calorie surplus. You're eating more calories than you're burning and storing it as fat.  First increase the frequency and duration of cardiovascular exercise. Then recheck your body fat in one week. If it hasn't decreased, reduce your caloric intake by 100-200 calories at a time, provided you do not drop below your maximum allowable calorie deficit. Keep your nutrient ratios the same.

    Lean mass decreases and body fat decreases

    You are losing body fat which is good, but you've also lost some lean mass, which is not good.  A small loss in lean mass (a few tenths of a pound) is nothing to worry about.  If this is the first time you've lost LBM, don't panic because some of the LBM is water weight.  If this is a recurring pattern and you've been losing LBM every week for more than two weeks straight, you're losing muscle tissue.  You need to eat more, at least temporarily.  Increase your caloric intake by 100-200 calories to stimulate your metabolism, while continuing with your current exercise program. Keep your nutrient ratios the same.

    Lean mass decreases and body fat stays the same or increases

    When you lose LBM and your body fat does not decrease at all, this usually means your metabolism has slowed down and you are burning up muscle for energy; you are not in fat burning mode.  This often occurs when you skip meals. Losing lean mass means that you need to eat more to stimulate your metabolism.  Don't be afraid to eat, and keep up your meal frequency to five or six times per day.  Remember that it's better to burn the fat off rather than starve it off. Keep your calories as high as possible while using exercise to burn off the fat.  Severely restricting your calories below the recommended levels will always result in a loss of muscle mass.  Increase your caloric intake by 100-200 calories and maintain or slightly increase the amount of cardiovascular exercise you are doing. Make sure you're consistent with your weight training as well.

    Lean mass increases and body fat decreases

    This is very unlikely to happen, except for genetically gifted individuals (the pure mesomorph) and sometimes for ectomorphs who have highly efficient metabolisms. If it does happen, terrific! You are leaner and more muscular! Don't change anything. Keep up the good work, you're on your way to reaching your goal.

    Lean mass increases and body fat stays the same

    Good job, you've gained muscle without gaining fat! This is the ideal outcome for a muscle-gaining program. If you also want to reduce your body fat percentage, you'll need a greater calorie deficit, which you can accomplish by increasing your cardio while remaining at your current caloric intake.

    Lean mass increases and body fat increases

    You gained muscle, which is good, but you also gained fat, which is not good. You are in a substantial calorie surplus. Some bodybuilders do this habitually in their off season - it's called "bulking up". If you want to stay lean and avoid the "bulked up" look, you need to increase the amount of cardiovascular exercise you are doing.  You should also make sure you're being strict enough on your diet.  Keep your diet "clean" and free of high fat or high sugar junk foods.  Recheck your body fat in one week.  If you still continue to gain fat, then you need to decrease your caloric intake.
     
  2. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    How does Tom define "your maximum allowable calorie deficit"? This would be something I would really like to know and put into practice.
     
  3. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    As I recall, it's simply the amount that allows you to lose around a pound a week, the idea being that more will take some muscle along with it. Of course the amount of fat one carries and how long one has been on a diet will also determine cals. Tome was the first one who'd gotten me interested in slow bulking.
     
  4. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    According to this simple rule, I'm overdoing things a little. This is something I am going to try next week.
     
  5. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (XFatMan @ Mar. 29 2008,14:03)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">According to this simple rule, I'm overdoing things a little. This is something I am going to try next week.</div>
    I wouldn't worry too much about it. The higher your bodyfat, the more calories you can cut and the faster you can lose weight without sacrificing muscle.

    Lyle Mcdonald has actually come up with a formula to determine your maximum calorie deficit based on how much fat mass you are carrying.

    Determining the Maximum Dietary Deficit for Fat Loss

    The gist of it is this:
    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Multiply your total fat mass in pounds by 31, that’s how much of a caloric deficit that fat mass can support on a daily basis.</div>

    So if you are 200 lbs @ 20% bodyfat, then you are carrying 40 lbs of fat which can support a maximum deficit of 1240 calories. If your maintenance is 3000 calories, you can go down to as little as 1760 calories to lose the fat faster.

    Of course as you get leaner, your maximum calorie deficit becomes smaller. This makes sense because the less fat you have, the slower you have to lose it in order to spare lean mass.
    Obviously you will want to lift heavy stuff frequently during this period as well.

    So for you, you could cut up to ~720 calories a day to maximize fat loss without worrying too much about losing muscle. If your maintenance is around 2000 calories (I'm just guessing) then you could go down to about 1300 calories a day safely. Heck, with your calorie cycling you are doing, you could easily maximize the window after your workouts and get most of the calories in around that time, then cycle then down between workouts. I bet that would work well.
    But on the other hand, you are getting very close to the point where your maximum deficit will be less than 500 calories, so at that point you will have to cut a lot slower.
     
  6. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    This is the first week that I'm eating 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. The trouble is that this is the first week that I haven't lost an ounce of fat. I lost a good amount at 11 and 12 calories using a complex cycling method. I guess I need to increase my calorie intake to lose fat again because going lower than 10 is a bit hefty, I think.
     
  7. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Exactly.
    Weren't you doing a boatload of exersizes too?
     
  8. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    I don't know if that can be considered a boatload of exercises, but I do one cardio session every day and two sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. Next week, I'll start again at a calculated calorie deficit of 500 per day. That should bring at least some more insight and hopefully a better result.
     
  9. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (XFatMan @ Mar. 29 2008,16:05)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">This is the first week that I'm eating 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. The trouble is that this is the first week that I haven't lost an ounce of fat. I lost a good amount at 11 and 12 calories using a complex cycling method. I guess I need to increase my calorie intake to lose fat again because going lower than 10 is a bit hefty, I think.</div>
    To be honest, I think the best prescription for you right now would be a break from dieting. I know you did take a bit of a break already, but I think a good couple weeks is usually the best course of action, especially when cutting calories further doesn't elicit more weight loss.
    You've been at this for a long time now, it's possible you've experienced quite a bit of metabolic slowdown. There are ways to test whether your metabolism really has slowed down - taking morning temperature, for instance, though this won't be so useful unless you already know what your typical AM temperature is.

    I think it would be worth a shot. You've got plenty of time until the end of September.
     
  10. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    I only had one week off from dieting, but I still watched closely what and how much I ate. I will give this a shot. It's better to gain a bit for two weeks or so and then lose fat again than insisting on eating very little and going nowhere. I'll take calories up slowly so there won't be too much damage.
     
  11. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    <div>
    (XFatMan @ Mar. 30 2008,04:30)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">It's better to gain a bit for two weeks or so and then lose fat again than insisting on eating very little and going nowhere.</div>
    Or just eat at maintenance...

    There's no need to overeat and to add unwanted bulk. Rather just figure your daily caloric needs and eat that much. Give it about two weeks or so, and let your body reset its metabolic level.
     
  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (TunnelRat @ Mar. 30 2008,09:49)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"><div>
    (XFatMan @ Mar. 30 2008,04:30)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">It's better to gain a bit for two weeks or so and then lose fat again than insisting on eating very little and going nowhere.</div>
    Or just eat at maintenance...

    There's no need to overeat and to add unwanted bulk. Rather just figure your daily caloric needs and eat that much. Give it about two weeks or so, and let your body reset its metabolic level.</div>
    Exactly. Take your weight times 13 or so, that should be close to your maintenance. That's about 2000 calories a day. Eat that for a couple weeks - yes, you'll probably gain a few pounds of water at the very least - and, like TR said, let your metabolism sort of reset itself. As long as you don't go overboard, which I don't think you'll have to worry about anyway, then the odds of you gaining significant fat in only a two week period are quite low.

    Then, I'll bet you, once you go back to your diet, you'll begin losing the fat at a steady rate once again.
     
  13. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    Yes, but I want to do that slowly - otherwise I'll gain too much fat, I guess. I'll start by going back to 11 calories per pound of bodyweight and cut two cardio sessions per week. Let's see what's going to happen.
     
  14. il_dottore

    il_dottore New Member

    Hi guys,
    maybe it's better to continue this discussion on Xfatman diary because you're OT
    My intension was to give a general guide and have a general discussions not personal

    Thanks
     
  15. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hijack your thread. Sorry.
     
  16. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Those simple rules are common sense.
     
  17. Martin Levac

    Martin Levac New Member

    Thanks, il_dottore. I have a few questions.

    Rule 1. What if it stops working, what do I do then? I guess it's a matter of how it stops working. Let's see the other rules.

    Rule 2. It r1 stops working and becomes r2, the I have my answer. Do more or eat less or try low carb or some form of macronutrient manipulation. Got it. The problem here is that I have to wait at least two weeks before I see if anything I do is working. Do more, wait two weeks. Eat less, wait two weeks. Try low carb, wait two weeks. That's six weeks of trying stuff just to see if it works. Isn't there a hard rule here to get me pointed in the right direction or is it entirely up to me to figure it out?

    Rule 3. If that stops working, the remedy is the same as rule 2. So I guess I'll have to wait two weeks again after I try everything in this rule.

    Rule 4. Remedy is to eat more. How long to wait before I see if this is working? It's two weeks for all the other rules above so I guess that's how long I gotta wait here too.

    Rule 5. Remedy is to eat more but keep same workout. Also, reason is that we don't eat enough. What if we eat enough and it still happens? There doesn't seem to be a remedy for that particular condition. Again, how long do we wait to see if it works? Two weeks.

    Rule 6. It's all good but I don't see a reason for why this should happen so I can't seem to figure out how to make it happen. Genetic gift? Bullshit. If it happens, it can happen again. So how can we make it happen?

    Rule 7. It's all good but then you advise to cut calories so that r6 applies. Quote: &quot;If you also want to reduce your body fat percentage, you'll need a greater calorie deficit, which you can accomplish by increasing your cardio while remaining at your current caloric intake.&quot; Is this how we make r6 happen or not?

    Rule 8. If this doesn't work, remedy is to cut calories. But cutting calories is also used as a remedy to cut body fat. And cutting body fat means no lean gain. So what's the deal here?

    And again, how long before we find out if any of these remedies work? Two weeks. For each single instance of &quot;try this and wait&quot;. There are 8 rules, each with one or more remedies to try, each with a two weeks waiting period, any of which can be done sequentially because of the resulting conditions that would make differing rules apply.


    So how long do I have to wait in total before I can finally figure out what works and what doesn't? I don't know. There are 8 rules, let's start with a 16 weeks waiting period just to check things out.


    Thanks for the advice, il_dottore.
     
  18. il_dottore

    il_dottore New Member

    That's not my advise, is a general guide from Tom Venuto's book.
    I think it's better than nothing....
    Using it me and other beginners can adjust the diet in someway....I think it's better than go with no idea and make changes that have no sense
    If you have more or better info on how to adjust the diet to have better and faster results, you're welcome...please share them with us
     
  19. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Now you're being ridiculous. There's no way someone would have to encounter every problem listed, or ever would. The idea is that you'd be on one or another track and most likely encounter one problem on the list and need to try another direction. I'd really doubt that anyone would encounter more than one or two at most. So you have a month of diet in limbo. That's NOTHING on the road to figuring yourself out.
    -edit: and actually, there were 6 corrections. There were two optimal situations you wouldn't want to correct.
     
  20. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    ... plus if you've dieted seriously for some time, you get the picture after a single day. After three days, you know for sure which direction you're going and can adjust accordingly.

    The rules il_dottore (does il_dottore mean The Doctor?) has posted are pretty simple to apply. The time frames cited seem to be aimed at starters. There's no way an experienced dieter takes longer than 3 days to react to changes even if they seem irrelevant to most others.
     
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