Zig Zag diet approach for simutaneous...

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by ttboyy2k, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. ttboyy2k

    ttboyy2k New Member

    Dr. Fred Hatfield of ISSA said the most effective approach to losing fat and muscle at the same time is the Zig Zag method. You eat hypocaloric on your weight trainning off days and hyper caloric on your trainning days (400cal above and below your maintenance). He also says to eat frequently like 5 times or more a day which I agree with. Fred said if you plan on eating 3000cal for a given day, instead of eating 600cal spread out evenly over 5 meals you should eat accordingly on what you plan on doing the next 2-3hrs of your life. He said just by doing this it will have profound effects on your fat loss, muscle gain goals. Has anybody tried this? It sounds good, but can this really work? Opinions and comments welcome.
  2. micmic

    micmic New Member

    By and large I agree. Very much. There are a lot of details to be clarified (macronutritient combinations, optimal feeding times, manipulation of hormones etc) but I believe in concurrent bulking & cutting. I'll be trying it from next week on.
  3. Mindwraith

    Mindwraith New Member

    It's very possible, but not exact. I haven't actually experimented with this exact meathod. However I've had the most successful fat loss and muscle gain with similar meathods.

    I think the idea is that when in a caloric deficit shortly after a surplus your body will burn a lot more fat at first. After 3 days or so of a deficit the fat burn will slow down to a crawl, you can reset it by going back to a surplus of 2 days and repeating. It allowed me to drop over 31 lbs of fat, I went from a totally out of shape fat guy at 202 lbs, 38 in waist in pants down to about 170 and 32 in waist in a very short period of time. However rather than 400 cals over and under it was mantainence - 1000 for 3 days, then mantainence + 500 for 2. I think it worked best because it kept me from burning out and I was seeing fast results.

    Problem is that nobody but one other person I've talked to has tried this. Most people look at me confused and in total denial when I tell them, some just ignore it completely and resume their traditional misery diets. I've seen no research anywhere as to why this works the way it does and no one has dared comment on it with any of their own theories as to why.

    The only theory I can come up with is that it's an old product of evolution. Man, and other animals might feast for 2 days on meat, and when the hunted herd moves they have to live on lighter meals like fruit and barries until they catch up to feast again. Their bodies must go into a starvation mode after about 72 hrs to preserve fat in order to sustain them until they can feast again. Unfortunately I've got nothing to back that up.

    So as for your post, I can see how that might work well. Problem is that I work out Sun, Tues, and Thurs leaving Friday and Saturday off. Friday and Saturday I tend to eat over 3500 calories just due to friends being around and so many events on those days that I can't avoid, eating is always involved somehow. Doing it the way you mention is almost impossible for me thanks to my girlfriend and her lack of support for my diet. So the best I can do is keep my calories 800 below until those 2 days where I go 800 over. It seems to do a little less since its not the faster cycle I mentioned above.
  4. boggy

    boggy New Member

    I like this food zig-zag expecially because ,more or less,it is what I normally do if I dont pay attention to my caloric intake..
    but I was wondering if eating that way could be good for bulking too.
    What do u think ,I'm really having an hard time bulking..
  5. restless

    restless New Member

    I have been doing something a bit similar. I eat slighty above mantenance from right before my workout and for the next 24 hours and slighlt below mantenance for the next 24 hours till my next workout. I don't think I've added any significant amount of muscle mass, but I don't seem to be losing much either which to me is like a miracle.
  6. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    I work out early (5AM) and eat lots of protein and carbs in the AM. In the PM I drop my carbs significantly, lunch is either/or. I don't know if I am getting any additional benefit or not but it is an interesting self-experiment. ;)
  7. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Do you eat prior to working out at that time??
  8. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    I have a scoop of whey isolate and my creatine about 15-20 minutes before my workout. So I am getting 20g of protein before I start. I used to go in fasted, but I have seen a difference in the pre-WO meal than fasted.
  9. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    If you added some carbs to that preworkout mix, Im sure you would notice a bigger difference.
  10. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member


    I am in a fat loss cycle right now (I have actually maintained my start weight and have improved composition). Would adding CHO to the pre-meal have any detriments? If not what type of carbs? Thanks.
  11. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Theoretically, it would reduce fat oxidation, but so would intake of a protein like whey (anytime cho/pro oxidation goes up, fat oxidation will go down)

    In reality it will make little difference to fat loss (as long as the calories are accounted for in the days allowance). In terms of performance, it will help as going into training with little carbs, especailly during 15/10s isnt that pleasureable.
    I would take about 0.5g/kg dextrose/maltodextrin as you go into the gym. It will increase performance, and potentially increase or better maintain muscle mass.

    If you are worried about it, give it a try next cycle. It is much better to get some food in before training than none at all.
  12. Ashil

    Ashil New Member

    Sounds interesting, but if you trying to bulk/maintain, don't you have to consume a fair bit of calories on the days when you dont lift weights? Thats when your muscles are recuperating, no?
    Then again, you need that extra energy on workout days...

    what do you guys think?
  13. restless

    restless New Member

    And it will lower cortisol too. I think this alone justifies it.
  14. Mindwraith

    Mindwraith New Member

    Or why not just drink some gatoraid during workout?

    If you eat before a workout I'd eat a banana, that seems to give me plenty of energy to work with.

Share This Page