T Nation

Beginner Diet Confusion


Hi I was wondering if I could pick you guys brains.

I've been training for about a year and I'm trying to get cut. Now previously I'd always thought that I need high protein high fat and the get carbs down


I've just bought Powereating by Susan Kleiner.

On her burning fat section she state

Concentrate on carbs, They are critical to fat loss

They are required in celluar reactions involved in burning fat
They spare protein from being used as fuel, therefore its main job is to repair and building lean muscle tissue.

They restock glycogen leading to more powerful workouts
They have a thermic effect

Loaded with fibre which has many benefits.

She states as part of a fat loss training program u need 5grms per kg of bw.

Obviously many people have different theories on fat burning and this book was written in 98.

Is there more recent evidence to refute this?


Generally the consensus, at least among the members of this site, is that some form of carb control is the way to go. There is quite a bit of disagreement about how much, and even to some extent what kinds are appropriate. Here are the main positions:

1) Carb selection - Essentially avoiding "bad" carbs like sugar, corn syrup, processed white flour, and potatoes. Almost everyone agrees on this one, though a few who are more carb tolerant use potatoes in moderation. (most substitute sweet potatoes instead)

2) Carb cycling - Deliberate carb restriction through counting of grams with brief re-feeds at regular intervals. This is more controversial, but does seem to be popular with a large fraction of the members. (may or may not utilize ketosis on low days depending on the individual's plan).

3) Carb restriction - Deliberate "low carb" eating where overall carb intake is kept low on purpose, but ketosis is not normally sought or achieved. This is less popular, but still used by quite a few members.

4) Ketogenic - Purposefully reducing carb intake far enough to reach ketosis. The fraction of members which believe full time ketosis is a good thing is pretty low. While fantastic for weight loss, it's success at fat loss is somewhat less pronounced.

Personally, I tend to favor carb selection. In my mind the key issue is insulin management, carb intake amounts and quality are really just means of manipulating that.


Mother of god, thats a lot of carbs for fat loss.

Where do the protein and fats go, according to her? It's not a low fat diet, is it?


Go to Amazon.com and buy "The Metabolism Advantage" by John Berardi. It's only $16, and you'll learn a lot about how to eat properly and why. It also has recipes and 8 weeks worth of meals you can follow in addition to the training program/advice contained in the book.


ive read some articles by Berardi online and i will invest for sure.

I just felt that I missed a trick when I read this book.

I guess she would fall into the carb selection field.

This is the breakdown she suggests for men on a cut:
2g of protein per kilo per day
5g of carbs per kilo per day on a cut (9kg a day to build)

This should account for 80 per cent of the calories. the other 20 per cent from poly and mono fats.

Would I be better following Berardi or is it an individual thing?


Normally you're not going to count carb grams per day unless you're trying for ketosis. What you do want to count is protein grams and total calories. Yes, I recommend getting precision nutrition, it's packed full of good information especially if you're just starting.


You are correct in that it is an individual thing. We all have different metabolisms and especially different tolerances for carbohydrates.

However, I'm willing to bet the house that more people have had better results with a Berardi style of eating, than with a high carbohydrate approach to fat loss.


ok brilliant thanks for that.
I was beginning to get confused about actually what affects weight loss calorie intake or carb grams.

Ultimately if i eat complex carbs high protein and lift heavy 3 times a week ill be on the way to cutting...

I'm going to chuck Powereating on ebay and buy Berardi.

Incidentally she also state that green tea is possibly useful and gingseng probably harmdfl


Some people are just more tolerant of carbs. Most likely due to lifestyle. When I ran track and played hockey twice a week, I could get by with loads of healthy carbs in my deit.

Years later, sitting at a desk all day made me rethink why I was getting softer when my diet hadn't changed all that much. Now (I'm 34) I pay a lot more attention to not only how many carbs I ingest, but what sources they come from.



when you are talking about sources you ve moved on from the complex simple carb debate to eating carbs from fruit and grains and veg?

ps thanks all for you help