T Nation

Berardi Arcticle on Increasing Caloric Baseline

Wondering if someone could help me out. A while back John Berardi had an article in a paper version of T-mag,(Appetite for Construction- I think) where he talked about raising your calorie set-point.

Basically a person who had been starving themselves for a long period of time couldn’t drop any more calories because they were at a minimum. Any increase immediatly was transfered to weight gain.

BUT!! Over the course of 12 weeks or so, he had a plan to slowly up the calorie intake while also adding extra cardio, and then slowly decreasing the extra cardio, thus leaving the body with a much higher calorie set point which had room for dietary modifications.

I remember being very intrigued by the article, and made a note never to lose track of that issue. Well needless to say I have no idea where it is.

Anyone have a copy and be willing to give the highlights of the program. I think it was an increase of 200 calories per week + 20 minutes of cardio, but can’t remember.

Thanks in advance.


I have that issue, but I’m off to work right now and don’t have time to find it. PM me and remind me to send it to you later if nobody else responds.


Just so happens I was looking over that very issue the other day and have it right here in front of me.

It is “Outsmart Your Body Fat Set Point” in the Appetite For Construction, issue. #7.

I did a search and didn’t find it right away on the site.

If you have any ?'s just ask and I will try and get back to you in as timely a fashion as I can.

Hope this helps.


That was a great article…and one that a LOT of people could use because of “shot” metabolisms form a lot of “yo-yo” dieting.

Since it was in the paper issue…any chance of getting it reprinted here as a weekly article?


I believe he talked a little about it in issue 302, Massive Eating reloaded part 1. I read through it and he talked about increasing your calories by 250 per day…sort of on the same lines as your question.


If you could give me the nuts and bolts of the article that would be great.

How many weeks does it last?

Increase how many calories per week?

Increase cardio per week?

Then how slowly to you back off the cardio work?

Any help would be appreciated.


There was a thread some time ago talking about set points and I mentioned this article of JB’s. Most of the replies in the thread were skeptical and people seemed to believe that there was no way to change one’s set point. What do most people think?

That article was in one of two magazines I had accidentally left at work. They were thrown away. Testosterone should sell reprints.

No Prob I can do that.

[quote]If you could give me the nuts and bolts of the article that would be great.

How many weeks does it last?[/quote]

   *****9 weeks
   *****350 K/cals every 2 weeks

[quote]Increase cardio per week?

Then how slowly to you back off the cardio work?[/quote]

***** for these two I will just give JB’s example from the article

EX. His female trainee was eating 1500 k/cals, weights 3 x week, and cardio 3 x 30 minutes 3 x week.

Her true maint. should be between 2300-2700. So he would have her progress the following way over 9 weeks.

weeks 1&2 1850k/cals, weights 4days, cardio 3 days 45mins.

weeks 3&4 2200k/cals, weights 4days, cardio 4 days 30mins.

weeks 5&6 2550k/cals, weights 4days, cardio 4 days 45mins.

weeks 7&8 2500k/cals, weights 4days, cardio 3 days 45mins.

week 9 2500k/cals, weights 4days, cardio 3 days 30mins.

That about covers it. If you need more just holler.

Hope that helps,