T Nation

Body Fat Breakthrough Results

Thanks for sharing the paper. This neatly highlights, according to several findings, that after a short period, physical activity has little impact on total energy expenditure (TEE), i.e. because your non-exercise physical activity levels lower to try and compensate. This makes perfect sense given reduced calorie diets have the exact same effect on TEE. When you combine both together, the effect is magnified. Classic Biggest Loser Syndrome (BLS).


Finally a bit of sense…

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It’s a misnomer to say you can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time. I have plenty of evidence to backup this concept. See the following books:

Killing Fat
The Body Fat Breakthrough
Flat Belly Breakthrough
The New High Intensity Training
The Bowflex Body Plan
A Flat Stomach ASAP
Living Longer Stronger
Bigger Muscles in 42 Days
The Six-Week Fat-to-Muscle Makeover
The Nautilus Diet


Good point about reduced calorie diets. It seems plausible that your body compensates metabolically to cope with reduced food availability, much in the same way that it adjusts to cope with increased activity levels.

I suppose it depends on your starting point? By that, I mean that untrained, over-fat individuals must have a bigger window for simultaneously gaining muscle and losing fat than someone who is already carry an extreme amount of muscle at a low level of body fat (i.e., a body builder).

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However, I think it is fair to highlight that, according to the science, not all energy restricted diets are created equal. This was shown in a study titled ‘Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial (2018)’. Here, subjects were allocated to either a high (60%), moderate (40%) or low (20%) carb group. Researchers adjusted their energy intake so each group was able to maintain weight at similar rates. One interesting finding was the TEE difference between the low and high group - 278 kcals per day. That is pretty significant. Again, this finding would also perhaps explain why my own TEE tanked when I was trying to follow a high carb low calorie diet.

EDIT: I should also have added, other findings from the same study showed ghrelin, produced primarily in the stomach and regarded as the ‘hunger hormone’, was significantly lower in participants assigned to the low carbohydrate diet.

I am aware that there have been attempts to establish that there is a “metabolic advantage” to ketogenic diets. But as far as I can tell, the outcomes have been somewhat ambiguous (meaning you can find studies which prove an advantage and studies which don’t). But this sounds a little bit different… what happens to TEE on reduced calorie diets with varying amounts of carbohydrate. I will have to take a look at that particular study. I’m curious what the hypothesized mechanism is for this?

If I remember correctly, there are some studies on carbohydrate overfeeding which suggest that basal metabolism ramps up in the face of excess carbohydrate, as if the body was trying to burn off the excess, rather than convert it to fat for storage. But I’m not sure if that is well established or not.

All I can say is I got better results following the killing fat diet and routines than any other…I am on the 1200 to 1800 calories everyday and I have no loss of energy…down from 220 to 200, still have a ways to go, my goal is 180 to 190, but for some reason it’s a slow process for me…I have done the extreme 3x/week program, but have resorted back to 2x/week 30-10-30 failure program for awhile

never lost a pound on keto, carnivore, steak and eggs and was always hungry on the intermittent fasting diet

60 carbs 20 fat and 20 protein works for me…and I am not hungry

You probably got fat over a long period of time, so reversing the process isn’t necessarily going to be fast. I suspect that taking weight off slowly is more likely to lead to sustainable weight loss. I think people who cut a lot of weight quickly on a crash diet, are more likely to revert to old habits and get a significant rebound.

Yeah, it took about 15 years, :laughing:

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What diet study considers all things and circumstances involving a diet that results in weight loss?
No one fools nature, conservation of energy, and biochemistry!

The best diet is one you can stick to long term!

If you want to add muscle, dietary protein circulating in the blood could help protein synthesis. Time is also necessary for protein to be incorporated into muscle tissue.

And don’t kid yourself with backing off of true high intensity training. Intensity trumps training volume.

I can only assume that was a compliance issue as there is no metabolism reason for you not to lose a single pound on the diets you cited.

To be honest, it is also difficult to imagine you not being hungry on a diet where the macros are 60/20/20 on 1200-1800 kcals - assuming it lasted more than 3 or so weeks. But I can only take you at your word on that.


Yes, overfeeding will result in a rise in TEE as you state. Of course, the same overfeeding studies show that after a few days (depending on carb source), when glycogen storage is full, de novo lipogenesis is in full swing.

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Not sure what you mean by “compliance issue”

As in ‘sticking to the diet’.

I did religiously…however, I believe I was consuming too many calories

Therefore, when I put myself into a calorie deficit, that’s when I started to lose the bodyfat

That kind of proves my suspicion. I appreciate the clarification.

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I could not get myself into a calorie deficit with keto or carnivore

I will say that was a self discipline issue

I was able to better discipline myself with carbs

That’s interesting, I’d venture to say most experience the opposite. Granted, I guess a lot of fattier cuts of beef do tend to be very high in calories. I tried keto one time a long time ago and scale weight dropped like a rock, but it was hard to consume too many calories using lean meats (for me). I could eat my body weight in carbs though

Compliance might mean different things, depending on diet and/or guru.

If you are counting calories, then compliance is pretty simple: either you stay at or below target calories, or you don’t.

But some diets offer the promise of not having to count anything. In the keto/low carb area, some folks used to claim that if you just restricted (or avoided altogether) carbohydrates, you could eat to satiety, and the pounds would melt off spontaneously, since insulin levels would be low, and your body couldn’t store any fat under those conditions. So in that case, compliance just meant how well you did at eliminating carbohydrates.

Of course, it wasn’t that effortless for some people, so the guru’s started to advise that the diet wasn’t permission to gorge on fat, and maybe you ought to start tracking carbohydrates (and maybe fat intake). But even with that, some struggled. So then we had nutritional ketosis, where you now had to restrict protein as well as carbs and maybe fat. And if that didn’t work for you, well it was time to try intermittent fasting. It seemed like a pretty common progression for many people, as they tried to make it work. So I started to doubt that initial promise of effortless weight loss.

You can find the same thing on the vegan side. With Dr McDougall’s high starch diet, it is suggested that if you just eliminate all fat and animal protein, you can eat as much as you want (bread, rice, pasta), and still see the pounds melt off… Again, appears to work for some. But not everyone.

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