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Body Fat Breakthrough Results

That’s why I was dumbfounded at first…they all say eat as much as you want on keto

Didn’t work for me

But surely as your goal was to lose weight you need to adhere to some form of energy restriction regardless of your macros?

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That seems kind of obvious. But after Gary Taubes published his first diet book, a lot of people decided that calories didn’t matter, only carbs mattered. I think when Taubes was cornered on the matter on energy balance, he would say that calorie surpluses or deficits were not a driver of weight gain or loss, but a consequence of improper hormone levels, which drove eating behavior. If you got the insulin levels right, you didn’t have to pay any attention to how much you ate, just what you ate, and your body would take care of the rest.

I think the whole training and nutritional approach recommended by Lyle McDonald in his “The Ultimate Diet 2.0.” book is based on that point: massive and rapid increase of calories and especially carbs combined with high-tension and power training after 3-4 days of depletion training, cardio and low-carb do not lead to fat storage, but result in a fat loss and muscle gain.

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I think Lyle’s theories around glycogen supercompensation are speculative and outdated. They are a toned down version of Dan Duchaine Body Opus designed to make it attractive to a wider audience.

More recent science looking at carb depletion cycling has shown no real benefit to this style of diet. I can personally testify to that, for what it’s worth.

What about calorie cycling just to minimize down regulation for metabolic rate? Eat higher calorie, protein and carbs on days where you lift, and then lower calorie/lower carb on rest days or cardio days? That is kind of what happens with certain kinds of intermittent fasting…

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This is exactly what I do and it’s certainly been a winning formula for me!

Sure, I think there is more mileage in calorie cycling based on activity levels but its impact on metabolic rate doesn’t really stack up. Lyle’s original theory, as I understand it, was the idea that huge carb refeeds would bolster leptin levels and crank up you metabolism (both of which fall when you restrict energy). The trouble with this notion is that the science doesn’t really back it up. For example, several overfeeding studies have shown metabolic rate increased by a modest 50-100 kcals a day - meaning most of that excess energy is being stored as fat. Similarly, while overfeeding on carbs (not fat) does increase leptin levels the effect is transient. For example, in one study where subjects consumed a 40% surplus in carbs over 3 days leptin rose by 27%. However, it effectively fell by the same amount the very next day during energy restriction. Based on this type of evidence, claiming refeeds give dieters a better hormone profile and boost their metabolism is flawed.

It would be good to have links to those studies and see what type of training has been used in conjunction with respective carb overfeeding and prior to it. I have my own reservations about the amount and type of carbs recommended by Lyle in his book; however, the overall structure of the program and carb refills / surplus makes sense to me and worked quite well for me in the past (albeit, I used lower amounts and different types of carbs). Similar approach has been recommended by Vince Gironda, Frank Zane and a number of other old-school athletes and I trust their knowledge & experience more than modern studies. On a tangential note, it would be good to see (finally) a well-structured study involving middle-aged drug-free bodybuilders with 20+ training experience doing different types of training focusing on lean muscle hypertrophy.

Vince was ahead of the game in so many ways and his cyclical carb approach is still a valid method, in my opinion.

Lyle’s diet was more fanciful, the classic have your cake and eat it promise. He tried to argue that, after a period of glycogen depletion, which we now know does not occur as he described, you could load up on carbs while your body continues to burn fat. To be fair to him, in the face of the evidence, he has acknowledged the error.