T Nation

Diet Questions

Okay, I did some searches and couldn’t seem to come up with anything on this if there is something in the search I appologise.

First a little background:
I’ve always been a carb junkie. A while ago I started fixing up my diet. I started cutting out the simple carbs and trying to follow a don’t diet type plan. It was fairly gradual and I had some fat loss on it. I was around 22%BF when all this started. About 8 weeks ago it started getting stricter and I was more and more careful about the dont’ diet approach. This took me down to around 17% BF.

Last week I decided that I needed to get a little more drastic. Last friday I started a carb starve diet. I’ve basically avoided carbohydrates. That’s not to say I don’t eat any there are some in the cottage cheese that I’ll eat and sometimes I’ll allow myself some diet yogurt. Realistically I’m under 30g per day of carbs, most days less though some days a little bit of sauce or condiment calls my name.

My diet for the last 9 days has consisted of tuna, chicken, salmon, beef (mostly lean but occasionally some hamburger), some cheese, yogurt occasionally. I also started takeing Methoxy 7 at the same time. I sit around 200g of Protein per day (my bodyweight) and I’m not paying too much attention to fat since I’m eating quite lean, though I am supplimenting with about 6-12g/day of flaxseed oil. I also add some insoluble fibre to all my protein drinks.

My question is this:
All week I’ve had an upset feeling in my intestines. It’s not too bad and I’ve just decided to live with it but my question is one of normalicy. This is the first time I’ve tried anything like this and I was wondering if this upset intestine feeling is normal?

Thanks in advance for any help.

STU

Stu-eee…My man, I can’t really comment too much on the GI upset. However, I might surmise that it has something to do with upsetting the pH of your system (i.e. too alkaline).

My concern arises from the composition of your nutrition. I surely hope this is nothing that you plan on continuing for a prolonged period of time, as it definitely does not seem like anything that either promotes health or is optimal for changes in body composition.

With a diet strictly composed of protein, which yours currently appears to be, you will rely very heavily on those amino acids to be converted to both gluconeogenic and ketogenic precursors. As your body becomes more efficient at this process, I would surmise that it will also become more efficient at breaking down your own bodily stores of protein (i.e. muscle tissue, organs, etc.) in an effort to maintain substrate for ATP production.

This adjustment, I would imagine, has already taken place in the face of starvation.

Well, I agree that this isn’t a long term thing. The big reason behind this was that my GF is out of town for 10 days, she is the worst person in the world to be around when you’re trying to diet. . . I stand corrected, my mother is the worst, my GF is a close second. . .

Anyway, I’m aiming for the maximal change I can get ahold of in the time that she’s gone. I am still eating a fair amount of fat with my diet, I don’t pay too much attention but I don’t worry about the fat on the steaks.

I’m taking the methoxy 7 to try and maintain muscle mass as much as possible and while my strength declined a little at the beginning of the diet it’s actually come back stronger than ever. Plus I’m getting weekly body comps done (sum of 7) to keep an eye on muscle mass.

Like I said, I’m really just interested in how much of a change I can make in 10 days (which is soon to be up) then I’ll move into something a little less drastic, since there’s no way in hell I’ll keep up with anything like this when the GF gets back.

STU

Stu, I share Timbo’s concerns. Your current diet is perfect for someone who wants to maintain body fat and decrease LBM. Yup, that’s exactly what I mean if you re-read the previous sentence.

You’re tightening up (a good thing), but in the wrong ways.

Please start by calculating maintenance calories and creating a slight deficit with exercise and diet. Any time carbs go down, fat MUST go up, either that or your deficit is going to be so severe that you’ll lose LBM and down-regulate thyroid production.

I do low-carb myself. NBD. But if the goal is to preserve LBM and reduce fat, you need to make sure you’re taking in enough calories to preserve LBM. And your really can achieve your goal with a slightly higher level of carbs. Please take a look at T-Dawg 2.0. Carbs are not the devil, any more than fat is. They are macronutrients that can be controlled and manipulated to achieve your body composition goals. As an example, I’d recommend you take carbs up higher, make sure they’re green veggie carbs exclusively, and time your carb intake so that you’re getting the majority of your carbs post workout (on days you do work out) and the first two or three meals of the day (on days you don’t work out).

And if you’re trying to drop BF, think long and hard about the cottage cheese. Body builders cut dairy out of their diet when cutting for competition and with good reason.

Are you keeping a food log, Stu?

I agree with Timbo that this diet isn’t wise long-term.

I’d argue that the all-protein, all-the-time diet needs to be interrupted with veggies. Try adding a small serving of green leafies with each meal, starting when you get up in the morning and ending as you drink your bedtime shake/EFA’s. More is fine, but just inhaling a handful of baby spinach as your egg whites are cooking or your chicken is in the microwave is great.

Try it for a week; you’ll feel gooooood. After either a protein-only diet or a highly processed diet, the difference is huge; like having clear, fast river water running through your veins instead of Campbell’s Chunky Stew. :wink:

Okay, I only have myself to blame for not being clear enough about this.

I understand the concerns that everyone is presenting and I do appreciated the advice.

  1. The occasional dairy (cottage cheese and otherwise) means that I have it every second day and get the equivilant of about 10g of protein from it. It’s a bit of a treat more than anything. I’m lactose intolerant (have been most of my life) so I don’t eat much dairy to begin with believe me, I’m not eating much.

  2. I did do the slightly below maint. calories for the last 2 months or so and I’ve gotten decent results from it, I don’t think carbs are the devil and have only dropped them in the last week. The last two months I’ve followed the P+C rule in the mornings and tapered toward the P+F in the evenings. In fact until last week breakfast every morning was a big bowl of oatmeal.

  3. I still allow myself post workout carbs about 30 g in my post workout drink.

  4. This was just a short term thing while my G/F is out of town for 10 days, between the methoxy, the heavy lifting and the loads of protein (and fair amount of fat) I’ve managed to actually get stronger in the last week than I was before. I dropped quite a bit of water the first two days but that slowed fairly quickly, still losing fat. After the 10 days I’ll move to something much more reasonable.

  5. Does anyone know about the GI distress? It’s independant on fat intake (I tried haveing less, then came back up to lots)

STU
ps. This isn’t too urgent since tomorrow is the last day of this.

With a diet strictly composed of protein, which yours currently appears to be, you will rely very heavily on those amino acids to be converted to both gluconeogenic and ketogenic precursors. As your body becomes more efficient at this process, I would surmise that it will also become more efficient at breaking down your own bodily stores of protein (i.e. muscle tissue, organs, etc.) in an effort to maintain substrate for ATP production

 

Timbo, not sure if I agree here?.high protein diets do result in more of the aa?s being metabolized as glucogenic and ketogenic precursors?however, keep in mind that its primarily the BCAA?s that serve this purpose?indeed some are known as amphibolic intermediates, which are involved in both anabolic and catabolic processes within the body?.Usually when I go keto (and what I prescribe for those I work with) is that the typical 1:3:1 Cho/fat/protein ratio is not followed?indeed, its more 1:1.5:2.5?high protein, low carb diets can still be ketogenic?keep in mind, the technical def. of a ketogenic diet is concerned with carb levels, not fat?even with a higher protein/fat ratio, you can still get in?furthermore, while the body does indeed break down more amino?s when there are more available, it also uses more for anabolic purposes (or muscle sparing purposes) in this point?In addition, because fatty acid flux is reduced with a lowered fat amount, high protein, ketogenic diets can actually improved insulin sensitivity (I?ll dig up the refs if need be).  It?s a complex topic to be sure and I thought I?d just stir up a little of our crazy ramblings.

 

Vizzy

Sorry (mod)
that was my first attempt at HTML
VAin

[quote]Sorry (mod)
that was my first attempt at HTML[/quote]

Yes, Vizzy, and you failed horribly:-) Just joshing you, buddy, and we appreciate your contributions as always.

Vizzy, please do not confuse my statements as being opposed to high-protein nutritional regimens. Quite the contrary, quite.

My point was made in reference to a predominantly protein diet, with what appeared to be complemented by very little 1) total kcals, 2) lipids, and 3) carbohydrate. My point was further to illustrate that the amino acids ingested would be very efficiently converted to intermediates of both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

While BCAAs are highly prone to oxidation, to say that they are the only ones predisposed to such is misleading. Glutamine and alanine are others of note.

My main concern is that this is just too prolonged a period of time to be consuming such a drastically low energy intake, particularly in the absence of any substrates that are more efficient for ATP production. Starvation diets lead to rapid and easy muscle loss.

TT, it is surely grand to see your presence much more frequently. I do hope all is well with you and that you will continue to drop the good ol’ knowledge bombs on us!:slight_smile:

I would have to argue, though, that cottage cheese should not be considered so evil. I would tend to drop dairy products like yogurt and milk (i.e. dairy products with a higher concentration of lactose, milk sugar), but cottage cheese and real cheese are relatively low.

Tizzy
I hear you dude, and by no means did i mean that the only glucogenic or ketogenic precursors were aa’s, although they are proporitionately high on the scale…what I am thinking however is that even if the body is in a consistently negative energy balance, with protein being the major substrate, I don’t think becuase the body is using protein as its primary energy substrate that it will be more “inclined” to use endogenous protein as further substrate…endogenous protein use will be dictated primarily by adipose reserves and the proportions between which adipose tissue and protein tissue are utilized in an effort to maximize one’s lifespan in the face of starvation.

protein-sparing modified fasts are commonly used to engender acute weight loss with retention of lbm in obese persons.

I think the retention of lbm is going to be more dictated, as stated, by:
bodyfat percentages
training structure.

the whole concept of “amphibolic intermediates” is vastly interesting…

Vizzness

I’m feelin’ ya, Vizzy.

The point that I’m really trying to emphasize then is that in the face of a drastic caloric deficit, you’re going to be dropping too much LBM. So, when you say:

[quote]I think the retention of lbm is going to be more dictated, as stated, by:
bodyfat percentages
training structure[/quote]

I think you also need to include the energy deficit. In Stu’s case, I really see a deficit that will be offset by too much loss of lean tissue.

I mean, you can only build muscle so fast, so it also stands to reason that you’ll only lose adipose tissue so quickly. In the face of a fast, I believe it’s about a 1 to 1 ratio–or worse!–of lean to fat tissue loss. I really think it’s uncalled for, over a prolonged period of time, to create such a vast energy deficit.

Now, when you get into the obese and the like, then there might be a difference. However, this is not the case in the current situation.

Since muscle is so calorically expensive to maintain, it really only stands to reason that the body would preferentially rid itself of it when energy intake is well below requirements.