T Nation

Get Shredded Diet-Lite


Thought I'd get some opinions on this diet:

Some of the concerns I've read about the original Get Shredded Diet was the extent of the calorie reduction and only 4 meals (bodybuilders across the universe: Oh my god no!!!!) as this may lead to losses in lean mass.

This has been my diet of late:

I'm 5'5.5", started at 160lb having gained around 15-20 pounds of lean mass, depending on the degree of carb depletion/carb up, since last November.

7am: 15g BCAA
9am: 4 eggs, 4oz meat, veggies
11am: 15g BCAA
1pm: 8oz chicken breast, veggies
2-4pm: 60 minute workout and Peri-Workout window: 35g BCAA and 40-80g simple carb source (lately it's been bananas, going to start taking wazy maize hopefully next week).
5pm: 60g whey + 40-80g complex carbs
8pm: 8oz beef, veggies

Macros are approx:
200-250g protein (counting BCAAs)...~1.5g per lb bw
80-100g carb...~.5g per lb bw
80-100g fat...~.5g per lb bw

Total calories are 2000-2500, so slightly below maintenance. A carb-up is done once a week at 300g. As body fat drops, carb up days increase to twice a week.

Within the last month I've dropped from 159lbs and 9.5% bodyfat (7-site) to 155lbs and 7.6% bodyfat.

My concern right now are the BCAA only meals and may start adding simple carbs to the BCAA pulses if progress stalls or lean body mass starts to go.

Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns?


Studies have shown that eating only 3 meals a day vs 5-7 had no effect on weight gain/loss as long as the same macros are being consumed, so I wouldn’t worry about spacing your meals out… Just worry about getting your total caloric intake for each day spot on.

CT is also doing some experiments where he plans on eating 1 meal a day, having a para-workout protocol, and then several “pulses” (12g ch per pulse) throughout each day.

I’m pretty sure we’re all just paranoid about muscle loss and assume it’s an instant process, but I don’t think there is any research to support this and it’s probably more of a myth or “feeling” people get when they haven’t eaten for 4-5 hours.


Yeah, my feeling is that as long as energy nutrients are high enough and protein is high enough you really shouldn’t have much lean mass loss if any. It’s when you go far below maintenance (as in the original Get Shredded Diet) that you can have problems.

Although, sometimes such a low level of intake may be required depending on your timeline and goal and current progress as I think that may be what Get Shredded was intended for the “oh shit I only have 4 weeks to cut for a show/pictures/weigh in/whatever”


could you refer me to any articles that have helped you further understand the theory behind carb maintenance days.


The Low-Carb Rountable is a good discussion on the site. Search it.

There are some other bits and pieces I’ve read I just can’t remember where…that and just talking to people who’ve cut before and who’ve designed programs both those cutting down to sub 5%.

The issue with getting so lean is that your body needs energy to sustain life and it will get it in anyway it can. When you drop the body fat % so low it gets down to a bear minimal level and the body will start breaking down muscle tissue for needed glucose if glycogen is not available. So, the common wisdom is that the leaner you are the more carbs you need in your diet to maintain mass.

Poliquin “has said” that when he was down to an extremely lean range (like 3% or something ungodly) he would have to consume candy before bed to keep from losing muscle mass. Of course Poliquin tends to exaggerate things.

So, it becomes a matter of having 1-2 carb-up days per week to top off glycogen stores. If you train day after day with a low level of stored glycogen without refeeding these stores you will eventually start metabolizing muscle when on a low nutrient cutting diet.


[quote]BantamRunner wrote:

Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns?[/quote]

I ran the GSD earlier this year virtually to the letter and have nothing but positive feedback for the diet.
I kept calories at the higher end of the spectrum, i.e. x11 per lb of bodyweight. I also ensured I kept carbs rock bottom - Berardi doesn’t appear to advocate ketosis per se because carb/calorie levels are so low anyway. However, I wanted to go hell for leather and stayed within the 30-40g a day mark.

I had 5g BCAAs and 2.5g creatine meal replacements twice per day, and for some reason I seldom ever felt hungry - especially during the first 4-5 weeks. Sometimes I would only have 3 meals per day instead of 4 at 2000kcals total. I trained every other day (including cardio) and did up to 1 hour walks on off days. Again, no signs of stress, overtraining, etc. Body comp improved dramatically.

Your suggested amendments are really just another form of carb cycling. In contrast, the GSD is really a stand-alone extreme protocol.


It’s amazing how filling 15g of BCAAs can be!