T Nation

LL Prime Time Wed-Thurs 8/31, 9/1


Hi All.

I'll be around for a few hours for discussion.

EDIT: Okay, now it's THURSDAY.

Got questions?


Hi LL,

I'm an easy fatgainer, been eating clean for a while and doing TBT along with it but BF is still at a chunky 20%. Are there any tips you can give me on carb and fat intake? I've tried cycling carbs (2 high days 3 baseline days and 2 low days) but it's not showing me results. Is there anything I'm doing wrong?


Good Evening LL,

Could you take alook at my thread titled Carbs and Weightlifting in the T-Vixon Sorority. I beleive my problem is a combo of my hypo-thyriod and diet. I think I need more carbs but am afraid it will interfere with my fatloss goals. Thank you


Hey Lonman,

So here's something that I'm curious about. I've read that too many antioxidants in one's diet can actually end up doing the same sort of damage as free radicals themselves do.

A) Is this true?
B) Is it even possible to get that many antioxidants in one's diet?

This reminds me of something else that I've always wondered about:

C) Is the reason that saturated fats are deemed "bad" only because we consume way too much of them, and would doing the same thing in the opposite direction (e.g. eating omega 3 fats over saturated fats in a 20:1 ratio) also cause health problems, just of a different type?

In other words, is it the overconsumption of one arbitrary type of fat that's causing the problem, or is it something about saturated fats specifically that makes them more prone to cause problems than others?

Am I making any sense?

Thanks a lot,


Well, everyone is different in their ability to metabolize carbs vs. fats (among many other differences), but I can offer some general info.

1.) Most people expect results too quickly. A real body composition change requires 1-2 months. Patience is a virtue but it's not an easy one.

2.) A real nutrition assessment from a licensed professionsl can bring about information one may not have considered.

3.) An additional way to "drain calories" in a fat-specific way (that also doesn't intefere with lifting efforts) is to walk/ jog at a non-panting pace (for 30-60 min.) before breakfast. I personally like a good cup of java an 30-60 min. before hand. It helps fat extraction a bit. If after a month there's apparent muscle loss (doubtful), a half scoop protein with the java seems to help me (combats morning cortisol).


Gotcha covered Buffy (see your post)...

Let me know if there's anything else!


Hey Chris


yes, but supplements are the concern, as opposed to whole foods

Not only. There are decades of research on cardiovascular risk, cell function, carbohydrate metabolism, etc. that create sat-fat-specific concerns. Having said that, the gross amount of satfat and low intake of healthy fats - especially in a world where refined carbs get co-consumed - worsens the problems, as I see it. BTW, the "20:1 ratio" refers to omega-6 polyunsaturated fat compared to omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, not satfat, okay?

Both. (You're on the ball, here, my friend!)

on the ball


Dr Lonman, can you speculate about the health problems that would ensue by replacing membrane fats with mostly arachadonic acid?


Got this one via email...

Hi (T-man),
I'm glad that you've found success in leaning out!

Good questions. First, you should realize that cautious increases in kcal after a diet is not the brainchild of mine or John's. And use caution implementing any diet regime, as most public/ commercial ones are kind of "at the hypothesis stage" (as yet unproven), okay? I'm glad you're reading a lot; check out those references on Medline and pan to the bottom of the abstracts for conclusions, if you're comfortable doing so.

I can tell you this, if I were personally consuming just 1300 kcal for a long time, I'd be very cautious for the first 6 weeks or so. (For the reasons I outlined in the yo-yo dieting article.) The metabolism can be pretty crushed (leptin and thyroid depression, etc.) and fat cells can be in a "needy and greedy" state.

Without obsessing over minutia, a 300-500 kcal jump in daily energy balance (not just more eating per se) would not be unreasonable. It could be done by cutting out a cardio session OR adding a tablespoon of medium chain triglycerides & a tablespoon of safflower oil to an additional protein shake. (Depends on how much protein is already in the diet; >200-250g daily is already a LOT.) I'd also use caution with added fat during the sensitive post-diet period but 2 Tbsp. isn't much. (Note: small amounts of specialty fats like CLA and EPA+DHA from fish oil might also help reduce negative consequences of calorie swings.*)

more coming...


Anonymous T-man email, continued...

I usually manipulate kcal changes mostly via carbs, though. Carbohydrate intake before and after a weight workout could be ramped up, say 20-30 grams prior, 20-30 grams during, and a total of 70g afterwards. Adding or disributing some protein to each of these drinks is typically also helpful, as you probably know. After another month at this level, a second (solid) post-workout carb + pro meal could add another calorie jump at an opportune time.

In the end, remember that it's impossible, generally, to gain 100% lean tissue. Weight gain that's a 70/30 ratio of muscle-to-fat is a real home run. I would add peri-workout kcal with my primary goal in mind (aggressive muscle gain vs. limiting fat accumulation). I'm presenting a conservative (fat minimizing) scenario here.

Good luck!


Yesterday I dipped out of work because my stomach was hurting and went to the doctor. They did some test and they found protein/blood in my urine test. Just wondering why would I be pissing out protein and what foods improve kidney function. My mom tried to blame my consumption of Grow! but I haven't taken any for several weeks. Thanks


(David is out to teach a bit on cell physiology here, I think...)
Well, David, arachadonic acid (AA) is an important and naturally occuring component of cell membranes but in excess can lead to prostaglandin cascades that result in more inflammation, more clotting (thrombotic effects), etc.

Here's the nutshell on Lipids and physiologic response:

omega 6 fats are assoc. with carcinogenesis, some types hyperlipidemia, obesity, cachexia
(see below where ... = "leads to")

omega-6 fatty acids... AA ... PGE2, TXA2, LTB4 ... inflammation / platelet aggregation, chemotaxis, cachexia

omega-3 fatty acids... PGE1 & 3, TXA3, LTB5 ... little inflammation, anti-thrombotic, weakly chemotactic, anti-catabolic, anti-lipidemic effects

Veerabagu, et. al. (1995) for review


There is a condition called "Rhabdomyolysis" in which intense exercise can induce acute renal problems including blood in the urine. But I'm no physician and you'll have to speak with yours about the stomach ache and how it relates. You need an actual diagnosis.


Okay all, it's after nine o'clock and I'm gone.

Thanks for the discussion!

See you manana,


Hey there LL,

I'm fairly new to eating properly - most of my life has been relagated to foods found in boxes, aswell as being a intense fan of a delicious meat pasta sauce (with high frequency - ie 3-4 times/wk). Im a university student who remains marginally poor however, I have commenced the Anabolic Diet (week 2). I've sacrificed a few of my vices in order to allot extra monetary funds for meat.

At any rate, my questions concern oils and natural peanut butter. I was recently directed to consume enova oil as well as MCTs and olive oil. I have always cooked my food in olive oil and I've recently threw in a few tblspoons with my whey shakes. However, where do you get MCTs, what form do they come in, and how much should I take? When should I use enova oil? How much nat. peanut butter is too much? And do these oils suffice to replace a meal, or snack?

I previously would spread the pb on an apple for fiber, but with the AD diet I must restrict carbs thusly, I've cut out the apple and I just eat spoonfulls of the PB.

I also take about 10 1000mg capsules of fish and salmon oil, daily.

Apologies for the spurratic composition of this post. Any light you can shed is much appreciated.


Hi Lonnie,

Hey am sitting at about 11% bodyfat and 200lb. I am finding it very hard to lean down any further. I am consuming 100 C, 290 P, 90F. I also walk every morning for 1hr (after popping thermogenics) and do 30min cardio after my workouts (5 times a week). I tried cutting carbs further but went flat as a pancake so have avoided this. I am wanting to compete in 5 weeks and am desperate to lean right down. My calories are clean and am even isolating P+C and P+F meals. My results have been steady over time but have seem to have slowed. I must say I havnt ever been sub 10% bodyfat in my life. Is there a chance?? And any suggestions??




Dr. LL,

I have to ask my question in advance as I'm fairly busy tomorrow. Hopefully, you'll see it.

If one is dieting, is there any difference between saying having one calorie day below maintainance (ie. 250 kcal deficty) or spreading it evenly say or 5 days ? (ie. 50 kcal deficit MTWThF )

I would think that the first option is better as there is less time for the body to adapt, but I would appreciate your input.



Ben, I've been using this technique with a lot of success while following a diet similar to yours. Once a week, I will throw out the usual eating schedule. Early in the day I will eat primarily protein and low gi cards, but keep it very low calorie in general (perhaps 70% of my usual). I will then do a hardcore glycogen depleting workout (usually HIIT combined with whatever lifts I have that day). I follow this up with lots and lots of good and fibrous carbohydrates without exceeding my "expected" caloric intake. I actually keep protein fairly low, drop my fats, and radically increase my carbs to reach my caloric goals. I've eaten primarily Kashi Go Lean crunch with skim, whole wheat bagels w/ a small amount of jam, and fat free popcorn. My muscles become absolutely swollen. The next day I usually have some water retention, but within 12 hours, I'm leaner than the day I was before. I also find I'm mentally replenished and ready to attack the week with renewed vigor.

Another thing - I found that I could benefit a lot more from JB's nutrient timing than I ever thought. I feared that eating the amount of carbs he was recommending (Surge during workout, Surge right after workout, fairly high GI carb meal ~ 90 min after workout, and then lower GI P+C 2-3 hours after) was insane and would send me to the fat farm. Boy was I wrong. If you actually follow his recommendations to a T, I think you might be surprised the sort of results you can get if you make a real effort to apply his principles.


Dr. LL,

Is the amount of muscle one can attain on one's frame bounded by the total circulating T(or free T) ?
(because there are other factors like MGF, etc that are involved too)

ie. if in theoretical case I had been practicing "ideal" training for say 10 -15 years, would there be a true physiological bound on what I could attain or is reaching one's "genetic" a bunch of hogwash ?



Dr. LL,
Do you follow any of the work being done on leptin in obesity at the moment? I was wondering if you had any thoughts on peripheral leptin resistance and possible mechanisms behind it or if it even exists?