T Nation

Opening the Fat Floodgates

I’m starting the Fat Fast again April 23rd. The only problem w/ this diet is my water loss. I replenish and replenish, drinking upwards of 2-3 gallons per day but I keep losing WAY too much water. For example, by day 7 of the previous diet I had lost 14 lbs, WTF. I was originally at 194lbs at 15%bf, and seven days later, I was at 180…I couldn’t believe it. Thing was, I had no idea how much of the weight lost was water, and how much was fat. And by looking in the mirror, I could tell I had not lost 14 lbs of fat (or 7 for that matter). None of the weight lost was muscle, thankfully, as my arm and neck measurements remained the same. My question remains, how do I prevent this much water loss as I know that cannot be healthy, not to mention it makes measuring actual fat loss extremely difficult. Thanks-Watts-

The average person is carrying more than ten pounds of pure water weight all bound to glycogen which is lost if you drop all carbs from your diet. This is why people that go on diets for a week and think they have lost weight regain it all as soon as they begin eating normally again. You don’t begin to burn fat until the water weight is lost which means any low carb diet that doesn’t allow you to refill glycogen stores in your body will cause loss of the associated water.
Professor X

So, Professor X, do you have any suggestions as to help prevent this, without blowing ketosis.

You don’t prevent it. If you are looking to lose weight, you accept that you will lose water weight. That is how it works. I am working on definition right now, and I know that if I increase my carbohydrate intake to where it is when I am gaining, I will put on about ten pounds over the next week. Like I said, you don’t begin to lose fat until your body feels a need to burn the calories that are in storage. That doesn’t happen as long as all glycogen stores are filled and you are eating at or above maintanence. That is why high protein, extremely low carb diets when trying to gain muscle don’t make sense. If you are trying to gain, you want your body to have to work less at filling glycogen stores, not more. If you are trying to lose fat, you want the opposite.
Professor X

Professor X if you wouldn’t mind…i enjoy your posts and I was wondering what your ratio’s are for dieting and mass…and do you stick mostly with low glycemic,insulin, carbs? Thanks Mike

Mike, I have a pretty fast metabolism so when I am trying to gain muscle I don’t really watch what I eat. I just eat alot. I usually take in 4,000 cals or more depending on what my goals are. Dieting down in order to see your ab muscles takes a more serious approach though. You have to increase protein in order to maintain the muscle that you have. Carbs, along with fat, are decreased to minimal levels. The most important aspect becomes taking in less calories than it takes for your body to run efficiently. Taking a day off weekly where you increase carb intake will allow you to stick with a diet like this mentally and physically. I am not the kind of person that tries to over-complicate building muscle or losing fat. It isn’t complicated in itself. I usually allow carbs to take up about 60% of my diet with protein and fats falling in line when I am working on size. I have never sat down and weighed my food or tried to count every calorie, however, over time I have learned what it takes for me to reach a goal. One thing that needs to be understood, is that protein is important, however, not more important than carbs or fat in your diet when you are trying to gain muscle. If you allow protein to make up the majority of your calories, you are forcing your body to work harder to fill glycogen stores(the immediate source of energy during resistance training). That is what carbs are there for, let them do their job. Your body and your goals are going to be different than anyone else’s. I have always relied on “bulking up” to a certain extent. I graduated high school weighing 150lbs at about 11% body fat and stayed near that weight until I was a sophomore in college. That was when I got serious about bodybuilding. Five-six years later I weigh 210 at about 9%. I have been as high as 18% body fat in the past and I do believe that is the reason I was able to gain the weight that I did. It is almost as simple as saying, “In order to gain muscle, you have to eat a lot of quality food, and you have to eat often.” I have eaten about 6 meals a day for the last six years ever since I learned that it speeds metabolism and allows your muscles to remain in a state of anabolism and positive nitrogen balance. If you are trying to gain weight, drink milk, eat beef, rice, and just about anything else until you find your tolerance. You may not be able to eat much food without gaining more fat than muscle mass. However, if your goal is to gain muscle, trying to stay lean year round will slow you down.
Professor X

Mike, I have a pretty fast metabolism so when I am trying to gain muscle I don’t really watch what I eat. I just eat alot. I usually take in 4,000 cals or more depending on what my goals are. Dieting down in order to see your ab muscles takes a more serious approach though. You have to increase protein in order to maintain the muscle that you have. Carbs, along with fat, are decreased to minimal levels. The most important aspect becomes taking in less calories than it takes for your body to run efficiently. Taking a day off weekly where you increase carb intake will allow you to stick with a diet like this mentally and physically. I am not the kind of person that tries to over-complicate building muscle or losing fat. It isn’t complicated in itself. I usually allow carbs to take up about 60% of my diet with protein and fats falling in line when I am working on size. I have never sat down and weighed my food or tried to count every calorie, however, over time I have learned what it takes for me to reach a goal. One thing that needs to be understood, is that protein is important, however, not more important than carbs or fat in your diet when you are trying to gain muscle…

…If you allow protein to make up the majority of your calories, you are forcing your body to work harder to fill glycogen stores(the immediate source of energy during resistance training). That is what carbs are there for, let them do their job. Your body and your goals are going to be different than anyone else’s. I have always relied on “bulking up” to a certain extent. I graduated high school weighing 150lbs at about 11% body fat and stayed near that weight until I was a sophomore in college. That was when I got serious about bodybuilding. Five-six years later I weigh 210 at about 9%. I have been as high as 18% body fat in the past and I do believe that is the reason I was able to gain the weight that I did. It is almost as simple as saying, “In order to gain muscle, you have to eat a lot of quality food, and you have to eat often.” I have eaten about 6 meals a day for the last six years ever since I learned that it speeds metabolism and allows your muscles to remain in a state of anabolism and positive nitrogen balance. If you are trying to gain weight, drink milk, eat beef, rice, and just about anything else until you find your tolerance. You may not be able to eat much food without gaining more fat than muscle mass. However, if your goal is to gain muscle, trying to stay lean year round will slow you down.
Professor X