T Nation

Optimal Diets

CT - I know you’re not excited talking about nutrition but it’s inherently tied with the layer system and I’ve found marked performance and aesthetic differences after tryin all sorts of diets. It’s a bit bandwagonish/ADD but I am chasing that holy grail of ultimate shreddedness with fullness, or perhaps in that state where a week of “cutting” and “gaining” could get me to either side without compromising body fat levels or muscle loss. Sorry it’s a bit nebulous but I’d appreciate your thoughts on the following:

  1. Super high protein and lean veggies with low fat. Every 2-3 days “load” with carbs either pre or post workout. => Shredded state? I’m doing this currently - strength is surprisingly maintained while body feels very light. Definitely losing some fullness and that “imposing” look.

  2. Fasted (from food) training. Use intraworkout BCAA’s or Biotest supps. Idea being to avoid carbs preworkout because it deactivates the catacholamine response you get during the workout. Do you buy this? I’ve had great workouts both ways. And I do notice better performance, more pump when I acutally have carbs pre…but sometimes placebo makes me THINK I feel drowsy. What is optimal from a body composition?

  3. High fat / high protein / low carb. I feel like this diet kind of sucks. I read about people eating only meat or doing Keto this or that but they all seem to start off quite round and “bulky”. The lean ripped dudes / actual physique competitrs seem to always AVOID this approach. You basicaly don’t get glycogen, fat is easy to over consume, muscles are mushy and you get smoother and fatter while appetite isn’t really curbed. Any value from this?

  4. Intermittent fasting - I’ve read your stance before on this. But I don’t know what it is, this approach, over the last 2 years, has radically affected my leanness and composition. It just seems I didn’t get results on 6 meals a day, despite “hitting macros” and using hte same training protocol.

Sorry for the brain dump… I guess I’m just trying to get you to elaborate on your diet experiences and take it wherever. Hopefully not “I’m overthinking needless details” :). Thanks.

Hey sigil was wondering when you were going to drop one of your deep thinking questions,it’s been awhile haha.I say this because i think you come up with some good thoughts on diet and training.Much of the same thoughts that i have on these subjects so ya good stuff.

i figured id add into this as it seems to be starting off a little diet thread,

I’ve gone back through the archives and had a look at the beast evolves many a time. i know a lot of your philosophies on training and nutrition have changed since then but i feel as though I’m in a similar situation as you were in that. I’ve never been truly shredded and this year i decided i would push it and goes as hard and far as is needed to get as lean as I’ve wanted to be. now I’ve had my calories quite low, 1700 300g p 50g f at 210 pounds, 6’4 and 13-14%. i also do 2 interval sessions and 4 steady state along with 4 days weights(mountain dog). I’m wondering do you think i should add carbs back in or just grin and bear and do what needs to be done? I’m also a ffb and have the usual problem spots… abs being the worst for me as my shoulders and arms are both defined and have veins yet barely 2 abs showing.

sorry for the long post and thanks for what you do

Well if that’s you in the picture, why do any of those ‘diets’ or rather, meal compositions? How about moderate protein, moderate fat, moderate (daily) carbs? Evenly spaced meals, don’t train fasted, etc…

Sig going off your picture mate, I think the thread should be us asking you how to get ripped to fuck? lol

Haha thanks for the comments. CT was probably bored by the question as he more or less answered it with “eat plenty of nutrients while doing layer training, avoid faddish stuff”. But he did mention how he preferred to eat light prior to workouts (or use only periworkout), and save carbs along with most calories/snacking at night after the workout. Was stuff like this I was hoping he’d expand on - particularly with regard to optimal TRAINING and maybe long term adherence.

I got to my leanest a few weeks ago after days of basically 16/8 intermittent fasting, with some days of one meal at night, and a focus on lean meat. I alternated days of poudning down massive amounts of steamed cruciferous veggies (fills the stomach) with days of massive amounts of rice and fat-free carbs. I felt pretty healthy, despite probably drastically undereating (caloric wise) and the mornings after the rice/carb heavy days I felt juicy (super tight, vascularity everywhere, full muscles). I did this while doing CT’s layer system and abusign coffee and stimulants. Haha, so leaness was there, but not that huge “imposing” look. Also wasn’t sure how long I could sustain it as I felt revved up all the time, didn;t’ want to sleep, and weights weren’t really going up on the bench presses

Sigil…I’ve had my best success with something very similar to what Chris has been doing with his experiment. I like to make sure my digestion is optimized too because you can have the perfect diet but if you don’t absorb it, it doesn’t matter… Indigo, probiotic, full organic lemon in warm water about 15 min before a big meal, kimche, organic sauerkraut, chew your food until its like water, stuff like that.

The better I listen to my body the better results I get. If you can’t go up in weight or do the same workout in less time, or improve in some way then something has to change…never sacrifice performance for any diet …just some thoughts for you…hope it helps

Yeah Sput thanks. Is this Chris Shugart’s experiment? I’ve also found marked improvements in health, performance and I think even phsyiquea fter eating lots of sauerkrat, kimchee, and improving digestion. Haven’t tried the lemon water yet though.

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
Yeah Sput thanks. Is this Chris Shugart’s experiment? I’ve also found marked improvements in health, performance and I think even phsyiquea fter eating lots of sauerkrat, kimchee, and improving digestion. Haven’t tried the lemon water yet though. [/quote]
Ya sigil I have been doing the same with sauerkrat and chewing ginger root before my meal and I’ve noticed a pretty big difference as well.

Sigil- I have been following about the exact same thing for the past few months and have never felt and looked better. Without sounding like the cool guy, every day at the gym people ask me how I stay so lean. I explain the IF and they are usually like… “thats weird”! I did a similiar experiement also where I dropped my rice and added broci or cauli. and I dropped more BF. Now, I am going to cycle them more in line with my workouts. So, on really hard days I will have more rice and on easier or off days I will have more veg. Anyway, I know it is not for alot of people but I love it!

Oh yeh- I have tried fasted from food training and not but using Plazma. I lift at about 4:30 pm every day, so I fast all day then I was having a Finbar about an hour pre-workout then drinking Plazma peri. For a try, I dropped the pre Finbar and went to the gym totally food fasted but using Plazma and I honestly did not notice a difference. Still strong, pumped etc… Dropping one Finbar per day and cutting my rice carbs at night did allow me drop a slight bit more BF also.

So, for me training food fasted with Plazma works very well.