After eating PN-style for many months, I decided to try switching to the AD, while leaving my training unchanged, to compare and see what would happen. I’m completing the two-week induction phase today (Friday) and will be doing my first carb-up over the weekend.
During the two week induction phase, I strictly limited myself to meat, fish, eggs, cheese, oil, nuts and moderate quantities of good veggies like spinach, broccoli, lettuce, cucumber and celery.
I did not, however, measure portions or count calories. Sorry. My lifestyle would not really permit this even if I wanted to do it, since I travel a fair bit and eat hotel/restaurant meals with other people. Pulling out a digital scale would be not only inconvenient but also more than a bit weird… (Apologies to the TRULY hardcore!
My approach, therefore, was to strictly follow the allowed food choices but to control portions instinctively, eating as much as I felt like, over 5-6 feedings per day. When on the road, for a quick snack, I might shotgun a spoonful of EVOO, have a handful of walnuts+fish oil capsules, and drink some whey protein. But for the most part, it was real food, with an emphasis on meat and cheese and eggs.
I have supplemented with a multivitamin, creatine, fish oil (15-20g per day), Alpha Male, some extra antioxidants (beta carotene, Vitamin C), and ZMA before bed.
Here are the results so far:
Waist: 35 1/4 inches
BF%: approx. 13% (3-site skinfold test)
AFTER 2 WEEKS (DAY BEFORE FIRST CARB-UP)
Waist: 35 1/4 inches
BF%: approx. 12.5% (3-site skinfold test)
I would have to say that the change in weight and in BF% is so small that it is probably a result of measurement error/random daily fluctuation. This is borne out by the good old-fashioned waist measurement, which remains unchanged. (I have problems getting a reliable, accurate skinfold at the abdominal site; the margin of error in that reading could account for the change in BF%.)
To sum up, going from PN to AD for the last two weeks has brought about no noticeable change in my body comp.
This could be because eating PN-style was already low-to-moderate carb, with the non-fruit/veggie carbs taken in only at breakfast and then post-workout. That means that a PN-eater, who is timing the carbs properly and taking only moderate quantities of carbs, might already be “fat-adapted”, or perhaps “bi-metabolic”, able to run on either carbs or fat. (Is there such a metabolic state? This is not addressed in the AD book, nor in PN).
The major changes involved in going from PN to AD for me were:
- getting rid of all fruits and berries
- not having oatmeal with breakfast, Surge PWO, and low-GI carbs with PWO meal
- not having yoghurt and cutting way back on milk (just a couple of drops in my tea/coffee)
- hugely increasing my intake of saturated fat
In terms of how this diet has made me feel physically so far, I have to say that I haven’t experienced the ‘crash’ that others have described during the process of adaptation, again possibly because PN was already moderate on the carbs to begin with. The only thing I can point to is that the reduction in fibre (I haven’t supplemented fibre) has had a noticeable impact on my bowel movements - stool seems more compacted and takes a bit more work to get out. (Hope that was not too graphic.)
Subjectively, I don’t miss the oatmeal, Surge, or low-GI carbs (sweet potato etc.). But I definitely do miss apples and berries, as well as yoghurt. I feel less healthy without them in my daily diet and am a bit worried about relying on supps for all the good stuff I am missing.
Lastly, I am a bit worried about the long-term health effects of consuming so much fat, especially saturated fat. The good doctor doesn’t talk much about the link between saturated fat intake and cancer in the AD book.
Anyway, I will keep going for a while and will report back on what happens during/after the weekend carb-up.