T Nation

Questions About Fat Loss


#1

Post away.


#2

Thib,

This post will relate more to fat loss tools and methods than a specific personal question.

I've seen the TRX/suspension training as touted for its ability to increase the energy demands of exercise by involving so many muscle groups to stabilize the body as you move. Do you see this tool as having potential advantages or being largely over-hyped?

And for combination exercises and complexes, do you see these as sub-optimal for maximal fat loss due to the fact that one portion of the combo or one exercise in the complex will be the limiting factor and prevent maximal work from being performed during the other portions?

I'm grateful for your help here and for your supreme generosity It's a treat to benefit from your kindness and immense talents.


#3

How would you go about getting someone "fat adapted" through higher fats and low carbs when they have medical conditions and medications that make them prone to hypoglycemia.
I guess what I mean is that the normal 1-2 weeks with a 70/30 split of fats to protein and trace carbs is impossible because the person cannot afford to be lethargic and/or is at risk of hypoglycemia.
How do you transition to a fat adapted state when you can't just drop carbs?
Do you lower carbs and glycemic load slowly over time?

Thanks in advance coach.


#4

Hi
What would be the best para workout strategy to use if only coffee,whey,BCAA,creatine and carb powder is available..For fat loss is it better to use glutamine instead of carb powder..
Can honey be used for postworkout....


#5

VERY largely overhyped, but can still be useful. If stabilizing your body requires so much energy, why are all the fatso training on swiss balls and all the lean guys are lifting weights?

Seriously though. I love training and everything related to it. There isn't really a tool I don't like, most do have their purpose, but I everytime I hear that this and this method is the best I feel like jumping off a bridge!

If the complex is properly planned, it can work. I've used some complexes with clients. But mostly as a change of pace. The problem is that most people cannot planned these correctly.


#6

The new forum set up is unreal! Thanks for all the help!

Is twice a day training for fat loss helpful or harmful?


#7

Coach, I know you can't tell us much about the new program, but could you tell us what "sparked" the overall idea and framework of the program/diet?


#8

I just read your article "Destroying Fat", and currently I am on a cyclic ketogenic diet to lean down. You said in the discussion section that these training methods are ok you are on the anabolic diet (which I would assume is similar the CKD, right?). If that is the case, what workouts would you recommend on carb up days? Would one of the heavy lifting + sprinting days be optimal since you have the glycogen to spend?


#9

Dividing one's volume into two session will ALWAYS be more effective than doing the same work in one session. This is true both for growth and fat loss.

Specifically when it comes to fat loss. Two sessions have been shown to increase caloric expenditure moreso than doing the exact same volume in one session.


#10

The basic premise is something that I already worked on (even wrote articles about it) and realized that there was a lot more there than I first thought. Then Tim Patterson kept questioning my methods and challenging me, which really forced me to go deep in the physiology of what actually makes a muscle growth and piece by piece the initial program started appearing.


#11

Coach

To fat loss, Is suitable weight training AM and strongman training PM both male and female?

Thanks


#12

Hi, coach

I was wondering if you have an opinion on "setpoints". I've been switching between bulking and cutting for a coupole of years and feel like I've almost ended up where I started. But I've been going through some older forum posts lately, and it seems the bigger guys here recommend maintaining a certain weight for some time before cutting, to establish a "setpoint" for the body and thereby minimizing muscle loss. I know you've mentioned a couple of times before, how you have established a new body fat set point for your own body in the 8%-range. I suppose this would work in the other side of the spectrum, by limiting the amount of fat gained if you decide to gain weight again.

So my question is this... I've decided to listsen to the big boys and focus on size for a couple of years before I try to cut again. But I am at the end of a cutting phase now. Would there be any point for me to maintain my current bodyweight for a couple of months before starting the bulk, and hope this would help me keep the muscle/fat-ratio somewhat in check when I do? Or should I just start eating right away? I know a couple of months is probably too short a time to really establish a new setpoint, but would it do any good at all?

This is my first post, btw, and I'm net really sure how all this works. Hope it's ok that I post this question here. Thank you very much for taking the time to help us mere mortals :slightly_smiling:


#13

Hi Coach,

I'm starting to Carb Cycle. From your experience for someone who doesn't need to lose too much say, 2-3 kilo's max whilst maintaining strength levels how many high, moderate, low days would you recommend on a weekly cycle for someone lifting 4 times a week and keeping active on "off" days? I'm looking at this as life plan as opposed to 4-8 week cut.

Many thanks,

Pat


#14

Go low carbs on 2 of your 3 off days
Moderate on 1 of your 3 off days and 2 workout days
Higher carbs on the 2 most important training sessions of the week.


#15

Coach in a dieting phase to you believe in the need for re-feeds ,Im dieting on a low fat,med carb,high protein diet as i find this works best as i dont really enjoy fatty foods or red meats etc.

Ive read a little on a few sites about Scott Abels Cycle diet and from what i gather you diet mon-sat then have a huge re-feed with junk foods, to spike leptin and boost metabolisim?

what are your views thibs

Deano


#16

Hi Coach,

Great new format. Thanks a million!

Quick question: I'd still like to get to <10% BF (currently ~12.5%) before trying to put on any appreciable size. I generally follow a low-carb diet, although it hasn't been perfect lately. Do you recommend a low protein/moderate carb day while dieting down, or is it more useful during mass phases?

Thanks!


#17

I'll start off by explaining the differences between the three types of dietary digressions: cheating, loading, and refeeding.

Cheating means eating a meal (or several) consisting of foods that are outside the realm of what's acceptable on your diet, and the centerpiece is usually sugary junk.

You have planned and unplanned cheats. I touched on the later earlier (eating some crap on a day you're not supposed to); these should be avoided as much as possible.

Planned cheats refer to giving yourself a moment in the week where you can eat the bad food you've been craving. This moment is always on a given day and comes at the conclusion of a week of solid dieting.

Loading, like cheating, means eating a meal (or several) consisting of foods that aren't a part of your daily plan. Contrary to cheating, though, loading uses clean, high-carbohydrate foods like yams, potatoes, rice, whole-wheat pasta, fruits, etc. On a loading day, you want to refill muscle glycogen, so your daily intake of carbs will fall between 200 and 600 grams depending on your size and goals.

Refeeds still consist of increasing your food intake for a day, but you do so by respecting your regular diet. You simply eat more of the foods that you normally ingest. A small amount of clean carbs (15 to 20 grams per meal) is also acceptable.

Now that we understand the difference between these three, let's explore the logic behind dietary digression days.

Such days serve three main purposes:
1. To prevent the ill effects of dieting, mainly metabolic slowdown and rebound binging. Calorie and carb restrictions decrease the release of the hormone called leptin. Leptin is important because it sends a message to the body that it's well-fed, so your body can keep up its metabolic rate.

If less leptin is produced, your body will likely think it's starving, and it'll react to the situation by slowing down your metabolism and increasing hunger.
As leptin drops, the risk of dietary failure increases.

It's been shown that increasing food intake drastically, even for a short period of time, will prevent the drop in leptin that occurs when dieting. This is especially important in the later stages. Unless you use a stupidly high energy deficit when dieting, your leptin levels aren't likely to drop significantly during the first few weeks. It's only after you've lost a significant amount of fat, or have been of the diet for several weeks, that it'll become necessary to prevent the underproduction of leptin.

  1. To reload glycogen stores. Glycogen (the carbs stored in the muscles and liver) is the primary fuel source for intense physical work. When your glycogen stores are low, you won't be able to train as hard as when you're fully loaded.

The main purpose of weight training when dieting is to preserve (or even gain) muscle mass. If you can't train hard, it'll be difficult to prevent muscle loss. For that reason, it's a good idea to periodically give the body a shot of carbohydrates to keep glycogen stores at least somewhat full.

Your body can actually produce glucose (and then glycogen) from amino acids via a process called gluconeogenesis. But this might lead to muscle loss if your calorie deficit is too great, so a weekly carbohydrate load can be a good way to prevent the eating away of your muscle to produce glucose.

  1. To give yourself a psychological break. One of the toughest aspects of dieting isn't so much the deprivation, but the fact that you know that you won't be able to satisfy your cravings for weeks. A lot of people stop their diet in the first few weeks because they can't see themselves being deprived of the foods they love for such a long period. For these people, having a once-a-week mulligan can help them maintain the diet over the long run.

But it's a double-edged sword. While it can provide you with some much needed mental relief, it can also increase the frequency and intensity of your cravings. If you can get through the first few weeks without eating any forbidden foods, your desire for them will gradually fade.
But if you constantly remind yourself of how good these physique wreckers taste, you'll always have to fight craving attacks.

So, yes, it can help if you're able to shut the door for the whole week once the cheat is over. But if you can't, it'll ruin your efforts and make your life miserable.

If we look at the three benefits of getting off of your diet for a short period of time, we can decide whether a cheat, load, or refeed is beneficial or if it'll screw up your progress.
Cheats, loads, and refeeds all have a positive impact on maintaining leptin levels. They also have an impact on glycogen storage. Generally, the loading strategy has the greatest impact on glycogen stores. Cheats also have a positive effect on glycogen stores, but if the carbs are mainly from high-fructose corn syrup, you'll store much less than if they were from another form.

Additionally, the high glycemic load of the cheat food versus the cleaner carbs can increase the amount of carbs stored as fat.

Refeeds can also work for glycogen loading, but since you'll normally be consuming no more than 125 to 150 grams of carbs, you won't be able to get a supercompensation effect.
When it comes to the impact on leptin, at an equal caloric intake, all three strategies are fairly similar. I'd like to tell you that eating clean foods in excess is more beneficial in this regard than eating bad foods, but it isn't so. The total amount of calories and carbs is more important than the quality of the food when it comes to leptin manipulation.
This doesn't mean that you should eat crap, simply that for the purpose of leptin manipulation, crap will be as effective as other items.

As far as the psychological aspect is concerned, we have a pretty variable response to all three strategies. Some people love fast food, others crave sugar and pastries (like me), and then there's those who are attracted to things like pasta, breads, and fruits. So, the food that'll give a dieter some mental relief is really dependent on personal preferences.

In an ideal world, our cravings would be for yams, potatoes, pasta, and fruits. Eating those on your dietary digression day will be superior to pizza, burgers, and donuts. But some people need their crap. As I mentioned earlier, if cheating opens the door to falling off the dietary Radio Flyer, avoid it.

It should be fairly obvious now that you don't need to cheat. Loading and refeeding with quality foods will do the job just as well. The only time cheating with bad food is superior is when you absolutely need a fix to stay on your diet.

Remember, your body has absolutely no physical need to eat junk. It's only our psychological side that's a slave to this.

Such days serve three main purposes:
1. To prevent the ill effects of dieting, mainly metabolic slowdown and rebound binging. Calorie and carb restrictions decrease the release of the hormone called leptin. Leptin is important because it sends a message to the body that it's well-fed, so your body can keep up its metabolic rate.

If less leptin is produced, your body will likely think it's starving, and it'll react to the situation by slowing down your metabolism and increasing hunger.

As leptin drops, the risk of dietary failure increases.

It's been shown that increasing food intake drastically, even for a short period of time, will prevent the drop in leptin that occurs when dieting. This is especially important in the later stages. Unless you use a stupidly high energy deficit when dieting, your leptin levels aren't likely to drop significantly during the first few weeks. It's only after you've lost a significant amount of fat, or have been of the diet for several weeks, that it'll become necessary to prevent the underproduction of leptin.
2. To reload glycogen stores. Glycogen (the carbs stored in the muscles and liver) is the primary fuel source for intense physical work. When your glycogen stores are low, you won't be able to train as hard as when you're fully loaded.

The main purpose of weight training when dieting is to preserve (or even gain) muscle mass. If you can't train hard, it'll be difficult to prevent muscle loss. For that reason, it's a good idea to periodically give the body a shot of carbohydrates to keep glycogen stores at least somewhat full.

Your body can actually produce glucose (and then glycogen) from amino acids via a process called gluconeogenesis. But this might lead to muscle loss if your calorie deficit is too great, so a weekly carbohydrate load can be a good way to prevent the eating away of your muscle to produce glucose.

  1. To give yourself a psychological break. One of the toughest aspects of dieting isn't so much the deprivation, but the fact that you know that you won't be able to satisfy your cravings for weeks. A lot of people stop their diet in the first few weeks because they can't see themselves being deprived of the foods they love for such a long period. For these people, having a once-a-week mulligan can help them maintain the diet over the long run.

But it's a double-edged sword. While it can provide you with some much needed mental relief, it can also increase the frequency and intensity of your cravings. If you can get through the first few weeks without eating any forbidden foods, your desire for them will gradually fade.
But if you constantly remind yourself of how good these physique wreckers taste, you'll always have to fight craving attacks.

So, yes, it can help if you're able to shut the door for the whole week once the cheat is over. But if you can't, it'll ruin your efforts and make your life miserable.

If we look at the three benefits of getting off of your diet for a short period of time, we can decide whether a cheat, load, or refeed is beneficial or if it'll screw up your progress.
Cheats, loads, and refeeds all have a positive impact on maintaining leptin levels. They also have an impact on glycogen storage. Generally, the loading strategy has the greatest impact on glycogen stores. Cheats also have a positive effect on glycogen stores, but if the carbs are mainly from high-fructose corn syrup, you'll store much less than if they were from another form.

Additionally, the high glycemic load of the cheat food versus the cleaner carbs can increase the amount of carbs stored as fat.

Refeeds can also work for glycogen loading, but since you'll normally be consuming no more than 125 to 150 grams of carbs, you won't be able to get a supercompensation effect.
When it comes to the impact on leptin, at an equal caloric intake, all three strategies are fairly similar. I'd like to tell you that eating clean foods in excess is more beneficial in this regard than eating bad foods, but it isn't so. The total amount of calories and carbs is more important than the quality of the food when it comes to leptin manipulation.
This doesn't mean that you should eat crap, simply that for the purpose of leptin manipulation, crap will be as effective as other items.

As far as the psychological aspect is concerned, we have a pretty variable response to all three strategies. Some people love fast food, others crave sugar and pastries (like me), and then there's those who are attracted to things like pasta, breads, and fruits. So, the food that'll give a dieter some mental relief is really dependent on personal preferences.

In an ideal world, our cravings would be for yams, potatoes, pasta, and fruits. Eating those on your dietary digression day will be superior to pizza, burgers, and donuts. But some people need their crap. As I mentioned earlier, if cheating opens the door to falling off the dietary Radio Flyer, avoid it.

It should be fairly obvious now that you don't need to cheat. Loading and refeeding with quality foods will do the job just as well. The only time cheating with bad food is superior is when you absolutely need a fix to stay on your diet.
Remember, your body has absolutely no physical need to eat junk. It's only our psychological side that's a slave to this.

Such days serve three main purposes:
1. To prevent the ill effects of dieting, mainly metabolic slowdown and rebound binging. Calorie and carb restrictions decrease the release of the hormone called leptin. Leptin is important because it sends a message to the body that it's well-fed, so your body can keep up its metabolic rate.

If less leptin is produced, your body will likely think it's starving, and it'll react to the situation by slowing down your metabolism and increasing hunger.
As leptin drops, the risk of dietary failure increases.

It's been shown that increasing food intake drastically, even for a short period of time, will prevent the drop in leptin that occurs when dieting. This is especially important in the later stages. Unless you use a stupidly high energy deficit when dieting, your leptin levels aren't likely to drop significantly during the first few weeks. It's only after you've lost a significant amount of fat, or have been of the diet for several weeks, that it'll become necessary to prevent the underproduction of leptin.

  1. To reload glycogen stores. Glycogen (the carbs stored in the muscles and liver) is the primary fuel source for intense physical work. When your glycogen stores are low, you won't be able to train as hard as when you're fully loaded.

The main purpose of weight training when dieting is to preserve (or even gain) muscle mass. If you can't train hard, it'll be difficult to prevent muscle loss. For that reason, it's a good idea to periodically give the body a shot of carbohydrates to keep glycogen stores at least somewhat full.

Your body can actually produce glucose (and then glycogen) from amino acids via a process called gluconeogenesis. But this might lead to muscle loss if your calorie deficit is too great, so a weekly carbohydrate load can be a good way to prevent the eating away of your muscle to produce glucose.

  1. To give yourself a psychological break. One of the toughest aspects of dieting isn't so much the deprivation, but the fact that you know that you won't be able to satisfy your cravings for weeks. A lot of people stop their diet in the first few weeks because they can't see themselves being deprived of the foods they love for such a long period. For these people, having a once-a-week mulligan can help them maintain the diet over the long run.
    But it's a double-edged sword. While it can provide you with some much needed mental relief, it can also increase the frequency and intensity of your cravings. If you can get through the first few weeks without eating any forbidden foods, your desire for them will gradually fade.
    But if you constantly remind yourself of how good these physique wreckers taste, you'll always have to fight craving attacks.

So, yes, it can help if you're able to shut the door for the whole week once the cheat is over. But if you can't, it'll ruin your efforts and make your life miserable.
If we look at the three benefits of getting off of your diet for a short period of time, we can decide whether a cheat, load, or refeed is beneficial or if it'll screw up your progress.
Cheats, loads, and refeeds all have a positive impact on maintaining leptin levels. They also have an impact on glycogen storage. Generally, the loading strategy has the greatest impact on glycogen stores. Cheats also have a positive effect on glycogen stores, but if the carbs are mainly from high-fructose corn syrup, you'll store much less than if they were from another form.

Additionally, the high glycemic load of the cheat food versus the cleaner carbs can increase the amount of carbs stored as fat.

Refeeds can also work for glycogen loading, but since you'll normally be consuming no more than 125 to 150 grams of carbs, you won't be able to get a supercompensation effect.
When it comes to the impact on leptin, at an equal caloric intake, all three strategies are fairly similar. I'd like to tell you that eating clean foods in excess is more beneficial in this regard than eating bad foods, but it isn't so. The total amount of calories and carbs is more important than the quality of the food when it comes to leptin manipulation.
This doesn't mean that you should eat crap, simply that for the purpose of leptin manipulation, crap will be as effective as other items.

As far as the psychological aspect is concerned, we have a pretty variable response to all three strategies. Some people love fast food, others crave sugar and pastries (like me), and then there's those who are attracted to things like pasta, breads, and fruits. So, the food that'll give a dieter some mental relief is really dependent on personal preferences.
In an ideal world, our cravings would be for yams, potatoes, pasta, and fruits. Eating those on your dietary digression day will be superior to pizza, burgers, and donuts. But some people need their crap. As I mentioned earlier, if cheating opens the door to falling off the dietary Radio Flyer, avoid it.
It should be fairly obvious now that you don't need to cheat. Loading and refeeding with quality foods will do the job just as well. The only time cheating with bad food is superior is when you absolutely need a fix to stay on your diet.
Remember, your body has absolutely no physical need to eat junk. It's only our psychological side that's a slave to this.


#18

Hey Coach,

Would like to get your opinion on the V-Diet for my situation.

5'8 205 lbs 20% BF (6-site) and hand-held (yeah not accurate usually), but both confirm 20%

I'm contemplating doing the V-Diet in a month or month and a half. It's obviously a drastic approach. My main concern is muscle loss, Your thoughts?

My goal (not in the near future), would be to have a build similar to yours at a little higher body fat probably.

Any input here?

Or should I just take the reduce calories approach and include some cardio


#19

CT,

What is your opinion on using R-ALA specifically for fat loss?


#20

CT,

Some of work collegues completed the biosignuture course last week. From my sights they said that my main concern is insulin sensitivity. My highest sights were subscap and iliac crest. They said that i needed to totally cut out all my carbs for 14 days (except veges), and that the only shake i could have was a post workout shake of whey (because the shakes are insulinogenic).

They also said that i had to consume 300g protein/day. Now my only problem is that 3 days in I am having trouble digesting all the protein without using shakes. Also i have found during my last workout i felt a little weak.

I was wondering do you think that i need to totally cut out all carbs. Or can i perhaps consume a carb/protein shake pre and post training? Really appreciate your thoughts.