T Nation

Questions of Dieting as Well as Nutrient Timing

I was initially going to post this in the supplements and nutrition section, however I feel like this section is more frequently viewed by people I think may have good answers to my questions. I was hoping for responses from guys who are currently in contest prep or have been in contest prep i.e. Stu, Dirty Gerdy, as well as the monsters here like X, CC etc you get the idea.

I realize that the concepts of losing and gaining are very simple. They are based on the law of thermodynamics, most of us understand this. Over the course of the years I have been training and playing with nutrition though, I have never had a few simple questions answered which may in and of themselves not be pertinent to the majority of you, but I feel are pertinent, even if only slightly.

My questions mostly pertain to leaning out;

  1. When performing fasted cardio in the morning, is fat loss hindered at all when consuming protein before the act? Does the form of protein matter? I’m aware that some proteins such as whey will actually raise insulin levels as an inherent attribute of themselves. If they do hinder fat loss, to what degree and will the muscle loss protection you gain, outweigh the loss of fat burned?

  2. Same question as above pertaining to HIIT performed after a lifting session.

  3. When in a deficit of calories, I’m sure most of you have experienced a loss in strength, as well in size. Many times this is attributed to depleted glycogen but can you definatively say that it is loss of glycogen and not loss of muscle? Is there a way to determine which is happening? At times it also appears as though subcutaneous fat is being gained but when slightly raising carbs and calories in response to that, this effect diminishes. Were glycogen stores simply replenished, increasing muscle size, decreasing the appearance of subcutaneous fat stores? Was my metabolism stalled out and simply needed a jump, allowing me to go back into a deficit in the near future to continue to lean out?

  4. I was also curious as to what has worked best for all of you as tools and methods to reaching your goals of getting lean after you have reached a size you see as reasonable for the time being. I find putting on size relatively straight forward although I’m not a hulking monster like some on here. Something about getting extremely lean however seems a bit more technical and complex. What are some subtleties many of you have had success with that you feel many people aren’t aware of? Thanks for reading guys and thanks for the responses.

  1. Its going to depend on a ton of factors. (How hard the cardio is going to be, how much of a deficit, and how low carb you are the rest of the time, BF levels, isulin sensitivity, etc. etc…)

Im no expert on this, but it would probably be best to have a small solid meal or casein shake per workout (maybe 10-20g) and then follow up the workout with whey and a small amount of carbs or something similar.

  1. Same response really. It depends on what type of lifting you do before, and what type of HIIT you are doing. If you were to lift really hard, using something with a relatively high volume, and then go into something like TABATA, you are gonna be very catabolic.

True HIIT is probably best performed as its own session, but if you are just gonna do some intervals, like 2 minutes slow paced / 1 minute fast paced, then performing this after weights would be similar to performing it in the morning.

  1. Im not sure about number three, youve got a lot of questions in there. But remember muscle size is not just protein. Glycogen and water are the MAIN component to muscle size. I dont remember the exact proportions but I think its like 70% of your muscles are glycogen and water.

So when you lose 10lbs during the first week of low carb, you are probably losing 8lbs of muscle. You wont know how much of it was what until you add carbs back in enough to replenish glycogen stores.

  1. For me, the main thing is keeping the intensity pretty high, and dropping the volume when cutting. This seems to allow me to keep most of my strength or even increase it, while maintaining muscle as well. But I am still in the process of finding what works best myself, so I cant offer much in this area. Im the opposite of you.

Getting lean is fairly easy, but keeping or building muscle is difficult. So for me, I am much less extreme while cutting in order to maintain muscle, whereas you should probably be less extreme while bulking, to avoid adding too much fat.

Thats the best I can answer your questions, hope this helps a little.

You should check out the following books/authors, they have some good info.

Lyle Mcdonald (he has a bunch of books/articles)
“better than steriods”
“Fat loss troubleshoot”

DV

Not any of those guys, but I have some experience with being in maintenance and cutting, so here’s my 2 cents on those questions.

  1. I don’t think so; the key is to working out after sleep. Anything you eat will only be digested during/after the cardio, so I doubt it matters at all. I’d go with BCAA’s though because you need a very small amount of them.

  2. IMO some brief HIIT after lifting is fine, never experienced any negative effects from it. But you can go harder and keep your metabolism elevated for longer by splitting lifting and doing HIIT a few hours later.

  3. With proper nutrition, I firmly believe you can maintain and/or gain some strength when in a calorie deficit. At the very least, it’s true for someone at my strength levels; even when dieting hard, didn’t lose strength.

  4. Walking. When I can no longer lose weight, making a conscious effort to just walk more helps me a lot. Other than that, dialing in your diet is KEY.

[quote]Da Vinci wrote:
I was initially going to post this in the supplements and nutrition section, however I feel like this section is more frequently viewed by people I think may have good answers to my questions. I was hoping for responses from guys who are currently in contest prep or have been in contest prep i.e. Stu, Dirty Gerdy, as well as the monsters here like X, CC etc you get the idea.

I realize that the concepts of losing and gaining are very simple. They are based on the law of thermodynamics, most of us understand this. Over the course of the years I have been training and playing with nutrition though, I have never had a few simple questions answered which may in and of themselves not be pertinent to the majority of you, but I feel are pertinent, even if only slightly.

My questions mostly pertain to leaning out;

  1. When performing fasted cardio in the morning, is fat loss hindered at all when consuming protein before the act? Does the form of protein matter? I’m aware that some proteins such as whey will actually raise insulin levels as an inherent attribute of themselves. If they do hinder fat loss, to what degree and will the muscle loss protection you gain, outweigh the loss of fat burned?

  2. Same question as above pertaining to HIIT performed after a lifting session.

  3. When in a deficit of calories, I’m sure most of you have experienced a loss in strength, as well in size. Many times this is attributed to depleted glycogen but can you definatively say that it is loss of glycogen and not loss of muscle? Is there a way to determine which is happening? At times it also appears as though subcutaneous fat is being gained but when slightly raising carbs and calories in response to that, this effect diminishes. Were glycogen stores simply replenished, increasing muscle size, decreasing the appearance of subcutaneous fat stores? Was my metabolism stalled out and simply needed a jump, allowing me to go back into a deficit in the near future to continue to lean out?

  4. I was also curious as to what has worked best for all of you as tools and methods to reaching your goals of getting lean after you have reached a size you see as reasonable for the time being. I find putting on size relatively straight forward although I’m not a hulking monster like some on here. Something about getting extremely lean however seems a bit more technical and complex. What are some subtleties many of you have had success with that you feel many people aren’t aware of? Thanks for reading guys and thanks for the responses.

[/quote]

Sent you two pm’s about this.

Regarding your first question… I was told to not ingest protein before “fasted cardio” reason being is that your stomach is empty so you will burn that protein as energy… once the protein runs out your body is already in protein burning mode so it moves on to the muscle :open_mouth: … instead maybe take a shot of olive oil to get your body in fat burn mode… not sure if this is all nonsense or not just somethin ive read here at some point.