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Rapid Fat Loss vs. V-Diet


The V-Diet definitely is effective!

But here's why I've chosen Lyle McDonald's Rapid Fat Loss diet over the V-diet, twice, when trying to lose weight in a hurry:

Solid food (lean protein; limitless fibrous vegetables; very small amounts of corn, beans, peas, beets, carrots allowed).

Only supplements suggested are table salt, Mg, Ca, K, and a multi-vitamin. I only use the multi-vitamin as I get the electrolytes from fat-free dairy, green leafy vegetables, beets, and tomatoes.

One cheat and one five-hour refeed-carb-up per week. I consider this VERY enjoyable.

Six grams of fish oil per day. I get this from a serving of salmon, trout, or sardines; no Flameout needed.

So, instead of not eating solid foods for weeks on end aside from four meals out of the four weeks, I eat whole foods 5 to 6 times per day, save hundreds of dollars, and have fun with carbups and cheat meals, all while losing weight at warp speed.

The one detriment of the diet is that it's more restrictive than the V-Diet in caloric intake; I've ingested 1,200 kcals per day on the diet at times; the V-Diet calls for 1,600 to 2,000 kcals per day for my bodyweight, 225#.

I've used no thermogenic each time. I lost no lean mass or strength on the diet. Training was scaled back to twice per week though with a full body routine. Intervals were done twice per week after weight training, 60 second work: 120 second coast ratio. NEPA is done on off days.


Here's an example of my two-meal, five-hour window carbup (~400 grams of carbs total):

Meal 1:
7 egg whites
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins
2 slices of whole-wheat bread
1 cup applesauce

Meal 2 (at IHOP)
4 egg whites
hash browns
Whole-grain pancakes with maple syrup

My cheat meal for the week wasn't much of a true cheat meal, just a meal off the diet:
Pork souvlaki (no pita bread)
Some tzatziki sauce
Baked potato
Small Greek salad
Fruit salad

I don't know how I'd survive the V-Diet. I know it works, but I think I'd be fried, mentally and physically.

Anyone try any other protein-sparing modified fasts (PSMFs)?


Not entirely related, but elusive and others have been posting their experiences with carb cycling.

I myself want to try it after the 2 week point (first refeed after 2 weeks, then refeed every 1 week) as a means to keep my metabolism high.

Seems like Lyle is one of those who recommends refeeds like Skip Hill and Shelby Starnes.

How long did you run the Rapid Fat Loss diet for? How much weight (and how much fat) would you say you lost?


Here's the horrific, ultra-low calorie daily plan though:

6 egg whites
2 slices fat-free cheese

Meal 2
7 oz canned chicken
Salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, beets) with vinegar

Meal 3
5 oz canned tuna
Salad with vinegar

Meal 4
6 oz canned salmon
Salad with vinegar

Mid-workout shake
20 oz Gatorade

Meal 5
Ham and turkey cold cuts (6 oz total) over salad with vinegar

Meal 6
1 cup 1%-fat cottage cheese


that's no joke. Thanks for sharing.


I'm glad you posted this. I agree with your choice.


sounds interesting, so youve gotten good results? care to share?

have you every tried, berardis diet for rapid fat loss, dont know what its called, maybe the get shredded diet?

oh and do you have a link for your program?


This diet seems strange. Even for a rapid fat los diet, there is no fat. Im not bashing it, just wondering why this is. I mean, looking at the foods, there might be like 15g fat, if that much. Why is this? Seems like your body will start to use the protein it takes in for fuel instead of the fat you want to lose.



I don't think it's strange; PSMFs have been around and successful for a long time. Even Oprah used a PSMF for her last weight-loss plan (her keeping it off is a whole other story).

The diet is low in fat and carbs. The only deliberate fat intake prescribed is 15 grams of flaxseed oil or 6 grams of fish oil; I take care of this intake with a serving of salmon, trout, or sardines.

Of course with this diet, the body is going to use some protein for fuel. But the aim is to use bodyfat for fuel. Protein intake, diet duration, carbups, and cheat meals are tailored and scheduled depending on leanness, activity, and type of training used.


I love this diet for weight loss; I've gotten great results. It's actually kind of fun because you can see a difference in a few days.

This is where I can't see eye-to-eye with Chris more. Slow fat loss can be unbearable. Yeah, you can work cheat meals in a bit, have a moderate caloric deficit, and exercise your fucking ass off (>8 hours per week of activity); but it always seems that approach kept me in a state of limbo: some fat loss over time, but nothing immediate or appreciable.

I never tried Berardi's Get Shredded Diet. He recommends that one be 10 - 12% bodyfat before trying it. Why? I don't know.

I like this diet for its sheer simplicity:

1) Calculate protein need.
2) Divide protein amount over 4 to 6 meals.
3) Add on vegetables, flax or fish oil, MVI, salt on foods.
4) Schedule and calculate refeeds and cheat meals.

That's it; diet mapped out!

Weight training is done twice per week while I'm on the diet.

Here's my Cosgrove- and Dos Remedios-inspired TBT routine:

Day 1:
1) Explosive upper-body exercise (push press, push jerk, explosive pushup, or speed bench press)
2) Front squat
3) Single-leg stiff-legged deadlift
4) Lateral raise
5) Pullups, lat pulldowns, or dumbbell pullover
6) Ab wheel

Day 2:
1) Explosive lower-body exercise (I prefer muscle snatches (my favorite), speed box-squat, or jump squats; I can't do Olympic lifts properly to save my life)
2) Glute-ham raise or pullt-through
3) Walking lunges
4) Dumbbell bench press or dip
5) Dumbbell row
6) Pushup-to-side-plank (or whatever you call that exercise)

Interval training is done after both workouts:
45 to 60 seconds sprinting: 120 second coasting ratio for 5 - 6 intervals

Brisk walking is done on 4 to 5 off days.


The first time, I rant it for 4 weeks. I might run it 6 weeks this time for summer. I actually like the diet at times. I feel light, not bloated, a common feeling I have when eating a lifestyle diet with a significant amount of carbs.


Hey BRICK! so how are things going?

are you eating the same thing each day, or just the same cals/macros and all that?

are you really going to run such low cals for 4weeks?

are you going somewhere you need to wear a speedo or something?


Things are going great; I love this diet for rapid fat loss.

I eat the same thing on most days. But the diet is easy in keeping with the same macronutrient intake because intentional nutrient intake only consists of lean protein, fibrous vegetables, and 6 grams of fish oil OR 15 grams of flax oil. Any other fat intake is just incidental (each ounce of lean protein has 1 to 3 grams of fat).

That's why I prefer an exchange system in mind, to make things easy:

1/4 cup cottage cheese: 7 grams of protein

1 oz lean meat: 7 grams of protein

1 slice of fat-free cheese: 5 grams of protein

1 egg white: 3.5 grams of protein

Keep the exchanges in mind > calculate protein need > spread protein need over 4 to 6 six meals > add fish or flax oil, table salt > add veggies > schedule and/or calculate cheat meal and carbup > DIET DESIGNED.

I'm going to run the calories as calculated - which is VERY low - for 4 to 6 weeks; the last run was 4 weeks.

The first few days are very hard to deal with. After a week and a half, I'm fine; my appetite actually decreases after that point and I do enjoy feeling "light" sometimes. Plus life is a WHOLE lot easier when you don't have to eat much!

I don't think running calories this low is healthy, but that's why it's a temporary, monitored, well-planned regimen. Hence why the subtitle of Lyle's book is "A Scientific Approach to Crash Dieting."

I'm not scurrying to any far-off exotic hot-spot, but summer is coming up and I was carrying too much baggage for my liking.

Plus I did an about-face this year and decided I don't care for being overly jacked anymore. I didn't lose any muscle last time I did the diet. But I don't really care if I lose some now.


But how much protein does it say you need??? I was looking at the website and it suggests

"A 165-pound male with normal activity patterns may have a maintenance requirement of about 2700 calories per day. At 800 calories per day on this diet . . . "

800cals a day? and it says the diet can be as low as 400cals a day.

How does it calculate your protein need? Take your daily requirements and make that your weekly total?

oh you are going to be so cranky


If you gnaw off your own arm do you still have to count that in your daily calories? I mean you are reducing your body mass ...


The diet can be as low as 400 kcal for a small woman that doesn't exercise.

800 kcal for a 165# male sounds about right considering that I weight 225# and am ingesting about 1,200 to 1,400 kcal per day. I take in 1.25 grams of protein per pound of estimated lean body mass.

As I said, the protein need is calculated depending on activity volume, type of training, and leanness. That takes care of the caloric allotment, considering all you count are protein grams, fibrous vegetable intake, and 6 grams of fish oil or 15 grams of flax oil.

I don't know if it's appropriate that I explain all facets of the diet, because then I'll be giving away the book's concepts away fore free, I believe.

I have no idea where my training outline went when I tried to edit some of it. But here it is again. It's a two-days-per-week program:

Day 1:

Explosive upper body exercise (I choose from plyo pushup, speed bench press, push press, or push jerk)
Glute-ham raise or pullthrough
Walking lunges
Dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell row
Ab wheel

Day 2:

Explosive lower body exercise (speed box-squat, jump squat, box jump, or muscle snatch (my favorite))
Front or dumbbell squat
Single stiff-legged deadlift
Lateral raises
Lat pulldown, chinup, or pullover

Interval training is done after both workouts:
45 to 60 second sprint:120 second coast x 5 intervals

Walking is done on off days.

As you can see, it's Dos Remedios- an Cosgrove-inspired.


no, I am sorry, I wasn't asking you to give out the secrets of the book! Sorry, the low cals just shocked me.

I hope you keep up this thread. I want to see how a guy with muscle does on such a low cal plan, well one that isn't getting ready for a comp.

But you say you've done this before.

well you are getting in your vegetables so that is good!


Glad to find someone starting a thread on this. I think in his updated book, he upped his recommendation from 6g to 10g.

How well do you think people will do on the RFL while doing the workouts from the V-Diet? No, I'm not trying to change what is on his book or anything (I'm sure he has his reasons why he only recommends 2 workouts per week) but I'm just wondering why the workout recommendations are a bit different but the calorie intake and macronutrient part is similar.


Taufiq, thanks for the response.

I checked the book again; the fish oil recommendation is 6 to 10 grams. (Note: See the simplicity of this diet; I don't even have to refer to the book constantly).

Actually, I just work out twice per week on the diet by choice; he actually recommends 2 to 3 sessions per week or 1 every 3 to 4 days.

I don't see why one couldn't do ANY full-body routine of one's choice. Lyle doesn't give any specific recommendations. My program is designed by me. What he does is advise is that training volume be scaled way back from the norm and that split routines be avoided.

The concern with training on the diet is maintaining muscle mass, not gaining. If you can recover from more training, do it. But this diet is aimed at the common, drug-free man with average genetics.

I haven't lost any muscle mass either time. I believe this is because I've been training for over a decade, hardcore. I think if you've trained with heavy (<10 reps most of the time), compound movements and maybe some power-speed work (plyos, speed bench and squat, OLs) for years, you can maintain mass with very-low-calorie diets, sometimes surprisingly low.

Alwyn Cosgrove once referenced a study in which weight-training subjects maintained muscle mass on 800 kcal.

Dan Duchaine once wrote in Muscle Media that it takes a lot of calories to build muscle, but once it's built, it's very easy to maintain, even on low calories.

One advantage I believe I have is that I take Androgel - FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES. I've been hypogonadal for 7 years. Although I take the medicinal dose of 7.5 grams and have a consistently normal T value (usually 700 to 900 ng/dL), my friends and I DO believe this has helped me maintain my size.

I'm ASSUMING Lyle's recommendations are different because Lyle didn't consult with Chris Shugart or Chad Waterbury or refer to the V-Diet when designing his own strategy.

That's the thing about Lyle; he is VERY bright, highly educated, and FIERCELY independent because of these attributes. He's confident in what he does because of his education, success, and - dare I say - cynicism. The man's been banned from T-forum and the Supertraining listserv.

He take's no shit!

That's why I didn't go over the guidelines of the diet in detail. You ever see someone whose crossed paths with Lyle in print, on the net? He'll wreck you, verbally abuse you! :slightly_smiling:


Bricknyce, would you mind answering a few questions I have?

For each cycle of this diet that you've done, what was your beginning and ending body fat percentage?

Have you used any thermogenics or stimulants?