T Nation

Serious Lifters & V-Diet


Just wondering who where has tried the V-Diet among the serious lifter crowd. Not the "I just started working out" crowd.

I'm curious to try it about 6 weeks before my wedding for a few reasons.

  1. Drop fat quickly (while using MAG-10 to help preserve muscle)
  2. try it out in case I might recommend it to a client


this guy seems to have done well with it


Does not compute.


lol, fair enough


I like to think I'm not a beginner anymore since I have been lifting seriously for about 3 years, Im sitting at 215 about 15% bodyfat at 5'10", right now, Im by no means huge but have a decent base and I am doing Lyle McDonalds Rapid Fat Loss Diet which is essentially the V-Diet with solid food, which I feel is much easier to follow than an all shake diet (plus you get refeeds, cheat meals, and real food). no spending 600+ on supplements. Im running it for 4 weeks and will probably post my results once finished, currently on week 2. Here a thread started if your interested.



The money isn't an issue. I spend $80-90/wk on food, plus supplements so the V-Diet shouldn't be any more expensive than what I'm doing now.
the idea of shakes seems like nice idea for convenience and I don't tire of shakes. Though only shakes and I might want to eat my arm off.

I'll check out your link though


That 2 sections will NEVER meet.



Dan John did the V-Diet with a lot of success. But he's not a bodybuilder, so I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for.


You can do the V-Diet if you wish, but all I ask of you is please, please, don't use the MAG-10 for that situation...for the love of God man they don't make it anymore!


At the risk of sounding like a McDonald sycophant - RFL is the way to go.


I tried it about 3 years ago and all I did was lose a good deal of muscle mass. The calories were far too low overall. That is why, as I have stated before, I do not think it is a good idea for those carrying more muscle mass. It was like my body went into shock because all of my meals were coming from protein shakes and started dumping muscle over body fat.

Since then I have learned that I do not need to drop calories very low at all when dropping. Most of the newbies jumping on lately do not have that problem (and likely will never have that problem).


I'm not as advanced as some, but I've been doing what I like to think of as a hybrid version of a V-Diet (currently on my 2nd time around). I eat one solid meal a day, aiming for similar macronutrient profile that I'd get with a shake (40-50 gms protein, less than 10 gm carbs, and whatever fat is necessary or unavoidable in the meal).

Typical solid meal: piece of fish or boneless skinless chicken breast or 8 oz steak, with a big-ass bowl of broccoli or sugar free cole slaw or cauliflower, maybe a half-pat or full pat of butter. The daily meal schedule: I like to have 2 shakes for meals, then train, then a post-workout whey shake, then my solid meal, and casein shake before bed.

Drinking shakes all day keeps me motivated not to cheat on my solid food, and gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day. I've been cheating by drinking a scoop of whey protein during my workout (15-20 grams, in lots of water, with a scoop of Leucine and Creatine). I've found this really helps keep me going in the gym.

I also do my own weight training routine, not the V-Diet workout. I don't like full-body training, and I think training heavy (low reps) is important. I have found that the "NEPA" off-day walks are super important... you burn calories without any impact on your nervous system.

I actually think the V-Diet would work better if you have some muscle. I don't think beginners have the muscle mass needed to burn calories around the clock.

I lost 15 pounds my first time on this approach (6 months ago) and this time (3 weeks in) I've lost 8 pounds. I'm 48 years old and 5'11, I went from 235 to 220-218, then lost a few pounds over the next few months. This time, I went from about 212 to 204, and I still have one week to go.

My experience was that even a week or two after the diet, I was still burning fat at an accelerated rate, even though I was adding additional solid food. I've been training since the 70's, mostly as a recreational trainer (I have average genetics at best, but I don't play sports so I train with weights). I hope to bench 300 pounds by the end of the year (just missed a triple with 275, a few weeks ago... solid double though). So I'm nothing special in the gym, but I'm not a beginner either.

The V-Diet does have some good concepts... for one, it's extremely regimented, which is good for people with poor portion control. You know exactly what you're supposed to be eating, and you know if you screw up. It's much easier to take in 'hidden' calories (or pretend you're not cheating) when you are eating solid food.

Also, by eliminating the solid food, you are dumbing down your taste buds, making it easier to keep it strict. When you are eating tasty food all day, it increases your appetite.... suddenly, you find yourself eating more than you're supposed to. I don't know if protein-sparing modified fasts are healthy long term, but for 28 days I think it's okay.

And the concept of making a lot of diet progress quickly is a good one... it keeps you motivated to stick to your diet after the PSMF is over. A diet that takes a long time to lose fat on might retain a bit more muscle mass, but progress is so slow that (IME) it's too easy to lose motivation... why not eat a second helping, when your diet barely seems to be working anyway?

By seeing progress fast, it keeps you motivated later. Also, this diet teaches you that being hungry is not an emergency... it teaches you how to cope with reasonable amounts of hunger, and it teaches your body not to panic in-between regular feedings.

Finally, I am starting to think that people who make regular attempts at getting cut have an easier time losing fat than the guys who rarely attempt to lose fat. A seasoned BB competitor would have an advantage over a first time competitor, when it comes to losing bodyfat IMO. I think the body responds better to regular dieting, than it does to the very occasional diet.

No scientific basis for that statement, just my opinion. But I think just like anything else, the more you do something the better you get at it... dropping bodyfat is probably no exception, IMO.

I plan on doing this type of diet twice a year... every six months. I lost 4 or 5 inches off my waist so far... I think I might finally have good abs some day (in the next year for sure). And the post diet rebound seems to be great for gaining lean mass and strength. It seems the calorie restriction primes you for a good rebound.

By the way, even though I take liberties with the V-Diet (with my daily single meal) and do my own workout plan, I've found other aspects to be crucial to success: lots of fish oil, casein protein over other types, flax meal for fiber/fats, lots of water, the NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) on off days. Fat burners/mood elevators (Hot-Rox or yohmbine) do seem to help keep you going.

Sorry this post was so long, but I've been having a good experience with it.


One more thing about my approach... I do slightly less total volume in the gym, during the diet (but I rarely do very high volume, anyway). Maybe 8- 10 work sets per bodypart (plus whatever additional warmup sets). My split is chest/back, legs/hips, shoulders/arms, day off. Then repeat.

If I feel whipped in general, I will add a 2nd off day in the middle, or at the end of the 2nd cycle of the sequence So I am training each bodypart twice every 8 or 9 days.

What I am trying to suggest is that if you do this type of diet, do not flog yourself to death in the gym... IMO you can hit the wall on a low calorie diet, if you are doing marathon training sessions. Train heavy and somewhat fast, but also somewhat brief. The actual workout (minus general warmup, stretches etc should be about an hour. Train intensely with the goal of maintaining your pre-diet strength levels, then leave.

If you leave the gym feeling like you got your ass totally kicked, you risk burning out on this type of diet, IMO. It can be a long month.

When I'm not doing the diet I might do extra sets occasionally, or experiment with high volume on a certain exercise, or do 20 rep breathing squats, or do supersets. For the diet, I recommend keeping the sets and reps more basic, with an emphasis on strength.


Both my brother and I lost at least 20 pounds in 4 weeks on the Velocity Diet when we followed it strictly. Don't know how much was muscle/fat. I am not in the advanced category however.


Lyle McDonald actually covered this concept in The Stubborn Fat Solution. How fat cells can store different types of fat (saturated, monounsat, etc...), and what this means to someone trying to get very lean. Basically if you haven't cut before, the last fat to come off will be cells storing saturated which is harder to get the cell to release the fat, but if you have cut to very lean before, the last fat will be an unsaturated type which is easier to release.


I tried it a while ago when I'd just started - it pretty much sucked. I lost a lot of fat but an unacceptable amount of muscle as well. I did manage to almost maintain my lifts, but that must have been mostly neural (or whatever) because I definitely lost muscle.

I will say this - things were going ok until the 3rd week. I completed the whole thing as written, I don't mean to say I had a problem following the diet. What I mean is that after the 3rd week, my body started looking worse.

I've thought about this and - the ONLY time I think that the V-diet would be an "ok" idea for more experienced lifters would be whilst on a decent dose of AAS. However, it would be horrific to waste such items on such a dumb diet, so this idea fails.

In conclusion, don't.

Small changes go a long way. The "g-flux" principle is pretty bloody good as well.


I did the V-Diet in February 2007 I went from a soft 92.5kg (203.5lbs) to a lean all be it emancipated 81kg (178lbs).

I found the diet very easy to stick to the first two weeks were great I dropped quite a bit of fat fairly quickly and didn't loose too much strength if any however things went awry pretty fast. In weeks 3-4 my lfts took a nose dive and I started to look like a lean guy who had thought about lifting weights my bench dropped down 10kg with my squat and I think I lost a fair bit of muscle to boot.

Since then I have put on quite a bit of size (currently sitting at 220) and a lot of strength all thanks to eating and training with no gimmicks who would have thought it. I have dropped to a lean 92.5 kg late last year for a powerlifting comp fairly easily just by limiting portions sizes and increasing cardio.

I wouldn't recommend this diet to anybody especially those who have a lot of muscle to loose.


Which really does make you wonder why people who aren't "advanced" or serious keep responding.


Agree completely. If you consider yourself to have "good genetics" for building muscle, I would avoid the V-Diet. It doesn't seem to agree with people with heavier bodies and faster metabolisms.


Yes, I was thinking that would be a huge waste of MAG-10.