T Nation

Women and The AD or NHE?


I have been following the AD thread here since it's inception and have been intrigued. On DiscHoss' recommendation, I bought and read the book "Natural Hormonal Enhancement" by Rob Faigin. It is very similar to the Anabolic Diet, but with a midweek carb-up and smaller weekend carb-up.

I always hear that women should train and eat basically the same as men, but still am a little skittish about trying such a dramatically different diet from what I've been doing.

I'm thinking of giving it a try as an experiment to see how it works for me, but wondered if anyone had any female-specific thoughts or input...

Derek, if you see this, I know you mentioned you have had a few female clients do very well with the AD - could you give me any details?

Personally, I would like to lean out a little bit more (lose about 5 more lbs or so) and continue to build strength and muscle. Would a woman follow the BWx18 calorie recommendation to start? Do I understand the macros correctly? Should someone with my goals and/or a woman stay more towards one end of the percentage ranges?

Carbs <30g
Protein 40-50%
Fat 40-60%

Carbs 35-60%
Protein 15-30%
Fat 20-40%

Thanks for any tips, thoughts or suggestions you can share!


interesting point Jilly

Personally i'd like to see Lonnie and Berardi's take on this diet. did you see the latest Berardi product precisn nutrition


Lonnie isn't a big fan of the AD, not sure about Berardi. From reading about both the AD and NHE, I'm intrigued enough that I think I just need to try it for myself to see how it goes. It's kind of cool to be far enough along now that I can begin to experiment a bit. I've been super low carb for 9 days now and liking the new definition I'm seeing in the mirror. I was pretty cranky and craving carbs last week, but seem to be past that now. I'm already almost thru the worst of the beginning stage, so why not give it a try?

There just isn't much mention of women specifically in either book and I wonder if I should tweak anything. I'd also like to go beyond simply "losing weight and toning up" to really looking muscular and lean, almost competition level, and wondered if this diet will do this for a woman...


yeah interesting, as the AD diet is supposed to promote test, how will it change a woman's hormal responses.

Go on experiment away and let us know :slight_smile:

but it you grow a beard, it's not my fault ok :wink:


LOL! Fair enough!


Jilly, thanks for the pic responses! If YOU like them, they MUST be good!

As for the AD (or more accurately, the Metabolic Diet for us "normal" people), it is working miracles!

I must admit right off the bat that I (we) are not being entirely scientific in it's application. Meaning I am NOT counting these women's Kcal. They were asked to eat when hungry and an amount that "made sense" to them. I told them we'd start counting calories as soon as progress slowed/stopped (it hasn't).

It is a fairly radical change in lifestyle yet not difficult to master. I felt that they would be well served to just keep track of macro's in the beginning.

I purposely let them feel thier individual way through it and was always (and am still) around for advice and ideas.

Also, weigh-in's aren't really my M.O. so we kept track of strength, well-being as well as the fitment of certain clothing and lastly the mirror. This was all done so as to relieve some of the stressors that comes with changes in lifestyle.

Andrea: 46 y/o internationaly recognized opera singer. She did a ON/GYN weigh-in about 6 weeks in. She claims to have lost 13-15 lbs while squatting about 20 lbs. more than at the start of the diet. Feels GREAT! Recently asked "permission" to skip every other carb-up because she feels so great until the "carb hangover" even though her carb-up is very clean.

Judy: 53 y/o Ad sales person. No weigh in. Wearing clothes that have ALWAYS been too small to wear in public. Remarks on feeling the shape of muscles she has never been aware of until now.
Major imrovements in overall shape and also squatting well over 20 lbs more than at the start. She also comes in on her off days just to drag the sled! We estimate 25-30 lbs lost so far.

Pat: 50 y/o Med. Billing professional. Most recent AD practitioner. Again, no weigh-in. Admits to being "pretty good" but is getting the hang of it quickly. My only comment really is that she has three or four outfits she wears when working with me twice per week so I know what her pants look like on her (I've known her for 4 years). I asked her about these pants because they were quite a bit looser all over. She commented that all her clothes fit looser. She also told me how much tighter she feels and that she was ready to go clothes shopping again!

So do I have hard facts? NO, not really. I am not a numbers guy unless we talk strength. There are many factors involved that cannot be measured. An important one is confidence. I know these three ladies are happier than ever before (really) than they can remember. Never carb-crazy, feeing healthy and never looked better!


Thanks, Derek, I appreciate it! So far, so good for me, too. This weekend will be my first carbup (can you say "HoneyDew Donuts"?!) and I'm down 5.5lbs in 10 days of P+F. This past weekend I looked very defined, but still felt a little weak in the gym. Yesterday I had a great workout (155 new deadlift PR) and am feeling strong and even-keel again, but I do notice I am looking a little flatter.

I'm enjoying the experiment so far :slight_smile:


keep posting on this Jilly, i'd be interested in the results


Derek, are your trainees coming from a "normal american diet" or some other healthy eating plan?


Hummmm, fairly normal eating habits overall.

Andrea has always kept her protein high with an eye on carb amounts and had long periods of 100 grams of carbs or less.

Judy was as "normal" as anyone here. Meaning that she paid some attention
to her diet. I had her start drinking two Grow! shakes per day and that helped up her protein as well as made for lower insulin peaks. I had her choke down FF cottage cheese and take omega 3's. It REALLY clicked in with tha AD though.

Pat is slowly getting better with discipline and preparation. As is the case with a lot of people, they either confuse the AD with Atkins or think that the AD is high PROTEIN without considering ones fat intake. While we know that fat intake is at least as important as protein intake.


Certainly eat the doughnuts but be aware of how you'll feel afterward. I think you will gravitate naturally to wheat pasta, fruit, oatmeal and maybe a pizza now and then. The sugary stuff like Cap'n Crunch usually makes you fell like S#!T

Also, your Mon-Tues workouts should be great due to the glycogen uptake in the muscles from the carb-up. Great pumps, great strength.


I'm looking forward to my first carbup this weekend, but I have to say I am honestly shocked that I am not really craving carbs like I expected to. I just went food shopping this morning and other than some chocolate chip cookies, I passed up all sorts of carb treats I would have "attacked" last week. I've heard people say they lost the strong desire for carbs, but never really thought that would happen to me! I do have a weakness for baked goods (muffins, donuts, cookies, etc), but other than a little indulging, I don't think I'll go on a wild binge.

I'm a little bummed about the fact that my workout schedule doesn't seem to fit the diet perfectly. Monday is my off day and Tuesday I just do some HIIT rowing. I lift Weds & Fri at 5pm and Sunday morning. I also play hockey Sunday night. I'm not going to worry about it for now since that's just how it goes for now.

I'm curious about my final pre-carb weigh in tomorrow morning and measurements - I know I've lost some inches :smiley:


Im new here
what is AD and NHE?


AD= Anabolic Diet
NHE= Natural Hormonal Enhancement


You know, you cab carb-up over ANY 24-48 hour period. Monday night and all day Tuesday could be your carb-up days.

Saturday and Sunday really have nothing to do with anything aside from maybe being a bit more socially acceptable as far as eating out. But there's no reason you cannot eat out on your low carb days. A huge steak and salad from the OUTBACK is perfect food on this diet. Just skip the warm loaf of brown bread!

Try making your carb-up a day prior to your heaviest workout.


I have to confess that I am struggling a little with the AD. I am doing great during the week with the P+F meals, but my weekend carbups have been out of control! I am binging on bad food and having a hard time controlling myself. I miss healthy carbs like oatmeal, yogurt and fruit, but when the weekend comes, I keep eating donuts and crap like it's some sort of reward for doing well during the week.

The first weekend was after the 12 days so I figured I would just treat myself and then be on-track. The second weekend we went away without the kids, so we ate out a lot and I just didn't worry about it. Last weekend I have no excuse, I just ate crappy.

I would really like to have a clean, healthy carb weekend with just one cheat meal. I think that's reasonable. I was looking good at the end of the first 12 days, but now my weight is back to when I started and I don't see much progress.

My goal is to drop 5lbs (getting me to about 13%bf).

Would going to a 1 day carbup for a while be a good/bad thing?
Would going to a NHE carbup split make sense for me?

I WILL have a clean weekend - please hold me accountable! Thanks :slight_smile:


I started the AD 11 days ago, almost time for my 1st carb-up!!!

I find it super easy so far, maybe harder when I cut in a few weeks though, we'll see!


BGB, I'd love to hear how the AD goes for you. Please post whatever details you'd like - stats, macros, meals, etc.

Carbing up today and tomorrow - so far pretty good and not out of control :stuck_out_tongue:


Hey JB, sure thing.

Today is my 12th day and I'm about to start my first carb up in about 30mins :slight_smile:

I'm 5'4" and 112lbs. Been eating 200cals at 60%F, 5%C and 35%P. I'll so my carb up from tonight to Sunday am with one last carb meal that day for breakfast I think, unless I"m feeling like i've had too much. I'll let you know how it goes :slight_smile:

I love this diet so far, I'm eating about 600more cals that I was before and leacing out. I'll be cutting starting mid march for a show on May 27th.


Just updating this thread with my experience...

I've done the AD for almost 3 months now and found that I maintained and even gained a few lbs of lean muscle while eating a TON of food (about 2000-2500 cal) and going a little carb crazy on the weekends. Carbups weren't especially "clean". After the first few weeks my energy levels became very even-keel and I felt good overall.

During the last 3 weeks, I cut back on my calories to 1500 and tightened up my weekend carbups. I haven't lost any weight and feel frustrated by that. I also find I miss my healthy carbs like oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, Surge, etc. The restrictions are getting a little tiresome, too. I'm not enjoying it now and am going to go back to a P+C, P+F style of eating tomorrow.

So it was an interesting experiment. Most of the guys say they lean out easily with the AD, but I didn't find that at all. But I did maintain and even gain some muscle while eating a lot and eating not so clean. Just my experience in case anyone was wondering :slightly_smiling: