Alternating Bodyopus Diet with High Calorie Diet
Like everyone else my goal is to gain as much muscle as possible while maintaining a relatively low bodyfat level. I’m wondering whether you can shed some light as to whether alternating between a two week high calorie (300-500 cal/day above maintenance) isocaloric diet followed by two weeks of the Bodyopus diet would be effective for achieving my goals. Or would it be wiser to use a 60 carb, 25 prot, 15 fat diet during the mass gaining stage in order to utilize insulin’s anabolic effect. An answer would be greatly appreciated!
This is a good question and raises a couple of different issues. First let’s look at the carbs and insulin issue. A question that I have yet to resolve in my own mind is how much insulin is necessary for optimal growth. That is, we know that below a certain (low) level of insulin, the body shifts towards catabolism. Obviously above that level, you shift back towards anabolism. the question being whether even higher insulin levels mean more anabolism (in terms of muscle growth) or just more fat gain. Right now I don’t have the answer. perhaps the best suggestion I can make right now is to simply try both. That is, try a mass cycle at Isocaloric ratios (33/33/33 for those who don’t know) and try a mass cycle with a more traditional macronutrient ratio and see which yields the best mass gains. Obviously they should be tried at the same calorie level (and ideally with the same training, etc) to make the comparison valid. Please let me know what you find out.
As far as alternating periods of 2 weeks dieting, 2 weeks massing, my question is this: is 2 weeks enough time to gain sufficient amounts of *real* muscle mass (meaning lean body mass that isn’t just changes in glycogen and water shifting in and out of the body) that will stick around. In all likelihood, it depends on training status and some other factors. My hunch is that this is not ideal.
For the time being, my best recommendation is that, yes, one should alternate periods of massing and cutting but that they should probably be of a bit longer duration than 2 weeks apiece. As well, consider that the fat gained over a 3 month mass cycle (assume you gain 4 lbs./month with half of it muscle half of it fat, so that’s 12 lbs. with 6 lbs. muscle, 6 lbs. fat) can be lost with a mere one month of dieting (to lose 6 lbs. of fat would require 1.5 lbs. of fat loss/week for 4 weeks). So over a 4 month span, you’d be up 6 lbs. of muscle and no net fat gain.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
I read many of your articles on CKD and found them very useful in my bodybuilding program. My question is regarding alpha lipoic acid. You mentioned that vanadyl, chromium, and magnesium helps the carb-up phase and brings you into ketosis much faster. I read that lipoic is much more potent than vanadyl and would like to use that substance instead.
This is very much true. The individuals I have known who have tried both lipoic acid as well as vanadyl/chromium/magnesium report that the lipoic acid is far, far more potent (although it is more expensive).
I also read that you need a minimum of 1 gram/day of lipoic to be effective. Is that true?
I still haven’t seen any good human data regarding doses. The folks I know who are using it use anywhere from 600-1200 mg/day in divided doses during their carb-up. Considering the cost, I’d suggest starting at the low end (maybe 200 mg taken three times over a 24 hour span) and see if more gives a better effect.
How do you suggest supplementing lipoic for the carb-up phase and ketosis phase?
For getting back into ketosis, while lipoic acid may be helpful, at least one Meso reader (this was in a a while back) reported that it was too powerful, and gave him a hypoglycemic reaction (by driving blood glucose too low too quickly). For this reason, I’d suggest you start with a low dose, perhaps 50-100 mg (this would be during your first lowcarb day) and track your response. If you find yourself getting lightheaded, the lipoic acid is working too well and you might not want to use it.
Should I still include chromium and magnesium with the lipoic?
Considering the potency of lipoic acid, I would tend to doubt that chromium/magnesium would add much so you can probably ditch them.
Cakes and Cookies After Working Out
Great advice and articles you write. I look forward to reading them. Now to my question. I was talking with a co-worker today that is pregnant and she said she wanted to loss some of the bodyfat she’s gained after the birth through dieting and training. However, the one thing she wasn’t looking forward to was having to forgo the little sweet pleasures in life (i.e. cookies, cakes, brownies, doughnuts, pastries, etc!). I am aware of the importance in taking in adequate carbs after a hard workout to replenish the glycogen used during the workout. I was wondering if it’d be alright for someone to have their “treats” at this time. Now I’m not saying forgo the carb/maltodextrin drink and eat a plate fully of brownies! But something reasonable, a slice of cake, a couple of cookies, things like that along with a smaller carb drink. If it’d be ok, it’d definitely help out those that can’t live without the sweets.
Strictly speaking (that is, ignoring nutritional content issues for now), I see no real reason why this wouldn’t work. That is, carbs taken in after workout are gonna go to refill muscle glycogen pretty much no matter what you do. And insulin sensitivity is typically high enough that the chance of fat storage is basically nil. And considering that high glycemic index foods are usually encouraged post-workout, there is really no problem that I can see with this.
At the risk of making a very bad pun, I suppose your co-worker has a way to have her cake and eat it too. Har har har.
Getting Out of Ketosis
This may be a strange one — but here goes. About a year ago, I went on the Atkins Diet and went into ketosis fairly quick. I did loose 10-15 lbs. over about three weeks, but I felt like crap — almost exactly like I was “stoned,” or “sluggish.” Anyway, I did not like the feeling so I gave up the diet (I have read elsewhere that some people’s brains do not do well on “ketones” — perhaps those of a certain blood type — perhaps mine).
While there is certainly some truth to this, you may simply not have given the diet enough time. Those who do report feeling sluggish on a keto diet typically start to adapt by the 3rd week, feeling better. As well, studies have shown that ensuring sufficient electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium) can greatly limit the fatigue seen on a keto diet.
About 120 days ago I started a fairly rigorous “program” of weight loss and exercise — basically 20 minutes a day, or 5,000 reps per week, on my Health Rider along with 20-30 minutes per day of free weights. In about 4 months I lost about 30 lbs.(from 245 to 215) while putting on maybe 10 lbs. in muscle (estimated).
In any event, about a week ago I started getting the “ketosy” feeling I had when I was on the Atkins diet — which seemed to get more pronounced over the next couple of days. I pulled out some left over Ketostix, and sure enough was turning them pretty purple. This continued for a couple of days, and I started picking up my eating — WANTING TO GET OUT OF KETOSIS.
I visited the doctor a couple of days ago to make sure I wasn’t diabetic — and was not — blood glucose was 104 (none in urine), kidney function was great, etc. — and ketones and glucose were negative in the urine (even though I turned a couple of Ketostix pretty purple earlier that morning).
Anyway, it’s now three days later and I’ve been eating quite a lot of carbs, yet still “go in and out” of that “ketosy” feeling that I am trying to get rid of — the Ketostix are now showing barely a trace, but I suspect I still have some ketones circulating in my blood and brain.
Bottom line — you seem to understand all this stuff. Am I a rare case? Could I have screwed up my metabolism? What does it take to get totally out of ketosis? Please help.
Well, you didn’t give any information on your current diet so I can only speculate a little. Understand that the establishment of ketosis is ultimately dependent on the depletion of liver glycogen. While this will happen with carb restriction (and no exercise), exercise will tend to hasten this occurrence (as well, post-workout ketosis, which refers to the buildup of ketones after endurance exercise, is a well-established phenomenon). Depending on what your current diet is, and considering your daily activity, its feasible that your liver glycogen is never getting refilled between workouts (this would mainly be a function of quantity of carb intake, although quality would also play a role) which would mean your body is going to establish ketosis. The easiest solution would be to ensure some fructose (fruit sugar) in your diet, as that will preferentially refill liver glycogen (shutting down ketosis). If that doesn’t work, you may simply need to look at your total carb intake. If its fairly low (even if its above zero) you may still be falling into ketosis because of the amount of exercise you’re doing.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Stalling Fat Loss
Dear Mr. McDonald,
This is my second time trying a no-carb. diet. I am actually doing the Mayo clinics diet designed for heart transplant patients. A friend is doing it with me again. We are both over weight about the same amount and are both 33. We are eating and doing the same things except:
- I exercise 25 minutes 6 out of 7 days and she exercises 3 to 4 of the days. And,
- I have arthritis in both my knees and other joints so I have been taking Glucosamine Chondroitin, which helps rebuild cartilage in my joints. Each tablet contains 250mg of Glucosamine HCI and 200mg of Chondroitin Sulfate. It states: Starch, Salt, and Preservative FREE. The results are, My friend lost 10 lbs. in 2 weeks and I lost none. I do guarantee that we are doing everything exactly the same. Is the Glucosamine Chondroitin affecting somehow?
I can’t think of any good reason why either chondroitin or glucosamine would have this effect. I mentioned this to a friend of mine (who is more up to data on the glucosamine/chondroitin research that I) and she couldn’t think of any reason either. The only thing that comes to mind (this is something I’ve harped on before but it bears repeating) is that, for some people and especially women (for some reason), too much exercise seems to do more harm than good (as strange as that sounds). There is some limited research showing that excessive exercise (again, especially in women) causes their bodies to slow down metabolism, which slows weight loss. So you might consider adopting her exercise approach, going 3-4 days/week (would give your knees a break as well) but doing perhaps longer times (that is, instead of 25 minutes 6 days/week, try 30-40′ 4 times per week) and see what happens. Failing that, look at your total caloric intake. Despite that’s some have claimed, calories must still be below maintenance on a lowcarb diet for fat loss to occur. You may simply be eating more than your friend.
Also, I walk at a high paced for 25 minutes 6 out 7 days a week, is this good?
Its better than nothing but I’d highly suggest you add some type of weight training to your total workout routine. It needn’t be much, 2-3 days per week, 30′ per workout to start with. I’ve found that this always improves fat loss in conjunction with caloric restriction and some cardio (especially in women).
Protein and Prostate / Colon Cancer
Hello my name is Mike, I know the key to building a lean muscular body, and keeping it up is how much protein I consume. I have heard lots of different amounts to use, but basically the answer is 1 g per pound of bodyweight. I have some old fogies around the office and all they talk about is that if I keep eating all this protein, that it can lead to enlarged prostate, and possibly colon cancer. I am sure you can understand I don’t want any of those. Can you give me some insight on the subject. Thank you.
I think the old fogies at your office are projecting a little bit. I don’t see any reason why protein intake per se would cause either problem. Protein by itself doesn’t readily affect testosterone levels (which ultimately affects the prostate via conversion to DHT) and colon cancer is more likely related to a lack of fiber (in veggies) than protein. Overall, I wouldn’t be too worried about it.
I read most of your stuff on this page last night. I will try a ketogenic diet soon. Right now, I am operating at about 11-12 calories per pound of body weight. I weigh 178 at roughly 12% body fat. Currently consuming 190g of protein (whey, egg whites, chicken breasts), less than 100g of low GI carbs (skim milk, apples, carbs from nuts), and a little less than 100g of fat coming from flax, olive oil, egg yolks, and nuts. Is this type of diet effective for fat loss?
It meets my criteria for an effective fat loss diet:
- Moderate but not excessive caloric deficit
- Adequate protein
- Good sources of EFA’s
So, looks good to me.
Do you believe in cycling calories up for two days of the week to keep metabolism high?
I don’t know if one has to up calories for 2 days but one day of above normal calories will go a long way towards upregulating metabolism.
I may go from 2000 a day to 2500 for two days of the week. My total caloric intake for the week divided by seven days will get me closer to 13 calories per pound of body weight. Should these days be training days?
That would make the most sense to me. You could easily boost calories by increasing the size of your post-workout drink.
Should the added calories come from carbs to boost thyroid?
Also makes sense to me. If nothing else, the carbs would refill muscle glycogen and help maintain performance in the weight room.
What do you think of the new Prolab Thyrolean?
Good question and I haven’t had a chance to check out the study they did. In theory, the product makes sense (although I’m still dubious of the claims for guggulsterones, they certainly won’t hurt anything).
Can this product throw the thyroid out of whack?
I can’t imagine why it would.
I read all of your commentary on thermogenics. Is your best recommendation a product like Adipokinetix with added yohimbe and l-tyrosine.
Since Adipokinetix contains norephedrine, you have to be very careful about adding too much yohimbe (if you add any at all). Many individuals response very badly (increased heart rate and blood pressure) with yohimbe plus ephedrine and I don’t see any reason why it would be different with norephedrine.
How much Yohimbe and L-tyrosine?
One gram of tyrosine seems to work well.
How much norephedrine in a day?
I have no idea.
Could I do morning cardio on empty stomach with these compounds?
Won’t hurt, the yohimbe will help with stubborn fat areas.
At what intensity?
I can argue either way. Low intensity will promote utilization of free fatty acids directly. High intensity (intervals) will promote utilization of free fatty acids after the workout is over. Of course, intervals plus yohimbe is probably not a good idea.
Do you have an opinion on GH promoting training while dieting? I’m keeping my reps high and rest low to maximize GH – 15 reps, 2 minutes rest between sets. My workouts last an hour.
Research shows that GH is maximized with high reps and 1′ rest between sets. So you might try gradually cutting your rest periods down to 1′ and see if that drastically improves fat loss or not.
Beginner Weight Training
I’m wondering if you could give me some advice on weight training. I’m a 31 year old woman and I’ve recently lost 150 pounds. I’ve maintained this loss for almost a year now. Most of my workouts during the weight loss were aerobic. Different home fitness equipment (striders, treadmills, fitness flyer, step aerobic). It’s fair to say that I have about 10 more pounds to lose, but I have a lot of loose skin from the large weight loss. I recently purchased a Weider Pro home gym and would like to get into weight training. I’ve done a lot of this type of training in the past and I’m very much in tune with many of the exercises I now have available. I’m not really sure where to begin at this point. Not really sure exactly which things I should be doing and how many sets/reps to give me the results I’m hoping for. I need a routine that will work for me …..
My goal is to build up some more muscle, though I’ve quite a bit of muscle underneath the loose skin that remains. Muscle is something that comes naturally in my family so I’ve got that on my side. I do not want to bulk up my shoulders since they are VERY broad to begin with and I have a lot of muscle in that area already. I do want to define what’s there and I need to build up muscles in my back. Much loose skin around my middle back and sides. I want to define much of what’s already there and make the best of what’s left of my body at this point in my life. Any advice you could give would be much appreciated.
My first recommendation is this: start slow. Many individuals fall into the trap of doing way too much too soon. They are either too sore and miserable and quit, or get injured. For that reason, I suggest beginners start out with the bare minimum which is typically 1 set of 8-12 reps of 8-10 different exercise. A typical workout might be:
- leg press (you may have to do leg extension/leg curl combo on your machine)
- calf raise
- bench press: for chest, shoulders and triceps
- row: for midback and biceps
- shoulder press (you might want to not do this one if you don’t want your shoulders to get any more muscular): for delts and triceps
- lat pulldown: for lats and biceps
- tricep pushdown: for triceps
- bicep curl: for biceps
- crunch: for abdominals
- back extension: for lower back
That would be a good basic workout. It would be done 3 times per week on alternating days and should take about 30 minutes at most. In using that with many beginner clients, I would typically see a 3-4 lb. muscle gain and 8-10 lb. fat loss over an 8 week span (you might not see that much fat loss considering how much you’ve lost already).
You should start out with the lightest weight possible, focusing on perfect form, etc for the first couple of weeks. When you can do 12 reps in perfect form, you will want to increase the weight slightly. By the end of the 4th week, you should be working fairly hard (if you wanted to add a second set of each exercise, that would be ok at this time point). By week 8, you will likely be failing to get 12 repetitions on every exercise. That’s fine, just work towards getting 12 reps and then adding a little bit of weight.
Now, you’ll find that certain bodyparts get more muscular (and more toned) quicker than others. When a bodypart gets to where you want it to be, you can train it less frequently (once or twice a week) or just not add weight anymore.
That information should get you started.
I have varied questions—so here they are:
1. Any info on Duchaine’s Dirty Dieting (or whatever the new name is gonna be) and if so, please tell me how to order it?
As far as I know, Dirty Dieting (Dan Duchaine’s newsletter) is completely dead. While I heard that Duchaine was going to be putting out a magazine, that was over a year ago and I haven’t heard of anything about it since. I can only assume that the idea never came to fruition.
2. I’m doing the CKD presently. Iinstead of doing cardio (which I hate) on Monday morning to kick me into ketosis, can I just do a heavy leg workout and get the same result?
That’s fine for the most part. however, if you’re following my suggestion and stopping your carb-up on Saturday evening (recall that I recommend a 24-36 hour carb-up starting Friday and ending Sat at bedtime), that’s an entire day (Sunday) that you’re not in ketosis (not that it may really matter). A little cardio on Sunday morning will re-establish ketosis much faster than waiting until Monday.
3. What are your thoughts on Cytomel? I just want to know if I will “chew” up too much muscle on it. My main goal is fat loss, but I don’t want my muscles to disappear along with the fat.
I have heard both good and bad things about Cytomel. In high doses, Cytomel is as catabolic to muscle as it is to fat. At low doses (the question being what’s a low and high dose, and it likely differs for everyone) it might be workable.
After your done answering this question straight out can you answer it again with the variable of Anadrol-50 added to the mix.
I’m the wrong person to ask about that sort of thing, and there are others on Meso far more qualified to answer it.
4. I’m also thinking of stacking Clenbuterol with the Cytomel (and I’m already doing ECA stack with this CKD). You said the Clenbuterol did nothing for you after being on it 2 weeks. During the 2 weeks did you get those annoying shakes?
Not that I recall. But my blood pressure and heart rate went up so I don’t think it was fake.
Can someone theoretically figure “no shakes = no effect”?
Yes and no. The problem being that although clenbuterol is a specific beta-agonist (meaning it targets beta receptors on fat cells more specifically than ephedrine), it still has some general beta receptor activity. Meaning that clenbuterol sort of affects all beta-receptors to some degree and some cause fat loss, some cause the shakes, some raise blood pressure. Just because you didn’t get the shakes wouldn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t affecting fat cells. BTW, I wouldn’t suggest using clenbuterol and ECA at the same time, unless you want to have a heart attack or a stroke.
5. What’s the final verdict on Yo-Be-Lean topical cream? Does it really work on decreasing fat cell numbers or is it just a temporary shrinking due to dehydration of the fat cell? Basically, if I plunk down the $50 for a month’s supply, do I need to continue with this every month so the fat cells wont bulk back up again?
Good question and I’m not sure if I have the answer. Don’t know anyone who’s used it systematically. In theory, a topical yohimbe cream should work. But since I don’t know what concentration of yohimbe was used, or what the carrier was, I don’t know if Yo-Be-lean was actually getting any of the main ingredient to where it needed to be.
6. Going back to the clenbuterol: I’ve heard that it should be taken in 2 days on, 2 days off fashion. Is this true?
In theory, taking clenbuterol in this fashion extends the amount of time that you can use it before it quits working. This is sort of ultimately why I’m not big fan of clenbuterol: it stops working too quickly. While it may have its applications for contest dieting, I prefer the ECA stack (which, while slower working, doesn’t stop working as quickly) for longer-term dieting.
7. Lastly, could you give me an overview of how I would cycle the Clenbuterol/ECA/Cytomel????
Me personally, I’d say ditch the clenbuterol and use ECA instead. And unless you’re gonna take the time to get thyroid tests done before, during and after your Cytomel cycle (to ensure that you don’t take too much, just enough for replacement levels, and don’t screw up your thyroid afterwards), I’d say just do the nasty and diet with ECA and/or Adipokinetix and/or Thyrolean. The results might not be as magical, but there are less problems to deal with. might have a different view on clenbuterol + cytomel.
I am a beginner. However, I have been working out (not seriously for about five months. Now I just began a split routine. On my last workout (back and biceps) I simply did three sets of wide grip pull downs, each one to failure. I did only that, and my back felt like it was on fire. After that I couldn’t do anything else for my back (it was fried!) The three sets were so intense! All I could do was two little sets of concentration curls for my biceps! And now I am experiencing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, or whatever). Should I work my back a week from this last workout?
If you are still experiencing DOMS a week after your workout, I would think that something is severely wrong in your diet or recovery. DOMS typically peaks at about 36 hours and is gone by the 3-4 day mark, meaning you shouldn’t have any huge problem training back again after a week.
Is this actually sufficient to pack on muscle mass?
I personally think so but many would disagree with me. I gained a considerable amount of muscle mass (12 lbs. of 6 months and that’s on top of the 50 or so over the last 3 years) doing 2 sets per bodypart not to failure. So 3 sets to failure should be sufficient.
Is my biceps getting enough work?
Again, I personally think so but would disagree. Two of my trainees both do no more than a set or two of direct bicep work after their back workouts and their arms grow just fine. If you’re hammering back with pulldowns or rows, your biceps should be trashed, and not need a lot of extra work.
I’ve thinking about it high and low, searching the Medline-studies (inconclusive: one study showed better nitrogen retention with continuous nasogastral feeding, the other didn’t, cortisol decreases with continuous feeding, but serum proteins are higher with intermittent feeding, perhaps due to a necessary ‘gut rest’), but I did not come to a conclusion. Will getting up at night to have a protein shake will have an significant impact on muscle growth (you mentioned one paper that states that protein synthesis stops after 6 hours without feeding. What do you think of the alternatives:
- Getting up at the early morning to have some protein and go back to bed again (this way you could have the ‘gut rest’ at least for 5 or 6 hours) or
- Having casein (slow digesting protein) with quite a bit of fat (slows gastric emptying) and not getting up at night.
This is a good question and I’ve looked at the same research as you have. Some studies say all-day feeding is better, others suggest that a period of ‘gut rest’ is beneficial (as you mention). Unfortunately, all were done on seriously ill patients in a hospital ward which aren’t a great model of the healthy human gut. So whether or not healthy bodybuilders (who presumably aren’t under the same systemic stress as a severely catabolic hospital patient) need this gut rest is up to debate.
I honestly think either option #1 or #2 is workable (maybe do both and just be done with it). What I have personally done is this: since I usually wake up in the middle of the night anyway (to use the bathroom) I will usually slug some milk or something (which wakes me up again in a couple of hours). However, if someone didn’t normally get up in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t risk recovery (or not being able to get back to sleep) by setting an alarm or anything like that.
I train at 7:30am on an empty stomach (just a cup of coffee). My question is, am I burning fat while weight training or would I be better off drinking some calories before my workout to raise my glycemic levels a bit? On cardio day (which involves some running/walking), I don’t have anything either to try to burn calories.
Good question and a source of confusion for most. First, despite what some have said, it is basically impossible to burn fat during a set of weight training (there may be some fat utilization in the rest periods and after the workout however). But unless you’re sets are in the aerobic range (2-3 minutes or more), you’re using glycogen and ATP-CP for fuel.
As well, many (but not all individuals) find that workout intensity is higher when blood glucose is normalized. While I can’t say what the exact reason is, I speculate that it may have to do with something called central drive (which refers to how well or poorly the brain sends signals to the muscles). When blood glucose is low, the brain may not work at peak efficiency meaning less effective recruitment of muscles. We have found that individuals on a ketogenic diet can vastly improve performance by consuming as little as 5 grams of carbs pre-workout: just enough to raise blood glucose back to normal but surely not enough to affect muscle glycogen or anything like that. So I think from that standpoint alone, consuming some carbs is a good idea. That is, whether you’re burning fat or not during your weight workout, if the workout sucks (because of low blood glucose), its not a good workout.
As well, the strategy of not consuming anything prior to morning cardio is a de-facto way of increasing fat utilization. If you want to increase this even further, some caffeine (obviously no carbs so no sugar if you drink coffee) will help mobilize free fatty acids so you burn more fat during the cardio workout.
First I want to say “you the man”. Your column is great. Thanks for the shit load of information. I have 3 questions for you–I understand if you can’t address them all. Little background—I’m 30, male with 11 years training. 5’8 206 approximately 9%bf.
No…no…YOU DA MAN! Sorry, had to be said. Male bonding thing.
First: ECA stack–is the aspirin that much more of a benefit to the stack?
At your level of leanness, probably not. The only research looking at adding aspiring to ephedrine found that it only increased thermogenesis in obese but not lean individuals. As well, consuming too much aspirin per day is a good way to get an ulcer.
I seem to get some prostate swelling when I add the aspirin rather than not. if I take saw palmetto 160mg with each stack (usually 3 stack daily) It seems to subside but I don’t want to reduce my natural testosterone levels. Would changing to norephedrine help?
I have only used norephedrine once or twice but it seems to give quite a kick, probably because I was burned out on ephedrine after so many years. I can’t see any logical reason not to alternate ephedrine and norephedrine.
Second: I know the CKD is suppose to spare muscle mass when dieting. But according to Bodyopus, I thought it was a one step back and two forward process. That is, you burned bodyfat and lost some muscle, then when carbing up you get back what muscle you lost plus hopefully a little more without more bodyfat.
Looking at the research, I’m not convinced that a properly set up keto diet will allow much if any muscle loss (although some people have reported more compared to a moderate traditional diet). It may be that problems in measuring lean body mass (which includes water, glycogen and minerals) is affecting measurements. Since you lose a lot of water and glycogen, LBM appears to go down. It goes back up when you recarb.
My question is, would the supplements (besides the prostaglandins) suggested in Dharkam’s article “growing when off steroids” help and or would an anti-aromatase help? Would it make that much of a difference?
Well, I unfortunately don’t remember Dharkam’s specific recommendations in that article and I doubt an anti-aromatase would do anything. The reason that keto diets can cause catabolism has do to do with insulin, cortisol and the brain’s need for glucose (which is made by breaking down protein), not the aromatization of testosterone.
Would it cause bodyfat to be lost without muscle wasting? Then gain muscle when carb loading?
As I said above, most (but not all) folks I’ve heard from report little or no muscle mass loss on a properly set up keto diet (meaning moderate caloric deficit, sufficient protein, non-excessive amount of cardio) anyhow. A few have gained a pound or two of muscle but nothing earth shattering.
Third: I’ve used AAS in the past (been clean now for 3 years), but the prostaglandins are intriguing. I’ve developed some uneven body parts and have some lagging calves and was considering trying it. Are they legal to have? Can I get them in the states legally or do I have to go to Mexico? In your opinion would you consider them worth the risk?
I’m really the wrong person to ask about this topic. I honestly haven’t had the time or energy to keep up with the emerging world of prostaglandin research and have no idea of the availability or legality of such compounds. As far as the safety of such products, I’m not sure anyone can say with authority what the long-term effects are.
But as far as bringing up lagging bodyparts, I can give some non-drug solution suggestions. The key is specialization. At 206/7% and a lot of years training, you’re likely beyond the point of bringing up everything at once. My suggestion would be to pick 2-3 bodyparts to focus on per training cycle (might be a 6-8 week span or longer). Ideally, you would pick one bodypart per day of your split (i.e. if you use a standard push/pull/legs split, pick on leg bodypart, one pushing bodypart and one pulling bodypart to focus on). So you might pick delts (can’t ever have delts that are too big), lats (can’t ever have lats that are too big) and calves to focus on. This means everything else is worked at maintenance.
For the specialization bodypart, you will work it at a higher volume/intensity and first in the workout. If this means you work shoulders first (meaning your chest work will likely suffer) so be it. The other bodyparts are worked at maintenance levels, which means 2-4 sets maximum (you won’t lose any size in all likelihood and you’ll probably gain some) for maintenance bodyparts, a little more for specialization bodyparts. After 6-8 weeks, it’ll either be time to diet, or time to switch to another bodypart for specialization.
Hypoglycemia and Expectations
Hi Lyle, first I’d like to thank you for your great information. My problem is with low blood sugar. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia when I was in my late 20s. I’m now 35. I probably had it all my life considering my low body weight per height. During the glucose tolerance test, my sugar dropped to 30 percent or less, so I’m a bit extreme. My main problem is putting on weight and keeping it. A few months ago I hopped on the scale at work and at 6’3″ and weighed 140lbs FULLY CLOTHED WITH STEEL TOE WORK BOOTS ON!!!! and told myself I just can’t stay this way. I have totally changed my diet. I’ve stopped all processed sugar intake, and dropped all caffeine also on a very tight diet of about 180-220 grams of protein, added more fruit in small portions, more vedgies, added soy protein shakes with whole milk ,bananas and safflower oil. eating 6-8 times a day ,sometimes more. normally between 2800- 3500 calories. after 4 months I’m keeping only about 10-12lbs weighing 151-153lbs dressed the same way as before. if I were to go back to eating 3 meals a day I could lose the 10 lbs. I gained in a week, no joking. keep in mind I’m still quite strong and keep tone well. been lifting weights now for 2 months between 2-4 days a week, and enjoy it. I feel like I need to lower my carbs a little.
I would ask why. Assuming that you’re not having any hypoglycemic reactions, and considering that fact that you seem to be growing, I’d ask why you’d bother changing anything. Like the man says “If it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it.”
it seems hard for me to keep my carb intake lower than my protein while still keeping the extra calories. I’ve been to several doctors and dieticians and got NO HELP!!!! most doctors try to put me on nerve pills , a very common occurrence with us hypo’s with sucks very bad. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the medical industry. my body produces so much insulin it will burn it self. I take multivitamins along with iron and magnesium supplements every day. just got a bottle of androdiol4 from OSMO to see if it can help. I’m don’t think I’m ready mentally or physically for steroids now, but maybe in the future. is there any help for men like me with super high insulin levels. any thing you help me with I would be very thankful for.
Well, it sounds like you’ve basically found your own solution: sufficient protein, lots of mini-meals, no refined sugars, good sources of essential fatty acids. So your diet looks fine (lots of good calories too). Since you are a classic ectomorph, I might question whether you should be training 4 time per week but if it’s working, don’t mess with it. As well, you’ve put on 12 lbs. in 4 months, or about 3 lbs. per month. Assuming even most of it is muscle, that’s an incredible rate of gain (trust me, it’s more than some folks put on in a career because their diets and training suck). If you maintain that rate of gain, at the end of the year you’re looking at a total of 36 lbs. of gain, most of which should be muscle. Keep going another year and you’re maybe looking at another 10-20 lbs. of gain.
So my main advice is to be patient. It sounds like you are expecting miracles and overnight results and the truth is that neither ever happen. The best advice I can give you is to keep doing what you’re doing. Keep your diet where it is, keep your training basic and progressive, get lots of rest, and just watch the scale continue to go up.
Yohimbe Cream and Male Fat Deposits
I’ve read the information on that wrote and found it very intriguing. Much of the information was way over my head, but the gist of it seemed to be that yohimbe may be very good at spot reducing certain (alpha2) fat deposit sites.
I wish I could get her to write succinctly for you.
It specifically talks about the lower body regions in women but aren’t the upper body areas the male equivalent when it comes to alpha2 sites?
I’m not sure if anybody has actually done the biopsy research to verify this but it makes some logical sense. I’d email Elzi to ask her but, as usually, I’m writing my column in the middle of the night the day its due.
Would yohimbe cream work for men’s chest and love handles in the same manner that it works for women’s ‘problem’ areas? (And yes, I realize that you would have to combine the use of the yohimbe cream with diet and cardio.)
While I’m not aware of any specific research on the topic, anecdotal evidence is that oral yohimbe does help with men’s stubborn bodyfat areas. I (and Elzi) have talked (well, emailed in any event) with quite a few males who have done the yohimbe + morning cardio during heir diet and noticed increased loss of stubborn bodyfat area (chest, abs, low back). I would expect the cream to work similarly. If you do try it, please let me or Elzi know the results.