In short, not very much. Not very much at all. That’s the short answer. Perhaps 5% of caloric intake at the very most.
But this is NOT the whole story of course.
While many reading this may not be interested in building muscle, it is still a very fascinating topic that provides many insights into how the body works. Most people are more interested in shrinking, not getting bigger (talking about the whole body, not certain parts!). And the funny thing is ? that’s when protein really is very useful. Unless of course you want to lose more muscle mass than fat so you can be a marathon runner or runway model or something. Or you want to be a wealthy Manhattan woman for Halloween or something. Then by all means lose weight on a low-calorie raw vegan diet. It’s unparalleled for lean tissue loss. Plus, who wants to be carrying around a huge, heavy brain?? It’s a terrible burden (yes, your brain is part of your lean tissue, and it, along with all your vital organs, can shrink from dieting).
There are a lot of myths about protein intake. Most bodybuilding information suggests that protein intake needs to be, at the very least, 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. For me that might be, oh, 170 grams let’s say. ?Some would recommend TWICE that much!
But I just built more muscle than I ever have in my life and increased my squat and deadlift by 80 pounds each over the last 3 months eating below 100 grams of protein per day on a near vegetarian diet. The trick?? Ah, calorie surplus. The most relied upon technique for building muscle.
In a calorie surplus you can’t help but grow new lean tissue. It’s automatic. Even laying around doing nothing, the average person will gain about a ? pound of lean tissue for every pound they gain when intentionally overfeeding. Doing some weightlifting ensures even more growth.
The higher the calorie intake, the lower the protein requirements for maintaining muscle mass. 30 grams of protein per day is sufficient for maintaining muscle mass or what is called ?nitrogen balance? if you are a normal sized adult male ? assuming your calorie intake is quite high. And it doesn’t take much above that level to trigger muscle growth.
Each pound of new muscle contains about 150 grams of protein. Hypothetically, a person could still grow a pound of muscle in 10 days with only 15 grams of protein above what is required to maintain nitrogen balance. And if you are eating, say, 5000+ calories per day like I did from February to the end of April, 45 grams of protein daily equates to only 3.6% of all dietary calories coming from protein. Virtually every food on earth has a higher protein content than that (excluding candy and sweetened drinks). Thus, eating lots of calories ensures adequate protein for muscle growth.
Keep in mind that human breast milk is only about 6% protein. And there is plenty of lean tissue gains on a diet of exclusively mother’s milk at 6% protein.
The average American diet is around 15% protein ? on the high end of protein consumption worldwide. Yet bodybuilders throw around all kinds of numbers like 30% protein, 40% protein, and sometimes even higher!
So the answer to the question ?How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?? is not a simple one. There may be lots of people out there giving simple answers ? perhaps to keep people from the tiring activity of thinking about it. But the answer is not simple. It depends entirely on the context. So let’s examine a different context?
How much protein do you need to build muscle while you are in a calorie deficit?? Ha! Eat as much protein as you like. And even lift as many weights as you like. You are unlikely to see any muscle gains at all. If you do, it will likely last only for a short-time before it comes to a halt. Take calories low enough and you will lose tons of muscle even eating 200+ grams of protein per day and doing even the most well-designed weight training program for growth.
How about eating a more or less ?maintenance? level of calories (whatever that is? One guy who follows the site is eating over 8,000 calories per day and his weight is steady ? despite doing only small amounts of exercise? Chief is evidently eating ?below maintenance calories? with daily 5-plate buffet splurges on his unique high-calorie weight loss program)?
Aha! Alas we have found the reason why bodybuilders eat an absolute crapload of protein! It seems to have almost a dose-response-like impact on one’s ability to grow muscle tissue while at maintenance calories. While it will be slow goin’ in’terms of how fast you can build muscle, if you want to build muscle without eating a ton of calories, protein indeed can help. Likewise, in a recent overfeeding study, it was found that those eating the diets with the highest percentage of their calories from protein gained the most lean mass.
So there is some validity to high protein intakes for muscle growth, but calories still trump protein overall when it comes to gaining muscle. And carbohydrates play just as big of a role, if not an even more important role in lean tissue gains ? helping protein to be deposited into muscle cells instead of being burned for energy. As Jamie Eason, perhaps the most visible female fitness model on earth if you look at how many magazine covers and advertisements she has been featured in says, ?If I want to grow more muscle, I just eat more carbs.? I agree. I had a hell of a time growing muscle on a high-protein diet because my carbs were too low.
No surprises there, as nearly all competitive bodybuilders eat carbs and protein together religiously when trying to put on size.
But I still have one problem with all the high-protein fanaticism when it comes to muscle growth? Protein lowers appetite. It also takes the most calories to digest, so there are many wasted calories on a high-protein diet. Excess protein also seems to have a long-term metabolism-lowering effect (which impairs muscle growth and exercise performance), perhaps due to the previous two factors ? perhaps for other reasons (like excesses of tryptophan slowing down metabolic rate).
If calories are the single most important factor in achieving muscle growth, with protein functioning like an added bonus, and protein reduces net calories ingested and reduces appetite ? it makes it really hard to eat enough total food to grow muscle if protein intake truly becomes too high ? like well above 25% of calorie intake. In other words, I might have fared better overfeeding with more protein, but that is just a hypothetical scenario. No way I could have eaten 5,000 calories per day trying to choke down egg whites, tuna, skim milk, protein shakes – or even fattier cuts of beef.
My official stance on muscle growth would thus be? eat the food (ETF). It’s probably a mistake that so many young weight lifters are reaching first for the protein powder and cans of tuna when they first start lifting weights. I made that mistake in my youth as well, and didn’t get very far with my training.
The times when you really should think about prioritizing protein above other macronutrients is when you are doing enough exercise to trigger weight loss, or losing weight because you’re not eating much. At least, this would be wise if you care anything about your ratio of muscle mass to body fat (hopefully you don’t? my life was certainly much better before I ever thought about such a thing!).
Currently I’m doing some weightlifting AND I’m hiking quite a bit ? maybe 30 miles a week. And my history with hiking shows me that strength and muscle mass decrease significantly with this amount of hiking unless you eat a ton of protein or do resistance exercise with it. I’m doing both. I want to protect’this strength and muscle I put on. With any interest in toning up muscles and keeping them strong, eating a low-protein diet or relying exclusively on endurance exercise for weight loss is a great way to worsen your body composition long-term ? especially knowing that your chances of rebound weight gain are thought to coincide with the amount of muscle mass you lose while dropping weight.
Of course, I don’t recommend or advocate ?intentional weight loss? aside from increasing physical activity, sleeping more, de-stressing, and eating more nutritious, less stimulating foods for that very reason (rebound weight gain, but with more fat and less muscle and a lower metabolism than you had before you started). But whether your weight loss is intentional or not, this probably is the time to prioritize your protein intake ? an almost universal practice amongst those who have lost significant amounts of weight without gaining it back within 5 years time. But only while you are losing weight. Beyond that I don’t encourage overconsumption of protein. Protein does stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, and I don’t think doing that in excess is desirable. Unless you like bone loss and freezing cold hands and toes and hypothyroidism.
So is it possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, while not doing much cardio?
Angela, most certainly. This is something that Matt, Mercola, the Paleo Gurus, Tim Ferriss etc. all seem to agree on. Despite their dietary differences, all of them agree that you don’t need to do a ton of cardio.
Matt has covered Max contraction and the Body by science approach which should be useful for you. If you want to be on the cover of Glutes magazine (how does Matt find these things!), then Google kettlebells and Tim ferriss. I recently tried kettleballs and its a good mix of cardio and muscle building. In just a couple of sessions I did feel something in my previously non-existant butt !
Yes it is possible, don’t do any “cardio” at all. this only causes unneeded stress and very little in the way of calorie burning. The body needs to be able to mobilize fat at least during part of the day and still have an abundance of calories to allow muscle to be built.
what about us women who are aiming to loose about 15 pounds of fat and maintain the lean muscle mass, no cardio at all? I’m not sure what kind of workout program I need to have.
I have trained more women than men and every single workout plan had absolutely zero “cardio”.
treadmills jogging in the park, eliptical stiarmaster all as they are normally used will result in less fat loss during training and result in a bunch more fat gained the minute a person stops their regimen and attempts to live a normal life. They work for people who obsessively work out and count calories and subject themselves to a never ending commitment to be a mouse on a running wheel but not anyone looking for a long term solution. If you were to use those types of equipment use them in short burst of maximum intensity 45 secs or so a few times and get out of there.
restricting food and steady pace jogging types of exercise are the 2 easiest ways to ensure future fat gain in every single human regardless of gender race, creed, food preferences or presence of world championship moustache.
So even though I enjoy dance,swimming and yoga I should reduce it?
Just weights then? I dont; want to get a trainer at my gym again.
Should I just follow BBS workouts?
Thank you so much
Kaisen, you are welcome
Swimming is one of the top 3 things you could do after resistance training (weights) mostly just being in the water is helpful moving around with out the pressure on your joints and the increase in heat production in the body as it attempts to heat the water around you.
I was talking to a friend way back showing him some ideas on stretching and it turns out it was yoga so I started getting into it, I’m new to it but everything I understand about it points to it being not being at all like “cardio” if the yoga you are doing is not some new jogging yoga hybrid and is just static poses and not hours in duration it would be great thing.
if you enjoy dancing as much as I do, the positive benefits that come from doing something you love outweigh everything else ten fold. It’s great as long as you don’t push yourself to go farther and use it directly to burn fat because 20 mins won’t burn a significant amount but can do wonders for your body in terms of mental effects of doing enjoyable physical activity. I wouldn’t advise people to avoid sex either even if someone could claim there is a “cardio” type workout involved. As far as “cardio” I’m referring to jogging or steady state running as being very problematic because it is primarily calorie restriction on the opposite end of the spectrum, using more calories than your body thinks it should part with over a given time. if someone loves biking or hiking and keeps it really low in duration it is not a huge issue. getting up and jogging at 6 am for an hour, with a goal of simply burning calories in the quest of health or weight loss is walking on thin ice.
I put “cardio” in quotations because the entire idea is dumb and rooted in a flawed concept started in the 60’s your heart and lungs will increase in ability far quicker with a leg press than a treadmill anyways why it persists is beyond me, people will laugh at the cardio era 80’s much like people in the roaring 20’s would if you told them the concept.
I hope you get what I mean with all of this stuff,
I’m going to have to layout a concise post on this because people seem to have alot of trouble with this one.
to sum it up I think you would do quite well with about 1 or 2 days of BBS a week and a few days of dancing and or swimming and even yoga daily for whatever duration doesn’t feel like it’s taxing to you.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I do get what you mean. I’ve always naturally gravitated towards dance, yoga and swimming. I practice Iyengar yoga which is not cardio at all and I love it, I never did learn to love power yoga or running.
And yes every time I have done excessive “cardio” i have had enormous rebound weight gain.Over the last year weight has come off gradually and I’m eating everything and never feel deprived.
I’m going to be in India for 2 months and im going to stick to yoga and swimming. Now if only I can do a home BBS style workout, I will be set.
I bought BBS and a friend and I are doing the home version as best we can, “coaching” each other to try and get ourselves to work harder and with better form than we would on our own. It’s been a few weeks and I really enjoy how the workout makes me feel. I feel stronger. I wouldn’t be doing as well if I were on my own.
I have the book, I am going to have to come with some ideas for a home workout and see how it goes.
Thanks, I appreciatte the info from everyone.
Noooooooooo… I just bought some gelatin as I thought I was missing out on enough protein as I can’t yet consume ice cream and milk. Those two delicious items turn me into a vicious knockout machine – Gaseous Clay. But one Tb spoon of gelatin contains only 6g of protein so that combined with a couple of eggs and other secondary protein sources should still keep me in the low-ish protein range.
Matt, any rough idea of how long ETF takes to start enjoying milk products without bloating/gas again? I used to drink two glasses of milk a day when I was a teenager and then stopped for more than a decade. Now in my 30’s, I can only watch with envy as you go about eating ice cream happily.
I don’t know. I still have a dairy threshold. Too much and I become Yosnottyme Sam. If I were you and thinking about starting to reincorporate them, I think I would try consuming milk boiled and warm first. Cold dairy is much harder to tolerate than warm dairy that has been broken down with cooking.
I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance at age 2- and hadn’t had milk to drink since then. I would sneak cheese when I was younger when my mom didn’t know about it (and always did fine with that). I, however, would feel horrible whenever I did have a little bit of milk or ice cream. But one month ago, I read enough about people being able to get over lactose intolerance with exposure. So I had some pasteurized, but grassfed, milk and had some bloating. Someone said that starting with raw milk would help the body re-integrate dairy. So I bought some raw milk (legal to sell in stores in PA) and it was like the magic bullet- no problems- and I started having non pasteurized after that too.
I can drink milk and eat ice cream now. It is like a whole new WORLD! However I don’t push it too much. I have moderate servings, I don’t drink it all day long… So I recommend trying the Raw Milk just to start you off!
Thanks Matt. Ayurvedic followers would also agree with you on boiling milk with the additional restriction that the milk be non-homogenized. I guess I’ll postpone trying that till I get a bit more comfortable stomach wise.
Thanks Caroline. Not sure if it is Lactose or Casein or god knows what. I had taken some casein powder some time ago for gym stuff and had similar bloating episodes. I think the last time I tried raw milk, i probably had a bit too much as a smoothie. Whey protein from Grass fed cold processed etc etc also doesn’t seem to agree with me.
Growing up I had a couple of glasses of milk a day with no issues but that was in India. Not sure if there is some subtle difference in the cows or my body just doesn’t like milk anymore ! I suspect its the latter.
Good article. Your comment on eating more protein with hiking brings up an off topic question though. Any tips on high protein food to bring with you on a hike? Something that lasts 5-6 days? I am still working on my fishing and hunting skills but many long hikes are in national parks where that sort of thing is banned. Most of my camping food is carbs – rice, oats, etc. I remember seeing a video where you cook a chicken on a campfire which was pretty cool.
portable protein ?
Pemican all the way…then maybe shredded dried fish or meat and beans all of those will last years and years if done right. Quinoa too. oats are pretty high in protein too. like 10 grams a cup or so.
That’s why nutty ass body builders pretty much eat oats, one baked potato, tuna egg whites and protein shakes.
Yeah, I was just gonna say beef jerky. And hard cheeses.
Matt do you like Scott ABELS approaches?
In many ways yes. But I find that most normal people cannot withstand the stress of the intense exercise at that volume or the diet. It’s not something people can realistically stick to for a long time, and when you stop you just gain weight just like any other approach that is unsustainable. Abel mentions gaining 40 pounds on a 1 week vacation!
Seriously? he needs to get with badass eating that’s scary. when I see someone do like 15 pounds in a few weeks I know it will be a tough case. 40 pounds in a week Whoa! even the worst of my Low carb paleo cases aren’t that bad. It’s amazing how many people think that will happen to them and they get scared after 4 pounds and give up. yikes
He does eat like a badass once a week. The rest of the time he “feeds” his massive physique with something like 1500 calories per day. About 10,000 one day per week.
“Unsustainable.” “Unsustainable!” “Unsustainable?!” In what context? Scott Abel has been on roughly the same diet (the cycle diet) for 20+ years. And he is currently a fit, active 51 year old who can has better work capacity than most well trained individuals half his age. Sounds “sustainable” to me.
To be honest, I doubt that the cycle diet is healthy (long-term) for the average individual who merely wants to have a good physique. However, for anybody who has aspirations of competing in bodybuilding and/or wishes to stay lean long-term with a significant amount of muscle mass, the cycle diet is probably one of the best -and healthiest- choices for people who have the proper leptin and physiological/psychological response to it. It’s all about context and what ones goals are.
Abel has been using AAS probably the entire time. Kind of hard to compare a professional bodybuilder who uses to an average joe on a diet like that.
“Abel has been using AAS probably the entire time. Kind of hard to compare a professional bodybuilder who uses to an average joe on a diet like that.”
Err, no, actually he hasn’t. Abel is no saint and is often suffers from paradigm blindness (who doesn’t?), but he is very open about his steroid/AAS use and I believe him when he says that he no longer uses AAS, and I would guess that this has been true for at least 10 years.
Furthermore, even if he has been using AAS all this time, how would it make the cycle diet more sustainable for him or anyone else on AAS? If anything, from a metabolic point of view, it would either be neutral or, most likely, somewhat detrimental because of the havoc AAS wreaks on the endocrine system and, in turn, things like insulin sensitivity and leptin levels (read this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10407221). Insulin sensitivity and leptin response are very important to success on the cycle diet; hence, to repeat myself, AAS might actually be detrimental. People need to stop using AAS “supplementation” as a cop out anytime a professional bodybuilder is mentioned.
In addition, Abel trains many people who are most definitely natural and have been on the cycle diet for 5+ years. If you doubt me, go read his forum.
Taking AAS, stimulants, estrogen blockers and other drugs are what makes hardcore diets sustainable. That is why bodybuilders and other professionals can get away with things that make many non drug users crash and burn.
As for his claim to be drug free, i bet that he is not a stranger to drugs still but i do not know for sure and dont care one bit. This is the same as someone like John Broz giving out ridiculous training advice that Bulgarian proffesional weightlifters used and then novice lifter that is clean proceeds and blows his back out from training singles seven days a week.
99% of the public cant handle what the 1% do and dont need to do it. Why starve yourself six days a week then gorge one day when you goals are not single digit bf or getting on stage to pose.
Anyway this got a little ranty and im on my phone so if i missed your main point, forgive me. Not here to argue, just what i see.
“Taking AAS, stimulants, estrogen blockers and other drugs are what makes hardcore diets sustainable. That is why bodybuilders and other professionals can get away with things that make many non drug users crash and burn.”
This is only true in the short term, and even then only if you narrow your focus to purely cosmetic considerations. Yes, all that crap lets competitors practice hardcore diets in order to get ready for a show, but the consequences on their health and overall athleticism is tremendous. Moreover, if they rely solely on drugs to “reach the stage” one time, each successive year and cycle gets harder and harder –even in their narrow focus of cosmetics– because of their declining health. Ultimately, aside from their deleterious health and metabolic affects –and these affects can indeed be minimized– all these drugs do is enhance an intelligent program. If the program is not intelligent, they don’t work, no, not in the long-run. They do not prevent metabolic ruin (they actually promote it as I noted earlier) or training injuries from stupid training approaches, e.g. HIT.
Which brings me to my point about Scott Abel: Even if he has been using drugs even up to this point, it really doesn’t disprove his approach when one considers his age, his health and the overall lack of metabolic decline and injury as witnessed by anybody who views his training videos. In short, an unhealthy person cannot perform like he does over such a period of years, and drugs are not going to prevent the long term ill-effects of an improper approach. I pity you if you really believe they will!
Oh please! Of course you care, otherwise you wouldn’t have mentioned it to begin with! As for backs blowing out: This has more to do with programing application than some drug and whether on is “natural” or not.
And I reiterate: Lots of naturals, and I don’t doubt for a second they are indeed natural, use Abel’s cycle diet, or other diet strategies, with minimal damage (there is always going to be some damage from any long-term diet and extreme measure.) It is all about context and ones goals which determines whether the risk, however minimal, is worth it or not.
Hmm…for some reason the block quotes didn’t work….Anyway, I am quoting zach in my third to last paragraph.
You were doing fine until the pity me part. Really i dont care about Scott Abel, i browsed his site and it looks pretty shitty. Looking at his pics its easy to say hes on steroids or at least has been for many years. I believe you are naive to think that steroids and other drugs play such a small part in peoples success and using can cause such havoc. Also why would Abel stay on that cycle diet long term? I dont know the details but isnt it for cutting below 10%?
Anyway, dont care.
Also AAS by themselves may not make the diet much easier aside from keeping his hormones up qhen they would usually be crashing but usig stimulants like ephedrin, caffeine, yohimbe and probably even more severe ones certainly help keep metabolism humming. Adding in PCT and other stuff wi certainly help as well. A proffesional such as Abel does not just do a bit of test, there is much and more going on that people using wont talk about to the general public but that doesnt stop them from giving out training and diet advice.
Oh yes…Scott’s reputation is all about drugs. He knows nothing about training naturals. etc.
Really, this is too much! Do you even know who this guy is? He has trained more bodybuilding champions and helped more “average” people achieve their health and physique goals than just about any trainer I can think of. I fact, I personally know two “average,” “natural” people who have achieved resounding success under his guidance. That is not to say he is always right, as commentator “dcx” attested to in the post “Body by Science.” However, to brush him off as you are trying to do shows a lack of intellectual honesty that helps no one.
Yes, I meant unsustainable in the context of being a normal person. What’s sustainable for Scott Abel is not sustainable for the masses.
No worries, Matt. I figured that is what you meant, but wasn’t absolutely sure, hence my comment.
“Or you want to be a wealthy Manhattan woman for Halloween or something.” HAhahahahahahahhahahahahahaha.
I don’t particularly ever think about the body in terms of “muscle building”, as most girls don’t, but I’m finding it interesting all the more I am hearing about how we don’t need as much protein as “they say”.
I definitely went “too much protein, not enough calories” last week. I lost some weight (with light exercise in the morning, but nothing too strenuous), but by the end of the week felt tired and run down. One day of ice cream and milk pints later and I’m feeling better, and up 3 lbs. FML. I can’t win.
Which is frustrating.
Can we just go with our appetites here? I’m normally pretty big on carbs and low on protein, by appetite, but for the past 4 days or so I’ve been a red meat monster. I literally have not been able to get enough. I’ve eaten probably 2-3 servings each day (although I guess each serving is probably 4-5 ounces so maybe it’s not that crazy!). I’ve just been listening and obeying – think your body tells you what it needs and when. I have no idea why mine wants so much meat all of a sudden, but I am going with it.
Amy, this has happened to me as well periodically I documented a meat mission in on my blog. http://www.chiefrok.com/blog/?p=540
just go with it, most of the time it is in conjunction with activity, a lot of people that follow me around doing the same things as me in a day end up choosing similar things at the buffet. you are not alone.
Just throwing in my personal experience to confirm the veracity of the benefits of carbs here. I am a very small, lean woman. Up until recently (a job change and a cross country move changed my lifestyle), I worked as a server (a very active job) at a bagel shop full time. In addition to being on my feet for 40 hours a week, I worked out most evenings, mixing it up with kickboxing, spin, and full body strength training classes. I also ran about 2 miles to work and and ran with a running group once a week.
Food was free where I worked, so I ate A TON of bagels. And not the healthy whole wheat ones. Nope, I ate the white flour, extra large, extra cheesy ones which are 450 calories each. And I piled tons of cheese, meat, vegetables, and delicious full fat mayonnaise on top of them, Oh, we also made froofy drinks, so I would wash down my 600 calories bagel with a 20oz chocolate milkshake type thing. I also usually had one of the creamy soups or chili along with my sandwich, and later on a chocolate muffin or cookie. Really, my boss was extremely generous letting me eat so much food for free, ha!
As you can imagine I got lots of quizzical looks from my co workers and customers. “Where does she put it?” Honestly, I was in the best shape of my life when I was running around crazily but eating tons of bagels and downing milky, sugary drinks. I had an incredible amount of energy and lean muscle mass.
When I initially started working out I was eating lots of fibre (carbs were included but were not easily digested in such large quantities), low fat dairy, lots of fruit, etc. I felt somewhat weak- I wasn’t wasting away, but I definitely wasn’t getting very much out of my workouts. I only started eating more refined foods when I became extremely busy with something else in my life and didn’t care to cook anything. Wowza, what a difference it made. I now make sure to eat more fat and include refined foods in my diet now. Of course I still eat veggies and fibrous foods, it’s just that my diet doesn’t entirely consist of them now.
The last 8 months, unfortunately, I have been sitting on my butt doing nothing for various reasons (that’s changing pretty soon.) Even though I eat mostly junk now and barely move I haven’t gained very much fat at all. My lean tissue has definitely decreased, but it’s not like my body turned on me, so I’m not too worried since this isn’t my long term plan.
Oh, and I definitely notice that sugars and carbs make me feel a lot better after I workout than protein. Bagels are magic food, I swear! Especially with some cream cheese and lox on them. Mmm…
Yeah, calories are the #1 most important thing for high level training and recovery. And tasty food fosters higher calorie intake than less tasty food. Not everyone can be like CJ and manage to get down 5,000 calories of bananas a day!
yea that would be some serious dedication day in day out. I did around 30 bananas in a sitting and coudn’t look at em for months.
Justine, you are my Shero.
Matt-do you think Justine’s approach is the reason she hasn’t gained weigh with less activity?
For what it’s worth I’m also 22 years old and have never been overweight, so I haven’t really had to fight against age or the leftover effects of dieting, etc. I’m guessing this makes my metabolism run smoothly so I haven’t had to make serious efforts to kickstart it like others have to do with RRARFing and such.
I want to be a personal trainer one day so I’m trying to soak up all the knowledge here! This might sound weird but even after I go to school for a degree relevant to personal training (whatever that may be) I feel reluctant to give advice to others on how to lose fat/build lean tissue since I’ve never had to do it myself. I don’t have that experience and it just seems so frustrating for those who want to lose weight. I’m afraid of telling my clients to stay away from cardio and eat lots of carbs (if that’s what I think they need) and then see it backfire on them! I’d feel like a crook and a fool. But I guess that depends on the individual, obviously different clients will get different training depending on their needs. And I don’t believe in going hungry, that’s no way to live.
One more thing I forgot to mention initially: Due to working in a coffee shop, I also consumed caffeine and due to some other stress in my life I slept quite poorly. When I took up my sedentary lifestyle I continued consuming caffeine without seeing any fat gain. The week I quit caffeine is when my body basically changed (suddenly my pants didn’t fit anymore, I gained 10 pounds in practically 3 days). It was a really fast change, kinda freaked me out! I’m glad I quite caffeine anyways because it really affects my mood and was obviously bad for me if my body fought the withdrawal so hard (did I mention the migraines?) So, though I definitely do not recommend caffeine and sleep deprivation to anyone, I think that may have been a contributing factor to staying lean. Though I bet a lot of people have the opposite experience, with the increased cortisol contributing to weight gain! It’s not healthy either way!
Wow! That many bananas would make me sick!
I recall reading the leanbodyfitness forums once and one guy ate 5 ice cream sandwiches after his workout. He was a bodybuilder, though. That’s a post workout snack I can get behind.
You might have seen my latest stunt here :http://www.facebook.com/media/set/'set=a.210693305711665.46013.100003129904193&type=3 I’m eating bananas until I can barely breath sometimes. I’m probably closer to .7g protein right now, but my normal intake is closer to .5. In possibly 4 weeks I’ll be leaner than my last trim down, and maybe 15lbs more muscle mass.
Did I mention I never lift weights? Everything I do is steady state with scattered sprints.
your link doesn’t work :-(
chuck, I would love to link up and see more of a very opposite point of view. I wonder if enough refeeding and the sprints changes the context completely. According to my thoughts on calorie restricted diet and extreme steady state calorie burning being fundamentally the same in terms of body responses, the feasting you do would balance the calories burned through steady state and the sprints improve muscle strength and combined make it work. done over time would in routine would .In my mind that would make the steady state non damaging but still possibly beneficial ( but pointless for direct fat burning due to the feasting) especially if one would develop a Dean Karnazas-like glycogen adaptation ( some mass from that)then the sprints build lean mass and drop fat over the long haul.
what’s your thoughts ?
makes perfect sense in my mind, might have to put some “guinea people” through some testing.
I think Chuckie’s 1200 grams of carbs per day intake allows him to be burning more glucose than fat during exercise, keeping him from dipping into a high-stress state during long-duration activity. There is also research showing that in hard-training endurance athletes, one needs a minimum of 8-10grams of carbs per kg of bodyweight each day just to keep glycogen levels full. Otherwise they gradually become depleted. For somebody Chuck’s size that’s like 640-800 grams per day, which he greatly exceeds. I also think a lot of his hypertrophied muscle is from expanding that glycogen reserve and making the muscles look a lot fuller. I too can make my muscles appear much larger by eating 1,000 grams of carbs in a day.
LOL it’s funny when that happens, we are essentially saying the same thing, after re-reading, mine just didn’t sound no where near as good or clear, you damn english major bastard! Maybe I should have specified by balancing the output with input (enough carbs in) less fat is used but seemed like a given how I was saying it lol energy has to come from somewhere.
and the increased glycogen adaptation definitely makes one “pumped” like a carb binge before bodybuilding competition. thats what I meant by ( some mass here).
Do it! Do it! Do it!
For the record, I never really count calories except for the times I attempt to debunk calorie in calorie out concepts and push the limits a little for the sake of science. In other experiments the calories are meaningless to me. I’m sure I’ve possibly hit 8000 during a weight loss phase I don’t know if that would be every day.
I did go an entire summer around 7000 a day as an experiment achieving fat loss the entire time while even consuming cola beverages daily and periodically eating cake and cookies and chips and junk, pretty much avoiding physical activity. ( I wanted to use summer instead of winter because it’s kind of like cheating for me I walk around without a coat in winter below zero.)
all though I didn’t count the calories during the week of the intro to feasting post that is pretty typical of a buffet adventure for me. I’d be pretty surprised if I’m ever below 4000. it does dip every once in a while and I’ll eat half as much I’m just not very hungry but still not going cold or anything that would say my metabolic rate took a nose dive.
Am I the only one sick of this guy and his delusional self believed expert status on diet and training?
No I am too mack
there Mack I’ll be the first to validate your thought and support you, feel better ?
if you don’t like my comments don’t read ’em nobody asked you to, Get used to it, I come around every so often and comment alot.
I’ve been dishing out free advice for a long time on 180 in the hopes people will learn and spread the ideas that cause change in the way people struggle with obesity issues, not for money or any ego boost just because it’s fun. I did it without any links to anything of mine for the greater part of my stay at 180 I don’t even advertise my own business on my blog because I don’t need to.
Odd as it is my thoughts usually mirror Matt’s, the creator of the site so I don’t understand why you feel the way you do when you can simply ignore me. What do I need in your opinion to be considered worthy of giving out advice? Recognition from an international association of likeminded asswipes? Would that somehow make my advice more valuable than a so called “self believed status” or as I usually call it professional experience over many years.
We can agree to disagree and still further discussion here and ignore those comments which we do not like at 180 that’s what makes things fun.
I gain nothing either way if people apply my advice it’s free to them and cost nothing so they are free to ignore it. I struggled for many years with weight and I only hope to further their understanding and save them the trouble I went through. It does not mean I’ll be right 100% of the time but it might just help a little.
Yea, I agree with Chief’s statement that he and Matt share the same views on most things. The big things, at least. I think it’s a great service to this blog and the many people who have questions and concerns that he’s available to share his opinions.
I have a girl-boner (or would it be a food-boner?) right now reading about your soda-and-cake-and-cookie summer. Screw flying and telekinesis – I’ve often thought that if I could have a superpower, it would be to eat as much of and whatever I want without negative health repercussions/fat gain.
I would rather fly with a beer belly and a superman cape and easily be able to read thoughts of women instead of getting the silent treatment after not catching a “very obvious hint “. oh how you ladies are my kryptonite…
keep reading and working at it you’ll get there, thanks Eri
I posted this reply in the wrong spot before..this is where it belongs:
Chief tries to help people and never asks for anything in return. There are no end of blogs out there that support calorie restriction, hours of endless cardio, and carbophobia is that’s your thing. If you are use to the standard deit and cardio beliefs, his ideas can come off as ?impossible? but believe me they work. Chief tries to negate calories by healing the body. Besides, as this blog is titled ?180 degree health? the point of this blog is to explore ? among other things ? seemingly unconventional and new ideas.
thanks john imposible as it seems at first, it is not.
Heh Chief, hows your digestion? I mean you arent just shitting out whole cheeseburgers are you? Gotta wonder how many of those 8000 cals are being put to use.
Also your above comment on fasting/feasting to lose fat/gain muscle, do you think this can be accomplished without fasting? Would an undereating phase work? I have done quite a bit of 18/6, 20/4, but i can never sustain it long term no matter how much i stuff myself during feeding.
I think the primary effect of fasting is burning off both fat and glycogen. Burn them off sufficiently and you reach a state of glycogen depletion that insures a much higher percentage of the food you eat makes it into muscle tissue (the body’s primary objective when glycogen is depleted) when you do pig out.
The most common ways that people do step 1 is: exercise, carb restriction, calorie restriction, and fasting.
The problem is that few counter step 1 by doing plenty of step 2, which is feasting – particularly with a carb emphasis.
But you see this concept talked about by tons of different people in the diet/fitness industry. It’s a core component of…
Abel’s Cycle diet
Jay Robb’s stuff
Rob Faigin’s NHE
No I don’t poop whole foods lol I poop pretty normal I do suspect that some of what I eat goes right through and has some calories to it but girls have called me the human furnace, so I’m sure more than a few calories go to heat because I run hot.
I suspect you did the fasting wrong, partially because I’ve not been unsuccessful helping anyone achieve that, second you mentioned 18/6 20/4 which points to a clock being used for regulation which is a major faux pas in my book. your body has a much better clock and prefers it’s own. as a beginner, it won’t land at perfect times but it also doesn’t give a shit about your clock and is truly boss, don’t listen, get pimp slapped.
but yes it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle without fasting in a few ways they mostly suck though in difficulty compared to fasting. they are all pretty much” artificial” fasting as the internal environment still needs to be the same. 1 way using strict dietary choices but its kind of complicated focusing mostly on beans (50%) squash, some corn meat other veggies moderately low in fat and no sugar. 2.) If you have a way to use a ton of calories during part of the day while being pretty low in fat absolutely no sugar and your blood sugar is in check this will be very similar to a fast in effect. I have a few other methods but they get really complicated after that.
if your body spontaneously wants less one day it will drop fat and it does happen in intuitive eating mode. If you are consciously restricting that’s undereating and that’s a bad Idea all together.You can eat really light one day and heavy the next and get similar results if you make up for the losses on the heavy days much like IF, you may get better results cycling with really heavy protein days. This sucks as far as eating style goes but it does take alot of energy to digest so there is elevated calorie usage in play but still would make your body feel like it was not starving at the same time. Without higher fat amounts this may lead to pooping issues. Do not expect it to do anything but trickle fat off it’s very difficult to eat enough to make huge losses occur. Once again eating low fat no sugar, perhaps cheating on sugar once a week. If you counted your calories you could rock more fat and ease any passing issues on the “meat madness” days.
all in all it sucks though. It’s a lot easier to get your body working in a fast situation, if you can’t it is not as resilient and metabolically as powerful as you may think. When you are able to go 3 days without food and see no temperature drop, that is significant and a very powerful sign your body is rockin’ .
I have always liked the concept of fast/feast days but in practice it just doesnt work well metabolically. Im done with macro cycling and partitioning protein for certain days and such so theres no way i would try that, fasting would be the only thing i would continue to try.
It may be lile you say and i was listening to a clock more then my body. What is the minimum amount of time do you think is acceptable for a fast? Usually i can go from 9pm to around 1pm before i get hunger cravings, most of the time i would push that another 2-3 hours. There are a couple things though beside that that may have been an issue. One i usually did fasted exercise and two i only ate maybe 3000 cals a day. I would lose weight but after awhile digestion slowed and metabolic rate/hormones declined. I suppose i could try again with a smaller fast window, no fasted exercise and more calories and carbs. What do you think?
Are you bigger than a Sasquatch or more like a Gorilla in height? I kinda imagine you as about 7 ft tall and made of iron.
And I for one, LOVE that you are here. When you go off into the woods it make me search for guys with mohawks and wonder if they are you xo
good article matt. Could i have the reference for the last two lines of the article ? no wonder indian gurus and 7th day adventists recommend a lacto vegetarian lifestyle.
i like that the impact of food on nervous system is coming into focus your site i.e. mood anxiety sobriety etc.
caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system too. staying clear of it is a good idea too.
No specific reference. Glucagon is thought to be triggered by protein consumption (premise of the Zone diet), and glucagon is on the stress side of the nervous system – it’s release triggered by adrenaline for example. But a deeper look does reveal that it’s not nearly as simple as Barry Sears makes it out to be (shocking I know!).
Broda Barnes stated…
??it has been clearly established that a high protein diet lowers the metabolic rate, [therefore] symptoms of hypothyroidism will be aggravated? Hypoglycemia may be controlled on the high protein diet, but the other symptoms of thyroid deficiency which usually accompany hypoglycemia are aggravated.
interesting very clearly caffeine and high protein lead to diabetes.
its the fat in the meat that is probably ameliorating the hypoglycemia by stimulating the vagus nerve signalling satiety.
you can feel satiated and still suffer from low blood sugar. I have experienced this
quit caffeine and try some raw butter with every meal ? or when you have the hypoglycemia/low blood sugar try butter before sugar?
That statement about “protein lowering metabolic rate” is contradicted by many studies — I have a lot of respect for Broda Barnes but that quote of his is way off.
Matt you even make statements in other places on your site that contradict that quote. It sure would be nice if the internet didn’t copy/paste quotes everywhere, making people believe the opinions in them are facts, when they aren’t.
I think one of the big misconceptions about protein is that, because it causes a small increase in thermogenesis post-meal, that it is metabolically stimulating. I don’t believe it is. It just isn’t as efficient to digest. Another misconception is that eating more protein increases muscle mass, and therefore increases metabolism. This is also incorrect. Pound for pound, there is inverse relationship between muscle gain and metabolic rate. Those with higher muscle mass have lower metabolic rates than those with less muscle mass.
What Barnes was noting was that those on a high protein diet were showing up with lower morning temps and more hypothyroid symptoms. THIS is what matters. This is the proper yardstick for whether or not something stimulates resting metabolic rate. Many studies come to different conclusions because they don’t really know what they are looking for.
Lastly, generally calorie consumption decreases in proportion to increases in protein consumption. Perhaps the only thing really going on here in terms of lowering metabolic rate is decreased caloric consumption.
Chief tries to help people and never asks for anything in return. There are no end of blogs out there that support calorie restriction, hours of endless cardio, and carbophobia is that’s your thing. If you are use to the standard deit and cardio beliefs, his ideas can come off as “impossible” but believe me they work. Chief tries to negate calories by healing the body. Besides, as this blog is titled “180 degree health” the point of this blog is to explore – among other things – seemingly unconventional and new ideas.
Well shiiiiii… I started Lyle McDonald’s PSMF yesterday, along with the rest of my family. I know deep down that this is not the thing to do, but I was just kind of hoping to lose 5-10 lbs within the next ~3 weeks and then try and maintain that loss through some of Matt’s methods…which I already know is a reach. Reading through Lyle’s whole book, I just had that nagging feeling that I just don’t agree with that science as much as Matt’s research, despite the fact that most everything Matt says is so unbelievable (in a good way).
I’ve read through all of Matt’s books and most every blog post and I have just hit a wall. I can’t really figure out what to do – it’s kind of like information overload. I would love to be able to eat a large amount of calories and not gain weight, but even after RRARFing I had some issues with continued fat gain (despite morning temps of ~98/99). I have major digestive issues and problems metabolizing food, which I think leads to very easy weight gain for me (ironically opposed to most people, who rapidly lose weight). I’m just looking for some sort of plan I can follow where I can feel ok digestive-wise and not gain any more fat. Cross your fingers for me people :)
You arent having any kids doing PSMF, are you?
Nope. I’m the daughter (24 y/o), doing it with my mother and father.
I’m going to do it for solidarity purposes for my mother, at least for a week or so. Although I’m on day two definitely not right. Since yesterday, my stomach has been bloated and swollen to the point where I look 9 months pregnant. Lots of stomach and intestinal pains too. Maybe this is too much protein for me (it’s only about 90 g a day) I’ve done this kind of thing before and may or may not have had this reaction – I’ve done so many restrictive health related diets and all of them leave me feeling crappy. Ironically, I seem to have not have these problems with “junkier” foods, other than the fact that I gain fat.
Mum is already concerned, telling me to stop. I’ll probably go a couple more days and if it’s still like this I’ll ease out. It’s hard for me to imagine expanding my diet as she’s doing this, though – just some sympathy pangs because I restricted myself for so long and was jealous of everyone around me who was “eating”!
Don’t force yourself into the whole ‘high protein’ thing. I did that a couple of years ago for two weeks and caused terrible damage. I put on two pounds. I earned a kidney stone and infection and subsequent IBS (which I have cured since then.) So, just step away from the high protein nonsense, it can cause terrible harm. Just back away. I think of protein this way: if I want some, i eat some. But, never force it. Be careful with yourself. You deserve to avoid those horrendous ailments.
When I was eating high protein, Paleo-esque diet, my bowel movements were terrible! Unless I took a fiber supplement (like psyllium powder and LOTS of it), my bowel movements were very sluggish and slow. I often couldn’t have a complete movement because of this and I’d walk around day feeling full down there. Yuck.
Not only that, but I think it contributed to a condition where my rectum became prolapsed. I’m going to try to reverse it by doing core strengthening exercise and I think losing some weight might help too. It’s not bad to have surgery yet.
On a Paleo-esque forum, I recently saw someone asking about sluggish bowel movements, and the moderator stated that when you eat a Paleo diet, bowel movements take longer, because your body is absorbing a lot more nutrients out of your food on its way out (which i’m sure is BS). Then the moderator said to eat more fat to make it slippery. All that Paleo diet is doing (besides influencing people to only eat 1400-1500 high-protein and high-fat calories a day), is causing IBS problems. :/ I can see that i’m not the only one who has had an issue with this.
The thing that has helped me was to start eating a lot more carbohydrates. I was amazed after my first day of RRARFing how much easier it was to have a bowel movement. And I’m able to usually empty my bowels completely now.
Thank you both for your concern :).
I should update by saying that yesterday, officially 1.75 days into my PSMF, I quit. I had nonstop pain that I know was related to the diet, and even if I could lose any weight I’m sure it wouldn’t happen with the amount of inflammation in my body.
I also got both of my parents off of it. Now if I could just get the $40 back for the book!
There are easier, tastier, more nutritive ways to live than that, for sure. I think this will be the last time I forget that!
PS – it also took only ONE LOUSY DAY for my irrational sugar cravings to come back with full force – something that I haven’t thought about since ETF!
Hi Matt I’ve been emailing you but we didn’t discuss this topic . I’ve had the opposite experience! My muscle strength evaporated when I added carbs after years of low carb. I became very weak. It’s hard to get out of a chair. And I ache like I’m 80. I ride a horse twice a week for 30 mins. Shouldn’t make me breathless, but I’m gasping. I recently added BBS – about 2 months ago and that is definitely helping me get my strength back. But why would adding carbs, eating less protein and fat (but still enough) do this?
Sue, I get the ‘ache like I’m 80’ feeling once in a while as well. I have noticed that if I eat ‘clean’ – meaning least allergenic foods like white rice and potatoes then I don’t get that feeling. Of course there is a lot of food variety built on these two simple carbs like rice crust pizzas, noodles and the like.
If the above works for you, then once you have healed adequately, then you can start adding in more kinds of carbs.
Narain thanks for your comment. I am thinking a lot about it. I am at a crossroads and am wondering whether this is working. Strangely, adding carbs besides adding tons of weight and a pillow to my stomach; but on the other hand helping end energy crashes, constipation, PMS (a mixed bag) – for some time now has really not been working for me – no crashes, but muscle weakness as discussed, general low energy and depression, very poor sleep, bored with all food but not craving, also not satisfied either, and eating to appetite only gets me halfway to the next meal. Yesterday, at a very low ebb, I read Chiefrok’s blog for the first time, then inspired by the food pics, I had a steak at 3.30 in the afternoon and have felt great ever since! Including a BBS session, energy and mood great. How to explain? I have no idea but suspect that I am a tough case in Chiefrok’s words (I could put on weight at breathtaking speed during low carb and assorted dieting days too)
hey Sue, Hope Matt or Chief can chime in and give you some advice.
You could also post your experience in the Q&A section of the Perfect Health diet:
Paul is nice about giving advice. One approach doesn’t work for everybody so it is always good to look around and consider different approaches.
You could also take a peek at leangains as well where the recommendation seems to be to keep protein high and cycle high carbs and fat depending on if you have had a workout.
Thank you Narain! Great to get the feedback. And I am still feeling good, 2 days after that steak – in fact I feel like another and I’m going with it. I hope Chiefrok’s right when he says this can be fixed …
Totally Agree! I am taking mostly Paul Jaminet’s ideas coupled with Martin Berkhans IF/fasted training.. not as much protein as he says to eat.. I am super hungry on training days and just eat as much fruit, carbs, whatever, including sugar. I do like to use Great Lakes Gelatin, I T a day in my tea while fasting. Leangains ladies have a page on Facebook , it super helpful for motivation. I lost ZERO weight, but I did lose 5″ off my body in 30 days of lifting 3 x a week and doing IF. It pretty much rocks.
And inches are what count, hey?! And getting stronger. And feeling so good that you look forward to the next session!
Thanks for the pointers! Will follow up jaminet and leangains.
Still feeling good on more protein 3 days later. I think I was possibly undereating due to feeling unwell on carbs (for who knows what reason!) in particular potatoes. I can just imagine the rush when you get in tune with your own biofeedback enough to read the signals right and respond right. Especially for those of us whose lives have really been affected by all this. Must feel like being set free!
Speaking of government overreach from your last column…watch out Matt you might be next! :)
oh MADNESS! I had to post a comment there… This lack of personal responsibility is so dangerous! The government is just so happy to scoop up that power people are handing over to them. It’s pretty hard to get back. I just read some woman sued Nutella (and won), because she was misled by the commercials to believe it was healthy. WTF?
The advice that I have gotten from Matt, and other information I’ve gathered from my internet research has given me my life back, my sanity back, and given me the ability to be the kind of mom I want to be to my kids (not the crazy bitch that couldn’t make it past noon without a two hour nap). That wouldn’t have happened if I had just followed mainstream advice to diet, exercise more, drink 8 glasses of water, and cut down on salt, sugar, and saturated fat. My grandfather died of a heart attack on a diet of No-Salt, and broiled fish.
Free discourse is critical to the well-being of everyone on the planet.
btw – I’m almost sleeping normally, Matt, and my temps are up where they should be most days. I’m just awaitin’ that spontaneous weight loss thing… in the meantime I’m making my own skirts and dresses with plenty of elastic. I’m getting really good at shirring… Still, I’m almost back to being gorgeous….just a wee bit more sleep…
Skye, lots of this sounds like me. What are you doing that’s helping the sleeping?
Hi Sue! It’s been a mish-mash of things along the way that basically amount to strengthening my constitution…I want to just say strengthening my adrenals, but I know it’s more complicated than that. Matt really talked me into eating a lot more refined stuff – especially sugar (he even called me a sissy!). What I really started leaning hard on was rice chex with sugar, and on with salt and ice cream. I started to really be able to affect my temps, and get them up to the 98.6-99 degree range. And even though I was still struggling with my sleep, I was really starting to feel a lot stronger. I got much better at responding to my sugar fluctuations, and started to really discern what was going on when my personality started to change. I think my adrenals were just so tired that it has taken me a looooong time to recover. I did actually have a two week stint where I was sleeping blissfully for nine to ten hours a night. My period started and that went out the window (ack!). Even so, when I do wake up, I can usually eat some pretzels or cheese and fall back asleep. Some nights I feel like I’m eating all night long, but the more sleep I get, the more sleep I get. It’s like you have to get strong enough to sleep..:((((
I won’t lie – I’ve also been messing around with supplements along the way. The ones I’ve found most supportive were the min-col, magnesium malate, pregnenolone, and a supplement called Endorphinate… Those last two have brought me some pretty sublime and priceless days with my kids, though I am a little uneasy about the pregnenolone. None of it is long term, though. I’m just doing whatever it takes to destress, and get as much sleep as I can.
I’m also drinking baking soda water to get my urine ph up, and I have felt even stronger with that.
I am not big on supplements, and before I started battling my insomnia (and all the fun stuff that went with it) I only sporadically took omega 3s, and cal-mag. Now I’ve got hundreds of dollars worth of supplements, most of which helped a little bit here and there for a short time (though I’m pretty sold on the minerals), and I think that’s just a really individual thing. But what has really, really built me up is getting the easy energy of sugar and refined grains into my diet. I am not good at the overfeeding at all, because I have no appetite…..but I can always manage to get down a bowl of sweetened cereal if I feel my hands getting cold, or I notice my temps are getting low. That 98.6 thing really does make a difference. It’s still really, really hard for me to believe that the sugar is really helping, but it IS. My super smart, educated GAPS and paleo friEnds think I’m being irresponsible, but I’m the one cheering up, warming up, and chilling out..
I am still tweaking, and trying to find my way….but I am MUCH healthier than I was six months ago…and definitely much happier…
I hope you find what you need to help you with your sleep. It’s a brutal thing to be wrestling with.. I think this whole site is an amazing resource!
Thanks Skye, meant to reply earlier and now the blogtrain has moved on, not sure you will see this …
Sounds like no simple solution which is my experience too. But I have been experiencing some similar lessons. A strange one that you probably know too, is that you can have a night with wakeups and light sleep and it can be reasonably okay, or it can be terrible. Thankfully I have more and more of the first kind now. Like you, I’m groping towards reading lessons on energy and mood and responding right (which is not by the book, not anybody’s book, not even the anti-book book if you know what I mean!) Sometimes, but by no meants always successfully, I just try and think “what would feel good right now?” and then do it.
I have been on a diet that focuses on sweet potatoes and white rice. I call it the Asian Diet. Feel better than ever, I suspect largely to it’s anti-inflammatory effects on my GI tract. I think I had leaky gut, structural problems and bacterial dysbiosis.
My only problem is low blood sugar/pressure. All of my other symptoms have either cleared or reduced.
This sounds really interesting to me – both are always pointed to as being easily digestible foods. How long have you been on this diet to see such awesome benefits?
Pretty steady for a few months now. I go off the diet when I have to travel. Travel is the enemy of routine. My digestive system thrives on routine.
It works though, great diet and I noticed it helps me to pass water. I tend to retain water, especially the more protein, dairy, and corn/wheat I eat.
Interestingly, I didn’t used to like sweet potatoes. Now that I eat them more and more, the more I like them and crave them. I have heard also that Asians might start to get cravings if they dont eat rice for awhile.
Similarly, a lot of Westerners complain that they can’t adjust to the food in Asia. I think this speaks to epigenetics. One thing I nevr got about the paleo diet is how they believe that your digestion is the same as a northern ice age cave man, even though you have been eating refined carbs from birth.
This latest article from Matt really struck a chord with me about the refined and highly cooked benefits of food. I never eat the peels of the sweet potatoes, and I only eat white rice. I get my roughage from vegetables and fruit only for the most part.
Idk if anyone asked this but what about zinc and iron do you think most vegetarians need to supplement that, especially if say vegetarian is cutting out nuts and seeds(PUFA) which is a good source of zinc.
Matt, I’ve always believed I’d increase muscle by eating more protein (and also believed I’d become even more overweight if I ate carbs). I’ve done the low carb/paleo thing for a while – finally ditched that in February and started eating carbs again (bread, cereal, rice, pasta) and have had such serious bloating off and on since then. Like one of the gals mentioned above, I’ve been so bloated I look like I’m 9 months pregnant and my stomach is already my problem area. Its been soo uncomfortable that I don’t even want to go out in public at times. At first I though it was because I had increased my intake of fermented foods and was also taking a heavy duty probiotic. I stopped eating all these fermented food and have only been taking the probiotic, but I’m still suffering from MAJOR bloating. I don’t feel well and am tempted to go back to the low-carb/protein phase. But I seem to remember hearing that when you’ve gone soo low carb for soo long that adding them back in can cause some of these issues – is that correct? I just need some sort of encouragement – some bright light on the horizon that by healing my metabolism that I will eventually loose weight. I was never able to loose weight on Paleo so something else has got to work right?! Just don’t want to feel sooo bloated and want to have more energy! Any thoughts Matt or anyone else out there?
If anything, I can assure you that you’re not alone – this sounds kind of like what I went through. I was basically unable to lose fat on Paleo – if I ate too much fat I gained fat. So I calorie counted and lost all of my muscle (kept most of my fat though – cool, right?)
I RRARFed, but did so on more “junk” foods than healthy carbs. I obviously found them more satisfying, easier to digest, and more important for healing my insane emotional and mental issues I got from being on highly restrictive Paleo diet and fearing nearly all foods for so long.
Have you RRARFed at all? If not, I encourage you to think about it to get your temps up. If you’re worried about gaining a ton of fat Matt tells you had to do a healthier RRARF in the book Diet Recovery.
I really sympathize with you on the bloating – I have many digestive issues that leave me looking 9 mos pregnant (even mentioned it above!) and it’s a really difficult thing for someone like me with body image issues. Barring going to the DRr. to get tested for things like Celiac Disease and SIBO, I guess the only thing I can encourage you to do is keep trying to find a starch that you can tolerate, even if in small amounts. Mine happened to be white sandwich bread (go figure, “the devil”), but I have a harder time eating other whole foods like potatoes or rice.
I too am hoping there’s more info about how to sustain or lose weight that includes both good fats AND carbs. I’d like to have a Caesar salad with homemade dressing and a handful of homemade croutons. Or a good, nourishing quiche made with a buttery whole wheat crust. I’ve been so mindf*&ked into thinking that carbs and fat only belong together in the diet of someone who is looking to become an obese chubster couch potato, I can put all my hope and faith into this new way of thinking that good whole foods are more nourishing than they are poisonous.
Best of luck!
PS – I was bedridden during my “fermented foods” stage it left me so ill. I get the die-off, but for weeks and weeks on end?
Before I went on the GAPS diet just before 2012, I basically ate very high fat, and high carb as well. Tablespoons of butter on toast, Oatmeal loaded with lot`s chocolate and cream, mashed potatoes with extreme amounts of full fat sour cream and butter. Food swimming in coconut oil, lard, and butter. Bowls of whipped cream on waffles or pancakes. And even though I did lift weights 3-4 days a week, I always maintained my weight, and a healthy body fat level. Eating fat alongside carbs does not make you fat. In my opinion carbohydrates need high amounts of healthy fats to be more digestible.
Oh God you just made my day. I just did a little dance. It IS possible.
Seriously, I used to think I knew more about nutrition than most anyone I knew, considering I studied Paleo and GAPS and WAPF on a daily basis. Unfortunately my mind became so satiated with it all I feel like my brain has melted :)
I don’t like rice, but its better than wheat. I personally do ok with tapioca flour, potatoes, and some fruits. It just depends on yourself. I know that was a useless statement. sorry.
Christy and Eri
Have you tried the Carrot Salad thing that Danny Roddy promotes(inspired by Ray Peat)? Whenever I got bloating I started doing the carrot salads for a few days(you are supposed to do it every day but I am forgetful) and the bloating would disappear. Also increasing salt and calcium helped with it.
Hulda – thanks! I’m going to look that up, it sounds interesting! I like carrots and wouldn’t mind a use for them.
Unfortunately my bloating is pretty much continuous and unrelated to any type of food eaten – I have some physical deformities with my digestive tract that can’t be remedied by diet. Yay! I wish someone had told me that a few years ago, haha!
Is the bloating completely unrelated to food or do you think that it is food that is fermenting? I have found success with those twinlabs enzymes and also having a glass of lemonade (basically juice one lemon and add enough sugar till its palatable.) before meals.
That said, a deformed bowel may be beyond a dietary intervention. I had a friend that had a second stomach instead of an appendix and well she felt a lot better after it was removed.
Hulda – no I’ve never heard of the Carrot Salad thing. Do you have a link to where it describes this? I’ve also been trying to increase my salt although it seems counter-intuitive. As in I’ve always believed that the more salt I have, the more water I’ll retain and the more bloated I’ll become. Am I wrong about that?
Eri – thanks for all your thoughts! Can you clarify what you ate as far as “junk food”. For so long things like white bread, white rice, any carb was for me “junk food”. I have not RRFADed yet as I’ve been a little concerned about how I hear everyone gains weight from it. I have NO ROOM to gain weight. I’m already 60-70 pounds overweight (and have been for years) – and feel uncomfortable as is, so I can’t imagine adding on more weight. So that’s what really concerns me. I too have had disordered thoughts on food/body image over the years and am working to heal those as well. I heard that Matt is going to re-vamp Diet Recovery so I want to wait to buy it until then.
I’ve never been tested for Celiac, but I’ve eaten gluten all my life and never felt like I was affected by it. Not sure if it’s the gluten in the carbs that I’m eating that is causing the bloating or what. Because I ate a meal the other day that was all protein and quinoa and I still felt bloated.
It’s a never ending journey but I just want to feel better AND loose weight. Oh I’ve also struggled with adrenal fatigue for years and have now wondered if it was related to eating low carb for years. I do have a brain headache sometimes from all the information on here – appreciate it all but wonder too about the benefits of just intuitive eating like Geneen Roth preaches. Seems to have worked for her!
Christy – again, my heart goes out to you. That is all I want too, to feel better AND lose weight. At times I’ve given up on the “lose weight” deal just to focus on feeling better, and told myself that it was a vanity thing. But at the end of the day, it’s nice to appreciate your body for what it is AND want to look/move/be more comfortable with a little weight loss.
My dear, when I say junk food, I mean the gamut of things. I too considered oatmeal and things like that “junk”. If I ate a bowl of oatmeal during my Paleo days I did it as a binge, and I would feel as guilty as if I had just ate a dozen cookies. During my RRARF I also ate a lot of fast food, I mean not a slice of pizza but a HALF of a pizza AND fries AND a (regular) coke. I know this sounds silly, but I had to do go a little overboard at first to convince myself that I wasn’t going to die from eating these things. I developed such a severe case of orthorexia during my restrictive 3 years that I was actually terrified of most every food. Once I started “eating” again I lost that irrational fear amazingly quicky. I just allowed myself ANYTHING I wanted, whether it be a bowl of white rice or a donut. And I did gain some weight, but I actually ended up losing a little and stabilizing – on a diet that is completely unrestrictive and unplanned (not meticulously planning meals/counting calories).
I would never want to recommend that you eat anything that is making you feel ill. But if you do end up finding anything outside of the Paleosphere that you can digest, even if it’s carrots or peas or potatoes. Doesn’t have to be slices of cake :). If you feel like you can handle some type of fast food/treat and you’ve been craving it, go for it. When I first started eating grains and such I would wake up the next day with what I can only describe as a hangover, but I don’t feel that way any more. I would just prioritize getting over the disordered eating thoughts first (which is what Diet Recovery is about). I used to cry myself to sleep many nights, thinking that I would live with these obsessive thoughts about nutrition and restriction for the rest of my life. Even though I’ve gained some weight, my life has improved a million times over with the loss of that nonstop chatter.
Also, I’ll chime in and say that I definitely agree with Zach below – if you’re going to experiment with new foods try the white flour stuff first if anything else is giving you issues. Despite not being nutritive, it’s much easier to digest – just don’t tell your doctor unless you want to get into an argument with them :)
Thanks for all your thoughts! yes, I agree that the MENTAL battle is one I must face first. Getting over all my crazy fears/thoughts/obsession with food or with loosing weight. I realize that there is something to “letting go”. Like so many stories I know of people who tried to get pregnant for years and then finally decided to adopt – then after they adopted, they got pregnant, because they let go of the stress associated with trying to get what you want, in the time frame that you want. I’m starting to think the same holds true with loosing weight/feeling better. It’s just hard right now to be ok with how I look and how I feel when I am soo bloated. One day at a time….
When you say bread, rice, cereal, pasta, is it whole grains?
Zach – most of the bread Ive eaten in the last couple of months has been homemade sourdough bread from the local farmers market or some Ezekial bread I had in the freezer or just bread from the buns on burgers I ate. Most of the rice has been brown, some white. Pasta has been all white pasta. Cereal has been this stuff called “Heritage Flakes” which is a combo of kamut, amaranth, etc.
What’s wrong with whole grains vs. white flour?
Whole grains are really hard/impossible to digest fully so if you dont have a fast transit time through your digestive system, they will give you bloating and gas trouble. White flour is digested almost completely and wont cause as much digestive discomfort. Quit with the whole grains, you are eating bread for the carbs, not for the supposed vitamin an mineral content. Get your vitamins minerals from meat, dairy and fruit. white flour/white rice is superior.
I’d second that warning against the whole grains too – they’re very hard to digest for me. I have the exact same problems you talk about Christy – bloating, looking pregnant, no matter what you eat. You mentioned you get bloated even when eating protein and quinoa, and of course quinoa is a whole grain too. Zach’s right, forget about the vitamin and mineral content, and also forget all the crap we’ve been told about refined grains not being real food – if they weren’t food, then they wouldn’t keep us alive, we wouldn’t be able to get any calories or nutrients from them, but we do. I’m not saying they’re the best food – every food has its pros and cons, even some really healthy veggies will be problematic in huge amounts. So yeah, just try to let go of the idea that refined grains aren’t food.
I found that it took about 4 months to truly heal my bloating and gas, adding in more and more carbs and refined grains, working out what I tolerate best, and what times of day to eat what – that makes a difference too! I found that my tolerance for carbs and refined grains got WAY better when I stopped eating them with large amounts of animal fat or dairy, due to my low stomach acid. If you’re experiencing very bad bloating along with the kind of gas where you either want to (sorry for this description) burp or fart, then here’s what I came up with that works for me:
Limit animal fats (fatty chicken and salmon, lamb, dairy excluding butter) in the morning, but replace with coconut oil or olive oil;
eat the most fat at lunch, I find I have the best/most stomach acid for digesting the fat at this time of day;
drink some caffeine-free soda or ginger ale with meals, make sure it’s fizzy, you only need a little bit, like half a cup – if you’re worried about the calories then you could try sparkling mineral water, but I have this crackpot theory that it’s the actual food acid in the soda that helps with digestion too;
for me, I have to stay away from dairy and especially milk, even though I love it, but I substitute with the dreaded, evil soy-milk and sometimes do have butter or a little cream and this doesn’t seem to be too bad, it’s important to replace dairy with something else if you do cut it out;
and I stay away from coconut cream/coconut meat, and potatoes or rice that have been cooked and then cooled overnight, as these seem really hard to digest. But simply cooked potatoes or rice are ok.
Obviously this might not work for you, but hopefully there’s something in there that could help.
Ditch the glutenous grains. Eat a lot of tuberous veggies like yams, potatoes, carrots, beets. Also some fruit. Stick with rice as your grain. Rice noodles are further agglutinized because they have been processed, they have more surface area. They are even more digestible than cooked rice.
And if you are eating whole wheat it will effect you even worse. Ditch all gluten and corn I guarantee you will feel better. Also dairy can bloat you. I know exactly how you feel. I suffered from the same thing for years, seemingly after I stopped paleo. I think you do lose ability to digest carbs as well when you cut carbs.
Also eat the same thing every day. I eat a sweet potato for breakfast and one in the evening. Lots of rice in between and s little meat and veggies. Also believe it or not the wisdom is true, an apple a day will keep the doctor away. But you have to eat one every day. The digestive tract thrives on routine. The bacteria have to adjust to fermenting different combinations and structures of cellulose and pectins. Do you gut a favor and eat the same thing every day.
Only in our modern consumerist society do we get caught in this need for constant novelty. Mexican food one day, pizza the next, then Chinese. Notice a lot of traditional cultures eat the same basic stuff every day. Some produce was seasonal but Koreans for instance eat rice, meat, and kim chi every day.
Under your influence I have included much more carbs and my breakfast have been potato-starch pancakes with honey and mapply syrup for month. I am also doing the Body by science approach now and see gains with less work, so kudo. My only problem however is that every 2 or 3 days I got flare up of itchy scalp and nasty huge dandruffs, which I know is a sign of candida flare up with the sugar. But besides this, no other candida symptoms. I don’t want to lower my carbs, I feel good about it, but I start to loose some hair because of this (and it’s not thyroid, feeling great and having hot body temps). Dunno what to do to stop having this while still eating the cabs…Any idea?
You might be needing more vitamin A. Ray Peat has discussed this thing before and reassures that Candida doesn’t do this. However, if you increase metabolic turnover you will experience this and that apparently happens if you have insufficient vitamin A to control the turnover.
could this be why my hair falls out and my scalp gets flaky when I increase T3???
yes if you have a link to the Peat article I would be really grateful!
Here is one place he talks about importance of Vitamin A:
Vitamin A’s effect on the skin opposes that of estrogen.4 There are several mechanisms that could account for this. Vitamin A is used in the formation of steroids, and since the skin is a major site of steroid metabolism, vitamin A might help to maintain the level of the anti-catabolic steroids. A deficiency of vitamin A causes excessive release of the lysosomal enzymes, acid hydrolases, resulting in tissue catabolism.5 Also, vitamin A is necessary for the proper differentiation of cells in skin and other membranes. A deficiency tends to cause an increased rate of cell division, with the production of abnormal cells, and a substitution of keratinized cells for other types. Estrogen also promotes keratinization and speeds cell division. A deficiency of vitamin A can cause leukoplakia in the mouth and on the cervix of the uterus; although this is considered “pre-cancerous,” I have found it to be very easily reversible, as I have discussed elsewhere.6 I suspect that the intracellular fiber, keratin, is produced when a cell can’t afford to do anything more complex. Adequate vitamin A speeds protein synthesis,7 and allows it to be used more efficiently.
you guys need to go see Danny Roddy at http://www.hairlikeafox.com for Peat broken down into bite sized doable morsels. Tell him Deb sent ya, he’s awesome and he will help you keep your follicles in place.
I left a comment for Danny once on why T3 would cause hair loss and I don’t believe he ever replied, but I don’t remember which post it was on so I can’t check back.
I find Danny Roddy really arrogant. He rarely replies to any posts, and when he does, it’s usually in the form of a rhetorical question.
So, I already drink a lot of raw milk and eat pastured eggs from my own chickens, can’t stand liver and can’t afford CLO right now… any advice as to what I should look for in a supplement for Vit A? Retinol, right?
Retinol is the super stuff and is used straight up. Beta-Carotene has to be converted by the liver and apparently acts like a PUFA until it is converted. I just remember that when I was taking a supplement containing Retinol I felt better than when I was taking the B-Carotene one.
Hulda, how fascinating. I have always thought this flaky scalp was a sign of yeast overgrowth, nothing else…Would you have the link to the exact Ray Peat’s article by any chance?
I eat organs meat once a week and need to go back to Cod Liver oil. Any other ideas for vitamin A?
Laurent, I am not Hulda, but I think I can answer this. I believe that Peat usually recommends liver once or twice a week for Vitamin A. No more than that because he thinks too much liver has anti-thyroid potential. I don’t think any of his articles speak to the question of candida but he does speak to it in this long radio interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eastwesthealing/2011/04/27/dr-ray-peat-glycemia-starch-and-sugar-in-context
I want to make it clear that I don’t know if Peat is right or not on this point.
I have just come off of doing the Peat diet for a year. Soon after I began the diet, I go a very bad fungal infection on foot and groin. It could have been a coincidence, but I was thinking at the time that the increase in sugar might have had something to do with it. I eventually got rid of the problem through some rather strong anti-fungal prescriptions.
I used to attend a forum of hairloss users(Immortal Hair) and one member tried super supplementing with Vitamin A which reduced dandruff and scalp irritation for him. Others tried it as well with good results.
Correction, these were not people using hairloss but rather trying to combat it. :)
Thank you! I am going to give it a try. What was a typical dose used by the hair loss forum?
Thanks Thomas for this link. Some of us think that Peat has a fantastic understanding of how biology work at a cellular level, but little clue on how to adapt it in real life through nutrition so I’ll take his recommendation with a pinch of salt (more salt is good for you anyway :-))
What are your thoughts on the level of protein required in the diet to perform other functions in the body? I realise your focus is metabolism and muscle growth in this post so that is what the minimums are referring to, but in terms of overall function of the organism (and things like adequate wound healing and keratinisation of the skin, hair and nails) do you hold to these figures?
Also this might be slightly unrelated but I know for myself with my mediterranean heritage, I thrive on plenty of animal protein, fermented dairy, starchy vegetable and lots of seafood. I find that if I let my animal protein intake drop too significantly over a long period of time, my ferritin (stored iron) drops with it. What would you recommend a 25 year old woman with what you would describe as very slow metabolism (my temps are often below 36C upon rising) and a height of 165 cm and weight of 65 kilos to consume? My weight has gone up recently due to a schedule change which means less exercise, less sleep, and more stress… I’m studying nutrition and naturopathy and would be really interested to get your opinion, as I already see many people with damaged metabolisms in clinic! I am not keen on the inclusion of many inflammatory foods in the diet as I know from personal observation that this does not work for me… perhaps I’ve misinterpreted your approach but you seem to be ok with processed flour and sugar, which I know I have never done terribly well on (and simply won’t risk my bone and joint health among other things to experiment with ‘junkier’ foods long term).
Anyway, I’d be really interested to know what you would recommend. I would enjoy not being freezing all of the time and being able to eat greater quantities without feeling sluggish :)
Here’s a summary/caricature of the blogs I have read this week:
Also, this is to be taken extremely seriously and I wish to offend everyone pictured.
Sugar and white flour are great for your joints, if you use them to raise your metabolism, and by metabolism I mean if you use them to get you out of a hypothyroid state. Hypothyroidism causes bone loss and cartilage destruction, and it can be positively diagnosed by low body temps, (mid afternoon temp. under 98.6) obviously some people will need hormone replacement in order to get their temps up to normal, but brilliant old Matt here has figured out that a lot of us just don’t eat enough readily absorbable calories (too much health food). Also low metabolic rate decreases the bodies ability to absorb nutrients, iron, which is why you have ferritin issues, actually if you spend any time on thyroid forums ferritin problems are ubiquitous among posters. While you’re on this site you should probably search; Broda Barnes, Mark Star, Ray Peat, Ancel Keys, Robert McCarrison, Kilmer McCully, and Hans Selye. Matt has some great blogs about their work that really put this whole metabolism thing into perspective, unfortunately he has a tendency to bury some of his best work! Also, I’m gonna tell you from personal experience that “health food” is metabolism murder, I did the whole low glycemic, whole foods diet for years to control my hypoglycimia (a symptom of low metabolic rate) and it made the situation worse not better, culminating in, drum roll please, passing out cold on a commercial airline, worst experience of my life, when I got to the hospital my temp was 95.7. Good times. Eat pasta and sugar!
Not completely on board with the sugar loving. I know people who (over)consume the typical SAD diet consisting of sugar and white flour and they are fat, acne prone and have stomach issues all the time. If however you go very low carb for a period of time then consuming sugar later would be good – but eating it every day is perhaps not a great idea unless you do a lot of cardio.
After a strength training workout, I don’t feel all that great after having a fructose laden sports drink. What does nourish me after is a big serving of starch and soft cooked digestible protein like Oyako-Don (white rice, chicken , eggs). So in my book -> (Starch > Sugar) except after cardio and some kind of sports.
I know people that eat pure perfect health food diets (go ahead pick one) that are fat, acne prone and have stomach issues all the time too. It’s not their diet its their body, those are symptoms of metabolic distress and its been my observation and personal experience that elimination can temporarily clear some of these issues, but other problems related to low metabolism soon become apparent, like even lower body temps, high cortisol, muscle wasting, neurosis, depression, etc. I guess what I’m saying is that in order to possibly heal one’s metabolism you need to consistently consume more calories than you can actually burn, day in and day out. That’s pretty hard to do without including some refined foods.
Eat the Food
Christal, totally agree with what you are saying about the metabolic distress part. The only quibble I have is on the mechanism to raise metabolism. I think the original rrarf/diet recovery approach was based on starch as the primary fuel. I am talking of starches like potatoes, white rice and some other grains like millet here not the so called healthier whole grains that might be harder to digest in the initial period.
Sugar on the other hand may work for some and not so well for others. So I guess what I am trying to say is that starch should generally be a better choice than sugar. But hey, if sugar works for you, then enjoy !
Hmmmm… I think I could definitely smash a lot of calories including only whole foods, I have a big appetite and plenty of culinary creativity ;)
I still don’t see the benefits of consuming highly refined, devitalised foods. I’m no calorie-counter and making an effort now to eat plenty of carbs to or beyond appetite (oats, potatoes and other root veg, sprouted flour, whole sweeteners, fruit, brown rice etc) because I’m sure years of low-carbing have damaged my metabolism somewhat. I’m not overweight by any means but I am often FREEZING and my thyroid function is on the lower side of normal. I am a strong believer in the ancient healing arts like Ayurveda too, and from that perspective I’d like to revitalise sluggish Kapha, I don’t want to aggravate Pitta to the point of being overly hot and having an overly active system, as this can lead to its own health problems in the long run. It’s all about balance.
I like the approach here to metabolic repair, but I think for me it’ll be done with homemade whole-foods and gentle exercise like yoga and walking my hound rather than eating a tonne of refined foods and doing no exercise. I just know myself well enough to know that I do need a fair bit of invigoration and if I spend a whole month in rest, I’ll drive everyone around me crazy ;)
I like that Matt acknowledges that one approach doesn’t fit everyone and appreciate that he is specialising in metabolic repair, which not everyone needs. We’ve all got to figure out which foods and lifestyle factors work best for us… there is so much biochemical individuality out there, and this is why I think dogmatic approaches don’t enjoy the limelight for long (definitely not saying this site is dogmatic – I’ve found it quite the opposite).
Eliza, noticed that you are doing brown rice. Ayurveda, as far as I am aware is all about white rice given its ease of digestion. The popular khicahri also uses white rice and split lentils. Would taste awful with brown :)
Here is a 3k+ calorie diet that a girl (Nola from a previous thread) who is 5’2 puts away easily with room for more:
But she does heavy workouts and is very strong.
Brown rice is just personal preference, I love it! The Ayurvedic physicians I work with recommend clients make kitchari with basmati and mung when they undergo panchakarma with us…
Definitely curious to see her diet! Link me up.
This was my exact experience.
That kind of plan works well for young and relatively healthy people. For some time.
Since the first link didn’t work, here’s a different one. :)
It’s still a summary/caricature of the blogs I have read this week:
Hopefully it won’t be a 404 this time!
Hey xxx, that is an awesome caricature – ‘Mad Stone’ was a nice touch :) I think you missed Dr Mer’krill’a.
Cool! But a teeny bit messy/hard to decipher in places.
Lol Dr Mer’krill’a –
“If you do EVERYTHING right and forget to take this one mineral, you will die tomorrow! It’s made of rare Goblin Shark eyeballs (ONLY the goblin sharks from the Iberian Peninsula) which have to be extracted during one short weekend span throughout the entire year! But I’ve done that and am selling it for only $4000 per month! That’s a saving of over $6000!”
That being said, I do have Mercola’s Sunspa (?) standing “tanning” bed, and it is a delight.
now That was hilarious. :-)
yeah, sorry for the messiness… i drew it on a train :)
love eri’s take on dr. mercola! I actually had RAGE-Nikoley as well, but he was on the next piece of paper.
Here’s a novel thought:
1. Your gut is not leaking
2. You are not allergic to most foods on the planet
3. You are not the victim of a rare tropical fat virus
4. Candida is a mythical land located near (but not in) Canada
5. Just eating normal food and keeping things moving is the answer to most everything.
6. Pretty much every article/blog/website you read has to sell you stuff to keep writing/blogging/eating.
Just a thought.
I never comment but I had to because this comment is awesome. So many people need to hear this. Personally I’ve never been more unhealthy than when I was trying to be “healthy” :)
Thanks Stephaney. So very true. My story is long and boring, but I do have leukemia and that shit does not stop me at all. I am lucky but I am also stubborn as all get out. And I don’t give up. Self experimentation is the one true god IMO. Mattie opens the Doors of Perception but it’s our job to walk on through or run away.
“6. Pretty much every article/blog/website you read has to sell you stuff to keep writing/blogging/eating.”
There you go! And this is also true, not just in the diet arena but the exercise arena. I have been doing strength training for a long time. It’s actually pretty simple what you need to do to get strong. There are a few time-proven compound lifts that work and that basically leaves it up to you to know how much time you need to recover between lifts. It really is THAT simple. Yet, you have the online Personal Trainers who have to come up with special routines and lifts so that THEY can stand out from the crowd of other personal trainers and make you believe that their MAGICAL new-fangled program is the one that will carry you to strength/fitness Nirvana.
Hag, you forgot to mention the Chronic Lyme Disease pandemic and the fact that mercury is rotting everybody’s brain :)
Wise words indeed – Qui-Gon Jinn would be proud. Why has the Grass Fed Momma blog gone into hibernation?
The Truth with a Capital T… (and a couple of Other Capitals)
What I’ve learned from the Experts (definition of an Expert – someone who has never had your problem and is moved, for reason no. 1 on this list, to Help You) …
1. You are carrying some weight and I am not, which means that you lack willpower and I am Morally Superior and therefore entitled to dispense my Wisdom in order to Help You, even though you didn’t ask me to …
2.I’m thin because I eat correctly. You should eat like I eat. Salads without dressing. Grilled chicken breast or better still, fish. No butter! No red meat (light shudder).No eggs! Oh – okay, eggs! In Moderation! This stuff is in all the magazines, don’t you read? Oh, you feel faint an hour after eating, get the shakes and even black out when you eat that way? And get fat? On lettuce? Come off it! It’s all in your head! You need the right Attitude!
3. Eat three balanced meals a day and you will lose weight. Unless you cheat or lack willpower are greedy, or you’re lying (take your pick).
4. Do some exercise! Get moving! You’ll feel better for it! And you’ll lose weight! Look at me, I jog every day and had a hip replacement in my 40s! But I’m Thin! And I am Fit! And Heart Attack Proof! I have Taken Responsibility For My Health and have a zillion bonus points on my health insurer’s Healthy Living Index whereby every grocery purchase I make and every gym attendance is recorded on their Privacy-Invasion-Client-Behaviour-Modification-For-The-Greater-Good-Of-Shareholder-Profits-Index, and goes to their actuaries who are planning to load fat unhealthy irresponsible people’s premiums as soon as they can legally get away with it, which is only Fair, right? Why should I subsidize them?
5. You have no energy because you don’t exercise. Exercise gives you energy!
6. All those doctors and all those expensive blood tests say there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you! Well, what can I say …
7. You just need to get into a healthy routine of diet and exercise. It’s all in your head. You have exercise-phobia and need to talk to someone. You have a fear of success. Deep down you want to be fat, you feel safe that way. It’s all about your relationship with your mother. Deep down you’re just plain lazy.
8. Okay I am running out of patience. Some people just don’t want to be helped, you know what I mean? You are self-obsessed. Stop making excuses, just get on with your life.
Good Ones Sue W.
If a ‘guru’ is not human, never changes course and never has ups and downs then they must be the son of god, come to make us all lean. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA
sorry I amuse myself too easily.
This brought to mind a time when I was talking to someone who was a new convert to the crazy raw vegan diet that I was recovering from. I explained to her that I had quit because I was not thriving on that diet, and her question was “So, what was the thing you wouldn’t give up?” I was like, “Huh?” She said, “There had to be something that you just wouldn’t let go of. It was the thing that was more important to you than your health. Maybe you aren’t even consciously aware of the deeper purpose of what was showing up as an addiction. Sometimes the desire to hurt ourselves is more powerful than the desire to heal, and is so deeply buried that we can go our whole lives being sick when we really wouldn’t have to if only we could release our addiction to sugar or salt or alcohol…so, what was it for you?”
Wow. I haven’t thought of that in years! ha ha
Mitzi, fellow former raw vegan here.. after a brutal “sure cure” 6 months hell fest ( I had been raw for a year already before that to combat my leukemia) my digestion failed, my blood test got worse, I was skinny, hair falling out . need I go on.. and a dear raw friend said “Maybe you ate some thing that was not raw and that’s why your test was worse.”
so so glad those days of fear of food, stress over every meal, hunger pains nearly always etc are long gone. :-)
“What couldn’t I give up? Oh, just this silly little nagging voice telling me that humans aren’t rabbits… If only I could have gotten over that I’m sure I would have done great!”
Soooo….it’s not just me? lol
Seriously, since that time I have run into some pretty crazy raw folks with some pretty far out ideas about why I had problems with raw veganism. It’s like they’d rather believe any whackadoodle, contrived argument than to just let go of that lifestyle.
As I recall from one of your previous muscle gain experiments (when you were using Abel’s program), you posted a video stating that you had started “fruit loading” (OJ/bananas) in the morning and then would get your protein and some fat later in the day. Do you still feel this is a plan for gaining muscle.
Hurrah! After all I got a web site from where
I can genuinely get valuable facts regarding my study and knowledge.
Isn’t the “eat more to build more muscle” a myth ? Brad pilon seems pretty accurate when he shows through self experiments that eating above energy requirements only bring more fat (lean mass would be glycogen storage but not real muscle) !
But in some ways, he is on the same line on protein with you, more is not better and it seems that macros are really insignificant regarding health, muscle, etc… (of course if you exclude any extreme)
What about RBTI and muscle growth, Chief?
Can you consume some artificial creatine in order to start a muscle-building cycle?
31 years old, 144 pounds, 5.9 feet tall. I’ve just started to take lemon+demineralized water daily.
You’re talking as if protein has no calories. your article is very misleading since you’re equating protein to 0 calories which is false. maybe you should rewrite it to reflect just the percentage of protein per meal instead of stating that taking in more protein simply results in less calories. a person can eat 2000 calories a day with 50% protein and 50% carbs or 2000 calories with 25% protein and 75% carbs – SAME CALORIES just different percentages of source of those calories…in essence I think you meant to write about less caloric source from protein instead of saying that higher protein intakes results in less total calories which is false.
Seriously? he needs to get with badass eating that’s scary. when I see someone do like 15 pounds in a few weeks I know it will be a tough case. 40 pounds in a week Whoa! even the worst of my Low carb paleo cases aren’t that bad. It’s amazing how many people think that will happen to them and they get scared after 4 pounds and give up. yikes?Taking AAS, stimulants, estrogen blockers and other drugs are what makes hardcore diets sustainable. That is why bodybuilders and other professionals can get away with things that make many non drug users crash and burn.
This is only true in the short term, and even then only if you narrow your focus to purely cosmetic considerations. Yes, all that crap lets competitors practice hardcore diets in order to get ready for a show, but the consequences on their health and overall athleticism is tremendous. Moreover, if they rely solely on drugs to ?reach the stage? one time, each successive year and cycle gets harder and harder ?even in their narrow focus of cosmetics? because of their declining health. Ultimately, aside from their deleterious health and metabolic affects ?and these affects can indeed be minimized? all these drugs do is enhance an intelligent program. If the program is not intelligent, they don’t work, no, not in the long-run. They do not prevent metabolic ruin (they actually promote it as I noted earlier) or training injuries
for mor detail gsfdgf.com
Im not sure where you got the figure 30 grams of protein per day to achieve nitrogen balance. Assuming an average male weighs 170 pounds, thats about 80kg. A normal person who doesnt exercise needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight to achieve nitrogen balance. An endurance athlete may need anywhere from 0.9 grams to 1.5 grams per kg, which averages at 1.2 grams per kg/bw and muscle gain benefits peak at protein intakes at 25% above nitrogen balance – http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/how-much-protein-does-one-need-to-be-in.html?m=1
Weightlifters probably need less because its not as catabolic, but it depends how intensely they train.conservatively you might need 1 gram per kg of body mass to achieve nitrogen balance if you are lifting and 1.25 grams per kg to achieve maximum benefit.
For an 80 kg male, thats 80 grams of protein per day to achieve nitrogen balance and 100 grams to maximize gains.
Its true that protein requirements drop if youre in caloric surplus, though im not sure by how much. If you have a link to any studies that have some insight into protein requirements to achieve nitrogen balance in caloric surplus id be interested to read them, cheers.
The 30 grams figure came from some discussion on the matter in The Biology of Human Starvation, in which it was found that if a low protein intake is compensated for by elevated calorie ingestion, nitrogen balance could be achieved in a normal-sized male.
Do you have a link for that matt?
Yes, 1 gram of protein per kg of your body weight is essential. Also, do not cut off your carbs intake completely.