Nutrition and Health Roundtable

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    Nutrition and Health Roundtable


    Gentlemen with the success of other Q and A threads, I thought it might be nice to have one on nutrition. We all, and should all, know that nutrition plays a vital role in achieving our fitness goals no matter what those goals are. Supplements are great, anabolics are great, the specific exercises we do are great; but if we don't know what the heck we're doing with our diets our progress will be sub-par. Nutrition and health is a passion of mine, I've spent a few years now engrossed in the literature. I've also changed my major to health science. There are a few other really smart guys around here and I figured we could get a thread going where we could share some questions and post up some studies or reference some of the big names in the industry to answer questions (i.e. Aragon, McDonald, Norton, etc). No question is too simple or too basic. Want to know about macronutrients? Ask away. Want to know about Intermittent Fasting and cycling? Ask away. My hope is to use this as a meeting point for some of the more educated guys in health/nutrition to come and just check 1 thread to answer some questions.
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    I heart this thread
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    Great idea! You are right too many people focus on supps etc and not enough on basic nutrition

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    Quote Originally Posted by mw1 View Post
    Great idea! You are right too many people focus on supps etc and not enough on basic nutrition
    Gawd how true this is. Makes my head hurt.
    Don't worry, man, someday I'ma be nobody too.
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    I likey.

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    Name:  download (12).jpg
Views: 286
Size:  13.2 KB Yes is another round table thread this I think we should have this one named "Gents of the Round Table" since 'Knights of the Round Table" has already on record here.
    "To your wife you should kiss try today"-Touey

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    Just some good info to get it rolling
    Some previous roundtables with great information:

    http://alanaragon.com/bodybuilding-n...ne-norton.html

    http://nutridylan.com/2012/08/29/rou...d-alan-aragon/

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    Might I open up with IF. I know my stance on this dieting approach but would like to hear some others opinions on it.

    Fad? Benefits and downfalls. Best uses. Personal experience.

    ​" If you're looking for a work horse.......I'm no Clydesdale."
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    You know i'm in on this. Ill contribute this evening
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    Could you breakdown the jist of those articles? A lot of people seeking advice won't spend time reading through pages but would get more benefit from things spelled out in a paragraph or so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montego1 View Post
    Might I open up with IF. I know my stance on this dieting approach but would like to hear some others opinions on it.

    Fad? Benefits and downfalls. Best uses. Personal experience.
    One of the single most important factors to any diet or eating protocol is that it works for YOU and that you will be able to stick to it. It doesn't matter who endorses it or what kind of results so and so got from it. If it doesn't work for you and your lifestyle, its worthless

    Needless to say, I'm up in this lol! Let's roundtable this ish up. Diet and nutrition are the single most important element to any training regimen, period. Great emphasis should be placed on this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
    One of the single most important factors to any diet or eating protocol is that it works for YOU and that you will be able to stick to it. It doesn't matter who endorses it or what kind of results so and so got from it. If it doesn't work for you and your lifestyle, its worthless

    Needless to say, I'm up in this lol! Let's roundtable this ish up. Diet and nutrition are the single most important element to any training regimen, period. Great emphasis should be placed on this thread.
    I agree. Its never good to tout one diet protocol as being superior to another (in terms of meal frequency and timing etc.) because the sinlge most important factor for anything is compliance. If 6 meals works for you and fits your schedule better than 1 or 2 or 3, then 6 it is. The diet you can stick to is the one that will triumph.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
    One of the single most important factors to any diet or eating protocol is that it works for YOU and that you will be able to stick to it. It doesn't matter who endorses it or what kind of results so and so got from it. If it doesn't work for you and your lifestyle, its worthless

    Needless to say, I'm up in this lol! Let's roundtable this ish up. Diet and nutrition are the single most important element to any training regimen, period. Great emphasis should be placed on this thread.
    Exactly
    For most who follow IF they live very busy lifestyles, hence eating larger meals and have less time to cook/prepare food hence their larger meals.
    Say someone who works a typical 9-5

    Eat at their lunch break (noon)
    Have a small snack before leaving work (3-4)
    Hit the gym around 6
    Come home and have a big feast for dinner (8) and it falls right in their 8 hour window, and they can spend more time with their kids, family, or other chores that need to be caught up on while still getting some decent sleep and living their life.

    instead of eyeing a clock every 3 or so hours and packing tons of tupperware with you wherever you go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Could you breakdown the jist of those articles? A lot of people seeking advice won't spend time reading through pages but would get more benefit from things spelled out in a paragraph or so.
    First Article:

    Do you believe in Intermittent Fasting and other non-generic meal patterns? Do you have to eat a certain amount of times per day to eat and why? It seems Meal Frequency is thrown around as Layne Norton has a 4-5 meal approach with BCAA’s in between, and some individuals who follow Intermittent Fasting thrive off 2-3 meals. What do you believe is optimal?


    Layne Norton, PhD
    The big question is, optimal for whom? Layne’s protocol’s theoretical basis is sound, at least on paper. It aims to strike a balance between avoiding the refractory nature of MPS under conditions of constantly elevated circulating amino acids, while still maximizing the number of nutrient-mediated anabolic ‘spikes’ through the day. This protocol might be appropriate for someone trying to pull the final strings to edge out the competition on a bodybuilding stage. However, I’m skeptical that this strategy would benefit those already consuming a high protein intake (which is already rich in BCAAs). For most non-competitors, I don’t see the realistic long-term sustainability of this routine.

    As for the other end of the spectrum (2-3 meals per day), this is obviously more realistic for regular people. This works out well, since the importance of muscle retention during dieting varies according to the population. The more overfat & deconditioned someone is, the greater the proportional & net loss of fat vs. muscle is when dieting. Further along the progression, the leaner & more conditioned someone is, the more muscle they stand to lose as they continue to diet. So, can low meal frequency work for competitors? Yes, it can. Is it optimal? Well, that’s a question that so far doesn’t have a definitive, science-based answer, and it might never have one. For advanced athletes in a dieting situation, the objective is to retain as much muscle as possible while losing fat, since muscle loss at this point is a more urgent threat than it is for guys coming straight off the couch. Nitpicking for advanced athletes, I‘d speculate that anything below 3 meals (technically, 3 protein feedings) per day is not optimal, regardless of program phase.

    Second:

    Research Summary

    Meal Frequency

    § A haphazard/randomly variable meal frequency, not necessarily a lower frequency, negatively impacts thermogenesis, blood lipids, and insulin sensitivity.
    § Within a day, a higher frequency has no thermodynamic advantage over a lower frequency under controlled conditions.
    § The majority of controlled intervention trials show no improvement in body composition with a higher meal frequency.
    § Studies indicating the disappearance or lack of hunger in dieters occur in either complete starvation, or very low calorie VLCD regimes (800 kcal/day or less).
    § Hunger is a persistent problem with reduced meal frequency in non-starvation and other protocols with calories above VLCD levels.
    § For controlling appetite, the majority of research indicates the superiority of a higher meal frequency.
    § The body appears to be "metabolically primed" to receive calories and nutrients after an overnight fast. Breakfast is a particularly beneficial time to have dietary protein, since muscle protein synthethis rates are typically lowest at this time.
    § Overall, both experimental and observational research points to breakfast improving memory, test grades, school attendance, nutrient status, weight control, and muscle protein synthesis.

    Intermittent Fasting

    § Animal research has shown a number of positive health effects of ADF and CR.
    § Human ADF research is scarce and less consistent than animal research, showing both benefits (insulin sensitivity is the most consistent outcome) and risks (impaired glucose tolerance in women).
    § So far, control groups are absent in all human ADF studies. Thus, no comparative conclusions can be drawn between ADF and linear caloric intake.
    § The of the single published controlled trial to date (Stote, et al) comparing 1 versus 3 meals is heavily confounded by an exceptionally high dropout rate in the 1-a-day group, and the use of BIA to measure body composition.
    § The 1-a-day group reported increasing hunger levels throughout the length of the trial, echoing the problem of hunger with a reduced meal frequency seen in other similar research.
    § Ramadan fasting (12-16 hours per day, sunrise to sunset) decreases daytime alertness, mood, wakefulness, competitive athletic performance, and increases the incidence of traffic accidents. It's difficult to determine the relative contributions of dehydration and a lack of food to these adverse phenomena.
    § The effects of exercise and meal frequency on body composition is an interesting but largely unexplored area of research.

    Fasting & Exercise

    § Improvements in insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance (except in women undergoing ADF), bodyweight/bodyfat, blood pressure, blood lipids, and heart rate are commonly cited benefits of IF & CR.
    § All of the above benefits can be achieved by exercise, minus the downsides of fasting.
    § IF and CR have both been found to have neuroprotective effects by increasing BDNF levels.
    § A growing body of research shows that exercise can also increase BDNF, and the degree of effect appears to be intensity-dependent.
    § Based on the limited available data, resistance training performance, especially if its not particularly voluminous, might not be enhanced by preworkout EAA+CHO.
    § Despite equivocal performance effects of pre- or midworkout EAA+CHO, it minimizes muscle damage that occurs from fasted resistance training.
    § Immediate preworkout protein and/or EAA+CHO increases protein synthesis more than fasted resistance training with those substrates ingested immediately postworkout.
    § It’s possible that a partial fast (as short as 4 hours) before resistance training can negatively impact muscle protein status.

    Conclusion

    It's given that personal goals and individual response are the ultimate navigators of any protocol. Therefore, training and meal schedules should be built upon individual preferences & tolerances, which undoubtedly will differ. However, the purpose of this article is to arm the reader with the facts, so that opinions and anecdotes can be judged accordingly. Personal testimony is invariably biased by the powerful placebo effect of suggestion, and sometimes by ulterior agenda. Science is perched on one end of the epistemological spectrum, and hearsay is on the opposite end. As the evidence clearly indicates, IF is not a bed of roses minus the thorns - there are definite pros and cons.

    In the world of fitness, recommendations for improving performance and body composition often gain blind acceptance despite a dearth of objective data. This is common in a field where high hopes and obsessive-compulsive tendencies are united with false appeals and incomplete information. In order to be proven effective beyond the mere power of suggestion, supposed truths must be put through the crucible of science. Drawing conclusions from baseless assumptions is a good way to get nowhere - fast.

    Third:

    Based on the available evidence, it’s false to assume that the body can only use a certain amount of protein per meal. Studies examining short-term effects have provided hints towards what might be an optimal protein dose for maximizing anabolism, but trials drawn out over longer periods haven’t supported this idea. So, is there a limit to how much protein per meal can be effectively used? Yes there is, but this limit is likely similar to the amount that’s maximally effective in an entire day. What’s the most protein that the body can effectively use in an entire day? The short answer is, a lot more than 20-30 g. The long answer is, it depends on several factors. In most cases it’s not too far from a gram per pound in drug-free trainees, given that adequate total calories are provided [8,9].

    In terms of application, I’ve consistently observed the effectiveness of having approximately a quarter of your target bodyweight in both the pre- and post-exercise meal. Note: target bodyweight is a surrogate index of lean mass, and I use that to avoid making skewed calculations in cases where individuals are markedly over- or underweight. This dose surpasses the amounts seen to cause a maximal anabolic response but doesn’t impinge upon the rest of the day’s protein allotment, which can be distributed as desired. On days off from training, combine or split up your total protein allotment according to your personal preference and digestive tolerance. I realize that freedom and flexibility are uncommon terms in physique culture, but maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift.

    In sum, view all information – especially gym folklore and short-term research – with caution. Don’t buy into the myth that protein won’t get used efficiently unless it’s dosed sparingly throughout the day. Hopefully, future research will definitively answer how different dosing schemes with various protein types affect relevant endpoints such as size and strength. In the mean time, feel free to eat the whole steak and drink the whole shake
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    10 Myths (4th Article)
    1. Myth: Eat frequently to "stoke the metabolic fire".
    2. Myth: Eat smaller meals more often for hunger control.

    This myth might have originated from the limited data from studies on meal frequencies and appetite control. It's also likely that it's another case of mistaking correlation for causation from studies and meal frequencies and higher body weights; if people who eat more often weigh less, then it must mean they can control their hunger better, etc.

    3. Myth: Eat small meals to keep blood sugar levels under control.
    Maintaining blood sugar is of very high priority and we have developed efficient pathways that will make it happen even under extreme conditions. If you were to fast for 23 hrs and then go for a 90 min run at 70-75% VO2max, your blood sugar after the run would be identical to the same run performed in the fed state. It would take no less than three days or 84 hours of fasting to reach blood sugar levels low enough to affect your mental state; and this is temporary, as your brain adapts to the use of ketones. During 48 hours of fasting, or severe calorie deprivation, blood sugar is maintained within a normal range no measure of cognitive performance is negatively affected.

    4. Myth: Fasting tricks the body into "starvation mode".

    ooking at the numerous studies I've read, the earliest evidence for lowered metabolic rate in response to fasting occurred after 60 hours (-8% in resting metabolic rate). Other studies show metabolic rate is not impacted until 72-96 hours have passed (George Cahill has contributed a lot on this topic).

    Seemingly paradoxical, metabolic rate is actually increased in short-term fasting. For some concrete numbers, studies have shown an increase of 3.6% - 10% after 36-48 hours (Mansell PI, et al, and Zauner C, et al). This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline/noradrenaline) sharpens the mind and makes us want to move around. Desirable traits that encouraged us to seek for food, or for the hunter to kill his prey, increasing survival. At some point, after several days of no eating, this benefit would confer no benefit to survival and probably would have done more harm than good; instead, an adaptation that favored conservation of energy turned out to be advantageous. Thus metabolic rate is increased in short-term fasting (up to 60 hours).

    5. Myth: Maintain a steady supply of amino acids by eating protein every 2-3 hours. The body can only absorb 30 grams of protein in one sitting.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9405716

    I think this "30 grams of protein"-nonsense started to circulate after a classic study from 1997 by Boirie and colleagues. "Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion" was the first study to quantify the absorption rate of whey and casein protein and gave birth to the concept of fast and slow protein. After that, whey protein came to be known for it's ability to rapidly elevate amino acids in the blood stream and casein for it's ability to create a sustained release of amino acids. Whey was anabolic and casein anti-catabolic.

    Given that 30 grams of whey protein was absorbed within 3-4 hours, I guess some people believed that meant 30 grams of protein can only be used in one sitting. Or that you had to eat every 3-4 hours to stay "anabolic." Unfortunately, people missed a few facts that made these findings irrelevant to real-world scenarios. First of all, this study looked at the absorption rate of whey protein in the fasted state. On it's own, and with no meals eaten beforehand, 30 grams of whey protein is absorbed within a mere 3-4 hours. With meals eaten earlier in the day, or if you'd consume a whey shake after a meal, absorption would be much slower.

    Second of all, whey protein is the fastest protein of all and digests at 10 g/hour. Casein is much slower; in Boirie's study, the casein protein was still being absorbed when they stopped the experiment 7 hours later. Most whole food proteins are absorbed at a rate of 3-6 grams an hour.
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    Boiling Things Down: The Position Statements

    Credit is due to the ISSN for preemptively stressing that the research on physiological & morphological effects of meal frequency in physically active and athletic populations is scarce. They responsibly state that this prevents definitive conclusions from being made. The following are the exact statements that comprise the ISSN position stand on meal frequency, which I’ll follow with my comments & conclusion.

    Increasing meal frequency does not appear to favorably change body composition in sedentary populations.
    If protein levels are adequate, increasing meal frequency during periods of hypoenergetic dieting may preserve lean body mass in athletic populations.
    Increased meal frequency appears to have a positive effect on various blood markers of health, particularly LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and insulin.
    Increased meal frequency does not appear to significantly enhance diet induced thermogenesis, total energy expenditure or resting metabolic rate.
    Increasing meal frequency appears to help decrease hunger and improve appetite control.

    When examining the above points, 1 & 4 have a substantive, cohesive, and adequately-designed body of research backing them. Thus, they possess the strongest evidence basis of the bunch. Number 3 sits right on the fence, since it’s a particularly complex and delicate area with much conflicting data. It’s my hunch that the differential effects of varying meal frequencies on blood markers of health would greatly diminish in the presence of a formal exercise program. Again, the potentially profound impact of training that’s missing from the current meal frequency research leaves big questions unanswered. Points 2 & 5 have the least scientific support, and the largest leaps of faith and bias from the ISSN.

    In Closing

    I’d advise everyone with enough motivation to dig into the references and question the conclusions of all parties involved. It’s clear that position stands of authoritative organizations are far from being completely accurate, complete, and bias-free. With that said, the ISSN provides plenty of food for thought. Again, read the full text of their paper in order to get the most out of my critique of it [2]. Meal frequency research is becoming increasingly more active, so it’s safe to predict that in the coming years, more relevant designs will narrow the gap between the questions and answers. Something I can wholeheartedly agree with is the paper’s closing quote: “Nonetheless, more well-designed research studies involving various meal frequencies, particularly in physically active/athletic populations are warranted.”
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    Figured i'd try to get some basic stuff in on the first page, here's some helpful terms and outline for basic calorie "needs." Use these to find your caloric maintenance and go from there. The basic idea is that 500 cal surplus will minimize fat gain for your bulk, 500 cal deficit will minimize muscle loss. Obviously we have a few variables, especially during cuts, but the 500 cal mark is generally recognized as being a good place to start.

    Terms:
    BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate - The amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your body weight.
    TEE/TDEE - Total (Daily) Energy Expenditure - The total calories you require (BMR + exercise)
    Maintenance - This is the term we use for the total cals to keep your current bodyweight
    Surplus - Excess calories which will be used to build muscle and/or be stored as fat
    Deficit - Inadequate calorie intake to provide for bodily processes/energy.
    Macro - Can be used to describe or denote individual macronutrients or total macronutrient intake(s).
    Example: "I still need to hit my protein macro today." or "What are the macros for that meal from Chipotle?"

    Things to think about
    No two people will have the exact same BMR or TDEE. There are many factors we need to consider when computing caloric needs. Age, weight, lean mass weight, height, hormones, and activity level. It can be hard sometimes to get an accurate tracking of calories taken in compared to calories used. So do not get discouraged if you use the calculators to find a number, and a week later the progress is not what it should be. When I advise friends or clients or whoever about nutrition, I always say give it a week or two to track cals and see what's working and what doesn't. It may take a few weeks to get an accurate count of exactly what your TDEE is.

    BMR Calc (the one I feel is the best)
    Katch-McArdle: Considered the most accurate for those who are relatively lean. Use if you have a good estimate of your bodyfat %.
    BMR = 370 + (21.6 x LBM)Where LBM = [total weight (kg) x (100 - bodyfat %)]/100

    Activity Factor to calculate total requirements:
    Average activity variables are:
    1.2 = Sedentary (Desk job, and Little Formal Exercise)
    1.3-1.4 = Lightly Active (Light daily activity AND light exercise 1-3 days a week)
    1.5-1.6 = Moderately Active (Moderately daily Activity & Moderate exercise 3-5 days a week)
    1.7-1.8 = Very Active (Physically demanding lifestyle & Hard exercise 6-7 days a week)
    1.9-2.2 = Extremely Active (Athlete in ENDURANCE training or VERY HARD physical job)

    So, you'd use the Katch formula and multiply by your activity variable to get a rough estimate of your caloric needs. Then we either increase cals if we want to gain weight, or decrease cals if we want to lose weight. As I said earlier you can use the 500 cal method, or you can use a percentage and that's typically 10-20% of your caloric needs.
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    Ive always used Harris-Benedict equation but the katch one looks a tad more accurate since it takes into account lean body mass
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    great post rhadam.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    Ive always used Harris-Benedict equation but the katch one looks a tad more accurate since it takes into account lean body mass
    Same here, once I found Katch I started using it more but it really only works better if you have a (hopefully) accurate or semi-accurate account of bodyfat.
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    Subbed day 1 and finally got caught up... Solid info in here so far guys.

    Here's another topic that I've been interested in learning more about: Cheat meals (meals, days, weeks(!)) How often, how much, impact, etc... Ive always been terrified of these when cutting but am trying to work them in for the future in hopes that they'll not only provide some extra sanity and help prevent the post-cut rebound fat gain but also speed up the cutting process with their potential metabolic boost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by booneman77 View Post
    Subbed day 1 and finally got caught up... Solid info in here so far guys.

    Here's another topic that I've been interested in learning more about: Cheat meals (meals, days, weeks(!)) How often, how much, impact, etc... Ive always been terrified of these when cutting but am trying to work them in for the future in hopes that they'll not only provide some extra sanity and help prevent the post-cut rebound fat gain but also speed up the cutting process with their potential metabolic boost.
    Cheat Meals and Refeeds are Crucial, they help raise t3, leptin, and hormone levels when you do diet down. The further you diet the larger they will become or you could do 2x a week refeed which are not as much but still get the impact from them and the boost to your metabolism which takes a hit during the diet as it does progress. Without refeeds and cheats (i would keep cheats mostly high carb which are more beneficial for leptin levels and spiking them for your increased fatloss/weightloss)

    Some good reading:

    http://www.simplyshredded.com/layne-...ting-diet.html
    http://www.biolayne.com/nutrition/bi...s-your-macros/
    http://www.ironmagazineforums.com/bo...ne-norton.html
    http://tnation.t-nation.com/free_onl...eds_and_leptin
    http://wlzine.com/refeed-day-the-benefits/
    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/archi...hp?t-1034.html

    "Re-feeding

    One should also incooperate re-feeds into their diet plan. Re-feeds help boost a hormone called leptin, which is the mother of all fat burning hormones. As one diets, leptin levels drop in an attempt by the body to spare body fat. Periodic, proper re-feeding can raise leptin levels and help one continue to burn fat an optimum rate. A person who is lean will need to re-feed more frequently than someone who has a higher body fat percentage. For those who are below 10%, it is probably a wise idea to in cooperate re-feeds two times per week. For those people who are in the 10-15% range, re-feeding every 6-12 days will probably be adequate, for those who are above 15%, re-feeding will probably not need to be done more than once every week to two weeks. Obviously as one loses body fat they will need to re-feed more often. Refeed days should be planned as follows…

    Re-feed on the day you work your worst body part(s) as re-feeding will not only raise leptin, but be quite anabolic.
    Keep fat as low as possible during re-feed days as high insulin levels will increase dietary fat transport into adipose tissue. In addition dietary fat has little to no impact on leptin levels.
    Reduce protein intake to 1g/lb bodyweight
    Consume as little fructose as possible as fructose does not have an impact on leptin levels.
    Increase calories to maintenance level (or above if you are an ectomorph) and increase carbs by at least 50-100% (endo’s stay on the low end, while ecto’s should stay on the high end) over normal diet levels.
    "

    Shelby Starnes had a good article on T-nation about cheat meals:

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...meal_manifesto
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    Especially when carb cycling those refeed days are a must. Now cheat days where you eat anything you want meeeeh I'm not really a fan. I always felt like crap the next day after eating clean for the rest of the week.

    I think the key here is to find foods that 1) you enjoy 2)don't toatly skew your numbers 3) are not in your normal dietary intake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Montego1 View Post
    Especially when carb cycling those refeed days are a must. Now cheat days where you eat anything you want meeeeh I'm not really a fan. I always felt like crap the next day after eating clean for the rest of the week.

    I think the key here is to find foods that 1) you enjoy 2)don't toatly skew your numbers 3) are not in your normal dietary intake.
    Cheat Day = Stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post
    First Article:

    Do you believe in Intermittent Fasting and other non-generic meal patterns? Do you have to eat a certain amount of times per day to eat and why? It seems Meal Frequency is thrown around as Layne Norton has a 4-5 meal approach with BCAA’s in between, and some individuals who follow Intermittent Fasting thrive off 2-3 meals. What do you believe is optimal?


    Layne Norton, PhD
    The big question is, optimal for whom? Layne’s protocol’s theoretical basis is sound, at least on paper. It aims to strike a balance between avoiding the refractory nature of MPS under conditions of constantly elevated circulating amino acids, while still maximizing the number of nutrient-mediated anabolic ‘spikes’ through the day. This protocol might be appropriate for someone trying to pull the final strings to edge out the competition on a bodybuilding stage. However, I’m skeptical that this strategy would benefit those already consuming a high protein intake (which is already rich in BCAAs). For most non-competitors, I don’t see the realistic long-term sustainability of this routine.

    As for the other end of the spectrum (2-3 meals per day), this is obviously more realistic for regular people. This works out well, since the importance of muscle retention during dieting varies according to the population. The more overfat & deconditioned someone is, the greater the proportional & net loss of fat vs. muscle is when dieting. Further along the progression, the leaner & more conditioned someone is, the more muscle they stand to lose as they continue to diet. So, can low meal frequency work for competitors? Yes, it can. Is it optimal? Well, that’s a question that so far doesn’t have a definitive, science-based answer, and it might never have one. For advanced athletes in a dieting situation, the objective is to retain as much muscle as possible while losing fat, since muscle loss at this point is a more urgent threat than it is for guys coming straight off the couch. Nitpicking for advanced athletes, I‘d speculate that anything below 3 meals (technically, 3 protein feedings) per day is not optimal, regardless of program phase.

    Second:

    Research Summary

    Meal Frequency

    § A haphazard/randomly variable meal frequency, not necessarily a lower frequency, negatively impacts thermogenesis, blood lipids, and insulin sensitivity.
    § Within a day, a higher frequency has no thermodynamic advantage over a lower frequency under controlled conditions.
    § The majority of controlled intervention trials show no improvement in body composition with a higher meal frequency.
    § Studies indicating the disappearance or lack of hunger in dieters occur in either complete starvation, or very low calorie VLCD regimes (800 kcal/day or less).
    § Hunger is a persistent problem with reduced meal frequency in non-starvation and other protocols with calories above VLCD levels.
    § For controlling appetite, the majority of research indicates the superiority of a higher meal frequency.
    § The body appears to be "metabolically primed" to receive calories and nutrients after an overnight fast. Breakfast is a particularly beneficial time to have dietary protein, since muscle protein synthethis rates are typically lowest at this time.
    § Overall, both experimental and observational research points to breakfast improving memory, test grades, school attendance, nutrient status, weight control, and muscle protein synthesis.

    Intermittent Fasting

    § Animal research has shown a number of positive health effects of ADF and CR.
    § Human ADF research is scarce and less consistent than animal research, showing both benefits (insulin sensitivity is the most consistent outcome) and risks (impaired glucose tolerance in women).
    § So far, control groups are absent in all human ADF studies. Thus, no comparative conclusions can be drawn between ADF and linear caloric intake.
    § The of the single published controlled trial to date (Stote, et al) comparing 1 versus 3 meals is heavily confounded by an exceptionally high dropout rate in the 1-a-day group, and the use of BIA to measure body composition.
    § The 1-a-day group reported increasing hunger levels throughout the length of the trial, echoing the problem of hunger with a reduced meal frequency seen in other similar research.
    § Ramadan fasting (12-16 hours per day, sunrise to sunset) decreases daytime alertness, mood, wakefulness, competitive athletic performance, and increases the incidence of traffic accidents. It's difficult to determine the relative contributions of dehydration and a lack of food to these adverse phenomena.
    § The effects of exercise and meal frequency on body composition is an interesting but largely unexplored area of research.

    Fasting & Exercise

    § Improvements in insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance (except in women undergoing ADF), bodyweight/bodyfat, blood pressure, blood lipids, and heart rate are commonly cited benefits of IF & CR.
    § All of the above benefits can be achieved by exercise, minus the downsides of fasting.
    § IF and CR have both been found to have neuroprotective effects by increasing BDNF levels.
    § A growing body of research shows that exercise can also increase BDNF, and the degree of effect appears to be intensity-dependent.
    § Based on the limited available data, resistance training performance, especially if its not particularly voluminous, might not be enhanced by preworkout EAA+CHO.
    § Despite equivocal performance effects of pre- or midworkout EAA+CHO, it minimizes muscle damage that occurs from fasted resistance training.
    § Immediate preworkout protein and/or EAA+CHO increases protein synthesis more than fasted resistance training with those substrates ingested immediately postworkout.
    § It’s possible that a partial fast (as short as 4 hours) before resistance training can negatively impact muscle protein status.

    Conclusion

    It's given that personal goals and individual response are the ultimate navigators of any protocol. Therefore, training and meal schedules should be built upon individual preferences & tolerances, which undoubtedly will differ. However, the purpose of this article is to arm the reader with the facts, so that opinions and anecdotes can be judged accordingly. Personal testimony is invariably biased by the powerful placebo effect of suggestion, and sometimes by ulterior agenda. Science is perched on one end of the epistemological spectrum, and hearsay is on the opposite end. As the evidence clearly indicates, IF is not a bed of roses minus the thorns - there are definite pros and cons.

    In the world of fitness, recommendations for improving performance and body composition often gain blind acceptance despite a dearth of objective data. This is common in a field where high hopes and obsessive-compulsive tendencies are united with false appeals and incomplete information. In order to be proven effective beyond the mere power of suggestion, supposed truths must be put through the crucible of science. Drawing conclusions from baseless assumptions is a good way to get nowhere - fast.

    Third:

    Based on the available evidence, it’s false to assume that the body can only use a certain amount of protein per meal. Studies examining short-term effects have provided hints towards what might be an optimal protein dose for maximizing anabolism, but trials drawn out over longer periods haven’t supported this idea. So, is there a limit to how much protein per meal can be effectively used? Yes there is, but this limit is likely similar to the amount that’s maximally effective in an entire day. What’s the most protein that the body can effectively use in an entire day? The short answer is, a lot more than 20-30 g. The long answer is, it depends on several factors. In most cases it’s not too far from a gram per pound in drug-free trainees, given that adequate total calories are provided [8,9].

    In terms of application, I’ve consistently observed the effectiveness of having approximately a quarter of your target bodyweight in both the pre- and post-exercise meal. Note: target bodyweight is a surrogate index of lean mass, and I use that to avoid making skewed calculations in cases where individuals are markedly over- or underweight. This dose surpasses the amounts seen to cause a maximal anabolic response but doesn’t impinge upon the rest of the day’s protein allotment, which can be distributed as desired. On days off from training, combine or split up your total protein allotment according to your personal preference and digestive tolerance. I realize that freedom and flexibility are uncommon terms in physique culture, but maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift.

    In sum, view all information – especially gym folklore and short-term research – with caution. Don’t buy into the myth that protein won’t get used efficiently unless it’s dosed sparingly throughout the day. Hopefully, future research will definitively answer how different dosing schemes with various protein types affect relevant endpoints such as size and strength. In the mean time, feel free to eat the whole steak and drink the whole shake
    Yeah, he took that from me
    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    Ive always used Harris-Benedict equation but the katch one looks a tad more accurate since it takes into account lean body mass
    Its been the standard at the elite level for quite sometime.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhadam View Post
    Same here, once I found Katch I started using it more but it really only works better if you have a (hopefully) accurate or semi-accurate account of bodyfat.
    And therein lies the downfall... bodpod? People never accurately guage their bf levels. IIRC even bodpod readings have had holes burnt through them.
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    Been to bodpod with AF friend, didn't think it was super accurate but accurate enough. Calipers can give different readings on the same day, and depending on who does it. Such is life trying to find ways to measure bodyfat that doesn't cost a fortune.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhadam View Post
    Been to bodpod with AF friend, didn't think it was super accurate but accurate enough. Calipers can give different readings on the same day, and depending on who does it. Such is life trying to find ways to measure bodyfat that doesn't cost a fortune.
    In the long run true body fat % means nothing.

    If you have the same person, measure the same spots (three or four times taking the average), the same way, at the same time of day, and gauge your progress from that though. ... then it's very useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post

    Cheat Meals and Refeeds are Crucial, they help raise t3, leptin, and hormone levels when you do diet down. The further you diet the larger they will become or you could do 2x a week refeed which are not as much but still get the impact from them and the boost to your metabolism which takes a hit during the diet as it does progress. Without refeeds and cheats (i would keep cheats mostly high carb which are more beneficial for leptin levels and spiking them for your increased fatloss/weightloss)

    Some good reading:

    http://www.simplyshredded.com/layne-...ting-diet.html
    http://www.biolayne.com/nutrition/bi...s-your-macros/
    http://www.ironmagazineforums.com/bo...ne-norton.html
    http://tnation.t-nation.com/free_onl...eds_and_leptin
    http://wlzine.com/refeed-day-the-benefits/
    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/archi...hp?t-1034.html

    "Re-feeding

    One should also incooperate re-feeds into their diet plan. Re-feeds help boost a hormone called leptin, which is the mother of all fat burning hormones. As one diets, leptin levels drop in an attempt by the body to spare body fat. Periodic, proper re-feeding can raise leptin levels and help one continue to burn fat an optimum rate. A person who is lean will need to re-feed more frequently than someone who has a higher body fat percentage. For those who are below 10%, it is probably a wise idea to in cooperate re-feeds two times per week. For those people who are in the 10-15% range, re-feeding every 6-12 days will probably be adequate, for those who are above 15%, re-feeding will probably not need to be done more than once every week to two weeks. Obviously as one loses body fat they will need to re-feed more often. Refeed days should be planned as followsâEUR¦

    Re-feed on the day you work your worst body part(s) as re-feeding will not only raise leptin, but be quite anabolic.
    Keep fat as low as possible during re-feed days as high insulin levels will increase dietary fat transport into adipose tissue. In addition dietary fat has little to no impact on leptin levels.
    Reduce protein intake to 1g/lb bodyweight
    Consume as little fructose as possible as fructose does not have an impact on leptin levels.
    Increase calories to maintenance level (or above if you are an ectomorph) and increase carbs by at least 50-100% (endoâEUR(TM)s stay on the low end, while ectoâEUR(TM)s should stay on the high end) over normal diet levels.
    "

    Shelby Starnes had a good article on T-nation about cheat meals:

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...meal_manifesto
    Quote Originally Posted by Montego1 View Post
    Especially when carb cycling those refeed days are a must. Now cheat days where you eat anything you want meeeeh I'm not really a fan. I always felt like crap the next day after eating clean for the rest of the week.

    I think the key here is to find foods that 1) you enjoy 2)don't toatly skew your numbers 3) are not in your normal dietary intake.
    I knew solution would have the goods... Thanks man. You as well montego. Can't wait to read up further.
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    Quote Originally Posted by booneman77 View Post
    I knew solution would have the goods... Thanks man. You as well montego. Can't wait to read up further.
    Anytime brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhadam View Post
    Been to bodpod with AF friend, didn't think it was super accurate but accurate enough. Calipers can give different readings on the same day, and depending on who does it. Such is life trying to find ways to measure bodyfat that doesn't cost a fortune.
    The thing with BodPod's is they measure internal fat as well. Calipers are mostly external. But as stated depending on who does them on you there could be various results and where they pinch.

    Comparing Calipers to BODPOD's Calipers will be lower by about 2-3% in total BF (just from what i have seen and comparing data) we had a bodpod at my college and the people who ran it would do calipers/bodpod's and then compare the results on the clients/athletes who did use it for BF readings.

    Just from what i have observed and inputting my 2 cents.
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    The bottom line is the various tools we have are just starting points. We try to get as close as possible but diet manipulation just takes time to perfect.
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    Great thread!! I'm in to read and catch up when I can. I'm going from a loose IF style diet to warrior diet setup starting today. I'm anxious to see how it goes. It's been a while, but if I remember correctly JudoJosh has mentioned warrior diets in the past. If I'm remembering correctly I'd love to hear yours and others opinions on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by houstontexas View Post
    Great thread!! I'm in to read and catch up when I can. I'm going from a loose IF style diet to warrior diet setup starting today. I'm anxious to see how it goes. It's been a while, but if I remember correctly JudoJosh has mentioned warrior diets in the past. If I'm remembering correctly I'd love to hear yours and others opinions on it.
    basically underfeed all day and then your major meal at night
    Veggies to start, Carbs/Fat + Protein last
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    Thanks sillypants!! I already have it laid out so I was mainly just looking for everyone's thoughts on how it worked for them, if they feel it's viable, etc. I do appreciate your response though brutha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by houstontexas View Post
    Thanks sillypants!! I already have it laid out so I was mainly just looking for everyone's thoughts on how it worked for them, if they feel it's viable, etc. I do appreciate your response though brutha.
    Its different for everyone
    some like 6 meals a day
    some like 3
    some like 1-2

    Personal preference in the end and how the individual enjoys it. We all come in different shapes and sizes and we all do different things that work for us. At the end of the day you need to find what is optimal for your lifestyle and for your success because it varies from every person in here and what they do .
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post

    Its different for everyone
    some like 6 meals a day
    some like 3
    some like 1-2

    Personal preference in the end and how the individual enjoys it. We all come in different shapes and sizes and we all do different things that work for us. At the end of the day you need to find what is optimal for your lifestyle and for your success because it varies from every person in here and what they do .
    ^^ Exactly.

    Although I don't personally like or support the ideas behind the IF type diets (i have tried IF out a couple different times with terrible results) some people really enjoy them.

    My personal preference is six meals spread throughout the day with relatively the same macros per feeding.

    In my opinion a LOT of people shy away from this approach and gravitate towards IF for the simple fact it's easier to just get one or two big meals in later in the day. Tge time needed to make the meals (takes me about twenty minutes to cook six meals for my next day when I get home), carrying them around and eating at the appropriate times are all small in convinces for myself based on the results I see. But I can see how this would be a turn off.

    ​" If you're looking for a work horse.......I'm no Clydesdale."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montego1 View Post
    ^^ Exactly.

    Although I don't personally like or support the ideas behind the IF type diets (i have tried IF out a couple different times with terrible results) some people really enjoy them.

    My personal preference is six meals spread throughout the day with relatively the same macros per feeding.

    In my opinion a LOT of people shy away from this approach and gravitate towards IF for the simple fact it's easier to just get one or two big meals in later in the day. Tge time needed to make the meals (takes me about twenty minutes to cook six meals for my next day when I get home), carrying them around and eating at the appropriate times are all small in convinces for myself based on the results I see. But I can see how this would be a turn off.
    This is my approach as well. 6 meals works well for me (4-6).
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