Dieting Levels

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Dieting Levels

Post  Drew on Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:24 pm

Here I am going to talk about different types/levels of dieting and suggested applications. I am often very amused when I see someone’s choice of type and level of aggressiveness with dieting. I see guys that have 5-7 lbs of fat to lose doing full keto diets frequently and while it will certainly work, it most certainly isn't needed. So many mistakes are made it is no wonder dieting has such a bad name. You should NOT be losing size and strength while dieting, it really is just that simple. Doing so is making the statement that “I don’t know what the hell I am doing”, but I’m doing it anyway. And while it is good to learn from mistakes what often happens is the trainee makes even worse choices next time, or becomes so gun-shy of dieting that they stay in “bulk mode” forever—lol.

If you have a “bit” of bodyfat to lose there is absolutely no reason to go on a full out “diet”. But most people do just that. Two very simple approaches to the guy that needs to lose 5-10 lbs are either a slightly below maintenance, or maintenance 40-30-30 diet (protein/fat/carbs) while adding cardio (low intensity) 1-2 times a day. Or simply just doing morning fasted low intensity cardio and continuing your “normal” high protein diet while cutting off carbs a couple hours before bed. In a bit more of a hurry? Add one more low intensity cardio session a day at least 3 days a week if you were previously only doing it once a day. As long as you are at maintenance and weren’t previously doing cardio daily the bodyfat will come off quite nicely.

If you really need to diet and want to maximize performance and comfort, doing a ½ day timed carb diet is a great way to go and not very far behind doing a more traditional TCD. This is the type of diet I am currently using with the majority of my trainees in need of fat loss. It is as simple as adjusting your numbers as much under maintenance as you need/want to be aggressive with the fat loss, doing cardio, and cutting off carbs at a prescribed time of day. Again the timing with be adjusted to how fast you want to drop the bodyfat. Slow means closer to maintenance and a 2-4 hour cutoff, fast/aggressive would be farther from maintenance levels and a 6-9 hour cutoff. With this type of diet performance stays as good as you can expect while dieting, muscle is preserved or built, thyroid levels stay good, and since you get carbs daily, you don’t feel too deprived. Cardio is done also.

Full TCD’s are done when you really want to step up the fat-loss pace. This means 4-6 days a week you consume nothing but trace level carbs unless it is post-workout. How far you go under maintenance and how much cardio you do determines rate of fat loss. If the numbers are adjusted correctly, performance stays good, thyroid stays high (but not as high/long as when doing a ½ day diet) and you only have to go until post workout to have some carbs or until your carb-up days. Cardio is done also.

Keto diets are for when you want to diet hard-core. They are very effective at fat loss, but performance suffers for many and thyroid can take a big hit when doing them. They are deprivation diets in every sense of the word. I do not use them with clients nor recommend them, but will state they can be very effective. If you are still interested, they are typically done by consuming ZERO, yes ZERO (other than trace amounts) for 5-6 days, then carbing up for 1-2 days. Again cardio is done doing a keto diet in most cases, but is less needed than with other types of dieting, and less often done since energy levels suffer for many.

What do I recommend? I recommend always taking the least aggressive approach considering the trainees bodyfat levels, patience levels, and level of discipline. The average dieter has poor discipline and almost zero patience. If you had any idea how common it is to get a call from a new training client after 1-3 weeks of dieting and listening to them tall me that they are not lean yet and want to get more aggressive you would be amazed.

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