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Pup
11-21-2005, 05:40 AM
Anyone who has been around the fitness industry for a while, has seen the cycle of fad diets that have come on the market. Lately, it seems that there is more of a market for long term eating plans that people can stick to and don't feel like they are on a diet...actually a pretty admirable concept.

One in particular that I wanted to talk about was the ABS Diet. It's written by the editor of Men's Health and is geared toward your general middle-aged person who's gotten out of an active lifestyle and gives a plan to help them find their groove or those in my generation who spent more time in front of the PS2 than they did being active and their spare tire has mutated into 18 inch rims with spinners. Again...quite admirable. I have this particular book (more for the recipes than for the diet) and thought I'd do a little research on people that have used it. So I took a look at the forums for people who've used this diet and found some data that frankly pisses me off. This one particular gentleman whom had lost substantial weight (something like 35lbs in 7 weeks, 265 to 230) seemed to be the forum "guru". This guy also posted his changes in bodyfat percentage over that period and it was about 1% a week, usually 1% a week drop is outstanding. Here's the catch, if you notice how much weight he lost, how fast he lost it and his drop in bodyfat percentage...you'll see that he lost 4lbs a week and a 1/1 ratio of fat to lean body mass. In 7 weeks on this diet, which not only promotes a healthier eating lifestyle but also the inclusion of weight training...the guy lost 2lbs of lbm a week! WTF is wrong with this diet? We are talking about a diet that promotes low GI carbs (except for all the damn smoothies which have some questionable ingredients, like honey), lean protein and good fats, plus sizeable amounts of fibrous veggies...and people are losing fat and muscle in equal amounts. This could certainly be an isolated incident, but i read this guy's journal and he was following the plan pretty religiously.

So here's my question/challenge to those of you who are a lot smarter than i am...how is it that a diet geared toward changing people towards a healthier lifestyle, including weight training and focusing on those with the endomorphic bodytypes (you don't get obese being an ecto or meso) is putting people at risk metabolically because of the high rate of lean tissue loss?

btw...I started this thread b/c a lot of people in my family are overweight and I would love to start them on a plan like this, but with just a small bit of anecdotal research some of the data unnerves me and I can't think of a good reason why something that seems sound could be so whack.

HILL
11-21-2005, 06:27 AM
I also have family members who are obese and have been obese myself. They way i would look at it is with this diet how important is it to the general public to maintaine lbm. Also i know allot of people focus on the scale dropping rather than bf% so as long as they see a reduction they will not care what it is. this is obviously based on a general person and not one who wants to hold lbm

Pup
11-21-2005, 07:10 AM
Ok...that is a very valid viewpoint and I'd have to say correct as far as the general populations outlook on things is. What concerns me about this diet or any other that shows a substantial loss of LBM is the impact on life later on down the road. LBM isn't just muscle, bone mass is in there too...the loss of bone mass and decreased bone density is definitely related to osteoporosis...people may not give a damn about that in their 20s...but they will in their 50s.

Utopianhopes
11-21-2005, 07:35 AM
I am not a genius, but something tells me that dropping 2,000 calories below your calorie maintenance level a day is doom to cause bad side effects to any diet. Some occurrences people become consumed towards instant result and think taking a diet up another notch is better for them as they lose twice the amount of weight and neglect the side effect.

HILL
11-21-2005, 08:10 AM
yeh also a 2000 cal deficit will loose weight fast but surely not for very long. wont your body go into a state of starvation and hold onto everything. also with such a large deficit wont you put the weight back on as soon as your cals go back to normal. the problem i imagine is how i stated before people will not check nor care for lbm as long as they loose weight. i see so many really skinny people and couldnt handle it myself

Canadian Crippler
11-21-2005, 08:28 AM
It's likely not the macronutrient breakdown, but the fact that he is simply losing 4lbs a week. I think if most of the members here who are cutting did that, they'd lose roughly just as much LBM.

Pup
11-21-2005, 09:00 AM
I am not a genius, but something tells me that dropping 2,000 calories below your calorie maintenance level a day is doom to cause bad side effects to any diet. Some occurrences people become consumed towards instant result and think taking a diet up another notch is better for them as they lose twice the amount of weight and neglect the side effect.

Here's the funny thing...if you noticed, i didn't mention anything about recommended calorie intake...there is no recommendation for it, basically says that eating clean will self-regulate you in terms of calorie consumption...i've seen this suggestion elsewhere, not just mass market diets for couch potatoes...i hate it.

Pup
11-21-2005, 09:07 AM
yeh also a 2000 cal deficit will loose weight fast but surely not for very long. wont your body go into a state of starvation and hold onto everything. also with such a large deficit wont you put the weight back on as soon as your cals go back to normal. the problem i imagine is how i stated before people will not check nor care for lbm as long as they loose weight. i see so many really skinny people and couldnt handle it myself

Don't assume a 2k deficit...you are correct though on what happens with a huge deficit, major metabolic shutdown and probably immune stress. There seems to be a prevailing theme though about anyone doing this diet being b/w 2000-2500 kcals...regardless of them being 150 or 250lbs...*slaps forehead*

Pup
11-21-2005, 09:18 AM
It's likely not the macronutrient breakdown, but the fact that he is simply losing 4lbs a week. I think if most of the members here who are cutting did that, they'd lose roughly just as much LBM.

What about if you were doing a PSMF?

My general point about discussing this was getting people to talk about what works with diet in general and what doesn't. The public is bombarded with tons of information about dieting and about supplements...most that info is complete nonsense...think about how many times you read or hear about fear of liver or kidney problems with high protein diets (screwing around on pubmed last week i found 30 studies in 20 minutes about high protein diets and mice, not a damn one cited hepatic failure...not one!). There are high fat, high carb and high protein diets...all of them suck...mostly because they are way too restrictive in one way or another and impossible to do over the course of one's life...which, if you aren't a bodybuilder, is the general goal of changing your eating habits, developing a healthy lifestyle you can stick to.

If one of you who posted in the thread were to try and write up a diet for a family member who was not a bodybuilder or strength athlete...how would you design it? What would you limit out? The thread on 5 essentials to cutting got me thinking about this...most of have our top 3 or 5 things that are vital to cut with...and often none of those are ever incorporated into diets written by people in the field with supposedly solid credentials (South Beach is written by a freakin cardiologist)...why do you think that is?

Shark
11-21-2005, 09:20 AM
Here's the funny thing...if you noticed, i didn't mention anything about recommended calorie intake...there is no recommendation for it, basically says that eating clean will self-regulate you in terms of calorie consumption...i've seen this suggestion elsewhere, not just mass market diets for couch potatoes...i hate it.

Eating clean does not self regulate your calorie intake. Monitoring calories and cutting your fat ass off at a certain point does. I can eat 2000 calories above maintenance cleanly and still be hungry. Its similar logic with the low carb fad, just cut carbs and you can eat anything you want. Its all crap though. Basically, they're relying on the fact that once you cut out all the sugar and crappy carbs from your diet you will have much better appetite control. This is true but only to a certain extent. You can still gain weight while being low carb.

Shark
11-21-2005, 09:22 AM
PSMF is totally different, but its not a way to eat for life. It's simply a way to shed off excess bodyfat for a controlled period of time (short) while maintaining your lbm. Its also extremely ****ty! I'm starting it today =).

MM
11-21-2005, 09:39 AM
So here's my question/challenge to those of you who are a lot smarter than i am...how is it that a diet geared toward changing people towards a healthier lifestyle, including weight training and focusing on those with the endomorphic bodytypes (you don't get obese being an ecto or meso) is putting people at risk metabolically because of the high rate of lean tissue loss?


Nice post.

My impression? The designers and marketers of the diet generally either (a) are ignorant of or (b) apathetic to the potential detrimental effects of the diet. That is to say, they know that most general adherents of the diet will only care about the net total weight lost. I'll assume that the Forum Guru was rather pleased with his experience, even though he lost a substantial amount of important body tissue. Probably, perhaps, he was ignorant of the loss or felt that it was unimportant. I may also assume that this one individual is not representative of what the diet might do for the general public. That is to say, someone who needed to lose a little less weight might have a substantially better fat to LBM loss.

ShockBoxer
11-21-2005, 09:51 AM
Couldn't a substancial amount of the weight lost there be water weight? Serious question... I don't know how much water weight factors into anything in an overweight person (like myself) let alone an obese one.

Pup
11-21-2005, 10:00 AM
Eating clean does not self regulate your calorie intake. Monitoring calories and cutting your fat ass off at a certain point does. I can eat 2000 calories above maintenance cleanly and still be hungry. Its similar logic with the low carb fad, just cut carbs and you can eat anything you want. Its all crap though. Basically, they're relying on the fact that once you cut out all the sugar and crappy carbs from your diet you will have much better appetite control. This is true but only to a certain extent. You can still gain weight while being low carb.

I agree completely...that was point, whether you take a more traditional approach to calorie needs or come from the Berardi school...calories are still important...that goes both directions also, just because you're full doesn't mean you are eating enough quality calories to maintain lbm.

Pup
11-21-2005, 10:03 AM
PSMF is totally different, but its not a way to eat for life. It's simply a way to shed off excess bodyfat for a controlled period of time (short) while maintaining your lbm. Its also extremely ****ty! I'm starting it today =).

Again...i agree...Mitch was saying that losing 4lbs a week would result in LBM loss even by BBers...i cited PSMF as an example to counterpoint.

I hate that damn diet...good luck.

Pup
11-21-2005, 10:16 AM
Nice post.

My impression? The designers and marketers of the diet generally either (a) are ignorant of or (b) apathetic to the potential detrimental effects of the diet. That is to say, they know that most general adherents of the diet will only care about the net total weight lost. I'll assume that the Forum Guru was rather pleased with his experience, even though he lost a substantial amount of important body tissue. Probably, perhaps, he was ignorant of the loss or felt that it was unimportant. I may also assume that this one individual is not representative of what the diet might do for the general public. That is to say, someone who needed to lose a little less weight might have a substantially better fat to LBM loss.

Ah yes...now we are getting somewhere. In this particular diet, the slogan is lose 10-15lbs (off your stomach) in 6 weeks...uh...right. It is my own personal opinion that when you undertake a diet that could be severly below maintenance...anyone over 250lbs that isn't like 50% bodyfat cannot possibly be anywhere close to maintenance calories at 2k. I also think that with "lifestyle" diets that recommend clean carbs, moderate protein and some fat...carbs end up taking the majority of the consumed calories. So, if you are eating 2k, with even 50% of the kcals being carbs...and if you evenly split the protein/fat...you've got 125g of protein. Now if you apply that to the guy i mentioned...that's .5g protein per lb of bodyweight and .67 per pound of lbm if the guy started at 30% bf which is his claim. Now i wonder how this guy lost all that lbm :rolleyes:

BTW...not only did he seem ignorant of this particular fact, but he seemed proud of it and was "a beacon of hope" for all those other couch potatoes starting this diet.

muscleup
11-21-2005, 11:24 AM
I'm confused...

Pup, are you trying to design/find a deit for your family members to take part in that will allow them to lose BF and hold onto LBM without participating in any type of weight training and or calorie burning specific activities?

Canadian Crippler
11-21-2005, 12:24 PM
I'd like to see a bodybuilder who loses 4lbs a week for 7 weeks and doesn't lose any LBM. We're talking natty here, btw.

galileo
11-21-2005, 12:48 PM
Here's the funny thing...if you noticed, i didn't mention anything about recommended calorie intake...there is no recommendation for it, basically says that eating clean will self-regulate you in terms of calorie consumption...i've seen this suggestion elsewhere, not just mass market diets for couch potatoes...i hate it.

I'd say as much as it's poor form, it has proven very true for me. If I get all of my carbs from something like oatmeal and my protein from whole food sources like chicken, turkey, and so on, I find that overeating becomes very difficult. In fact, when eating completely clean in an attempt to bulk, anything over 3000 calories would cause me discomfort unless I introduced oils into the diet.

This can't hold true for everyone, obviously, but when I see people talk about how they can't stand to eat less than (insert absurd number of calories), they're typically eating things far less filling and fibrous.