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Thread: Elemental Fat Loss: Six Weeks to Grecian Proportions - New Article!

  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Elemental Fat Loss: Six Weeks to Grecian Proportions - New Article!

    Summer is right around the corner, just in time to make you feel guilty about your indulgence in one too many late night pizza runs. If there’s some holiday excess still loitering about your waistline, then worry not: today we’re talking fat loss…rapid fat loss.

    If you are someone who needs to reach a target bodyweight in a very short amount of time, but don’t want to turn into a social pariah or neurotic fitness freak at the same time, you're in luck.

    Get ready to start Operation Beach Body.

    READ HERE
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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I also want to welcome Ryan to Wannabebig. You'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future as both a writer of articles and a regular columnist.

    Ryan has a real knack of being able to simplify the all to context subjects of training and nutrition and present it in a way which makes it easy for people to put together a plan which is best for them, something pretty rare in writers.

    And I personally LOVE this article. If that vacation is looming, this is a perfect plan!
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    Very good writing and welcome on board Ryan.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Excellent article. That's puts fat loss into a basic easy to implement format. Fat loss is really that simple. It just takes consistency and hard work.


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    Always listening & learnin lil' power's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed this article and I'm even tweaking my macros a little, bumping up the protein, dropping the fat a little and adding back in a few carb grams...we'll see how this works on fat loss and recovery too.

    Thanks!
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    Getting un-streamlined Progress's Avatar
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    Well written article. Not crazy about no HIIT and no glucose/whey drink post workout, but I'll likely give this a shot this summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Well written article. Not crazy about no HIIT and no glucose/whey drink post workout, but I'll likely give this a shot this summer.
    Don't be afraid to experiment. I wrote the article in purposeful contrast to other programs to show folks fat loss can be had via multiple avenues. I hope you enjoy the program!

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Well written article. Not crazy about no HIIT and no glucose/whey drink post workout, but I'll likely give this a shot this summer.
    I have done fine with no glucose/whey post workout drinks. I'm down about 6% bf and have lost about 20 lbs using just meals post workout.


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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Heres the thing, you can modify the plan a little here or there to suit the way you want to do things. Ryan's recommendation was no HIIT and steady state all the way. If you have a serious issue with this, mix it up a little - you know your body and ultimately you need to feel good about doing the plan.

    The most important part of why this article is VERY good is it does a great job of sticking to the basics, it's a ROCK SOLID plan. Nothing glossy or ground breaking, just a solid plan to get trim QUICK. Straight forward heavy lifting, lots of moving about and keeping calories and carbs low, but at the same time giving yourself a bit of a break from time to time.

    I gaurantee that this plan will work VERY well for anyone who gives it a shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    Heres the thing, you can modify the plan a little here or there to suit the way you want to do things. Ryan's recommendation was no HIIT and steady state all the way. If you have a serious issue with this, mix it up a little - you know your body and ultimately you need to feel good about doing the plan.

    The most important part of why this article is VERY good is it does a great job of sticking to the basics, it's a ROCK SOLID plan. Nothing glossy or ground breaking, just a solid plan to get trim QUICK. Straight forward heavy lifting, lots of moving about and keeping calories and carbs low, but at the same time giving yourself a bit of a break from time to time.

    I gaurantee that this plan will work VERY well for anyone who gives it a shot.
    Good points all around Daniel. It's important to think for yourself. The diet and training are set up in synchronous fashion, meaning if you manipulate one variable you must manipulate the other. If someone was tied to the HIIT for whatever reason--perhaps you have a desk-bound lifestyle that doesn't naturally incorporate low-intensity aerobic activity--I would start with one high-intensity interval session per week and work your way up, monitoring your recovery along the way. I'd be hesitant to go above three sessions per week as it's too easy to cut into your energy reserves best left for weight training.

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    In the article, it states that I should be taking about 500-700 GRAMS a day of calcium. I have two questions. First, is this a typo? Second, if it's not, where I can buy my 5lb bag of powdered calcium?

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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Good spot chevelle, I fixed this to mg
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  13. #13
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Great article simple and straight forward and easy to fallow.
    Last edited by View 1; 05-30-2010 at 02:59 PM.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

  14. #14
    House Lannister
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    Good spot chevelle, I fixed this to mg


    As a general question, is anyone taking Vitamin D at or near the IUs prescribed in the article? Any noticeable improvements in performance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chevelle2291 View Post


    As a general question, is anyone taking Vitamin D at or near the IUs prescribed in the article? Any noticeable improvements in performance?
    I'm interested in optimizing Vitamin D. Few people ever get their levels checked, and I was shocked to find how deficient I was. Even on a dosing of 2,000 IU per day I wasn't meeting the minimum threshold for Vitamin D, despite spending ample time outdoors. The Vitamin D council advocates a dosing of 5,000 IU per day for the average, inactive adult. To achieve toxicity levels, you would have to take 50,000 IU per day for months on end to even get into that range.
    Last edited by Ryan Zielonka; 05-31-2010 at 12:28 AM.

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    Recommending calcium as an effective "fat loss supplement" is just silly.

    Calcium rarely needs to be supplemented. There are many dietary sources of Ca, way beyond simple dairy consumption.

    Further, while women MAY require additional Ca as they age, men do not as a) testosterone serves to "lock" calcium to the bones and b) supplemental Ca has been shown to elicit heart palpitations in men.

    But recommending it as a fat loss supplement is a waste of time, resources, and is just well, silly.


    PS- your experience with Vitamin D is typical. Try a very large dose, (50,000- 100,000 IUs), two times a week. Should get your D levels up quickly, safely, and effectively.

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    Senior Member cphafner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Well written article. Not crazy about no HIIT and no glucose/whey drink post workout, but I'll likely give this a shot this summer.
    HIIT is not necessary for fat loss. Plenty of bodybuilders cut for shows with just steady state cardio. I just finished cutting for the summer and I felt the combo of HIIT and weights with lowered ca,ls tough on my body. I had a tough time recovering. I switched to steady state for the last couple weeks and keep dropped weight at a nice clip. LIke the author told you, you have to figure out what works best for your body.
    Last edited by cphafner; 06-02-2010 at 08:56 PM.
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    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    Excellent article. That's puts fat loss into a basic easy to implement format. Fat loss is really that simple. It just takes consistency and hard work.
    Consistency??? So THAT'S what I've been doing wrong!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryWhite View Post
    Recommending calcium as an effective "fat loss supplement" is just silly.

    Calcium rarely needs to be supplemented. There are many dietary sources of Ca, way beyond simple dairy consumption.

    Further, while women MAY require additional Ca as they age, men do not as a) testosterone serves to "lock" calcium to the bones and b) supplemental Ca has been shown to elicit heart palpitations in men.

    But recommending it as a fat loss supplement is a waste of time, resources, and is just well, silly.


    PS- your experience with Vitamin D is typical. Try a very large dose, (50,000- 100,000 IUs), two times a week. Should get your D levels up quickly, safely, and effectively.
    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. First off, bodybuilders are at risk for bone degradation due to (1) the obsessive avoidance of milk and dairy products during pre-contest diets and (2) the abuse of caffeine and other stimulants to maintain energy levels. Finally, (3) calcium has a proven track record of aiding and expediting fat loss. I'll address each in turn.

    (1) A high protein intake and low calcium intake puts a bodybuilder at risk for bone degradation and decreased bone health. See Dawson-Hughes B. Interaction of dietary calcium and protein in bone health in humans. J Nutr. 2003 Mar;133(3):852S-854S. However, a high protein intake combined with a high calcium intake works in synergy to promote gains in bone density. Most bodybuilders remove milk and other dairy products that contain high levels of calcium and thus put themselves and their bones at risk. A muscle needs a lever to lift weights.

    (2) It's well understood that stimulants and, in particular, caffeine leech calcium from the system through urinary excretion. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (JAMA, 26 Jan. 1994, p. 280-3) found that "There was a significant association between (drinking more) caffeinated coffee and decreasing bone mineral density at both the hip and the spine..." Not cool. Combine this with the habitual avoidance of dairy and you've got problems already.

    (3) I'll refer you to two studies concerning calcium's fat-loss properties. See Zemel MB. Role of calcium and dairy products in energy partioning and weight management. Am J Clin Nutr (2004) 79 (suppl): 907s-912s and Jacobsen R. Effect of short-term high dietary calcium intake on 24-h energy expenditure, fat oxidation, and fecal fat excretion. Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Mar;29(3):292-301. Jacobsen discovered a daily 60 kcal excretion of pure fat. Over 12 weeks of dieting that's two pounds of fat-loss, which is a value right up there with some of the best performing thermogenics.
    Last edited by Ryan Zielonka; 06-09-2010 at 02:08 AM.

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    You're using studies that used non-weight training populations. Show me one avid weight trainer (which this article was supposed to be geared to) with a "bone density" issue.

    You do realize that the study examined incidence of hip fractures. Who gets hip fractures? The elderly, not your target audience.

    You're ignoring the risk of cardio-vascular issues in men who supplement with CA. Arterial spasms are nothing to sneeze at, especially considering dietary sources of calcium are so easy to acquire through a nutrient dense, varied diet.

    I get the impression that your observations have not been verified through your own personal experimentation, either as a coach or physique athlete. Studies are absolutely essential in verifying what we observe in nature (or in the gyms); you seem to be using studies you've read as a means to establish your protocol.

    Putting the cart before the horse, dontcha think?
    Last edited by BarryWhite; 06-09-2010 at 08:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryWhite View Post
    You're using studies that used non-weight training populations. Show me one avid weight trainer (which this article was supposed to be geared to) with a "bone density" issue.

    You do realize that the study examined incidence of hip fractures. Who gets hip fractures? The elderly, not your target audience.

    You're ignoring the risk of cardio-vascular issues in men who supplement with CA. Arterial spasms are nothing to sneeze at, especially considering dietary sources of calcium are so easy to acquire through a nutrient dense, varied diet.

    I get the impression that your observations have not been verified through your own personal experimentation, either as a coach or physique athlete. Studies are absolutely essential in verifying what we observe in nature (or in the gyms); you seem to be using studies you've read as a means to establish your protocol.

    Putting the cart before the horse, dontcha think?
    Looking back at the article, I wrote:

    Calcium: Increases fat excretion and boosts testosterone. Take 500-750 mg a day.
    I've made explicit and clear the reasoning behind this recommendation, including studies in support. Perhaps I'm a sucker, but I'll indulge this criticism again. I do find it odd, however, that you've picked out perhaps the most minor of points to quibble with. I for certain thought I'd see criticism elsewhere. Anyway, moving on.

    I always encourage readers to remain skeptical. As a writer I provide one vantage point, one perspective. As a breathing, thinking, emotional and conscience being, I have a bias. My bias is in this case one toward additional calcium supplementation. You may have a differing opinion, and there's room for both of us in this world even if we disagree.

    My argument for calcium supplementation is clear. We could discuss the finer points, such as client adherence (an issue unto itself and an obvious confounding variable in your argument) but frankly I'd like to stick to the topic at hand, which oddly enough seems to have changed as you're now addressing an entirely different track of argumentation for the inclusion of calcium. Let me clarify a few points.

    (1) If a client is ingesting adequate calcium through a proper diet that includes five servings of vegetables a day (even amongst my top-adhering clients, a rarity) and sufficient dairy, I have no qualms forgoing calcium supplementation.

    If, however, a client is a typical online bodybuilding forum reader without competitive aspirations, lacks the luxury of a personal chef, and fends off the challenges of daily life, there's a strong case to "fill in the gaps" with a calcium supplement.

    (2) I identified the fat loss properties of calcium and presented a study with no research bias and a strong methodology. Two additional pounds of pure fat loss over 12 weeks isn't anything to sneeze at either. This was your first line of criticism which appears no longer present in your follow-up remarks.

    (3) Quoting the entire abstract from the Dawson-Hughes study which you reference above, I've highlighted the points applicable to WBB's bodybuilding population:

    Protein has both positive and negative effects on calcium balance, and the net effect of dietary protein on bone mass and fracture risk may be dependent on the dietary calcium intake. In addition to providing substrate for bone matrix, dietary protein stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a factor that promotes osteoblast-mediated bone formation. Protein also increases urinary calcium losses, by several proposed mechanisms. Increasing calcium intake may offset the negative impact of dietary protein on urinary calcium losses, allowing the favorable effect of protein on the IGF-1 axis to dominate. Several, although not all, studies are either compatible with or support this hypothesis. Protein supplements significantly reduced bone loss in elderly hip-fracture patients in a study in which both the protein and control groups received supplemental calcium.
    [Editor's note: Read carefully. In the elderly population, which be as it may, is one of the most accessible demographics for controlled studies, the use of protein and calcium supplementation showed markers of increased bone retention. You're telling me that somehow a weight-training population is at less risk for bone degradation after years and years of potential dairy avoidance, high protein, low vegetable intake, and overuse injuries, let alone the stimulant abuse, all of which are explicit risk factors?]
    In an observational study, total protein intake was positively associated with favorable 3-y changes in femoral neck and total body bone mineral density in volunteers who received supplemental calcium citrate malate and vitamin D, but not in volunteers taking placebos. In conclusion, an adequate calcium intake may help promote a favorable effect of dietary protein on the skeleton in older individuals.
    Hope that helps, and I'm honored to see folks engaged at this level of discourse with my work.
    Last edited by Ryan Zielonka; 06-10-2010 at 05:21 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Zielonka View Post

    My argument for calcium supplementation is clear. We could discuss the finer points, such as client adherence (an issue unto itself and an obvious confounding variable in your argument) but frankly I'd like to stick to the topic at hand, which oddly enough seems to have changed as you're now addressing an entirely different track of argumentation for the inclusion of calcium. Let me clarify a few points.

    (1) If a client is ingesting adequate calcium through a proper diet that includes five servings of vegetables a day (even amongst my top-adhering clients, a rarity) and sufficient dairy, I have no qualms forgoing calcium supplementation.

    If, however, a client is a typical online bodybuilding forum reader without competitive aspirations, lacks the luxury of a personal chef, and fends off the challenges of daily life, there's a strong case to "fill in the gaps" with a calcium supplement.

    (2) I identified the fat loss properties of calcium and presented a study with no research bias and a strong methodology. Two additional pounds of pure fat loss over 12 weeks isn't anything to sneeze at either.
    You are ignoring the risk of arterial spasms in men who use supplemental calcium- which is my main fault with your recommendations.

    My first responsibility as a physique coach is the client's safety. If you're going to suggest a supplement be taken for fat-loss, despite a potential cardiovascular risk, then why not advocate ECA? At least ECA has been proven effective both in the real world and in the literature, having shown many, many times in clinical studies to burn fat, as opposed to your single study supporting the use of a calcium supplement as a "fat burner."

    Although you claim the calcium study you presented is well-designed, I would be hesitant to go out on a limb and establish protocol based on one, single, solitary clinical study; especially when the protocol has zero support in the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Zielonka View Post

    [Editor's note: Read carefully. In the elderly population, which be as it may, is one of the most accessible demographics for controlled studies, the use of protein and calcium supplementation showed markers of increased bone retention. You're telling me that somehow a weight-training population is at less risk for bone degradation after years and years of potential dairy avoidance, high protein, low vegetable intake, and overuse injuries, let alone the stimulant abuse, all of which are explicit risk factors?]
    Let me take you back to exercise phys class: the most bone strengthening thing one can do is: resistance train!

    So, to throw your shot at me back at you:

    Yes, I AM telling you that your typical WBB reader (young, weight training male) is at a MUCH LESS risk of bone loss than the geriatric samples you draw upon. Couple that with the CV risk already stated but ignored, and you can see that a young man spending his cash on a calcium supplement is foolish, and potentially dangerous.

    I also suggest getting out of the "you need dairy for your calcium, bro" paradigm. It's almost as restrictive as the polar opposite "milk makes you smooth and fat" argument. 2 cups of broccoli or arugula have 250 mg of calcium, nuts and seeds 50-100 mg per ounce, while 1 cup of dried figs contains 300 mg of calcium. Sardines and canned salmon are also very calcium rich--you get nearly a glass of milk's worth of calcium in a 3 ounce serving.

  23. #23
    House Lannister
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    Ryan, you recommend 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily. What is the best form in which to take that? Pills or drops? Thanks.

  24. #24
    Ex-Manwhore KingWilder's Avatar
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    Assuming the CALORIE and PROTEIN recommendations are followed, does it matter how many carbs and fats are eaten. I usually prefer to go higher fat and a little lower on the carbs...not sure how much this would change things assuming protein was all there and calories remained the same as suggested.
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    Help needed!

    Hi guys, just joined the site and this is my first post here. I've been following the program outlined by Ryan (with a few modifications) and these are my results so far:

    Starting weight=188.4lbs, Bodyfat=18.5%

    Weight at end of 1st week=186.0lbs, Bodyfat=17.7%

    Weight on the morning of the 13th day=185.4lbs, Bodyfat=17.7%

    Now, I know it's pretty early in the program to make any conclusions, but do you think I need to alter my diet or training? The first week saw me losing 2.4lbs alongwith a 0.8% reduction in bodyfat. The second week is almost done now and I haven't seen any change in bodyfat plus the weight loss is quite insignificant too. I'm worried that my body has gotten used to my new caloric intake and has slowed down it's metabolism accordingly. Keep in mind that I've been taking the following macronutrient quantities:

    1.0-1.2g of protein/lb of bodyweight (I find it hard to get more protein because of the diet we have in our part of the world)
    0.3g of carbs/lb of bodyweight (veggies excluded but I don't use carb spikes since my cardio sessions are done immediately after my weight training workouts on the same day)
    0.2g of fats/lb of bodyweight (6 capsules of fish oil included)

    I am excluding any fat that comes from chicken breasts or cooking oil, so the actual fat intake may be a tad higher.

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