Seven Habits of Highly Effective Nutrition

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by Madmick, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    John Berardi's Tailor-Made Nutrition from T-Nation, Part I
    John Berardi's Tailor-Made Nutrition from T-Nation, Part II
    John Berardi's Tailor-Made Nutrition from T-Nation, Part III
    You guys might notice I don't post diet schematics. The truth is, I don't worry too much about calories, or my breakdown thereof. At least I'm not precise with it. I couldn't tell you how many calories I've had so far today. I could figure it out, but most days I don't have a clue. Despite that I even have a diet calculator.

    But who has the time to plan their day to the letter every day? The sheer scope of such an undertaking boggles my mind: x grams carbohydrates and y grams protein and z grams fat. The only time to really get those things precise is PWO, and that's reasonable, because most of us don't mind the same PWO shake and PWO meal every day. But I see some guys post in here a daily meal plan they figured out to the letter, and their progress eating that every day. First, fuck that. Second, this violates the principle of variety. Any diet is going to have shortcomings: by not diversifying your diet, these weaknesses become crutches.

    Instead, I try to follow general guidelines. So it was funny when I read Berardi's article, because these have already been my strategies:

    I suppose I would add:

    #8: Drink water constantly- even if you're not thirsty.


    But you see where this takes you. This is the proper application of science: you take a template, then modify it. You don't reify yourself in a particular- even if that particular is this expert's diet customized perfectly for you.

    Berardi alludes to the 2nd and 3rd parts of this diet strategy to come. I can already tell you how he will instruct you to adapt this strategy to your own diet:
    *If you're gaining weight (fat), cut out calories, first fat, then carbs.
    *If you're gaining weight (muscle) and that's your goal, don't change anything.
    *If you're maintaining weight and that's your goal, don't change anything.
    *If you're losing weight/strength, add calories, in the order of protein, carbs, fat.

    The goal is a diet strategy you can live by. Because you're not going to count calories the rest of your life- even if you are now. You're not going to plan your diets daily for the rest of your life- even if you are now. You're not going to know the amount of protein per pound of bodyweight you're consuming every waking moment for the rest of your life- even if you do right now.

    So I don't believe in diet templates and I don't believe in programs and I don't believe in fads. I believe in strategies, habits, lifestyles...call them what you will.


    Because, like the land, oh Scarlett, they're the only thing that lasts.
     
  2. Flounder

    Flounder Purple Belt

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    Great post. To quote R. Lee Ermey, "I'm a disgusting fat body.", and I've had my ups and downs with diets. Now that I'm getting older, it defintely gets harder. While for the most part I agree with you, I think using some type of nutritional tracking can be a great help. While you may not do it the rest of your life, it will make you more aware of how "calorie dense" foods and meals can be. You might think you're doing the right thing, but low and behold, that luch just had 1100 cal and 40 grams of fat. I had a similar experience recently. I would bet after 30-60 days of tracking meals/nutrition religiously it gets to the point you can guestimate it rather easily and then get to a zone, much like you, where you don't need to track stuff, you just know.
     
  3. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Hm, that's a good point, I wasn't considering some guys are totally oblivious to calorie counts. My close friend David, who graduated summa cum laude from NYU and lifted with me in college, smart as he was, he didn't know everything...when we were living in Brooklyn he was dieting hard at one point. He got irritable when he dieted: far, far more than most. He was on edge all the time during this particular diet, but the difference was I was now living with him. So one night I brought home a coconut. I start eating it, and he says, "Are you eating coconut?"
    "Yeah, I said."
    "Awesome!!" he shouted, because he thought everything I did was hilarious, he just found me an oddball. "Give me some!"
    "Okay, here you go." And I gave him the coconut.
    "So what's in coconut?" he asks.
    "Protein...some healthy fats," I say.
    "Yeah?"
    "Yeah, dude, it's a fruit, isn't it. It's good stuff...wait, make sure to drink the milk. That's the best part. Yeah. Just like that. Down the hatch. Nice and fast."
    Twenty minutes later, he's like, "Alright, I gotta go check out this coconut. Add up what I ate today." Two minutes after that I hear a shattering, piercing scream from upstairs.
    "Andy! ANDY!! You fed me...you fed me...the WORST FOOD IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    So that cracked me up.
     
  4. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I got off track. The point I was working towards is that if you eat according to these rules, it would be very hard to kill yourself on calories.

    Consider: you're eating lean sources of protein, vegetables at every opportunity, and otherwise fruits and other carbs low on the GI index. On top of that you're not taking any calories in via liquid.

    Truth be told, I've never known anyone fat who drank nothing but water, except those doing it as part of their diet, and of those, all successfully lost weight. Drinking nothing but water alone is probably enough to help any guy in here lose fat.

    I'm not advocating ignorance of calories altogether. I'm just saying if you follow his guidelines, your challenge would be an unexpected one, I suspect. I think you'd find yourself hard-pressed to fill yourself up and then some on those kind of calories to gain muscle mass.
     
  5. Grady

    Grady Blue Belt

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    I guesstimate all the time. Mick, good advice, but if you are totally new to managing your diet, it doen't hurt to calculate everything for a while until you understand the values are for the most common foods in your diet.
     
  6. Grady

    Grady Blue Belt

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    Funny! Pure saturated fat. Thing is though, isn't coconut healthy in some respects? Seem to recall reading that somewhere. I never eat it so I don't know...maybe it is a good type of saturated fat.
     
  7. Flounder

    Flounder Purple Belt

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    I agree with you Madmick. If you follow those nutritional guidelines, and exercise, someone would probably have a hardtime getting fat. But the whole water thing, I think you're a little misguided.

    I would think thats more cause then effect. The people you know that "only drink water" are probably already doing so because of fitness or diet needs or already "naturally unfat". You take someone like me, who (when not dieting) eats fast food 2-3 times a day, and give me water to drink for 30-60 days, I'll bet I lose 0 weight. And I drink 0 cal beverages with my fast food, so there would be no calorie savings there. While water is a good step in the right direction, it alone will not help.
     
  8. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    On the coconut farmer's website Chris found, the farmers acknowledge the high amount of saturated fat, but their argument goes like so: " People in the tropics live on tropical oil. They're not fat."

    IMO, not a bad argument. However, this tends to be the only thing they eat. As Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy points out, "You only need two things to survive. Sunlight and coconut milk." It just seems to me coconut is an all-in-one food. Adding it to an American diet might not be the best idea, although I should note some of the saturated fats are MCT's.
     
  9. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    That's true, but you might be surprised. If you can't give up anything but, give it a shot.
     
  10. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Also, remember, everyone, this is just Part I of a three part series. I'm sure calorie management will be discussed in the future installments. It has to be, I'm not oblivious to that.

    For now, write down those six meals that fit his criteria.
     
  11. Tap112

    Tap112 Yellow Belt

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  12. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    That's a great article Tap. Currently I'm on a 3:1 ratio, but I'm seeing that 2:1 more and more, and would recommend it to anyone. I'll try a switch but I have to be more disciplined and control the variables in my diet for at least a month on each in order to see which produces better results for me.

    But anywhere in the 1:1 to 3:1 range of carbs/protein I think works. This is one of those reasons I don't recommend Endurox R4 as a recovery drink for anaerobic exercise; for aerobic recovery, it's probably the optimal ratio, but even the high-carb advocates' literature doesn't go above 3:1 for immediate recovery.

    Also, he points out that one should prioritize carbs around the post-workout period. On days involving anaerobic exercise (weight lifting, speed training, plyometrics, etc.) I also reduce my carbs before exercise; however, before days where my "workout" involves aerobic conditioning, I eat a meal rich in low-GI carbs 2-4 hours prior to the exercise. I use the same ratio of carbs:protein both aerobic and anaerobic exercise PWO (since my chosen ratio is already so high in carbs).

    But this is an important distinction I'm having difficulty learning. To what degree do PWO nutriton needs differ between anaerobic and aerobic exercise? The example in this article was a basketball workout, which includes both, so it doesn't help. He does mention that for endurance athletes, he doubles the portion, but I want to see more explanation as to why the ratios would be the same for athletes taxing different energy systems. Strength/Power athletes don't rest the same as Endurance athletes; it makes sense they shouldn't eat the same, either, at least superficially it does.

    Take Eric Cressey for example. He thinks the nutritional community is on crack because they don't believe in ketogenic diets for powerlifters (as an aside, it seems many powerlifters couldn't give a damn about nutrition...in one article I read where the author visited Westside for a workout, at one point, he asked Louie Simmons about nutritition: Louie rolled his eyes and walked away).

    But "lightweight" powerlifters have to consider weight: relative strength, not absolute strength, is their goal. I think a powerlifter can get away on a lower amount of carbs. Some of the literature I've read would disagree with me here, but guys like Cressey tell me those people are in a bubble, and that the champs in the real world have operated on these diets. I don't see a huge problem.

    When I ate high-carb and did heavy lifting but was too lazy to condition, I got strong, but I got fat. When I went on the 40-30-30 split (I don't consider this a "ketogenic") I didn't notice a difference at all in recovery, but I wasn't bloated all the time.

    I don't think athletes, particularly fighters, could get away with the same diet. I think you need high carb. But what degree does the distribution of intensity to one or the other affect dietary requirements?

    I'm still in the dark on this one.
     
  13. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Maybe it's covered in "Nutrient Timing", I really should get that book.
     
  14. Tap112

    Tap112 Yellow Belt

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    I've read most of that book, about a year ago though. I was trying to find it the other day when we were talking about this before. It's co-authored by Robert Portman, Ph.D., the founder of PacificHealth Laboratories Inc. - the company that produces endurox r4. So you are probably going to read a lot about 4:1 in there (if I recall correctly).

    You bring up good points about the difference between powerlifters and endurance athletes. These two athletes are obviously going to have different goals, different diets, and different training methods. Although both are going to be depleting their muscle glycogen stores, why would they not have different requirements post-exercise?

    Berardi does discuss this somewhat:
    http://www.athletes.com/fun/berardi34.htm

    The thing is that most of us on here are involved with a form of fighting in one way or the other. We are neither powerlifters or marathon runners. We need to walk a fine line in between.

    I am going to go with my own mix for more of a 3:1 to 2:1 with creatine for after weight lifting sessions (so say 70g dextrose 25g protein 10g creatine - cut out the creatine if you are cutting, of course). For after an endurance workout/training session Im going to go with something like endurox or just 2 servings of gatorade with a scoop of protein powder.

    The thing is, with so many other factors, it seems to me that it would be nearly impossible to tell if I was getting better results on a 2:1 or a 4:1. I believe that supplementation is really only 5%-10% of the equation. The rest is nutrition/diet and training, so I try not to drive myself crazy about stuff like this. As long as you are putting some sort of carbohydrate-protein recovery liquid into your body post-exercise, Id say you're fine.
     
  15. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    TTT.

    Added the second installment.
     
  16. supersudo

    supersudo Purple Belt

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    regarding the coconut oil.. read up on it here:

    http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/


    it contains caprylic acid (kinda like an anti-bacterial/fungal agent) and lauric acid (boosts immune system) as well as MCT's.. it boosts metabolism much like fish oil bcuz of the good fats and that's why ppl in the tropics aren't fat..

    the catch is u need to get the oil cold-pressed and unrefined... if it's refined or processed then there is nothing good about it..
     
  17. sasquatch989

    sasquatch989 White Belt

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    Dude, when was the last time you were in the tropics? I lived in Samoa and the lot of them were fat as fuck. What the lot of them did possess, however, is incredible athletic ability. If the Mormons didn't have them by the balls you would see alot more Polynesians in the NFL. Anyway. Not too many were lean and mean. Part of it is because they eat a shit ton of swine (which is not indigenous to the islands) and what is known as poi (or taro root). It is the grey potato-like starch which has a mild steroid in it. Don't wonder why, but Samoans had small dicks because of it. Coconut oil (along with palm oil) is not very good for you. I could see it as a very small part of a diet for the same reasons you spoke of but do not assume that the advertisements for Americans to visit the islands really reflects the health and appearance of the majority of islanders. If people in some tropics aren't fat it's probably because they are hella poor or something.
     
  18. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    There was some cool stuff in your post, but nothing about caprylic or lauric acid or MCT's.

    Do you know what MCT's are? They are a saturated fat, so it makes the coconut look worse than it is.
     
  19. brother shamus

    brother shamus White Belt

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    i buy unrefined coconut oil from time to time but i think it's probably better to go to the source and just eat coconuts. whole foods sell young coconuts/water coconuts but i think they're about $2.50 each. if you go to your local chinatown/asian specialty market you can probably get them a lot cheaper. the place i get them from in chinatown sells them for $.99 each.
     
  20. Chad Hamilton

    Chad Hamilton Amateur Fighter

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    I use coconut oil for many things.

    And "dude", it doesn't make you fat.
     

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