I have been working out on and off for the better part of 15 years now. There was a time when I tried to pack on size and lots of muscle, but I have long since given up on that for a few reasons: first, I have a VERY fast metabolism which just does not make gaining weight and building easy a realistic goal and on top of that I actually have a smaller than average frame, so getting huge would actually be overburdening my body. I still workout three days a week, usually just focusing on weights.
However, I am curios to try a program I just read about. It is called the Metabolic Diet, and it pretty much involves going on a low-card, high-protein diet on Monday-Friday, and then eating high card over the weekend. The idea is that it helps jumpstart your body's production of natural muscle-building hormones. Some have suggested that this might work for a guy like me, who has pretty much no fat on my body by sheer nature; the logic being that my body metabolizes most of the muscle I build because it has no fat to draw off for energy. But I am not completey sold on this; the science sounds solid, but I have heard bad things about some of those low carb diets. So I figurd I would just ask here to see if anyone else has tried this, or something similar. Feedback appreciated.
Post by ED2099 is: bouncing his way up on Aug 19, 2012 19:02:56 GMT -5
Any kind of fad diet - especially the low carb diet, which ran its course and isn't even taken seriously any more - will do more harm than good to your body, even if will be a while until the harm becomes apparent.
If you want to build muscle, your best bet is to eat sensibly, and to eat WELL ROUNDED meals often (If you're building muscle, your metabolism should go up, so you should need to eat more often, not less often). You'd be better off incorporating more protein into your diet than starving off carbs, which will cause cravings and inspire you to overcompensate.
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Post by HMARK Center on Aug 19, 2012 19:17:27 GMT -5
The whole concept of not eating something most of the week and then overcompensating for it on the weekend or whatever is junk science; there's no such thing as "one size fits all" diet, I'll grant you, but balance really is the name of the game. Eat your fruits and veggies, get your protein, opt for whole wheat or multi-grain over white bread, etc., and don't overindulge.
Most of the rest of the stuff you hear is just white noise.
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Eh, the basics have always worked. It is just frustrating for a guy like me, who is no physiologically geared for building muscle. I also have a small stomach capacity, so I can only eat so much at a time. Oh well.
Post by Red Impact on Aug 19, 2012 20:09:56 GMT -5
Low carb diets can work, as long as you don't go overboard and do no carbs (which could kill you). It's all a matter of making sure you do it properly and are getting the nutrients you need, and making the carbs you get count. Most people eat way too many carbs, so it's a way to get down to what you naturally need. That said, the idea of binging on carbs on the weekend just sounds wrong to me. The entire point of low _____ isn't to build up a stockpile and use it up, it's to create a situation where your body isn't craving that thing so much.
That said, as a muscle building strategy? No, I wouldn't do it. Your body does need carbs, and they'll need them even more when you work out because they burn more easily than fat or protein. High protein, with proper nutrition is really the only way I see building mass on th ediet end.
Post by BoilerRoomBrawler on Aug 19, 2012 22:23:37 GMT -5
I've lost 120lbs in 12 months and am still chugging along on Atkins (low carb). I do not crave carbohydrates in the least, and i used to be a carb fiend (in retrospect) It is excellent for weight loss. For building muscle though? If you eat enough protein (which it emphasizes) I suppose it wouldn't hurt, but ketosis is based on you actually having fat to burn. It is unhealthy only when you've run out of fat - a distinct detail overlooked by many critics. I felt much better a mere week into the diet after the metabolic shift, and it's only gotten better over time.
Put more simply, a low carb diet is a great way to lose weight but they are not designed for body building. I would say concentrate less on the "low carb" part and more on the "high protein" part if you're only looking to gain muscle.
If you want to meet halfway, here's a couple things that should work for anyone: 1) Don't be afraid of fat. Low fat diets are misguided. The caloric density of fat makes it satiating i.e. it makes you full sooner than other nutrients
2) When you grocery shop, stick to the perimeter and avoid the inner aisles. Produce, meats, and dairy are usually covered by this.
3) The food pyramid overemphasizes grains.
4) Get most of your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables.
5) Always look for new ways to cook food you restrict yourself to. Nothing will kill your drive to lose weight faster than being bored of what you eat. You must learn how to mix it up.
Post by Red Impact on Aug 19, 2012 22:48:00 GMT -5
The main problem with low-carb diets is that there isn't enough consistent medical research on the long-term effects of it. So the people who swear by them now are essentially going to be the guinea pigs for the future of the diet plans, because there's a ton of anecdotal evidence, but the actual scientific evidence is pretty much split.
And actually, ketosis is more dangerous if you run out of carbs than fat, hence why the diets are low-carb and not no-carb and only dangerously restrict carbs during the "detox" period. Fat is a great source of energy if you can burn it (better than carbs), but the human body evolved to used carbs as a primary energy source. To that end, your central nervous system is actually incapable of using fat, so if you don't eat enough carbs to maintain it, you could cause problems to anything that your central nervous controls, which is pretty much everything. Hence why it's very important to know how many carbs you need tor survive if you're going to try to restrict them from a diet.
The big problem with US diets in generally is overabundanced of simple, processed carbs. To that end, restricting them is actually good because you don't really benefit from a loaf of white bread each day.
As far as losing weight in particular goes, the diet industry has made it way more complicated than it needs to be. It was never more complicated than calories in < calories out. They just have to make you think it is because being in the right frame of mind is the biggest, and most profitable, part of it. You could lose weight eating nothing but twinkies and it'd work, although you'd be very unhealthy.
Last Edit: Aug 19, 2012 22:50:50 GMT -5 by Red Impact
Speaking from experience, this is false if one follows a low carb diet properly, and that means actually having fat to burn and drinking lots of water.
When I started Atkins, right about this time last year, I weighed five hundred pounds and i was starting an internship that involved moving equipment up and down football bleachers. Needless to say, the first week of the diet was hell. After that first week, everything changed, amongst other things including that I could do much more activity for much longer without breaking a sweat or losing my breath. In short, I had far more energy than i had ever had in years, and I only just began.
All that said, it is true that the complete removal of carbs is not a healthy long term choice -even the Atkins book admits so. Furthermore, in that book (it's my only frame of reference for low carb, so bear with me readers) it progressively allows more carbs into your diet until you learn how many you can eat without gaining or losing weight. Another way to view that is that it helps sometime find out what a balanced carb intake is for themself. I don't think that's very widely known about the diet.
I probably sound like I'm proselytizing, and I sort of am because I see myself as a success story with more success on the way. In that way, I'm also defending low carb diets from all comers, anecdotal as it may be.
That said, as per the original topic, it's not about weight loss, but muscle building, and I can honestly say that low carb is not the way to go for that. Then again, neither are low fat or low calorie. Body building isn't about "low" anything.