Scientifically Shredded

Passionate about the science behind the manipulation of body composition.

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Nutrition and Training Consultant,Personal Trainer, Alpha Aesthetics Co-CEO (coming soon), Bsc. Coaching & Exercise Science, flexible dieter, cheesecake lover.

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malibubbq asked:

Blood flow restriction training: what, why, how, what not to do?

I answered:

Anonymous asked:

Hey! Did you ever write up your position on reverse dieting and how you don't think it's a real thing? Sorry if that's twisting your words in any way, i just remember waaaay long ago you saying something like that and I was curious what you came up with:) thanks!

I answered:

Ahhhhh I should have known the day would come where someone was paying attention haha.

The idea behind reverse dieting it to bring back up your calorie intake to its new (estimated) maintenance calorie intake for your pre-dieting body composition status or current body composition status. Which is around 10% lower than estimated on an individual who hasn’t dieted. So for example if you had a pre-dieting calorie intake of 2000 calls, your new maintenance calls would be 1800.

By reversing to your new maintenance calorie needs you are allowing your body to increase certain hormones that tend to decrease during dieting resulting in a healthier overall hormonal profile which also equates to greater / less suppressed metabolic rate and will obviously result in better training performance and therefore possible gains.

There are 2 main standpoints in relation to ‘reverse dieting’. There are those who believe it should be a very slow gradual increase in calories over the course of 4-16 weeks to slowly reverse back to an individuals new maintenance levels with the thought process being that the slow increase will limit fat gain. On the other hand there are some who favor a relatively shorter reverse in the space of a couple of days to 2 weeks. There are some great coaches and fitness folk on either side and both have reasonable reasons as to why they choose the their protocol.

Okay, so my position. There is a lack of actual research in the area comparing the two protocols. I see possible benefits in both scenarios. If I had to say which I feel would be optimal in terms of physiologically? I would say a shorter reverse of around 2 weeks. By increasing calories relatively fast, we’re removing someone from being in a functional deficit and allowing for a faster hormonal rebound. If you look at re-feeds, which are an important part of long term dieting, how do we set them up? We increase carbs back to maintenance calories to try attenuate  further negative hormonal adaptations and for an acute increase in metabolic rate/function, so one can continue dieting till they reach their desired goal.

Here is an excerpt from a post by Body evolution on facebook where he brings up some more great points , some of which I have bolded:

Is there a difference between going slow or fast?  For the most optimal and beneficial impact on overall physiological function is to be back at maintenance within days rather than months. Won’t going fast cause greater weight gain? No it will not. Initial weight gain (as mentioned) will be simply water and muscle glycogen. So that possible 2 or 4 kilos that is ‘’gained’’ in the first couple weeks of getting back to maintenance is nothing more than that (glycogen and water). That same 2 or 4 kilos will also be gained if it takes you 4 months to get back to maintenance calories and and once back at maintenance calories, the further weight gain that will occur until it stablizes will be EXACTLY the same during the maintenance period regardless of method used!

So you can do it two ways. Get back to maintenance in days, gain weight (the same weight as you will if done slowly) and then spend (for example) 4 months at a stabilized hormonal balance and allow for increasing in metabolic function OR spend 4 months getting back to maintenance calories, gain weight slowly (but no different to the fast method), keep your hormones in a longer functional deficit before then needed to spend the (same) 4 months at a stabilzed hormonal balance while working on your increasing your metabolic function.”

Essentially that is pretty much where my current head is at in relation to ‘reverse dieting’… A pretty big change to my original article. I do however feel that there are certain individuals who may benefit psychologically from a slower reverse. They typically tend to be the individuals who stress about the number on the scale and minor increases in weight. The relatively rapid few kgs increase seen with the increase in glycogen and water can freak people out and result in a yo-yo effect where they return to dieting straight away.

So generally it depends on the individual and also how well the coach can explain to them their position and the why, what , how of what they are doing.

Feel free to ask more, but I feel this is long enough for now.

Anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm fasting (the religious fast, not a fad diet) I'm about 163cm, and weigh 67kg. I've been exercising 5 days a week for the past few months and have lost some weight. The thing is, now I want to continue losing weight, but I've no idea how many cals I should be eating. I used to drink about 2.5 liters of water everyday, and now I'm trying to do the same, but all of my meal times and water intake times are different, and my body feels a little out of it. Any tips on how to lose weight?

I answered:

I realise due to your religious fasting it can make things harder by changing your usual daily habits, but that does not mean the usual guidelines are any different.

If your serious about dropping bodyfat,

Determine how much your currently consuming in terms of calories by tracking your intake over a week and averaging it out. If your not losing weight then you need to re-establish the deficit by either consuming less calories, expending more energy through activity or a mix of both.

Just do your best, keep working out and don’t place too much pressure on yourself.

Anonymous asked:

if most people who diet at a deficit gain weight back... how is it possible to maintain my fat loss without being starving forever? I'm so confused

I answered:

Extremely good question.

Although you did word it a little bit weird. If you are ‘dieting’ correctly in that your losing weight, you have to be in a deficit.

This essentially is where a lot of the research is now looking. We know how to lose fat but maintaining that weight loss tends to be a much bigger and harder problem. 

This is a subject that could fill a book so it is hard for me to sum up or explain in sufficient depth. 

The human body has evolved over time to defend itself against starvation which was a very real threat a long time ago. However it is much less proficient at fighting against too much food. So while your body will fight you for every kg or pound of fat you lose, it will then be more than happy to store fat when calories are re-introduced.

We have to stop placing labels on things to do with nutrition and lifestyle. So that rather than people starting a ‘diet’ they make smaller changes to their lifestyle, resulting in decreased calorie consumption and increased expenditure, to make it the new norm.

The majority of people don’t understand what you are essentially asking. They see weightloss as a short term solution and then they can return to their normal lives. They’re ‘diet’ plans tend to be too absolute , and too restrictive resulting in a lifestyle that is hard to adhere to.

And thats the key. Adherence. Your ‘diet’ needs to be something you can follow and adhere to long term. It therefore needs to be flexible  and people shouldn’t expect perfection, that just creates more pressure.

I forget who said this but the quote is something along the lines of

"the best diet , is the one that doesn’t feel like a diet at all" or something like that.

Honestly, if you would like to know more about this kind of approach and steps to start then Armi Legge’s book Flexible Dieting is an amazing resource I highly recommend. If your looking for more one on one help in getting started and learning feel free to contact me. 

Why Accountability & Compliance is Critical to Results by Body Evolution

A great post from Body evolution, definately worthy of a read.

Many people start with coaches to be guided (sometimes not always correctly but that’s a whole other story) with their training, nutrition, to oversee progress and to have the whole plan managed so the desired progress is maintained as they (client) either have no idea of what is best OR they prefer to be told what to do. Basically a coach is in charge of systematically designing the training & nutrition to work together for the goals in mind, while ensuring continually progress is made through management of entire plan. 

Another part of having a coach is to have increased accountability on the compliance to the plan. Basically to ensure they are kept on the straight and narrow. 

Let’s look at it like this. So you have a training plan & nutritional guidelines to follow (let’s assume they are appropriate & correct), and you are not achieving the desires progress or results at assessment times. What is going on? 

Now the client has informed the coach that they have not followed the plan. Regardless of the compliance being 55% or 82% the fact of the matter is 100% compliance has not been achieved. 

Excuses have been made (justified or otherwise) as to why there has not been 100% compliance. But never the less, the client has taken accountability for their compliance (or lack thereof). But that doesn’t change the fact that the coach does not have the full ability to assess the results accurately or with any true meaning. All that can be said is that the achieved results (or lack of) is the result of poor compliance. However it does not allow for any meaningful adjustment to be made, if they are required. 

Side note, it’s totally understandable that life throws a few curve balls and no matter how well you plan in advance, sometimes it doesn’t go 100% to plan. But planning ahead will give the best chance of success in difficult situations. But being lazy doesn’t fall into that scenario. 

The level of compliance will not only determine progress but also determine the ability of the coach to assess & accurately manage the plan. The client is not helping the coach. The client is not helping themselves. The client is not allowing the coach to help them adequately if poor compliance occurring. 

You then have the situation where a client does not take accountability for their actions. The reality maybe as mentioned, 100% compliance has not been achieved but rather than take accountability for the fact, the information relayed to the coach is that 100% compliance of the plan has occurred. 

So the coach is then left with making adjustments to a plan (which may in fact correct) due to poor results or not appropriate progress based on the self reporting of the client. 

However a continual lack of progress and results will still occur due to the inability of the client to be accountable for their behaviour. And the sane story happens again, they are not helping the coach or themselves in achieving the desired goals.

Sure many will be quick to suggest that client is at fault and the coach is well with in their authority to “lay down the law”. And anyone who knows me would be aware that I’m very much in favour of that and I’ve used some “tough love” at times don’t get me wrong. However it doesn’t change the fact that it impacts on the coach who is passionate about achieving results for their clients. 

Yes we’ve all seen the coaches who are lazy and really have little regard for their clients. Many of them won’t care if a client behaves in that manner. But for the coaches who respect their clients, it’s not the usual way they think. 

I will say, at the end of the day you can have the best coach but if you do not respect their coaching you are letting yourself down. No one else. Just yourself. 

So if you want results and are truly committed to achieving results, having accountability and compliance to the plan is critical in achieving your goals. If you can’t be held accountable and/or lack adequate compliance then you are not really committed to your goals

Anonymous asked:

did you keep a food diary during your cut last year? if so i would like to see what foods you were eating and the variety to hitting your macros?

I answered:

I tracked everything with an app. I think for the majority of it I used Mymacros+ .  the app doesnt have a simple way for me to upload it to here.

Generally the further I got into prep the more vegetables and such I ate. I believe Layne Norton calls it volumetrics or something haha. Basically, I was just switching foods for similar ones with greater volume. 

frittatas with tons of low cal vegetables such as capsicum, mushrooms, spinach, tomato etc. with egg beaters, and maybe chicken and no fat cheese.

Stir frys with half the noodles being the shirataki or fiber variety.

I rarely had protein shakes.

For a good period I was consuming protein microwave cakes for breakfast every morning.


I felt this was timely coming towards the weekend.

One of the many benefits of ‘flexible dieting’ is being able to still have a social life while achieving your body composition goals. Keeping this social interaction is hugely beneficial in a psychological sense when dieting! Often  this can include a night out with friends, and there isn’t much worse than being the sober sally while your friends are sinking a few, loving life and dancing up a storm.

Now while I don’t advocate heavy drinking every weekend, especially if you have a goal physique aspiration, I don’t expect you to avoid these situations for the rest of your life. Like the majority of awesome things in life, alcohol can be enjoyed when considering frequency and moderation.

Unfortunately having a big night out can cause moderate setbacks to one’s fat loss efforts. However there are ways to limit and mitigate these though.

Below are some basic guidelines on how to drink while limiting fat gain:

1) Create a caloric buffer before the event/night/day you plan on drinking. This can be achieved in numerous ways. Whether it’s through a small decrease in calories for a few days leading up to, keeping calories low during the day, intermittent fasting etc. Whichever way works for you. The bigger the night planned, the bigger buffer I’d go with.

2) Keep your fat intake  low on the day your planning on drinking. Emphasize proteins and if possible have your last meal a few hours prior to the onset of drinking.  Here is a quote from a Menno Henselmens that explains the reasoning 

"When you drink alcohol, it is absorbed from your stomach and intestines. It then passes through your liver on its way to the blood. When it’s in your circulation, it keeps passing through your liver and during every passing your liver breaks down some of the alcohol into acetate.

Acetate is what makes alcohol toxic. When acetate enters your blood, it inhibits fat burning throughout the body, not just in your liver . As a result, most of the fatty acids in your blood are stored. This is why alcohol has such a high potential to make you fat.”

Therefor if we reduce the circulating fatty acids we can avoid much of the fat storing effect of alcohol.

3)Keep drinks to spirits  with non-caloric mixers or shots. I’m a sucker for Captain Morgans Rum with coke zero.


5) Resist greasy food, at least in the early part of the following day. This is more important if you had a really big night or drank early into the morning. If you manage to stick to the guidlines and feel like you haven’t caused yourself much of a setback, then you can return to hitting your normal macros.  If on the other hand you feel you may have gone overboard, then a day or two of lower calories (150-250 decrease) can help.

6) I’d also just note that I don’t advise training the next day if your not feeling at least 90%. This is just  my opinion but lifting the day after may increase the risk of injury due to fatigue (you don’t sleep well while drunk) and possible de-hydration.

Also please remember that your weight is likely to fluctuate in the day/s after a big night out. This can be due to  de-hydration, mineral and electrolyte imbalances, the body holding water and looking bloated etc. Give your body time to stabilise before stressing out and doing anything drastic.

Finally, unless you have an event of specific time frame where you have to be looking your best, there is no reason to freak out about anything. One night out every now and again is not going to ruin your physique goals. Stressing out will not help in any way. Accept it and move on. This is life, and some of the best stories and moments with friends can be had after a couple of drinks. Keep being social and working towards your goals.

If you want more info check out this article.

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