I’m a former fat guy turned fitness devotee. The magazines would call me a mesomorph. I’m currently at around 15% body fat, following an extended cutting period. I felt that my body was no longer responding to diet after such a long time, so I’ve decided to take a six-week break from cutting to see if it helps my fat-loss progress when I return.
I have found that there is plenty of information and research available on natural cutting diets, but little seems to be written about maintenance and bulking diets that’s not based around supplements, pills, and powders.
My primary question is regarding macronutrient balance. What have you found works best in my situation? I have a definite propensity to gain fat, so many people I’ve talked to recommend high protein and fats, and low carbohydrates. But there is a limit on the amount of protein that can be digested and used for muscle growth, isn’t there? Isn’t the excess changed into carbohydrate? Is there a “magic bullet” figure of maximum protein intake? I’ve seen 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight, but have never seen this backed by any research.
Your first mistake was listening to the magazine experts telling you what to do, when they themselves don’t know what to do themselves. I’m going to repeat this in redundant terms until everyone understands. Your first consideration is to examine your endocrines (your glandular function). This entails the thyroid, pituitary, hypothalamus, parathyroid, adrenals, as well as digestion, etc. This is the first step. The second step is to clean out the liver and gallbladder. Why is it I never see the magazines talk about this?
Your second question entails the magazines again, and I’ve noticed that most people who enter a gym have very little idea of what they look like. Big traps, small traps, big waists, small waists, big shoulders, small shoulders, round pecs, flat pecs, etc. Believe me, it is as frustrating for me talking to people as it was for Vince. Your endocrines and basic structure – that is your secret. Before you consult anyone, know thyself. As of now, you are just wasting your precious time.
Listen carefully to what Vince is saying, because I think at this point you are not really listening. My friend, Dr. Harry Eidenier, Jr. (top biochemist in nutrition in the US), is just amazed at the wealth of ignorance and misinformation out there from these so-called experts. Vince always discussed the “Caveman Diet” — yes, protein, veggies, and some fruit is what you should be practicing. Just remember, our RNA/DNA pattern has not changed one iota since the caveman. I’ve said numerous times, if the experts don’t understand it, they just ignore it. Again, some people listen, but they never really hear. Some people look, but they never really see.
The six-week break is not going to do much for you except waste your time. Also, be careful of the type of healthcare provider you see. Unfortunately, if you do have a deficient thyroid, most likely the medical community will give you a drug that will hype up the thyroid, but not nourish it. Therefore, you would injure this precious gland and your absorption of iodine, tyrosine, vitamin E, protein, and essential fatty acids will shut down.
For example, I once consulted a gentleman who had low calcium levels, and the MDs were baffled as they gave him calcium supplements and it did him no good. It was extremely simple as your parathyroid does one thing – it absorbs calcium. His HCL levels were low, as he was a carbohydrate eater. My simple solution: I gave him parathyroid gland, digestive enzymes, and bingo, his problem was gone! Why do you think Vince always talked about glandulars?
A warning to you: Don’t yo-yo up and down in bodyweight or your hypothalamus will shut down. Another example. Three years ago I consulted with a young lady who said her yo-yo diets don’t work anymore. I told her that the hypothalamus has shut down as it detects feast or famine and it says I don’t know what you want me to do, so I won’t do anything. She was lucky as it didn’t atrophy and die, but it did take four months of hypothalamus gland supplementation to restore its normal function. This is similar to steroid users’ testicles shutting down and dying; therefore, they must use synthetic hormones for the rest of their lives.
Vince stressed detoxifying the body through colon cleansing, liver/gallbladder flush, and a good diet. You must remember that toxins of all kinds in the body will hold excess water in the body. Why? Because it is the job of the liquid in the body to dilute the toxins. For example, let’s say you have a bee sting or a sliver. The immune system will surround and dilute these foreign poisons. So, therefore, the end result will be a water weight gain. Vince’s buddy, Rheo H. Blair, advocated detoxifying and cleansing the body also.
I also suggest that you read and re-read Vince’s manuals. So many people will call me and say, “every time I read one of his manuals, I learn something new.” When you do this, you will start to fully comprehend what Vince was talking about – knowledge and wisdom.
Now, addressing your protein needs. When I use to go to the West Coast during the ‘60s and ‘70s, the high-protein diet was in vogue. But, as always in the US, we always invoke the “if some is good, more is better” syndrome. At Muscle Beach, I would see some of the top stars of the day, and they were big. But they also had a fleshy look which I didn’t understand at the time. Some of these bodybuilders were consuming 300 to 500 grams of protein a day. You must understand, though, that excess protein is converted to sugar and stored as body fat. Vince always said 60 to 120 grams of protein a day is plenty, except for the Six-Week Bulk Course, when positive nitrogen balance is the key – then you can consume large amounts of protein. As well, take note that there are many facets such as age, goals, size, and digestion that help determine protein requirements.
It’s ironic that people don’t seem to want to learn their own bodies, and turn to advice from the so-called experts. Me, personally, when I was 43 years of age, I carried 238 pounds on a 6’ 4″ frame. I would eat five eggs for breakfast, and then one day it became apparent that I couldn’t carry that much weight any longer or eat that many eggs. So, I lost 8 pounds, cut back to four eggs, and my body said “thank you.” So again, listen to your body.