Fat loss for pitchers - how I lost 15lbs and got stronger

give it a read and let me hear your thoughts!


mini excerpt

"While there was some experimentation over the past 6 weeks, especially with caloric intake, the following is ultimately what I settled on. Should this stop providing results for you, tweak the overall caloric intake before messing with any other facet of your fat loss program. You’ll notice that I used both intermittent fasting as well as calorie cycling and nutrient timing. These strategies help to accelerate fat loss and maintain muscle by optimizing how your hormones function throughout the day. By keeping the feeding window to 8 hours (16 hour daily fast) and eating fewer but bigger meals, we still give the body the nutrients it needs to recover and maintain lean mass, while allowing more total time for the body to burn fat and get lean.

A little more detail…

Hormonally, fasting and exercise increases the release of catecholamines and glucagon, hormones that are catabolic, meaning used for breakdown (of stored carbs, fats, proteins, etc.) On the other hand, feeding generally stimulates insulin release, a hormone that is anabolic, meaning used for storage (of carbs, fats, proteins). Take-home message: fasting releases hormones that increase fat burning.

Insulin is primarily stimulated by carbohydrate consumption, and to a lesser degree fat consumption. Protein has little effect on insulin levels. What this means is that limiting carbohydrates will minimize the insulin response throughout the day, making it difficult for the body to store additional fat and giving fat burning hormones like glucagon a chance to do their job. Glucagon and insulin are constantly going back and forth over the day depending on the foods we eat. Because they can’t both be active at the same time, if you are constantly eating carbohydrate meals every 2 or 3 hours, it becomes hard for the other hormones to do their job to break down fat!

What this means is that the insulin-glucagon ratio will be optimized for fat-loss while still ensuring lean mass retention by
a) limiting carbohydrate intake
b) eating a diet high in protein and fat
c) extending the overall fasting period to 16 hours while still ensuring sufficient calories during an 8 hour feeding window

(The 8/16 intermittent fasting protocol popularized by Martin Berkhan of leangains.com is what I used for my fat-loss phase, meaning a 16 hour daily fast from roughly 8pm to 12pm followed by an 8 hour feeding window from 12pm to 8pm). "

Very Interesting stuff. Much of your program (limiting carb intake) is similiar to what Dr Atkins has recommended for decades. A few questions:

1- What was your carb intake during this period?
2- Why did you use 3 big meals during your eating window, instead of 4-6 smaller ones?
3- Other than green tea, did you consume supplements to boost metabolism?

What method are you using to calculate your BF%?

  1. My carb intake was very low. around 50grams per day. Sometimes lower. Generally not under 25 grams though, as the veggies do have some carbs and lots of fiber.

  2. No real reason besides the fact that it’s easier for me to wolf down 3 meals than 6. The feeding window is more important though, and there were times when I did actually eat 4 and even occasionally 5 meals over that course. Sometimes I didn’t finish all of my protein shake so I would just drink it a bit later in the day. No big deal, still got results.

  3. To boost metabolism, I also drank black coffee and consumed a decent amount of fish oil (6-10 grams, although I didn’t always measure out my spoonfuls)

  4. To calculate body fat throughout the process, I used body fat calipers. For my starting values though we used several different methods in exercise physiology lab (BIA, skin fold calipers and BodPod).

Since your carb intake was so low, how did you feel with energy? How did you feel also during lifting?

Since your carb intake was so low, how did you feel with energy? How did you feel also during lifting?[/quote]

I didn’t generally have a problem with this, but I was also doing very little throughout the rest of the day over winter break. I wouldn’t recommend this type of nutrition plan in season when your other activity levels will be much higher. Really, fat loss isn’t necessary for 95% of pitchers. For those who do want to drop a small amount of unnecessary weight though, this is the fastest way to do it and winter break is the best time of year in my opinion to undergo such a phase.

In season, I have enough problems keeping my energy levels up even with a much higher carbohydrate intake and it is much more about just eating enough overall calories and protein to prevent further weight loss.

Very complicated and interesting stuff.

I have a simpler approach. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat.

I’ll have lunch around noon time and dinner around 7pm (about the time everyone gets home work done or gets home from after school activities). I don’t eat breakfast most days because I’m not hungry when I wake up, so I’m pretty much fasting from 8pm until noon the following day.

I may look more deeply into that link. Since I know I can go long stretches of the day without food :wink:

I’ve been seeing this around a lot as well this week. I’m not sure how well it works flushing fat, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it would hurt at all! Also, sometimes the placebo effect helps more than we realize.