Biotest

Flatbread Frenzy


#81

The population that this section of the site is dedicated to seems to be the “average” guy. The guy who was/is out of shape and sitting around 12-15% bf. It’s true that any modicum of dietary cleanup will render some results in this group so the preaching of clean eating is great advice. The issue of calories just being calories and nutrient partitioning really becomes critical at more advanced levels of dieting. The v-diet works for some because it drastically reduces calories. And Chris, while you’ve mentioned in passing many times that you self regulate by reducing overall calories you seem to discount the fact that most of the people who are looking to you for advice read things like this:

(Re: the caloric density of the almond flour pizza crust) “Not a bulk meal at all in my opinion though. All very clean. Cals may be on the higher side, but I can eat as much of this as I want and never gain an ounce of fat.”

And, being that they have no concept of the amount of calories they are eating will continue to spin their wheels. The original post was simply to clarify the fact that you MUST reduce overall calories if you want to lose weight (which is the ostensible reason that many people visit the V-Life section). Nutrient partitioning is absolutely important and may (this has not actually been scientifically validated) be influenced by macronutrient ratios and nutrient timing. That’s not the point of these posts. It just seems irresponsible to advise people that they can eat as much as they want, as long as it’s from “healthy” sources and still see dramatic results. Most just aren’t ready for that kind of dietary flexibility.


#82

Fair enough. I only have 4 low res photos from the show on me at the moment, but uploaded them to my profile and added below. I am #39. Body fat was taken using a 9 site caliper measurement using the same operator, same day of the week and roughly same time of day BEFORE working out.


#83

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#86

If that is indeed you, all you’ve done to this point is substantiate your claims. Congrats for earning you’re pro card and being in great shape, now we can start.

So what is your point? That you can’t eat endless calories and expect to not gain weight? I think everyone on here and even most people who know very little about nutrition are in agreement.

The quality of calories is important mainly from a micronutrient perspective. As long as total calories are constant, and there isn’t an undue concentration in any one macronutrient, calories taken in over a day/week/month/year period will ultimately be the determining factor in weight loss or gain.


#87

ADvanced:

You nailed it but that is, in fact, the point in contention. I agree that it should be obvious that calories in vs calories out is the only determinant of WEIGHT loss or gain. The composition of that weight loss or gain MAY be affected by macronutrient ratios, timing, etc. But the claims being made here are that eating ad libitum as long as it is healthy fat and natural foods will lead to “not an ounce” of fat gain which is obviously absurd. The idea that eating these types of food will lead to decreased appetite (and therefore decreased overall calories), or will be so voluminous as to be impossible to overeat are certainly possible explanations as to why eating in this way will result in weight loss. It just seems to be quite a leap to assume that these things will happen for everyone. Again, this would just be a way of manipulating overall calorie intake. These foods are, in fact, ridiculously calorie dense. Eating a whole home made pizza is child’s play for just about anyone over 165 lbs. Now, as heretical as this sounds, a regular pizza has fewer calories (regardless of the source) than one made from almonds and would be a better choice for a person trying to lose weight. If caloric needs are met, the body will NOT oxidize an excess of bodyfat for use as fuel. Fat can be stored perfectly well WITHOUT insulin. Therefore, if you eat above maintenance, even with no carbs and all healthy fat/protein, you will get fat. Fat can not be stored as muscle. It may spare the protein calories from oxidation (which isn’t an issue in most cases anyway), but so can carbs.

The real cut of the jib is that there are a lot of roads to Rome. This dogmatic ideology is no different than much of the heretical zealots espousing high carb diets. Guess what, carbs do not get converted to adipose in humans to any appreciable degree (it is possible at very high levels but not under normal conditions). Why do people get fat who eat carbs indiscriminately? Because when they fulfill energy demands with carbs it allows all the fat they eat (which for most is not limited) to be directly stored as adipose. If you would like to get into the biochemistry of all this I would be more than happy to indulge but I don’t think we have to get that pedantic. This is why so many competition bodybuilders (i.e. the leanest, most muscular people on the planet) both juiced and natural (look at Layne Norton’s protocols) have used moderate to low fat and moderate to high carbs. Is that the only way to skin a cat? No, but it works perfectly well. It is not hard at all to utilize the same principle of self control and eating strategies espoused here (pick healthy, voluminous, natural foods) and also include a large amount of carbs. You might even find that you get better results in the weight room with a little glycogen.


#88

[quote]TysonKilpatrick wrote:
ADvanced:

You nailed it but that is, in fact, the point in contention. I agree that it should be obvious that calories in vs calories out is the only determinant of WEIGHT loss or gain. The composition of that weight loss or gain MAY be affected by macronutrient ratios, timing, etc. But the claims being made here are that eating ad libitum as long as it is healthy fat and natural foods will lead to “not an ounce” of fat gain which is obviously absurd. The idea that eating these types of food will lead to decreased appetite (and therefore decreased overall calories), or will be so voluminous as to be impossible to overeat are certainly possible explanations as to why eating in this way will result in weight loss. It just seems to be quite a leap to assume that these things will happen for everyone. Again, this would just be a way of manipulating overall calorie intake. These foods are, in fact, ridiculously calorie dense. Eating a whole home made pizza is child’s play for just about anyone over 165 lbs. Now, as heretical as this sounds, a regular pizza has fewer calories (regardless of the source) than one made from almonds and would be a better choice for a person trying to lose weight. If caloric needs are met, the body will NOT oxidize an excess of bodyfat for use as fuel. Fat can be stored perfectly well WITHOUT insulin. Therefore, if you eat above maintenance, even with no carbs and all healthy fat/protein, you will get fat. Fat can not be stored as muscle. It may spare the protein calories from oxidation (which isn’t an issue in most cases anyway), but so can carbs.

The real cut of the jib is that there are a lot of roads to Rome. This dogmatic ideology is no different than much of the heretical zealots espousing high carb diets. Guess what, carbs do not get converted to adipose in humans to any appreciable degree (it is possible at very high levels but not under normal conditions). Why do people get fat who eat carbs indiscriminately? Because when they fulfill energy demands with carbs it allows all the fat they eat (which for most is not limited) to be directly stored as adipose. If you would like to get into the biochemistry of all this I would be more than happy to indulge but I don’t think we have to get that pedantic. This is why so many competition bodybuilders (i.e. the leanest, most muscular people on the planet) both juiced and natural (look at Layne Norton’s protocols) have used moderate to low fat and moderate to high carbs. Is that the only way to skin a cat? No, but it works perfectly well. It is not hard at all to utilize the same principle of self control and eating strategies espoused here (pick healthy, voluminous, natural foods) and also include a large amount of carbs. You might even find that you get better results in the weight room with a little glycogen.

[/quote]

I don’t mean to speak for Chris but I believe he may have been slightly hyperbolic in trying to get the message across of adopting healthy eating habits. The more important point, and its where Dr. Atkins also fell, is over-anticipating that calories with take care of themselves due to satiety on any specific type of diet. While the vast majority may find it hard to overeat on a healthier diet, some will, and therefore it can’t be marketed that calories abosolutely dont matter. FTR, I don’t believe Chris is doing that, but he is passionate about his approach and he emphasizes the positive, leading to what you may see as misconstruing facts.

On a related note, I made an Almond Flour Pizza with spinach and shrimp last weekend. Magnificent!


#89

This is my last post I promise, but I wanted to address ADvanced’s question as to my point, so here it is:

Chris clearly seems to understand that calories are the ultimate arbiter on weight loss that much is obvious from some of his responses. I don’t doubt HIS knowledge on the subject. The concern is whether the people reading his posts do.

I cannot think of a single physique conscious athlete that would recommend eating a lot of nuts ESPECIALLY without weighing/counting the calories. A serving or two on a maintenance diet? Sure. But do you realize how little food that is? Nuts (raw or cooked) are probably one of the easiest foods I can think of to over eat. They are just ridiculously calorie dense. 500 calories of ezekiel bread (6 slices or nearly 1/2 a loaf) would be way more satiating than 500 calories of nuts would be (a hearty fist full), at least from my experience. And since there really is no scientific evidence to avoid eating carbs for weight/fat loss why the hell would you choose insanely calorie dense almond flour over even regular flour? Volumetrically the standard flour will have much fewer calories for the same mass of food. Even assuming you were more satiated from the nuts, given the density of the calories I highly doubt this would compensate for the drastically increased calories.

It is confusing for beginners and obscures the reality that calories are hands down the most important factor when Chris or Paleo or whomever folks say things like “eat as much as you want just leave out those devil (insert flavor of the month evil food/macro here) and you won’t gain any fat. Forget counting calories!” Several folks who have posted in this thread showing trepidation about adding so many calories to their diet were simply told “its clean don’t sweat it” which is total BS if they are looking for SERIOUS body comp changes.

Yes if you want to look like an average guy for the rest of your life with average body fat and a standard unimpressive physique then just cut out the “dirty/evil” foods and you can maintain. But isn’t the point of the V-Diet and coming to this site at all that you want DRAMATIC body comp results? Telling people not to worry about calorie counting is simply going to lead folks to mediocrity (yes I know Chris has said it is helpful for beginners, but not “experienced” folks. Problem is it is important even for “experienced” folks. Go read some posts on Dave Tate’s site. He counts his calories too when he is serious.).

Chris is knowledgeable and experienced enough to perhaps not need these tools (even he might if he wanted to seriously compete though), but the average guy on the V-Diet thread is not. I have been lifting, dieting and training my ass off for over 12 years, can rattle off nutrition fact labels for most foods, and I still count my calories during a diet and serious bulk. Why would a guy with a year or two in the gym not need to do this if he wants serious results?

Sorry for the rant, but it sounds like a lot of folks here really want to make some serious changes to their lives and I really feel like some of the stuff they are being told will harm them more than help them.


#90

Hmm, I’m hearing two odd things here:

  1. I certainly don’t expect everyone to read my 12 years of archived articles before posting, but remember, I’m the guy who (about 10 years I think) published the first “You should keep a food long, count calories and macros, and learn a lot” article on this site.

So, if all you can say “Chris says to eat all you want and you’ll never ever gain fat!” then you just haven’t read much of my work and are instead focusing on a sentence or two used to make another point. If done on purpose, then this is a strawman argument, and I think everyone on this thread is smarter than that.

But I don’t think it’s done on purpose. I just think you’re focusing on the sentence or two and not the overall message. In fact, it’s kinda funny, but some of you guys are arguing with me by saying the same things I’ve published in articles for over a decade. So again, I don’t think any of us are really disagreeing much, just splitting hairs.

  1. Why all the superiority? “Oh, I understand what you’re saying, my good man, but these other, lesser people won’t. Be careful with what you say, Chris, not everyone is an intellectual gymnast such as I.” (You have to read that in a Thurston Howell the 3rd or John Kerry accent for full effect.) Sure, some of those folks who prefer the V-Life side of TNation don’t have pics of steroidal pro bodybuilders in their avatars, but that doesn’t make them a softcore bunch of monkeys who can’t get the gist of what I’m saying.

#91

I appreciate you (kilpaba, Tyson Kilpatrick) stopping in.

Intelligent discussion and experimentation are the best ways to move things forward.


#92

I truly didn’t mean to act superior because there are far too many folks more accomplished than me to delude myself to thinking I have it all sorted out. Chris I know you have stated how important counting calories is in past articles and that some of your remarks are just off the cuff to make a point.

My concern is someone coming to the site for the first few times getting the impression from those off the cuff remarks that counting calories isn’t THAT important, when it is THE MOST important thing. I would venture a guess most everyone on the boards hasn’t read your decade of work either and might be starting from the same point of ignorance on some of your positions. That’s all I meant.

We all know you know your shit as well as pretty much anyone does, but most folks don’t. Until you have a decade or so lifting and dieting you will almost assuredly not know how to instinctively train or monitor your diet and you shouldn’t be encouraged to (IMHO). I equate it to the how people view themselves as a driver.

Almost everyone thinks they are a good driver after about 5 trips around the block as a 16 year old and it is the OTHER folks that are shitty drivers. Reality is most folks are shitty drivers. We all know people suck balls at self reporting, it is human nature.

Didn’t mean to insult anyone on the v-diet boards either, we are all in this thing together after all. If you couldn’t tell from my 11 posts in 2 years I normally don’t read or post on message boards often and certainly don’t know everyone’s backgrounds. Best of luck to everyone in their endeavors (and admittedly delicious looking almond flour pizzas), I am off to start lurking in silence again.


#93

We can all keep going in circles, but one other thing to remember is the satiety levels when consuming certain foods.

Example: this flatbread recipe made as a pizza has probably as many calories as a small regular pizza from your local pizza joint. The thing is, I could easily eat that small pizza in one sitting with minimal effort/discomfort. With the flatbread version, I can eat MAYBE a bit more than 1/3 of it before I feel stuffed. So while the whole shebang is equal in calories for both pizzas, I only need to consume a portion of one to feel full, whereas the other one will require seeing a completely empty box before I feel satiated (and probably pretty damn sad, too, since I know I’ll be hungry again in an hour).


#94

I think I can speak a little bit to kilpaba’s point.

Even though I KNOW the importance of calorie-counting, it’s easy for a guy like me to read some of the statements that come across to the effect of “it’s clean, don’t worry about the extra calories,” and go crazy. I’m so eager to find stuff I can eat (like pizza) that some weird food version of confirmation bias has set in.

I see “healthy pizza,” and I read things like, “it’s clean food, don’t sweat the calories,” and my brain wants so badly to shut off and ignore the 10+ years of articles that balance out those statements by telling me to watch the calories. It doesn’t mean I’m stupid, or unaware of the real facts, it just means I’m an FFB who has 20+ years of bad food baggage. Even though I kicked the bad habits through the v-diet, it’s easy to underestimate calories or let myself get so caught up in “it’s clean” talk to where I ignore the calories completely.

I’ve found that eating the almond flour stuff is fine if I want to maintain where I’m at. But if I want to keep losing weight, I have to be real careful with these Almond Flour recipies. I can have maybe one or two a week, and sometimes I need to “cut” it with some coconut flour to keep the calories down. Any more than that, and I definitely stop losing weight. So once I get to my target weight and body comp, I’ll loosen up a bit and enjoy some more almond flour than normal, but until then, I have to be careful. Which is what everyone on either side of this argument is saying over and over, so no worries there.

I wonder also, if part of it might be that my body has only been thin (I use that term loosely) for like 6 months. But I was fat for like 20 years before that. Chris has been lean for a long time, and so is probably able to “get away with” a little bit looser diet than me, atleast for the time being. I don’t have any data to back that up, it’s just a thought based on anecdotal observation.


#95

I definitely see Kilpaba’s point as well. I’ve been a long time fan of the Hammer, and know Chris realizes that calories, at the end of the day, are the most important part of the diet. However, after checking out a lot of the recipes lately, I have noticed a theme: nobody posts kcals or macros.

I think for beginners, it is crucial that they know how much they are eating. I still count calories to this day, even after being decently lean for the past 4 to 5 years. I know what my maintenance is, and there is no way I could just wing it. I don’t meticulously count them, but I usually have a pretty good idea + or - 150 - 200 kcal/day.

After checking out the stats on almond flour, and adding up the kcals of some of the recipes, I was pretty shocked. I realize that fats definitely play a much different role than carbs as far as hormonal responses, insulin, etc, but at the end of the day it is calories that matter. For me, I find I do better on a volumized diet (btw, liked that article of yours Chris). Almond flour, while almost devoid of carbs, doesn’t have much volume.


#96

Chris,

Your points are well taken. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t read all of your work and may have mis-characterized your position based on these recent posts. My intention was not to cherry pick or take out of context anything you were saying. We probably do agree fundamentally on the majority of this stuff and maybe some of it is just splitting hairs, but it seemed as though there were some core concepts that were being discussed with an undue amount of nonchalance.

Most importantly I never meant to come off as condescending and I apologize to anyone who may have taken offense. It is just difficult, I think, as someone who has been dieting and lifting for a long time to relate back to the rank beginner and the overwhelming amount of conflicting information that has to be sifted through. It is incredibly easy to latch on to one guru or ideology and become dogmatic early on just out of frustration. It has nothing to do with intelligence or elitism, it just takes a long time to sort out and at least initially, it is easy to take people with some credibility at their word. The coach may understand what’s really important and in an attempt to simplify the concept, use hyperbole or generalizations which are taken by the trainee as gospel and subsequently misapplied because the context was left out.

We can drop the subject, I appreciate the discussion and wish everyone the best.

ADvanced:
I’ve enjoyed it and couldn’t agree with you more.

Take care


#97

I posted that last response without refreshing the screen and missed kilpaba’s last post and the subsequent responses. I just wanted to add that hankinstein and markdp summarized the point of my original post perfectly and more eloquently than I could.

And Brick, I’ve played with these recipes and I got to tell you, you’ve got more fortitude than I have if you can stop at a 1/3. That shit is delicious and even though I double the recipe (I was trying to make enough for several people…they didn’t get any) I could eat the whole thing again 2 times over. Granted I think I legitimately have a anatomical anomaly for a stomach but still… Almond flour recipes aren’t exactly volumetrics at its best.


#98

Overall, good discussion here. Much appreciated on all sides.

Almond flour chocolate cake recipe coming Friday.

:wink:


#99

First off, let me say that I really like reading discussions like these. ADvancedTS said it very well when he said, “Intelligent discussion and experimentation are the best ways to move things forward.” I think that this is a great discussion on both sides. I agree with Chris that there is more agreement than disagreement in this discussion, and a lot of splitting hairs.

Here is my question to TysonKilpatrick and kilpaba, how do you come up with the number of calories that you need to maintain, cut, or gain? My guess is that at first it was based off a formula. I assume this because you are not using bod pod, underwater weighing, or Dexa for BF%, but are using a 9 site caliper measure. So I doubt that you are getting your BMR measured by gas exchange monitoring in a lab. This formula is only an estimate and can be off. So what do you use if you are not dropping weight/BF? You adjust the number of calories despite what the formula says. In essence you rely more on what you see and body comp change than blindly consuming a set of calories. Now once you have experience with this you have a better idea of what amount of calories you need to maintain or change body comp. A change in BMR by an increase in lean mass will have an effect on the number of calories that you need to maintain, a goal that I would say most bodybuilders have. I am not sure how often you change what you would consider to be your maintenance calories, but I would say that you have to constantly monitor your body comp and what you see to test if you are reaching your goals despite what the new caloric number is on paper.

I think that this method would be very important if you are trying to reach 4% BF level to compete in a bodybuilding show. I would assume that with this much practice it would be very easy to maintain a BF% between 8% (+/- 2%) without having to count your daily calories. I think that this is what Chris is doing. He has counted his calories and has lots of experience in this game. He, like you, puts his daily caloric intake to the test with the, “how do my abs look in the morning,” test. He is monitoring his body comp in a very practical way, a way forged through logging, counting his calories and past experience. I will grant you that if Chris wants to drop to 4% BF that he might have to count calories to do this, but do not think that it is important nor necessary for Chris to this currently. I will also grant you that for someone first beginning to lose weight it would be a good idea to log and count calories, but may not be that big of a deal later on when they gain experience. I think that counting calories could be looked at as a good beginning learning experience or an individualization aspect of more advanced body comp change.

So here are some of my thoughts Chris. What about a FAQ or Article section at the top of the webpage linking your previous work at T-Nation to help with some of these questions? I think that your V-Diet is very well understood, but your VLife ideas are less well understood. What about an article section on this site with the first couple of articled outlining your VLife eating plan/strategies? Like Dr. Berardi’s 10 habits or something. A guide for those wishing to Live in the VLife. Maybe including an article or two about how to tweak and individualize the VLife for competitions (more volume in diet, easing off the almond flour, calorie counting, and macronutrient manipulation, etc)? Just some thoughts.

I rambled on too much. Hopefully there are not too many spelling or grammatical errors, but I am sure that there are.


#100

[quote]TysonKilpatrick wrote:
And Brick, I’ve played with these recipes and I got to tell you, you’ve got more fortitude than I have if you can stop at a 1/3. That shit is delicious and even though I double the recipe (I was trying to make enough for several people…they didn’t get any) I could eat the whole thing again 2 times over. Granted I think I legitimately have a anatomical anomaly for a stomach but still… Almond flour recipes aren’t exactly volumetrics at its best.

[/quote]

In all fairness, I could easily down a batch of the muffins or cookies with little effort. The pizza was different, though, since it’s a dish that lends itself to some volumizing tricks through the toppings used.