I have been reading exercise and nutrition material written by a gentleman named Dr. John Berardi since the late 1990’s.
Since that time he has published 8 scientific abstracts; 15 scientific papers and textbook chapters; presented at nearly 50 scientific, exercise, and nutrition related conferences; and published countless articles online.
His first articles at Testosterone Magazine so many years ago, provided me with the basis for everything I know about nutrition today. Now I will turn some of that knowledge over to you in the form of Nutrition Tips written by Dr. Berardi himself.
Today’s Topic - Eat to Gain and Eat to Lose
Sometimes people believe that they need to starve themselves in order to lose weight. They believe that if they can lose 1 pound a week by eating 2000 calories a day, then they could lose 10 pounds a week by eating 500 calories a day. This is false.
When you decrease your calorie intake below a certain point, it signals your body to prepare for a famine by storing every single fraction of a calories that you intake. This makes it one hundred times harder to burn calories through activity, and it makes you one hundred times lazier when it comes to exercising.
The 2% Rule
I always publish nutrition guidelines that involve adding or subtracting as little as 100 calories per day, based on your fat loss or fat gain the previous week. It is important to keep within a certain allowance for the percentage of fat loss in a week. In fact, I recommend increasing your calories if you are losing more than 2% of your overall body weight each week.
For example: we have a 200 lb man and an 800 lb man. A 2% fat loss for the 200 lb man, is 4 pounds in one week; while a 2% fat loss for the 800 lb man is 16 pounds in one week. This seems reasonable. In reality we probably wouldn’t want to see more than a 3 lb weight loss in one week for a healthy 200 lb man, but an 800 lb man could potentially lose 20 pounds or more in one week and still be safe.
The 2% rule works pretty well, but it must also be applied with reason and in the context of each individual.
A 200 lb man losing 10 lbs a week will quickly see his muscle mass disappear and his weight loss come to a screeching halt as his body enters a state of famine. As I mentioned, it is in this case that his body stores all calories as fat and catabolizes as much muscle mass as possible in order to make the body smaller and lighter.