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31 October 2011

Evolution Of My Diet #3- The Birth Of The Apex Predator Diet

In the last installment, I explained that the basis of my dietary regime is the paleolithic diet, but that I've added a considerable amount in the way of tweaks to it in order to optimize my performance in the gym.  By tweaks, I mean tweaks in the same way a Japanese tuner enthusiast "tweaks" a pickup truck to make it appear as though it's a dragon- I took a giant, steaming shit in it's mouth, threw half of it overboard, and started wildly looking about for anything close at hand to make it appear exactly as it shouldn't.

My problem, you see, with the paleo approach was that I was eating way too fucking much food.  I'd been able to get away with this in the past, but time fucks up just about everyone, and my desk-jockey job and middle age conspired to fuck me in the ass.  Thus, I began tinkering with my macronutrients to see what, if any, interesting results I could derive.  The only way I could do this, however, and remain true to my Robb Wolff-esque ketoish pale diet was to either start eating a shitload of beef jerky, which would have been as delicious as it was economically unfeasible, or start replacing more meals with shakes.  That's exactly what I decided to do, influenced heavily by T-Nation's original Velocity Diet.
There are some damn good reasons to visit T-Nation.

For those of you who are unaware, the Velocity Diet is a T-Nation product used to sell their Metabolic Drive protein powder, a powder priced so insanely that one would think that it was created by a team of Russian alchemists using naught but powdered diamonds and dessicated unicorn cock.  As I, unlike many T-Nation readers, was cognizant of the fact that Biotest's products differ from others on the market only in their method and ferocity of wallet-raping, I decided to go with products that weren't priced by Bernie Madoff's evil uncle-in-law- Monster Milk and Muscle Infusion.  I chose the former for the fact that it tastes amazing, has an impressive blend of proteins that is heavy on the slow-released ones, and because it's got creatine included.  The latter was chosen on a combination of price point and protein blend, in addition to the fact that it was low carb.  Essentially, I wanted to maximize my protein intake while minimizing my caloric intake, in the spirit of the Velocity Diet.  For those of you who are unaware, the V-Diet 1.0 consists of 5 protein shakes a day supplemented with EFAs, fiber, and a multivitamin.  Once a week, you're allowed one real food, but non-cheat meal.  It's hardly rocket science, though they would have you believe otherwise.  Additionally, they claim that it's not a protein sparing modified fast (though without a shred of logic to support that claim) due to the fact that you'd not be in ketosis (though I think this is a recent addition, as their PWO product Surge didn't exist when I read that article years ago).

 Dave Palumbo- keto advocate and bodybuilder who strangely resembles the bad guy in Cobra.

As some background, the Protein Sparing Modified Fast is a concept that arose in the 1970s as a way to get Precious-type fatties back to human weight in a hurry.  They were characterized by being high in protein (at least in comparison with typical diets), and low in both carbohydrates and fats.  As such, they were intended to preserve what little muscle that land beast had while stripping away the blubber to let their human side show.  You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, however, and some of those non-humans perished in their quest to lose weight due to the fact that the researchers conducting the studies apparently knew very little about nutrition.  The doctor in charge of the diet had his collection of farting, wheezing, pre-Klumps drinking a concoction of his own invention called Prolinn, which "was a liquid protein that provided fewer than 400 calories a day, consisted of ground-up and crushed animal horns, hooves, hides, tendons, bones and other slaughterhouse byproducts that were treated with artificial flavors, colours and enzymes to break them down."(Diets)  From this, we learned that a lack of protein can cause cardiac heart loss and a lack of minerals can cause arrhythmias, which led later experimenters to choose a more suitable protein source and supplement with vitamins and minerals.(MacDonald)  Thus, diets like the Dukan Diet were born, which promotes this as the Attack phase, in addition to the first two iterations of the Velocity Diet and Lyle Macdonald's Rapid Fat Loss Handbook diet.

Apparently this broad is not getting much cock, as the Protein-Sparing bit doesn't appear to have kicked in.

According to Macdonald, the PSMF was the outgrowth of the use of starvation diets to aid in fatloss.  Though they did result in considerable fatloss, starvation diets had the unhappy side effect of rapid muscle loss, which is of course not the goal of any strength athlete.  As such, it's necessary to abate that side effect with regular infusions of protein, which is what PSMF diets aim to achieve- it spares muscular bodyweight from conversion into glucose by providing the body with a source of protein from which it may do so, while at the same time maintaining ketosis.  For this reason, it would seem to go nicely with the diet I'd already had in place, perhaps (as I envisioned it) in a caloric cycling scheme, as I couldn't imagine training the way I do on that sort of a diet.  I did, for a period of a few days, attempt the Velocity Diet.  It fucking sucked.  I was so distracted during my workouts from hunger that I cut them short.  No amount of ephedrine and caffeine would push me through a ninety minute workout of singles and doubles in behind the neck push press without gravely endangering my life.  As such, I deemed the Velocity Diet unsuitable for my goals.

Four months of dieting ago.

But, you might be thinking, "what about losing all of your fat"?  It's simple- I was never a giant fatass.  Although I let my bodyfat creep up to uncomfortable (for me levels in the 12-15% range are about as fat as I'd ever get without being in a coma) levels, I didn't see any reason to sacrifice muscle for fatloss.  Though the title of the diet is "protein sparing", that's not to say that such a diet would preserve mass on a 6-10 workout a week program, especially with the weights I handle.  Additionally, I saw no reason to lose the weight quickly if I could take it off over time and get stronger.  As such, I needed to find a way to keep my saturated fat intake high for optimal hormone levels while accelerating my metabolism with dietary trickery.  In essence, I would have to become the Loki of diet and exercise.

How to become a mythical god of shenanigans? I explained that I found parts of the Warrior Diet to be intriguing, as it's an intermittent fast made popular by the rather convincing Ori Hofmekler.  Hofmekler based his diet on that of the soldiers of the Roman Empire, who ate sparingly throughout the day and feasted at night.  That seemed reasonable to me, and eminently doable, though I was concerned about catabolism during the day.  This is where the Velocity Diet/PSMF came in- provided I kept my calories low throughout the day and simply utilized shakes to offset any catabolism I might encounter from two-a-day workouts, I might be able to combine the fat-burning effects of the undereating phase with the anabolic effects of the overeating phase to achieve both goals simultaneously.  As such, this is similar to what Martin Berkhan espouses, however without the actual starvation and potential catabolism.  Berkhan himself admits there's no clinical evidence to support the theory that catabolism is arrested in IF with heavy weight training, and as I've no interest in conducting that research with my hard-fought muscle and PRs, so I figure there's no harm in hedging like a motherfucker and chugging some protein shakes.
The godfather of IF.

Thus, we come back to paleolithic eating and to the meal itself.  It was, almost to a day, the exact same thing- beef ribs.  The reasoning behind the ribs was initially a revolt by my taste buds against chicken wings, of which I've grown sick after a couple of years of occasional reliance.  I found that beef ribs had a similar macronutrient ratio to the wings, tasted amazing, were high calorie, and had one more thing in common with the meat I'd cast aside- beef ribs are meat on the bone.  Though most people would posit that this is a ridiculous reason to choose a food, I have always found meat on a bone to be far more satisfying than other cuts.  There's something visceral and animalistic about tearing the flesh of an animal from its bones, and although I possess no scholarly evidence to prove it, I'm convinced that this animalistic act has a significant effect on one's psyche and hormonal profile.  In essence, if one wishes to be the apex predator of our forebears, one must eat like that predator, and rip the flesh of their victims from their bones with their teeth.  It's for this reason I started referring to my diet as the Apex Predator Diet, discovering later that another author had a very similar idea himself.

Up next, I'll wrap this motherfucker up with a bit more science, doubtlessly field eleventy million Martin Berkhan questions, and we can move on with our lives.

Sources:
CBS News.  Diets: A Primer.  CBS NEWS In-Depth.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/food/diets.html
Hofmekler, Ori.  The Warrior Diet.
McDonald, Lyle.  The Ketogenic Diet.
McDonald, Lyle.  The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook.
Berkhan, Martin.  Intermittent Fasting During Weight Loss Preserves Muscle Mass?  http://www.leangains.com/2011/03/intermittent-fasting-for-weight-loss.html

20 comments :

  1. Broiling them is a good time saving method. Five minutes per side, with a dry rub

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  2. could you please tell me how much do you approximately spend on protein powder in a month? About 300 dollars, maybe? Thanks

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  3. I'm combining Berkhan style IF with some bastardized keto diet. Bodyfat is getting lower and I'm gaining strength on some lifts but it's 11:15 over here in Blightly and my "feeding window" starts at 12 so I'm having to fight the urge to gnaw my own fucking arm off. Something like this looks much more practical so I'm going to run it for a bit and see how I get on.

    How much would you pay for a 1kg/2lbs (whatever) of beef ribs over there, out of interest?

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  4. yo Jamie, like that dude above said... step by step, how do you do the ribs?

    Anyone who comes by my house usually winds up eating my chicken wings, and there is now a real cult following for "Chaos And Pain Wings", I'm famous.

    Ribs are awesome, but the way I have always done them they are a pain in the ass

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  5. I'm lazy as shit about my ribs. If I want them more tender, I go 300 for an hour. Generally, I want them quickly, so I go 400 for 25 mins. I use a combination of Butt Rub, Cumin, and Chipotle Powder for the dry rub, or Emeril's Rib Rub with Cumin, Chipotle, and Black Pepper. On occasion, I'll use a blackened barbecue seasoning in addition to the other stuff (I just reduce the amount of Emeril's or Butt Rub I use.

    Beef ribs at Publix supermarket range in price from $1.49/lb to $2.99/lb. I've no idea what causes the fluctuations or how to predict them, but it generally evens out. Walmart can be cheaper, but their ribs are all bone and fat and generally blow.

    As to the protein question, generally not more than $100 a month. I use the subscribe and save option on Amazon and get the shit shipped to me automatically.

    Thus, in answer to your unanswered question, my total cost for food's around $12 a day on this diet.

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  6. If you don't publish a book called 'The Predator Diet' and throw a huge pair of cum drenched tits on the cover, I'm going to be very fucking disappointed.

    Great read. And the Stanton article was slammin' too, you reminded me of its existence.

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  7. I actually thought it was 100 dollars a month doing the math with monster milk, but for whatever reason I wrote 300.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Cheapest I can find beef ribs for in the UK is $18 for a kilo (2.2lbs) which is pretty expensive. I'll have to stick to the dirty fucking chicken wings for now at $3 for 2.2lbs.

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  10. ugh its all stuck in my fuckin teeth, your next article "Hooliganism conintues to spread: How to floss like a Jacked Motherf*cker Beast Boss"

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  11. Dear god. I don't buy any cut of meat at $9/lb. The highest I'll go is the occasional bone in ribeye for $7/lb.

    @slowfuse- Must be why Weston Price advocated paleo dieting so early. I haven't missed a day of flossing Sat-Thurs in months!

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  12. @ Matthew. Maybe pork ribs? I'm not from the UK but if it's like Hawaii in any way, I assume pork might be cheaper to come across.

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  13. The evidence for the superiority of meat-on-the-bone is covered by Dr. Shanahan in the book Deep Nutrition. She also describes why slow cooking is the best method of consumption- basic it slices the proteins for easier absorption. If you overcook your meats the proteins, fats, and carbs in the meat fuse together and become franken-molecules that are impossible to assimilate. Cave-men only heated food to knock the frost off. Plus, slow-cooking ribs tastes way better.

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  14. @Kitano - You are right, pork ribs are much cheaper, works out roughly $3.50/lb which is still expensive compared to Jamie's beef ribs. You can't beat cow either!

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  15. I love braised beef short ribs. Not the Korean style though I love them as well but when they are about 2 inches long and you let them simmer in a dutch oven for a few hours each one is like its own pot roast!

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  16. "you let them simmer in a dutch oven for a few hours"

    Personally, I prefer my ribs without the taste of stinky ass biscuits. However, each to their own.

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  17. Have you actually experienced muscle loss from fasting, or are you just, as you say hedging your bets? Ever since I first decided to lose weight in high school, I've always instinctively skipped meals as a way of cutting calories, and I've never experienced any muscle loss from this method, and I've set plenty of PRs after eating nothing all day. I don't even take BCAAs or protein throughout the day as Berkham advocates, I eat nothing at all. Sure fasting makes your body break down lean tissue, but your body is always breaking down and rebuilding tissue, so I have a feeling that whatever gets broken down in a fast gets rebuilt when you eat. Other predatory animals spend most of the day not eating anything whatsoever without getting progressively smaller, so why shouldn't we be able to do the same thing?

    That said, I'm experimenting now with taking protein during the fast to see if i get better results, although I don't know what could be better than easily losing fat without losing any strength.

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  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkFi82R2vhQ

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  19. Nathan- Just hedging my bets. I'd rather not find out how much muscle I'd lose during a true fast. Fasting fucking sucks.

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