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No Progress with Low Calorie Diets?

Q: I’ve restricted my calories to lose weight, but I’m barely making any progress on my body composition—plus I’m miserable. What’s wrong?

7212-mhp2A: As I’ve said previously, calorie restriction alone doesn’t work. You need to effect a hormonal change to increase your metabolism, which means manipulating macronutrient ratios—including a reduction in carbohydrate load—and sourcing your macros differently; for example, to improve ingredient quality.

To ramp up your metabolism, reduce carbohydrate intake dramatically; increase animal protein intake; increase animal fat intake slightly; avoid all grains, soy, chemicals,  overly processed foods, and grain and vegetable oils; and don’t drink your calories (alcohol, juice, smoothies, milk). It means some major changes for most people, but I have never seen this prescription fail to improve someone’s body composition.

Unless you’re already lean or a hard-charging athlete who’s training three-plus times per week at a high level of intensity and power output, it will work for you. The only exception is if you’re looking to gain weight or you have a massive energy output, in which case you will need to increase carbohydrates by eating tubers or possibly rice, depending on your gut health.


Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MPH athlete,  IM


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