Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Modified Velocity Diet: this is what 28 days of One meal a Day Fat Loss looks like

Have you ever felt like you're doing the right things (or most of them) while trying to trim some personal fat, and it's just not seeming to move? Go on! Me, too. Here's the story of a 6ish pound fat loss in 28 days eating one food meal a day and protein and sups the rest of the time.  Why would a sane person who likes food, preparing it, eating it, do this? Read on!

Sometimes i get to a place - i'm working out right, seemingly eating right, but my weight feels, well, stuck.

There are many paths to getting weight to drop again. Sometimes its by adding in more calories if one's been pretty low for awhile - really that can work wonders. Sometimes it's getting calories up and tweaking ratios a la Berardi's G-Flux.

But it depends. Sometimes it's getting real about eating less. And if less is what's called for, there are many ways to do less, because sometimes even seemingly eating less doesn't seem to cut it. OR less is going great in 7/8s of the eating day but that last 1/8 is the killer. How kick back? Again, many approaches in Fat City to deal with that 1/8. This story is just one of them.

Upping the Contractile Tissue Ratio. I was stuck with some 1/8 issues and couldn't seem to break them with previous approaches while at the same time, i had found myself in this place of wanting to "have less non-contractile tissue on me," as good buddy and coach Ken Froese (of the triple beast press) puts it.

Indeed, i owe this story to Ken for getting me inspired with the approach about to be described. I knew Ken had been doing one meal a day - along with coffee with double cream in the morning And maybe lunch time since about last december. Bacon, cream and amo, that's Ken's shopping basket (he posted the pictures, dude).

Mainly the one meal a day approach of Ken's, as i understand it, had not so much been a quest to lose weight as to get away from how another colleague Gina Venolia puts it "being anyone's bitch." Gina quit smoking and caffeine because "i didn't want to be their bitch." That's so cool. Ken likewise didn't want hunger to be his. So he explored mainly one meal a day. We are getting closer to the New Less approach.

The Modified V Diet

I recently asked Ken how that one meal a day thing was going. He said he'd cut out the coffee and cream and was doing metRX shakes a couple times a day instead, and then eating dinner. Shakes? Ya, he says, keeps calorie counting simpler.

yum yum, learn to love me some protein powder fun
As we discussed it, it turns out the closest thing we were talking about was the Velocity Diet or what's called the V-Diet for short, and it's described over at T-Nation.

In sum, the V-diet is largely protein shakes and recovery shake (read, some kind of carb item in shake) along with a variety of supplements to aid fat mobilization. Oh ya, and a big caloric deficit to boot. Oh double ya, ya get one real food meal a week. Not a day, a week. Otherwise it's non-stop powder and pills for 28 days.

What Ken and i have been doing more or less is what we're calling "the modified v diet" - and we're likely not alone or maybe not the first folks to have done this so can't claim an invention; just want to share the experience with the strategy.

The One Meal A Day Difference. Why Ken and i ended up what calling what we're doing "the modified V diet" is that we both decided that rather than have one meal A WEEK as per the actual v diet, we were having a real dinner. Protein and greens; low on carbs, but for my part as spicey and flavourful as possible (more on this approach in part 2). After dinner, I also ritually had one natcho chip. Yes, you can eat just one. And half a piece of fresh fruit.

Other than that, yes powders and pills. In Part 2, i give the entire run down of the typical blends i did as these, too, one could say, are certainly inspired by the original v diet, but using the stuff i like to use rather than the particular supplements recommended by the velocity diet sponsors.

Experience: In part 3, i'll talk about the process/experience of going to one small (not feast) food meal a day. For now, let me just say that  (a) it's possible to adjust quite nicely  (b) the first weekend was the toughtest - going vaguely ketogenic and dealing with getting away from hunger habits, and (c) no, this isn't really a ketogenic diet (see lyle mcdonald's work on this approach), it's not intermittent fasting (see brad pilon for the ese text book on that) and it sure as hell isn't the warrior diet (see b2d here). And it worked, as the data below indicates.

In the Numbers: mc on (modified) V

28 days of the modified v diet: 5.5 pounds and 1.25+ inched off hips; 1+ inches off waist

Results - 1.25 inches off the hips; 1+ inch off the waist; 5.5-6lbs fat gone down, callipers showed lean mass up. How do you like that, eh? Plateau busted or what?

So let's look a little further at one part of the numbers as they change. As the weight graph shown above indicates,  there's a few interesting things to note:

  1. the total weight loss in the 28 days is totally within the NORMAL and SAFE range of 1-2 pounds a week - so nothing extreme happening here
  2. As mike t nelson is fond of saying, weight loss is non-linear. You can see the immediate drop over the first few days of the diet, then the back up over a week or so, and then the second dip. And can we say hormonal cycle? Very interesting correlation. There were NO changes to the way i was eating (as shown in part 2)

Take aways from this graph might be: hold steady to a dietary practice for at least two weeks in order to see the trend of the changes rather than the daily particulars.

There's a lot going on in a body and much practice can only be revealed over time - especially when the numbers seem to go backwards for awhile.


I'm not recommending this approach for eating or recommending it. I'm just sharing an approach that's been working and has some nice consequences, not just in terms of reasonable weight loss - but in terms of attitudes/responses to foods. It's very nice to feel like i'm not hunger's bitch neither. I'm also not recommending exploring this approach longer than 28 days - quite frankly i think i've grown a little afraid of having whole food more than once a day! I'm sure its temporary. Anway - again - this is just offered particularly to show another path to busting a plateau, and also perhaps especially to show that
  • even when doing something so rigorous/controlled, weight loss is still non-linear
  • one can still train and make gains in a calorie reduced state
  • the weight loss on this vaunted velocity diet is not "extreme" but well within normal bounds - that's a surprise. 

 Future Forward: Experiment of One.

I'm into the week post this and am currently sitting at 127.2-127.5. Is this the next mini-plateau? I'm not sure, so I'm staying on this diet a bit longer than the stated 28 days of the original v because it feels fine, and because i'm curious to see if i'm rather plateauing again, if there'll be another drop - in other words does the trend continue or does its amplitude just get smaller?

Another reason i'm not changing anything at the moment is that i'm also training for a set of goals for the next two months, and am not keen to change anything that's working right now - heck doing this diet change itself was a bit of a training risk, but being lighter is important for the challenges ahead - so necessary. I'm pleased with how sane this had been despite being somewhat insane or at least unusual at the same time.

For general healthy living when not plateau busting, i still recommend Precision Nutrition (free overview here) and especially Ryan Andrew's new book Drop the Fat Act and Start Living Lean (review | author interview ). 
Till then remember - processed food is no substitute for whole food - except for protein powder, maltodextrin, and cla from saflower, of course :) - more on those bits in part 2. 

ps - about Ken? not gonna speak for his data, but his results have been makin' him happy too.


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