What will you eat today? You have a world of choices, and a world of people ready to tell you why you've chosen wrong. It can be overwhelming, especially because sometimes it seems like your very life—or at least the life your six-pack, hard-earned muscle mass, or other aesthetic goal—is at stake. So where do you start? Start here!
In the second of our expert panel roundtable discussions, we invited Dr. Jacob Wilson and Dr. Robert Wildman to discuss the fundamentals of goal-based nutrition and how the scientific landscape is rapidly changing. They break down some of the rules that should guide trainees with a range of goals, from losing large quantities of fat, to chiseling off a couple percentage points. Then they discuss three increasingly popular dietary protocols—ketogenic diets, "if it fits your macros," and intermittent fasting—from the perspective of fat-loss and muscle preservation.
The best way to learn from these experts is to watch the entire video. Then, if you'd like to refer back to specific sections, use the bookmark links below. Don't see your question answered here? Shout it out in the comments below so they can address it in the future!
Ask the Expert Panel Nutrition and Diet Roundtable
Dr. Robert Wildman
- PhD in human nutrition, registered dietitian (RD), fellow of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (FISSN)
- Chief Science Officer for Dymatize Nutrition
- Bodybuilding.com expert contributor
- Author of "Sports & Fitness Nutrition; "The Nutritionist: Food, Nutrition & Optimal Health;" "Advanced Human Nutrition;" and "The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods"
- Author of more than 75 journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts on nutrition, performance, and health
Dr. Jacob Wilson
- PhD in skeletal muscle physiology, certified strength and conditioning coach (CSCS)
- Director of the Human Performance & Sports Nutrition Lab, University of Tampa
- Author of Bodybuilding.com's "Ask the Muscle Prof" column
- Author/co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and abstracts on muscle-building, sports nutrition, and supplementation
Expert Panel Nutrition and Diet Table of Contents
Who are Jacob Wilson and Rob Wildman? - 0:40
What should I consider when looking at diets? - 2:25
- Losing fat and building muscle at the same time: Is it possible?
- Do I have to lose muscle when I diet?
- Macronutrients and changing body composition
- The two things you need to build muscle and burn fat
What is the optimal protein intake for losing fat? - 6:05
- Three meals a day vs. six meals a day
- The anabolic effect of protein
- The per-meal protein "threshold"
- The thermic effect of protein
- Other ways protein helps burn calories
How should I decide how many calories to eat? - 9:00
- The one-week method to determining "maintenance calories"
- How to perform a "self-inventory"
- Mifflin-St. Jeor vs. Cunningham
- Where to start your caloric deficit
- Your starting body composition and fat-loss
Calculate Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure!
Mifflin St. Jeor equation
Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (y) + 5
Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (y) - 161
* Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
Total Calories Including Exercise
* Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation
Why is it harder to lose fat the leaner you get? - 12:14
- Your body's preferred fuel sources and how they can change
- Why leaner people need to be careful with caloric deficits
- Two supplements that appear to spare muscle tissue when dieting
- How to alter your macros and protein intake when calories go down
How can I burn fat and build muscle at the same time? - 17:40
- The importance of cellular signaling and how to take advantage of it
- Cardio duration, intensity, and fat-loss
- How studies have achieved simultaneous fat-loss and muscle development
How should I optimize my resistance training for fat-loss and muscle gain? - 20:45
- Training frequency: The old way vs. the Norwegian way
- How to balance intensity and frequency
- The muscle protein synthesis "window" and training experience level
- Heavy lifting vs. hypertrophy training
- The importance of listening to your body for training—particularly when dieting
Ketogenic diets: What are the benefits and drawbacks? - 25:05
- How most people get it wrong
- The importance of fats, and the perfect keto macros
- Carb-adapted vs. fat-adapted or "keto-adapted"
- How long it takes to get "fat-adapted"
- Why very high-protein ketogenic dieting may not work
- Ketones and hunger level
- New research on ketogenesis and health markers
- Ketogenic diets and type 2 diabetes
- Why there isn't just one diet for everyone
- New research in carbs and training volume
- The problem with weekly cyclic keto diets, and a possible solution
"If it fits your macros" (IIFYM): What are the benefits and drawbacks? - 41:20
- What are IIFYM and "flexible dieting?"
- "What is sustainable?" vs. "what is optimal?"
- What potentially gets lost in IIFYM
- The importance of healthy choices
- Why your history and "personal inventory" are crucial
Intermittent fasting (IF): What are the benefits and drawbacks? - 47:30
- The many faces of IF
- The importance of muscle and its impact on IF diets
- The limitations of existing IF studies
- Obese vs. non-obese populations and IF
- "Modified" IF protocols for lean athletes