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Massive Eating Reloaded, Part II

by John Berardi
Massive Eating Revolutions

In Part I, Mr. Anderson, I presented a systematic way of gradually increasing your energy
intake using the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs" and the Science
Link System of Nutritional Individualization. This process involved simply calculating
your approximate energy needs to give you a goal to shoot for. You figure out how much
energy you’re currently eating and then adjust your meal plan to follow the Seven Habits
without changing this energy intake.

Next, at your current energy intake, you should assess your body weight and body
composition after two weeks. Finally, you should begin to increase or decrease your daily
energy intake by 250kcal based on how your body is changing over the two week time

While this system should make complete sense, I realize I did leave out a few critical
details. So, this week it’s time to pull out the studies and answer some remaining
questions you might have.

Macronutrient Combinations

In Massive Eating Part II, I presented a feeding strategy that centered on the idea of
eating protein with every meal. With protein as the staple of each feeding, meals would
be rounded out with either carbohydrate or fat, but not large amounts of both.

In other words, I suggested eating a few meals per day that contain protein and
carbohydrate (P+C) and a few meals that contain protein and fat (P+F). While I never
suggested entirely eliminating F from P+C meals and C from P+F meals, I noted that this
plan is designed to minimize the occasions you combine lots of C and lots of F in the
same meal.

There are two premises behind this strategy. The first is fat burning. High protein meals
increase the thermic effect of feeding, increase fat oxidation, and reduce carbohydrate
oxidation when compared to high carb meals. This effect persists during chronic high
protein diets. (10, 21, 22)

Even when a considerable amount of carbohydrate energy is included in such a diet (or in
a single meal), it appears that protein-induced increases in the hormone glucagon can
increase lipolysis (fat mobilization from adipose tissue) and subsequent fat oxidation (fat
burning) during rest and exercise. (22) While the hormone insulin is known to decrease
lipolysis and fat oxidation, glucagon may, in some situations, provide a more powerful
stimulus, promoting increased lipolysis and fat oxidation even while insulin is kicking
around. (6-8, 24) Interesting, huh?

Therefore, by eating a higher protein diet, even with an appreciable amount of

carbohydrate, you’ll end up burning more total fat while sparing muscle glycogen and
providing amino acids for recovery and growth. Sound like a good strategy for
simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss? You bet it is!

The second premise behind the combinations discussed above is insulin management.
Since insulin is both a storage hormone (pushing nutrients into tissues like muscle,
adipose and liver) and an anti-breakdown hormone (preventing the release of
macromolecules from liver, muscle and adipose tissue), a chronic elevation in blood
insulin — especially in the presence of carbohydrate and fat — will probably sabotage
your attempts to get big while still looking good sans sweatshirt. (1, 3-5, 7, 13)

So by eating protein with every meal and avoiding high concentrations of insulin,
glucose, and fat in the blood, it appears that body composition can be managed more
easily. This isn't to say you won’t gain any fat. Instead, it’s suggesting that fat gain may
be reduced. Combine this body fat management strategy with a high-energy intake and
what do you get? Well, simultaneous muscle growth and fat loss might not be an urban
legend after all!

Breaking the "Rules"

At this point, it’s time to add a few caveats to the original plan; upgrades, if you will. In
the original articles I suggested minimizing C intake during P+F meals and minimizing F
intake with P+C meals as an easy way to avoid the dreaded high glucose, insulin, and fat
cocktail. However, this isn’t the only way to avoid this combo. Here are a few "rule
breakers" which allow you to eat some types of C with your P+F meals:

1) Veggies, despite being carbohydrate, won't destroy your well-planned P+F meals.
Vegetables are very low on the glycemic scale and won't promote a large insulin
response. In fact, rather than just being "okay" during P+F meals, I suggest that they're
essential as they're rich in micronutrients and can balance out the net acidity inherent in a
high protein meal. (20, 25) For this reason, veggies should be ingested just about every

2) Very low glycemic carbohydrates also can be ingested during P+F meals. Of course,
I’ve written before about some low GI foods that actually provoke a big insulin response,
so not all low GI foods are acceptable when combined with P+F meals. (11) As a result, I
typically reserve veggies, fruits, and beans as "Massive Eating Approved" during P+F

However, even with these foods, don’t go overboard. The insulin response to a meal is
dependent on both the type and the amount of total carbohydrate. (18) Therefore some
veggies and one piece of fruit might be occasionally okay during a P+F meal, but lots of
veggies and three apples? Not so okay.

Nutrient Timing

The next step toward improving the Massive Eating meal plan is increasing your
awareness of the concept of nutrient timing. Up until this point, you’ve been made aware
of the Seven Habits, gradually increasing energy intake, using an outcome-based strategy
for further increases, and avoiding meals high in C+P+F.

However, none of this information tells you when to eat your P+C and P+F meals. By
staggering these meals appropriately, you can take advantage of what we know about
how the body metabolizes and stores nutrients during specific times of the day, especially
the post-exercise period.

For starters, the immediate post-exercise period is marked by a dramatic increase in

insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and glycogenic activity; this means that muscle
glycogen re-synthesis rates are dramatically elevated during the immediate post-exercise
period. (5, 17) If nutrition is delayed however, glycogen re-synthesis rates are reduced.
(12, 19) Therefore, carbs during the immediate post-exercise period are a must. This
should come as no surprise.

The addition of protein during the post-workout period shouldn’t be a shocker either.
Increases in post-exercise protein intake can provide amino acids for increased protein
synthesis, muscle repair, and muscle recovery. (3, 14, 23, 26) Also, since protein
ingestion increases metabolic rate (with most of this increase coming from fat oxidation),
the addition of protein to the post-workout meals may lead to losses in fat mass while the
body is simultaneously increasing muscle mass. (15, 16, 23)

That’s right, even in the face of a high post-exercise carbohydrate intake, the combination
of protein and carbohydrate may promote increases in glycogen and protein synthesis
(muscle anabolism) while, at the same time, promoting fat loss (fat catabolism). Since
carbs are most likely to be stored and fat most likely to be oxidized after exercise
anyway, the ingestion of a few P+C meals during this time can even further accelerate the
muscle building anabolic processes while also accelerating the fat burning process. (2, 9)

From this discussion it should be pretty clear that a couple of P+C meals should be
ingested during the few hours after your training session (whenever that might be). Not
only will you get a superior anabolic response, but you’ll probably continue losing fat as
well. According to new data from my lab, it may even be possible to promote full muscle
glycogen recovery during the six hours after exercise. Therefore I recommend eating
most of your daily carbs when your body’s carbohydrate storage capacity is highest —
during the few hours (4-6 hours) post-exercise.

That’s post-exercise. During the remainder of the day, when insulin and glucose tolerance
are lower and more carbohydrates are likely to be converted to lipids in the liver, sent to
adipose tissue, or promote a larger (lipolysis decreasing) insulin response, P+F meals
would be ingested. This further assists in the management of insulin and body
composition while continuing to spare carbohydrate.

With your daily P+F meals, a good balance of fats should be ingested, with each type of
dietary fat making up about one-third of your total daily intake (33% saturated fats, 33%
monounsaturated fats, 33% polyunsaturated fats with 50% omega 3's and 50% omega

Using nutrient timing in this way will provide you a unique and effective strategy for
consuming an abundant amount of micronutrient dense, glycogen-replenishing
carbohydrates; metabolism altering, hormone-stimulating fats; and muscle building,
amino acid rich proteins, while simultaneously preventing excessive hyperinsulinemia
and excessive fat gain. All while you pack on slabs of freaky muscle mass!

Gradual Energy Increases

At this point, one component of the plan remains unaddressed — what macronutrients to
include when it’s time to schedule your bi-weekly energy increase. Revisiting the idea
that you’ll slowly be increasing energy intake every two weeks or so, it’s important to
clarify both which meals should contain the extra energy (calories) and which
macronutrients should make up this energy.

While personal insulin sensitivity and personal preferences can be important in deciding
this, the system I use is relatively straightforward in most cases.

Step 1: Continue with Seven Habits.

Step 2: Increase carb energy (+250kcal) in workout and post-workout drinks.

Step 3: Increase carb energy (+250kcal) in first post-workout food meal.

Step 4: Add carb energy (+250kcal) in breakfast on workout days.

Step 5: Add fat energy (+250kcal) spread out through the day.

Step 6: Repeat Step 5.

This system leads to a net increase of 1250kcal over ten weeks. Now, if you’re starting
with a very low energy diet, you may need to double up these numbers. And, of course,
this is just a rough sketch of how I approach most clients. Since my approach is outcome-
based, bi-weekly feedback gives me a better opportunity to fine-tune these
The Massive Eating Reloaded Food Plan

What have we learned so far?

1. Adopt the Seven Habits without changing total energy intake.

2. Meals shouldn't contain high amounts of C and F simultaneously.

3. P+C meals should come during exercise and the post-exercise period.

4. Most of your daily C intake should be focused in and around the workout.

5. The remainder of your meals should be comprised of P+F.

6. Veggies, beans, and low GI fruits can be added to P+F meals in moderation.

7. Energy intake should be increased gradually rather than suddenly.

8. Every two weeks, you should assess your progress and alter energy intake if necessary.

9. Individual differences mean subtle modifications must be made for some people.

Using guidelines one through eight, I generated a sample meal plan. This plan represents
a 4,000kcal diet and should be adapted in an outcome-based manner.

Sample Meal Plan

Meal 1 (P+F)

2 chicken sausage links

organic spinach

1 cup organic carrots

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon flax oil

Meal 2 (P+F)

12 egg whites

1 slice regular cheese

chopped fresh veggies

1 tablespoon flaxseed oil

2 fish oil capsules

quarter cup walnuts

Meal 3 (P+F)

1 scoop of protein powder like Grow!

4 fish oil capsules

1 cup full fat organic yogurt

Meal 4 (P+F)

1 cup of 8-12 bean mix

4oz lean beef

organic spinach

1 cup organic carrots

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Meal 5: During Workout (P+C)

1 serving of a recovery drink like Surge

Meal 6: Immediately After Workout (P+C)

1 serving of recovery drink like Surge

Meal 7: One Hour Post Workout (P+C)

1 cup fat free organic yogurt

1 scoop protein powder like Grow!

2 cups frozen berries

2.5 cups cereal

Meal 8 (P+C)

4 oz extra lean beef

organic spinach

1 cup organic carrots

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 piece fruit

2 slices unprocessed grain bread

This plan assumes an evening training session. If you train in the mornings, simply ingest
meal one first, meals five through eight immediately after training, and meals two
through four at the end of the day.

Is This The Ultimate Nutritional Program?

Commander Lock: Not everyone believes in what you do, Morpheus.

Morpheus: My beliefs do not require them to.

A quick note about this system and then I’ll close. Over the last three years, the original
Massive Eating plan has been published in its entirety on at least 30 websites and in
several languages. This information, combined with the thousands of testimonials I’ve
received from readers and clients, tends to make me think that the plan works.

Of course, over the last three years, several critics have also emerged and have attempted
to debunk the logic behind the plan. For the critics, I say this… I understand that the
original Massive Eating plan isn't perfect (no human attempt at manipulating physiology
is). The body is complex terrain and until we have it completely figured out (ha, ha) there
will be no perfect meal plan. In the meantime, people need an internally consistent
system that helps them achieve their goals. Massive Eating Reloaded does this.

Critics, criticize all you want, but until you come up with a better system, save your
pseudo-intellectual wanking for those more interested in online debates than pushing
heavy weights.

And this line closes another chapter on the Massive Eating plan. Massive Eating
Reloaded is a unique plan in that it puts all the power in your own hands. There are no
mysteries or magic tricks, only patience, discipline, consistency and progress. If you’re
interested in gaining lean mass without all the extra fat of a typical "bulking" regimen,
you owe it to yourself to give this plan a try. It’s my most effective to date.

About the Author

John Berardi is a PhD candidate in Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry at the

University of Western Ontario, Ontario Canada. John is also president of Science Link, a
human performance and nutrition consultation group dedicated to translating research
into results. The Science Link team works with clients from around the world and from
all walks of life including elite athletes to cardiovascular patients. To find out more
about his products and services, visit him at www.johnberardi.com or email him directly
at jb@johnberardi.com.

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