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The Transition Phase Between Dieting and Gaining

I received a question in my having to do with manipulating calories and macronutrients for optimal transitioning from gaining to dieting phases and vice versa and this seemed like an excellent impetus to write about this topic in some detail.

Because while a lot of people tend to jump back and forth from one to the other (often, I think, spinning their wheels a bit), taking a more long-term approach, a nutritional periodization of sorts, can be beneficial in terms of working with rather than against the body’s inherent physiology.

Gaining to Dieting: The Pre-Diet Phase

Way back in the early days of bodybuilding you would hear physique athletes talk about a “hardening phase” which was meant as a transition from their off-season bulking to their contest diet.  Now, in hindsight, it probably had as much to do with switching out their drugs from heavy androgens to more anabolic compounds to reduce water retention but it basically entailed “cleaning up the diet” to prepare for the actual contest prep.… Keep Reading

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What Are the Causes of Diet Failure?

Moving on from last week’s piece that didn’t say much, I want to delve into a topic that will be a bit of a mish-mash from a book I started last year from which the woman’s book spun off from.  I will get back to it and this may be a bit disorganized since I’m pulling stuff out of some different chapters but so be it.  But I want to look today at the causes of diet failure.  Now, I’ve written a bit about this before although that was more about how dieters fail their diets but this is all inter-related.

To be honest, and I’ve been saying this for a lot of years, I don’t think that the issue with dieting failure has much to do with diet (or exercise) per se.  That is, we know and have known for a long-time HOW to get people to lose weight/fat (I’m going to use these interchangeably for writing style reasons just understand that body composition is more important than changes in body weight per se and let’s move on). … Keep Reading

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What Can We Learn About Behavior Change from Training Dogs?

The post I’m going to make today is something I’ve not only wanted to put down for a while but was originally written for a monster book on fat loss that I started last year (which is 95% done and from which The Women’s Book sprang).  Since that book focuses on fat loss, most of the language deals with that topic.  But it would generally apply to behavior change overall.  I’ve changed some of the text and verbiage for various reasons.


An older idea of human behavior (called behaviorism) suggests that we do things either to obtain reward (things feel good) or avoid punishment (things feel bad). While there is obviously more to it than that in humans, there is no doubt that these types of pathways play a role in human behavior.

Humans tend to do things that feel good/reward them (like eating) and avoid things that feel bad/punish them. … Keep Reading

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Podcasts and Interviews

I wanted to collect the various podcasts and interviews I’ve done with folks in one place (and thanks to the folks who helped me get this list together since I’m awful at saving these) for those who want to hear me babble about the same stuff repeatedly for 60-90 minutes at a pop. Unfortunately, the nature of Itunes is that I can’t link directly to the podcast I was on. Instead, I’ve linked to the general page and indicated the number of the episode where I babbled.

The Revive Stronger Podcast

Back in 2004, I wrote a little book called A Guide to Flexible Dieting, basically arguing that being less extreme with a diet would work better.  Of course, nobody was ready to listen then although, in the last few years you can’t swing a dead cat without seeing a post or ebook about flexible dieting.  Sometimes folks even cite my work (in one case it was blatantly plagiarized but that’s a different story). … Keep Reading

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Does the EC Stack Stop Working?

A common question regarding supplements, especially fat loss supplements is how long they can or should be taken.  I addressed that question regarding the ephedrine/caffeine (EC) stack previously but want to expand on a comment I made in my answer which had to do with whether or not the EC stack stops working.

My specific comment was this:

I do mean that this is unusual in that most drugs lose, or at least appear to lose, their effect over time (it’s a little more complicated than this but I’ll save my explanation of this statement for next week or something).

Ephedrine Doesn’t Stop Working

I also presented data showing that this is actually absolutely not the case, that EC clearly not only continues working in the long-term but, for some reason, becomes more effective over time.  And this goes against what is most commonly believed about not only EC (with claims that it stops working, usually based on the fact that the side effects are no longer felt) but with almost all dieting drugs (including the big pharmaceutical ones).… Keep Reading