Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 92: Physique Enhancement, Rapid Fat Loss, Plateaus, and Processed Foods with Bill Campbell, PhD

August 01, 2023 Bill Campbell, PhD Episode 92
Ep 92: Physique Enhancement, Rapid Fat Loss, Plateaus, and Processed Foods with Bill Campbell, PhD
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 92: Physique Enhancement, Rapid Fat Loss, Plateaus, and Processed Foods with Bill Campbell, PhD
Aug 01, 2023 Episode 92
Bill Campbell, PhD

Today we are speaking with Dr. Bill Campbell, whose work I've followed for a few years, including his monthly research review Body by Science. We are tackling five very important topics related to improving your body composition to get the physique you want, including how consuming highly processed foods impacts your goals, the effectiveness of a rapid fat loss phase, why weight plateaus occur, and how to break them, physique-training vs. nutrition, and the use of diet breaks and refeeds to optimize your physique.

Bill Campbell is a Professor and Director of the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida. He publishes a monthly research review (Body by Science) that summarizes the latest and best research focusing on fat loss and building muscle.

Bill has published over 200 papers, 3 textbooks, and 20 book chapters related to physique enhancement, and his articles have been cited over 7,000 times.

He also is the co-creator (with Dr. Layne Norton) of the "Physique Coaching Academy" - the most comprehensive and evidence-based course and mentorship program helping weight loss and physique coaches across the world.

__________

Click here to apply for coaching!
__________

Today you’ll learn all about:


[2:03] Bill's background in the field
[5:15] Balancing research and practice
[9:22] Highly processed foods and their impact on physique goals
[14:20] Eating whole foods and controlling for calories
[19:31] Rapid/aggressive fat loss
[24:46] What induces hyperphagia
[27:19] Aggressive dieting and muscle mass
[36:30] Use of diet breaks and refeeds
[43:58] Weight loss plateaus
[51:44] Training vs. nutrition for body composition goals
[53:22] The question Bill wanted Philip to ask him
[54:37] Where to learn more about Bill and his work
[56:21] Outro

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

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Show Notes Transcript

Today we are speaking with Dr. Bill Campbell, whose work I've followed for a few years, including his monthly research review Body by Science. We are tackling five very important topics related to improving your body composition to get the physique you want, including how consuming highly processed foods impacts your goals, the effectiveness of a rapid fat loss phase, why weight plateaus occur, and how to break them, physique-training vs. nutrition, and the use of diet breaks and refeeds to optimize your physique.

Bill Campbell is a Professor and Director of the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida. He publishes a monthly research review (Body by Science) that summarizes the latest and best research focusing on fat loss and building muscle.

Bill has published over 200 papers, 3 textbooks, and 20 book chapters related to physique enhancement, and his articles have been cited over 7,000 times.

He also is the co-creator (with Dr. Layne Norton) of the "Physique Coaching Academy" - the most comprehensive and evidence-based course and mentorship program helping weight loss and physique coaches across the world.

__________

Click here to apply for coaching!
__________

Today you’ll learn all about:


[2:03] Bill's background in the field
[5:15] Balancing research and practice
[9:22] Highly processed foods and their impact on physique goals
[14:20] Eating whole foods and controlling for calories
[19:31] Rapid/aggressive fat loss
[24:46] What induces hyperphagia
[27:19] Aggressive dieting and muscle mass
[36:30] Use of diet breaks and refeeds
[43:58] Weight loss plateaus
[51:44] Training vs. nutrition for body composition goals
[53:22] The question Bill wanted Philip to ask him
[54:37] Where to learn more about Bill and his work
[56:21] Outro

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Bill Campbell PhD:

Two things that help protect muscle mass or a higher protein diet and resistance exercise. So if you're dieting, do those two things try to eat higher protein. And what that meant might mean different things for different people. The second thing is yet resistance train.

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Wits & Weights community Welcome to another episode of the Wits & Weights Podcast. Today we are speaking with Dr. Bill Campbell, whose work I've followed for a few years, including his monthly Research Review body by science, we are tackling some very important topics today related to improving your body composition to get the physique you want, including how consuming highly processed foods and packs your goals can a rapid fat loss phase be effective, why weight plateaus occur and how to break them, which is more important for your physique training or nutrition and the use of diet breaks and refeeds to optimize your physique. Bill Campbell is a professor and director of the performance and physique enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida. He publishes a monthly Research Review body by science that summarizes the latest and best research focusing on fat loss and building muscle Bill has published over 200 papers, three textbooks 20 book chapters related to physique enhancement, and his articles have been cited over 7000 times. He's also the CO creator with Dr. Leigh Norton, of the physique Coaching Academy, the most comprehensive and evidence based course and mentorship program helping weight loss and physique coaches around the world. Bill, it is a joy to welcome you to the show.

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, thank you. That's quite an introduction.

Philip Pape:

Well deserved. Yeah. And you know, what's interesting about you and your work is that, you know, you've dedicated your career to enhancing how we understand physique enhancement, which is a more niche area of you know, we talk about body composition, training, health fitness. Why is that specifically important to you, including the work you do at USF and what continues to motivate you to push those boundaries?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, so when I use the word physique enhancement, that kind of implies a person that wants to take their physique to kind of a, an advanced, some might say, elite level. So knowing that I make no apologies, with the fact that I'm on the vanity side of our profession. So as an exercise scientist, I serve people that aren't necessarily doing their exercise and nutrition for health reasons. But for vanity reasons. And again, I don't make apologies to that, because nobody does this. And there are a lot of harms, health harms that can be done. So one of the things that my research does is we we emphasize how to help people optimize their physiques within a maintainable lifestyle. And that part of that statement that precludes some unhealthy practices that people have done in the past that fortunately we're getting away from my research does serve bodybuilders. In fact, bodybuilders are who I study, they're the experts of fat loss, I just dialed back what they do a notch or two to to broadcast to what people like myself, so I don't have a plan to step on stage. But I'd like to look like I could step on stage in the next few weeks or few months. And then also this, obviously, I do a lot of reading of the obese research as well, because there's a lot a lot to glean from that area. And my career actually started off studying people with obesity. And then over the last 510 years, I've gravitated towards this, the more people who are in shape, who are exercising, what do they want to do to go to the next level in a way that they can maintain? So that's what I do. That's what I'm motivated to do. And essentially, I would say, I designed research studies with my team that benefit me and my wife, like, what are do we want to improve our physiques? How do we want to improve our our function? You know, and do this where we can go out for ice cream with our kids and make sure that's part of the plan. So it's kind of a selfish endeavor. And when I look at it like that as well,

Philip Pape:

I love it and you had me an ice cream man, because that's one of my most enjoyable vices, but you're in South Florida, and I told you I grew up in South Florida. So you know, it's just the thing you have. I think that's a really important distinction you made there with or not distinction, but you talked about folk focus on the entity and focus on looks, but making it maintainable. And a lot of people shy away from talking about that or kind of dance around it in terms of Talking about why it's so something so great for your health. You know, we've been talking about body composition and strength training, and emphasize a lot of these other things. And at the end of the day, everybody wants to look better as well. It's a it's probably a natural human thing built into our, our DNA. And like you said, you need to understand how to do that in a healthy way. So how do we balance those things? And specifically, how do we take all the information? So you do research? But man, you can you can find 1000s of articles online about one of these topics. And most people don't go past the abstract, let's be honest. How do you take that and actually apply to practice and walk the line between the two before we get into the topics?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, and one thing that I also say is my research is focused on your physique. But there's a lot of health snuck in the back door, you can sign metaphor, right? Yeah, yeah, if you lose excess body fat, by default, you're healthier. If you're engaging in exercise, any exercise, if you're walking an extra 2000 steps per day, there are clear metabolic improvements in your health, that would that will be realized. Now again, my guess my marketing curtain is, hey, do this to build bigger muscles do this to lose more body fat. But behind all of that, I just choose not to not not to come at it from a health perspective, but it's there. And the older I get, the more I appreciate. That's true of anybody, the older you get, the more you start to move your interest from physique to health. Again, not that people ignore physique, but there is a greater appreciation of health the older you get. I don't think that answered your question. In terms of well,

Philip Pape:

it was actually but I liked that, let's let's take that tangent just as a bit of pull the thread because I also work with a lot of older folks. And so older, meaning over 40, I'm over 40. And they're usually people who lift who liked to lift, but they're like, I gotta shed a little bit of extra body fat. Now, you know, it's just it's come time. And by the way, I'm doing it because I want to be healthy. And I'm worried about my blushing. But let's be honest, I also want to look at, there's always both, like I'd never seen just because just because we get older, and like you said you focus more on health than you did when you were young, when you might not have even cared a lick about it, because you got all these years ahead of you. Right, but you never lose that idea of hey, I still want to look great and feel great, because I'm a human. So

Bill Campbell PhD:

yeah, and one thought that popped in when you said working with somebody that's older 40s or older, and we just insulted every 40s cluding me it's now I kind of lost my my train of thought. But even if you are you maintaining your body fat in your 40s, mid 40s. And on, you're actually winning, because the normal progression is you gain body fat in your mid 40s more in your 50s more in your 60s. So that's something that a lot of people don't appreciate, if you working just to maintain, puts you ahead if you want to lose, and this is maybe something I don't know what your history history has been with body composition, but you have to work quite a bit harder in your 40s than you did in your 20s to get the same body composition outcome. And a lot of our younger professionals have no clue they they they and again, that's not a those are who I teach, those are my students that they just haven't lived long enough. So

Philip Pape:

it's easy for them, quote unquote, in relative terms, right? Yeah,

Bill Campbell PhD:

absolutely. Yes, it is. Again, not in Yes, relative terms that thinks the key statement there. But it is an appreciation and then again, you factor in and do our view your clients have children. What's their work demands? I just I remember when I was younger, my career my days my life revolved around my training. Well, that that gets harder to do. Life start

Philip Pape:

locations. Yeah. Yeah, it's true. Yeah, are you get injures injuries, or in my case, I had rotator cuff surgery about two weeks ago. So now I'm like, I can't lift it. I'm going to next week via the three arm the three limbs, man and try to get back into it. You know, but you're right. So why don't we Why don't we dive into some of the specific topics that I mentioned before then that cover this both from a nutrition and training perspective. And the first one is about highly processed foods. I mean, it's kind of out of the blue, but it is an important topic because a lot of people struggle with controlling their intake of highly palatable foods, whether it's fast food, junk, food, snacks, sweets, whatever you want to call them, even the ice cream we talked about before. That's my vulnerability. And one of the impacts of our food environment. It's just that people over consuming this stuff naturally, right? I mean, the studies show that people will over consume highly palatable foods, all things equal, when they're not tracking when they're not intending to do you know stay in a particular trajectory. So what are all the various ways of consuming these foods impact our physique goals energy Balanced me one of them, but I'm sure there are others.

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yes, I start with research, that's epidemiological in nature, which reports consistently, the greater amount of highly Ultra processed foods you eat, the higher your BMI, Stated differently. The more processed foods you eat, the more body fat you have. So there's our base. And then we can kind of look at different research about mechanisms as to why so one thing I think you've kind of mentioned it, but if you're not active, if you're not on top of your caloric intake, those foods, and I think the best way to mention this is they're engineered to over consume. And it's, it's, it makes sense from a business standpoint, and my, I have a degree in marketing, I actually like marketing, I like reading about marketing. And that's my pleasure reading. So I appreciate the marketing side of things. And just even with just highly processed foods, it's just it's so nice. It's, it's, they're engineered that we're going to keep eating them because it does not it has very little effect on appetite. And just the time savings, like it's so easy to open up a package of something and consume it than it is to grill a chicken breast or to cook your rice or whatever you know, your own food prep is. So it's it's a very hard battle for a lot of people and a hard battle for myself at times, to not default to easier, more processed food choices. Let me just transition that to the base statement of the more you eat, the higher your BMI. There's been one study that was done, which didn't discuss or investigating mechanism. In fact, this is the only study that's ever actually shown that eating a highly processed food diet will increase body weight and body fat. And what they did was they had subjects for two weeks eat and only Ultra processed food diet. And then for another two weeks, the same subjects ate a non processed food diet. So they had them live in a in a research unit for 28 days, it might have been 30 days, under two different conditions. And essentially what happened was when they eat the ultra processed food, and by the way, the subjects were blinded to the study, like they didn't know why they were doing this, they didn't know that their food was prepared for them. So they didn't know it was a weight gain weight loss study. And the subjects while they were on the ultra food processed diet, they ate an additional about 500 calories per day leading to about a two pound weight gain over the two week period. And they actually had a little bit of weight loss when they were on the the non processed food diet. And the really intriguing thing was which at first, when I read it, it puzzled me. There were no differences in their subjective feelings of hunger in either of these two week stuck to week phases. And I'm like, but I thought that ultra processed foods made us more hungry. Like they don't say she ate you as much. And then the more I thought about it was obvious. They they were just as hungry. Or they were they got the same feelings of hunger. But they had to eat 500 more

Philip Pape:

to consume or Yeah, to get it. Yeah, perfect. So it took me a few

Bill Campbell PhD:

minutes. They're like, Oh, make sense. And one other thing. And this is a whole other conversation, the subjects over ate on carbs and fat. So most of the excess calories were from the carbs and the snacks, essentially. And that goes into another topic called protein leverage theory. So if you follow my work or some of my research, we do, we've published some studies about the importance of having like a higher protein diet, enhance your physique, and just to prevent excess weight gain.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, and as I was mentioning, before, we recorded this that the episode coming out right before this that already came out as people are listening to this was all about protein. And I referenced some of the study you talked about, where women had just a slight increase in protein, and there was a massive difference in body fat reduction, and so on. So I think that's important. What about what about if you control for calories? So the calories are the same between two groups? What other effects would we see? For example, the thermic effect of feeding I understand is higher with whole foods. What would you know, would your expenditure change just all things equal? Or any other variables change because you're eating whole foods versus processed foods?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, so I'm aware of one study where that's been shown. So you have 1000 calories of a of a whole food meal and you have 1000 calories of a ultra processed meal. You're you're going to expend more calories with the whole the non processed meal. Now that's probably I wouldn't call While a trivial because you do that meal after meal day after day that will likely have an effect over time. But there's yet not only do you not only when you eat a highly processed food diet, not only are you going to be hungrier, but your body actually less burns fewer calories to digest, absorb, transport and process those foods. So you're kind of losing on both ends of the spectrum, they're entered the energy in you're likely to consume more, and your energy expended or your energy out. Yeah, so we That's it again, there's there's, there's nothing that the science is not favorable to anything about highly Ultra processed foods if you're trying to optimize your physique or trying to manage weight gain. Now, that being said, again, my core tenant is optimize your physique within a maintainable lifestyle. Or at least for me, and how I'm raising my children, our lives aren't maintaining our lifestyle is eating ice cream sometimes. Yes. Now some people that they would say, That's horrible. How do you do that? My, my children have soda sometimes. So and I'm very sensitive daughter, so I'm very hypersensitive to eating disorders or disordered eating. So we don't really talk about you know, hey, we just know if you're gonna have a snack, you'll get a bowl. And when you finish the bowl, you're done. You got that enjoyment. So there's that aspect as well. Yes, the research isn't favorable. But if I know the research, and I'm gonna have chocolate chip cookies sometime in the next week,

Philip Pape:

likewise, I'm totally with you there. And again, it's it's it's a matter of quantity. It's like, all the recent studies and observations about aspartame, you know, like make sure to have less than 15 cans of soda every single day. So you avoid the you know, deleterious effects of, of aspirin anyway. So that's what I was going to ask. And you basically answered that is like, how do we is there a place for those in our diet? And the answer is yes, if you want it to be maintainable, at least if you enjoy those foods, obviously, if you just enjoy eating 100% Whole Foods, go for it. What about when the foods are associated with emotional triggers? Binge eating things like that? Right? specific trigger foods? Do you get into those discussions in terms of helping people or clients with improving the relationship with food in that context?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, so that's, um, outside of my research expertise, when, when it comes to that, like eating behaviors, behavioral psychology, I will just say practically, a lot of coaches that are in my network, they have kind of a base recommendation, which is the 8020 rule. So try to have 80% of your food choices be from Whole Foods, and 20% being the foods that might be a little bit more hyper palatable. Now, we also need to suggest here and again, I'm not talking about health, but there are also this eating a highly processed food diet, yes, it causes more hunger, yes, it causes less energy output. There are metabolic metabolic consequence, metabolic health consequences as well. So more insulin production, probably a greater risk for type two diabetes. So I'm not focused on the those those health effects of this. But that's a consideration as well, usually nutrient deficient. But again, I tend to focus on just the adipose tissue side of this, which that's that's a very health centric focus for just on eliminating or reducing excess adiposity in somebody.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, speaking of nutrients and food science, you mentioned how fascinating it is with the marketing and the science. And I agree, do you remember that show? The guy from Mark summers, I think it was from Nickelodeon. Back in the day, he had this show about how factories make food, and you can find them watching. Like, like, like Twinkies or something. It's, it's incredible, right? Like the robotics behind it and how they engineer the ingredients come together. But then when you learn what those ingredients are you like, okay, now I understand. It's, you know, everything's ground down to a fine powder and then smashed together and there's like, no nutrition in it. But it tastes good. You know, for a lot of people. So yeah.

Bill Campbell PhD:

I haven't seen that. But that I liked that kind of stuff.

Philip Pape:

Oh, what was it? Was it called unsnap? On out an unwrapped, unwrapped is what it was, it was back in the 90s. I don't know. So okay, so then the next topic is I want to talk about aggressive fat loss. And so when we talk about whole unprocessed foods for hunger, we talked about controlling calories. One of the scenarios of course, with improving your body composition is fat loss and managing the symptoms that come along with that like hunger. So I couldn't imagine eating an all Twinkie diet during an aggressive phase. There are different reasons people want to lose fat, quote, unquote, quickly and we can define what quickly means right? We're not talking crash diets. Whether it's an event like a wedding, a vacation, maybe a physique competition, or guys like myself or lifters who I work with who just want to get in and out, you know, they're already in a somewhat lean range, but they just need to kind of cut that excess fat in 810 12 weeks and minimize muscle loss. Right? So how can how can Rapid Fat Loss be done effectively?

Bill Campbell PhD:

It needs to be done. The research that I'm reading, in fact, we were about to submit my labs research on a rapid fat loss study. So the answer is based on my interpretation of the research in my own labs findings, it needs to be very short. So if you want to be aggressive, or if you're even going to take an extreme approach to fat loss, get in get out. If you want to protect lean mass, you want to protect your metabolism, the harm is greater. Apparently, the harm is greater in Lean people embracing crash dieting, quick, aggressive, rapid fat loss strategies that go on and on and on their does. Some of the most recent research that I've read was on individuals with obesity doesn't seem to be as detrimental to be very aggressive. And again, the caveat is in both situations, it needs to be short, when I say I'll define it 14 days or less of being in a very severe caloric deficit. And let's define that as approximately 40% or more of a caloric deficit. As soon as you start going longer than that, then I don't I don't, I my interpretation of the broad research, which there's not a lot of studies, you're there's only so much, there's only so much muscle that you're able to maintain in a short period of time. So as these aggressive diets gets extended, lean mass is lost. Metabolic Rate is suppressed. And then the big catch here is this this post diet phase or post diet observation called fat overshoot, where if you've taken an extreme approach to dieting for an extended period of time, your your hunger levels, it's a it's a term that describes it is called hyperphagia, which is basically an uncontrollable desire to eat. So it's binge eating when the diet is over. There's been the hypothesis that this feeling of hyperphagia uncontrollable desire to eat after your diet ended will persist until you have been able to gain back the lean tissue that you lost during your extreme diet. So one thing my lab is focused on is, let's design diets that protect muscle mass from the first day of dieting, so that we never get into this. So there's that there's that sustainable part of this. So protecting muscle mass needs to be a priority when in a fat loss diet. And that's true, whether it's a slow and methodical six month process, or a 10 day extreme diet process, what are the things we can do to protect muscle mass and prevent this post diet rebound, fat overshoot, and a feeling of just uncontrollable hunger?

Philip Pape:

Okay, I want to break down at least two or three of those concepts, Bill. So the first one, you talked about the aggressiveness. In terms of the deficit, you said 40% or more just to do some quick math, let's say a male who burns 3000 calories a day, that would be a 1200 calorie deficit, which is around two and a half pounds a week. So assuming that person's say 180 to 200 pounds, that is more than the 1%. You often hear in the normal range of fat loss rate you hear quarter to 1% of your body weight per week is always the number thrown around. And this sounds like it's more like maybe 1.2 Or maybe 1.5%. Is that about right in terms of percentages?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, that seems about Yeah, that seems about right. And again, I'd like to base it a little bit more on just the caloric deficit. Okay, around 40%. Yes, if that's going to be extended, I would anticipate losses of lean mass significant reductions in metabolic rate, which again, do not serve us well for long term sources.

Philip Pape:

Okay, but if somebody wanted to lop off 10 pounds in two weeks, in their 200 pounds, and that seems feasible. That's interesting, right? Because I was just I just want to put boundaries on this because I've never gone there with anybody. I don't work with that kind of client. But I could definitely see that being a tool hyperphagia is that induced by the muscle loss itself and some sort of hormonal signals as a result of it or is it the fat loss and the shrinkage of your fat cells sending some signal causing that hunger? Do you know the mechanism there.

Bill Campbell PhD:

Know, what you're asking is debated. So historically, it's been what they would call the lipo static theory, which was your fat, you're losing body fat, and that causes this hormonal environment. So loss of leptin increasing gralen. That's what causes this. And then we had a protein stat theory, which was popularized by a researcher called du loup. And he presented data from the Minnesota starvation trial, some very compelling data. Other research in in Army Cadets that were losing massive amounts of body weight and five week periods of time, with extended extreme caloric deficits, that research seems to point to it's not the fat loss, because the subjects that experience fat overshoot, whether they're gaining significantly more body fat than what they had before they started the diet. This, these, this hyperphagia was still occurring, even after they had gained all of their body fat back from the dieting, and it persisted until they gained back their lean tissue. So that's that's the again, I don't think I don't, this is not settled yet. But I look at the available evidence and think there's more. It sides more with the muscle. Yes. And then if you're going to ask, well, what's the mechanism with muscle and hunger? I don't have an i don't i don't know if anybody does, there might be people that have that have been investigating that. But it does seem like muscle is a little bit more important for keeping hunger under control post diet, compared to fat loss.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, and even if we don't understand the mechanism, people listening, it's just I just want to hammer home the point always of how important it is to keep your lean mass, however you need to do it. Hey, this is Philip. And I hope you're enjoying this episode of Wits & Weights. If you're finding value in the content and want to stay up to date with all our latest episodes, be sure to hit the Follow button on your favorite podcast platform. By following you'll get notified whenever a new episode comes out. And you won't miss out on knowledge and strategies to level up your health and fitness. All right, let's get back to the episode. And so going back to the aggressive dieting, if someone just wanted to do what we might call a mini cut, I don't know what you would call this 14 Day highly aggressive diet. There's a term but somebody wanted to say do it over a four to eight week period just a little more typical. What do we need to do to maintain muscle mass? Is it more than 1%? Or again, you go by a calorie deficit?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Well, in general, it's very simple. Two things that help protect muscle mass or a higher protein diet and resistance exercise. So if you're dieting, do those two things, try to eat higher protein. And what that meant might mean different things for different people. The second thing is yet resistance train. And then the other consideration, yes is what is the what's the caloric deficit? How much can we? How aggressive can we be, and I'll just share what we found in our study. So we had resistance trained males and females on a 37.5%, on average, 37 and a half percent caloric deficit for 14 days. Our initial analysis of our data was they lost a third of their body weight from from lean body mass, which is more than what you would ever want. But then we did what all researchers should be doing with these types of studies, we accounted for the losses of body water. So they lost considerable amounts of body water in this short period of time. And when you factor that in, they pretty much maintained all of their what I call dry, fat free mass or dry lean tissue. And that was that was also supported by their resting metabolic rate, there was a drop in the first two weeks, but that came back quickly in the following two weeks. So my art studies data is what I used to be if you listen to anything I would have said three years ago, it was avoid Rapid Fat Loss approaches all the time. There's no nuance and now my own data has made me revisit this. Find some other studies that also reported in this area and I was like, okay, there is more nuance to this. And my Newt, my nuance that my data and some other studies that I've read is You we can be aggressive. If it's a short term, aggressive approach. And some of my latest reading, just in the last two weeks, is in people with obesity. It may even be a wise decision to be aggressive initially. So that there is a a again, that this is where I'm not a behavioral psychologist, but there's this feeling of success and tangible results immediately. Whereas always going slow all the time. You don't get that So yes, I'm, if you haven't noticed, I'm literally in the midst of my diet, transition of my own thinking. And I'll have it resolved in another month or two, I just happen to eat some more studies so I can feel good.

Philip Pape:

So me me answer when you have everybody will find. That's funny because yeah, I mean, I could see where all of these could apply somebody who's who's obese, I guess they're the one thing that comes to mind is if their expenditures kind of low, right? Somebody who's been sedentary has been training and don't know how much muscle mass and for whatever reason, lower expenditure, it could be, it could be very tough even on a short term, because now the calories are just ridiculously low, to where you might have to make some more extreme trade offs that are not sustainable. But again, it comes back to your premise, it needs to be somewhat maintainable in the long term. What about so if you're, if you're trying to lose like 20, or 30 pounds, but don't want it to take that long? How aggressive Can you go over two weeks, because you said minimum 40%. He said that's around the number.

Bill Campbell PhD:

That's what we let's just say approximately, just to make it easy, that's what we investigated. And what we found was lean tissue was pretty much maintained with that aggression. In two weeks. Now, we also have to appreciate our subjects, we're doing the same volume of resistance training, so they didn't change their training at all. And they were getting a gram per pound, or 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight of protein. That's a lot of protein. And, especially if you're a small person, it just happened to be a lot of our smaller females, that's almost all of their calories from protein, if they're going to get a gram per pound. And we had to work with them on that. It was not again, somebody like me, I had a lot more, a lot more wiggle room with my calories. Somebody like my wife, and it wasn't like 80% of our calories were coming from protein. But what we learned is a at least in that one study, that's what it took to maintain this dry fat free mass.

Philip Pape:

Very interesting. Yeah, I hadn't looked at it in too much. And I'm glad I asked about it, I want to hear more when it comes out. Because I could, you know, I almost envision a scale or a table that that has guidelines, where based on the aggressiveness and how much you want to lose, like, here's where you could target because if you wait for some people that have more weight to lose, you're not going to want to go, you know, 80% deficit for two weeks. So of course, you're gonna have to stretch it out. But how, how long do you stretch it out? Versus how high do you go, you know, without losing the muscle mass?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah. And that's where that's the question, what if we had gone three weeks, so my, my guess is, if you start to go longer than two weeks, you start to lose the ability to maintain your your lean tissue. Now, let's say you do lose some lean tissue over a month, it's not gone forever, you're gonna get it back, it might take a week, it might take a month, six weeks. So it's not like you've damaged yourself for life, because you've lost some lean tissue. But at the same time, that's also the time that you were dieting plus the time after that it took to get it back. That might be two, three months of you not building any new lean tissue. So there is that consideration. And I just want to just throw out this idea of something that I that I'm again, as I'm literally, you're watching My life flashed before my eyes. And as I'm changing, I think I'm changing my mind on this. There's a reason why being very aggressive for a short period of time makes sense to me. And I'll start with asking the question, When are people most motivated to diet when they start or after they've been dieting for right at the beginning. So to me, it makes sense to leverage their motivation, and their, their ability early on, to beat hunger. Now, I always say, hunger always wins, you can beat hunger for breakfast you can be you can beat hunger for dinner, you can be under for a week, hunger will win. But can we design an aggressive approach where you have enough willpower to lose this excess body fat for the first week or two? And then you come out of it? And I'll give one other thought to this that just excites me. Let's say you put somebody on a moderate caloric deficit. So you tell me what would be a percentage decrease in calories that you would define as moderate

Philip Pape:

half a percent of your body weight? So I don't do that. I don't think in terms of

Bill Campbell PhD:

Well, let's let's let's use that. So they're going to lose half of percent of their body weight per week.

Philip Pape:

So a pound a week for 200 pound person that's 500 calorie deficit a day. Yeah.

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, I'm gonna go back to the, to the caloric deficit because I think it tells us it gives a better analogy. So let's just say it took some About a 25% caloric deficit to get to this half a percent of body weight per week, which I think that's probably actually pretty close. So you start somebody on that. And they're like, Okay, well, now I'm dieting, I'm a little bit more irritable, and reducing, and I can't eat all these foods and I'm hungrier. Alright. That's that that would be a typical response. But what if you started somebody at the initial part, and you cut their calories by 40% for the first week? And now you put them in week two, you put them at 25%. Guess what their mindset is?

Philip Pape:

Yeah. Let's think of the same thing, then a scaled version of this start aggressive and scale. Yeah. It's almost like you've gone up to maintenance with a refeed or something here. Yes,

Bill Campbell PhD:

it's a completely different paradigm. You're like, I get all this extra food, but not really, you still, you're still bad. Now again, this is where I know there's awesome psychology behind this. I'm not a psychologist. I don't know what it is. But my logical brain says, this makes sense. And I am going to be meeting with my research team today. And we're going to be talking about future studies. And maybe we maybe this is something we look into over the next year or two.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I like that idea. And I've seen a few people do that. And I did it myself took two cuts ago, where I did it very aggressive at first and then scaled back intentionally planned it that way. And for me, it was knowing that my metabolic adaptation would be kicking in. Yeah, and I just wanted to get get as much gain loss at the beginning as I could, that this really good, really good stuff, though. So I'm going to actually switch some topics around and bring the refeed topic up to next because I think it's a natural next step of when we talk refeeds and diet breaks. You know, dieting for a long time can be psychologically taxing, just like we talked about. So if you do have that extra weight, you know, 3040 50, or even more pounds to lose, you know, they're not going to do that in two weeks. You could take this scaled approach, that's one option we talked about. But where do diet breaks and refeeds fit in? And when would you choose to use them? Because that's always the question of like, do I take a two week? Do I take a weekend refeed every week, because that's when it's aligned with my lifestyle? Do I take a longer diet break to kind of let things recover for a while psychologically and physically? Talk about that?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, so I'll talk about my opinions. And then if we want to get into the research that I base my opinions on, we can. So let's all start with, I think both, again, starting where our conversation started optimizing your physique within a maintainable lifestyle. So two things. One, we know that people eat more food on the weekends, that there's research demonstrating that. So why not design a diet that fits that lifestyle that fits that data, so allow yourself to have more food on the weekends, where you're still losing body fat, and what that looks like is your diet a little harder Monday through Friday, so that you can then go back to maintenance on the weekends. And that fits your normal, what research says is a normal eating pattern. Now let's extend that diet breaks are typically defined as in weeks, like one week, two weeks or more refeeds are typically one day or two days, in this maintainable lifestyle paradigm that I am an advocate of, you have refeeds on the weekends, and you take diet breaks, when you're on vacation, when there's periods of your life or you're just you have diet fatigue, you take a week or two off, and you you're not in a perpetual caloric deficit. So I'm, I'm of the opinion, you incorporate both now let's let's I always love to take a devil's advocate approach the the counter to that is well, now you've just extended the torture of dieting, and your it's going to take you longer, but my counter to that is but this is a your lifestyle, like you're fitting this in, I don't want you to have to grind out four months of dieting for you to get to this low level of body fat. And now what chances are, you're gonna, you're gonna increase it anyway. Let's just make this a part of your lifestyle. And again, there's still discipline involved when you do a refeed it's back to maintenance calories. So you still have to have a regulatory or a governor on not overeating, and the wire breaks the the you're going back to. So there's still a level of control. But I think both and let me say this, the research overwhelmingly suggest that they're better than the answer's no, they're never worse than they other than if you're going to say it takes more time. But we do have data two studies, one from my lab and one from an Australian lab. Both studies in resistance training people reported significant improvements in desire to eat, let's just call it hunger. And my study was disinhibition which is the propensity to overeat when stressed or around hyper palatable foods to do different studies, both coming to the same conclusion that if you do if you implement diet breaks, you're less hungry. And if you're less hungry if these studies were elongated out to six months, 12 months, two years, again, hunger always wins. Anything you can do to help hunger likely gives you longer term success. So is doing a diet break then is does it give you some hack that's metabolic and metabolic advantage? No research. But it does in resistance training active fit people, it does seem to lower hunger levels? And do

Philip Pape:

we know is that? Is that physiological hunger? or physical or psychological or a little both? Or doesn't matter?

Bill Campbell PhD:

I don't I don't know. I will say that our data was based on a psychological questionnaire, which is called the eating inventory. It's like a 51. Question. And then the, the other group was, I think, just basic Likert scales, like How hungry are you? It was a desire to eat. And something else, but both studies can do the same thing. But yes, I'm, I know that data was was was collected, you know, a psychological later, how do you feel? But yeah, I don't have an answer as to anything past that.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, no. And it's important that people listening understand this is it's primarily a lifestyle and psychology thing, even though hunger comes into it. And that does does affect your behavior. Physically, in terms of your food choices, for example, the only caveats I've ever seen is people who are very kind of self disciplined already and prefer a routine and kind of shifting things around tends to throw them off. Or people who are maybe very sensitive to over eating naturally. And like you said, it actually reduces it. But perhaps if you have this, like looking forward to the weekend mentality, for a small percentage of people, it may not be optimal. But I think for the most people, this is a great strategy. So yeah, good point.

Bill Campbell PhD:

Maybe for a fitness professional working with a client, they can't turn it on and off. So they they go on a diet break or refeed on Saturday, and Sunday. And Monday and Tuesday. Turn it off, then obviously we know that that's not a good strategy for that client. Now, I will say that argument is not supported by the scientific research you won't find there has there is not a study published. And again, there's not been many studies on this topic. But there is no studies published that would suggest that people have that there's any issue with people being able to follow the diet, regular diet, repeating and having relapse problems, but what you just said, it's intuitive, and it's logical that some people will struggle with that. And then we know, don't do this, it's, it's you're doing more harm than good. And that's just being a good coach and being aware of your clients struggles.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. And he talked about shifting the calories. That's the other thing I want to clarify for folks, at least the way I understand it with refeeds, you could either take a net slowdown approach to retie refeed, meaning you're going to have your normal deficit during the week and then up to maintenance. But now you've slowed your progress down or you're going to eat like you said diet harder during the week. Do we both do both of those kinds? refeeds, I guess or if one is just a slower rate of loss, I guess than the other. Right?

Bill Campbell PhD:

You're saying is what? Like a diet, right? That's more than seven day like seven days?

Philip Pape:

No, no, what I'm saying is, let's say you decide to have a certain deficit. And then as you're doing that deficit, you say on weekends, I'm gonna go up to maintenance, but you don't actually reduce Monday through Friday. It's just going to slow down your written costs, you know?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah. Well, I would say at that point, you're not dieting. Right. You're there the entire time. And then that I mean, or we could call it a diet break. And some of us are

Philip Pape:

you still in a slight deficit? Because you have five versus the seven days? It depends on how much of a deficit you're in. But yeah. Okay, so now, the next thing is plateaus. And these are also quite common for folks when they start dieting. So maybe they go aggressively or not. And all of a sudden the deficit that they're in no longer works. We know, there's a lot of reasons for plateaus, right? And I'm a firm believer in tracking as much as you can. Some people don't, you know, like to track a ton of data. What's really going on with a weight loss plateau with most people from what you've seen, right? Is it the metabolic adaptation? Is it you know, body composition, because a lot of folks are new to lifting and they're getting into this? You know, what is it? Well,

Bill Campbell PhD:

yeah, that's let's start there. So if you're somebody who is lifting weights, or even just aerobic ly active when you're dieting and you're taking creatine monohydrate, which you should be everybody should be taking that fit. That's, that's active should be taking creatine. You're doing everything you can to prevent the scale from moving and so appreciate that you're not going to see somebody like I'll just use my mom as an example, who doesn't when she goes on a diet, she doesn't know exercise where she's going to have more visual success of the scale moving because she's not maintaining muscle mass. She's not eating higher protein, which helps protect muscle mass, she's not taking creatine, which helps preserve muscle mass. So there's one consideration, let's give ourselves a little, a little grace, if we're doing everything we can to maintain muscle mass, which works against the scale for moving. The other the the real question you asked is, well, what's the cause of it, and it's, it's one of two things, it's either metabolic adaptation, so your body is failing to respond to the caloric deficit that it wants to did. So your body has adapted to what you were doing such that it, what you were doing is no longer having the same impact. And then the other side of this is a lack of adherence to what you used to be doing. So there's, there's really, I can pull research studies to support either the the latest one that I read was a mathematical modeling study. This was in one of my recent issues of body by science. These were researchers use mathematical modeling from real human subjects study. So they wasn't made up datas, they use the data that existed to model what the cause of a weight loss plateau is. So it's important to note that they predicted weight loss plateaus due to metabolic adaptation to occur at about two years. So if you diet for two years, your body will adapt to the point where it will stop losing body weight. But what we see in almost every single research study that's a year or longer is we see weight loss plateaus at about six months. They said they asked the question why their mathematical modeling suggested that it was not due to their metabolic, the subjects metabolic adaptation, or their metabolic rate slowing down, it was because they stopped following the diet, they were not adhering to the diet anymore. So I take both sides of the data. And I tried to come up with a system that helps coaches who work with weight loss clients. And the way that I present this to to coaches is this if your client is struggling, or is is having a self proclaimed weight loss plateau, I don't think we're doing our job if we take them at their word and just assume that they're following the plan. So I think we first have to say, are you really doing what you say you're doing? Is everything being tracked? Are you? Are you exercising more than what you're telling me or less than what you're telling me? So let's not have blind trust in our client about what they say they're doing? And they're our go? And let's say we've done those checks, and they are well, then the other explanation is, yes, there is some metabolic adaptation which is occurring. Which one is it? I mean, it depends on the client. But I think, historically, we've all been quick to say metabolic adaptation. And in fact, it that might not be the case. And clearly here, another consideration is what's the level of your client? Are they pretty elite, they have a high exercisers, well, then I'm going to save that they're probably more on the metabolic adaptation part. If you're working with a new client for a couple of months, who's new to fitness, and they're saying I can't lose weight anymore? Then I'm gonna, I'm gonna probably say maybe this is an adherence issue. And then finally, I'm going to say this, because this, everybody needs to hear this. If you're if you're defining a let me, let me phrase like this, you as a coach, need to define what a weight loss plateau is, with your client the day or the week that you start working with them. You do not want to

Philip Pape:

be reactive, you help prepare them for it. Yes, it will happen, for sure.

Bill Campbell PhD:

And when it does happen, how are we going to define it? Is it because you weighed less you weighed more today than you did yesterday, because some people won't use one day's weigh in. So again, you define what that is, I would, here's what I would say, which everybody is going to just forget it. One month, four weeks of dieting in a row, whether your body weight has not changed. That's what I would say. Now again, it's easy. I'm a researcher, and I don't have to put food on the table working with clients who are angry at me and my program. So it's easy for me to say a month. But still, I know, I was literally looking at some data in our lab in the last two days now. Weight loss isn't linear. People you think you're in a weight loss plateau, but if you just stayed with the same plan, a couple more days or another week or two under two weeks, you'll notice Whoa, I just lost weight in pounds. And I changed nothing. It's true. Yeah, it's true. Right? That's that goes against it goes against.

Philip Pape:

I hear you I with my clients, we use like a three, three week moving average for that reason. And I'm like, don't don't look at the scale, I want you to gather the data points don't pay attention to the skin, let's look at the average. And there's one slight nuance I actually came to my mind when you mentioned not adhering to the diet for new folks at tracking, and that is they just may not be tracking accurately and being aware of it. So for example, the estimate food that they eat out, that's really hard, right? So they may be under estimating the calories, even though they're logging it, and therefore it looks like they're eating less than they are. That's the little nuance corner case.

Bill Campbell PhD:

That's a great point. And let me just give you huge kudos if you have your clients agreeing to a three week rolling average, that's good, like you're earned, you've somehow you've communicated or have a relationship with your clients that is earned because that's, I know, that's I can't get my, my wife to.

Philip Pape:

It's hard. But you have to have the data right next to the scaly data as it rolls on. You're like, look how the numbers are different. You know what I mean? Yeah, this one smooth, and this one goes up and down a lot. So we're gonna go with the smooth one, you know, but still, yeah,

Bill Campbell PhD:

you're anybody can say look at the data, but not not everybody will, will want to do it. So anyway, I applaud you. That's awesome. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

yeah. So we got it. Hey, man, I haven't learned this stuff for myself too, as I went along and figured out what works. All right. So I know, we only have a few minutes left, just a couple questions. The last topic was going to be on train versus nutrition. You know, the adage, abs are made in the kitchen, there's always a debate of is one more important than the other? You've already talked about the importance of protein and strength training and nutrition. So I think I know the answer. But what's the optimal balance between training and nutrition? If there is one?

Bill Campbell PhD:

If well, I'll just go with the first thought that came into my head, if you're trying to change the shape of your body, then training is going to change your body. If you're trying to lose the most weight in the shortest amount of time, then diet will be your your best approach, which, obviously, I'm in this niche where we try to do both, we've tried to get fat down to lower than average levels, and we try to maximize muscle mass as close to our genetic potential as possible. So that's a very fun niche to be in. So yeah, I think it really depends on and there's also an argument here to be, you know, to have phases. So define your phase, if you want to lose fat, embrace that. We can lose a little bit of length, we don't want to, but we're going to be okay with losing some length issue, if that's our goal. And if you're in I want to build muscle, well, then don't sabotage that by dieting. Every you know, every other week, when you're when you say your goal is to build lean tissue. So there's a, I always say define your goal and then pursue that goal and don't sabotage it with with Nuance from from the other side.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, there you go. There you go. It's also the reason I know I personally prefer the term fat loss to weight loss to make that distinction. The what what do you mean? Oh, let's let's break down the difference. You've got to hold on your tissue to lose the fat or else you're gonna lose both. Yeah, yeah. All right. So this is I like to ask this question of all guests below. And that is one question. Did you wish I had asked and what is your answer?

Bill Campbell PhD:

Cool. All right. Give me a minute. Oh, I got it. What are you currently working on in your lab? So what we're currently working on and I have to give credit to my research coordinator, Corey Lafond THON, he's coordinating this entire study for us. We're comparing what's better for fat loss resistance training, or aerobic exercise or cardio. And we're doing that by we're compiling every study we can in the English language that meets our criteria that had an aerobic group within one study, and in the same study of resistance training group and then a concurrent group. So we're only looking at the studies that we're designed to best answer that question. So hopefully, by next year, we're going to have an answer if you're trying to lose body fat, is it better to do cardio only or resistance training only Of course, we know what happens if you combine them you get the best fat loss outcomes. So that's

Philip Pape:

all right. Looking forward to that and I'll keep now keep subscribing the body by science encourage anyone listening to do the same if you want to learn same kind of insights. Where can listeners learn more about you go

Bill Campbell PhD:

to places. My Instagram is Bill Campbell PhD. And thank you for being a subscriber to body by science. It is my I just I love it. This month's issues about the semaglutide the anti obesity drug it's a it's an really good primer and some thing that I haven't mentioned yet, but I'm going to be going live with all of my subscribers to talk about the threats to fitness professionals who work with weight loss clients. And we're also going to talk about opportunities that this drug can give us in this space. So, not mentioned that anywhere yet. But I plan to go live, probably three times to make sure that I can try to capture all of my subscribers that want to want to attend that. So I'm going to give a little bit of a lecture on that. And again, the real meat of that will be let's, let's not be fearful of this and be powerless. Let's use this to help us serve more people make more money as fitness professionals and I'm very, I'm very excited about that. And I have not done that before with my subscribers.

Philip Pape:

Okay, so your IG and body by science? Oh,

Bill Campbell PhD:

yeah. Instagram, Bill Campbell, PhD, and then my website, if you want to get body by science, it's Bill Campbell phd.com. And I'll just say you won't regret it. It is. I bring in experts, people like you to apply the research in their own coaching client relationships. So I review the study's. I have experts come in and say here's how I would apply this. And then again, I'm going to add on the some live sessions as well.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, that's my favorite part of it actually, is after you wrap up the article, you have a couple of experts that provide their insights based on practice. So really good stuff bill. Great talking with you. It was it was a true joy. I'll put all the links in the show notes so listeners can find you and thanks again for coming on.

Bill Campbell PhD:

Yeah, thank you for having me.

Philip Pape:

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits & Weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up there Wits & Weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

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