Episode 30 – Q&A #2

Key Topics Covered

Diet Break

  • Diet breaks are implemented to take a break from a calorie deficit.
  • Calories are usually brought back up to maintenance. This does depend on your situation and goals.
    • Eg. If you’re going on a holiday for a week, you may choose not to track at all. Keep in mind though, this may set you back from achieving your goal in time.

Body Fat Percentage

  • Having an extremely low body fat percentage can be detrimental.
  • Men under 8% body fat can experience a decrease in:
    • Testosterone
    • T3 and T4
    • Mood and increase fatigue
  • Consider the process that the individual took to get to 8% body fat.
    • Some people naturally sit at a lower body fat percentage.


  • There are different types of fibre. Consuming a variety of these is most important for gut and overall health related outcomes.
  • When trying to meet specific fibre targets, don’t get caught up with the specific types (unless you’ve been advised to). The more variety, the better.

Muscle Growth

  • Everyone is different. The amount of muscle an individual can gain and the rate at which they gain it depends on the person.
  • Beginners will gain muscle faster than a more experienced athlete.
  • Our beginners will usually aim for 1-1.5kg bodyweight increase per month.
    • This won’t all be muscle. Some will be fat.
    • This depends on genetics, nutrition, recovery, etc.
  • An athlete could expect their weight to increase by:
    • 6-10kg in the first year of following a strict nutrition/ training plan.
    • 4-6kg in the second year.
    • 2-4kg in the third year.
    • 1-2kg from there onwards.

Weight Fluctuations and Maintenance Calories

  • Technically you’re not at maintenance if your weight is changing.
  • There are multiple factors that cause someone to derail from maintenance calories, including:
    • Estimating required maintenance calories incorrectly
    • Technical errors in calorie counting apps/ resources
    • Human errors in tracking calories/ food types/ amounts
    • Variation/ incorrectly estimating energy expenditure
  • Even if you’re gaining fat and losing muscle or vise verser your weight will remain the same.

Mediterranean Diet

  • The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets.
  • It can be high in calories, as it incorporates a variety of good fats.
  • However, because it incorporates majority plant-based foods (which are low in calories) it would be lower in calories than the typical western diet.
  • It’s also lower in carbohydrates and typically protein, which decreases calories even further.

Lab-grown Meat

  • Ethically, some vegans would consume it as it’s technically not harming animals. However, if they’re testing on the animals to compare products for example, then that would not be vegan.
  • Environmentally, this could be very conducive in supporting environmental health. As it takes away a lot of farming, machinery, etc.

Bicarbonate Soda

  • Technically bicarbonate soda does not increase strength. It can improve muscular endurance.
  • It’s used to enhance performance by buffering the blood pH, allowing you to train at a high intensity without feeling the acidic build-up.
  • We’ve tried it with one CrossFit athlete. They saw a significant improvement in their training session, however, experienced bad diarrhea beforehand.

Transitioning from Tracking to Intuitive Eating

  1. Mindful eating – Getting in touch with satiety and hunger signals, then acting on them.
  2. Informed eating – Listening to your body’s signals, then adjusting your intake based on weight changes and your goal.
    • Eg. If your goal is weight loss, but hunger cues are high, then you’ll probably eat more and gain weight. Therefore, acknowledge the cue and try to eat lower calorie foods or simply start to eat less (ie. 20% less)
    • Different from intuitive eating, where weight is not the primary focus.
  3. Consuming well-balanced meals/ diet.

Fatigue/ Cravings During Period

  • One end of the extreme – suck it up.
  • On the other end – It’s been reported that females experience an increase in energy expenditure of 100-300 calories the week before a period. This is hard to measure. The study also showed that females consume 300-500 more calories on average during this week.
  • In saying this, it’s extremely individual. Some people may not even notice a difference in appetite.


  • Creatine is beneficial for all athletes of all kinds.
  • If you’re an athlete or not, it’s beneficial.
  • It can – improve performance, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, decrease headaches.
  • Creatine is difficult to consume through diet alone. The recommended dose equates to 1kg of red meat per day! Therefore, adding a supplement to your diet would be beneficial.

Relevant Links/ Resources

Useful Blog Post

Useful Studies