• BioLayne Video Log 16: Metabolic Damage v3.0 – Damage Control (A mechanistic discussion of metabolic adaptation)

    Posted In: Contest Prep  /  Posted On: 05.28.13

    In the latest installment of the BioLayne video log we dive into some of the responses to the first two videos on metabolic damage/adaptation.  I was not prepared for the volume of response to the first two videos nor was I prepared for the level of blowback from the coaches who perpetuate these starvation diets & endless hours of cardio.  Here I address the ‘Damage Control’ that these people are trying to implement to save face.  I also spent a lot of time talking about specific research on the metabolic adaptations to low kcal/excessive exercise including a review paper from the University of Colorado entitled ‘Biology’s response to dieting: the impetus for weight regain’ published in the American Journal of Physiology that is the best piece of literature I’ve ever read regarding this subject.  We cover many of the adaptations that happen due to the ‘energy gap’ created by low kcal/excessive exercise and how they can set you up for massive metabolic slowing & weight regain when dieting is done improperly.

    Original Metabolic Damage video:

    Metabolic Damage v2.0 (Metabolic Capacity):

    Research studies discussed in this video

    Biology’s response to dieting: http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/301/3/R581.full.pdf+html

    Metabolic responses to prolonged weight reduction: http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/290/6/R1577.full.pdf+html

    Adipose gene expression in response to caloric restriction & weight regain: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/6/1399.full.pdf+html

    Calorie restruction increases mitochondrial efficiency: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1413655/pdf/pnas-0510452103.pdf

    The defense of body weight: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23126426

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    • Julie Slowiak PhD

      Another great video log packed with good and important information. Thanks Layne!!

      • http://www.biolayne.com Layne Norton

        thanks Doc!

    • http://www.granitept.com.au Andrew Deasy

      It’s just fantastic that someone with your profile is making such a noise about this!

      I’ve been trying to get peoiple to understand this for years! It’s as straightforward as “stimulus and response” (though clearly the response is massive and comprehensive, as you’ve just highlighted in this video).

      I’ve also happily lost potential clients by refusing to tell them what they want to hear. There’s no job satisfaction to be had in CERTAIN FAILURE and there’s unnecessary risk associated with pushing people along with their delusions.

      People are so willing to accept the specificity of adaptation principle when it comes to gaining muscle, but so quick to disregard it when it comes to losing fat!!!

      Love the videos, Layne. Please keep them coming!


    • Mariss Prieto, RD,

      Extremely helpful, vital information! Thank you Layne. I look foward to watching your video logs. Thanks again for sharing!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001546746143 Kevin Stock

      Thank you for this Dr. Norton! Dr. Jacob Wilson and I were actually discussing this a couple weeks ago trying to put a definition on “What is Metabolic Capacity”

      From the research I have reviewed BMR is dependent on fat-free mass, fat mass, age, and thyroxine. (not: leptin, sex, or triiodothyronine)
      And so increasing “Metabolic Capacity” would be a result (and synonymous) with increasing fat-free mass or are we missing some variable?

      And I think Dr. Wilson really nailed it down:
      “My thoughts are that I believe it is defined at the mitochondrial level. Essentially efficiancy from that level is defined as the coupling of hydrogen ions moving back into the mitochondria after being pumped out and powering the ATPase enzyme. This process is not 100 % efficient. In part because we have mitcochondrial leak channels. People who are very lean have a high density of these leak channels, so hydrogen ions leak instead of powering the ATPase enzyme. With metabolic damage there is a downregulation of these leak channels and so you MORE EFFICIENTLY are able to use all the food you take in, even down to the point where you cant lose weight on 1200 calories a day!”

      So really wanted to thank Dr. Wilson as well – he is the man!

    • Darius

      Priceless data. In an awesomely condensed fashion. Dots are really getting connected here.

      I am wandering. Can the threshold invoking the creation of new fat cells be identified. I speculate that you can’t “kill” them afterwards, despite of taking a good care of your metabolic rates.

    • Mathias

      Great vid, really enjoyed the review. Im a Sports Physiology Msc. Student(Norway), and I was wondering how you view the way diet and exercise is practiced in the popular show “the biggest loser” ? , if Im not mistaking I think i remember it beeing presented that females on the show typically were on 1500-1750 kcal pr day and 1600-1850kcal for males. combined with their immense PAL increase, what do you think about this? from a injury prevention point of view i think alot of what is going on is unwise(as you see overuse injuries as stressfractures and the like every season almost) so curious on your view on the nutritional aspects.

    • https://www.facebook.com/torben.naumann.9?ref=tn_tnmn Torben Naumann

      Hey Layne,

      sending kind regards from germany. I never felt so perfectly guided by an instructor than i do with your words and videos. It all makes sense, it all appeared to me already, many mistakes have been done and now been understood.

      As a question to this video: What is your personal definiton of a “starving diaet”.
      You always talk about women eating 800-1000 kcal doing 2 houres of cardio, but thats just a wording. Whats youre rule of thumb? How do you get to the diagnose “starving diet and destroyed metabolism”? If there is one.


    • Stephanie Morvant

      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!! Bless you Layne! The concepts you are sharing in these videos are exactly what I’ve been trying to explain to other dieters for the last 2 years. I am living proof of it. I am a figure competitor and this is my second year to hit the stage. I chose NOT to hire a coach for many of the reasons you have mentioned. People have scoffed at my intent to do a contest prep totally on my own but I was determined. I am currently 5 weeks out from my 2013 show and still eating 1800-1900 calories, including 170-200 carbs per day!!! … and guess what??? I’m almost stage ready right now. I started my cut early (in February) on 2000 calories and haven’t needed to reduce them much. My fat loss has been slow but consistent. Before the cut I “bulked” for 7 months and was consuming roughly 3000cal/day towards the end. I gained 28lbs total topping out at 153lbs (at 5’7″). I’m down to 136lbs now and feeling good about my progress. When I see these other figure competitors doing hours and hours of cardio and eating little to nothing I just want to cry for them. If contest prep was that miserable I wouldn’t bother doing one. There IS a better way but it takes patience and a willingness to contend with some fat gains for a period of time. Watching your videos has been such a confirmation to me that I’M DOING IT RIGHT! :p

    • http://eatmore2weighless.com Kiki

      I consistently applaud you for going against the grain and speaking out on this. I can ramble on to people with no avail, but when I can share info like this, (from people like you), people listen. It’s SO hard when working with clients to get them to understand that I’m just not “that” trainer. We’re gonna do it, and we’re gonna do it right. Even if we have to backtrack and “fix” what went wrong with the last coach (<—doesn't usually go over well, lol)…Keep it coming, Layne!

    • Randy Herington

      I am gathering from the video homeostasis = set point? If so is there a way to change the set point? I am not a physique competitor. Just a normal guy who has carried quite a bit of fat his whole life. I once weighed about 300lbs. I am holding steady around 240 – 250. Seems like i can diet down to about 230 and it just stops. Happened 3 -4 times in the recent past. I tried the hard crash diet as well as a more moderate 300 – 500 calorie reduction. I know there are thousands of variables in this, I am not looking for a diet exercise plan. I am looking to see if the body fat set point can be changed. If so, how?

    • Sebastian Eguez

      You sir are the man. I’ve been following you for 4-5 years and I cannot be more thankful for all the information you’ve shared.

    • http://Www.livelifeactive.com Erin

      Another excellent video. Thank you so much for posting this!

    • http://www.exercisebiology.com Anoop

      Thanks for the references. Now your podcast is scientific :)

    • Shelly

      The IIFYM guys on instagram sent me 3 episodes of your videos on metabolic damage. As you spoke, I was in awe as you were describing me. I had never heard about metabolic damage before and am reading up on it as much as I can to fix mine. Thank you sooo much for the information, I have a long way to go, but in a much better place now :-)

    • Luke

      Awesome awesome video. I have just recently been reading articles, watching your videos and your movie “reloaded”. It has completely change how I look at and do my training and nutrition, you just state factual info and just make sense compared to some of the nonsense other trainers put up and make people believe is true. Awesome stuff. Thanks Layne

    • http://rawonlinefitnesstraining.blogspot.com Nick Ritchie

      Yep, I’m taking the time to read and listen to each video here, and they are all super useful! Thanks for taking the time Layne, this metabolic damage challenge is well engraved in the industry, so it will be interesting to watch as things unfold and change over the next few years…

    • http://www.DebbieJamesRD.com Debbie James, MS,RD

      Log 16 — 3.0 Damage Control is on the money with why restrictive dieting doesn’t work in the long run!

      Too many people who’ve severely cut calories end up coming to me (a Registered Dietitian) after the fact, when they’re stuck in a plateau or failed to keep the weight off. As you’ve shared, we know why this is the case. When a 16 yr old figure skater eating only 1200 Calories who’s coach wants her to lose 5 pounds asks what else she can cut out of her diet, my answer is “Nothing! Here’s what you can add…”

      Though prevention is key, more research should focus on how to improve or reverse the metabolic damage. Are there references for your “reverse dieting” concept? Keep us posted

    • JLynn Smith

      You are describing me when you talk about the person who ignored the signs and is now 50lbs over contest weight. I am “retired” from the few contests I did, but cannot lose weight. My doctor is baffled by me, she knows how hard I work, how I eat, etc. I am diligently trying to reverse diet, but psychologically it is very very hard.

    • Tammy

      I just watched this video and I think I understand why I can’t lose weight. I have been trying for about 5 or more years to lose my 30 something % body fat.(most of it in belly). I recently started a challenge which has me eating about 1600 cals a day… Instead of my usual 1200 or less I was eating daily..is there any hope for this 47 year old grandma..that I can finally lean out.. If not a bit?

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