• BioLayne Video Log 9 – Metabolic Damage

    Posted In: Contest Prep  /  Posted On: 12.07.12

    In this BioLayne Video Log we discuss Metabolic Damage.  What is it? How does it occur? How can you prevent it? And how can you recover from it if it’s already happened to you?  I address all these topics in the video.


    Comments On This Post

    1. avatar

      You should do a video log about your diet/training while traveling so much, as I know for myself it’s always hard to keep up with training and diet while I am traveling.

    2. avatar

      This man is brilliant. He wrote me a plan and I am still using it to this day. He just is smart, a science nerd and studies the facts. What more could you want in a professional/expert. He reads the studies and the correctly executed studies . He has his own slew of cliets and has tested and learned the correct things that work. If your looking for a plan this is the guy to write it. And he funny too!

    3. avatar

      Thanks for the video. I was wondering if you could cite the few studies which you discuss in the v-log so that I can look at them.

      Have you ever had your athletes (or know of athletes) who have done thyroid hormone testing (baseline, diet, post, and when ‘damaged’)? I have not spent too much time in the literature, but heard a talk at a meeting regarding low carb, neg EB and the impact on T4, T# and reverse T4 (IIRC).

      If you (or anyone) could get some doubly labeled water and access to a met cart or met chamber, you could get some case studies going and published on this. Especially if you also measure / attempt to correlate with more easily measured blood markers.

      Are you aware of the/any data regarding high fat/low carb diets and gain of LBM and leaning out for competitions? I believe Volek advocates this eating style. I can’t recall some of the others. Have you come across competitors who use this eating style?

      Also, the Phillips study on milk vs. whole milk reported further gains in the whole milk group (using Threonine IIRC as the marker of FSR)…I was wondering if you knew of other studies (or had an idea) of the role of dietary fat on post RT MPS, etc.

      Thanks again!

      FYI….Phase 1 of my RT study ended today. I have to dive into that data set (as soon as these grades are submitted).

      • avatar

        Brian, Look at Chris Kresser’s series of posts called “low T3″. These issues apply to me. I did this from anorexia, exercise bulimia, extremely low protein and low calorie diets for years (and was fat), and then going low carb paleo for a year.

    4. avatar

      Thanks for this video, I have been learning a lot about this issue, since I saw myself on this road with one of the “famous coaches” as you called them at the beginning (you really did hit the nail with that one), so I ended the work with him and focused on building more muscle until I found a coach I can trust that won’t starve me to death and kill me with SS cardio. So now I got someone with my best interests in mind and I am far from this issue as you can be. We’ll see how it goes but I am glad to have seen this one and reminded myself of the important things when it comes to dieting and staying healthy at the same time.
      And no one in their sane mind likes tilapia and broccoli all the time, when I have to eat fish I want to die just from thinking about it, LOL.

    5. avatar
      Christopher Barakat December 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Hey Layne, this video was excellent. I am constantly seeking your knowledge and applying it for myself, it has helped phenomenally. I always tell my peers in the competitive setting to check your work out because many of them starve them self to death for prep and don’t even get shredded !
      Anyway I am 18 weeks out from a show and I’m still in a caloric surplus because I am still lean around 8-9% b.f. (169lb) and trying to gain whatever muscle I can. My last prep I was able to get very lean with only 8 weeks of dieting so this time around I’m giving myself 12-10 weeks. I am eating 430g carbs a day and at 3,300kcal(only gaining .25lb a week) and was going to drop to 2,400kcal and at 230g carbs in one day when I start my “diet”. Should I not drastically cut my calories/ carbs that much; or would it be beneficial since my leptin and thyroid hormones would be so high?

      Thank you for revolutionizing the sport of bodybuilding !

    6. avatar

      I loved the video in addition to every video log. I feel like I’m in college lecture again. Good times! Keep up the FANTASTIC WORK sir.

    7. avatar

      I am using an arm band body media that calculates my metabolism for months now and I collected a lot of data. I noticed these days that my resting is down on average 0.1 cal/minute. If you want to discuss it let me know :). it’ s a good video and I hope someone make a solid academic study about it.

    8. avatar

      I think the reason your body adjusts has to do with hormonal regulation after it was disregulated, uptick in thyroid from a downregulated state, and low threat to setpoint. Chris Kresser recently did a podcast adressing setpoint and fast weightgain using the holidays as an example.

        • avatar

          My particular case may still be something else that hasn’t been pin-pointed yet (I should have more info in the next few weeks), but as of now, I fall into the category of normal hormone levels, but clearly experiencing metabolic damage (which would make perfect sense considering the years of essentially starving myself without knowing it) or something similar.

          I’ll chime back in whenever I have more info.

    9. avatar

      Layne, thank you so much for this. It seems to be the dirty little secret that too few want to talk about. I actually read a popular fitness woman’s words days ago telling women that their metabolic damage was not damage at all; rather it was that they were “cheating” or that they were lazy. Anger just boiled inside of me as I recalled my difficulty reaching certain goals in spite of diligent dieting.
      I’ve learned so much from you as my coach and have benefitted from this slow addition of carbs as opposed to when I’d gained 20lbs in 3 weeks only to find I could not drop it as easily as if hoped.

    10. avatar

      Hey Layne, this has been such an amazingly helpful vlog. Ive been the poor soul struggling on 50g of carbs a day, doing HIt cardio every day and still failing to get lean for my last two shows, it now all makes sence, so will go on to repair my metabolism and get shredded for next year with hopefully a smarter and more logical approach. Love your stuff man, thanks :)

    11. avatar

      Great video log Layne! :)

      Anyone who reads my comment, I can back up what Layne says 100%! He fixed my metabolism BIG time! He dieted me down for my contest :) He is a pure genius at what he does & is a phenomenal human being & coach! I was able to get lean without doing hours of cardio a day or without starving. Right now I am increasing calories weekly, very slowly (like he explained in the vlog) & I can say I have increased my carbs up by 100 grams so far & have not gained a pound! I look forward to consuming more food each week :)

      Thanks Layne for all that you do, for your support & for putting such great information out there!

      Hugs to you & Izzie :)

    12. avatar

      Would love to hear your comments on Dr. Pasquale’s ” Metabolic Diet”. I tried it for several month… Pro’s and cons. No serious fat loss or gain and I’m not counting calories. I did a blood test at start and will do another now to see if there is a negative trend. I’m a bit concerned about what this might have done to my metabolism although I have not tried to loss weight on this diet yet. I do know that I have hard time with digesting carbs in general and I have real awful time with sugar. I blogged about it a bit at http://macrotopia.ca.

      Again, would really love an article or video blog on this.

    13. avatar

      Thanks alot for this bruv,,
      Had my first contest this october and the prep was frustrating, had no clue bout off season, ended up doing the zero carb diet for the last two weeks and 2hr cardio, headaches were crazy and was short of breath just from walking around day by day,, I taught i was being hardcore but I was just loosing any muscle i had and ended up flat and skinny on the show,

      If you have time maybe you could do a video on amino acids and their importance for muscle growth and protein/carb absorbtion.
      I have been reading researches and i think its something the big pros know about but dont mention often and the average joe has no clue abuot this aspect to muscle building

    14. avatar

      Once again great vlog Layne, very informative. I’ve ran into what you talk about @ 20:15 a few times. It’s VERY difficult psychologically for a person in the higher body fat range whose metabolism has slowed down to a crawl to come to terms with eating more.

    15. avatar

      This was a great and helpful video Layne- thanks so much! A followup question. In the video you mention that small changes in carbs and fat basically are a wash in that your metabolism or some mystery seems to keep them from having the intended effect. For example, if you jump up or down 250 cals a day you don’t see any real muscle growth or fat gain/loss. Is there a minimum effective change required then for when you do want to see an effect? In other words, if dropping your calories by 1000 a day is too drastic for your metabolism, and 250 doesn’t really have any effect, what is a good starting point? Same goes for bulking- I typically go 300-500 over maintenance to bulk, keeping all my macros in check, rather than the ol’ dirty bulk. I find I grow, but barely a pound a month and some of that is still fat, it would seem. Wondering if I’m not reaching a critical level of extra food to fuel protein synthesis?

      Thanks so much!

    16. avatar

      Great stuff again, Layne! I grinned the entire video! I’ve had people contact me recently, AFTER they’ve done the damage and can’t figure out why they keep gaining weight in a “caloric deficit!” Sounds impossible to many, but it is very possible and popular among females. Not only competitors, but the perpetual dieters as well.

    17. avatar

      Hey I was wondering if this only applies to contest competitors.
      If you are not able to exercise for a couple of days do you have to go low calorie to at least maintain
      I’m 120 lbs, 5’6 and 22 years old. I go to the gym with some HIIT cardio and strength training 2-3 days a week. Other days I’m not all that active and my BMR is 1350 calories and I eat around 1400 with 35% carbs 25% fat and 40% protein. Is that alright to maintain? I feel like my metabolism is really low because when I go over that I gain body fat.

    18. avatar

      Thanks very much for this. I’m interested to know your thoughts on high fat consumption. I struggle to digest any grain food and lots of seeds too so rely on fats for fuel and eat relatively low carb. I can maintain 14% body-fat without trying but find it really hard to cut calories and drop any more body-fat than that. What are your thoughts on high fat diet for the metabolism in general.
      I’ve really struggled to get the message in your video across to some of my female clients who insist on low cal eating against my advice. I’ve seen broken metabolism in these women and they really do just make matters worse for themselves often fueled by mass media diet fads.
      Thanks for the vid
      Melanie :)

    19. avatar

      Great vlog, it all makes sense about slowly increasing calories to increase your metabolism. If this is true why doesnt your body adapt to decreasing calories in the same way and decrease your metabolism rather than burn fat? as in if you adapt to an increase, how do you lose fat ad not adapt to a decrease?

    20. avatar

      This was actually the first time I have seen one of your blogs and I was very impressed. I am a trainer as well and will be using your blogs as tools for my clients now. So thank you! My girlfriend is actually going through this and she is very frustrated. So my question is, what type of coach/proffesional would be the best for assisting her with this problem? Any insight on this would be fantastic. I look forward to a lot more from you. Thanks a lot!

    21. avatar

      This is a great video Layne, certainly a lot of top coaches in other sports should take heed of this. I see so many coaches of cyclists, triathletes, rowing etc. chasing blindly after higher power to weight ratios that they run their athletes on low kcal throughout the off season, and they then struggle to make race weight reducing their kcal further.
      I know those sports aren’t your scene, but you have a lot of knowledge that would benefit them!

    22. avatar

      Thanks so much for this blog–so helpful! I am still recovering from metabolic damage from an initially successful low-calorie (600-800 calorie per day “medically supervised” starvation diet), and dealing with weight regain. This is not taught in medical school. Commercial diet programs deny side-effects of weight loss (such as hypothalamic hypogonadism, which I developed also). I especially appreciate the fact that you support your clients, rather than shame/blame them, and keep the focus on health.
      Wonderful work helping my sister (Mimi) achieve great results, too, by the way!

    23. avatar

      This vlog is very helpful. I’m preparing for my first comp and I knew that keeping a high BMR was crutial but I was missing some info. I thought that lowering the carbs (under 100 gr a day) was the key but now I understand that we have to keep the carbs intake as high as possible, the amount that we can still lose BF.

      The part were you mention what most competitors do after their show; binge and gain a lot a BF is an issue I was afraid of. I was worrying that it might be very though to keep a lean body after a comp (was thinking that I would have to keep the diet and workout regimen as intense as the on-season…) I’m glad I learned that it’s possible to keep a lean body by following your guidelines. Thank you very much.

    24. avatar

      Hi Layne hope you are well. I am a really big fan from the UK and am going to enroll on to a nutritional science, or human nutrition degree in September. Your blog 9 of nutrition was really informative and helpful but it is really frightening for me.

      When you were talking about top competitors eating “clean” all week and having a cheat meal were you talking about the offseasone? , because I eat a bit like that and have a treat meal after 5 days trying to fit macros more or less, but its not 100% accurate, i sometimes cut out other meals to have a larger treat meal.

      Are there any ways you can damage your metabolism offseasone?

      And are there any ways we can identify a damaged metabolism offseasone?

    25. avatar

      thank you so much for posting this vlog. i’m a 31 year old woman. i’m a half marathon runner who also lifts 5-6 days a week (just finished jamie eason’s live fit program). when i started running over two years ago, i immediately gained 10 pounds and can never lose. after visiting a nutritionist who tried to put me on a 1000 calorie a day diet, which i refused, i started to lift weights and tried eating more protein. once i started tracking what i ate, i learned that i routinely under eat. i would do the “clean” eating during the week and cheat on sunday’s because i’d read that was “good for me” to “reset” my system. over the past few months i’ve been HUGELY frustrated with the process. to work so hard and not lean out (though i did gain muscle where i had none before) has been very tough on the spirit. i told myself this process just takes time but now i know why. i was most looking forward to the part of the video which tells how to best fix this problem. i’m a patient woman and realize health takes time but i’m still unsure where to go from here? other than straight to the kitchen because i’m not sure what i should be eating? i’m going to browse your website and try to ascertain what i should do to fix my metabolism. thank you for drawing attention to such a common problem. it’s good to know it isn’t just me.

    26. avatar


      I just recently discovered your website and vlog. I’ve got to say you give the most sound, reasonable and pragmatic fitness advice out there. Keep it up! I will keep reading.

    27. avatar

      Layne, you are brilliant!!! My metabolism has been a wreck since I competed two years ago. I’ve tried many concepts since then to find a diet that works with my lifestyle (FD, Keto, IF, Carb Cycling, etc.). I’ll do good for a while, but one small stray and I feel like I’ve ruined it all and go on a binge. Just a vicious cycle.

      So would you recommend starting off cals at around the calculated maintenance number? I’m willing to be patient with results, just want to make sure I’m starting correctly.


    28. avatar

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    34. avatar

      This video made what happened to me make so much sense. I was just prepping for a show, stuck doing 2hrs a cardio 6 days a week,struggling with bulimia because my body was craving carbs and fats because I had little carbs and NO fats in my diet! I ended up plateauing at 165lbs and being that I’m 5’8″ needless to say I was pulled from the show because I had weight I needed to lose. I binged after being pulled and gained 20lbs in FOUR days! It has taken me a year to not even think about competing and just relax and eat what my body craved in moderation and workout on a regular basis with NO cardio. I’m finally starting to get comfortable again and being to dream of competing one day. This video helped me a lot and look forward to watching your others! Thank you so much for putting this information on here!

    35. avatar

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    39. avatar

      Such a great video! This was me in the last year.. No matter what I would do, no fat would drop off, especially around the stomach area. I now try to eat more and feel so much better. Infact I will eat 6 eggs in one sitting, and try to eat alot of beef. Makes me feel great! Thanks Layne! http://www.fitnesscodes.co.uk

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    42. avatar

      Hi, Layne. I’m not a bodybuilder, but this video has been a boon nonetheless. I have struggled with weight loss for years and have damaged by metabolism unknowingly at least a few times. I am a 5’0” female who currently weighs 140 pounds. Since I have no plans to really get lean, my goal is to get to about 115-120 pounds and around 20-25% fat.

      I have a question, if you don’t mind. I am wondering exactly how far I should raise my BMR before I start dieting down to get to the point where I can be like the girl you mentioned in the video, who was maintaining her 110 pounds at over 2k calories. (In case you need to know how much I exercise, I do about an hour a day in various weight lifting routines, except for once a week I bike or hike for an hour or so instead.)

      How much did she weigh and how much did she eat when you started to have her diet down?

      Once again, thanks for the informative video! :)

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