Well I read the article below and for all this time I thought that maybe vlc had real merit, but now I'm starting to think that vlc is standing on hole cloth, much like vlf. According to one of these studies vlc and vlf both have similar results, both have very modest results and both results PALE in comparison to regular HIIT training (vlc and vlf both resulted in modest fat and muscle loss, while hiit resulted in fat loss and muscle mass gains ie. better body composition) Is it time we smash vlc from the paleo dogma? Is it time we embrace truly superior lifestyle choices like HIIT in its place? What do you think?
"Ready Set Go Fitness" is a great book by Phil Cambell that I read many years ago. It focuses on the "Sprint 8" protocol. This is where a person does a 30-second sprint (running, biking, elliptical, etc.) and then moves at a low-intensity pace for 90 seconds. This is one round, and the idea is to build up to 8 rounds, hence, Sprint 8.
A new study has been released testing the Sprint 8 protocol. The study has not been published yet, to my knowledge, but it can be found here. The study involved 11 middle-aged adults, so granted it is a small sample.
Overall, the results are just staggering. In only 8 weeks, subjects had amazing results across many indicators. Average weight "only" dropped by 9.6 pounds, but there was a massive shift between body fat and muscle. Based on the body fat measures, the average subject lost 23.8 pounds of fat. They also gained 14.2 pounds of muscle. If these results are replicated in future studies, this would represent one of the most effective diet/exercise interventions ever.
Compare this result to the recent two-year study that contrasted a low-fat diet to a low-carbohydrate diet. On average, participants from either group lost 9 pounds of fat but also 5 pounds of lean mass over this two-year period.
Of course, the Sprint 8 study was only 8 weeks, and not two years, but if you look at other studies you see that weight loss from exercise is often better maintained than weight loss from diet alone.
And I must say, this is a paleo hacks site. It says in the FAQ that questions in regard to crossfit are fine. Vlc is often combined with paleo and people use it to lose weight. HIIT is an exercise technique that results in the only thing better than weight loss, body Recomposition (fat loss muscle gain). Because of the extent to which HIIT seems to surpass vlc in body composition improvements I consider HIIT to be a hack, a paleo hack. Maybe HIIT and vlc aren't necessarily mutually exclusive but because of how physically demanding HIIT is, it is VERY difficult to fully perform a protocol such as Sprint 8 while vlc'ing; so these two tend towards mutual exclusivity (hence me comparing them in my question). 4 out of the 5 people who have voted to close this question have done so on the grounds that this is "not a real question". However this IS a real question. I fully expect people who have knowledge in this area to answer my question and critique the studies I referenced, telling me that the results from that sprint 8 trial are an outlier or that the study on vlc was an outlier and then for them to provide other studies that back claims vlc (diet) is as efficient or better than (HIIT), or studies showing they actually can be performed together with similar results, or people saying yes that's right.
Before it closes;
**rigorous exercise regime + balanced diet > VLC.
on counts of greater muscular development, improved hormonal status (HGH production during and after, and over time higher Test levels and lower estrogen levels due to improved body composition...in part because of the HGH response, in part because of the insulin sensitivity, and in part because the better T/E ratio which feeds on itself in a cylce of constantly getting better and better), improved endothelial function, feel-good endorphins, hormetic affects of exercise, character building process of challenging oneself through rigorous exercise tasks, etc, etc, yada yada.
...in my humble opinion.
Isn't comparing VLC to HIIT, comparing apples and oranges? One is a way of eating and one is a way of exercising. They aren't mutually exclusive.
UPDATE: Based on the discussions in this thread, I think what you are actually trying to prove is:
I think it's a fair question to ask, but as far as I can tell, the research you linked above does not prove either of these points (even though I doubt anyone here is going to argue that HIIT isn't a good way to exercise).
Also, I think it's always important to keep in mind that different people have different starting points and different goals. It's possible that the best/easiest strategy to move from 40 to 30% body fat is different from the best/easiest strategy to move from 15 to 10% body fat.
FURTHERMORE: VLC has clearly worked for many people here in helping them to lose significant weight, improve body composition, feel better, etc. That could be because of the effect of carbs on insulin, or because of reduced food reward, or because of calorie reduction, or something else, but it doesn't matter. It's worked for them, and statements like "Is it time we smash vlc from the paleo dogma?" are probably not an effective way to bring those people into a constructive conversation whether or not there could have been an easier strategy for them to employ.
Dude, this may or may not be a question....but if it is a question its still nonsense. You can be VLC and do HIIT. You can eat high carb and do HIIT. You can do HIIT while eating SAD. You can do HIIT while living on jelly beans. You can do the cabbage diet and HIIT.
Or you can skip HIIT completely and only do HIT resistance with all the above said choices. And on and on....
Is it time we smash vlc from the paleo dogma?
No, VLC is not dogma, it is a dietary choice. Some people do better on VLC, some on higher carb -- Why be prescriptive? Let people decide what works best for them.
Is it time we embrace truly superior lifestyle choices like HIIT in its place?
Not sure I agree that people have not "embraced" HIIT. Pretty much every post I read about exercise suggests some time of HIIT as a supplement to resistance training.
This is a completely invalid question: you can't compare a diet choice to an exercise choice. Also, I don't think it's true that VLC is (somewhat) at odds with HIIT. I've done HIIT for years, while being VLC.
Dr. Attia: "So how did my performance change over the final 12 weeks of my nutritional experiment, when I was in a state of ketosis? The table below summarizes my findings, but let me add a bit of commentary."
Pre and post VLCn=1 but we're all designed to burn fat.
Maybe you should have rephrased your question...
Is HIIT better than a VLC diet for body recomposition, could HIIT be maintained on VLC diet?
Though I must admit even just trying to combine these two things into an actual question is difficult. Maybe it would have been better to start with the options of what is best for body recomposition:
A: HIIT alone B: HIIT + General Paleo C: HIIT + VLC Paleo D: VLC Paleo alone E: General Paleo alone
But again are we talking about just losing bodyfat or body-recomposition (gaining muscle mass)?
Because you can lose bodyfat via dietary intervention without any more exercise then everyday functioning, VLC Paleo for many does exactly that. If you want to gain muscle mass (at a perceivable rate) you have to do more than everyday functioning exercise. If you choose to utilise HIIT, then the question becomes what diet is best for HIIT, and your question becomes is VLC Paleo best for HIIT longterm? It appears that if you are beginning to move away from mere body-recomposition and towards performance goals, VLC Paleo may not be the best thing, especially if you need explosive bursts of performance which is typical of HIIT.
If you are interested, I personally do VLC Paleo on rest/complementary days, and General Paleo on my HIIT days. At my current performance level eating some starch two to three times a week post-workout provides me enough fire to keep my intensity high, the general health benefits, and VLC Paleo the rest of time keeps me feeling good and feeling like I am doing well with recomposition. Personally I see little longterm benefit in just eating VLC Paleo over utilising starches specifically; especially if you want to pack on muscle.
I'm sorry, but I'm failing to see the statistic or clinical significance of a study on 11 overweight people who had an exercise program introduced who were otherwise sedentary with crap cholesterol and high bf percentages. After reading the study carefully their results were what I would expect from any person beginning an exercise program who has otherwise been sedentary. A study of such a small sample is anecdotal at best and while I admire the researchers for their attention to detail with regard to standards of measurement (cholesterol, demographics, body fat percentage, BMI, etc.), I'm sure they know that all their study "suggests" is that more research is needed.
Also, I'm not sure what you are trying to imply. As someone else suggested, the two are not mutually exclusive, but perhaps synergistic. It's diet AND exercise, not one better than the other. yes we know HIIT is great for people with limited time and for fat loss AND low carb has benefits as well. Why exclude one from the other or try to suggest one is somehow better?
there is a lot of research being done right now, so I think we need to keep an open mind on the subject. research goes back and forth all the time! here's one example that includes both (yes the sample is again small, but obviously research is ongoing) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-010-1571-y
This is a load of BS. VLC diets work perfect for HIIT training. Please show some real research because n=1 experiments do not mean anything..?
In this study 8 elite gymnasts are performing perfectly on a ketogenic diet. If you know the sport, you will know that it is HIIT a like. These athletes perform in short super intesive intervals of exercise and heavy work, just like when you do HIIT. The study concludes that the Ketogenic diet works as good as another.