Thursday, July 14, 2011

Getting leaner made simple - The new and improved shake diet

Ok so I've had a few requests to talk about the shake diet I use from time to time to lose bodyfat.

I've talked about it before but we can cover it again.  I had plans on implementing it following the meet, however I am going to hold off for a bit and just eat "healthy" and "normally" until I feel the need to make a change.

The shake diet is pretty simple.  You use 3-4 meal replacements a day, and eat 2 meals.

I advise meal replacements because there are still some carbs in them, and I like the make up of MRP's better for a shake heavy diet than just pure protein shakes.

When I ran the shake diet in the past, I would eat breakfast and dinner usually.  So my day of eating usually looked like this...

Non-Training Day

Breakfast - 3 whole eggs with turkey and cheese

Lunch - MRP

Snack - MRP

Pre-Training - Creatine loading formula (this has carbs in it in the form of simple sugars)

Post-workout - Dinner - Usually lean meat with fruits and veggies.

2 hours after dinner - MRP

This worked well for me, and I have used it several times.  However I believe there are some ways to improve the shake diet quite a bit.

I don't do carb cycling because it's too damn complex IMO.  I am not a bodybuilder, however I do have periods where I desire to lean up quite a bit and get into the 8-10% bodyfat range and look/feel better.

However I do believe that carb cycling has a lot of merit.  I believe this because low carb sucks donkey nuts and you lose a lot of strength and feel like total shit when you cut carbs too low for too long.

You can use a carb cycling approach with the shake diet very easily.

On workout days make the following adjustments -

Breakfast - 5-6 egg whites with turkey and lowfat cheese (so drop the yolks)
Add 1 cup of oatmeal with cinnamon

Pre-workout - Have 2 slices of rye bread with organic jelly and 1 cup of cottage cheese with pineapple or strawberries

Post-Workout - Have MRP in 2 cups of skim milk

Eat a light dinner two hours later.  4-6 ounces of chicken and a salad for example.  

This bumps up carbs and drops some fat, which should give you some energy for lifting days.  The rye bread with cottage cheese is going to be a permanent staple in my diet from now on.  I rarely had bad workouts due to energy when doing this.  

On non lifting days, you won't have any pre-workout meal and you'll add the whole eggs back in at breakfast, and drop the oatmeal.  So non lifting days would look just like the earlier version but without pre-workout creatine drink.

As far as picking MRP's, I usually go with Met-Rx.  I like the taste and I can usually find it cheap somewhere.  I would go with Labrada but generally it's more expensive.  I do like the taste and make up of the Labrada because it has more fiber, but if you're getting enough veggies in at dinner along with the oatmeal and rye bread on lifting days, you'll be fine.

This is NOT complicated.  Don't make it complicated by wondering "can I do this" "can I do that".  Just follow the plan and enjoy the rewards.

Length (and I'm not talking about your manhood) -

I generally run this for 6 weeks.  I do not cheat during this time.  There are no cheat days.  It's only 6 weeks so don't be a bitch about it.  It's 168 shakes.  One thing you can do is just buy 4, 40 pack boxes plus an 18 box one and lay 168 out in a big box.  When you go through the last one, you're done.  You won't eat anything that isn't on the menu for the entire 6 weeks.  So if it's not listed above, you can't eat it for the 6 weeks.

Benefits and Drawbacks -

This really all depends on you.  I can eat the same thing for months on end and feel fine.  So 6 weeks for me is nothing.  Some people get tired of a diet with the same foods after a week.  If you are the latter, this might be hard for you to do.

Also, 168 MRP's will cost a couple of dollars, but you probably spend that much on sex toys and porn and darth vader outfits over the course of the year so just cut one of those out, and get the MRP's.

The benefits are easy.  The plan is simple, and simple to follow.  There is variety with the lean meat at the dinner meal, and of course, you don't have to have breakfast and dinner as the food meals, you can swap those out for whatever you like (like breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner).  Again, don't make this overly complicated.  It's not.

Also counting calories is incredibly easy with it because you only have to worry about the two meals a day.  Takes the guess workout out of everything.

If you decide to run it, take some pics and let me know.  It works very well for shedding bodyfat and is simple and productive.

That's all folks.


  1. I know someone is going ask it, so I will go ahead and ask...I plan on picking up the Met-Rx meal replacement shakes, but what would you do if the Meal replacement shakes were to expensive?

  2. Do you consider conditioning days to be "training" days?

  3. Mike - Depends on what kind of conditioning you are doing. Hills or sled or prowler or something intervalish? Yes. That's training. Steady state? No. You should be fine.

    A.D. - Wait until you can afford them. Really. I don't like the "make some protein powder concoction" method. And besides, if you can afford protein powder you can afford some MRP's.

  4. but wouldnt a scoop and a half of whey and a bit of oats be just about the exact same thing?

  5. No. It's not just about protein and carb intake. This is why I said just buy the MRP.

  6. You'll probably save money on food so it won't be that expensive.

    Am I seeing creatine on non-training days?

  7. No. I took the creatine out, but I don't think it would hurt on non training days so long as you don't use the sugar with it.

  8. Paul, whats your new split gonna be this lifting cycle? thanks


  9. This is what I think I have settled on for right now -

    Monday - traps, biceps, abs

    Wednesday - squats/fronts/deads (alternating fashion)
    prehab work

    Thursday - traps, biceps, abs

    Saturday - Chest

    Something like that.

  10. I started today at 234 lbs and will see where im at in 6 weeks

  11. Awesome. Can't wait to hear. Did you get your BF tested?

  12. No but I'm assuming I'm some where around 20%

  13. paul i have asked you before but why no lat training? you used to love chins...

  14. Oh sorry man. Chins are back on the table starting probably this week man. :)

  15. Gotta say your pre workout meal with rye bread, jelly, cottage cheese and pineapple has been amazing for my workouts and it doesn't make my feel like shit. Thank!

  16. Yes. It's a staple for me now. Even when I have a bad session I generally have the gas to finish it. It's made a huge difference in my training.

  17. Hi, just posting this for people to see my own experience with a "shake diet", it's not 100% the same as yours but it's fairly similar. I also use it year-round and for bulking

    DEXA in January 2011: 75kg, 10.6% bodyfat
    Current weight (July 2011): 77.5kg (haven't added/lost considerable bodyfat)

    Protein shake = 2 scoops protein (50g protein) + 120g oats (75g carbs) + ~30g maltodextrin

    If I'm out and I can't blend my shake then I'll just replace the oats with the equivalent maltodextrin.


    Breakfast: Protein shake
    Lunch: 3 eggs + 2 slices toast (or equivalent) + Protein shake
    Dinner: Meat + rice
    Before bed: Protein shake

    I should probably add that I do have a fast metabolism (have hyperthyroidism and taking medication to slow down my metabolism -> I have been in a normal range for years now).

    So the diet has worked well for me as I don't have much of an appetite and don't like to spend all my time food prepping. My lifts have gone up, my comeback meet for 74kg class (raw) I squatted 190kg, benched 115kg (125kg red lighted because the side of my foot came off the floor), deadlifted 200kg. I've since deadlifted 220kg (after switching to sumo).

    So overall, I say "yay" for shake diets.

  18. Has Kyle ever said what kind of results he got out of this?

  19. will this work for women?

  20. Paul,

    Not to bump an old post, but i remember reading somewhere you added a tbsp of PB to the MRP's...did you stop doing that, or did i mis-read it?


  21. Do you recommend that for this? I plan on kick starting my composition goals in the new year with the shake diet you have outlined here

  22. You can. Just don't get crazy with it.

  23. Anybody ever get you pics after doing this? I'm thinking about it as it would really alleviate the taking food with me to campus and work deal. I was also wondering if Kyle D. Gerstner, who posted on 18 July 2011, had ever hit you up with his results. Also, perhaps I missed this, but what brand are you using? I looked up MRP's and found slimfast, whey, and a bunch of other stuff that kind of doesn't seem right.

    1. I ended up fucking around with IF and carb backloading because I wanted to try those out.

      I honestly have gone back to my LRB diet and I get lean on that diet while not losing strength. The shake diet is great for guys who don't want to think too much or cook too much. But it's not a long term way of eating.

  24. I am one of those guys that doesn't like to cook or think about food to often. I figured I could use this as a good way to drop some of this post injury fat off and try to get down to 210ish from around 240. People say I'm not fat, but they are stupid and don't see things the way I do.

    I basically try to cook a whole chicken in the crock pot or a roast or something and then pick at that as needed but taking crap to school and work is a pain in the ass, especially with all these books for learning. Ridiculous, all these opportunities I have, lol.

  25. Being that there is little to no carbs or calories is black coffee and or sugar free energy drinks able to drank without screwing up the point of this diet?