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James Strack

Vertical Diet

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James Strack

Anyone ever try this guy's diet?  Been doing Keto myself for last 4 years, which works for me as a lifestyle, but man this guy has some great points.  Am considering switching to the low carb version he offers.

 

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Sean Rogers

James,

I have been a nutrition enthusiast for a long time and in more recent years have experimented with both plant heavy keto, strict carnivore, and everything in between.

I have listened to just about every interview I could find with Stan Efferding after hearing him talk for the first time.  Yes, I think his approach makes a ton of sense and probably has great application for most performance sports - especially those with top end power output and high glycolitic demand.  I am working through a couple of injuries currently and just getting started with GST so I don't feel I need to get too carried away with carbs at the moment but this may change a bit as I ramp up the training stimulus. 

I don't know if you have any digestive issues but he emphasizes foods that are well tolerated and places emphasis on low FODMAP foods.  I have personal experience in having trouble with FODMAPs and histamine containing/producing foods so this totally makes sense for me.

I am just getting going on basically following a fairly low carb version of what he would suggest.  I am currently 165# @ 15% body fat and wanting to reach 185# @ 10% body fat (I've been there before).  I am going to try to reach this over 10-12 months because I don't think going faster than that (.5# per week of average gain) is a healthy thing to do.  I also don't want to get too fat before having a decent body composition again.

Here are my basic aims:

  • Whole foods, locally and sustainably sourced
  • 2500-3000 calories per day
  • 150-200 grams of protein per day
  • Adequate carbohydrate to fuel my training and keep electrolytes dialed in
  • Remainder of calories coming from high quality fat sources
Here is a basic template for me based on 3 meals per day (I have experimented with 1 and 2 meals per day but don't like feeling sluggish after huge meals and specifically a lot of protein in a  single meal):
  • Breakfast: 10oz raw kefir/yogurt, 10oz burger/steak/chop, 4 raw egg yolks, raw honey or piece of fruit [200 +575+220+100 = 985 calories, 10+40+11 = 61 grams of protein]

  • Lunch: 10oz raw kefir/yogurt,  5-6 oz burger/steak/chop, 1/4-1/2# organ meat (liver, heart, kidney, etc.) salad/leafy greens with olive oil/vinegar, raw honey or piece of fruit [200+300+100+200+100 = 900 calories, 10+20+25-50 = 55-80 grams of protein]

  • Dinner: 8oz burger/steak/chop, non-starchy veggies with butter, starch with butter [400+200+400) = 1,000 calories, 30-50 grams of protein]

I will probably end up in the range of 150 grams of carbs per day...so 150 grams protein = 600 calories, 150 grams carbs = 600 calories, and the remainder from fat.  So that would be 20% protein, 20% carbs, 60% fat.  I know that eating in this way will be nutrient dense, keep me satiated, and take me to the body body weight and composition that I am aiming for.  Let me know if you want to talk shop on this further anytime.
 

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James Strack

@Sean Rogers

Awesome man.  I'm at other end of spectrum maybe with body type atm.  20 years ago, I was 205 pounds 15% body fat lifting heavy weights, then got married and stopped lifting, but kept eating for that work load.  I blew up to 255 pounds, and have spent the last 10 years getting down to now 185 pounds.  Mostly through fasting and keto diet.  While I can do keto as a lifestyle no problem, I am attracted to that vertical diet because I miss things like rice and fruit.  So maybe when I lose another 20 pounds I'll switch to the low carb version of vertical.  The 20 pounds I want to lose is me hoping to lose the spare tire I have.  Which I will say is getting reduced from the core workout here more so then by just keto.  As you can't chose what fat get's burned and where.  I'm also now doing a very high protein version of keto to try not to lose as much muscle while hopefully burning fat.

I set 1700 calories as a daily goal, but I don't weigh food intake.  I estimate and prob go over 1700 quite often with that technique.  I still lose prob a pound every 2 weeks - 1 month, but if I actually measured I'm sure I could dial it in more.

Edited by James Strack

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Sean Rogers

@James Strack

Ya, I have had great success with fasting - not only from a weight loss perspective but also gut health and cognitive performance.

I have given some thought to leaning out to the 10% body fat level now which would probably take me into the 150-155 range @ 6' tall and then from there patiently work my way up to 185# without letting myself get fat.  I am still considering this route.

I think that when eating whole, unprocessed food and get enough protein it is harder to over-eat.  I do notice that when I add fruit and starch into the mix my propensity to experience food cravings and overeat goes way up.  That is what I liked about keto with salads and non-starchy veggies + lots of animal sourced protein and fat and even more so with carnivore (meat, salt, raw fermented dairy, and raw egg yolks).

I don't know how far down the rabbit hole you have gone on all of this but if you combine eating at your maintenance level of calories or even a slight surplus most of the time and throw in 24-72 hour fasts (with plenty of electrolytes) on a fairly regular basis you can shed a ton of weight quickly.  For example, if I wanted to get down to 10% body fat really quickly I would eat at a calorie surplus (like I described in the last post) with a lot of activity and training 4 days in a row and follow that with a 3 day fast with restore and a lot of long walks.  If I did this for 4 consecutive weeks I would probably lose 10# of mostly fat and be able to keep it off before going into a long term phase of muscle gain.

With all of that said, 1# of weight loss every .5-1 month will lead to lasting results, especially with a consistency in eating and training patterns.  If you plateau, you may want to consider a 90 day period of dialing up both your calories and activity to ramp up your metabolism followed by some intermittent fasting/calorie restriction. 

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Alessandro Mainente

Remember gentlemen that no matter fasting, nonfasting, keto diet, zone diet....what makes difference? caloric deficit. you can pick up one of the 10000+ diets explained in the word...but deeply...the deficit is the key to lose weight. then...we can adjust everything trying to lose fat...

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James Strack

Yeah, I think I might try to start actually weighing my food, to see if I can dial down my calorie intake some.  I know it's going to be harder to lose this last 20 pounds then it was all the other weight I lost.

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James O'Boyle

@Alessandro Mainente is right.  You should try weighing food and really counting calories for a while.  Whatever dietary strategy you use to get your deficit will work as long as you get your deficit.  I've been using the myfitnesspal app (it's easy to use & free) and it's really helped me bust through my plateau.  I finally reached my initial goal of 12% body fat by counting calories over the last couple months.  Now I'm shooting for 10%.

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Alessandro Mainente

Actually i'm back around 6.5%...1 kg less will be the less body fat in my life...we will see.

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