Popular Diets: Jamie Hale’s Review – Part II

With so many diet plans and books on the market how do you choose which one to follow? Which diets will work for you? In this review I will give a brief review of some of the most popular diets on the market today. After reading the review you will be able to decide which plans are appropriate for you.Jamie Hale takes another look at “popular fad diets”, if you haven’t read Part I of this article, you can read it here: Jamie Hale’s Review – Part I XDL Diet

This diet was designed through thousands of hours of research and scientific study. Why does the diet last 6 ½ days? When I originally designed this eating plan, it was for two bodybuilders who only had 6 ½ days to prepare for competition. The plan was to manipulate nutrient intake and timing, supplementation, water consumption, exercise and sodium intake. Keep in mind these guys were drug free. The methods applied to a natural bodybuilder are significantly different from those of used by drug-induced athletes. Both of these guys reached their all time high in physique development.

Recently, a competitive bodybuilder I worked with used the diet to prepare for his show (Since the book was released numerous people have reported significant weight loss with XDL DIET. Keep in mind a large amount of weight loss can be contributed to loss in Gi tract storage and water. The highest weight loss I am aware of while following the XDL DIET was 28lbs. I don’t recommend this diet for sedentary individuals). The results were outstanding. People who had not seen him for a few weeks were amazed with his level of leanness and dryness. This guy looked like steel. Numerous competitors and attendees asked what he had done to prepare for the show. I was very pleased with his condition. He followed the plan 100% and was rewarded nicely. He won the Middleweight division and the award for best-conditioned athlete. A week before the show, I followed the XDL Diet in a quest to reach my all-time low in body fat levels. In 6 ½ days, my body fat dropped from 5% to just over 3% (according to calipers for what that’s worth).

This works great for bodybuilders, so why can’t it work for fitness enthusiasts and athletes who compete in other sports? In fact, it can, I have used numerous variations of the diet (there have been some aspects of the diet I have changed since the book was written) with people of varying fitness levels.

The XDL Diet is a calorie reduction, high protein, moderate fat, low carb diet with a scheduled carb spike (the diet also manipulates water, potassium, and sodium intake).

The XDL DIET is the world’s best diet. I know, that is what you expect me to say, but I won’t say that. The XDL DIET has proven successful with many people. Other diets have proven successful as well. I promote the XDL DIET just like I do my training programs; as a tool for success. The concepts utilized in the XDL DIET come from a large collection of studies and practical experience. My approach to eating is comprehensive and ever changing. What works great for one person may not be optimal for another person. What works great today may not be suited for tomorrows needs. The first edition of XDL DIET is no longer available for sale. There is a possibility that a second revised edition will be released in the near future.

MCLL (multiple carbohydrate leverage loading)

Multiple Carbohydrate Leverage Loading was developed for the bodybuilder seeking maximum muscle mass. Negrita Jayde developed this eating plan. This diet involves specifically arranging carbohydrates in your eating regimen to achieve muscle gain. Jayde proposes this diet sets up the ultimate environment for growth.

With the M.C.L.L diet, you arrange your meals so you consume two complex carbs, two simple carbs, and a metabolic optimizer drink with each meal. The simple carbs exhibit an immediate energy release, while the complex carbs exhibit prolonged energy. The metabolic optimizer drink contains a shorter chain structure than the complex carbs, but a longer structure than the simple carbs. This makes it a medium releaser. With M.C.L.L, you will have continued release of energy throughout the day. You will consume 6 meals per day while on this diet.

M.C.L.L. Benefits

* Increased Energy
* Your pumps will be extraordinary
* Your measurements will increase
* You will gain weigh rapidly
* Recovery time will be quicker after workouts
* Metabolism increases
* You will experience strength gains
* Your body heat will elevate M.C.L.L makes sure carbohydrates are being supplied to the body.
* Water retention in muscle cells will be high.

During this diet, carbs will cause your body to load up on water. The water retention results in better leverage for the working muscle. Strength will increase greatly with the aid of the leverage advantage. This diet does not involve over-eating. You are simply increasing carb calories themselves. The portions of carbs will be small. Two complex and two simple carbs will take up a lot of space on your plate.

High protein intake is not necessary with this diet. The high carb intake helps spare protein. With this diet, glucose levels stay high throughout the day and you remain in a positive nitrogen balance. This is the ideal state for adding muscle mass. This diet recommends you use a few supplements to enhance its effectiveness. It is recommended that you use a digestive enzyme with every meal, 4-6 grams of vitamin C daily and a B-complex vitamin each day. Amino Acids are also used with M.C.L.L. The recommended dosage is 5 before your workout and 5 after your workout.

I gained weight really fast with this diet, but I looked bloated and didn’t feel very good most of the time. The diet provides recommended foods that are non-calorie dense and nutritious. I had a hard time eating all of the food. When trying to eat a sufficient amount of calories to gain mass from low calorie foods it becomes a chore. I had a few clients who actually looked great and felt good while following the diet (very lean individuals). After following the diet for a while they became frustrated with the large quantity of food required and had to make adjustments (substituting some higher calorie foods for some of low calorie carb foods). I can’t agree with the supplement suggestions in the diet.

I would not recommend this diet for individuals with insulin, hypertrigleridemia or blood glucose problems. If you function well with a high carbohydrate diet you will probably enjoy this diet assuming you make a few food adjustments. If you respond well to low carb diets this diet probably isn’t for you (In general people that respond well to low carb diets don’t do very well on high carb diets and vice versa- a paper by Blundell titled High-fat and low-fat (behavioral) phenotypes: biology or environment looks into characteristics of these types of phenotypes).

Mediterranean Diet

There’s no one “Mediterranean” diet. There are numerous countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Diets vary between these countries and also between regions within a country. Many differences in culture, ethnic background, religion, economy and agricultural production results in different diets.

The common Mediterranean dietary pattern that we generally read or hear about has these characteristics:

High consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds. Olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source. More than half the fat calories in a Mediterranean diet come from monounsaturated fats (mainly from olive oil). Dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten. Eggs are consumed zero to four times a week. Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts.

I have never used the Mediterranean Diet (personally or for my clients) as described above. I think the diet has good and bad points. I like the fruit, vegetable, legumes and nuts recommendations. Grains are good for some people and maybe not so great for others. For active individuals (particularly strength and power athletes) the protein recommendations are probably too low. I also like the suggestion of using extra virgin olive oil. I use extra virgin olive oil in the majority of my diet plans.

Eat Right for Your Type

The diet was created by Peter D’ Adamo, a naturopathic physician. The body’s reaction to lectins (any of several plant glycoproteins that act like specific antibodies but are not antibodies in that they are not evoked by an antigenic stimulus) in foods determines the best diet for that person. Specific blood types require specific diets. Certain types of exercise are also prescribed for specific blood types.

Primary Scientific Research or common sense does not support the ideas promoted by this diet. If what D’ Adamo says is correct I would suspect there would be many more dead and sick people in the world.

Body for Life

Bill Phillips, former amateur bodybuilder, founder of EAS supplements and Muscle Media magazine created this diet. The diet is very similar to the Traditional Bodybuilder Diet.

The diet is nutritious and it has worked well for many people. The program also emphasizes a sensible exercise program. This diet has motivated numerous people to make positive changes in their life.

I think supplements are over emphasized and too much emphasis is placed on insulin as being the cause of obesity. This is very typical among the bodybuilding community. How many bodybuilding authorities have you heard say the key to weight loss is controlling insulin? This is something they repeat because they heard someone else say this. Insulin is a complex hormone that has various purposes. How many bb gurus do you think are aware of the effects insulin has on the CNS (actually leads to decreased food intake in some cases)? How many can actually explain insulin’s role in comprehensive metabolism? How many are aware that low insulin secretion is a predictor of weight gain in Pima Indians (Reduced Insulin Secretion: An Independent Predictor of Weight Gain. Schwartz 1995)

Grappler’s Guide to Sports Nutrition

John Berardi and Michael Fry wrote the guide. Supplement recommendations, basic nutrition, sample meal plans, case studies, making weight suggestions and mental preparation are discussed in the book. The eating plans are basically bodybuilding derived and suggest very clean eating (eating from food charts provided in the book 90% of the time).

The book gives some good basic information concerning nutrition. The eating plan suggested is highly nutritious. The cutting plan mentioned is good for the most part (some of the particulars I don’t agree with). The basic concept of nutrient timing is explained.

The book makes some statements however that are questionable and not supported by science. The book says, “Glucagon is responsible for greater fat movement out of fat cells.” This is incorrect. Glucagon stimulates liver glycogen phosphorylase, which results in liver glycogneolysis and gluconeogenesis. Glucagon directly affects liver metabolism not fat cell metabolism. Many popular nutrition books and consultants make this mistake.

The book also says “Athletes should never fear calories; they simply need to choose the right calories”. This statement is true if you don’t care about getting fat. No matter what type of calorie you consume if you eat too many calories you will get fat. Look at Sumo Wrestlers they eat very clean compared to most people. The book goes on to assert

“Using the strategies laid out in this book (the 10 habits, workout nutrition, energy balance, nutrient timing, etc) you will enter into your competitive season within 10lbs of your ideal competition weight. “ This is a blanket statement than has little applicability to the real world. There is a big difference between 10lbs on a 132lb fighter and 10lbs on a 232lb fighter. I think a percentage of bodyweight recommendation would have been more beneficial and applicable to a wider range of athletes. The book also gives some particular supplement recommendations I would not agree with. The book has its good and bad points.

Get Skinny on Fabulous Foods

Actress Susanne Somers is the author of this book. Yet another diet that says protein is great, insulin is the ultimate cause of obesity, and sugar is the root of all-evil.

I can’t see any benefits in reading this book. The book is loaded with incorrect statements including “…when proteins and carbohydrates are digested together, their enzymes “cancel each other out,” halting the digestion process and causing weight gain.” If they weren’t digested this would prevent weight gain as calories would not be absorbed from the food. The body contains enzymes that act on protein, carbohydrates and fat this doesn’t change when they are eaten together. This book is the ultimate example of quack science. Yet, due to Somers celebrity appeal thousands of these books have been sold.


Nutrisystem says they have discovered a revolutionary weight loss program that’s rich in good carbohydrates, while still low in fat. You get the glycemic advantage and get to eat delicious foods while you lose weight. The glycemic advantage basically separates good from bad carbs and blames insulin spikes for obesity. The company sales food products and offers various programs. Their programs include: Women’s Program, Silver for Women, Men’s Program, Silver for Men, Type 2 diabetic Program, and All- Vegetarian Program.

They badly misrepresent the glycemic index. Nowhere in the GI index does it make a distinction between good and bad carbs. You can’t solely judge a carbohydrate’s nutritional value by where it rates on the GI index. A white potato is highly nutritious yet rates high on the GI Index.

Nutrisystem speaks of the new revolutionary breakthrough of the Glycemic Index. In reality, David Jenkins invented the glycemic index in 1981. Nutrisystem commercials give the impression that no matter how many low GI carbs you consume you won’t get fat. This company represents marketing deceit at the highest level. I wonder if it is possible to eat low GI carbs not on the Nutrisystem food list and still lose weight?

Visit Jamie Hale’s site and purchase his new book (Knowledge and Nonsense: the science of nutrition and exercise) at www.maxcondition.com.

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Aragon A. (2007). Girth Control: the science of fat loss and weight gain 1st edition. Alan Aragon.
Gropper S. (2000). The Biochemistry of Human Nutrition: A Desk Reference. Wadsworth Thomson Learning.
Hale J. (2007). Knowledge and Nonsense: the science of nutrition and exercise. MaxCondition Publishing.