What follows is a series of comments and replies taken from my post on Volek’s new book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. We should all be appreciative of Florian Sperling’s efforts in reaching out to Volek.

  • Florian Sperling
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 15:41:12 [Edit]

    TNTman, thanks for writing this review. After reading Volek’s new book, I felt just as confused as you did about how to reconcile this with the TNT diet.

    I am not sure whether Volek just chose to omit carb re-feeds from the new book because its main focus does not seem to be muscle gain but rather sports performance, or whether he really changed his mind on this topic.

    I also wonder how to make a ketogenic diet sustainable when a single slip can throw you off keto-adaption for days at least… sounds supremely frustrating.

    Still, I have embarked on a strict keto experiment, and I have also ordered a ketone blood testing device as recommended in the new book. This way, I have an objective measure of tracking ketone levels, and how they are influenced by dietary choices, such as daily carb load, or an occasional cheat meal. Hopefully, this will lead me to a personalized answer to my above questions.

    I have also sent an email to Dr. Volek (I have used the address provided on the “art and science of low carb” site), asking him to clarify his stance on the differences between TNT and the new book. When (if?) I receive a reply, I will post it here.

    Thanks again and greetings from Germany,

    • TNT Man
      Jun 05, 2012 @ 16:38:08 [Edit]

      Florian Sperling:
      Thanks for letting me know where you are from. WordPress identifies the countries that a search engine refers the person from without any further information. It is interesting to know that people are actually reading this Blog from places afar.

      TNT and a Ketogenic Diet are two different worlds. One is a low carb diet and the other is a Very Low Carb diet. They are aimed at two different groups of people. The TNT program actually interferes with Ketosis, and that is the reason ketosis is not stressed in the book. Not many individuals – and especially the 20-40 male who wants to lose weight, buff up and hang with his friends on the weekends – can sustain a real ketogenic eating plan.

      I do believe that even if eating carbs in the post workout shake suppresses ketosis, it does not force you to start from the beginning since your glycogen stores are near empty. At least that has been my experience. Those who have a serious metabolic problem such as diabetes, face a different set of problems and rules – not the generally healthy person.

      Given differences between the programs and the populations that they are aimed at – the Ketogenic athlete is an anomaly. Only serious endurance athletes are going to go to that length for their sport or competition. Not me.

      I am just happy with maintaining a VLC eating plan with some time for Carb enjoyment. It meets my health needs. I have limited myself to Plan A for the most part – so I am tending to follow a more strict VLC approach – just not as strict as the book would have us do.

      Let us know if Volek responds.

      TNT Man

  • Florian Sperling
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 14:00:27 [Edit]

    Hi TNT man, I’m quite impressed! Dr. Volek actually took the time and gave a detailed reply to my query! Here it comes:

    People vary widely in their ability to metabolize carbohydrate in a healthy way, and even within a person that ability can change with age and other lifestyle factors. So it is difficult to make generalizations. Some athletes can tolerate and benefit from the intermittent use of carbohydrates as was presented in TNT, whereas I have come to appreciate that others may not be able to without disrupting their metabolism. At the end of the day, it comes down to personalization and finding out what works for you.

    So it all comes back to the old quip: Know thyself! For some weeks I’ll stay on a strictly ketogenic diet, and then I’ll experiment with re-feeds, starting from a single meal including low-GI carb sources, such as legumes.

ETA:  During the 4+ years of living the TNT life, I have learned by experience that I am probably one of those individuals who have a greater degree of carb sensitivity than others.  It could be because of a life time of  abusing my body, my age or genetics.  “Why” – does not matter; that “It Is” – Does.