Bodybuilding forums and forums dedicated to the sport are becoming a hotbed for the growing trend of ‘post-training’ dieting, in which athletes eat in the hopes of boosting their bodyweight and gaining muscle.
A study conducted by University College Dublin, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that post-training dieting has become the most popular form of weight loss, with more than half of the participants in the study gaining 10 pounds or more in weight.
This is not new, but the study also found that those who used the diet were much more likely to have gained weight.
Dr John Hennigan, lead author of the study, said the most successful dieters have been men and women aged between 40 and 60 who had achieved a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above, with a body fat percentage of between 25 and 50 per cent.
In the study participants were asked to abstain from any form of exercise for four weeks after completing the program.
The researchers found that the most effective weight loss method was a low-carbohydrate, low-fat (LCHF) diet, which led to a weight loss of 4.4kg in the first week and 4.7kg in week two.
Dr Hennigans said that a low carb diet could lead to weight loss in less than two weeks.
Dr Paul McConkey, a professor of exercise science at UCD, said that the study’s findings support the notion that LCHF dieters are gaining weight by eating less and exercising less.
“We were very surprised by the results, we were very impressed,” Dr McConkeys said.
“People are actually doing better in the programme than they were in the previous program and that’s a big issue in the dieting community because they have a perception that their body can’t do this type of thing and that they’re just not cutting out the calories.”
In reality, we are seeing very substantial gains in muscle mass.
“Dr Hynnan said that there were many other factors that contribute to weight gain in the short term, including poor diet quality, lack of exercise, poor nutrition and stress.”
It’s important that people don’t assume that their weight is going to be lost and that it will be a permanent thing,” Dr Hennigs said.
But he added that people who have achieved a weight-loss goal need to be cautious and make sure that their diets are appropriate and consistent.”
This is where you’re going to have to be careful because we’re not talking about people who are just trying to gain weight overnight, we’re talking about someone who is actually working towards a specific goal, but that is something that can be done at different stages of the diet and that is very difficult,” he said.