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SCD + Occam's Protocol

Hello all,

Well it has been a long thought provoking week. I still want to lose weight and was thinking of doing the SCD for another month but I decided that it might be worth trying OP because:

1. It would break up my fat loss into spurts over time... I wonder how good is it if I lose 30lbs in 2 months? (Lost 14.2 lbs last month)

2. It should make it easier to lose weight if I have more muscles (and a higher standing metabolic rate)

3. Ok lets face it, its more fun! I get to eat more... right? So this was the tricky question!

In the book, he seems to say this "Start with a SCD base, add starches to lunch and dinner." but does that mean only on training days? Does that mean everyday? I wasn't comfortable with this considering how hard I worked last month to drop 14 lbs so I was torn.

Eventually what I have come up with was

1. Add starches to lunch and dinner on training days (in reality I kind of use these as mini cheat days, enjoy whatever but dont binge)

2. Add a starch to lunch the day after

So I am not sure if this is ideal but it seems to be working for me. I feel stronger and I hope I am building muscle (too early to tell yet) but I am definitely not gaining weight and even broke into a new low today!

I hope this means that I am building muscle and burning fat, if so, this rocks!!!

I will keep you all posted on my progress, if anyone has any thoughts on this please share them... I asked a question about this earlier but it didn't get an answer.... I can't imagine I am the only one in this situation.

Regardless, I am feeling good and looking forward to seeing the results of this experiment!



The Best Answer

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Self-experiment rocks! ;)

I remember in the book, he mentioned that eating more frequently to break up the caloric load was a way to keep the fat gain at a minimum but still maximize muscle gain.

If you're still looking to lose fat, I would only add starches on training days.

Track your progress and what your doing & eating. Keep us posted!

  • puckoff7337 commented Mar 9th 2012:

    Thats an excellent point, I just need to make sure I don't end up eating MORE because I eat more frequently, smaller meals is a good idea for sure though.

    That was what I was figuring, I have had decent luck so far with including a starch with the lunch the next day so I am gonna stick with that for now since I am still losing weight and its more fun :)

    Will keep you posted!

  • puckoff7337 commented Mar 31st 2012:

    Well Time for my update! So I haven't been actively tracking my body fat because I dont have a good way to do so but my weight has stayed pretty much +/- 3 or 4lbs depending on where i am in relation to the training/cheat day but I can see a visible difference in muscle definition so I am confident I have continued to burn fat this month

  • puckoff7337 commented Mar 31st 2012:

    I did have a DEXA scan in mid Jan at the start and was at an embarrassing 35% body fat... a week ago I hopped on a tanita body fat scale (feet only electroresitance type) and it said I was at 18.5%!!!!

    Now I know those scales can be inaccurate but even if im really at 20 and change that is still some progress

    Now I just wish I had chekced properly before I started this whole thing, oh well...

    should I keep it up this month? Part of me wants to rock the SCD for another month to drop fat fast... big business trip coming up soon so all this may be tough

  • puckoff7337 commented May 8th 2012:

    Well what an adventure its been. Basically in March I did OP on top of SCD. I treated training days as cheat days and included carbs w/ either lunch or dinner the next day too. Then straight SCD.

    Results: Lost 1 or 2 lbs while building muscle (not sure exactly how much cuz I didn't get the calipers lol)

    For April I was in Japan which made SCD considerably more challenging. I managed to do SCD breakfast most of the time and included one or two days of 100% SCD as well as occasionally eating SCD meals but often just carbing out.

    To make up for all this I increased my lifting. So for the 22 days I was in Japan I lifted 8 times. I actually still haven't really hit failure and have increased my lifts a lot.

  • puckoff7337 commented May 8th 2012:

    End result: Gained ~1 lb while building muscle (again not sure exactly how much)

    This month I am going back to straight SCD to lose weight and will lift on the OP schedule... interested to see what happens here. I was planning to try and make one of my training days land on cheat days but I hurt my back the other day so I've missed the first one. Oh well.

  • arctichacker commented May 8th 2012:

    Thanks for the update! Sounds like you're getting a good handle on balancing OP with SCD!

  • Overdog commented May 8th 2012:

    Very interesting. Keep us posted.

    As you read in my post I'm trying something similiar except adding in a couple of shakes a day including non-workout days.

    I bought a cheap body fat % calculator from Omron to track what the scale can't report. Even if it isn't precise it should still track progress.

  • hyperzx commented May 24th 2012:

    hey, are you also doing the SCD cheat day or introducing the occam 'anti-cheat' day of 50% protein intake one time a week? I am also trying to do a SCD/OP hybrid and I am sticking with a cheat window instead of a whole day and IF the day after. Workout days I am adding quinoa and potatoes and most days I have a protein shake to up my daily protein intake (~1.25 per lean mass). Would like to hear some updates or suggestions!! Thanks!

  • puckoff7337 commented May 24th 2012:

    Overdog - What body fat monitor did you get?

    Hyperzx - I will respond on your other post :)

  • arctichacker commented Mar 31st 2012:

    Way to go! Did you do following the SCD/OP hybrid plan above. Or did you stick with the SCD?

    You might want to invest in a pair of fat calipers. You're at the BF% where they a handy for tracking changes in BF. I find that tape measurements don't reflect the changes that come with muscle growth and fat loss. For example, my arms grew in size but decreased on fat.

    Rock it out until you get to your goal. Life will always have things like business trips, holidays, family events. Take the opportunity to figure out how to make these events SCD friendly ;) and you'll get through them in the future easily.

  • arctichacker commented Mar 9th 2012:

    please come back with some updates. I 'm trying to figure out what to do after I get to my BF% goal. I'm looking to out on a bit more muscle.

All Answers


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I'd like to share this with you all. I figure we all here are trying this hybrid SCD/OP so any extra online help would be nice. This article by Charles Poliquin gives tips on how to prep your meals on the days for workouts. Currently due to SCD we do most of these but it is nice to read further explanations. For instance, he mentions that working out on an empty stomach is not as advantageous as with a low fat - high protein meal. Hope it helps.

Cheers everyone!!

  • puckoff7337 commented May 24th 2012:

    Hey that link is very interesting... definitely a lot of good info!

    I have been doing 1 of my workouts on my cheat day and 1 on a regular day.

    I have actually been progressing on both the weightloss and the muscle building slower than I would have liked. I am still seeing some strength gains and weightloss but I am hitting failure more often and weight loss has slowed.

    I went from 205 on 5/1 to 199 today (5/24) which isn't bad but was expecting more from previous experience. I have kinda been over doing the cheat days perhaps...

  • puckoff7337 commented May 24th 2012:

    Muscle-wise I haven't really seen much visible progress but I have been increasing weight on most of my exercises so even I just maintain the muscle I've built so far while cutting weight I am ok with that. I may have built some without noticing (hard to say w/o accurate measurements).

    I am going to stick with this for a week or so more and then I am planning to revert to the way I operated in March which was just treating workout days as "cheat days" (although not over doing it) and include carbs in the following days lunch. Other days straight SCD. I saw great muscle gain (it was my first month trying it) and I still dropped a lb or two.

  • hyperzx commented May 28th 2012:

    So far, I've been on this hybrid for 3 weeks and it seems to work reasonably well (~2% BF loss). My weight has not change but my BF% has, which in the end is what I want! Last week I began adding casein before bed to avoid muscle breakdown during sleep.

    If you are losing weight then you could count that as progress! Caliper measurements would probably show more of your loss and increase motivation. This thread has been very helpful, keep up the progress!

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