What makes this Diet Special?
The EC Stack diet has been used safely by bodybuilders for decades. But for much of it, it has had a tarnished image. This, unfortunately, is the direct or indirect reason you've never heard of this diet. That said, the diet is safe for most people, but you should 'exercise' caution. Please read the disclaimer to make sure you don't have and conditions that are of concern when doing this diet!
The fundamental problem some people have with understanding the EC Stack, is that it simulates a constant 'light jog' from an accelerated metabolism30, even when you are just sitting in front of a computer. It's as simple as that. This is perfectly safe most of the time, but be mindful that jogging when you are in poor shape to begin with can cause a heart attack! Likewise, jogging in extreme heat can cause heat stroke! Therefore taking the supplements in these conditions would not be wise either, would it? Unfortunately, a few folks had a blatant disregard of what the stimulant did, and that's part of why it has a negative image.
However, this diet, used by thousands 'in the know', has a few more features to think about than simply a pill with coffee. In fact, there's 5 major components why this diet works, of which a faster metabolism plays a small part. Even if you have done the EC Stack diet before.. keep reading!
- Psychological - Distraction Technique15
- Appetite Suppressant830
- Real Calorie Deficit17
Psychological - Distraction Technique (and Safety)15
What is a little different about this diet compared to the popularized EC Stack diet is that the dosages are in fact inconvenient, you take up to 7 doses in a day, 1 hour apart. When the original EC Stack diet first came out, the Ephedrine tablets were 30mg each. What you did was take 2 a day, at wide intervals. The modern version, using 8mg tablets, is commonly recommended to be 2-3 doses of 3-4 pills, to mimic the behaviour of the older bigger pills, and which have been tested to have the highest individual dose effect at 20mg28.
My argument to that is, if you are thinking about your diet, you are more likely to follow it! You need to be trained to take the pills systematically throughout your day. Trust me, you will get so conditioned18, you will not forget! It's not really that hard to look at your watch though is it? Your mind can't wander into fantasies about ice cream sundaes when you are distracted! I, personally, find I am most likely to binge eat when I am idle with not much else to do.
There is also a security benefit to the sheer number of dosage intervals. See, by never taking more than 1 Ephedrine tablet at a time, the worst you can be is off by 1 or 2 pills at the end of the day, due to a lost count. This is far from harmful. If you were taking 3 at a time, and couldn't remember if you took your dose, you risk missing 3 pills for the day, or taking 3 too many, not good.
There is also scientific evidence that the pill has a concept of an Ephedrine Spike12 . It does it's job in the first 20-60 minutes, and isn't doing too much after that. But, from heart-rate safety point of view, suppose you need to run after a bus right after you took 3 pills. You are doing a major spike then exerting yourself. Had you taken just 1 pill and a coffee, your heart-rate is well within the safe range. It's just plain safer to spread out your doses!
In addition to having to 'focus on your pills', which should help you forget about eating, you also need to plan out out your next coffee, another distraction! You either need to work on making a pot, or be planning to pick one up at your nearest coffee shop. Now, if you want to have a few emergency back-up Caffeine tablets around for those occasions where you don't have time to grab a coffee, that's fine. But, these are only to be used in emergencies, not as the primary Caffeine supplement. If you go into auto-pilot, the psychological benefit is lost!
This distraction and safety lets you focus on what you are trying to do, which is to burn fat, at a uniform rate, over the next 2 months.
The documented effects of Ephedrine8 have shown that the #1 chemical benefit to it is in fact not a metabolic one. The biggest contributing factor is in fact its effect on your appetite30. Simply put, you won't be hungry as often. This is the biggest reason the EC Stack diet works, and others fail. Atkins21, and the like, are 'pie in the sky' concepts that require more mental anguish than they are worth. With the EC Stack, your brain somehow forgets that you need to eat at times.. good19! You should, however, have some Boost drinks and take vitamin supplements to keep your mineral intakes healthy. These should have minimal impact on your caloric intake.
Don't get me wrong, you'll generally know when you are hungry. Eat when you are hungry, but beyond that, you should be eating less over the course of the 2 months. A diet isn't rocket science. If you maintain a good nutrient intake, and metabolize more calories than you are ingesting, you will lose weight. It's as simple as that. That said, you should be avoiding certain foods like pop and breads, they simply metabolize the slowest. That's the Atkins component of the diet there. But, the hardest part of any diet, is the doing part.
The other major documented benefit of Ephedrine is that it increases your metabolism16.
But, the lesser known benefit to this enhanced metabolism is that it is primarily burning fat20, not discriminant mass. What this means is that your normal calorie monitoring approach to weight loss will actually cause you to lose more muscle mass than if you were supplementing with Ephedrine. So, with the weight lost doing the Lazy Coffee Diet, it's going to be mostly fat. To lose the same amount of fat from other diets, you would actually need to lose more weight than this diet!
Too many pills can damage your stomach22. This is one of the reasons why I opted to make coffee the main source of Caffeine with this diet. In fact, some evidence indicates that liquid coffee is good23 for your liver! That's a good trade-off!
Another consideration is whether the Aspirin element of the ECA stack was worth preserving. After much digging on this topic, I ultimately concluded that unless your doctor has specifically prescribed Aspirin, its benefits are negligible, though some studies28, have shown it will help certain people. It basically helps regulate blood pressure, so it may suppress some anxiety, but overall I felt it was not worth making your stomach work harder, unless you needed it.
Also, keeping in mind pop drinks and beer are among the worst offenders for caloric gain, a liquid coffee component has another hidden benefit. The extra hydration keeps you from being thirsty for one of these other sinful beverages! The regimen tells you you need to quit drinking pop at one point, but it doesn't have to. You will be so hydrated from the coffee, you'll do it anyway. The diet's design almost works automatically.
Plus, there is also some evidence that a full bladder gives you a mild sensation of being fuller 14, and less likely to binge eat.
Real Calorie Deficit17
In the end, despite the mild metabolic benefits30 of Ephedrine and Caffeine, the real key to losing weight is simply to eat less. You can exercise for health reasons, but working out doesn't affect your body fat nearly as much as eating less will. Pay attention to your calories during the diet, and in the months afterwards. You will look and feel better for the rest of your life**. You have my word!