Crushing Dr. Amen-Ra’s Dietary Bullsh1t WITH SCIENCE!

During my last few live Q&As, I’ve been asked time and again to discuss this Dr. Nun Sava-Siva Amen-Ra. You know, the vegan strength athlete who claims to consume only 1,250 calories per day, according to his website.

Now, I’ve been aware of this guy since about 2014, when I had a debate with him in a vegan Facebook group. It was a laugh-riot. Long story short, this guy used research papers, including papers he had published himself, to try and defend his arguments.

However, either the papers he shared had jack shit to do with his actual points, or they actually contradicted his points.

And neither is particularly useful in supporting one’s case.

But, instead of taking further trips down memory lane, let me just get to the core purpose of this video.

If we take a look at Dr. Nun Sava-Siva Amen-Ra’s website, and click on the box at the top-left, filled with three lines.

We will be taken to a menu of options, one being “The Amen Diet”… and if we click on that link.

We arrive at the specifics about this Amen-Ra guy’s diet.

Now, people have exclusively asked me about his diet advice… more specifically, the amount of calories he recommends per day. So, that will be the particular focus of this video.

But, before before we get to that… I do need to draw attention something that really stands out… the sort of language Amen-Ra uses. It is incredibly pompous-sounding.

For instance: “Intellectual assimilation of the extensive information and practical principles that undergird the Regimen”.

He is basically saying that it is essential for you to fully understand the guidelines of his protocol. I mean… that’s like a “no shit”, right?

Yet, such a superfluous use of words for something so simple and obvious. To get the most of out of any program, you’d need to understand how to implement it.

This alone suggests a lot about Amen-Ra’s character, and could even be considered a sign of deceit.

To the average person, they might be thinking something like: “he sounds pretty smart, and his physique looks good to me, so he MUST know what he’s talking about.”

And, thus, they might feel inclined to pursue his services, and engage in his protocol. Which would end up having them consume his recommended calorically-restricted diet, of 1,250 calories per day!!!

In my opinion, that makes this guy a TOTAL dick!

How anyone, in all good conscience, could recommend THAT low of calories to their paying clients, especially athletes… is beyond me!

And it demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of nutritional science.

In fact, one peer-reviewed paper from 2013, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, which involved TWO leading sport nutrition experts: Alan Aragon and Eric Helms, explored recommendations for natural bodybuilding pre-contest dieting. Studies have concluded that while deeper caloric deficits yield faster overall weight loss, the greater the caloric deficit… the greater the loss of lean body mass! Not just fat! Thus, more gradual weight loss appears to be superior for lean muscle retention.

That paper suggests sticking to more gradual 1/2 a pound a week in weight loss from your diet, or approx. a 250 calorie deficit per day, to optimize lean muscle retention along with fat loss.

For my own clients, in the Vegan Muscle Academy, I tend to suggest a weight loss range of 1-2 lbs. per week TOPS.

And I have them achieve that goal by COMBINATION of specific calorie and macro intake, accompanied with a specific exercise program. Not just calorie restriction alone.

Now, with that all being said, let’s take a closer look at Amen-Ra’s caloric recommendation. But, first, with some additional background color.

Typically-speaking, for active folks, 14-16 calories per pound of bodyweight will offer a sound starting point in finding one’s MAINTENANCE needs.

If you do the math, and divide Amen-Ra’s suggested 1,250 by 14, 15 and 16… you will get 89, 83 and 78. With some rounding of decimals.

Thus, 1,250 calories would be a “good guess” MAINTENANCE intake for someone active who ONLY weighs between 78 and 89 fucking pounds!!!

And nowhere can I find any statements suggesting that Amen-Ra differentiates his caloric recommendations for different individuals… I mean, is 1,250 calories what he recommends for EVERYONE?

Man? Woman? Child? How about a muscular 260 pound behemoth that bench presses a German tank? Or the terminally-skinny guy that has trouble even putting on water weight?

Dietary intake is very personal to an individual’s body and goals. And any credible nutritionist understands this.

In fact, 1,250 calories would be DEEP-starvation for your average guy when the average adult male’s weight is 166.3 pounds, according to a quick Google search.

Based on the 14, 15 or 16 calories per pound guideline, a 166.3 pound active male should be aiming for approx. 2,328 to 2,661 calories per day JUST to maintain!

Thus, Amen-Ra’s suggestion would be AT LEAST a 1,078 calorie deficit below maintenance for your average adult male!

I mean, holy fuck!

In the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the prisoners only ate 1,250 up to 1,400 calories per day, and they were starved, emaciated, and exhausted. On the brink of death!

In other words, on the leanest days in Auschwitz, prisoners ate PRECISELY what Amen-Ra recommends to his clients!!!

All of this should drive the point home that Amen-Ra’s dietary advice is ABSURD… not JUST for maintaining a muscular physique, but also for maintaining proper health!

In fact, in long-term VERY low-calorie dieting, in a deficit below maintenance of AT LEAST 800 calories per day, side effects such as increased risk of gallstones, cold intolerance, hair loss, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, electrolyte abnormalities, muscle cramps, and constipation have been documented in research!

And those studies required doctor supervision… IN ORDER TO PREVENT DEATH!

The deaths are attributed to loss of lean body mass, in particular atrophy of the heart! Worse yet, there’s no conclusive evidence that exercise will even slow this loss of lean body mass in such calorically-restricted environments… despite investigators trying.

Furthermore, prolonged VERY low-calorie dieting, or starvation, can cause decreases in thyroid hormone, as well as increases in cortisol levels!

In the case of increased cortisol, also known as the STRESS hormone, active individuals witnessed a concurrent DECREASE in circulating testosterone!

And if lowering your testosterone wasn’t bad enough, increases in cortisol within the NORMAL range can even lead to a breakdown of proteins in the body!

You know… a loss of muscle mass!

And Amen-Ra suggests that he MAINTAINS his physique with such a paltry intake!

How can that not be so obviously ridiculous to anyone learning about him?!?! Whether you understand nutritional science or not!

So, you may be asking: how does Amen-Ra do it then?

He even, apparently, set the 2013 Deadlift world record in his weight class without the use of drugs, as suggested by his Linked In profile.

Well, it is my opinion, based on the body of science and evidence, that he is lying. Likely on numerous levels.

But, I will let you all draw your own educated conclusions at this point.

And I would love to hear what you think… so please drop comments below. Discuss.


Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation

How to Estimate Maintenance Caloric Intake – Q&A

CDC: Average Weight of Women Today Same as Men in 1960s

Auschwitz Concentration The Basics The Historical Timeline

The Evolution of Very-Low-Calorie Diets: An Update and Meta-analysis

Diet and body composition. Effect of very low calorie diets and exercise.

Effect of obesity and starvation on thyroid hormone, growth hormone, and cortisol secretion.

Relationship Between Circulating Cortisol and Testosterone: Influence of Physical Exercise

Increased proteolysis. An effect of increases in plasma cortisol within the physiologic range.

Nun Amen-Ra, Dr.PH, MA, MSW, LGSW | LinkedIn

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply