Week 8 of The Lean Down – Journal Entry 154

Log:

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Week 8

12/6- 177.8lbs – CE – 2800 calories – 8777 steps – 4.3 miles – Push

12/7 – 177.2lbs – 1950 calories eaten – 9500 steps – 4.7 miles

12/8 – 178.8lbs – 1865 calorie eaten – 11500 steps – 5.4miles

12/9 – 177.4lbs – 1880 calories eaten – 11700 steps – 5.5 miles

12/10 – 176.6lbs – 1920 calories eaten – 16000 steps – 7.6 miles

12/11 – 177lbs – 1875 calories eaten – 12000 steps – 5.8 miles

12/12 – 176.4lbs – 2100 calories eaten – 11200 steps – 5.3 miles

Average Weight – 177.3lbs – 2000 calories eaten average

This is the eighth week of my lean down phase in which I hope to land around 8% bodyfat or so. I started this right after a Dallas trip in October. I weighed about 183lbs when I got there and after four days of eating like an obese person, I probably weighed in at around 185lbs. If I had to estimate my bodyfat percentage at the start it was probably around 15%. If there is one thing I learned its that most people (including myself) are fatter than they think. Diets are a very humbling experience, if you do it right.  What I mean is I thought I was around 11-13% bodyfat around Dallas, after tracking these past 8 weeks with good precision, I’ve noticed that I was closer to 15% at Dallas and I am now around 11% bodyfat after weeks of dieting. After doing the math I have dropped a good 8-10lbs of fat. That means I had to drop about 8lbs to get down to 11%, so before I was much higher, even though I thought I was leaner than that.

My average weight this week was thrown off my one measurement, so I feel the results are kind of skewed. This morning after a night out for drinks, I had weighed in at 174.8lbs, which is the lightest I’ve been in a long time. That’s one good thing about a few drinks, is that is completely depletes your water weight and can tell you your true weight.  The only problem though, is you always put on extra weight that days after because of aldosterone and sodium fluctuations. Not a big deal though. I feel much better since I’ve been leaning down though. I feel more mobile and flexible and when it comes to pullups and pushups they feel a lot easier. Clothes fit and look better, muscles are more defined and face is leaner. Once I get down to where I want to be I plan on staying there. Not sure if I will reverse diet or just start a carb cycle style diet. Reverse diets are good, but weight can sometimes creep back up on you slowly, without you even noticing. Carb cycles allow you to always be building muscle some days and burning fat others, without creeping up too high in weight. It also builds discipline to always include “diet days” in your diet. These days keeps you lean and sensitive to food. Eating a lot everyday can’t be good for you, just like undereating everyday is not. Both of these can also become mentally draining at some point. The cycle approach keeps things interesting and also allows you stay at your lean base. Strength is also very close to the same as it was when I started; better on a few exercises and worse on others.

For every 2lbs of fat that you drop you lose roughly one percent bodyfat. I estimate it may take me another 8 weeks to hit my goal. Especially now that I’m leaner, my fat loss is most likely going to slow down, because the leaner you get the harder it is to mobilize bodyfat. Once you get below 10%, your lucky to burn a pound of fat a week and you may have to accept 1/2 – 2/3s of a pound, which is mentally hard to do, because you can’t even tell its gone by the naked eye.

I’m going to introduce some carb cycling into my diet. My overall calorie deficit isn’t really going to change, but I’m going to add in 1-2 carb refeeds per week at slightly over maintenance. This is too boost certain hormones that may get diminished during dieting. The only way to really upregulate these hormones is to overeat and store a bit of fat. Storing a bit of at, lets the brain know food is plentiful and there’s no need to hold on too fat anymore. In essence refeeds are planned overfeeding, to increase you fat burning. (don’t mind if I do) Refeeds serve a lot of benefits that I have wrote about before, but the biggest benefit for me has to be the relaxation of just taking a day off.  The extra carbs will also max out my glycogen stores and keep me training hard. I may start with one this week and add another next week. But I like the idea of a mid week spike in carbs. Sometimes I can feel a bit rundown around midweek when dieting and a high day may alleviate this problem. On my two rest days (Monday and Wednesday) I’m going to walk an extra 3 miles and drop my calories down to around 1500 calories instead of my usual 1900 calories. I’m doing this to balance out that high day and to hopefully attack fat harder on certain days, when no weight training is being done. Basically just going to eat protein and vegetables with no additional starch. The high days will be Saturday and maybe Tuesday and the low days (moderate calories and carbs) will be right at 1900 calories. These are days I lift weights, so I need the extra carbs to combat high cortisol levels.

Other than that progress has been good so far. I’m enjoying this process and I think carb cycling will keep things very interesting and hopefully help me accelerate progress. The diet is enjoyable, but I feel like mixing days (high, low, no) will keep my diet and food choices a little different which is good from a mental perspective. Eating the exact same thing over and over for weeks does work, but can get very old after a while. My weight log is most likely not going to be consistent anymore due to the high day spikes in weight, but as long as the weight is going down overall it doesn’t bother me at all.

My overall goal is to be right around 170lbs at 8% bodyfat. Currently I’m around 177lbs at 11%, meaning I’ll have to drop another 5lbs of pure fat to hit my goal. Hopefull everything goes as planned.

Workouts

My weight logs for the week; the second Pull workout is listed twice:

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I started a new scheme for strength. Its a pyramid set that counts down from 5/4/3/2/1. You use the same weight the entire time and increase by a small amount each week. I really like this scheme, because 5 sets of 5 reps burns me out and by the time I get to rest of my workout my lifts greatly suffer. That doesnt happen with this since the volume is much lower. I also used another rep scheme for hypertrophy, which is 12/11/10/9/8 reps. It his all the “muscle size” rep ranges over 5 sets. You pick a weight you can do 12 times keep that weight that whole time and do one less rep each set.

Here’s a few of my key lifts:

DB Bench 90lb Db’s for 6,5,4 reps

DB Row 115lb Db’s for 4,4,4 reps

Barbell Bench 195×6

Pullups bodyweight + 30lbs for 5,4,3,2,2

Squats 205×5,4,3,2,1 (better than last week, but still much less than I used too do)

Nutrition

Dropped my protein intake down a bit to 1 gram per pound of LBM at right around 165 grams. Fat dropped down to 40-50 gram range and I did this, because carbs give me more energy during a calorie deficit. Carbs went from 100-120 grams up to right around 150-180 grams.

Here are some pics from the week:

6oz of meat 2 cups of mixed greens 2 potatoes Crackers on the side
6oz of meat
2 cups of mixed greens
2 potatoes
Crackers on the side
Lunch 5-6oz of meat and 2-3 cups of vegetables  1 whole egg Eat this everyday
Lunch
5-6oz of meat and 2-3 cups of vegetables
1 whole egg
Eat this everyday
6oz of meat 1 cup of jasmine rice 1 cup of greens
6oz of meat
1 cup of jasmine rice
1 cup of greens
Oven baked sweet potato with fat free redi whip on top (dear god these tasted good)
Oven baked sweet potato with fat free redi whip on top (dear god these tasted good)
Seafood mix rice and veggies
Seafood mix rice and veggies

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Protein pudding with a sweet potato for desser
Protein pudding with a sweet potato for desser
Seafood mix with veggies and crackers on the side
Seafood mix with veggies and crackers on the side
2-3 glasses of Dark Horse Wine - Red Blend
2-3 glasses of Dark Horse Wine – Red Blend
Winter time at Williamsville
Winter time at Williamsville

P.S. Sorry about the ugly formatting. Sometimes the editor becomes too text heavy and doesnt space out my paragraphs like it should.

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