Journal Entry 180 – Making Things Easier


Week 24

3/28 – 175.6lbs – 3200 calories – 12200 steps – 6 miles

3/29 – 177.6lbs – 2100 calories – 6000 steps – 3 miles

3/30 – 179.8lbs – 1450 calories – 13000 steps – 6 miles

3/31 – 178.2lbs – 1450 calories – 12700 steps – 6 miles

4/1 – 177lbs – 1550 calories – 15700 steps – 7.4 miles

4/2 – 175.8lbs – 1500 calories – 16200 steps – 7.66 miles

4/3 – 174.6lbs – 1950 calories – 15500 steps – 7.3 miles

Average Weight – 176.9lbs – Average Calories – 1885 calories


After last weekend and a couple days of way too much excess, I weighed in at 179.8lbs. I looked pretty bloated and definitely not my best. A lot of it was probably water, but not all of it. So I decided on a couple of low calories days to debloat. After these days I decided to change my approach to make it way easier to get to my goals. I’m always trying to improve my body for the better, but recently have just slipped into a maintenance mode. Basically “No man’s land” where I’m not really getting any leaner, but slowly getting stronger. The problem with this is I’m not satisfied with where I am now. So after a few low calorie days, which were effortlessly easy and actually enjoyable because they work so quickly to take off fat, I decided to implement a new diet structure that would work very well with my body, schedule and goals.

I hate to say it, but low calorie diets work very well for me. I was never able to cut much fat with the slow long game of only cutting 500 calories a day. I think this is for two reasons. One is because the weekends are always higher in calories and screw up the weekdays (I find this happens to most people that arent hardcore about eating the same amount every day no matter what) and two is because only cutting 500 calories leaves even experienced dieters up to user error. In other words, miscounting or eating more than you think and this can easily wipe out the intended calorie deficit. I also think matching your workout and activity with your diet is a very good idea. Also I’m going to throw a third reason why in, at least for me, is a lack of patience. If I want to lean down, I want results quickly, not 3 months from now. So in order to do this, the game plan must change.

At work recently we have been very busy and this makes eating my normal meal schedule somewhat erratic. In other words, I can miss breakfast or miss lunch at their normal times, but the good thing about this is it makes it easier to cut calories, because your busy all day and most importantly way more active. My miles have up been up around 7-8 a day here recently. So I’m going to use this to my advantage to cut a lot of fat during the week. Took it on a trial run this week and was able to drop 1.2 lbs a day of scale weight, like clockwork. Not all fat obviously, but I really like the increased muscle definition I’m seeing. On the other hand, on the weekends my step count is going to be nowhere close to that much. Maybe around 3-4 miles or so. I also go heavy on the weights Saturday and Sunday, and unless you do very low volume, combining lots of weight lifting with a big calorie deficit is not a big idea. And as you know from my previous history and articles, staying on low calories all the time is not a good idea either or enjoyable whatsoever. So I’m using this natural cycle to my advantage. Calories are easy to eat and more time is given to eat on the weekends, so why not use this as my time to eat a small surplus to put on muscle, while using the work week to strip fat.

The more I think about it, the more I get excited about this setup, because I feel like its a perfect system for me.

Here is the layout:

  • Monday – Walking only – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation 26-2700
  • Tuesday – Walking and Lift Day (low volume strength based) – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation around 26-2700
  • Wednesday – Walking only – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation 26-2700
  • Thursday – Walking and Lift Day (low volume strength based) – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation 26-2700
  • Friday – Walking only (Calories at maintenance or a small deficit – Sort of a wild card day) – Calories Burned estimation 26-2700
  • Saturday – Mainly Lifting (low volume strength based) with a little walking – Calories at least at maintenance with small surplus – Calories burned estimation – 23-2500
  • Sunday – Mainly Lifting (low volume strength based) with a little walking – Calories around maintenance – Calories burned estimation 23-2500

So the work week is full of long walking days and high calorie output to burn extra fat, which is combined with a big calorie deficit. . The weekend sees an increase in calories increased to maintenance or slightly above to build muscle and restore the metabolism. As you can see since I burn less calories on the weekends, this make eating a surplus much easier.

This is more of a fat loss routine and I may increase the calories in the future slightly on all days once I get down to where I want to be. Like bump it up by 300 or so during the work weeks, since less fat needs to be burned. I plan to always leave some deficit days during the work week though.

My goal is still to hit around 170lbs or so. I still think I would look way better at this weight, but weight is only a number. If I look really good at a different weight than so be it.

I estimate that going 1000 under maintenance during the week and small deficit on Friday will leave me at a 4500 calorie deficit for the week. The weekend is meant to restore metabolism and up-regulate food intake as well as other various hormones. So the average of calorie will likely be around 10x bodyweight or so.


Good week of workouts, here are the strength improvements:

BB Squats 240×5 / BB Lunges 150×3 (these felt very heavy this week)

BB Bench 210×4 / BB Standing Press 120×3

Chinups 50×5 / Hangcleans 120×4 reps

Good workout, but thinking about a few changes. Not sure I’m a big hang-clean fan. I feel the exercise working well, but the heavier I go, I feel like I’m going to get injured. Not sure I feel like the exercise is worth a big injury either. May switch out the hang-cleans for rows (3 sets of 5,6,8 reps) and just replace the rows I was doing (3 sets of 10 reps) with shrugs. Safer, same outcome and I like rows better. 😉

Besides that I still like the way my workout is setup. Its also working well, so I dont think modifying is a good idea. Also have been knocking out at least 100 pushups a day.


So some important changes to my diet are going to follow. I’m actually dropping protein to roughly 120-140 grams a day. This is to allow me to burn more fat and eat more carbs in a deficit, which helps immensely with energy levels. Bottom line is once you get about .64  x bodyweight in protein your are taking in enough to spare muscle on a diet. .82 x bodyweight is very secure insurance policy, but not necessary unless your an athlete with very high demands. This is what the research shows, so turning a blind eye to it, is not going to help. Not that its a huge drop off for me, but still a decent amount.

Carbs will also be around 120 grams on the low day. 120 grams is a number that shows up a lot in research for keeping excess cortisol at bay, fueling the brain and CNS, protecting protein stores, increasing energy levels and keeping the thyroid humming. I can personally say by dropping protein and eating more carbs, my energy levels on that level of calories was very good. In the past when I did only protein, my energy was god awful. I feel like unless your Keto adapated, keeping this level of carbs in is a very wise idea, even when shedding fat. I also feel like it helped curb my appetite vs not eating enough carbs.

Dietary fat is kept pretty low around 40 grams during the week. This is obvious though, because since carbs and protein are both around 120 grams to help with energy and spare muscle, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for fat. Not going to lie dropping to this level of fat hasn’t bothered me at all.

The weekend will see an increase to all macros. I’m not doing high carb / low fat refeeds, because then fat will be unbalanced and too low. Plus dietary fat is anabolic and fills the muscles out. So it will probably just be a normal balanced diet with calories raised to about 25-2600 a day, which is a small surplus for me on the weekends due to less activity.

Long winded post this week, but had a lot on my mind to get down. Here are some pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone, side salad and roll
Bertuccis Calzone, side salad and roll
Bertucci's Pizza - Mi madre got this, but I had a slice
Bertucci’s Pizza – Mi madre got this, but I had a slice
Random Sunday Lunch with leftovers
Random Sunday Lunch with leftovers
Lean meat, imitation crab meat, veggies
Lean meat, imitation crab meat, veggies
2/3 cup of black beans 4oz of chicken Onions Trader Joes Taco seasoning Broccoli on the side
2/3 cup of black beans
4oz of chicken
Trader Joes Taco seasoning
Broccoli on the side
4oz lean red meat Veggies 1.5 potatoes  Cheese on the side
4oz lean red meat
1.5 potatoes
Cheese on the side
Epic pic of the Eli Manning and the Giants WR's
Epic pic of the Eli Manning and the Giants WR’s
Low Cal Chipotle Mix Beans, chicken, red meat, onions and taco seasoning
Low Cal Chipotle Mix
Beans, chicken, red meat, onions and taco seasoning

4 thoughts on “Journal Entry 180 – Making Things Easier

  1. Carson


    Good artice as usual good sunday morning read. Ive taken a similar stance on protein I go about .8 on low cal cut days and 1 gram per pound on training days. Don’t really need to go up to 1 gram per pound but I like a little extra. Menno Henslemens protein article on protein does a prtty good job of summing this all up. I would drop protein lower but it is the best for satiety purposes.

    Have you ever read in too the works of Ray Peat? I have been reading a lot of his material lately and it really interesting. He seems to know what hes talking about and his views are very “against the grain”.

    P.s. Fucking calzone? Yes soon as I saw that I was craving one!.


    • Michael Cocchiola


      Thanks man good to hear from you.

      Yeah I’m definetly lowering protein a little. Better energy and leaning out faster as a result. And yeah that article is gold by Menno.

      Yeah I’ve seen ray peats diet. He seems to be “ahead of his time” in a lot of regards, but his diet is pretty restrictive and no way I would be able to do it or enjoy it. Way too much emphasis on sugary drinks. Still pretty interesting though.

      And yeah I get that calzone every Saturday man. So damn good haha. Honestly not that high in calories either. Also crab rangoons are epic. Usually have at least one of those a week too.


  2. Carson Danyluik

    When you have your high calorie days what protein levels do you shoot for. Still .8 roughly or are you shooting above this?


    • Michael Cocchiola

      Honestly my protein intake on high days always shoots way higher than my goal. Usually over 200 grams. This is mainly due to incidentals though. I actually unintentionally hit 250 grams this past Saturday haha.


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