Journal Entry 192

Log:

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6/20 – 171.8lbs – 2500 calories – 9500 steps

6/21 – Missed – 1750 calories – 6000 steps

6/22 – Missed – 1530 calories – 14700 steps

6/23 – 172.4lbs – 1730 calories – 12700 steps

6/24 – 173.4lbs – 1700 calories – 14200 steps

6/25 – 173.2lbs – 1900 calories – 13200 steps

6/26 – 172.0lbs – 2350 calories – 12100 steps

Average Weight 172.5lbs – Average Calories – 1950

Blog:

Did a fair amount of reading this week and stumbled upon Artofmanliness.com, which could be of the best websites I ever read. It focuses on variety of topics about what makes you a better man and has some really interesting reads on there. I recently got into investing and there are some good articles on that topic as well.

Also been listening to Body.IO podcasts by John Kiefer. Kiefer is basically a nutritional encyclopedia and I always learn a lot when listening to his podcasts. He’s a big fan of keto diets and carb refeeds and gives his thoughts on a lot of dietary failures people make.

Also been reading Mark’s Daily Apple a lot. I’ve known about this site for awhile, but he addresses every question someone asks him with long detailed answer, which is respectable. I’ve been thinking of adopting a diet similar to his own. A higher fat, lower carb, high protein diet.

I want to keep carbs in the range of 100-200 grams a day. Big range I know, but every time I add a lot of carbs to my diet I just feel off. Although certain foods such as potatoes I can eat all day. But I noticed for me personally, I do like some carbs in my diet, but not an overly large amount. I like berries, apples and bananas a lot and eat a serving of each every day. I also really like potatoes with dinner, but after that I really just dont need that many carbs. When I assess my needs, 120 grams for the brain/CNS and roughly 20-40g to cover my workout, this lands about 150 grams or so. I usually dont crave or need anymore than that and this amount has been shown to be very effective for keeping cortisol lower and sparing protein.

Also really find Ray Peat’s research interesting, but I’ve had a hell of a time trying to introduce his ideas into my diet. I don’t like drinking a bunch of calories, so there goes half the foods on his menu. I also really dont like the idea of a bunch of sugar in the diet. It just doesnt make sense to me and goes against everything I know and feels unnatural to me. I also really like smoked salmon, which as long as you dont cook on high heat, has a lot of beneficial omega 3’s, which has been shown to have immense benefits, especially for the brain. Also trying to listen to his podcasts is about as exciting as staring at a wall. This guy has zero personality on air. He’s a very smart guy and his research impressive, but if there’s one thing I took away from him is that too much stress is bad and a strong metabolism is good.

Again I like to eat more of a balanced diet and noticed my fat intake has been too low for me personally here recently. Dropped down to 45-50 grams and have just felt off to be honest. The weights in the gym feel heavy and my joints dont feel good. I plan to increase the fat to at least 60 grams a day. Kiefer recommends roughly half of your protein intake as minimum. Basically I shoot for 160 grams a day, so 80 grams of fat then. I’ve been hitting half this amount, so interested to see if some strength returns. Going to start using way more coconut oil too. Its just too healthy not too use. Used 2 tsps with some plain chicken breast and it gave it a really unique flavor. So basically using coconut oil, olive oil, butter and plan on eating some steak a couple nights a week and also some cheese (blue, goat, feta, shredded cheese). I prefer animal fats over vegetable oils though.

So Ideally going to be shooting for 160g protein / 80g fat / 160g (non-fiber carbs) – roughly 2000 calories on average.

Still on the 2 on 1 off split, although I skipped leg day this week. I was feeling weak and decided that the workout was probably going to be a bad idea and rest would be the wiser option. Other than that strength has been on par for the most part. Been thinking of a new split that’s very intense, but minimalist style. I want to get back into mostly free-weights and get off the machines.

The workouts will look something like this:

3 compounds for 5 sets of 10 reps with the same weight.

3 isolations with 3 sets of 12 reps with the same weight.

2 moves per body part.

Sample

Push

DB INC Bench 5 sets of 10 reps

DB Shoulders 5 sets of 10 reps

Dips 5 sets of 10 reps

Chest Flys 3 sets of 12 reps

Lateral Raise 3 sets of 12 reps

Rope Pushdown 3 sets of 12 reps

Some pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone
Bertuccis Calzone
Dark chicken meat fried in coconut oil with veggies
Dark chicken meat fried in coconut oil with veggies
Coconut oil
Coconut oil
Chicken and veggies fried in olive oil with potatoes
Chicken and veggies fried in olive oil with potatoes
Lean meat and veggies with cheese
Lean meat and veggies with cheese
Omelete with potatoes and veggies
Omelet with potatoes and veggies
Dark Chicken meat with veggies
Dark Chicken meat with veggies
Vino
Vino
Starbucks light caramel frap
Starbucks light caramel frap
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Journal Entry 191

Log:

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6/13 – Missed – 2800 calories – 9100 steps – 4.5 miles

6/14 – 176lbs – 1750 calories – 9500 steps – 4.5 miles

6/15 – Missed – 1490 calories – 9500 steps – 4.5 miles

6/16 – 173.8lbs – 1600 calories – 12600 steps – 6 miles

6/17 – 173.4lbs – 1650 calories – 14200 steps – 6.72 miles

6/18 – 172.6lbs – 1600 calories – 14700 steps – 7 miles

6/19 – 172lbs – 2300 calories – 10500 steps – 4.95 miles

Average Weight – 173.5lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 1885

Workouts:

Saturday – Legs and Abs

Sunday – Off

Monday – Chest and Triceps

Tuesday – Back and Biceps

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – Shoulders/Upper Chest and Traps

Friday – Legs and Abs

Really enjoyed the 2 on 1 off split this week. Its a really good blend between rest and working out and it definitely allows enough rest time in between each workout. Each workout is exactly the same and pretty basic for the most. The purpose behind that is to make sure to progress by a few reps on every workout. In the past, I used to stress about getting more weight every workout, which becomes very difficult. But progressive overload can occur from more reps or more sets as well. These tend to be easier to do then lifting more weight, especially when it comes to preventing form from breaking down.

For example, my DB shoulder press two workouts ago was 100lbs (50lbs DB’s) x 9,7,6 then 40lbs x 10. This weeks workout was 50×8,8,8 then 40×12. Very similar, but the latest workout had more overall volume in it. Not by much, but progressive overload still counts.

Been keeping the reps roughly 8-10 reps on everything. This is to allow for better form and I must admit I have been very sore after every workout. Moving back into a bodybuilder style training, which is still the best for muscular development and always will be. 185lbs squats with 8 reps, perfect form and full ROM (range of motion) is far better than 250lb squats with “questionable” form and a very short ROM. Not too mention the strain heavy weights put on the body, joints and central nervous system. Probably not going to set any records with this style of training, but not really a big deal to me at the moment.

Also probably found my favorite Shoulder workout of all time:

  • DB Shoulder press 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Incline DB Press 3 sets of 12-20 reps
  • Cable Upright Row (2 close grip, 2 wide grip) 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • DB Lateral Raise 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Rear Delt Raise or Band Pull Aparts 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs 4 sets of 10 reps

This workout takes roughly 40 minutes (as do all my workouts) and I hit my shoulders fully and some bonus upper chest. In the past, I never liked just doing a shoulder day, but I really enjoy this one. I also noticed by moving the workouts back to every 6th day, you dont get tired or burnt out like you do when you hit them every 3rd or 4th day. It just becomes way to repetitive at that point.

Nutrition

I bumped up the magnesium this week from 400mg to 800mg. I read an article recently that suggest 10mg per kilogram of bodyweight, especially if you exercise. Magnesium is one supplement I highly recommend to people, based on its effectiveness against fighting stress and replenishing the adrenal gland. It also has many other benefits, but this is probably the most potent.

Based on my appetite this week and a Costco run with a lot of green vegetables, I decided to eat for fat loss. This morning weighed in at roughly 171.8lbs.

I was talking to a resident this week about sweet cravings and if I had any advice. I was like yes I do: protein powder. Elite XT when mixed into protein pudding basically tastes like cake batter, but instead of being fat and sugar, its a very high quality protein source. Since its dairy its the highest quality source of BCAA’s you can get. After eating one of these sweet cravings become non-existent. Ever since I started eating protein powder, I never having cravings for sweets. I know I would though if I didnt consume it. Also Quest Bars are a god send. Especially the ones with pieces of chocolate in it.

  1. Top Quest Bar Flavors
  2. Cookie Dough
  3. Smores
  4. Double Chocolate Chunk
  5. Apple Pie
  6. Cinnamon Bun

Also one resident asked me how to get ripped. I will probably do an article soon on this with my top tips on how to do this without destroying your metabolism and losing muscle mass.

I want to start writing more articles again for this blog. Haven’t done many recently, but I recently had the urge to add a few, especially when a certain topic peaks my interest.

Some Pics from the week:

Summer salad from Sedona Taphouse with a white roll
Summer salad from Sedona Taphouse with a white roll
Chicken and Steak Taco with a side of Broccoli
Chicken and Steak Taco with a side of Broccoli
Black beans, spanish rice, 4 oz of chicken
Black beans, spanish rice, 4 oz of chicken
Lean meat and Broccoli
Lean meat and Broccoli
Black bean, onions and chicken mix with broccoli on the side
Black bean, onions and chicken mix with broccoli on the side
1 whole egg with 6 egg whites 1.5 potatoes and 2-3 servings of broccoli
1 whole egg with 6 egg whites
1.5 potatoes and 2-3 servings of broccoli

Journal Entry 190 – 2 on 1 off

Log:

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Week 35

6/06 – Missed – 3000 calories – 10000 steps – 5 miles

6/07 – 173.4lbs – 2500 calories – 9700 steps – 4.8 miles

6/08 – 174lbs – 1700 calories – 14800 steps – 7 miles

6/09 – 174lbs – 2050 calories – 13100 steps – 6.2 miles

6/10 – 174lbs – 2250 calories – 6300 steps – 3 miles

6/11 – 175lbs – 1800 calories – 13500 steps – 6.4 miles

6/12 – 175lbs – 2050 calories – 12000 steps – 5.7miles

Average Weight – 174lbs /  Average Calories – 2200

Blog: 

My body temperature is still roughly around 97.2 degrees. Still too low in my opinion and it needs to get raised back up. Been doing more research on the topic and some of the information on the internet is comical. There is so much bad information out there its no wonder people get confused. You could type in one topic and get 20 different articles all saying different things. The only way you can separate fact from fiction is to know a decent amount about the topic in the first place or to get it from a really trusted source. A good example of what I’m talking about is an article about foods that raise body temperature and the top two foods were water with lemon and peanuts. Both of these foods do nothing. Cayenne pepper was mentioned, which is true for a very short time, but does nothing long term to bring it up, unless you eat it at every meal.

Since I’m a minimalist, I like to keep things simple. The best foods to raise metabolism are Salt, Saturated Fat, Sugar and Starch or the 4 S’s. I did not make this up, but it was discovered by independent researchers who studied Ray Peat. I have to agree, because I noticed a superfood that encompasses all of these in one: pizza. No one is ever in a bad mood after eating pizza and that’s is mainly because it has 4 of the main stress fighting foods in it. I notice every time I eat pizza, my mood and energy instantly improves. This is only true if its real pizza, not a thin crust, gluten free homemade pizza with no cheese on it. I’m not sure what that is, but its not pizza. I also noticed foods that contain a mix of these usually work better. Meaning the foods have salt, starch and saturated fat vs just one of these in isolation.

Also calories are important but if you eat 2000 calories worth of vegetable oil vs 2000 calories worth of cheese pizza, then these will have two different effects on the body heat. Also when you eat may make a difference. If there is a time during the day where you find yourself very stressed out ,then that would likely be a time for a big stress fighting meal or a least a good sized snack with the 4 S foods included.

As for Sugar Vs Starch being better than the other, I really dont think it matters. There is a lot of research showing that the difference is negligible and starch usually fits better into normal meals. Although fruit would probably be better during the day due to it ease of consumption as a standalone snack.

Another important thing I learned from Charles Poliquin is the interaction of the 4 main neurotransmitters. Dopamine, Acetylcholine, GABA and Serotonin. The first two are exciatory (promote energy) and the last two are inhibitory (promote relaxation) All these are necessary from proper brain functioning. If you have too much of some of these and not enough of the others, then your brain becomes unbalanced and this leads to mood issues, anxiety, low energy and inadequate recovery. The thing is though these do NOT function in isolation. Meaning you would have to eat nothing but carbs to get the GABA and Serotonin release, but you would miss out own the dopamine and acetylcholine, which would lead to sluggishness and fatigue. The best way to avoid this is to include protein at each meal, with carbs and fat and some fiber to control the release of all these of these hormones. This kind of confirms my belief that balanced meals are usually superior and why these hormones also confirm that including the 4 S’s at a meal would be superior to any of those in isolation. If you only eat protein and fat then you only get a release of the first two hormones, which is good for energy, but bad for relaxation. If this is carried out for a long time then you become unbalanced and can develop anxiety, low mood and low motivation. Vice verse eating like an obese person and only eating a lot of carbs void of protein, healthy fat and fiber than your GABA and serotonin are too high, which leads to sluggishness, laziness, becoming overweight and poor energy levels. Balance is key.

Workouts:

My new workout schedule is 2 on 1 off repeat. My split is Chest/ Tris, Back/Bis, Off, Shoulder/Upper Chest/Traps, Legs and Abs off Repeat. So basically a 5 day split with 2 rest days, although there are no specific days of the week that I do a certain muscle group and they tend to float around. I actually really like it. I noticed upper body and Full Body workouts are very fun to do, but they kill me the next day, especially if its mainly compound movements. I mean I could be out for days after these workouts. I also like to isolate certain muscles like traps and rear delts and by doing full body workouts I just end up either doing way too much or leaving out too many muscle groups I want to hit. I felt the best way to address this, is to give each muscle group its own day and hit it every 6th day like a normal bodybuilder. Tom Venuto said this is his preferred way to training (meaning 2 on 1 off) and he occasionally likes to do (2 on 1 off 2 on 2 off)

Also getting rid of the real heavy weights and focusing on form for anywhere between 6-12 reps. I usually shoot for 8-10 and if the weight is too heavy 6 is usually the least amount of reps I can get. I also can knock these out in around 45 minutes or so and really been enjoying it so far. It’s similar to a Bro Split, but not quite the same. Also ego is taking a hit because the amount of weight I’m using has dropped on most exercises, but this doesnt mean I have gotten weaker, just that I’m focusing more on the muscles and not just about getting the weight up at all costs.

Nutrition:

Average of 2200 calories this week. Still playing around with different foods and everything. My breakfast is pretty much always two scoops of protein powder mixed into pudding with fruit, lunch is usually meat, veggies, eggs (hardboiled) and cheese and dinner contains the bulk of calories and carbs with adequate, but not excessive protein eaten at dinner. I always have some type of dessert that is roughly 100-150 calories that is mostly carbs. Body temp is rising, but still needs to be higher. May bump the calories up a little more this week and may play around with different foods to see its effects.

Pics from the Week:

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Meat, veggies
Meat, veggies
3/4 cup of black refried beans 1 cup of spanish rice 3oz of chicken 3 corn tortillas fat free sour cream
3/4 cup of black refried beans
1 cup of spanish rice
3oz of chicken
3 corn tortillas
fat free sour cream
Meat, veggies, potatoes and butterbread
Meat, veggies, potatoes and butterbread
Meat and Veggies
Meat and Veggies
Meat. veggies and toast
Meat. veggies and toast
Meat, veggies and toast
Meat, veggies and toast
Vino
Vino
Meat, veggies and crackers
Meat, veggies and crackers

Journal Entry 189 – Ray Peat May Be a Genius; PLP

Log:

Week 33

5/30 – Missed – 2500 calories / 200g of carbs / 8200 steps – 4.2 miles

5/31 – Missed – 2050 calories / 150g of carbs / 4500 steps – 2.2 miles

6/01 – Missed – 2000 calories / 170g of carbs / 14000 steps – 6.6 miles

6/02- 174.4lbs – 2100 calories / 200g of carbs / 9800 steps – 4.6 miles

6/03 – 173.2lbs – 2050 calories / 205g of carbs / 11500 steps – 5.4 miles

6/04 – 173.0lbs – 2100 calories / 190g of carbs / 14200 steps – 6.66 miles

6/05 – 173.0lbs – 2400 calories / 160g of carbs / 12160 steps – 5.75 miles

Average Weight – 173.4 lbs – Average Calorie Intake 2170 – Body Temps 97.2 -97.7 (Morning)

Blog:

I must admit, reading Ray Peat’s work or at least reading others blogs that have dissected most of his research are some of the most interesting concepts I’ve read in a long time. Mainly from an evolutionary standpoint. Learning about how different foods grow in different areas and how certain foods have certain effects of the human body. He seems to be pretty unbiased as well. Meaning he does recommend certain foods over others, but does some from a research perspective.

The basis of his diet are foods that influence the metabolic rate and reduce stress. Most of his recommendations seem to fly in the face of a lot of “health foods” that many people, including myself eat. But what makes a food healthy? I mean red meat is a very rich source of nutrition, but try to tell people that red meat is healthy and they will look at you like your insane. The reality is red meat is very healthy, especially for humans to consume. Ray peat places a large emphasis on sugar in particular. Not necessarily all carbs, but seems to favor fruit, especially over grains. I noticed that Ray Peat seems to select foods that have one thing in common: the complete absence of polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fat which is commonly used and grown in the U.S. seems to be the real reason people are obese, mainly by preventing the use of sugar by the muscles as a result slowing the metabolism. It makes perfect sense when you read the rationale behind it. I mean donuts, potato chips, salad dressings, and many other junk foods are all high in polyunsaturated fats. Mix that with lots of sugary drinks and due to the poly fats inhibition of sugar in the body and the lack of exercise and you have a perfect storm for fat gain.

So Ray Peat basically says cut those poly fats out and eat more foods that dont promote fat gain and cellular damage. Mainly Saturated Fats (coconut oil, dairy fat, cheese) and avoid the unsaturated fats. A good example he gives is about an avocado. Leave an avocado out in room temperature and what happens? It oxidizes immediately and beings to spoil. Why is this? It has to do with being in room temperature, which is not its natural environment. Consume this in your body, which should be 98.6 degrees and it may cause some oxidative damage. Saturated fats dont do this because of the double bonds they contain. At room temperature they are stable and dont break down. This makes them safer to eat, especially considering the temperature of you body.

Ray Peat also states how adequate sugar shuts off the stress response. Stress is very good in small doses, such as exercise, but most people have too much stress in their daily life and if you combine that with exercise, you get a scenario where your stress levels are way unbalanced with your recovery. You want to strike more of a balance between good stress and recovery from that stress. So Ideally when you eat, you want to end your stress levels or at least keep them at bay. Sugar prevents the body from breaking down protein as fuel, which greatly accelerates muscle gains. It also helps to prevent adrenaline and fat burning hormones from surging too high and allows the thyroid to accelertate and power the metabolism.

Very interesting research, but I’m not going to follow all of his recommendations. He did state that the most important thing to worry about is to eat foods that support the metabolic rate. As long as you eat a diet high enough in carbs or sugar, adequate protein and amino acids and some, but not a ton of saturated fat then your metabolic rate will be very good and along with it you health and energy levels. Also the most important thing is enough calories. If you want to cut fat keep the calorie deficit moderate, so that you can still keep your metabolism high when cutting.

I could talk about this all day, but Ill leave it at that. One more thing is he seems to place a large emphasis away from seeds, whole grains, lots of fiber as well. These foods seems to encourage fat gain by slowing metabolism and inhibiting nutrient uptake. Again as long as your not eating nothing but these foods, I don’t see a huge issue, but shouldn’t make up the bulk of the diet. Again as long as your body temperature is high and look good and maintain a healthy body temperature, then that is by far the most important thing for you physical and mental health.

Training:

Sat – Pull

Sun – Push

Mon – Walking Only

Tues – Pull

Wed – Walking

Thursday – Push

Friday – Walking Only

First two days were more machine based and higher reps and the last two workouts were strength based. Hit 50lbs around my waist for 5 reps and Benched 200lbs for 4 reps. My first time going for strength in awhile, but most of it was intact from last time. I think I will stick to the 4 day split to balance recovery and working out. I’ll likely stick to the push, pull, legs split as well, with push and pull workouts rotating each week. I’m also doing PLP recommended by Chad Waterbury. Basically doing Pushups/Lunges/Pullups every single day. You start with 10 reps and add in one rep everyday for 60 days. Obviously the beginning is much easier then the end, but I really like this idea. I mainly use it as a warmup to more workouts. Keep in mind that this is in addition to your other workouts.

Nutrition:

I was talking with a resident of Williamsville about their nutrition and the person said something I found very interesting. We were talking about ideal food sources and the resident wanted to try a meat free diet. I said it could be done, but likely not a good idea long term. The resident brought up that humans likely don’t need that much meat, because we don’t have claws. I thought the statement was funny, but he had a point. Humans are not pure carnivores, because if we were we would have fangs and claws, yet we don’t. This likely means that a very high fat, high protein diet with low carbs (meat) is not a natural human diet. We aren’t omnivores either though, because we do have strong jaws and teeth and strong muscles that help with energy and finding food. Again this points the need to strive for balance in diet.

My own diet is starting to include more carbs in general. As I showed in my log, my carbs didnt drop below 150g all week nor did it last week. I’m introducing them slowly, because I know for a fact that if you got from roughly 100 grams a day to 300 grams, your body’s metabolism will quickly be overwhelmed and store fat. I’m using body temperature to slowly increase carbs. Meaning the higher my body temperature the more carbs I eat. I’m also not eating just fruit, but a lot of potatoes and other carbs sources as well. My main goal is to limit a lot of polyunsaturated fat or at least keep it to small amounts. I also noticed that if you eat a high fat diet, its almost impossible not to get a lot of polyunsaturated fat in your diet. That is unless your diet is almost all coconut oil and butter, but that diet would get very old very quickly. My Macros are roughly 220g of carbs / 170g protein / 50-60g of fat. The plan is to keep protein and fat stable and bump up the carbs. If I drink some alcohol, I will usually just take the carbs away and sometimes fat.

My body temperature this week was around 97.4 and it started at 96.6. Not bad for two weeks. If anything I have actually lost fat as a result. My body weight has been hanging around 173lbs down from an average of 175lbs on the higher fat diet. So basically ate more, lost more. No problems there. Calories averaged about 2200 and my estimated maintenance should be around 2600 or so for a normal day. I have noticed my appetite has gone up as well. I feel like this is natural considering a higher body temperature requires more energy.

I’m still eating most of my carbs (starches) at dinner time and most of my fruit during the day. You wouldnt believe how much food you get to eat at the end of the day by doing this. Massive amounts of food. Been doing a bean, corn, chicken mix with taco seasoning and corn tortillas on the side. Almost tastes better than Chipotle. Also throw in some fat free sour cream. This meal usually has upwards of 100g of carbs and pretty low poly fats. I’m still playing around with different recipes though.

Still feel like there is lot more I want to say, but will probably end it here. Some pics from the week:

Beans, corn, onions, lean meat with corn tortillas and salsa on the side
Beans, corn, onions, lean meat with corn tortillas and salsa on the side
Rioja Vino
Rioja Vino
Bertuccis - Calzone with salad
Bertuccis – Calzone with salad
Taco's same as above
Taco’s same as above
1 whole egg, 6 egg whites Broccoli, 3 potatoes and 1 slice of butter bread
1 whole egg, 6 egg whites
Broccoli, 3 potatoes and 1 slice of butter bread
Lean meat and blend of white and sweet potatoes with veggies
Lean meat and blend of white and sweet potatoes with veggies