Journal Entry 217 – Snow Day’s and Eating History

The gym was good this week and was able to complete 4 out of 5 of my scheduled workouts. The reason I didn’t get the last one in was due to a massive amount of snow that hit the area. I live in Richmond, Virginia and if 1-2 inches falls here we have a hard time dealing with it. I know in other areas, especially up north this amount is laughable. This storm dropped at least 10 inches on the area and may be closer to 20 inches when it’s all said and done, so imagine what that does to the area. I didn’t get a chance to go to the store before either because it was so packed in every single grocery store that I just didn’t feel like dealing with it. I got plenty of rice and beans to last the storm. 😉 The main thing that sucks is my entire weekend I haven’t been able to do anything at all, but stay in the house, but not a whole lot I can do about it.

As for my gym days, I was able to hit 190lbs on bench for 4 set of 6 reps pretty easily and I will move up to 195lbs next workout. Squats moved up to 235lbs, but was not able to increase it this week. DB rows increased to 115lbs and barbell seated press will get an increase to 120lbs. I was able to rep 115lbs very easily. I was shooting for 4 sets of 6 and ended up doing 5 sets of 7-8 reps each set. Felt very light for some reason. Not that I’m complaining.

Due to my boredom of sitting around the house, I have been watching a lot of Youtube lifting channels and stumbled upon a lot of people going vegan all of a sudden. The videos are intriguing and almost 90% of them are high carb, low fat vegans. Which means they try to achieve a state called “Carbosis” instead of “Ketosis”. By eating so many carbs and so little fat they became ultra insulin sensitive and are able to eat massive amounts of food and calories without really worrying about fat storage. I thought I had tried something similar in the past, but when I went back and looked at myfitnesspal logs,  I noticed my carbs were increased, but so did my fat intake. I blamed some bodyfat increase on carbs when in reality it was eating higher fat intakes with carbs. I noticed my weekdays would be good with plenty of carbs and lower fats, but come weekend time the fat would increase to a minimum of 70 grams, alcohol would increase and with sky high carbs that is way too much. The magic of what these people are doing lies in a pretty low fat intake of what I would say is no more than 40-50grams max. Any more than that and fat starts to promote insulin resistance and interfere with carb metabolism.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning on going vegan any time soon. I have a few problems with the whole “vegan” thing. One is the cult like following. I mean you can deny it all day, but I feel like even vegetarians are frowned up to the vegan community. Also dont even think about going vegan and then eating meat again. Its similar to being tried for treason to this community. Its an all or nothing affair. Two is how almost every video I saw had VEGAN instead of Vegan. Its like the fact they are eating VEGAN has to be shouted to make sure everyone knows about it. Not every video did this, but a lot of them did. Three is some are protein haters and say protein makes you gain weight. I highly recommend a trip over to Lyle Mcdonald’s website where he states the obvious fact that protein is never converted into body fat, even under extreme conditions. Protein also doesn’t interfere with the metabolism of carbs like too much fat and carbs interfere with each other. I do agree that you need less protein on such a diet, because carbs spare protein and if you eat enough protein from vegetables, you really dont need meat, but don’t say protein is fattening when it clearly is not. Other than that I have zero problem with anyone who eats vegan and I even tried some of the diet’s meatless meals out and its actually really good. Especially if you do it with volumetric whole foods. You get a lot of food with not many calories. The diet is also very, very cheap. Rice, potatoes, beans, bananas, fruit, nuts are all very cheap and unprocessed foods. The vegan diet kind of reminds me of typical bodybuilder diet, except bodybuilders just eat more protein.

As I said earlier though due to my boredom, I looked back at all Myfitnesspal logs and looked at how I ate over the past two years. I have come to some conclusions about what I noticed:

  • High carb is NOT fattening when fats are kept low
  • Alcohol and dietary fat do not mix well together
  • I tend to look much leaner on lower fat diets
  • Carbs sources DO matter from a digestion standpoint
  • Carbs make losing fat easier
  • I do NOT do well with higher carbs and higher fats (sucks because this combo tastes the best)
  • Its very easy to control your meals and diet, when one macro is kept low
  • High fat diets have to be carefully done (I’ll explain below)
  • Lean meat has always served me well
  • I really like protein powder
  • I do tend to look better at lower body weights
  • My workout routine doesn’t seem to matter, when my diet is on point (I’ll explain below)
  • Cheat days set me back (especially high fat cheats)
  • I really like protein powder 😉
  • Your body is very adaptable to the signals you send it
  • A lot of processed foods do not do well in my diet
  • Always be mindful about eating. As long as the food is healthy and not high in fat, it usually is partitioned favorably

These were just some of thoughts I gathered looking through my logs. I think the biggest take away is the carbs though. Its only when I mix them with fat do they become a problem. I just assumed it was carbs making me fat. I also looked back at why my fat intake increases linearly with my carbs and it was because I was eating a decent amount of junk. Clif bars (also contain Soy – no bueno), granola bars (always had some fat in them, some more than 6grams per bar), low fat chips (the fat adds up), ready made rice (that has some fat and lots of sodium added). Essentially I blamed the carbs, but I should have blamed the junk food. Yes the junk food was “lower in fat”, but if you eat enough of it, it makes a pretty large impact in the diet. It’s also not the healthiest fat in the world either. I tend to eat very healthy when I eat low carb, but when I increase carbs and calories I tend to eat junkier. If I stick to whole foods, like I do when eating low carb I guarantee my results would have been much better. Also cutting out the high fat cheats on the weekends. I noticed though that when carbs were high, but fat was low, I could still drink a lot alcohol and not feel and see the setbacks in my body composition.

When I tried higher fat diets (with lower carbs) the meals would become very boring. Your only carb source was vegetables and you had to resort to too many oils and or highly dense foods. My biggest issue was volume. I really like food volume and that tends to go away unless you eat a ton of green vegetables, which can be problematic if done too often. Avocado is good, but not when you eat with every meal. Cheese became overly high too. I remember feeling like I was so sick of eating the same meals over and over on this diet that I lost my appetite. I love some fat don’t get me wrong, but you would be amazed at how a little goes a long way. Never mix high fat with alcohol, no matter how low the carbs are. The results are not good. I also think high fat diets can get you into trouble from a toxin standpoint if you eat a lot fatty meat. Animals store toxins in their fat and when you eat that fat, guess where the toxins go.

Protein powder has been a staple in my diet for a long time.

Moral of the story: Fruits, vegetables, healthy starches, lean meats, healthy fats (in moderation) are my bedrock. Junk food can be eaten, but only making up a very small part of the diet. I also consume alcohol once or twice a week, but just dont mix with a high fat meal.

PS – Also so an interesting article by Layne Norton on high fat and testosterone. Some studies have shown a linear increase when monounsaturated and saturated fats are increased in the diet. But this article compared two groups of weight lifters. One had a very high intake of fat with over 150grams a day and the other had higher carb diet with roughly 55grams of fat a day. Calories were around the same, but the amount of testosterone they had was equal. So greatly increasing fat beyond what you actually need does not really have a tremendous benefit and its also stored as body fat much easier than anything else.

4 thoughts on “Journal Entry 217 – Snow Day’s and Eating History

  1. Carson

    Hey Michael,

    Totally agree, VEGAN’s are kind of crazy and it certainly a cult following. I think the fact that the hodgetwins going vegan all of a sudden has certainly brought it to the news since they are so popular. I want to point out that a lot of the criticism goes to the way animals are treated in killing*, but all that’s ever shown is mass producers you never see anybody give an example of a local farmer treating animals properly and putting them down* in a acceptable way (I come from an area where theres lots of these farmers so I feel need to stand up for them, because they don’t deserve to be slotted in with others.)

    High Carb High Fat = Walking Papers lol

    One thing that should be noted and its actually in the same Lyle McDonald article you refrenced is that when fat is TOO low you can start to gain fat easier because De Novo Lipogenesis Ramps up big time.
    Lyle always sums up that all of the Macronutrients can make you fat just under different mechanisms, and he explains them all but the safest way to stay leaner (while in a surplus**, because no surplus no fat gain) is through protein and carb focus but not allowing fat to go to low.
    Not sure if you agree with all that??

    After all the things ive tried ive always gone back to his advice which is similar to that of layne Norton and eric helms.
    They all seem to recommend around 1 gram protein or more, and 20-30% of cal from fat with carb as a filler……when in a defecit they tend to give a specific number for fat being .4-.6 gram per lb.
    Being that all 3 of them give this advice and they are 3 of the best for advice to follow I seem to trust them on this.

    Loved this article, have nothing against the idea of being vegan but its how people go about doing it is my problem…….Paleo people have similar issues.


    • Michael Cocchiola


      Yeah this mistreatment of animals on a mass production level is unfortunate, but its going to happen no matter how many people go vegan. I dont support it, but not much I can do about it. I agree with smaller farmers not doing this either.

      There a lot of channels going vegan or meatless. A lot more than just the Hodgetwins. I still don’t think I could be vegan, but vegetarian wouldn’t be bad. I could still eat dairy and eggs.

      Yeah dude fat and carbs dont mix. For calorie control, something has to be low in the diet and since protein and carbs are more metabolically friendly and less likely to be stored then it needs to be fat.

      Yeah I remember lyle saying under 10% of total calories, but this would be very difficult to do unless you ate nothing but fruit. I think sticking around .2-.3 per pound of lean body mass for fat is perfect, because its still low to get the benefits, but no so low that it triggers de novo lipogenesis. It also gets you above this 10% threshold. But yeah when it comes to a surplus protein and carbs are the way to go. Almost all fitness models eat in this fashion. Not many follow higher fat diets.

      I think .4-.6 per pound is too high. I think it only needs to be that high when carbs go under 100 grams. I know alberto nunez and matt ogus both eat way below this amount and stick to around 30-55 grams of fat depending on a bulk or cut.

      Yeah its almost as bad as religious wars. Its like if you want to be vegan then fine, no need to shout it to others. Take a typical bowl of oatmeal and when a vegan makes it, the name changes to a VEGAN bowl of oatmeal haha. Its like whatever.


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