Journal Entry 302 – Balance

So I spent about one week on the carnivore diet. It was great at first and not great towards the latter end of the week. I really started to crave any type of sweets and there is no way I could ever do it long term. My calories were higher than normal and my fat intake was well over 100 grams a day. I wanted to keep it high on purpose to see if I noticed any additional benefit in terms of lifting or cardio. I did not.

The savory test of eggs and beef were great at first. After about 4 days, I wanted to eat anything but those foods. Cooking these foods also became a chore. Another huge negative to this diet was food volume or should I say the lack of it. When you cook a very large serving of 12oz of beef (90/10) it loses about 4-5oz in the cooking process. So you have about 600 calories worth of beef and it’s a pretty small serving of food. I was actually always hungry after my meals and these meals were both high in protein and fat. I really missed the large volume in my meals and felt pretty restricted.  If you added anything on top of these meals such as guacamole or cheese or extra meat, your meal was easily close to 1000 calories and still very unsatisfying.

As excited I was to initially try it, my excitement was even higher to end it. It was worth a shot, but I think a diet consisting of lean meats, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats (avocado, nuts, some saturated fat, fish oil) is still the way to go and keeps cravings at bay and energy high. Deep down I knew this anyway but it was worth a shot.

My apartment gym’s dumbells only went up to about 50lbs until a week ago. They bought 2 100lb dumbbells and 2 70lb dumbbells, which allows me to do a lot more in the gym. Due to my failed diet experiment that was very unbalanced, I wanted to make the perfectly balanced workout routine. I’m going to do 3 full body workouts and 3 cardio workouts with one day off.  Keep it simple :).

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Journal Entry 259

Weekly Routine:

  • Sunday – Cardio 60 minutes
  • Monday – Chest
  • Tuesday – Back/Bis
  • Wednesday – Shoulders / Traps
  • Thursday – Chest/Tris
  • Friday – Back/ Bis

Added a few reps to my bench press and I’m getting very close to the 200lb mark for 3 sets of 6-8 reps. Shoulder press was stationary and chin-ups I was able to gain a couple of reps. I played around with some rep schemes on my accessory exercises, but I think I found one of my all time favorite chest workouts.

  • Chest or Chest and Tris
  • Barbell Bench 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Dips (weighted) 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Flys or Skullcrushers 3 sets of 10 reps

Always get a massive pump after a day like this even though the reps are on the heavier side. The tension from the sets feels incredible. Not too heavy and not too light. Sometimes by dropping the weight too light, I feel like I’m moving the weight, but not really getting much of a pump. I also feel like I can gas out pretty quick even with the lighter weight.

Diet has been more or less the same. Calories fluctuate between 2000-2500 calories a day and I really have not been emphasizing protein in the least. If anything I have been emphasizing carbs. Some days my protein has fallen below 100 grams and has not even remotely affected my strength levels. I have been drinking a lot of caffeine during the day at work, but has really always been high in my diet.

My weight is still hovering around the low 180’s at the moment.

 

Journal Entry 198 – Strained Hip Flexor, Bro Splits, Different Diets

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On Monday morning, I woke up with a really nasty hip flexor strain. At first I had no idea why, because its not like I was playing a sport and felt it immediately after it happened, but anyway I woke up with some really bad pain. It limited my mobility so much that I could barely lift my left leg or knee up without some pretty bad pain. Considering the split I was doing had two leg days, I knew it wouldn’t be the smartest idea to resume that for the current week.

I think what it was though, was two leg days, walking everyday and 2-3 long steady state runs that did it in. I guess it was just more than my legs and hip flexors were used to doing. I decided to do a pretty basic bro split this week of chest day, back day, rest, shoulders/traps day, arms day and possibly do legs if my hip flexor felt better. As of this morning it feels a lot better than it did, but not good enough for full leg workout. I also can’t do abs because that hurts it pretty bad as well. I did manage to get some walking in this week, even though earlier in the week I had to limp most of the way haha. I noticed if I go for more than 15-20 minutes at a time without a break then the hip flexor starts to get inflamed and hurt pretty bad. Icing it and taking frequent breaks had helped tremendously though.

I was a little concerned by Wednesday if it was something more serious, because it didnt feel better at all. I mean stepping up into my car felt like overkill for it. But luckily by Thursday and Friday morning the pain was way less. Advil liquid gels also helped reduced the inflammation. Not going to lie, when it comes to headaches and pain, Advil liquid gels give relief and it gives it fast. These things go to work in under 20 minutes for me.

So basically stuck to a very basic and balanced upper body bro split and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. Workouts were done in 30-40 minutes, 3 sets of 8-12 reps on everything and made sure form was really good on each exercise. I had felt pumps in the target muscle that I havent felt in awhile. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough volume or reps to achieve the effect with the upper/lower split. I also made sure to hit at least 8 reps on each exercise. I did not go super heavy on anything this week.

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Summer Feta Cheese Salad with roll
Summer Feta Cheese Salad with roll

Nutrition

I really love nutrition. I can listen to podcasts and read articles about it all day. A hidden gem happened to come my way this week with Jacob Wilson talking about Ketogenic VS high fat diets. He basically compared TRUE keto diets (75% fat 25% protein and 5% carbs (under 30grams)  VS very high fat, but low carb diets with either 104g of carbs or 60 grams of carbs. The protein was sufficient and the same in all of the diets. The results were that the Keto diet lost more fat and held onto all muscle, but the other groups that were not quite ketogenic actually lost muscle mass. Their exercise performance was also much weaker.

Basically this study shows that unless your truly ketogenic (which is very restrictive for a lot of people), than you would do better by eating more carbs to spare protein. Its either you go under 30 grams or you go much higher and try to hit at least 1 gram per pound of carbs.

This was also in a deficit, so it probably doesn’t matter as much in a surplus of calories, but still the moral of the story was that your either ketogenic or your not. Meaning for most people carbs need to be higher than 100 grams and some starches should be eaten at some point in the day as they provide benefits that dietary fat does not.

My goal is to hit somewhat of a zone based diet. I know from the past the lower fat and high carb diets don’t do well with me. For me it led to some blood sugar issues and cravings, because dietary fat was too low per meal and carbs were too high. I ended up becoming hungry and not satisfied after meals, even if the meal was 6-700 calories. Just because 200 grams of carbs are good, doesn’t mean that 400 grams will provide magical benefits. The only thing that will provide is some extra body fat.

My goal is to hit roughly 40/30/30 for carbs, protein, fat. Considering my calories need to stay moderate without adding body fat, having protein at 30% shouldn’t be an issue. If I had to consume 4000 calories a day, than that would be way too much protein.

No matter what macros you use, this is a very good site to track with: Calorie Calculator.

Also watched a bodybuilder I follow on Youtube, has gone Vegan. I must admit his reasons for doing so, were very interesting and got me thinking a bit about most peoples over consumption of meat. I will by no means be going Vegan and never plan to because I think some of the videos that people use are extreme to persuade you, but not all farms and slaughterhouses are that cruel. Also giving up meat isnt a long term solution and reintroducing it into your diet can be a nightmare after a diet like that. Vegans complain that meat makes them sick after they started the diet. But before the diet they could tolerate it just fine. Too me this is unhealthy. A human can digest meat just fine and losing the ability to digest certain foods isnt healthy. A perfectly healthy human should be able to eat whatever they want without issue. Giving up foods will not solve this problem.

But nevertheless is was though provoking and made me consider some of my habits. In my opinion though I really dont eat that much meat.  I mean I will eat 4-5oz of meat for lunch and dinner, but a lot of my protein comes from dairy, which can be obtained from a cow without mistreatment. I mean I could obtain all the protein I need from plant sources, but doing so would lead to some massive bloating due to all the beans I would have to ingest. And yes protein is overrated and you dont need that much, but it has a lot of other benefits that the minimum threshold doesnt seem to accomplish, especially in regards to hunger control.

In my opinion, it comes back to common sense. Vegan is too extreme for most people to follow and ketogenic diets are the same. Both diets are very interesting when you delve into them, but too follow for the rest of your life would involve getting rid of a lot food that I enjoy. Some people try to go middle ground and become some weird version of vegetarianism, but that basically just becomes “I don’t eat animal meat”, but will eat everything else. That is fine, if you don’t want to eat meat, but I don’t see the need for the label. Also pescatarian is basically veganism with the addition of fish, because fish are somewhat different than animals. But the main problem with this is there are a lot of toxins in fish. I mean a lot. Fish is not a safe choice in high amounts. If pollution didnt exist then it would be fine, but trust me pollution exists and its all over the ocean.

If I had to elect the king diet, it would probably be the Mediterranean diet. Very balanced and doesnt involve extremely high carbs or low fats or vice versa. It has a broad selection of foods and even allows alcohol of up to 2-3 glasses of wine a night. Fish, meat, grains, vegetables, fruits are allowed. The recommended macro split is roughly 40/30/30. The body likes balance, so this would have my vote if I had to pick a best diet and also a diet that I could for the rest of my life. A lot of peoples ethnicity also come from this area at some point, so it makes sense that they are well adapted to a diet such as this.

Some pics from the week:

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Lean meat, veggies and cheese
Lean meat, veggies and cheese
Low calorie coffee protein shake
Low calorie coffee protein shake
Lean meat, whole egg, veggies and crab rangoon
Lean meat, whole egg, veggies and crab rangoon
Lean meat, veggies, potatoes, cheese
Lean meat, veggies, potatoes, cheese
Lean meat, rice, tons of veggies, olive oil
Lean meat, rice, tons of veggies, olive oil
Gluten free pasta, cheese, veggies, meat, imitation crab meat
Gluten free pasta, cheese, veggies, meat, imitation crab meat