dietary fat

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.

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Journal Entry 203

Got to include a lame office pic

Have to include a lame office pic 😉

More carbs have been treating my strength gains very well this week. I’ve been doing a 3 day full body split on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have two different workouts that get rotated every week, so one week workout A will be hit twice and the next week workout B will be hit twice. Each have different moves to hit the muscles from different angles, but the main point of the workout is just to lift heavier weight each time. So each workout gets hit every 4th day. Its pretty minimalist style which I like and I will post the workouts below:

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Basically each workout starts out with a push, a pull and a legs movement that is a heavy compound for 4 sets of around 6-8 reps. The next 4 exercises are 3 sets of 10 reps and our mainly isolation’s. The last move is a farmers walk with moderate dumbbells that lasts roughly a minute. I also mix in some super-sets and tri-sets to save time. I was able to increase my dumbbell incline press with the 75’s for 3 reps between Monday and Friday. Actually everything increased across the board by a few reps.

Myfitnesspal has a new setting that allows you to see your average macros for the week and mine were 181 protein / 288 carbs / 56 fat and 44 fiber. Some days were higher in carbs than others, but average is probably the most important. I didnt cycle my intake this week and basically just decided to do straight maintenance at around 2500 calories every day or roughly 15 x bodyweight. Based on my activity this is about right. My bodyweight was stable most of the week and the last weigh-in was roughly 174lbs, the morning after a massive carb based and salty dinner. My salt intake continues to stay high at roughly 5000-6000mg per day. Haven’t done much with fats at all and they basically take care of themselves. Carbs have been added mostly at night and I usually have a good 3:1 ratio between carbs to protein. The earlier part of the day is more balanced.

I may try and cycle next week like originally planned though. Leangains recommends 40/40/20 P/C/F on workout days and 40/40/20 P/F/C on rest days.  Protein is a little high in my opinion, but the main point is to eat high carbs on workout day in a surplus and a deficit on the rest days with a higher fat intake. Since your body is in a deficit the fat intake will not be stored and allows your body to eat fattier foods, which is beneficial for testosterone and the taste buds. This may make meal planning really easy as well. On workout days have a huge serving of pasta, rice or sandwiches and rest days have chicken sausage, bacon, stuffed chicken, omelets or a fatty cheeseburger with no fries. It allows a little more variation. There’s also a lot of Leangains meals all over the internet and I feel like cycling the diet makes you look forward to each day more, because of the massive variation in foods you can eat. Again meal planning is also easier, because you know exactly what to have each day.

Calories when cycling will be roughly 1800-2000 on rest days and 2750-3000 on workout days. This is right around my maintenance of 2500 calories. I will monitor strength gains to see if I like cycling or just eating maintenance every day better.

Have a really good recipe for training days though, even though this week I actually ate this on my off day. I ran out of meat, so I decided to take an entire bag of Trader Joe’s Vegetable fried rice, roughly 3 cups cooked and 630 calories and threw in 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites and some broccoli. Tasted awesome and it was roughly a pound and half of food. Total fat was a little over 10 grams as well. The eggs helped the rice stick together so it was easier to eat. Also threw on some imitation crab meat, which I have been basically addicted to here recently. It tastes awesome.

Some pics from the week:

Longhorns Napa Grilled Chicken and a sweet potato

Longhorns Napa Grilled Chicken and a sweet potato

Lean meat with broccoli Trader Joes Pretzel bagel with homemade fries

Lean meat with broccoli
Trader Joes Pretzel bagel with homemade fries

Egg White omelete with 2 corn tortillas, 2 slices of butter bread and 1 cup of spanish rice

Egg White omelete with 2 corn tortillas, 2 slices of butter bread and 1 cup of spanish rice

Birthday cake Protein bar

Birthday cake Protein bar

Trader Joe's linguine with clam sauce and added chicken, veggies and imitation crab meat

Trader Joe’s linguine with clam sauce and added chicken, veggies and imitation crab meat

Vegetable fried rice with egg whites. Big Meal haha

Vegetable fried rice with egg whites. Big Meal haha

Tequila and diet cherry sierra mist

Tequila and diet cherry sierra mist

Journal Entry 202 – More Carbs and Fat Loss

I remember back the first time I lost weight, I didnt ask anyone what they thought or what was the right way or the wrong way to do it. I simply stopping drinking sugary drinks and switched to diet and I watched my fat intake, so that it remained low in my diet. It definitely wasn’t high protein and considering dietary fat was kept low it was definitely high carb. I also didnt count calories either. In eighth grade, I dropped down to 130lbs at 5ft 8in tall. I looked good for the height I was as well. Dont get me wrong I had no muscle and wasn’t even remotely interested in lifting weights or exercise then. The only thing I did was play basketball after school and sports during gym time. I remember at one point I would literally eat a bag of sour patch kids at night and the next day my teeth hurt so bad I couldnt eat for like 10 hours haha. Point being carbs and fat loss have gotten a bad wrap. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence showing that once calories come down, fat loss occurs no matter what. Now there are plenty of things that can throw this equation off. Thyroid can slow down, testosterone can drop, cortisol and growth hormone can become abnormally high and the result is your body becomes resistant to these hormones and to fat loss. The body suffers a so called “adrenaline diabetes” and your body is basically constantly fueled by stress and adrenaline and needs copious amounts of coffee to keep going. Not a great state to be in. Usually in this state you usually have zero appetite, but when you do get an appetite you crave salt and sugar like no other. Most people think this is a bad thing, but if your body is begging for it, then trust me its not a bad thing.

Carbs may be the solution to end this stress fueled metabolism. Carbs are the only macronutrient to basically signal to your body that it is well fed.  Cortisol and stress are very beneficial, but only when counterbalanced with a period of feeding and relaxation and adequate calories and carbs. Research shows even when calories are adequate, but carbs are not then thyroid will get suppressed big time. Thyroid is needed to turn cholesterol into sexual hormones, so guess what happens when your thyroid is down. Low sex drive. Not to say you won’t have any sex drive, but it will be greatly reduced. When it comes to protein and fat, you need what you need to build muscle and absorb vitamins and minerals, but this really isnt a massive amount. .7 grams multiplied by your lean body mass in grams is likely to be sufficient. I would honestly go slightly higher to .8-1 grams per pound of lean body mass, but again more isn’t really better. The amount of dietary fat you need is roughly .2-.33 grams per pound of lean body mass. If you weight 170lbs and have 155lbs of lean body mass, then 31-51 grams of fat is likely sufficient. For protein it would be 109-155 grams. Lets cut down the middle and go 41 grams of fat and 132 grams of protein, this equals roughly 900 calories a day. I wouldn’t go much lower than 11x lean body weight in calories when trying to successfully lose fat and maintain muscle and this an aggressive approach. For the example, it would be 1700 calories total – 900 from protein and fat = 800 calories. The rest of these calories go to carbs or roughly 200 grams. That’s a decent amount of carbs that will keep your muscles, liver, brain and central nervous system properly fueled while you burn fat. If your lightly active and burn lets say 2300 calories a day, then 2300 – 1700 calories consumed = 600 calories worth of body fat. By eating sufficient calories and carbs and also enough protein and fat, your prevent the above situation where you constantly fueled by stress hormones and adrenaline. You also dramatically decrease muscle loss by eating more carbs and your muscles look and feel stronger when working out. This leads to more calories burned during exercise and more fat loss overall. A diet setup this way, especially if your active, which in my opinion everyone should be, then your energy, health and metabolism will be much better. I also highly recommend overfeeding once a week. Carbs can help prevent dramatic decreases in metabolism, but I still think a calorie deficit all the time is not a good idea. If your trying to lose fat then you want to overfeed or at least eat a maintenance level of calories at least once a week. Two- three days if your leaner and are trying to drop into the single digits of bodyfat. 4-5 days if your trying to maintain and build muscle. I think underfeeding is still good to because calorie restriction does have benefits if used properly. But again you can still underfeed with plenty of carbs in the diet.

A diet like this is also much more flexible and diverse then one that has you eat 300 grams of protein and 100 grams of fat to ensure your “getting enough protein.” Or a keto diet that has 150 grams of fat and >30 grams of carbs. Good luck sticking to that one. Lets say your with family or friends and they want you to try a recipe out that has more than 30 grams of carbs. “Sorry, but I can only eat 30 grams of carbs a day for the rest of my life, no can do.” Makes you look and feel kind of bad. And since your body basically forgets how to digest carbs, especially after going very low for long periods of time, you usually get pretty fat soon after reintroducing carbs. You better off avoiding situations like this. Also once your leaner and not diabetic, then all carbs are essentially the same, so you can basically eat any source you want. This includes fruit, sugar or starches. I personally would recommend more starches, 1-3 pieces of fruit and a little sugar, but I wouldnt worry too much about it, as long as the amount is controlled. So in my opinion, carbs are essential and should be consumed regularly. If you are on a keto or very low carb diet, then my advice would be to pick a calories range between 11-12x lean body weight and start eating more carbs and less fat like my example above. This will allow your body to get used to eating carbs again, but since your in a deficit you wont gain any fat. Once you feel good and less bloated after meals then start bumping up the carbs and calories closer to maintenance or just start cycling calories, while leaving protein and fat constant.

On a random note, most cultures run on carbs for the majority of their fuel intakes.

My workouts got a little thrown off this week due to my trip to Virginia Tech for the football game. I was gone from Saturday – Monday and got back Tuesday, so I just started my split Tuesday this week. Hit full body and after a weekend of bad nutrition, didn’t perform too bad. Currently in my training, I really dont care about the weight lifted, but more the feel. Been aiming for roughly 10-12 reps for 3-4 sets depending on the move. I really like this pump training though and its a nice change up from going heavy. I also try to hit roughly 5 miles a day through walking and daily activity. Still lifting 3 days a week every other day and go for a run two days a week. My diet was pretty erratic this week, but doing 3 days of a deficit on rest days, 3 days of surplus on workout days and 1 days of maintenance on Friday. Macros are similar to example above, but roughly 150 grams of protein, 45 grams of fat and the rest carbs. I also have some drinks on some nights. 😉 My weight is also roughly 172lbs this week.

Been eating a lot of the Trader Joe’s ready made rice and pasta mixes. Pretty healthy overall and very easy to make. They also make tracking much easier because its already portioned out. Highly recommend gnocchi alla sorrentina. Its a pasta with a red tomato sauce and some cheese. Macros are very good on it. The vegetable fried rice, asian style, is very good as well.

Some pics from the week:

Current Physique Pic

Current Physique Pic

PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with White Rice

PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with White Rice

Shrimp with veggies and a sweet potato

Shrimp with veggies and a sweet potato

Coors Light at BDubs

Coors Light at BDubs

Naked Tenders with French Fries. Also had a lot of dipping sauces.

Naked Tenders with French Fries. Also had a lot of dipping sauces.

Panera Breakfast Sandwhich

Panera Breakfast Sandwhich

My view of the VT game

My view of the VT game

Cooper Hawk Mediterranean Dips appetizer.

Cooper Hawk Mediterranean Dips appetizer.

Cooper Hawk Life Balance Chicken Giardiniera

Cooper Hawk Life Balance Chicken Giardiniera

Lean meat, potatoes, veggies and a crab rangoon

Lean meat, potatoes, veggies and a crab rangoon

Trader Joes Pasta with two slices of Butter bread. High Carb day meal

Trader Joes Pasta with two slices of Butter bread. High Carb day meal

Extreme pizza with a salad and some tequila

Extreme pizza with a salad and some tequila

Journal Entry 200 – Random Thoughts

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Good week overall in training and eating. Weighed in at roughly 171lbs on average and exercise performance was good. I stuck to 3 weight training workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday was 4×6, Wednesday was 4×15 and Friday was 4×8. 4×8 is by far my favorite rep range and I just felt that one the best. Although I did really like the high rep day as well, mainly because I don’t do those days that often. Did a different exercise each day for each body part and was careful not to overdo it. The only thing I did add was some pushups to both workout and non workout days.

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I have also been getting to work early to walk an extra 30 minutes in the morning. Really enjoy this time to read, listen to music and clear my head. Been hitting at least 5 miles a day each day and it becomes really easy to hit this number, when your zoned out and reading. I also try to hit 5-10 minutes on breaks and around 20 minutes during my lunch break.  Not trying to set records with speed or anything, I’m only doing 3mph on a flat incline. My hip flexor has felt way better this week and considered adding a leg exercise to each full body day, but I’m going to give it one more week on both legs and abs just to play it safe.

Nutrition – I had one high carb day in the middle of the week and the rest were around 1800 calories or so. I’ve been keeping fat around 45-55 grams almost everyday and I’ve bumped protein back up to at least 160-180 grams. I had recently dropped protein to 120 grams, but I noticed some decreases in strength. I think 120 grams is fine for some people, but call me crazy I think for some people that are used to eating more protein than that still benefit from the higher intake. I also look leaner and feel stronger with the extra protein in my diet. I should also mention appetite is much better with increased protein. I heard a podcast not too long ago, that basically said once you’re used to eating a certain amount of protein, your body actually learns to use more protein as an energy source. So he basically said unless you drop your intake slowly, then you are essentially “locked into” a high protein diet. If that’s is the case then so be it. Protein is by far my favorite macro, tastes good and makes me feel better after meals.

Another thing I have been doing is eating more carbs in balance with protein. So instead of having a big starchy carb dinner, I just eat roughly the same amount of carbs as protein in each meal. This usually a means a decent portion of starch and loads of vegetables or beans, etc. Energy and strength feels really good. So I plan to replace the big carb meals with just more balance during the day. Carbs are right around 160-180 grams at the moment. I also dont feel like I need the carb refeed day when carbs are more moderate. It almost felt completely unnecessary, since my strength levels have felt so good without it. So basically just keeping an even keel blood sugar all day instead of a big fluctuation at night. As for dietary fat, some is essential, but more is not better. A little dietary fat goes a long way, meaning you dont need a meal covered in butter or oil to make it taste good. 10-15 grams per meal is plenty and makes the meal taste awesome without overdoing it. Extra dietary fat also doesn’t do anything for strength and performance in the gym and subbing out the fat for more carbs at each meal, helps at lot in that regard. Energy is also much better.

As for calories been keeping it roughly 1800 during the week and have 1-2 higher days of 2500 or so, usually on the weekend. For me this works really good in terms of staying lean and gaining strength.

Another thing I wanted to bring up. One is intermittent fasting. One thing I hear from a lot of people I talk to is that almost every single one of them do intermittent fasting without even realizing it. These people are also very overweight. They skip breakfast and usually lunch and eat their first meal around 5pm. If intermittent fasting was beneficial, then these people would be in much better shape and have far better health, but they dont. Most of the leanest people on the planet eat all day long with controlled meals and a high protein diet. Not saying intermittent fasting doesnt work, but some people make it sound like its the holy grail. Trust me its not. IF only works if your diet is on point to begin with. Also I think there is huge benefits in keeping your blood sugar level within a certain range. When your blood glucose gets too low >75-80 mg/dl either through skipping meals or undereating then a lot of negative things start happening, such as the body holding on to fat, low energy and entering too deep into a catabolic state. Going above 110-120 mg/dl basically means your burning zero body fat and are entering fat storage mode, which is what most people experience. Once you reach this state its very similar to low blood sugar in that you start to become hungrier and suffer low energy. Most people only bounce between these two states. For example, they undereat all day or for 2-3 days and then binge uncontrollably to balance it out. They basically skip the beneficial properties of keeping your blood glucose within 80-110 mg/dl, which is a more anabolic state to be in and promotes far better energy levels. It also helps you body release fat more efficiently, because your body doesnt think its starving to death. The way to reap these benefits is to prevent undereating too low of a calorie intake (usually anything under your lean body mass x 11) and keep a healthy amount of protein and carbs in you diet.

PF Changes Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Changes Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

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Lean meat, veggies, crab rangoon, 1 whole egg, cheese

Lean meat, veggies, crab rangoon, 1 whole egg, cheese

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Pumpkin Cashew Milk shake

Pumpkin Cashew Milk shake

Carb refeed - Trader Joes Gnocchi with added chicken and broccoli

Carb refeed – Trader Joes Gnocchi with added chicken and broccoli

Big stirfry with meat, veggies, stirfry sauce and imitation crab meat

Big stirfry with meat, veggies, stirfry sauce and imitation crab meat

1 whole egg and 6 egg whites Trader joes roasted potatoes with onions and peppers 1/2 bag of broccoli  Goat cheese Probably the best meal I've had in a while.

1 whole egg and 6 egg whites
Trader joes roasted potatoes with onions and peppers
1/2 bag of broccoli
Goat cheese
Probably the best meal I’ve had in a while.

Homemade chipotle 3/4 black beans 5oz of onions 4oz  of chicken Taco seasoning

Homemade chipotle
3/4 black beans
5oz of onions
4oz of chicken
Taco seasoning

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

Journal Entry 196 – Westside Week 1 – Phase Shift Diet

Average Weight:

173-174lbs

Lame Office Pic

Bored Office Pic 😉

Workouts:

First week completed of Westside for Skinny Bastards part 3 and I really enjoyed it. A lot of the exercises I have been doing are different and force you out of your comfort zone. Favorite day was probably Repetition Upper Body doing 3 sets of max reps for Bench. Stuck to 135lbs and just repped it until I could barely rerack the weight. Been awhile since I have done max reps like that. Also got a really good pump afterward.

Max Effort Lower started with trap bar deadlifts and I got up to roughly 245lbs for 5 reps on those. Very good overall exercise and followed those up with lunges and dumbbell romanian deadlifts. My hamstrings and traps were sore for the next 4 days.

Max Effort Upper started with barbell bench and hit 195×4 for the top set. A little lower than I wanted, but I expect this to shoot up in future weeks.

Dynamic lower body started off with 8 sets of 3 bench jumps. Felt kind of awkward at first, but after I stretch and opened up my hips, the jumps became very easy to complete. I also got a really good sweat going from the plyometrics, which I also havent done in a while. Followed these up with some dumbbell split squats, which were hard as hell. This exercise is basically a combo between a squat and a lunge done unilaterally. Really enjoying the variation though.

I plan to continue this workout for the next two months at least and try to increase my numbers on each lift.

For cardio, I’ve been jumping rope in between sets and on lower body days been doing 10-15 pushups between sets. I also run a mile before each workout and do incline walking almost everyday. Not doing the morning cardio, but I’m still getting it in, in a more enjoyable way.

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Nutrition

Calories getting bumped up to roughly 2400 with 180-200g protein / 120-140 grams of fat / 80-120g of carbs on average.

After seeing a really good article by Erick Minor, I plan to implement a phase shift diet. This is similar to the Anabolic Diet, except you have one refeed day every 2-3 days. This is very important to ensure you don’t gas out and run out of carbs. Basically if your not on a true ketogenic diet, which would require protein to be held at a max of 120-140 grams and carbs under 30 grams (too restrictive), you’re essentially still on a carb based diet. Carbs are depleted after two days of severe calorie restriction or 3 days of low carb dieting. Past this point muscles will start to flatten out, performance will drop off, thyroid starts to slow and mood may drop. Since we dont want that to happen, your simply increase your carbs to at least 200 grams and up to 400 grams twice a week. Fat gain is unlikely as pretty much all of those carbs are going to your muscles, while fat is being burned for energy.

Why do such a diet? – Mainly because my carb tolerance sucks and taking this approach on a bulk can keep you much leaner than sky high carbs all the time. Low carb diets combined with weight training have an insulin sensitizing effect and my metabolism is naturally slow. As much as it would make sense to do the traditional bodybuilder diet of high carbs, low fats, high protein; the results are usually not favorable for me. Although when I bump up fat instead most of the time, my definition stays intact, I dont feel bloated from all the starch and I feel fantastic. Also this approach is much easier from a calorie control standpoint. My appetite tends to increase with too many carbs. Keeping carbs to nothing more than a few fruits and a ton of vegetables, easily keeps the total carb content to under 100 grams. This allows me to load up on protein and fat all day long.

I also think this is a much better approach then the Anabolic diet. Mainly because if carbs are depleted after 3 days then why wait 5 days before reloading? Also if you carb load on Saturday with 400 grams, then your glycogen stores are already full and loading again on Sunday would likely mean spillover since they are already full from the previous day.

Most of my protein and fat sources are animal products, which have been shown to be superior for muscle growth and fat loss over vegetable products. Some chicken, red meat (higher fat), butter, eggs, protein powder, high fat dairy, cheese, low sugar dark chocolate, low carb protein bars and any vegetables are my sources of food. I also eat some peanut butter and sauces (low cal ranch, low sugar ketchup and salsa) and also make sure to get enough sodium. Very important to get enough salt without being on a higher carb diet. Also as for my carb sources, it really doesnt matter to much. I’ll probably reload with some gluten free pasta (mainly because its easy to get down) for dinner and have some oatmeal afterward. I do love some oatmeal, but in moderation only because it can lead to some pretty bad bloating. 😉

Also read an interesting article on Suppversity: http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2015/07/get-your-macros-straight-in-two-minutes.html.

Basically it said on higher carb diet, you still want ideally 80 grams of fat for men and 50 grams of fat for women as a minimum intake. You also want ideally 90 grams of carbs a day for men and 60 grams of carbs a day for women minimum on a low carb diet. Pretty interesting read, because dietary fat is still much higher than most people eat on a regular basis.

If you average out the amount of carbs over the week on a diet such as this it comes in between 150-175 grams a day. Would there be a massive difference between eating this amount everyday and cycling it? –  Most likely not. But I do feel there are several advantages to doing it in a phase shift pattern, such as improved insulin sensitivity, meal planning, appetite control, calorie control and allows you to feast a couple days a week.

Some pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone

Bertuccis Calzone

Chicken, two eggs, veggies, cheese, crab rangoon

Chicken, two eggs, veggies, cheese, crab rangoon

Shrimp, pasta sauce with olive oil, broccoli and cheese

Shrimp, pasta sauce with olive oil, broccoli and cheese

3 whole eggs, lean meat, veggies and cheese

3 whole eggs, lean meat, veggies and cheese

Chicken cooked in butter, with onions and cheese

Chicken cooked in butter, with onions and cheese

Chicken cooked in butter with avocado and cheese

Chicken cooked in butter with avocado and cheese

Journal Entry 190 – 2 on 1 off

Log:

IMG_2432

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:

IMG_2453

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