low fat

Journal Entry 281 – Skin Battle

Life:

Pretty normal week for me following the bachelor party. It took me a day or so to get back into the swing of things at work. I don’t remember the last time I had 5 days off from work. I barely drank any alcohol last week, because of the massive flare of skin issues I had from the bachelor party. I can honestly say that it has helped tremendously. Sarah and I did go to The Wine Loft on Saturday night to meet up with some friends, but I only had a glass and half of red wine. Cool place though.

I have also been drinking my new cocktail of 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, water, and crystal light 3 times a day.  This has played a big role in healing my symptoms. I have been playing around with things that cause my symptoms to flare. Hot water, sweating in the gym, too much meat and fat (this is a big one), excess sugar and alcohol :(. All of these make sense, but the excess fat was kind of surprising. I noticed that when I keep my fat under 55-60 grams, my skin feels better and looks better. When I go higher than this it can trigger some flares. Sugar mainly refined is very similar. This, in my opinion, has to do with inflammation. Fasting or eating lower calories can really help control the itching. Certain meals I can eat and have zero symptoms. It is still largely trial and error at this point though. I have also been bathing in baking soda and rubbing it all over my body, including my scalp, which can flake a lot. This helps to bring oxygen and carbon dioxide to the dry skin and prevent flaking and accelerate healing.

The Hokies continue to dominate and the Giants continue to lose. The Giants did look better this week though, so I guess that’s a plus.

Joe Rogan is the man. Probably one of my top 5 favorite people of all time at the moment.

Workout:

I set up an everyday upper body workout, but I quickly realized I don’t have time to do this on my lunch break. I have time to do a max of 4 moves at the gym for roughly 3 sets. 3 moves are even better. I decided to stick with my old routine of 4 days lifting push/pull. The other 3 days will be some light cardio.

Diet:

As I have alluded to above, I have been playing around with this area of my diet. Lower fat seems to help as well as less sugar. That being said I still eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, even though they have a lot of sugar. Protein is adequate but not excessive and I have not been eating a ton of meat. My carbs have been pretty high recently and my calories have been elevated as well.

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Journal Entry 213 -Protein is King

Another week on my 3 day full body split and really enjoying it. I was able to increase almost every lift yet again and leg movements have felt almost easy to me. Usually on leg exercises I bump the weight up by at least 10 lbs and upperbody gets moved up 5lbs each workout.

Squats 205 x6,6,6,6 so moving to 215 next workout.  Lunges 50lb db’s for 4 sets of 10 reps. I was shocked at how easily I knocked those out. Moving up to 55lbs in each hand next workout. Trap bar deadlifts were the last workout and I did 215lbs for 4 sets of 10 reps, so I will hit 225 reps next workout.

All of my push movements I was able to pick up a few reps, but BB seated press was the only one I could increase to the next weight. Still working with 185lbs for BB bench for 4 sets of 6reps, 110lbs for seated BB shoulder press and 75lbs in each hand for low incline press for 4-5 sets of 40 reps goal.

Pulling movements, BB row I’m able to increase to 145lbs next workout after knocking out 140lbs for 40 reps. Chinups are slowly increasing and I was able to pick up a few reps on each day but not enough to increase the total weight.

As for arms, shoulders and abs; I’m still working with 80lbs for BB curls and got 32 reps, so sticking with that next week. Dips increased again and will use 15lbs added next week. I’m putting the weight between my feet instead of using a belt for this workout though. Helps keep my body straightened and I actually feel it more in my chest this way. Lateral raises I’m up to 20lbs for a 40 reps goal and both reverse crunch and cable crunch were significantly increased from last week. On reverse crunch I just move the setting up a little, so I can get more of a steeper incline.

On all days I shoot for about 10000 steps a day through walking. I usually get closer to 12-13000 steps a day right now, mainly because I have more time on my hands.

My calories have been averaging about 1800-2000 calories a day and I haven’t weighed myself in roughly 2 weeks. The last time I did I was around 175lbs on a doctors scale for a checkup. My scale is broken and I will likely buy another one, but I feel like I just dont need it right now. I have been getting stronger and continue to lose body fat. I know this due to the mirror and the way my clothes fit. My 32″ pants feel much more comfortable then they did after my 3 month hiatus of not really tracking anything haha. I estimate my intake during this time was around 24-2500 calories a day, but that was an estimation. I was playing around with low protein intakes during this time, because apparently “you didn’t need that much” and ate more carbs and fats as a result. I also added in some alcohol into my diet. But basically I would track 2400 calories, but in reality it could have been far greater, because I wasn’t exactly tracking very closely. The results showed too. After I got back from my cruise, I’ve almost had tunnel vision getting back to my ways. I should mention though, this is a relative “out of shape.” I like to stay pretty lean almost all the time, because of personal preference. So anytime I gain weight, I notice immediately and my pants feel tight and definition is blurred. For me this unacceptable. I also noticed that even though my calories were higher, my lifts weren’t moving at all. So basically I was building fat and not muscle.

These last 3 weeks I’ve noticed a lot about what personally works for me. High protein, moderate carb, low fat seems to be the holy grail for my body. I have played around with a lot of different things and I’m glad I did them, because I know they don’t work for me. This way of eating is simple, focus on protein foods for all meals, throw in some fruits and vegetables and add in small amounts of fats at each meal. My energy and strength has never been better. I’m also having a much easier time leaning out with this diet. Maybe the high thermic effect, but I have tried a similar diet with a low fat intake, but focused on carb foods and less on protein and the results weren’t nearly as good. In my humble opinion, I really think it has to do with fuel utilization.

I can eat as much protein as I want and not put an ounce of body fat on. I dont get bloated with protein and digest it very well. It reduces my appetite and cravings, especially for carbs. I find it painfully easy to eat this way and my energy and strength in the gym is never better. During times of stress or dieting more protein has been shown to be very effective at helping the body recover and I have noticed these benefits. Soreness is very light and I’m able to progress much faster between workouts. Again this is protein magic in my opinion. I was on the same routine with more calories and carbs and fats and it didn’t do anything good for me.

At the moment my goal is just to focus on protein foods and veggies. This is the foundation of my diet. I’m ditching a lot of the added fat sources for now, like guacamole, fatty cheeses, whole eggs, added oils. I need some fat, but seem to look a lot leaner without these things. I plan on keeping my fat intake around 40-50 grams, which seems to work best for me. Anytime I play around with high fat intakes, my calories tend to be hard to hit, appetite actually goes up and I dont really notice any benefits, except a softer appearance.

Carbs have been mainly from fruits and vegetables. My intake of those has been roughly 100-160g a day. This seems to work very well for me. I occasionally throw in some bread, but typically dont eat too much starch. Don’t really need it either, just tends to slow me down.

My calories on an ideal day at the moment is 1800 calories – 200g protein / 135g of carbs 50g of fat. This is usually what my routine diet looks like:

  • Meal 1 – 2 scoops of protein powder, 1 cup of berries, 3/4 tbsp of peanut butter, coffee with splenda and half and half
  • Supplements – Creatine 5g, Glycine 5g, Fish Oil 1.8g of EPA/DHA, Vitamin D, Pregnelone 30mg, Magensium
  • Meal 2 – 6-8oz of meat (chicken, tuna, seafood, pork tenderloin, red meat, 5-6 egg whites with 1 whole egg) 1 low fat cheese wedge, 3 servings of green vegetables, some type of low calorie sauce
  • Meal 3 – Quest bar and half of a pure protein bar
  • Meal 4 – Same as Meal 2
  • Meal 5 – Casein protein powder with berries and some fat free redi whip

This is still a very balanced diet in my opinion it’s just that protein has precedence over everything else, meaning the focus is on protein and everything else naturally falls into place. Also I have been rotating my protein sources a lot. Meaning I try to get a different meat at each meal, just to prevent burning out on a certain type. I also never go below 40 grams of fat a day. If I’m lower than this I’ll add in some peanut butter at the end of the day. A little fat goes a long way. I almost always hit enough fat though, so it’s not an issue. Most protein foods always have some fat in them.

I should also mention that in addition to bumping up the protein, I’ve also been taking creatine. This could be another reason for my strength gains. I’m at a very interesting point right now though, so I’m going to ride it out as long as I can.

Forgot to mention as well, In my article low carb limbo, My goal was to hit at least 12-1300 calories a day worth of GLUCOSE calories. Eating 100-150g of carbs and 200 grams of protein or more easily hits that. This is another reason why dietary fat needs to be reduced. As I alluded to earlier, I think making protein the most important thing and making sure I eat enough glucose has been the main reason I’ve been able to increase my strength in a deficit.

A lot of my pictures didn’t show up on my pc for some reason, but here is a couple: