refeed

Journal Entry 304 – Return of the Refeed

Missed my post last week since Sarah and I were in Greensboro for the weekend doing some things for the wedding.

Some big schedule changes also happened at work, which will move me back into a much more normal schedule. Looking forward to that so that Sarah and I will have more time together.

My workout schedule has been even more minimalist style than my last post. I have literally been doing 200 pushups and 50 chin-ups a day at least for the last week. I’m only lifting once a week in the gym on Friday, which has been heavy barbell bench press that I then follow with pushups and chin-ups. Pushups and chin-ups are starting to feel extremely easy. I’m doing 30 pushups a set and 10 chin-ups a set. I plan to increase those to 35-40 for pushups and 15 for chins soon.

I really enjoy these two moves. They work every muscle in the upper body and you can literally do them anywhere at any time. (Although this is truer for pushups rather than chin-ups.)

As for my diet, its time for the “Return of the Refeed.” I experienced somewhat of a plateau where I could not drop under 182lbs for 3 days even with my diet and exercise on point. Very frustrating. I refeeded a couple of days ago pretty hardcore. I went 3000+ plus calories with the vast majority of calories coming from carbs. I went up to 187lbs after this day, but have now dropped below 182lbs just two days later. I have written about refeeds before, but have stopped doing them the past couples years for whatever reason. I really do they think hold tremendous benefit to allow yourself to “go to town” one day of the week just to get it out of your system. It also has many physiological and psychological benefits, which I have wrote about in my article How To Do A Carb Refeed.

Most people would benefit from doing this once a week. It’s just far easier to program. If you were going by science every 5th day would probably be optimal. So 4 days of dieting, 1 day off to refeed up to or beyond maintenance calories and repeat. This presents a pain for most people though, because your refeed day constantly changes. No one wants to refeed on a Monday. So I would recommend just doing it Saturday or Sunday (my personal favorite). Give precedence to carbs. I usually go high protein all other days, so I really look forward to eating all of the things I can’t eat on this day. I actually tried to lower protein as much as I could on my last refeed day. I hit around 80 grams of protein / 70 grams of fat / and over 400 carbs.

Also one more point about refeeds. Some people try to lower dietary fat as low as humanly possible on these days. Don’t do this. It makes the day far less fun and satisfying and really lowers your food choices. I’m not saying to go super high in fat, but just allow yourself to hit a normal of fat of around 50-70 grams instead of going like under 30-40 grams like is commonly recommended. Your body can store some dietary fat as muscle, especially if your diet days tend to be low in fat. Even if you store some fat, it’s going to come off easily when you return to your normal diet the next 6 days.

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Low Carb Limbo, Keto and Building Muscle While Burning Fat

Low carb limbo is essentially a grey area between keto dieting and a normal carb based diet. I discovered this term reading through a blog that I will cite at the bottom of the article. Low Carb is a very vague term. Most people know that 3-400 grams a day is not low carb, but is 150grams low carb? I think many people get stuck in Low carb limbo, myself included in the past, and I think a lot of it is just poor advice, even from experts. I have read a lot of articles stating that anywhere from 50grams – 100grams is good for fat loss. Where did this number come from though? I mean that’s not a good number for fat loss if you eat 200 grams of fat a day. Many people think that ketosis develops when carbs dip under 100 grams of carbs. It may, but it may not. Even if it does develop its usually not enough ketones to replace all the glucose you still need for basic basal functions. After going back and reading some articles by Jacob Wilson I think people should take one of two approaches to stay out of this low carb limbo. Staying out of this grey area should greatly increase your energy levels, protect your muscle (I’ll explain why in a minute), and should allow you to bust through your body composition plateaus.

The first approach is to go straight ketogenic. A perfect healthy and safe diet, but in  my opinion very difficult to achieve in today’s society, especially if your social. This requires you keep carbs under 30 grams for a long period of time. No one really knows how long it takes, but for many that have achieved full ketosis it can take a long time, such as weeks or more at a time. Probably depends on the diet you were on before you attempted it. You also have NO carb refeeds at all. Refeeding throws you out of ketosis and can take you a while to get back into it, which ruins the effectiveness of the diet. You also need a very high fat intake and need to keep protein below 120grams and it may be even lower than that. Eating too much protein will throw you out of ketosis and ruin the effectiveness of the diet. Doesn’t sound too fun anymore does it. By eating carbs and protein in too high of an amount the body starts to shift over to glucose burning again and this can be very bad for your muscle mass. Ketones displace glucose only when the body has no source of glucose. The diet would likely get pretty stale after awhile, because you would be eating the same fatty foods over and over. But some people do like it. Jacob Wilson also found that when carb totals were increased above 30 grams to 60g and 104g, even a high protein intake couldn’t prevent muscle loss on a diet. Now I know that low carb limbo is responsible for this and I’ll explain why during the second approach. So with keto, you’re either on or your off. There isn’t a middle ground with this diet and protein and carbs NEED to be controlled and kept low for it to work. Personally, even though keto has some really interesting benefits, there is no way I would ever attempt this diet.

The second approach and what most people need to stick to is a carb based diet of around 150grams a day minimum on average. I consider 150grams to be a low to moderate carb diet and with this many carbs you are not on keto and you aren’t in low carb limbo. After reading through how much glucose needs you have in your body the answer for most people under restful conditions is about 150g-170g a day. This is to regulate glucose needed by the brain, liver, red blood cells and immune functions. This is also doesn’t change much based on a person’s size. If you weigh 400lbs or 120lbs these are likely unchanged, because organs dont really vary in size.

Guess what happens when you eat 50grams of carbs a day… you start to lose muscle unless your protein is extremely high. Protein can displace carbs almost at a 1:1 ratio so that body can get its glucose, but you dont want protein to be used in this manner. You want protein to be used for structural functions and muscle building. Well at least people that want to look good do. So bascially the protein you eat is being used as an energy source. This means no muscle building and strength loses, because the basic structural functions of the body are more important than building muscle. So lets take our example of someone eating 50grams of carbs a day. Lets say the body requires 170grams of carbs (under restful conditions) so you ate 50g of carbs, but you still need another 120grams of glucose. Say goodbye to your protein intake. Let’s say you eat 120grams of protein a day. Many consider this low if your a bodybuilder, but I feel like most people consider this high. All of that protein is going to be used as carbs, to feed the brain and basic functions and this leaves none left over for your actual protein needs. Now it probably doesn’t work exactly like that in the body, but the point is when your trying to build or even protect muscle on a diet, you DO NOT want gluconeogensis to occur in a manner such as this. I guess you could eat 300 grams of protein to prevent this if you truly didn’t like eating carbs, but that’s up to you. I will say though that is a saving grace of high protein diets. If you do consume this much, you are eating enough glucose to provide the brain, liver and immune system with glucose and still have enough protein left over to protect and maybe build muscle. I also forgot to mention that those are the needs you have BEFORE activity is factored in. If you lift weights you needs go up even more. Lifting on too low of a carb intake doesnt really sound like a good idea anymore. Not unless you carb cycle, but in reality all cycling does is balance out your weekly intake anyway.

So summing up the second and recommended approach: When dieting or just eating at general maintenance, you want at least 1200 calories a day worth of glucose before activity is factored in. This can be achieved with 150grams of carbs and 150grams of protein. Protein has been shown to be toxic in large amounts, so I would honestly ditch the excessive protein (eating in excess of 200grams) and eat a more normal diet including a decent amount of carbs. The sources likely dont matter as Menno Henselmans has pointed out in his article: Is a Carb a Carb?. Once 1200 calories of glucose are achieved your muscle mass will be protected and likely allowed to get bigger, since none of the carbs will be needed for gluconeogensis.

Weight lifting also increases your needs, but its probably not as much as you think. If you do a pretty normal 4 day split routine with a combo of isolation and compounds and with not much cardio besides just walking, then your probably need an additional 300grams over the course of the week to replenish what you used on TOP of the glucose needs I stated above. 300 grams may even be stretching it, as the ATP system is relied on sometimes far more than glucose when lifting weights, but lets play it safe.

So if someone that weighed around 75-80kg was trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, then this is what I would recommend based on this information.

The first step is to factor in your daily glucose needs on a weekly basis. 1200 calories of glucose a day maximizes your glucose needs under restful conditions, but lets factor in exercise. 1200 x 7 = 8400 calories. Add in another 300grams or 1200 calories for the workout and you are now at 9600 calories a week. 9600 / 7 = 1371 calories a day. 1371 / 4 = 342 grams of glucose a day to provide everything the body needs. 342 / 2 = 171grams of carbs and 171grams of protein if you split it evenly down the middle. If you want to go higher or lower carb or vice versa, that is individual and up to you, but you want to consume at least this. An example, lets say you are carb sensitive and like eating protein more. You could eat 220 grams of protein and 122g of carbs or lets say you hate protein and do well with higher carbs, then you could do 240 carbs and do 102 grams of protein. The total glucose needs are the most important factor. Now factor in your fat intake. I wouldn’t recommend going below 40grams of fat ever, because under this level absorbing vitamins and minerals, testosterone, diet adherence and maybe even depression can become a big issue. There doesn’t seem to be an upper limit to fat intake however. As I stated the glucose needs are somewhat of a minimum and maximum. This means that this is what the body requires to fuel bodily functions and to build and protect muscle mass on a non ketogenic diet. But going above this amount serves no additional benefits and if you go to high in carbs, you’ll probably just get fat if you dont handle carbs well. This means that fat can fill up the rest of your needs if you wish. That’s quite a large range from fat, but this person wants to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. That means that body fat needs to come into play as an energy source, so eating a ton of fat would negatively impact the burning of the body’s fat stores.

(Sidenote) – After looking this up, its kind of interesting how this looks strikingly similar to many precontest diets that bodybuilders have known about for years, even if they didn’t know the actual science behind how it worked. Anecdotal evidence at its finest.

So lets go back to the minimum calories and carbs/protein/fats this person needs to achieve his goal. Carbs 171grams / Protein 171grams / Fat 40grams – Total Calories – 1728 calories a day. Based on this persons needs he would likely lose muscle if he dipped below this amount of calories based on his size. If not lose muscle, then he would definitely not be building any muscle dipping below this intake. I would honestly set his fats to at least 50grams, so that would move him right up to 1820 calories a day, but if he liked 40grams of fat he would likely be fine. If he wanted to reduce his calories to lose fat faster, then he would need to reduce his weekly workout volume to ensure recovery. If this person was completely sedentary for a week or so then he would need a minimum of 1200 glucose calories and 40 grams of fat at least, so about 1560 calories.

Also I sort of mentioned this earlier, but carb cycling could work for a plan like this, but is completely unnecessary unless you actually enjoy it. As long as the weekly average is the same it really doesn’t matter if you cycle your intake.

Be careful of refeeding and cheats on a plan like this. What I presented was your daily balance of all you need to burn fat and build muscle. That means if you want to burn the max amount of fat you need to be between 1720-1820 calories a day averaged out over the week. If you refeed or cheat, then you need to factor that in to your weekly balance. So if you go 6 days of 1750 calories and have an all out cheat day of 4000 calories, your weekly calorie balance is 2070 calories. Which can negatively impact your fat burning. Consistency is crucial on a plan like this. If you have a big meal coming or party coming up then, go low calorie or intermittent fast until the big event so you can stick to your numbers. Or you can go higher calorie that day, but will need to go low calorie the next day to balance it out.

Also cheats and refeeds are not the same. Cheats are rarely a good idea and can set you back a week if it had a lot of fat, because almost all fat is stored in a surplus, especially if lots of carbs and protein were along side it. (Which I’m sure they will be on a cheat)

Refeeds are a much better approach, but their effectiveness is questionable. Refeeds seem to be much more effective if you are not eating enough carbs or glucose to begin with. So if you are dieting in low carb limbo, between 40g-140g or so and not eating enough protein to compensate, then refeeds can help balance you out and upregulate metabolism and leptin for a max of about 24-48hours or so. I would only recommend these if you hit a plateau and you have been consistently on point for at least 2 weeks. I do think a refeed is probably a good idea at this point. Until you reach this point though, you should have plenty of glucose to prevent leptin and energy from going to low anyway, so I wouldn’t mess around with these too much.

References:

http://primalnorth.blogspot.com/p/keto-adaptation-vs-low-carb-limbo.html

http://zerocarbzen.com/2015/10/05/a-high-fat-ketogenic-diet-is-protein-sparing/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ketogenic-dieting-frequently-asked-questions.html

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/protein-for-athletes/

http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/is-a-carb-a-carb/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-nutrition-tactician-whats-the-difference-between-a-refeed-and-a-cheat-day

Journal Entry 184

Log:

IMG_2236 IMG_2229

Week 28

4/25 – Missed – 2600 calories – 8000 steps – 4 miles

4/26 – 176.6lbs – 2250 calories – 10500 steps – 5.13 miles

4/27 – Missed – 1620 calories – 16700 steps – 8 miles

4/28 – 177lbs – 1700 calories – 20500 steps – 9.7miles

4/29 – 176lbs – 1600 calories – 21200 steps – 10 miles

4/30 – 175lbs – 1800 calories – 133300 steps – 6.3 miles

5/01- 175lbs – 2700 calories – 15600 steps – 7.4 miles

Average Weigh – 176lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 2050

Workouts

Another week of trail and error until I figure out what I want to do in the gym. I’ve been doing a lot of split routines that for some reason just aren’t doing it for me right now. I tend to either get really pumped for a certain day (usually chest) and then demotivated for a leg day. I’m always trying different things out to see what I like best. 6 days of lifting is too many because I actually start to become bored in the gym. I think this is mainly due to the lack of variation I have in my gym at work. There’s only a certain number of exercises you can do and doing them too often results in burnout. 3-5 days a week is good, with 4 being optimal most likely, but I think I am leaning towards a 3 day split with most of heavy work being done and a optional lighter day if I really feel like going to the gym.

I’m doing a full body superset style of workout. Basically the workout is fullbody or upperbody with 8 total moves. Each 2 moves makes 1 superset so 4 total exercise pairings. This workout gets me really pumped by the end and works a ton of total muscle mass, much more so than a split routine. Its also more fulfilling, because you really feel like you did good effective work in the gym. Sometime certain splits with just a shoulder day leave me a little unsatisfied, unless I end up doing way too much volume which is overkill.

I decided on 4 sets of 5-8 reps for every exercise. The first exercise leans towards the lower end and the rest lean towards the higher end, but as long as its in that range its fine. 3 total workouts a week with a different exercises being done every time for variation.

Sample workout:

  1. Pair 1
  2. Horizontal Upper Body Push
  3. Vertical Pull
  4. Pair 2
  5. Vertical Push
  6. Horizontal Pull
  7. Pair 3
  8. Shoulder exercise (traps, medial delts or rear delts)
  9. Abs exercise
  10. Pair 4
  11. Biceps
  12. Triceps

The rest days will be as much as walking as I want and bodyweight style exercises throughout the day like pushups, pullups and squats. I usually shoot for at least 5 miles of walking, but I can usually get way more than that. A schedule like this works very well in times like this because it keeps me motivated and works well when times are busy.

Nutrition

I’m thinking about doing a leangains style of diet with way more carbs and calories on lifting days and fat burning calories and less carbs on walking only days. I’m not doing the eating window or fasting, but setting up my diet using leangains principals or carb cycling if you will. Call it whatever, it basically achieves the same effect of muscle gains with fat loss. I really like these style of diets, because I feel like they work well with my metabolism and goals. I’m definitely not the guy that can get away with smashing 3000 calories a day and have all of it go to muscle, no matter the macro composition. This way of eating allows you to feast and get away with it. Leangains usually on works with a 3 day split, so that works very well with this. The way I plan to structure it, is keep the same meal plan every day and then on days I life just “refeed” after weight training, which for me will be 7pm til bedtime. This is due to lifting around 5pm or so. Research shows this may be the most effective time to feast anyway, so dont mind if I do.

I have a tendency to pick foods with too much volume for refeeds, so I plan to do some gluten free pasta (to avoid bloat) or a box of cereal or something haha. Martin Berkhan ate cereal a lot for his refeeds and it really is a perfect food, because its easy to get down when you only have a few hours to get in a lot of calories. I do love some oatmeal (quaker instant low sugar kind), but its going to be hard to get down. This is the same of potatoes. I may be able to smash some rice, but I’m not a huge fan to be honest. I would rather do pasta or cereal.

I ordered some new Mint Chocolate Chunk Quest Bars this week and I’m really looking forward to trying one of those. Could be the best flavor yet.

Random

I went to VT this weekend to see some friends and had a really good time. Took today off from work to get stuff done as taking a trip like that cuts in to times you have to run errands and everything. Nutrition was terrible this weekend though due to some extra alcohol calories. I didnt eat that much, because combining a lot of food with alcohol is not a good combination. In the past I combined a few drinks with a lot of carbs and calories on training day and this is really not a good idea. Almost every article I read recommends skipping lifting and eating a lot on days you plan to drink. I like being social, so Friday and Saturday will likely be rest days from the gym and the calorie load will be kept lower, especially from dietary fat. Keeping fat under 50 grams (maybe even under 20 grams) will prevent a lot of fat gain on days from drinking. Carbs ideally kept under 100 grams as well and protein intake can be eaten in any amount.

Also eating and training this way tends to maximize protein synthesis rates and nutrient timing. New research shows the more years you train the shorter the elevated protein synthesis rates and it usually only last 4-12 hours. It used to be 48-72 hours, but that is only if your untrained. This means feasting in the 4-12 hours after weight training is the best case scenario for maximizing muscle and minimizing fat in trained individuals. Also hitting the muscles more than one time a week is a very good idea.

Pics from the week:

Lean meat, veggies and 3 whole eggs that turned into a thick pancake texture with pepperoni on top

Lean meat, veggies and 3 whole eggs that turned into a thick pancake texture with pepperoni on top

Lean meat with veggies and 3 whole eggs

Lean meat with veggies and 3 whole eggs

3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

Lean meat with vegetables and 3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

Lean meat with vegetables and 3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

Chipotle burrito bowl

Chipotle burrito bowl

Lean meat with veggies

Lean meat with veggies

Journal Entry 158

Week 12 Log:

1/3 – 173.2 lbs – 3300 calories – 8200 steps – 4.1 miles  (Refeed – 350 net carbs / 56g fat / 213 g of protein)

1/4 – 175.5 lbs – 3000 calories – 6800 steps – 3.4 miles (Refeed – 380 net carbs (80 fiber) / 44g of fat / 206g protein)

1/5 – 179.2lbs – 1450 calories – 18000 steps 8.4 miles

1/6 – 176lbs – 1400 calories – 12000 steps – 5.7 miles

1/7 – 175lbs – 2700 calories – 8500 steps – 4 miles (Refeed 320g of carbs)

1/8 – 177lbs – 1550 calories – 13000 steps – 6 miles

1/9 – 176lbs – 1550 calories – 12000 steps – 5.7 miles

Average Weight – 175.9lbs – 2100 calories

Alright so this was the first week of the cycling diet. There was good and bad. I liked the high calorie weekend portion and my main goal was to add in calories, but the weight spiked all the way to 179lbs from a low of 173lbs. I though the second refeed or high carb day was also excessive. I’m considering leaving calories high and eating a good amount of carbs, but not nearly as high as it was this past weekend. I plan to maybe leave carbs to a max of 270 grams and increase dietary fat to compensate. This will decrease water retention and bloat while giving me the calories I need to grow. Not to mention taste better. 🙂

I wasn’t big on the mid week spike in calories with the full body workout either. My main goal is still to get down to about 170lbs. I was making good progress on Monday and Tuesday, but then had to break the progress to refeed, even though I really didnt want to. I may adjust this so all the overfeeding occurs on the weekend. That will spike my weight on Saturday and Sunday and give me Monday – Friday to weight off and Friday night – Sunday night to feast and make muscle gains. This will work much better from a social standpoint as well. To me it makes better sense as well. Hit 4 – 5 fat burning days in a row with one goal of burning fat then shift gears on the weekend and refeed. The depletion workouts will also create a bigger carb sink, so I could eat more carbs without softening out.

I was also really in the mood to lift more during the week and I’m considering modifying the week to have two depletion workouts (for fat burning and so I can train more) and add in some exercises on the weekend to make up for Wednesday. This means I will have to do heavy bench and heavy shoulder press in the same workout, which I really dont like doing, but I like the setup better this way.

Basically the layout will be this:

Monday – Cardio – Low Day

Tuesday – Push Depletion Workout – Low Day

Wednesday – Cardio Low Day

Thursday – Pull Depletion Workout – Low Day

Friday – Cardio – Low Day (may begin high calories on Friday Night)

Saturday – Push Hypertrophy – High Calories

Sunday – Pull Hypertrophy – High Calories

Again this will allow me to keep the weight loss progress going and then increase calories on the weekend when activity is lower, I’m more social and calories are easier to eat.

As for my lifts, Bench was bad. 185lbs for 6,5,5,5 reps. Main reason is because I hadn’t really eaten carbs in two days before the workout, so I was relatively depleted. If I moved this to the weekend after 2 high carb meals and maybe a pre/intra workout drink then I my muscles hydration would have been much better and stronger. Considering carbs deplete water and a 23% drop in hydration can effect strength levels as much as 60% it makes perfect sense that my lifts weren’t great. I plan to fix this on Saturday.

Barbell Shoulder Press was very good though and got 115 for 6,5,5,5 reps. Trap-bar deadlift was 235×6,5 then 245×5 then back down to 235×5 reps. The rest of the workout went good as well.

A quick note – This routine above is what I plan to do next week. If I dont think its better than the original plan than I will go back to the original plan and overfeed on Wednesday and remove the depletion workouts. The overfeed will be less carbs but more or less the same calories. Its trial and error until I find the plan that I really get into and enjoy for a decent amount of time this year. I do think by tailoring down the excess carbs on the refeed day and just bump the calories up the results may be a bit better. But we will see.

Nutrition

As I stated above I’m going to manipulate nutrition a little. I played around with my calories and food choices during the low days and I found that if I had hit 100-120 grams of carbs (enough to keep the liver full) my energy and cravings were non- existent. Unless your on a ketogenic diet, not giving your liver adequate nutrition is a very bad idea. When the liver is empty it sends a lot of negative catabolic signals throughout the body and you tend to get stressed more due to the bodies lack of glucose. You definitely want to avoid this when trying to recomp and maintain healthy energy levels. If I went down to 50 grams my energy wasn’t nearly as good.

Low Day macros – Carbs 120 grams / Protein 165 grams / Fat 40-50grams (Roughly 15-1600 calories)

High Day macros – Carbs 270 grams / Protein 190 grams / Fat 60-90 grams – a few alcoholic drinks 😉 (Roughly 2700+ calories)

I also really want to start drinking an intra workout shake of high glycemic carbs. I feel like the worst that could happen is I perform the exact same way. I dont think this would hurt my gym performance and hopefully greatly enhances it instead.

Also found a really good addition to my diet on low days: beans. Beans are too fibrous to be a starch, but a little high in calories to be considered a vegetable. But they make a really good addition to stirfrys and really help fill you up in a high protein, high vegetable meal. Beans also help you easily stay around 120 grams instead of going too low or too high. I may start making more meals with beans instead of vegetables only. Basically homemade Chipotle style with onions, chicken or beef, beans, lettuce and salsa.

Some pics from the week:

Sunday Refeed Meal 2 low fat egg rolls 6oz chicken Firehook Crackers Butter bread Baked Beans

Sunday Refeed Meal
2 low fat egg rolls
6oz chicken
Firehook Crackers
Butter bread
Baked Beans

6oz of lean meat Large amount of Veggies

6oz of lean meat
Large amount of Veggies

Same as Above

Same as Above

Refeed Meal 6oz of meat Veggies French Fries (low fat) Butter bread Crackers

Refeed Meal
6oz of meat
Veggies
French Fries (low fat)
Butter bread
Crackers

New Shoes - I really like plain white shoes for some reason. Kswiss are also extremely comfortable too.

New Shoes – I really like plain white shoes for some reason. Kswiss are also extremely comfortable too.

5 oz of chicken, peppers and onions, 1/2 cup black beans Side of crackers

5 oz of chicken, peppers and onions, 1/2 cup black beans
Side of crackers

Refeed Time – Journal Entry 149

Log:

IMG_1008 - Copy

Week 3 of Cut

11/1 – 179.6lbs – Push –  calories eaten – 2000

11/2 – 182lbs (post alc rebound water retention) – Pull – Calories eaten – 2000

11/3 – 183.2lbs – Pull – Calories eaten – 1750

11/4 – 180.8 lbs – Push – Calories eaten – 1800

11/5 – 180.0lbs – Arms and Abs – Calories eaten – 1850

11/6 – 179.8 lbs – Legs – Calories eaten – 1950

11/7 = 180.6 lbs – Walking – 2400 (drinks)

After another week of dieting, I feel and look much leaner. The scale hasn’t dropped as much as it did the first two weeks, but my overall fat level has definitely decreased through measurements, the mirror and clothes. I think its time to add in a couple of refeed days though. Nick Mitchell recommended a medium / low / high / medium / low  … repeat carb cycle. I set this up in detail, but yesterday I decided to make it more simple to suit my style. I want to do 2 high refeed days a week and 5 low days. I decided to do this because medium days make no sense to me. Whats the goal of a medium day? Its too high in calories to burn much fat, but too low to build any real muscle. To me it seems like a decent way to stay the same. You do get to eat more on those days, but other than that I don’t see the point.

So a high day of 27-2800 calories with body weight x 2 in carbs (360 grams) on Saturday and Tuesday with a big upper body workout. On low days, carbs right around 100-120 grams with either walking or depletion style high rep workouts. The low days increase insulin sensitivity and make me very receptive to carbs on the high days. After reading more details on the specifics of cyclical diets, I plan to diet this way indefinitely. The body is incredibly adaptive and both underfeeding and overfeeding both have unique benefits that can you can only get when you combine them together. Considering Leptin and other fat burning hormones drop by 50% after less than a week of dieting, it makes sense to have at least one big refeed day when trying to drop body fat quickly. The only thing that would change is the number of high or low days depending on the goal.

I decided to change up training for the next phase (3-4 weeks) to coincide with my diet:

The high calorie refeed days will be heavy weight training in the 3-4 sets of 4-6 rep range. These will happen on Saturday and Tuesday or Wednesday (2-3 days apart). This training is a littler heavier than what I was doing, but the goal is to generate a lot of tension and stimulate type II fast twitch fibers and not deplete much muscle glycogen. I want more of the carbs going to build muscle and not restocking my muscle glycogen. Refilling muscle glycogen as good as it sounds, has nothing to do with the actual synthesis of muscle tissue.

On the low days, I will have two depletion workouts of 4 sets of 15 reps on every exercise with short rest periods. These are not meant to build muscle and serve only to promote muscle endurance, blood pump, burn off excess carbs consumed on refeed days and a few other hormonal factors. Definitely not going heavy on this day and this day serves only as cardio style workout. The other 3 low days will be walking days to restore the CNS and allow me to burn more fat.

On the refeed days, I plan to have my normal high protein, low carb breakfast and start eating carbs around lunch (which is technically pre-workout). I would ideally like to eat them all after lifting and night time to avoid drowsiness, but I changed this up for two reasons. One is after 2-3 low days, muscle glycogen is pretty low. When muscle glycogen is low it sends a lot of catabolic signals to the brain and that’s not very good for muscle building. The second is because I have about 360 grams of carbs to get in for the day and doing this with whole foods is not an easy task, when you eating them all at dinner or dessert.

Routine should be as follows:

  • Sat – Upper Body Workout – High Day
  • Sun – Depletion Workout – Low Day
  • Mon – Walking – Low Day
  • Tuesday – Upper Body Workout – High Day
  • Wednesday – Walking – Low Day
  • Thursday – Depletion – Low Day
  • Friday – Walking – Low Day

My overall weekly volume for this plan is 6-9 sets of 40-80 heavy reps per muscle group spread over two workouts. 9 sets for big muscle groups and 6 for small muscles. For the big muscles it should be around 54 HEAVY reps. The depletion days don’t count toward weekly volume, because its used on a different day for a different reason. Definitely looking forward to starting this plan. Since the first phase lasted 3 weeks, this once will be roughly the same. I strongly considered a 5 day split with one muscle group a day, but felt the above plan tailored better to the diet. I may use the 5 day split in the next phase (3 weeks from now).

Here’s a few of my lifts for the week:

IMG_1034 IMG_1035

And some food pics:

Monogolian Grill

Monogolian Grill

Chicken 5-6oz Simply potatoes steakhouse flavor and broccoli

Chicken 5-6oz
Simply potatoes steakhouse flavor and broccoli

6oz of chicken breast 1 bag of steam fresh mixed veggies 1 crab rangoon

6oz of chicken breast
1 bag of steam fresh mixed veggies
1 crab rangoon

6oz of chicken and red meat mixed 1 whole egg Mixed Vegetables 1/2 serving of Firehook Crackers

6oz of chicken and red meat mixed
1 whole egg
Mixed Vegetables
1/2 serving of Firehook Crackers

Chicken, pasta, veggies

Chicken, pasta, veggies

Uncle Bens spanish rice with chicken and black beans with a corn torilla (2) on the side

Uncle Bens spanish rice with chicken and black beans with a corn torilla (2) on the side

IMG_1032

Vino

Vino

Fall is in full effect in Virginia and it looks awesome outside. The temperature is right around 50-70 depending on the day, but its perfect for me. Definitely my favorite time of year. Also had to endure another week of the Hokies and Giants getting beat. Giants are all over the place. The team is quite literally bipolar, because you never know what your going to get. I would say their going to look terrible this Sunday, but they make come out looking like Superbowl Champs. I really dont like this inconsistency though and think that the solution is the same for both teams: get better players and get new head coaches. I respect both coaches, but its time to go. Both guys are too old and the game has changed too much, leaving their archaic ideas in the past. I feel like Eli Manning on the right team could be a top 5 QB, but is being held back by an outdated coaching staff and scheme and a terrible supporting cast. Everyone says Peyton is so much better, but when you compare their receivers, I would like to see what would happen to their stats if they switched teams. Eli would benefit greatly and Peyton would drop big time.

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