Journal Entry 339 – Low Key

Another week in the books. This week started off as crazy busy and then gradually slowed down each day. I think March Madness may have had something to do with slowing down traffic towards the end of the week. My brother really wanted me to make a Bracket, so I spent about 3 minutes making picks on my phone before the deadline. So far I’m in 8th place out of 14 and have already lost my fair share of games. As long as Duke wins, I have a chance though. I’m not a big basketball guy, to be honest, so losing means nothing to me.

My sports hierarchy NFL > College Football > Tennis > Everything Else. This does not mean that I don’t care about other sports at all, it’s just that I barely follow other sports. I have had the urge to get into Professional Soccer recently, but have not made the leap yet.

Been a good weekend so far though. Really nice weather and Saturday was a nice chill day. Friday we did a date night to Coopers Hawk and then went Burger Bach for dinner.

Recently my diet has been borderline Keto for the most part with dramatically reduced fiber. The low fiber has really helped with my digestion. Basically been eating high fat and high protein foods with very low fiber and my stomach has felt like it has already shrunk an inch. Plan on keeping this approach up. My carb totals have been under 100 grams almost every single day with most days under 60 grams. Weight is down to around 180lbs from 186lbs earlier this week as I was kind of bloated at the beginning. Been making an extra effort to add more fat to my diet though and not just jacking protein through the roof.

The only problem is my strength is down a bit. I still benched heavy 3 times last week and my totals are going down. I really need to cut down the heavy days to twice a week max. I also need to bump up sodium with my carbs as low as they are. My hunger has been pretty low for the most part. It really is amazing to me how if I eat a high carb meal, even when high in protein my hunger can skyrocket and I stay hungry for the rest of the day. As long as I keep carbs very low in my diet, this feeling does not occur.

 

Journal Entry 252 – 5:2 Diet Revisited

I’m at a much different point in my life that I was in 3 years ago when I started this blog. The idea of tracking every calories, carb, protein and fat gram no longer appeals to me. Neither does turning down every bad cheat food offered to me that I can’t track or doesn’t fit into my rigid meal pattern. I still want to get results and stay lean, but I want to do so in a much different way than I have done in the past. After a pretty chaotic eating pattern the past year, I still want some type of organization that won’t impede my lifestyle and also help me fit my goals. After trying to figure this out, I have basically narrowed it down to one eating style … the 5:2 diet.

The 5:2 diet is pretty damn simple. 5 days eat your normal diet (for me anywhere between 2000-3000 calories depending on the day) and  2 days a week take in under 800 calories on non-consecutive days. These days don’t sound like fun, but after drawing up a meal plan I think it’s going to be incredibly easy. The best way to handle these low calorie days is to basically eat nothing, but vegetables or low sugar fruits. Doing these on a work day also helps a lot since your busy working all day and not sitting around, thinking about food. I plan on doing these days Monday and Thursday. These two days appear right before and after the weekend. It is much easier to eat lower calorie right after a big day of eating. They are non-consecutive and will be cardio only days.

The meal plan will look something like this:

  • Meal 1 – Berry Smoothie with Cashew Milk and Greens Powder
  • Meal 2 – 2 bags of raw veggies for lunch (maybe some low cal ranch on the side)
  • Meal 3 – Vegetable Stirfry (massive pile of non-starchy vegetables)
  • Meal 4 – Berry Smoothie

This chimes in at around 6-800 calories. I will also drink any zero calorie beverage I want on these days, like coffee with light cream and diet coke.

I also made this into a vegetable day instead of PSMF day, because I honestly think it is easier to cut calories using vegetables than eating nothing but lean meat. This day also acts as a detox day from all macros including protein. I have spoken about protein fasting in the past, but have recently ditched it. I honestly think though it does have merit and may even help my body respond more favorably to protein when I do eat it. I like the idea of a vegetable only day for health reasons, especially now that my diet isn’t as healthy as it used to be.

The other 5 days are easy. There is no food restriction or food rules. I simply eat whatever I want as part of my normal diet. The idea isn’t to overeat on these days or feel like your dieting at all. The diet is done on two days a week and then it is over. This way of eating has also been proven to be way more effective at ongoing and maintaining fat loss than traditional dieting or food rules/restrictions because these plans are not sustainable and eventually suck. Even if you are on a diet for 5 years, which is a very long time for most, once you break that diet and start eating a normal balanced diet again with normal calories the weight will return. 5 years is still short term when compared to a lifespan of a human being.

I have also moved my training schedule around this plan. I will lift weights 3 sets of 6-8 reps here recently on just about everything, on all days I eat normally. I also may do some optional morning cardio on those days and simply eat whatever I want, making sure to eat enough. On the diet days, I will only do cardio and no lifting. The goal is to keep my intake under 800 calories and resume normal eating the next day.

Simple and effective. I have also done this to help Sarah lose some stubborn pounds. She is not fat by any means but would like to drop a few pounds. She also feels like she has to be in constant diet mode to see any results, but it’s really not working at the moment. I think this plan will be what she needs to relax on her diet and still get really good results.

 

Nutritional Deficiencies and Weight Loss Plateaus

Nutritional Deficiencies are far more widespread in America than many people realize.  These deficiencies present another problem people face in struggles to lose weight.

New research is showing that cutting calories isn’t necessarily the problem when losing weight, its cutting nutrients, vitamins and minerals that the body needs. Its a very interesting theory that makes a ton of sense.

Many Obese people eat highly processed diets that have very little nutrients.  So they are getting fat from the calorie excess, but their bodies are still starving, because they aren’t getting any nutrients.  The body needs a certain amount of nutrients each day in order to remain healthy and function properly. When obese people try to lose weight by eating less, they are still eating processed foods, but just less of them.  This makes the problem even worse.

Even when people that eat healthy reduce calories to lose weight, they are at an increased risk for missing out on valuable nutrients. Many times the reason people plateau on diets is because they are missing out on certain nutrients that for whatever reason they aren’t getting.  People switch from low carb diets to low fat diets and weight loss resumes.  The reason is because they are finally getting nutrients they were missing out on before by either avoiding carbs and fat. The problem though is people constantly jump back and forth between low fat and low carb and constantly plateau.  If they would eat a balanced diet this problem would be avoided.

The solution to losing weight in a healthy manner without plateaus is to eat as many nutrient dense foods as possible on a balanced diet while reducing calories.

One example – Choline is a critical fat soluble nutrient found in abundance in whole eggs.  It is critical for the body and if people don’t get enough of this nutrient, fat loss stops and nutrient deficiencies form.  The body will send out a signal to get this nutrient at all costs and will remain hungry until it gets this nutrient. So basically you could eat a 4000 calorie diet and still be hungry because your getting zero choline intake. (this is where the obese run into problems and wonder why they are always hungry, even with the enormous calorie intake)  If the person would simply eat some choline rich food, the hunger would go away almost immediately.

Another example is when people constantly crave sugar.  This hunger signal means the body needs starch based carbs of some sort (potatoes and rice). Once they eat these foods, they no longer crave sugar. This hunger signal is sent out frequently on very low carb diets.  Not only do people constantly crave sugar, they also become insulin and leptin resistant, which further slows down weight loss and harms health.  If the people simply ate enough carbohydrates to feed the body, they wouldn’t feel miserable or develop problems.

The bottom line is the body will send out hunger signals until the proper nutrients are eaten.  If the nutrients are not eaten than the body remains hungry and weight loss stops.

To make sure you are getting enough nutrients and macronutrients, I highly suggest you eat the following daily.  Eating these foods every day will prevent hunger and make weight loss much more sustainable by preventing plateaus and giving the body everything it needs to function, while reducing calories to properly lose fat.

  • Protein Needs a day 300 calories or 75 grams
  • Carbohydrate Needs 400-600 calories 100-150 grams – These are minimums
  • Fat Needs 400-500 calories 40-50 grams
  • Total Calories Minimum each day – 1100-1400 calories a day

Above is the recommended macronutrients.  Below is recommended supplements and foods that will help you get in enough nutrients:

  • 3 whole eggs – for adequate choline, vitamin D, Iodine, cholesterol and fat soluble nutrients.  Whole eggs are natures multivitamins.  I highly recommend them on any diet.
  • 100 grams of starch based carbs from potatoes (any kind) or white rice (the healthiest starches) – allows you to remain insulin and leptin sensitive and maintains thyroid health
  • Highly recommended supplements
  • Multi-Vitamin
  • 3-5 Fish Oil Capsules – for adequate omega 3’s
  • 4000 I.U. of Vitamin D – critical for metabolism and preventing depression
  • Iodine 400 mg – maintain thyroid health
  • Magnesium 400-800 mg – critical nutrient for the metabolism that many are deficient in

Bottom Line: Eat the recommended nutrients above and eat a healthy balanced diet.  The results will be hunger free, non-stop, effortless weight loss.