First blog shared with nobody…til now
What works for my fat loss
I’ve finally settled into a routine to consistently lose fat and I’m going to log my thoughts for the future in case I should ever let myself go! I have a ton of energy and mental clarity from the EC (ephedrine/caffeine) supplement I’m taking 3X’s per day. This is my first day on the full dosage which may have lead me to writing this lol.
Calories matter most. How many? For me, body weight X 10 on lifting days (~1,800 kcal). This is about a 20% deficit. This means I log everything I eat using fitday.com Off days aren’t as important for reasons below. I finally believe FAT LOSS = CALORIES IN - CALORIES OUT
Protein is THE MOST IMPORTANT macronutrient when someone is dieting for several reasons.
1) It spares muscle better than carbohydrates and fat
2) It has a high thermic effect of food and actually burns more calories during digestion
3) It is the building block of all lean tissue
4) It can be converted to glucose (carbs) and used as energy
5) 1 g/lb of LBM is the MINIMUM for any serious male lifter
Carbohydrates ARE NOT ESSENTIAL but they are GOOD
1) Carbs are rarely EVER stored as fat
2) Carbs are always used as energy or stored in your muscles to be used as energy later (lifting, running, high intensity activity)
3) Carbs are used for energy when they are present (instead of fat)
4) Carbs are muscle sparing and using them during your weight training will prevent the breakdown of lean tissue
Fat is essential but highly caloric
1) Low fat diets are easy for calorie control
2) Fat is essential for hormone regulation, including TESTOSTERONE
3) Fat is stored in adipose (fat cells) easiest of all macronutrients
4) Keep your fats primarily from mono/poly unsaturated sources. Saturated fats are found in animal products (dairy/meat)
5) Fish oils reduce inflammation but still count as fat calories
Lifting weight is BETTER than intense cardio
1) Weight loss is slower but fat loss is the same
2) Lifting heavy gives your muscles a reason to stick around when dieting
3) A lean, muscular physique looks better than a skinny, flat physique.
High intensity cardio and low intensity cardio both work
1) Intervals and steady state are essentially the same. The excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) from intervals is only 7% higher than steady state
2) You can do more steady state because it’s less intense on joints and muscles
3) Cardio increases metabolism
4) Heart rate of 130 and below uses fat for fuel, anything above uses a combination of fat and carbohydrate (muscle glyocogen). This doesn’t matter as much as the total calories burned
5) High intensity intervals are good at mobilizing stubborn fat (thigh/abdominal)
1) Protein powder is cheap and helps fulfill daily protein requirements. It’s also versatile and can be used in many recipes
2) Fish oil relieves joint pain and provides essential fats
3) Fiber tablets help on low carb diets for regularity
5) Vitamin C improves immune system when in a caloric deficit and blunts cortisol
6) Vitamin D is great for skeletal structure when dieting and helps in the dark winter months
7) EC (ephedrine/caffeine) I just started but helps spare LBM on low calories, increases SNS (metabolism), and provides energy on low calorie protocols
Carb cycling has worked fantastically for me after 7 weeks. I’ve dropped 14 lbs (2 lb/week). Carb cycling essentially means you eat higher carbohydrate portions on lifting days. I have decided to lower my fat intake slightly on these days as well. My off days are all protein and fat (no carb), except for some trace carbs from vegetables. Vegetables are great at controlling hunger because of the volume of the food and are basically free calories because of the fiber content. Fiber blocks nutrient absorption (calories) and cleans you out!
I have only cheated one time on the diet and have a maximum of 5 drinks per week. I am willing to make sacrifices with my social life by cooking my meals and staying in on nights out. This allows me to save money and makes the big trips in the future much more rewarding.
I’ve settled on a two on, one off lifting schedule. I’m doing a push/pull/legs program and inserting a cardio/abs day in between my 2 on days. My preferred cardio is fast walking (4.0 mph) on a treadmill for 45-60 min. I consider these off days because they are low impact on my joints and muscles and allow my muscles to recover while I can still burn a few extra calories. Consistency is the most important part of training. I aim to hit 5 exercises each workout with a minimum of three working sets per exercise. I lift heavy (6-8 reps/set) to maintain my muscle mass. I realize there is no such thing as “high reps tone my muscles” as it’s quite the opposite. Cardiovascular weight lifting will actually break down the tissue (high reps on low cals can be bad and lead to muscle loss).
My goal at this point is to simply stay consistent until my birthday trip on April 22 and see how lean I get. I am around 12-14% body fat now and 10% would be a really awesome place in a month and half. I realize competitive bodybuilders have to get to extreme levels of lean and dryness (~3-5%) and this isn’t something I want to put myself through. I do want to maintain a lean, athletic physique once I reach my goal because of many different reasons.
1) Confidence is always high when I am lean
2) I will have accomplished a HUGE goal that took significant time, dedication, and sacrifice
3) Lean people are much less susceptible to health risks including cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer. I figure I can help my good genetics as much as possible
4) Low body fat improves insulin sensitivity. My body will shuttle nutrients into muscle more efficiently than fat when I am lifting in the future so I can gain muscle mass with minimal fat
I’ve been interested in the concept of “refeeds” for quite sometime. Refeeds are a high carbohydrate load that upregulates leptin (a hunger hormone) and can maintain metabolism on a cyclic diet. I have experimented with these in the past and felt they weren’t helpful or necessary at my body fat level (>10%). Once I get leaner, I believe it will be very helpful in maintaining lean body to incorporate more carbohydrates and refeeds.
Bodybuilding? Maybe…this means I’d have to add 10-20 lbs of muscle and eat above maintenance for a considerable amount of time. I spent the first 17 years of my life overeating and have struggled with a poor physique for the past 10. This would have to be a calculated approach as far as what calories, how much of each macronutrient is needed, and which weight training programs work best. I would essentially have to figure out the fat loss puzzle all over again going the other direction.
Conditioning. This might be the most prudent of all my options because I have friends that are into boxing, MMA, and Cross Fit. I’d like to try something new since I feel I’m fairly experienced in the weight room and getting outside is awesome in Seattle. Robby Straus is moving back in the late summer and we are considering a Cross Fit program.
For the most part, the information I listed above is scientific fact and applies to 99% of the population that doesn’t suffer from a physiological disorder (hormone imbalance, disability, etc). Well, it looks good on paper! Putting this into motion is easier said than done. It takes sacrifice, drive, and passion. You have to WANT it. There are no excuses. Time MUST be made. You must be accountable for your actions as they are in YOUR hands…it’s the beauty of free will. We all have jobs, obligations, family and friends to see, bills to pay, get tired, get injured, have bad days etc. You must make this a priority for your success. Results don’t happen overnight and this can be quite frustrating. I’ve been stuck in a rut during this diet and persevered. I learned things about my physiology and psychology by making small changes and experimenting. I learned how meticulous fat loss needs to be by logging everything I eat. I’ve learned how finicky the scale can be and about the concept of a “whoosh” where your fat cells will empty out and then fill with water, masking fat loss. I could have thrown in the towel and binged at a buffet for a week…but instead I took the road less traveled and blazed a personal trail. This journey isn’t over yet and I really should be speaking in the present tense. I will continue to monitor my weekly progress, log my activity, log my food intake, and bust my ass. Here’s to the next 52 days!
FUTURE CHAPTER IDEAS
- Staying focused on the goal at hand. How to adjust your social life, habits, routine, etc.
- Weight lifting
- Measuring Progress
- Setting up a timetable/goals
- To cheat or not to cheat
Need to use this.