Friday, December 16, 2016

Maintenance: The importance of diet transitioning

Ok, so you've lost all this weight, you're looking spectacular--now you can eat what ever you want, right??


NO.

In fact, if your are nearing the end of your diet cycle or have finished it, now is the most important time of your diet. Wouldn't it all feel like a waste of time if you gained all that weight back? What about half of it?? You've worked HARD to lose that weight, now keep it off!!!


Because your body has gone through such a traumatic experience (losing weight makes your body feel like you're starving, which is bad), it's gonna do nearly whatever it can to "help" you gain that weight back.


Anybody remember the show The Biggest Loser...? It was an American show where large or obese individuals would compete to lose the most amount of weight in the smallest amount of time. They had this ridiculous scale where they'd have each member of the other team stand on one side all as a group to see who lost the most amount of weight.


Interestingly enough, as thousands of viewers tuned in to watch obese people lose an unGodly amount of weight, others started to notice something peculiar; a contestant might lose upwards of 200lbs on the show but once the show was over they'd gain most of it back (if not more). It seemed as though their strenuous high-intensity-interval-training, low calories and excess cardio proved little effect on their overall health.


Why did/does this happen??


As many people tend to forget (myself included) is that although weight loss (more specifically fat loss) may be your current goal, nobody wants to immediately gain that weight back. But if you go back to the diet and lifestyle you were living BEFORE the diet, that's exactly what will happen, and it only makes sense! You changed your diet and lifestyle just to lose the weight and now you're going back to the same weight gaining foods??


The Importance of Maintenance


To avoid gaining back all that unsightly weight/fat, it's paramount that one not eat their "maintenance" calories right away. That is to say, don't eat how many calories you've calculated to be your maintenance right after ending a diet because your body has adapted to be in a caloric deficit. What this means is your metabolism has slowed down along with a host of other bodily functions that make your actual maintenance caloric requirement lower than usual. Typically one should calculate their maintenance caloric requirement (14-16 calories per pound of body weight), then subtract 10% and eat that for a week or so. 

Example:
I'm 130lbs., 130*14= 1,820. 10% of 1,820 is 182. 1,820-182= 1,638 calories. I'd eat that for about a week before upping it to 1,800 then maybe to 2,000 depending on how my body reacts.


!!!!!FAIR WARNING!!!!!!

Many people react differently after being on a diet for a long time. For example, I know many people who transition flawlessly whereas I want to eat everything in site. Be ready for this!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New progress photo!!! Happy Thanksgiving!


I love progress pics. This is the last progress pic compared to today. Noticable differences in the lower abs!!! Below is today compared to when I first started...


Quite the difference! I'm proud of how far I've come but I still have yet to get that solid six pack which means it's back to the grind!


Yes, thanksgiving is coming and I am excited. If you're going to eat a bunch, maybe it's best you eat very little the day before and after. You wouldn't imagine how many calories most Americans shovel down their gullets on thanksgiving...

Enjoy!!!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Dieting is hard. Period.

Well, here I am. Having dieted for 3+ months (2 months on Lyle's Rapid Fat Loss diet)... with no six pack still

I found this guy the other day who got a six-pack in 2 months. He dropped 34lbs. and went down to 5.4% body fat. That's insane. 

Granted, so far, he lost more weight than I have. I've lost about 20lbs. (155 to ~135). Will I have a six-pack at 125lbs.? Well, at 125lbs. I'll be about 11% body fat. In order to have a six pack for sure, I imagine I'll need to get to 10% or lower. 10% body fat puts me at about 122lbs. Which means I'll need to lose about 13 more pounds!

If I am putting myself in a caloric deficit of about 1,300. If 1lbs. of fat is about 3,500 calories, that means I'll lose 1lbs. in every 2.5 days or 3 days. Which means I'll be at my goal in a month and 10 days. WOW.... that's insane. I've already been dieting for several months now and I've got a little less than a month and a half to go. 



This better be worth it...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weight loss and supplements


One of the most asked question(s) I get pertains to the usage of supplements. For simplicity, I'll classify supplement as anything that isn't classified as food/beverage that is consumed for weight loss or muscle gain.


There are a variety of supplements on the market nowadays and I strongly urge anyone who is inexperienced to do thorough research before trying any supplement. With that out of the way, here are some popular supplements on the market and my perspective on them;

Protein powder

One of the best supplements one can take for a variety of goals, protein powder helps the body build things like muscle and tendons. When used appropriately, protein powder can help one lose a substantial amount of fat and gain an equal amount of muscle. I take a protein powder that has zero carbs and includes a variety of vitamins and minerals (a bit more expensive, but worth it).

Creatine

Also a great supplement, creatine is used for those doing weight lifting (generally). Through a complicated process involving adenosine triphosphate (ATP), creatine helps your muscles hit more reps with a higher weight. In essence, it helps you lift a few more reps. Some studies have suggested that long-term use of creatine in lab rats with liver disease caused liver failure, so be wise when using this. It's generally suggested to cycle on and off creatine.

Caffeine

Caffeine is another supplement I take regularly to help me burn a bit more calories throughout the day (when paired with ephedrine). It's easy to take too much caffeine, so start off slow. You can take caffeine in drink form (generally with coffee or energy drinks), pills or powder. When wisely paired with ephedrine, it works wonders on fat loss. But again, DO NOT pair caffeine and ephedrine if you're a first time user. Do your research. I am not responsible for any dumb mistakes anyone makes because of lack of research. 

Multi-vitamin

Generally these are not worth the money. SOME multi-vitamin companies may actually have some worthy pills, but I haven't seen any yet (apart from USANA). If you are eating a good range of different foods, you're probably getting all the vitamins and minerals you need (as long as you don't suffer from some disease that makes you deficient in something).

Fish oil

Another great supplement to take while on a diet of any sort. Omega-3 oils help with all kinds of things, especially losing fat. There is definitely undiscovered potential with fish oils!

Raspberry (or any) ketones

Definitely not worth it. This works off the premise that if you are in ketosis (your body is producing ketones because you are on a low carb diet), you'll lose more weight. Check out Lyle's analysis of whether or not ketosis allows one to lose more weight versus a low fat diet here.


Currently I am taking the following;
-protein powder
-flax seed oil (omega-3 source)
-caffeine
-ephedrine

The reasons I'm taking these 4 supplements;

1. I've done my research on the side-effects of any of these supplements both individually and in combination with each other
2. My goal is to lose weight
3. I'm an experienced dieter

Obviously one can spend thousand$ of dollar$ on supplements if one doesn't do their research. There are only a few supplements that have shown their worth through several studies; creatine, protein powder, caffeine/ephedrine. I'd be hard pressed to find research to back up taking anything more than that.




DO NOT take any of the supplements mentioned above before doing adequate research on them and deciding on your own if they will assist you in your goals. I do not advocate the use of any of the supplements mentioned here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

DEXA Body Fat Scan: Why the "Bod Pod" is not at all adequate



Progress!!

I got my second DEXA body fat scan today and I'm proud to say some very visible progress has been happening. BTW, if you don't know what the procedure for DEXA body fat scanning is, check out my earlier blog post here. 


The numbers, in case you can't see the photo above, say that when I got my first scan (August 28, 2016), I was about 146lbs., 23% body fat and a little chubby (photo on the left).

 The second scan I got (today, November 7, 2016) said that I was 135lbs., 18% body fat and noticeably thinner (photo on right).

This gives me a net body fat percentage loss of ~5%! In a manner of two months, that's some crazy progress!

And to think the Bod Pod told me I was at 5% when I was 150lbs.!!! Ladies and gents, don't get your body fat measured with the Bod Pods.... spend the extra money and do it right.


How did this happen so quickly?!?


The sound of progress

 I'm a big proponent of;
1. No excuses
2. Own your $hit
3. Work hard

This means I take responsibility for when I fail or take long to succeed in a goal, admit when I make a mistake and put a lot of work into achieving my goals.

Could I have lost more body fat percentage in a shorter time? Probably. That's something I have to deal with. But I am very proud of the progress I've had thus far.


New Game Plan

The game plan must always be changing because we change! I have to take a 2 week maintenance break before going back into a caloric deficit. This has to do with a variety of hormones and chemicals in my body that need time to reach relatively normal levels before I diet again.
The reason anyone would be encouraged to do this is because your body adapts to the diet as if you were slowly starving. This means your cortisol increases (this is your stress hormone, bad for losing weight), testosterone drops and a slew of other bad things happen that make being in such a severe deficit as I was almost counter-productive.

So for the first week I'll be eating my maintenance minus about 10%. Lyle McDonald suggests you subtract 10% from your maintenance to not gain weight from your body's metabolism slow down caused from the diet. My maintenance is about 1,600 calories. 10% of 1,600 is 160. Which brings me to 1,440 which I rounded to 1,400.

I'll be eating 140g of protein for the first few days and slowly decrease it down to about 120g. This brings me to eat about 88g of carbs and 54g of fat for the first few days. 

After the first week is over I'll go up to 1,550 calories, 120g protein, the rest fat and carbs. 


When the two weeks of maintenance are done, I'll head back to a severe deficit diet but not as severe as the one I just ended.

Stay tuned!!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

General diet thoughts and progress

It is now October 22, 2016!!!!!

I've been dieting for at least 4 months now. I can see why people tend to quit... -.-


I'm now at 140lbs., which means I've lost a total of 15lbs. from the first day I started this (155lbs.) The journey has not been easy.

Main Struggles

1. Food cravings. I'm getting food cravings like you wouldn't believe. This makes sense, granted I'm on a ~700 caloric deficit. 

-Obviously this kind of deficit should not be attempted by someone who is inexperienced with dieting or without consulting a doctor first-

...but seriously. I think about food all the time. Mainly about ice cream and carbs. I get some fat everyday from the chicken and fish I eat (and from the flax oil supplement that I take). But I'm getting absolutely no carbohydrates and it's making me want them!!!

How I deal with it:
Drinking A LOT of water, spacing out my protein meals throughout the day, taking a turmeric supplement, and once in a while I take a bit of apple cider vinegar (its been known to help with food cravings).


2. Energy in the gym. This one is a bit easier for me to deal with than the food cravings. Often times I find myself not really having a lot of energy to finish my workouts 100%. Sometimes this causes me to either leave a bit earlier than I should or having to muster up some serious motivation.

How I deal with it:
I take a pre-workout supplement (Qualia) and in the middle of the day, somewhere pass 12 or 1PM I take a 5-Hour energy shot. Sometimes both of these are unable to give me energy and I kind of just slump on the couch at around 7PM until I go to bed (10PM).


3. Socializing. This one is the easiest of them all but still a struggle. When I go out with family or friends I have to tell them that I either have to go somewhere that offers grilled/baked chicken or really lean red meat/salmon. Sometimes this poses as a problem and I find it easier to just not go out often.


All in all, I feel motivated still to get that six-pack! I was at about 23% body fat when I first got tested and I'm highly anxious to see what the next DEXA scan will show!!! I get my 2nd DEXA scan the 1st week of November. Hopefully by then I'll have the six-pack or at least be ridiculously close. Thanksgiving is right around the corner!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Diet & next goal

Today's post is just going to be about updating my diet/fitness progress and announcing my next goal: poker.





Now, more specifically, my next goal is going to be to be able to make money from poker. I will be playing Texas Hold 'Em because I believe I have the best chance of making money from this game. I'll be going to a local casino once I've practiced enough to test my skill and try to make money.

Even more specifics on my goal: 
-make $1,000 profit in one night
-make $10,000 profit in one month

Yes, this will be hard. But who said I wanted it to be easy?!?

But you aren't finished with the fitness goal!

My fitness goal is in large part on automatic. I've been able to maintain my caloric deficit and hit the gym with a lot of time to spare in my day, so I thought I'd up the ante (pun intended) and add another goal.

My plan so far;

1. Learn statistics and probability
2. Learn basic bluffing, betting and folding technique
3. Enter local poker tournaments where the buy-in is either $0 or low.
4. Document my progress
5. Once I've won a large amount of the games I play (maybe 90%), go up to the casino and start out small (maybe $200 the first night) and work my way up.


Fitness progress

Everything is going as planned; caloric deficit as low as I can handle, 180g+ of protein a day, hitting the gym hard, and trying to not succumb to the hunger. I'm currently at 144lbs. and will be shooting for 135lbs. by the time I get my next DEXA scan which is November 10th. Progress pictures come in November!

Hope everyone is enjoying fall!!!