A few little experiments…

Over the course of last week I’ve been keeping busy with a few little experiments to do with Fasting.  I read a lot about the health benefits of training in a fasted state but as usual I like to try those out for myself so that I can personally separate fact from fiction.  I know that every individual is different which is why I test these claim on myself first.
So the first experiment was to see the benefits of cycling 25km in a fasted state.  In the run up to the first experiment I made sure that my nutritional intake was on point and that I had recovery in check too.  So before I headed out, I drank a coffee about 20 mins before setting off.  The caffeine would help gear me up and provide the focus I needed to help negotiate the busy commuter traffic.  I arrived at work with a buzz and I felt pretty lean if I’m honest.

The next task the very next day was to run to and from work covering 15km in total.  Initially I thought this was a big ask because I had never attempted this before and the weather was hot.  Nonetheless I wore my maxsweat top so I could extract every ounce of sweat possible and hit the road.  Halfway to work and I started to feel uncomfortable because of the heat but lucky for me we have showers at work so it was no big deal.  Again having arrived safely at work I felt very lean and decided that eating a banana post exercise would at least provide me with a little nutrition to keep me going – it worked!

Today was another little test, however this was purely a test of endurance aimed at fasting for a whole 24 hours.  I wanted to understand how I would feel going a full day without food.  This was prompted by the thought that if in future I decided to cycle or run to work, would I be able to carry little more than a change of clothes and not get hung up on making sure I had every nutritional base covered.  In conclusion it was a great little experiment.  I still felt good well into the 20 hour fast albeit a little dehydrated but this was probably because I had consumed 3 cups of green tea and 2 cups of coffee and only 2 glasses of water.  I’ll know to take on board a little more water next time.

Again, I feel very lean and happy with the way things are going.

So the next test will either be a cycle or run to work with just a set of clothes to carry to change into when I get there…

One month on…

I looked back at my last post and realised that it was a month ago.  In the last month I’ve been so busy tweaking and tuning my diet and really looking into the science of it to get a real understanding of how it all works.  There are so many variables at work its not all about diet and I was so focussed on eating as optimal as possible, I neglected the other aspects of life like recovery and stress both in work and in the form of overtraining.

Lets face it, I make every effort to be in bed by 10.30pm but I rarely get to bed before 11pm, there’s usually something that keep me up.  I have demands placed on me at work that makes it difficult to relax properly, there’s always something on my mind and I’m either on the internet researching a problem or fixing it.  I train to destress, but I overdo it which causes cortisol stress.  I need to start taking things easier and I’ve learned I get better results if I have a more relaxed approach to my lifestyle.

I’ve also been mixing things up a bit and trying different things to see what works and what doesn’t.  Its fair to say I’ve gone back to basics and for the next 2 weeks I’m back to calculating macros.  In only 2 days, I’ve realised potential flaws in my dietary requirements which will get addressed over time for for the time being I’m happy I’m making progress…

How to lose 10lbs quickly…

So I’ve been away for a few days over the jubilee celebrations and before I left I weighed myself.  Now at this point, I’d like to point out that my weight and my lean mass was right where I wanted it to be…

Weight: 74.2 kgs

Lean Mass: 59.6 kgs

Fat Mass: 14.6 kgs

This data is collected from my Withings Scales which I know is about 1.7kg heavier than the InBody 230 reading that was taken in January, so where my Fat Mass was reporting 14.6kgs, I was actually around 12.9kgs and lean!

So in the 5 day break, I had put on 10lbs deliberately.  This is so that I can document how to lose weight quickly and safely using some tried and tested nutritional principles.

Yesterdays reading were this…

Weight: 78.8 kgs (+4.6 kgs)

Lean Mass: 62.1 kgs (+2.5 kgs)

Fat Mass: (+2.1 kgs)

So what I tried to do was eat the way I used to do, nothing special, just a lot of junk food that I used to take for granted – Crisps, Chocolate, Biscuits, Sweets, Bread, Fast Food etc.  So the purpose is to see how quickly I can lose the weight, by eating the way I now eat, very selective, yet nutritious on every level.

I want to share my experience to a wider audience to see how it can be applied positively.  What I can say is this, during the 5 day binge, the first day I hardly noticed a thing, but my body started to feel the effects, bloated feelings, lack of energy & generally feeling tired all the time.  Mental focus disappeared and a fog descended.  I felt everything was becoming an effort.  Just getting up and moving about became a chore.

So day 2 of my campaign, and I feel an abundance of energy, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before I get back to the weight I was before.  My estimate is 10 days (twice the timeframe – not scientific in anyway!)

Will keep you posted…


BodyPower 2012…

So yesterday was epic in every sense of the word.  We turned up at just after 10am and went straight in.  From the moment we stepped foot inside we were literally given free stuff from each stand we visited.  I only had a handful of exhibitors that I wanted to visit, but I found myself being drawn in to others too.

I had taken food along just so in case but there was little need.  We found ourselves drinking and eating samples all the way around and the majority of the protein / casein samples went down a treat.  There were the odd ones that I had to get rid of because they tasted awful, but generally speaking there were a lot that I would pay good money for!

I went in search of the Optimum Nutrition stand because I have literally ran out of whey protein.  I wanted to try their platinum hydro whey as its had a good write up.  As it turned out, I was given a discount code instead of buying there and then and having to drag a tub around with me.

Had a great chat with Joe Warner & Jon Lipsey from Mens Fitness.  Joe like myself has gone through a body transformation, so I could relate to what he went through.  The only difference was he did it in 12 weeks instead of my 8 months, but he had the very best in the business to help him get there.  Oddly we both reached 11% body fat at the same time, but he went on to achieve a final bf% of 5.5!

Also had a chat with Ben Coomber who was there assisting Anna with her Protein Pow recipes in the nutrition kitchen.  Matt Lovell was there too, so had a quick chat with him before we moved on.

There was so much to look at, that in parts you were a little overwhelmed by it all.  Rob and me, just kept wandering in an out of exhibitors looking at what they were there promoting.  WheyHey ice-cream caught both our attentions, so we tried a few samples.  Its being launched in Holland & Barratt this week and I’m lucky I have one close by, so I’m going to grab a tub one lunchtime!

Had a great chat with Phil Learney from UP Fitness about some of the stuff he’s got in the pipeline.  I’m still looking for that elusive internship that many nutritionists are looking to do, but have yet to come to fruition.  One day soon hopefully 🙂

The day itsself was amazing and came home loaded with information and samples.  I bought a max sweat top while I was there, I’ve had it on a couple of times already but I’m still trying to workout when I’ll use it.  Probably when I go MTBing but who knows!

Got home tired from all the walking about, but I got home already looking forward to next years…

Holiday Fat Loss Week 1…

Target W:74.8, L:60.1, F:14.7
Starting W:80.7, L:62.9, F:17.8

Day 1

Breakfast: Coffee and nuts

Dinner: Mackerel and Avacado Green salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Tea: Ribeye steak with Asparagus

Treat: None

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: 2 Alpha, 2 VitD, 2 VitC with Zinc, 2 CLA, 3 Omega3, 1 L-Carnitine

No problem with the diet today, totally focused.  Feel full of energy.  No training as I pulled my shoulder muscle lifting the cases onto the carousel at YYC.

Stats: W:78.7, L:60.8, F:17.9

Day 2

Breakfast: Coffee

Dinner: Tuna and Avacado Green salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Tea: Home made burgers with 2 Poached Eggs and Asparagus and Green Beans

Treat: Oreo biscuit (Found a taste for them in YYC!)

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: None (forgot!)

Remain focused, body not complaining of the calorie deficit as yet.  Did some upper body chins and CrossCore180 while I set it up.

Stats: W:77.3, L:59.9, F:17.4

Day 3

Breakfast: Green Tea

Dinner: Toby Carvery followed by ice cream (Its Sunday, so I’ve activated the cheat meal!)

Tea: Cheese and Tomato Omelette made with 3 eggs

Treat: None

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: 2 Alpha, 2 VitD, 1 VitC with Zinc

Eased up a bit today although I’m been fairly focused on my food intake.  Felt REALLY tired around 5pm which I think is the remnants of Jetlag.  Body seems to have gotten sleepy around this time for the last few days.  A few shoulder presses and bicep curls.  Hitting the gym hard tomorrow though.  1st session back after the holiday.

Stats: W:77.5, L:60.7, F:16.8

Day 4

Breakfast: Green Tea

Dinner: Tuna and Avacado Green salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Tea: Ribeye Steak with Cauliflower and Parsnip Mash with Green Veg

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: 2 Alpha, 2 VitD, 1 VitC with Zinc, 2 CLA, 4 Omega3, 6 BCAA+

Woke up feeling energized for the first time in a number of days.  Got my groove on with some Green Tea.  Had a protein shake around 3.30pm.  Really enjoyed today, felt very relaxed. 45 min session down the gym for starters.  Big dinner around 8.30pm

Stats: W:76.5, L:59.2, F:17.3

Day 5

Breakfast: Green Tea

Dinner: Tuna and Avacado Green salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Tea: King Prawn with Sweet Potato, Brocolli & Green Beans

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: 2 Alpha, 2 VitD, 1 VitC with Zinc, 4 Omega3, 6 BCAA+

Woke up late.  Busy at work so didn’t notice if I was hungry or not!  Had a protein shake around 4pm.  Need to consume more water and remember supps and creatine during workout days.  Trained for an hour at the gym and did 20 mins on Crosscore180 and 4 sets of chins with varying grip.

Stats: W:76.4, L:59.5, F:16.9

Day 6

Breakfast: Green Tea

Dinner: Tuna and Avacado Green salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Tea: Salmon with Asparagus, Green Beans & Brocolli, Total 0% with Nuts

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: 2 Alpha, 2 VitD, 1 VitC with Zinc, 4 Omega3, 6 BCAA+

Seem to be able to cope with Coffee and Green Tea until lunch.  Afternoon seems OK again today.  Protein shake around 4pm.  Rest day so adjusted calories accordingly.

Stats: W:75.9, L:59.5, F:16.4

Day 7

Breakfast: Green Tea

Dinner: Tuna and Avacado Green salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Tea: Turkey with Egg & Mushroom loaded Peppers

Water: 1 Litre

Supps: 2 Alpha, 2 VitD, 1 VitC with Zinc, 4 Omega3, 6 BCAA+

Straight down the gym first thing – weights and HIIT cardio.  Felt OK again today. I could have lunch until later.  Had a protein shake at 4pm, but again I didn’t feel like I needed it, but without the calorie deficit would have been too much.  Decided to try something else for tea and really enjoyed it.  On-call tonight, so I’ve been up later than usual despite my best efforts to get more sleep.

Stats: W:75.6, L:59.5, F:16.1

There’s still some work to do, but I’m well on my way to pre holiday weight, bring on the challenge…

Holiday mode on, diet mode off…

Its fair to say that during my holiday I put on a few pounds (13 in all!).  What started out as good intentions quickly developed into a ‘I’m going to enjoy myself, so what the hell’ mindset.

There were numerous occasions where I sought out my favourite ice cream by far (DQ’s Peanut Buster Bar) and an array of fast food that was freely available.  For the first few days, I made geniune efforts to side step temptation and eat as clean as possible, but I was on holiday and I had worked hard up until that point.

During my 2 weeks in Canada, I was keen to understand how food played its part in the grand scheme of things, so I started to read labels.  Initially at first it was confusing because here in the UK, you get a breakdown of both portion size and per 100g, so fundamentally you have a better chance of comparing like for like.  No so in Canada, you get portion size only, so if you were trying to compare 2 items side by side you had some maths to do!

I did notice a a lot of salt is added to processed food upward of 30-40% RDA in a lot of snacks.  Alberta beef is generally regarded as being the best in the land so I sought out some beef jerky snacks to keep me going.  I found not only was salt added to the process but a a lot of sugar was added to.  This was just one example.

Being out an about a lot, food choices were limited to sandwiches or burgers and not a lot in between.  I did opt for a salad in Wendys once, but I had to refrain for all the ranch dressings that came with it.  A lot of places also have infinite refills, so an 18oz cup of Root Beer quickly became 54oz!

I enjoyed my stay in Canada immensly, I always do, the scenery is breathtaking and I miss my family loads when I return.  I decided to get over the jetlag and then knuckle down on getting back to pre holiday weight.  Its fair to say, I’ve been very aggressive with the weight loss because I wanted to see just how quickly I could do it but still remain within the parameters of a healthy diet.  The last time I was in Canada it took me months to lose 10lbs, but I’ve done 13lbs in just over a week.

I will publish my diary tomorrow to show you just how I managed it…

Fresh start…

So i’ve been in Canada for the last two weeks and I loved every minute of it.  Canada is such a beautiful country, but they also suffer with obesity much like they do in the UK and its easy to see why.

While there is a wide variety of foods available, I have found that there is a social element to supper (or Tea as we call it in the in UK!).  I won’t labour the point but portion sizes are huge both in restaurants and in the home setting.

When I first arrived, I had an opportunity to have a wander around Costco, we have them here in the UK too, but the stores in Canada are huge and thy cater for every need.  My uncle used to joke that you could have lunch just from all the freebies that are dished out instore and he wasn’t wrong.

I found that my training started out with good intentions, but the more places we visited, the more we ate out in restaurants and that’s where the problems started.  Moderation is the key, but I have yet to find a place that provides a moderate portion.  I found myself looking for green salad options, but in many cases, salads came with extremely high fat ranch dressings or low fat options that were high in sugar.

Food labelling was also a nightmare as every food label is based on a portion size and not all portion sizes are equal, so I found myself looking intently and the labels and having to convert the figures to something more meaningful.  In the UK, you get portion sizes but you also get the numbers based on 100g too, so at least you can compare like for like.

Don’t get me wrong, the food is amazing and Alberta Beef is still some of the best beef on the market, but despite my best efforts I now have amassed some holiday weight, so I’m going to document  a daily diary until I return to my holiday pre weight.

Time for a fresh start…