Day 84 of 90: How to Lose a Stone (or 14 lbs) in a Week – The Cutting Phase

84

A number of years ago I served in the armed forces, the Royal Navy to be exact and a friend of mines lost a tremendous amount of weight in a short period of time.  Everybody was asking him how he did it and it turns out that a PTI (physical training instructor) had given him a special two week diet.  I tried it but didn’t complete it but my mother did it and lost over a stone on it (in fact, it was almost a stone and a half).  Anyway its turns out now, according to my research, that they have refined the diet so that you are guaranteed to lose a stone in a week.  Having said all that I am not keen on losing a stone and definitely do not want to lose any strength or muscle so I have been bulking recently as my aim is to maintain my gains (strength and muscle and shred body fat).  So here’s the diet or cutting phase that I will begin tomorrow:

DAY BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
1 1 dry toast with grilled tomatoes fresh fruit 2 boiled eggs with salad and grapefruit
2 grapefruit and 1 boiled egg grilled chicken with tomatoes with 1 dry toast steak and salad
3 grapefruit and 1 boiled egg fresh fruit 2 lamb chops with salad and grapefruit
4 1 dry toast fresh fruit 2 boiled eggs with salad and grapefruit
5 1 dry toast fresh fruit fresh fish with salad
6 1 glass of grapefruit juice fresh fruit grilled chicken with carrots and grapefruit
7 scrambled eggs with grilled tomatoes 2 poached eggs and spinach steak and salad

RULES

1. Bread should be brown.

2. All meat must be lean; cut off the fat and grill.

3. The scrambled eggs on day 7 should contain ONLY eggs and should be beaten and cooked in the microwave.

4. It is a chemical diet (no supplements or shakes) so the food must be eaten in the order and the amounts given, if there is no amount then this is an unlimited portion (though this isn’t an eating competition so no 3 man’s rations).

5. No snacks in-between and no condiments except a small amount of lemon juice.

6. No drinks except black tea/coffee and water.

7. The food must be eaten as 3 meals – there is no snacking between meals or having half now and half later.

8. Look for a grapefruit juice without added sugar on day 6 or go for freshly squeezed.

9. After doing this diet I would not repeat the process for at least 4 weeks.

MY TIPS

Because you are guaranteed to lose a stone without training (apparently) and I will be training here is some of my tips to maintain muscle through this.

1. Where it says chicken I would go for chicken breast as it as a higher protein content.

2. I would cut down on the cardio, unless you have loads of weight to lose, and keep lifting or start (or your body will shed muscle and  you will become saggy and the weight loss will be hard to maintain).  You may not be able to lift as heavy on the last couple of days and might want a rest day or two (I’m going to keep training).  If you really don’t like weight lifting then weights machines or bodyweight exercises should seriously be considered.

3. I would increase my sleep to aid muscle repair (7 hours plus).

4. After it is finished I would immediately get the protein levels back up.  The body will be at it’s most absorbent so do not binge out when you finish.

5. Keep the food varied.  So in the salad include peppers, avocado, radishes, celery, fresh coriander etc and in the fruit include mango, pineapple, kiwi, guava, papaya, raspberries, coconut (is a coconut a fruit or nut…oh well I had it anyway) etc.

6. It is likely that this diet will slow down your metabolic rate and therefore it is important that you consume metabolism boosting fruit and veg AND that once the diet is finished you eat healthily and get loads of green tea or oolong…if not you may lose your gains because your metabolic rate would have slowed down.  [point 5 & 6 were written after the diet]

7. If you do this make sure you tell me how you get on.  I am going to be using myself as a guinea pig and will record my weight and body fat % before and after.  If it is muscle weight and water I lose I will be hacked off but the protein in the diet looks ok and. worse-case-scenario, I could always bulk when its done. [my results are now below]

 

TODAY’S FOOD LOG (BULKING PHASE)

Snack: banana

Pre-Workout: bowl of muesli

Post-workout: all-in-one shake

Breakfast: almond and honey porridge with a banana

Snack 1: a tablespoon of peanut butter

Snack 2: 2 tangerines

Lunch: steak, rice and chorizo ham with salad

Mid-Day Shake: whey

Snack 1: plum

Snack 2: steak and salad sandwich

Snack 3: a tablespoon of peanut butter

Dinner: pork casserole and rice

Snack: homemade bread and honey

Evening shake: whey

PS I only lasted 5.5 days and lost about 5 or 6 lbs but lost a lot of body fat (which was my aim anyway). RESULTS LINK

Advertisements

Day 58 of 90: Beginning with Breakfast – The Most Important Meal of the Day

image

Although, it is popular among some to skip breakfast, it is a meal that should not be missed as it is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast not only helps kick-start the metabolism, reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, it also provides the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for the mind and body to function throughout the day. So, here are some answer to some FAQ’s about breakfast:

1. When should I have breakfast? Ideally, breakfast should be eaten within an hour or two of getting up, there is, however, an exception. I will get up at 5 am and will have a black coffee in the morning (to suppress hunger and give me an energy boost), an all-in-one protein shake after training (7 am – 8.15 am) and breakfast at 9 am (Mon-Fri). This is because training on an empty stomach enables the body to burn fat. If you train with food in your system your body will first burn that before going into the fat reserves.

2. What should I eat? Well, I would recommend that you should try to have all of the macro nutrients (protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates – carbs are essential if breakfast is eaten straight after training as it is needed to build muscle).  So what does that look like:

Lean Protein: eggs, protein shakes, kippers (if you can have them for breakfast – I can’t) and lean meat can be added to omelettes or scrambled eggs.
Healthy fat: one hundred percent natural peanut butter (you can get it from health stores or bodybuilding websites), milk, low fat Greek yogurt (unsweetened), mixed nuts, seeds and fish (again, if you can stomach it).
Slow burn carbs: wholewheat porridge oats (not instant), shredded wheat and bran flakes are good.

3. What Should I Avoid? Avoid breads (particularly croissants, bagels and white bread), cooked breakfasts (a healthy alternative is lean turkey bacon, mushrooms, tomato, a little beans, homemade burger and poached/boiled egg), sugary cereals (they’ll give you an initial sugar rush and later in the day, a come down), breakfast bars, protein bars and muesli (these are often filled with junk).

4. What do you have? Even though I like to keep my diet varied I’m quite habitual when it comes to breakfast (and lunch). After training I have a all- in-one protein shake and then I have porridge – it is a nutritional super-food (usually with fruit, some kind of nut and occasionally mixed seeds and goji berries).

image

(Today’s – porridge, raspberry and mixed nuts)

image

(Tommorow – porridge, organic Greek strawberry yogurt, with raspberries and mixed nuts. If you do it the day before and put in the fridge it softens the oats – delicious!)

5. How much should I eat? It is often said that you should have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. This is because you have all day to digest what you had at breakfast and if you do manual work or workout you body should burn everything that you’ve taken in. Personally, though, I wouldn’t go mad at breakfast because it will make you feel lethargic and put a lot of strain on the digestive system. A good breakfast is in but a buffet breakfast is definitely out.

Ok peeps, hope that helps, here’s today’s food log.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG (no food from 7pm till after workout)
Post-workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: as above with a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 1: half a mango
Snack 2: an apple
Snack 3: a pear
Lunch: omelette (mushroom, chilli, onion, garlic, coriander, spinach and sun-dried tomato) with salad

image

Snack 1: beef cubes
Snack 2: pineapple, mango and raspberry smoothy

image

Evening meal: tofu and tuna (two very lean sources of protein) salad and homemade hummus

image

Snack: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Protein shake: whey

Day 56 of 90: A Fatal Fat Loss Mistake

image

I made a fatal nutritional mistake yesterday. Due to time constraints I neglected my usual post-dinner snacks. While this would not affect most people, the fact that I train daily and don’t usually eating anything from 7pm-9am (I do have a all-in-one shake after training around 8:15am), I was exhausted and started to have dizzy spells. Unfortunately, this meant that I broke my intermittent fast with junk food and struggled to get to sleep (see food log below) – gladly this didn’t seem to effect my training.

Now I’m not advocating the six meal a day approach (useless, unless your seriously bulking, that is), to start with I could never track my food; but healthy and well timed snacks, particularly if you have a cut off time for eating (at least an hour before bed I’d recommend), can not only stave off hunger but aid to fat loss and lean muscle building and rid you of stuff like dizziness and tiredness. So next time, don’t do what I did, just take some snacks with you…Could save you coming home and raiding the fridge.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Yesterday’s snacks: a vegetable pakora and a sausage (about 9pm – sausages, like all processed food sausages are junk, but it was already cooked – well for the dog, anyway. Pakora is fried in oil so again not great). Porridge with pumkin seeds, raspberries and a handful of apricots (I couldn’t sleep, so this was at midnight. Although, I normally limit my carbs this was healthy and helped get rid of the dizziness – obviously there was a lack of natural sugar and/or carbs in the system).
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge with mixed nuts (double portion)
Snack 1: oven cooked beef cubes
Snack 2: 2 figs
Lunch 1: half a chicken breast with broccoli, spinach and cottage cheese
Lunch 2: half a chicken breast with salad and cottage cheese (I wasn’t that hungry so I split lunch up).
Snack 1: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: a peach
Dinner: seafood in an Italian sauce
Snack: grapefruit
Protein shake: whey
Snack: peach and a tablespoon of peanut butter

Day 46 of 90: Chest Workout

image

Although, I planned on posting the recipe for the turkey bits today I thought, since I had a conversation about this the other day, I would put up my chest workout.  While I am not saying this is the only way or even the best way to train chest hopefully it gives a little understanding of what a gym session, for me anyway, looks like. And might give someone somewhere some tips.

 

1

4 sets – 10 reps – 20 kg [plus bar weight an extra 20kg] (I normally start on 15kg to warm up but the bar was already loaded.  I managed 8/8/6/6 reps on this)

2

4 sets – 10 reps – 18/20/22/24 kg

3

4 sets – 10 reps – 11.5 kg (I prefer doing this than doing the dumbbell flys)

4

4 sets – 10 reps – 10/12.5/12.5/12.5 kg

5

4 sets – 25 reps

6

3 sets – to failure – 20 kg [inc bar weight]

 

This took about 50/55 mins and I did weighted uppercuts (4/6 kg dumbbells) instead of a rest period (just to keep the heart rate up and get me some pre-boxing training in) and I finished with 25 mins on the cross-trainer.

 

[all the gfx are from jefit which is a fantastic website/app for training] link

TODAY’S FOOD LOG (no food from 7pm till after workout)
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge with banana
Snack 1: turkey bits and a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: fruit salad with almonds and Greek yogurt
Dinner: tuna and egg salad with spicy prawns
Snack 1: spicy prawns
Snack 2: a white grapefruit
Dinner: soy shepherd’s pie (minus the mash potato) with broccoli and spinach
Snack 1: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: some pineapple
Evening shake: whey shake

Note to self: Although, I plan on tracking my progress at 30 day intervals (so the next one is on day 60), the fat burning seems to have slowed down. I might be wrong but, if that is the case I will have to see if I need to tweak my food routine or my training or both. I need to aim at eliminating the peanut butter after lunch time, anyway, because it is calorie dense and might be actually working against my goal which is lean muscle.

Day 42 of 90: Nature’s Amphetamines

image

Youngsters, or people pretending to be young, guzzling on energy drinks seems to be quite a familiar sight these days. The truth is that not only do these drinks give you energy but the sugar in them rots your teeth and the excessive caffeine, among its many other side-effects, lowers the muscle building hormone testosterone. So your question might be other than a good diet, regular exercise, rest and (in some cases) a change of careers what can be done for a short-term energy boost.

1. Mint: this can come in various blends of tea and even shower gels which can give you the boost you need. I think the natural ingredients shower gel range does there’s for £1 in most supermarkets.

2. Coffee: while too much coffee is bad, and can actually lead to caffeine poisoning, a little can boost your metabolism (so can help with fat loss), suppress hunger and can give you the boost you need. I drink a cup of black coffee every morning before the gym, however, I would limit my use to 1 or 2 cups as your body quickly builds up an immunity to it and too much caffeine will have a detrimental effect. negative effects of caffeine

3. Honey: again, not only can honey boost your metabolic rate but it can be used as a natural pick me up. The carb content is high so I only put it in coffee on my carb-loading day or take a teaspoon of it (and a teaspoon of peanut butter for protein) before going on long runs. It also works well in porridge oats. health benefits of honey

4. Multi-vitamins and minerals: what’s to say here except they may plug holes in your nutrition. These have been a regular part of my routine, on and off, since childhood.

5. The power-nap: this is anything from the 20-40 minute lie down to a couple of hours. This normally varies from person to person but anything more than 30 mins or naps in the evening will mean I won’t sleep at night. It’s up to you but these can do you the world of good.

FOOD LOG (no food from 7pm till after workout)
Post-Workout: all in one shake
Breakfast: porridge followed by a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 1: a tangerine and a banana
Snack 2: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Lunch: salmon, homemade turkey burger, cottage cheese and salad followed by a fruit salad
Snack: chicken breast and cottage cheese
Dinner: homemade beef and veg chilli with oriental salad followed by an apple
Snack: handful of walnuts
Evening shake: whey and milk followed by a teaspoon of honey.

Note to self: yesterday’s tiredness is still there but is beginning to abate. Possibly a consequence of 2 late nights back to back and the low carbs because the honey perked me up.

Day 41 of 90 Meat Feast: 5 Super-Foods

image

For a while now I have wanted to do some research on meat sources and rank them by their nutritional value and now that I have done it I thought I would share my findings.  The meats I have chosen have been ranked in order of their high protein levels, low fat (though some good and healthy fat like that in salmon [100g > 21.6g protein > 0 carbs > 14g fat > 215 kcal] and beef [100g > 20.9g protein > 0g carbs > 7.9g fat > 155 kcal] are good for you in moderation), low/no carbs, and low calories (again, I wouldn’t bother too much about counting calories but it might be the distinguishing factor of choosing one food over another).  So, here goes:

 

1. Lobster: Now, I was surprised here and I’ve got to be honest I’m not really a fan of the stuff but I will have to see if there are some good recipes out there so I can try this again.

100g > 26.41g protein > 3.12g carbs > 1.94g fat > 143 kcal

 

2. Tuna: I love this stuff but when I found about the difference between the steaks and the tins I thought I’d leave the tins for a back up (having said that quality brands like John West, who does Tuna in spring water instead of brine too, is of a similar nutritional value as the Tuna steaks).

[Tuna Steaks] 100g > 25.6g protein > 0g carbs > 0.5g fat > 110 kcal

[Tuna Tinned] 100g > 26.3 g protein > 0g carbs > 10.7g fat > 202 kcal

 

3. Monkfish: Try this fried in a griddle pan with lemon, chilli and vegetables…delicious! 

100g > 24g protein > 0g carbs > 1.7g fat > 76 Kcal

 

4. Chicken Breast: Whilst it can be a bit dry this is cheap, you can get 5kg (used once a day that’s about 3/4 weeks worth) for about £20 from Macro, its easily available and pretty darn healthy.

100g > 23.5g protein > 0g carbs > 1.7g fat > 109 kcal

 

5. Turkey Breast: This is almost the same as the above, taste and cost-wise, but it gives a little bit of variety. Some people replace their chicken with turkey when cutting but unless you are competing the difference in fat content and kcals will only make a slight difference – plus the chicken has a higher protein content, which is needed for muscle, so you’ve got to balance it out. 

100g > 22.3g protein > 0g carbs > 1.2g fat > 100 kcal

 

I hope this helps you guys, keep your meat skinless and lean and if you can afford it (I can’t) go organic, as it does make a nutritional difference but in all honesty, it tastes the same (que snotty comment by some hippy pig farmer).  As for buying it, Macro is the best place to go [link], supermarkets and meat markets (particularly at the end of the day when their getting rid of fresh meat cheaply) and MuscleFood.com does great deals from time to time.  Get them added on FB https://www.facebook.com/MuscleFoodUK.

Finally, cook a couple of days worth at a time (for time’s sake) and remember that you can re-freeze meat IF it’s been cooked and if you like mince meat make it yourself or pay a little extra from a reputable source as most place fill their mince with the worst cuts of meat. 

FOOD LOG (no food from 7pm to after-workout)
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack: apple
Lunch: bento box (mines is the one without sushi rice and I added cottage cheese too: see link)

image

Snack 1: kiwi and tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: 2 tangerines and a piece of chicken breast
Dinner: chicken stir fry with a boiled egg followed by Greek yogurt and strawberries
Snack: half a cup of raspberries
Evening shake: whey with milk

Day 26 of 90 – Picking Protein

image

Today I had another 5kg of all-in-one Protein delivered so I thought I’d write a short blog on when to use it and how to pick the right one. Protein is a macro-nutrient which helps build muscle, helps suppress hunger and can aid with bulking up or losing weight (depending on what you use and how you use it). But what protein should you use and when should you use it. Well here’s a low down on what’s available:

1. All-in-one: This comes in loads of different varieties depending on what your looking at. I’m aiming for lean muscle so I go for low sugar, low fat, low calories and low carbs. This particular one also includes a bunch of supplements and minerals (for testosterone production – you can get others with fat loss supplements in it or carbs for weight gain), and different types of proteins which release at different rates – I use this straight after a training session (I put it in a plastic tub). a link to the one I use

2. Whey protein: Whey is included in all-in-ones but even by itself it is seen as the BMW of the protein world (but it’s inexpensive – 5kg for £30ish). You can mix it with a ground oats to get carbs in for mass, have it by itself post-workout, or as a top up. It is a quick release protein but can be added with milk to slow down it’s release. I use this in the evening just before I start intermittent fasting (no food from 6pm – 5am), but you can have it before bed. *that’s if you can sleep on it that is* a link to the one I use

3. Casein: Is a slow burn protein, which I personally have never used but it is suppose to be good as a late night protein because your muscle are formed when sleeping and this releases the protein needed for growth. Unfortunately, I’ve chosen to go down the intermittent fasting route so this option isn’t going to work for me.

*there are other sources but the above are considered among the best, nonetheless, they are no substitute for training hard and a high protein diet and should never be brought from a supermarket – the prices there are criminal*

FOOD LOG

breakfast: porridge with mixed seeds and goji berries with a packet of beef biltong (it’s like jerky)

post-workout: all-in-one shake

snack: a teaspoon of peanut butter and 2 plums

lunch: pan fried beef with a poached egg and salad with chilli

snack: red apple and mixed seeds

dinner: a salmon, tuna and egg cup with salad and chilli sauce followed by a small bowl of blackberries

snack: 2 teaspoons of peanut butter

evening shake: whey with milk

* no food after 6pm