Day 91: Results Day

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So it’s finally results day and in spite of yesterday’s kebab and chips and breaking my 7 day cut after 5.5 days here are my results:

Day 1
Weight: 11.96st
Body Fat : 24.6%

Day 91
Weight: 10.8st
Body Fat: 14%

I even double checked it at home – a great result.

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Here are my some phots of what that looks like, for the record, I trained at 6am and pictures were taken around 6pm after dinner, so I’m not as cut as I could be… Just saying.

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So after 90 days I was able to get myself in good shape. I will continue my training, will aim at competing in a charity boxing match in Dec and will aim to cut my body fat down more and put on some more muscle…though I won’t be able to lift for a couple of days because I cut my finger quite badly so it’s legs and cardio for the next few days.

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As for the blog I hope it has helped the few thousand people that viewed it. It definitely forced me to learn loads about exercise and training and helped me develop a new lifestyle.

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Day 90 of 90: What I Learned (nutrition)

Today was a nutritional disaster, on top of the daily food intake I ended up having 3 jam tarts and kebab, chips and some cola not to mention a protein shake and a few tablespoons of peanut butter (I guess when I started eating I couldn’t stop – on top of that I cut my finger making a fruit salad, what a day). Needless to say I think the cutting phase can come to an end and I will share with you what I learned about nutrition over these 90 days and post my final results tomorrow evening:

1. Forget Cheat Days: Although, there maybe times when you slip or times when a social occasion might mean that you will end up having fried food or a few beers do not make a whole day of it…err like I almost did. Hey if you train hard it is no big deal but what you don’t want to do is go nuts.

2. Keep Protein Levels High: Before I began I did not have a clue about macro-nutrients. Keeping your protein levels high is essential to keeping you full, building muscle and losing weight.

3. Protein Shakes Are Great: Your post-workout nutrition is often considered one of the most, if not the most, important meal/shake of the day. This is because your body is at its most absorbent after intense activity (or first thing in the morning). Shakes then allow you to receive an instant hit of protein (please remember that different varieties are needed for different goals so do a little research i.e. for lean muscle and weight loss go for something low in carbs, low in fat and high in protein).

4. Control the Carbs: Starchy carbs like porridge oats, brown rice and plain popcorn are great and are needed to help provide energy and build muscle but I wouldn’t  eat too much of them and would limit there intake after 6pm. White bread, potatoes and white pasta I would try to eliminate altogether.

5. Have Unlimited Salad/Veg: This will provide you with numerous health benefits, will keep you full and provide you with much needed fibre.

6. Lots of Fruit: Now I know fruit is filled with carbs and natural sugar but again it is filled with fibre. If your wanting to lose weight again restrict your fruit after 6pm but before this have a anywhere between 2 to 4 portions a day.

7. Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fat: The fat found in nuts, oily fish, lean meat and avocado is essential for a healthy lifestyle and should be limited but should not be completely removed from any healthy diet.  I try and have by diet mainly consist of healthy fats, protein, green carbs (fruit and veg) and a little starchy carbs (porridge for breakfast and maybe a small portion of brown rice for lunch and/or dinner).

8. The Water of Life: The water of life is water. It is calorie free, helps you avoid over eating (try a glass next time your hungry) and, in my humble opinion, tastes great. I try always to have a glass/bottle with me,_p particularly at night…I will warn you though, that these water-only crash diets are extremely unhealthy and an over-consumption of water is detrimental not only to your bladder but to your health.

9. Crank Up Your Metabolism: Grapefruits, lemons, chilli, celery, green tea, raspberries etc all help boost your metabolism so try and get some metabolism boosting food/drinks in daily.

10. Preparation Helps Maintain Progress: By having a few boiled eggs, cut salad and fresh fruit in the fridge and some cooked meat in the freezer it will help you stay focused. Often nutritional discipline is lost when you are hungry but have nothing prepared.

So that, in no particular order, is some of the most valuable lessons I learned over the 90 days and something I hope to maintain in the future.

Cutting Day 6 – Total Failure

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Day 86 of 90: Slowing Down a Little – Advice whilst Cutting

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I’m one of those, addictive personalities, an all or nothing kind of guy. Having said that my first two days of cutting have been dogged by splitting headaches and therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to ease up a little on the training. I did a bit of research on it and it seems that muscle cannot only be maintained but it can be built during cutting, however, it is essential that I lift heavy, keep the reps down and have a good rest periods between sets. The headaches are probably a result of the lack of glycogen, something that is depleted by training and normally replaced through food – something I’m restricting. If I don’t ease up a little it appears that I will lose muscle. This isn’t at all bad because they are easily rebuilt when the normal food returns because of something called muscle memory but it is something I want to minimise or try to avoid and therefore, I’m going to alter my training a little and see if my body will just adapt to it.

FOOD LOG – CUTTING PHASE (DAY 2) (lose a stone in a week diet link)

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

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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

Day 76 of 90: A Sweet Tooth is No Excuse

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If your anything like me you might find that it is harder keeping your nutritional discipline than maintaining/increasing your training, particularly that is, when you have a bit of a sweet tooth. It is for this reason that a few good healthy dessert recipes come in handy so today I thought I’d share with you an easy dessert yogurt which is made containing a bunch of nutritional superfoods.

1. Take some low fat natural yogurt (you can use Greek yogurt if you like it thicker and creamy).

2. Add some nuts (anything will do – these are mixed but brazil or walnuts work well too).

3. Add a teaspoon of honey. However, if you don’t like honey try adding banana or dried dates for a little natural sweetness (do not go for dates that have been dried in glucose syrup, yes there cheap but there pure sugar).

4. Add a sprinkle of powdered cinnamon. Now I know some of you will try and skip this but it makes all the difference trust me.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: a banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge and mixed nuts
Snack: 2 carrots and a plum
Lunch: chilli chicken and salad
Snack: tablespoon of peanut butter
Dinner: white lentil, mushroom and goats cheese tart with salad
Dessert: as above
Evening shake: whey
Snack 1: tangerine
Snack 2: a tablespoon of peanut butter

Day 66/67 of 90: Damage Control

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Yesterday I was up in Yorkshire (hence the unusually short Sat session) at a meeting in which lunch and dinner were provided. With all of the driving (6 hours in total) and the fact that lunch and dinner were provided my will-power was at an all time low and therefore my nutrition was not the best. Again, today, even though I had a day of clean food, I came home and had a couple chocolate biscuit bars.

Nonetheless, it is important at times like this to dust yourself off and keep going. Setbacks are inevitable but the key is to keep going in spite of the setbacks. I’m coming towards the end now and am seriously going to up my training from Monday on and therefore, I am not going to let this bug me and neither should you if there are times when you falter – it’s all about finishing well.

YESTERDAY’S FOOD
Late Night Snack: porridge, banana and mixed nuts (couldn’t sleep)
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: half a cup of museli (it’s not as healthy as you think but I didn’t want porridge again).
Snack 1: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: a couple of dried apricot
Lunch: beef casserole, boiled potatoes and peas followed by an some crumple and custard
Dinner: a buffet with sandwiches, cakes, chocolate biscuits and more cakes
Snack: a chicken breast and salad Subway sandwich and a tangerine
Note: no evening shake because of the amount of food I consumed

TODAY’S FOOD
Morning shake: all-in-one
Breakfast: porridge, dates and mixed nuts
Snack: a fig
Lunch: soy and vegetable chilli
Snack 1: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: half a mango
Dinner: lean beef chilli
Post-Workout: whey shake
Snack: egg and tuna salad followed by 2 chocolate biscuit bars

Day 55 of 90: Losing Body Fat, Not Body Weight

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Today, I had a meeting with a friend I have not seen in a while.  He has been training and eating healthy for sometime and has lost 3 stone in weight.  Instead of losing weight now he wants to begin to focus on dropping his body fat percentage and here’s why:

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Weight is not a great indication of health or body shape.  You see you can weigh less and look puffy and saggy or you can weigh more and look toned and fit.  Personally I dropped 7.4lbs (from 11.96 stone) and 9.2% body fat (from 24.6% to 15.4%) in 30 days (I will do another assessment on day 60) but my aim has always been body shape and NOT weight (in fact, I don’t mind putting on some weight).  Here’s how I did it:

1. Weight training: I’m not against cardio but weights will help you hugely.  The key, however, is frequency and intensity – train regularly (at least 2 or 3 times a week) and train hard. [PS] Fat loss is particularly more effective if you train hard on an empty stomach…I try to stop eating after 7pm mon-fri.

2. More food: That’s right…lots of protein, lots of fibre and lots of healthy fats (fish, lean meat, eggs and 100% peanut butter (link) – you can get it in health stores or online) but cut down on the carbs (stick with porridge, sweet potato, brown rice etc but I only have them in the first half of the day and on Fridays and avoid white rice, bread and potatoes all together)…Just remembered, if you lose weight through drastic, protein/fat deficient dieting you will lose muscle this means it’s hard for the weight to stay off (muscle keeps your metabolic rate up) and means you’ll look skinny fat (basically flabby) or like a concentration camp victim.

3. Log what you eat: I’m doing it for 90 days after that it should just be a lifestyle

4. Boost your metabolic rate: link

5. Get assessments at the gym or doctors instead of jumping on the scales all the time: this way you can see how much of your body is made up of water, muscle and fat.  Hope that helps guys – here’s a guide which might help with goal setting.

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Todays Food Log (no food from 7pm till post-workout)

Post-workout: all-in-one shake

Breakfast: porridge with mixed nuts and a tablespoon of peanut butter

Snack 1: half a tub of strawberries

Snack 2: peach

Snack 3: a fresh fig

Lunch: chicken salad with chilli pickle followed by melon

Snack 1: 2 kiwis

Snack 2: a tablespoon of peanut butter

Dinner: poached egg and salmon salad

Evening Shake: Whey shake