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 89 of 90: What I Learned (training)

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As I come closer to finishing my 90 days I thought I’d write a quick blog on some of the most important things I’ve learned about training (I’ll do nutrition tommorow and then do results on day 91)

1. Lifting weights helps you lose weight: Muscle is active tissue which helps speed up your metabolic rate which helps you lose weight and keep it off (it’s unfortunate that most women’s magazine ignore weight training – you’ll only get big if your hitting big weights and consuming a few thousand calories – seriously).

2. Lose fat and not muscle: I wish I would have chucked out the standard scales as all weight loss is not all equal, sometimes your losing muscle and water but you need to be losing fat. So get a scale that tells you or do a health assessment at a gym.

3. It’s better to lift BIG than to lift more: Multiple reps with small weights burn fewer calories and produce fewer muscle gains. So for strength hit 1-5 (reps) heavy, for muscle 8-12 (medium) and for endurance 15-failure (below medium but not light) but make sure you get some burn. DO NOT do a set of a 100 reps on 2kg (your better off hitting 3 sets of 10 with 60kg).

4. Rest is important as training: Now I know I’ve been training every day but Sun is light and I will probably just train 5 to 6 days when I’m finished this challenge. Rest, particularly sleep, helps repair your body, I’ve neglected it sometimes.

5. Slow-state cardio is crap: I love cardio so I still do it on Sundays but if you want the fat loss do it on an empty stomach, do it after other training and/or get some high intensity in. So today I hit chin-ups and tri-dips, 29 mins cardio and then 1min sprinting.

6. You don’t need to do abs to get abs: Now I still do them but the bigger muscle groups are much more important though (back, legs, chest)… Having said that my obliques are just showing and I’ll have to shred more fat to get the abs out but there coming, first time in years.

7. Keep it old school: The classics like the bench press, squat, deadlift and the military press are the bread and butter of training. So although a magazine might say that you can get ripped in 2 days by standing on one leg whilst swinging a cat around you head there probably making it up….Probably.

8. Everyone has to start somewhere: I didn’t have a clue about weights but the truth is the internet is filled with great info and if you speak to enough people you will find that they are helpful and willing to talk. If people keep saying the same things then this might be a clue that it’s a truism, watch out for bro-science though.

9. Everyone makes gains if they work hard: When I started training I could do 2 or 3 chin-ups now I can hit 5 sets of 10 (50) unassisted and 12 sets of 10 (120) assisted (on a machine)… That’s after a training session. Miraculous? Maybe, or just persistence and hard work.

10. It’s worth it: Not only have I enjoyed it but I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I weigh what I weighed at 18, am sleeping better and eating more.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG

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(Fresh sardines and king prawns with dried chilli, lemon and coriander)

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(I had a good few portions of it with smoked salmon and a avocado salad)

Cutting phase (day 5)

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Day 87/88 of 90: Eat the Rainbow

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During this cutting phase there is plenty of opportunity to eat unlimited amounts of fruit and salad this, though, can become quite repetitive and somewhat soul destroying. For this reason variation not only adds some much needed colour and taste but provides a moral boast not to mention the added nutritional benefit. This why I have added peppers, avocado, celery and coriander to my salads and mango, passion fruit, papaya, kiwi, guava, pineapple, coconut, pomegranate and dates to my fruits.

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CUTTING PHASE – DAY 3/4

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(My wife’s creation – I had this with 2 bananas and a guava for lunch)
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Note: the headaches I had on day 1+2 have begun to disappear; possibly through the increase of my water consumption or the fact that my body is getting used to the caloric deficit.

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 85 of 90 Tracking Progress

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Regardless, of what you are trying to achieve the tracking of your progress is essential and that’s why the last week of my training log I have got these bad boys. Now to start not only were they £13 from Lidl but these scales from Sanitas measure body weight, fat percentage, muscle mass and water…and…they can be connected to a laptop to upload and track your progress. Whilst you can do this at some gyms and doctors surgeries it means that I am able to have a more comprehensive picture of the results of my training and nutrition. No doubt there are better scales out there but these will allow me to take my training further

FOOD LOG – CUTTING PHASE (DAY 1) (diet link)

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Progress

Day 1: 11.96 lbs (24.6% body fat)
Day 30: results incorrect (I only found out much later)
Day 60: 10.13 lbs (20.6% body fat)

I began increasing my calories significantly around day 75 (and began to bulk around day 80), as I was losing more weight than I wanted (I was planning on a serious cut for the last 7 days, so as to keep muscle). My reading today was: 10.13 lbs (21.8% body fat)

note I have been hungry most of the day and developed a splitting headache in the afternoon which has persisted. I might need to ease up a little on the gym work.

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