Day 91: Results Day

image

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.

image

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.

image

image

image

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.

image

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.

Day 89 of 90: What I Learned (training)

image

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

image

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

image

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

Cutting phase (day 5)

image

Day 87/88 of 90: Eat the Rainbow

image

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.

image

CUTTING PHASE – DAY 3/4

image

(My wife’s creation – I had this with 2 bananas and a guava for lunch)
image

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 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

Day 80 of 90: Superfood – Peanut Butter

image

25g – 141 kcal – 3.1g carbs – 6.4g protein – fat 11.5g (2.1 of which are saturated)

Since beginning my training I have come to love peanut butter, not the ones with added sugar or salt but the 100% natural one, which you can get in health shops and weight lifting websites. And here’s why.

1. It’s cheap: Apart from tasting great you can pick this stuff up for about £6-£7 per kg. The best tasting one I’ve found is also the cheapest (£5.49) and can be purchased from Muscle Food (PS: it’s UK only and there is a £30 minimum spend) (link).

2. It’s full of fibre: This means apart from the fact that it is very high in calories, it is great for weight loss.

3. It’s full of protein: Since it has a high protein content it helps aid muscle growth and muscle growth in turn speeds up your metabolic rate.

4. It’s full of fat: Now before you freak out, it’s full of the healthy kind, this will keep you fuller for longer and will aid muscle growth.

5. It’s full of potassium: This helps maintain good blood pressure and kidney health.

So, you see, you might not eat peanut butter by the spoonful like me but it might be something you to consider.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG (carb-loading)
Pre-Workout: grapefruit
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge, banana and mixed nuts
Snack: plum and apple
Lunch: tuna salad with dark rye bread
Snack 1: tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack 2: apple
Dinner: pork casserole and couscous

image

Snack: tablespoon of peanut butter
Evening shake: whey
Snack: tangerine and banana

78/79 of 90: Pigs Might Fly – Pork Steaks as a Protein Source

image

Per 100g – 190 kcals – 7.8g fat (2.9g saturates) – 30g protein
Per steak – 168 kcals – 6.9g fat (2.5g saturates) – 26.4g protein

High protein diets are needed for muscle building (and can help with weight loss) but the problem is they can become repetitive and therefore, it is advised to have some variation: chicken breast, lean beef, fish and turkey all work well. But today, I fancied a change and decided to have a look at the pork steaks, not only was the nutritional value good but, at £2 per 500g (that’s 0.5 kg if your struggling to do the math 🙂 it is a bargain. A bargain that tastes great and helps keep the protein levels high.

(top 5 non-meat protein sources)

(top 5 meat protein sources)

YESTERDAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: yogurt, cinnamon, mixed nuts and honey
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: oat and sultana bagel (no margarine)
Snack: apple and carrot
Lunch: jacket potato, chilli and salad with 2 pieces of chocolate crunch cake and ice cream (I was away and lunch was provided)
Snack: apple
Dinner: Italian meat balls in a tomato, garlic and low-fat mozzarella sauce with salad (recipe)

image

Evening Shake: whey

TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: low fat mozzarella and sun-dried tomato omelette
Post-Workout: all-in-one
Breakfast: porridge with banana and mixed nuts
Lunch: Italian meat balls in a tomato, garlic and low-fat mozzarella sauce with salad
Snack: a tablespoon of peanut butter and tangerine
Dinner: lean chilli and mixed veg
Evening shake: whey
Snack: 3 pork steaks with onion, tomato, garlic and chilli (I intended to keep one for lunch but hey)

image

Day 76 of 90: A Sweet Tooth is No Excuse

image

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