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No pretending to like tofu any more!: Eric's primal transformation

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  • I happened across a thread about the Shangri-la diet (SLD) on the forum. It is quite simple and very compatible with paleo/primal. You eat 2 - 3 tbsp of coconut oil a day, but you time it so that you haven't eaten one hour before and you don't eat one hour after. The mechanism isn't entirely clear. Seth Roberts is the guy who came up with the diet, and he believes our weight set-point can be lowered with this protocol, and that's why people lose weight doing it. It has to do with your brain making associations with flavor receptors in your mouth and calories consumed. The theory is that the more flavorful calories are, the more likely your brain signals to the body that you need to "store up for winter" during this bountiful season. Consuming flavorless calories somehow signals that times are tough and you need to tap your reserves and let go of your current set point. Others think the set point theory is bogus and put it all down to the satiating effect of the oil, which allows you to eat less and skip meals more often. Yet, it seems to only work with flavorless oil, so there is some connection with favor. Apparently it doesn't work with everyone, but for those it does, it is a simple hack to break through a plateau. And extra coconut oil isn't a bad thing, so there's really no downside. I don't care what the mechanism is if it works.

    I decided to start this morning. I skipped breakfast today, and when I've IFed the last couple of months, I normally have terrible hunger, which is why I had largely stopped IFing. But today, I haven't really been very hungry. Placebo? Maybe. But even if it is a placebo, I don't care because ... I skipped breakfast and haven't been hungry.

    I'll leave in a few minutes for my workout. Yesterday's KB class was a leg killer. I'm not sore, but my legs do feel a bit drained. I had planned to do squats today because I didn't do them on Tuesday, but now I'm not so sure. Plus, I'm finally going to check out the jujitsu class this evening with a friend from work. So maybe I should do something else in the gym today.
    Last edited by en2ec; 02-28-2013, 03:16 AM.
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    • I did my workout at the gym. I decided to go ahead and do squats. I did 95 kg, which is just below my highest workout weight before I stopped lifting last summer, and it was no problem.

      The SLD CO trick did help me with hunger during my IF this morning, but I still ate as much for lunch as I normally would. We'll see. I guess technically I didn't fast, since I had CO, but I'm still counting it as a fast given how CO is metabolized.
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      • For the heck of it, I decided to take my blood pressure when I was by the medical center at work today. It was 111/74 with a pulse rate of 60. Not bad. I even eat more salt now than I ever have. Let me rephrase that. I add more salt to things than I ever have before, but that could be because I'm not getting loads of salt in processed foods.
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        • So I finally went to jujitsu class last night. Oh my god. I feel like I was in a car wreck where the car flips over a dozen times, and I'm not wearing a seat belt, and then I crawled out and ran for 10 miles. I didn't go to KB class today. I barely got out of bed.
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          • I've had muscle aches and spasms in my upper back and neck off and on all weekend from jujitsu. I don't think I'll try it again at least until I've lost another 30 pounds or so. Even then, I'm not sure if my body can withstand the punishment.

            I went to a park with my wife and son and friends of ours who have a daughter the same age as my son. We kicked the soccer ball around (it is Europe) for almost 2 hours. So that was a lot of primal play and movement. I'm looking forward to more days like that as the weather gets better. There's no way I could have done it a year ago.

            I plan to go to kettlebell class today. I'm not quite healed from jujitsu, but I think I'm at the point that a workout will do more good than harm, at least I hope so.

            I haven't lost any weight. I'm still at 210. The good news is that my pants are a little looser. I've dropped from being around 28% BF on my scale at home to being about 27% BF, which translates to about 2 pounds of fat lost. That also means that I must have gained 2 pounds of muscle. I don't have much faith in the accuracy of the BF %, but it has been fairly consistent, so I think the 1% drop is reasonably reliable.

            Over the weekend, I made carnitas posted on MDA a few weeks ago except I used lamb instead of pork. For one, my wife doesn't eat pork, but she does eat lamb. Two, it is healthier because it is graas fed lamb. The downside is that even though it was very tasty, it wasn't quite as good as pork carnitas, which I made earlier.
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            • Good job on the fat loss and the looser pants. You should start measuring so you can see the progress. When the scale doesn't move for a while, it's nice to see the measurements get smaller, at least for me.
              F 45 5'5"
              SW 177
              CW 141

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              • That's a great suggestion. I have a tape measure somewhere, but I can never seem to find it when I need it. I lost a lot of weight so effortlessly for the first 6 or 7 months that I have become conditioned to the immediate gratification of the scale. I know I need to move away from it as my measure of progress.
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                • I think my KB class today may have worked out some of the kinks in my shoulder and neck from jujitsu last Thursday, which was my hope. I forgot my mat, and when we got on the floor to do some core stuff, I was painfully reminded of how tender my lower back and hips are from the impact from being thrown on the ground repeatedly for 2 hours. OK. I'll stop whining about jujitsu now.
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                  • I did strength training today, and I IFed. I think I tweaked a muscle in my butt at jujitsu last week, and I did a light squat workout at only 80 kg today. I didn't want to risk further injury. But I bumped up my bench press to 60 kg, which is pretty good for me. I worked on pullup progressions. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do one. I suppose it will only happen once I've lost at least another 40 pounds or so. I also did katas.

                    I haven't posted much about food lately because I get bored with posting about food. I have cut down on my dark chocolate consumption to 2 - 4 squares per day, which had been 8 per day. I've also cut down on wine as well. I've been IFing most weekdays, which I hadn't done December through mid-February or so. I'm also trying to diversify my meat consumption to include more salmon and lamb. Beef had been my main source and was supplemented by pork. I still use bacon to season certain veggies. I will also often have beef for lunch. But for dinner it has been salmon or lamb. Veggies get to be a bit monotonous. I rotate between cabbage and bacon, brussel sprouts and bacon, broccoli with olive oil and lime, and zucchini with onions cooked in olive oil.

                    I was asked today by a woman at work what I've been doing to lose weight. I showed her MDA and pointed her to the Primal 101 section. I also ran into a trainer at the gym I hadn't seen for a couple of months, and he commented that I've lost fat and have filled out muscles in my arms. As I've mentioned before, I have not lost any weight for a couple of months, so it is reassuring that I appear to still be making progress -- it is so gradual for me that it is hard for me to be certain when the numbers on the scale don't go down.
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                    • I bought 2 pairs of the same type of pants a few weeks ago. One fit at the time, and the other was one size smaller to wear in the future. Well, the future is today. I'm wearing the smaller pants!. I'm still at 210 pounds though, but I think my body composition must be changing. I went for a while without anyone commenting on my weight, but yesterday and today 2 people did who hadn't before. It is interesting how different people will either notice at different points of weight loss or will be moved to talk to you about it at different points. But it seems that I have recently made enough progress to spur a couple of people to talk to me about it. I think that is largely because of my KB class.

                      Speaking of which, KB class was great today. We learned the half snatch. I still have a little work to get it smoothly, but I got the basic movement down. So far, since I've been going to the class we've done the:

                      2-handed swing
                      1-handed swing (with switching mid-swing)
                      Double KB 1-handed swing
                      Clean from the floor
                      Clean from the swing
                      Press
                      Windmill (learned it today too, but I couldn't do it with a KB because my lower left back is tweaked from jujistu)
                      Round the world
                      Halo
                      Plus, lots of leg exercises that aren't particular to KBs, such as Goblet squats and Meet the queens.

                      Plus we do some stretching/yoga and lots of core exercises. As I've said before, it is really nice to come into a class and not have to think about anything and just do stuff (and stuff that is fun to do and is working well for me).

                      I go home for a visit in May, and I will be the fittest I've been since I was in college back in the early 1990s, which is a great feeling. I've been telling my family about paleo, but they haven't really been listening other than being afraid my cholesterol will go through the roof and I'll get gout. Maybe when they see me, they'll start to come around, but I won't hold my breath.
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                      • Today is my anything goes exercise day -- sometimes I do nothing at all, sometimes I do swim sprints, sometimes I do strength training if I didn't do it on Tuesday. Today I'm going to try to do tabatas on the rowing machine at the gym. This will be pretty brutal. I do want to work up to actual running sprints, but I don't think I'm quite there. The rowing machine should be a good substitute, and I won't have the issue of coordinating breathing while swimming, which I think inhibits me from giving max effort, especially as I start to get tired.

                        For the last several weeks, I've been getting around 6 hours of sleep per night and running a noticeable sleep deficit as a result. The last couple of nights I've made an effort to get at least 7 hours of sleep. I'm still not completely recovered, but I do feel better. I think that especially now that I've upped the intensity of my exercise routine that it is even more important that I get enough sleep.
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                        • I may rethink using the rowing machine for tabatas. Doing the half snatch yesterday activated (and made sore) the same muscles in my shoulders I'd use for rowing.
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                          • I ended up not going to the gym today. I think I needed the day for recovery.
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                            • I had a great KB workout yesterday. which is good because I also did a carb refeed as a bit of an experiment. The cool thing, though, is that yesterday before the carb refeed I broke through the 210 pound barrier ... I was 207!! This morning I was only up to 209. I thought I'd gain more. I ate 1 kg of sweet potatoes, which I like, but it took a little effort getting it all down. I tend to be VLC and eat 1/3 to 1/2 a small sweet potato once or twice a week. I ate 3 large sweet potatoes ... half for lunch and half for dinner. I also did not feel very good after lunch. I could definitely feel the sugar effect. The good thing though is that I didn't have a blood sugar crash, so I hope that means that my metabolic health is much better now.

                              I decided to have breakfast today rather than IF just in case my blood sugar is wonky. I had 3 hard boiled eggs. Everything is fine so far. Let's hope my insulin spike yesterday triggered leptin, which in turn will help me burn fat the next couple of days as I switch back to VLC.

                              By the way, a while ago I said I was going to try the Shangri-la diet. I did once, but I tend to drink a lot of tea during the day, and I found it difficult to commit to a 2 hour window without any flavors. Plus, I found it a lot harder to swallow 1.5 T of coconut oil than I thought I would. And I couldn't bring myself to try it a second time.
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                              • I had a killer KB workout this morning. We did swing-clean-press-overhead squat-lunge ladders up to 5 on one hand then repeat for the other hand. Plus lots of other things to target the posterior chain, and we topped it off with 2 one-handed KB swings with 2 12 kg KBs, 3 rounds of 30 seconds with a 15 second break between. That's a freakin hard way to end your workout.

                                I think I also didn't have a ton of energy this morning. I wonder if it is because of my carb refeed on Monday. Am I going through a mini carb flu? I have a bit of a runny nose, so maybe I'm just a little under the weather. In any case, I made it through the workout. Now I have to slog through a day at work when all I really want to do is curl up under my desk and take a nap a la George Castanza.

                                I weighed 208.5 today, so I'm already coming down from my post refeed bump. Let's see in a few days if I drop below 207, which is where I was the morning of the refeed.
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