Primal Journal - Alexhj - Lets get STRICT
I set myself a target at the start of this year for 12-15% body fat by the end of June. Whilst my gym work has been on point, my eating, although clean, has been excessive and I haven't been seeing the fat loss I want to.
I've discussed it a bit more in a post on my blog - The Primal Student - let's get STRICT. Basically I need the cut my food intake, give it a couple of weeks to hopefully see some changes, if not cut my intake a bit more!
To quote the Matt, the winner of last years bodybuilding.com transformation challenge - "The single most important skill to develop is the ability to be hungry and not-eat….You have to live with a caloric deficit in order to lose fat”
Therefore I'm starting this journal for a bit of accountability. I'll aim to update it every day, even if only short and brief, but I'm making a concerted effort between now and May-ish to really push myself to get LEAN.
Yesterday was day 1, so here goes:
Sunday, 8th March:
Weight - 179.8lbs
Workout - BP 5x5 77.5kg, Squat 5x5 117.5, Row 5x5 70, Dips 3x5 15, Planks 3x60s
Breakfast - Some chicken, rice, broccoli
PWO - Rest of above meal plus 75g Oats and Whey shake
Lunch - There was an event on at the university - loads of free sandwiches! Stole a stack, discarded half the bread (I'm eating high protein, high carbs, low fat on workout days) - plus an apple
Dinner - Chicken, rice, broccoli and sriracha. Cup of redbush tea. Early night.
Last edited by alexhj; 03-09-2015 at 03:31 AM.
I have to disagree with Matt's quote....he obviously doesn't understand the role of leptin! We have over 50 trillion cells, and they WILL eat, weather u "feed" them, or not. U have to construct a diet that will leave u satisfied, and well as gives u the nutrients u need. U can create a caloric deficit without starving urself. Research continues to show that it's not really caloric restriction that leads to things such as longevity and weight loss....but it's macronutrient restrictions. The best proven diet for satiety, while keeping overall calories the lowest.......low carb, moderate protein, high fat. I eat an 85% fat diet, and I can go all day without even the thought of food......because my leptin levels stay in check.
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks for the reply Tim!
For me, as some one who has been eating paleo for almost 5 years now - unless I get strict and real with myself, I'll never get down to the body fat percentages that I want to. It's all well and good saying 'eat high fat, enough protein and lots of green fresh veg etc' but I've been doing this for 5 years and my body fat is basically the same as when I started!
I think the nearer you get to a low body fat, the harder it is to lose the fat. Also maintaining is easy, to actually LOSE (be in a deficit) takes some kind of sacrifice, somewhere. If I make a conscious effort now, to cut the calories, then once I've hit my target I can go back to my (5 year proven!) maintenance plan.
IF my target date was still 6 months or a year off then obviously the deficit would much less than it is considering I want my target in 2 months time - and I could probably get away with being less strict and rigorous.
I am in no way starving myself either, I am eating plenty of healthy, nutritious food - I'm just at a deficit enough (especially on my non-training days) that I should see the scale shifting in my favour.
Log - Monday, 9th March:
Weight - 178.6 lbs
Breakfast/lunch/dinner - Roast chicken drumstick & thigh, mixed veg, drizzle olive oil.
A couple of small, white coffees throughout the day.
A large bag of salad with a balsamic vinaigrette with dinner.
Food wasn't overly boring but I would normally have a bromlette in the morning with cheese, bacon and veg but I had a spare chicken thigh in the fridge that needed eating up.
Was meant to swim with some friends for an hour but the pool was booked out. I'd been up at 5:30 that morning so got an early night and slept for a solid 8+ hours.
Last edited by alexhj; 03-11-2015 at 08:03 AM.
Tuesday - 10th March
Weight - 177.4 lbs
Breakfast/lunch/dinner - chicken breast (195g), boiled, skin-on sweet potato (250g) and as much veg as would fit in the remaining space in my boxes! Had a 50g Oats and Whey shake (with 10g glutamine) post work out with one of the meals. Small bit of housemates flapjack (approx 60 cals... couldn't resist) and had some homemade veg soup after dinner as was still hungry (approx 180 cals) - I need to try and fight this!
SQ 5x5 120
OHP 5x5 60 (BOOM! feels good to see the big plates on the bar)
DL 1x5 142.5 (BOOM again, been struggling with deads for a while, have de-loaded and now making progress again)
Chins 7/6/6 BW (struggle with chins a lot but my form is good and I'm doing full ROM)
Hanging knee raises 2x8 BW (only just started these but really enjoying them in my routine)
Went to bed later than I wanted to but had to do some cooking for the next day. Put a whole turkey leg into my slow cooker, should be enough meat for the next couple of days. Woke up after 2/3 hours and then couldn't sleep for a bit. Had an alarm set for 5.45am so I could get to campus and finish an assignment early but didn't get out of bed till half 6... oh well, the assignment is finished and was handed in on time, no worries!
Saturday 14 March
Went out to for breakfast with a friend at one of my favourite local restaurants and the first of it's kind - Paleo. Had an amazing meal, eggs royale (on paleo bread) - banana and blueberry paleo pancakes - 'caveman' fried breakfast - eggs, bacon, sausage meat, sweet potato hash, tomato and mushrooms. AMAZING!
I then had a very poor day of food choices - basically eating too much, had a couple of drinks in the evening... generally no good.
I did end the day with Spicy Thai Pork Larb. Spicy pork in lettuce leaves - they were SO tasty!
Sunday 15 March:
Day off to a much better start - coffee, drove to campus and went to the gym.
Squat 5x5 122.5
OHP 5/4/4/4/5 62.5
DL 1x5 145 (BOOM!)
Chins 6/6/6 - these are so poor and never seem to improve although I was doing proper chins this time rather than palms facing each other and I think chins are harder.
Hanging knee raises 2x8
Breakfast/PWO - chicken, turkey, boiled sweet potato and bok choi
Last edited by alexhj; 04-24-2015 at 04:46 AM.
Woah it's been a tough 6 weeks since I last updated this...uni work has been intense but my big project for the year is finished with and I just have revision and exams left. With that in mind, it's time for a FURIOUS CUT (furious pete stylee).
43 days till my exams are totally finished, so 43 days of cutting, revising, eating well and hitting the gym hard.
Day 1 of cutting:
Plenty of black coffee and water
Beef mince, broccoli and garlic for dinner tonight
Have a shift at my bar job later, 9-3am (wish it wasn't so late) - will need to be strong and avoid all drinks/snacks but it can be done!
Work didn't finish till 3:45am and I had one (one!) shot of tequila (with salt and lemon, ofc) but otherwise it went a treat. Diet was strict, I drank lots of water and I slept well.
- beef and spring greens (fried in olive oil) with some coleslaw on the side
Day 2 of CUT:
Got out of bed at 10:30 or so, cooked some chicken for the day and drove to campus for 12 noon. I don't normally eat in the mornings but seeing as the chicken was warm and the skin was crispy I had a thigh.
Went to the gym with a buddy but didn't push myself too hard as we were working together and I didn't want to go too hard on him. We went for the machines as were were doing very different weights and swapping is so much easier. Squat machine, leg press, chest press and rows, followed by 3 sets of plank and a final drop set on the chest press (60-50-40-30-20 till exhaustion).
I thought I had work that evening so had bought food to campus - 3 thighs, 2 drumsticks and a load of broccoli and the rest of the coleslaw. Managed to get the evening off (yay for an early night!), went home and cooked myself a tuna oat fry:
Sachet of Oats so Simple 27g
Plus S&P, spring onion, garlic, spices etc. Easy to make and delicious with a wedge of lemon!
Day 3 of CUT:
Slept great - at least 8 hours. Left the house at 8am for another day on campus. Did loads of revision and felt good. Had one delicious strawberry and got a nice photo of them.
Back home for 6pm, dinner was chicken breast fried in garlic and olive oil and sliced greens, followed by 3 eggs and 2 bacon, followd by a tin of salmon and more sliced greens. I really appreciate this once a day eating thing - I don't have to think about food or food prep all day long leaving me to just get on with stuff, then when I'm home in the evening I can devote an hour or two purely to cooking and eating - bliss!
Fat loss is not going as fast as I'd like it to, going to up my protein intake a bit as I'm not always hitting the 180g a day I had planned to, sometimes only 100.
I was in bed by 9:30 and read till I passed out.
Day 4 of CUT:
Good early start after a solid 8 hours of sleep. In the gym by 11am:
5x5 110kg Squats
5/4/3/5/5 57.5kg OHP
2x 150kg DL
2x8 hanging knee raises
Workout didn't go as well as I would have liked - the back squats felt pretty good after a few weeks of front squatting but the OHP is still stalling and the deadlift... I just want to break the 150kg barrier! I'm not sure what I need, maybe take a bit more time over the warm up (longer between each warm up set) and rest a good 5mins before trying the work set, IDK.
I'm making good progress with the chins which I am very pleased with - was stuck doing 5/5/5 pull ups for weeks and weeks, I think I much prefer chins and would like to see an improvement in my biceps over the next few weeks.
Food wise - litres of water/tea/black coffee all day. 10g pre-workout (<5 cal), 50g oats & whey shake with 5g L-glut and 5g BCAA post-workout. Dinner was HUGE:
350g rump steak
2 chicken thigh and drumsticks
and a big bag of salad with home made balsamic.
I hadn't quite hit my calories for the day and have noticed poor energy for the last week or so (I think I'm going too low with the deficit) so had another 40g O&W, 5g L-glut, 5g BCAA just before bed.
Total for the day: 1940 cals, 217g P, 47g C, 96g fat.
I'm trying to be in keto at the moment but have 5kg of oats & whey to get through. I'm not sure of the exact science behind it all (although I did discover Peter Attia over at The Eating Academy and devoured everything he has to say on the subject) but if I aim to be in Keto all the time (<20g carbs most days) but have 30g of carbs in my shake post-workout (taking the days total to <=50g), I think it won't disrupt anything.
In bed by 10pm, had a great nights sleep and woke up before my alarm, always a good sign!
Last edited by alexhj; 04-28-2015 at 01:46 AM.
Day 5 of CUT:
Woke up before alarm, I had a nice 10 minutes in bed reading the news before I HAD to get up.
Semi-productive day on campus, I'm just revising at the moment but doing a topic per day... Meaning if I have a semi-productive day that topic really suffers - need to up my game!
Went home early ish as was hungry, meal 1 was 350g chicken breast, cubed and marinated in soy, honey, coconut flakes, chili flakes, soy sauce etc. I fried this up with some greens and some brussel sprouts, super tasty.
Meal 2 was simply 600g of smoked gammon joint that I'd covered in mustard, honey, black pepper and clove and roasted for an hour, eaten with some picalilli. This was super salty and I wish I hadnt eaten the whole thing - still fit my macros but would have been nicer to trade out 1/3 of it and have a couple of fried eggs. Had 1 cheeky date just before bed to satisfy a minor sweet craving. The sooner I finish those dates the better...
Total for day: 74g F, 9g C (+ 1 small date), 195g P (slightly overkill maybe), approx 1500 cals.
Day 6 of the CUTTTT:
Again woke before my alarm, had a nice cup of tea and a chat with a friend before leaving at 7am.
Had another semi-productive day (I spend too many hours in the morning reading news etc - the elections are just too interesting!) but a good gym session.
115kg Squat 5x5
70 BB Row 5x5
75 Bench 5/5/4/4/4
15 Dips 3x5 + 2x bw max
Being on a -10% (rest) -30% (training) calorie deficit I guess I cant expect to be making massive gains on anything really but my bench is particularly annoying as it seems so far behind all my other lifts. Using strengthlevel for most lifts I'm at Intermediate/Intermediate-Advanced, my bench is only Novice-Intermediate and could really do with some work.
I've decided to quit weighted dips in the future (as I can imagine getting hurt) and just do more press ups - my chest is my weak point and slow to respond and I think I need more volume. This workout would then be Squats, BBRows, Bench, Dips 3xMax BW, Press ups 3xMax BW.
70g Oats & Whey shake, +5g BCAA +5g L-Glut. I had half of this pre-work out and half post. I do all my workouts in a fasted state and have read that pre-workout protein/bcaa stops any potential catabolism that might occur when lifting weights fasted.
At home: 3x cold chicken drumsticks, 2x thighs, 300g broccoli & brussel sprouts, beef stew.
I recently bought some more whey, omega 3s and some protein pancake mix. Had some pancakes for the first time ever - they were fucking amazing! Maple syrup flavoured but still low carb and at 70p for a plate full I can't complain. Had a 50g serving with 3 fried eggs - HEAVEN! Finally something acceptable to satisfy sweet cravings.
Total: 1900 cals, 63g carbs, 83g fat, 219g protein
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