I’ve Lost Ten More Lbs. to Get to 215!

Just 12 days ago, I was 225 lbs. Now, I’m 215. Probably water weight, because I still haven’t noticed a surefire reduction in bodyfat, but who knows? I haven’t lost any strength and, if anything, I feel stronger. To attest to that, my mom came back from a trip last night and I carried in a fuckton of her heavy ass bags without struggle.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I’m a 6’2″-6’3″ man. The fat I’m trying to drop is flab in estrogen-dominant areas like the belly, ‘love handles’ and chest. I’m trying to lean out and acquire a defined shape.

As I’ve written before, I’ve barely changed my diet. I’m just eating whole grain sandwiches now, with a couple of apples in there, counting calories and keeping my protein moderately high and my dietary fat consumption at a level that will aid in hormonal balance. I guess the biggest takeaway from all of this is that I’ve increased my fiber content, thus helping out digestion. Perhaps that can be chalked up to the 16 lb. loss since August.

Regardless, my current goal is to drop to 200. lbs and go from there.

I’ve Lost Five Pounds Over the Last Month

Not a success. “Weight loss” is a deception, and I dislike the term. “Fat loss” is more apropos and doesn’t show up on a scale.

For those that haven’t followed my blog since the last time I discussed this, I’m around the ballpark of 6’2″ to 6’3″ in height, and in early August I was standing at 230 pounds. Now, I carry most of my fat in my gut, chest and ‘love handles’, the worst areas for fat storage in men since they are estrogen-dominant areas, especially the gut, and likely mitigate my testosterone levels. I also carry a solid amount of fat in my face and ass, which don’t bother me as much, albeit I’d like to lose fat in my face to emphasize my jawline a bit more.

I was in the best shape of my life back in September 2009 and May 2010. I was doing bodyweight exercises, lifting dumbbells, utilizing my treadmill in the basement and getting on the elliptical at my aunt’s house on a near daily basis. I was also carrying a heavy bookbag around back then and was naturally strong overall. I was around 195-205 pounds at that time. Regardless, I don’t look ‘bad’, I’m just flabby, and flab is the enemy. I want to be a beast, and look like one.

Anyhow, by September 1st of this year, I’d gotten to 228; after a month of on-again/off-again commitment to a caloric deficit, I’ve dropped down to 223 pounds, and I’m not sure I consider it a success. I’m still flabby and don’t see any reduction in fat. As for strength, I haven’t felt any decreases, either. I can’t put the blame on water weight, because I only went from five bottles of water (16.9 ounce bottles) a day to eight bottles.

So I reckon it’s a mixture.

I should increase my protein intake to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass, but I’m not exactly sure how much lean body mass I actually have, and I’ll be damned if I go 1 pound per bodyweight, because as much as I like meat and other protein packed foods, acquiring 220 grams of protein a day is tedious.

I’ll keep updating and see how this goes. I’ve been taking Muscle Pharm’s Shred Matrix. In about a month I’m going to try out the new Muscle Pharm product from the new Arnold Schwarzenegger line Iron Cuts. It looks to be promising since the ingredient profile features agents that should fight the effects of catabolism/muscle loss.

Other supplements I’ve been taking asides from MP’s Shred Matrix:
— 5,000 IU of vitamin D (D3)
— Life Extension’s Super K (Vitamin K2 for D3/calcium uptake)
— Triple strength fish oil (2 to 4 caps a day)
— Juice Plus Orchard and Garden Blends (I usually don’t take products like this, but I got a box of these for free, so why not?)
— Muscle Pharm’s CLA (conjugated linoleic acid; perhaps a waste of money)
— Coconut oil (through capsules, the oil from Nutiva or cooking)

I’m still eating in a caloric deficit, and despite the ‘weight loss’, I’ve noticed minimal fat loss (as in none), but I’ll keep on trucking forward because in my mind that’s the only option at this point. Well, one of two options: become a beast or stay flabby, unappealing and mediocre.

Wake Me Up When September Begins

I’ve always loved the month of September. Yeah, call me biased, since my birthday is in this month, but the NFL’s regular season starts and UFC 165 will be on September 21st. What’s not to like?

I started my cut yesterday. I’m around the ballpark of 6’2″ — 6’3″ at 228 lbs. looking to get down to at least 205, perhaps even 195, and go from there.

I’m going the IF (intermittent fasting) route simply because I’d rather eat one or two big meals than multiple small meals a day. Back when I used to believe in that overhyped, over-heralded hog shit (multiple small meals a day), I felt like hell all the time. It was never satiating compared to a big meal laden with meat, some vegetables and fruit, but I digress.

My Foreman grill will be coming in handy due to the fact that I can use it without any oil. Yesterday I cooked skinless chicken tenderloins on it in three minutes time. It’s been a long time coming to get to the point of being able to cook something in the Foreman without it drying out, so I was happy. Unfortunately, cleaning the fucker takes more time than cooking, but eh, I’ll get used to it. I seasoned my chicken with garlic pepper, which is some pretty awesome stuff.

Asides from some dumbbell curls and three hours of walking, no exercising has been done yet. I’m going to get on the treadmill soon and briskly walk at about 3.3-3.4 at merely a 2.0 incline. Other people make me look like a little, weak bitch, but at that speed it gets my heart pumping greatly and I’m drenched in sweat after 30-35 minutes, so I see no harm. As for running, I’ll do that once I condition myself.

Bodyweight exercises will have to do, but who says you can’t gain muscle via your own bodyweight? It’s still a form of resistance training.

The closest gym to me is 20 miles away and expensive as hell, not to mention overcrowded. The other gym? The local college gym, which you must have a college ID, and it’s filled with idiots that sweat all over the equipment and fail to wipe it off. No thanks, folks.

I wish I had my very own private gym with optimal weight equipment and a basketball court. That would be amazing.

Getting a Lean, Testosterone-Fueled Body

I have some tips and advice for myself as well as everyone reading. From my experience and from research I’ve read via peer reviewed scientific studies. I won’t link to sources, because if I did that, it would take me the rest of the young morning and half the day to do, so if you question anything I say, feel free to PubMed that shit for verification purposes. I’m not a medical professional nor am I an expert in regards to any of the following.

You can do this. Anybody reading can do this. Anybody not reading can do this.

Movement, movement, movement. Listen, this isn’t the number one thing in the world when it comes to dropping weight (diet/calorie control is), but it certainly helps. I don’t advocate cardio (long distance or high intensity interval training in regards to running, wind sprints, etc.) to anyone. I can’t stand cardio. It sucks. I would rather lift, but I digress. When I say movement, I mean walk. Walk. Walk as much as you can. Park farther away in parking lots from the entrance (I’m sure you’ve heard this before) of stores, places, etc.

In regards to lifting: lift heavy weights, low reps. I’d recommend a gym if you can. If not, and you are like me and you live an outrageously long way from the gym, I suggest core body exercises that you can easily do at home. Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups (if possible), bodyweight squats, sideplanks and supermans. Some people think sit-ups are a waste of time, but honestly you are exerting a lot of energy with your torso overall and building up a sweat. A winner in my book.

If somebody tells you that you can’t build muscle by doing bodyweight/core body exercises, they are fucking idiots. It’s an extremely fantastic way to get lean, gain strength and become, well, a damn sizable ‘beast’. It’s great for overall health.

But now, let’s get to the nitty gritty as I continue this essay/book because I’m a long-winded fuck that fails to follow the “brevity is the soul of wit” adage of life.

– Protein, fiber and fat. That’s what you need to focus on the MOST! Now, I don’t really recommend a keto/low-fiber diet because it will drive you absolutely fucking nuts if you are a carb-lover, but of the three main macronutrients — proteins, fats and carbs — proteins/fats are the ones essential for life. Now, why did I mention protein and fiber first? Well, they are the most satiating. Sit down and eat a 16 ounce ribeye steak and a bag of broccoli (just an example) — if you can say that you aren’t full after you’ve sat down and slowly eat the said meal for 15-20 minutes, then I call BS!

– Dietary fat… you need it, my friends. 0.5-0.7 grams per pound of body weight is what I recommend for optimal hormone production. Yep, dat dere dietary fat will keep your ‘mushroom tip’ in full form and supplement your body with the goods to go ahead and maintain strength. I cannot emphasize fat enough. The only ‘fats’ I suggest you avoid are processed transfats. Only avoid saturated fat if you are a little bitch (I know you aren’t, readers, but I’m saying that as a scare tactic). Red meat is great, WHOLE EGGS are GREAT, bacon is great… but also, don’t ignore nuts whether it’s natural peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, pistachios (what the fuck ever). Also… go out and pick yourself up a bottle of fish oil and take 3-5 of those fish oil caps a day. Trust me. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids just like saturated and monounsaturated fats.

But again, allow me to reemphasize the great effects of fiber. Along with protein-laden foods, fiber will satiate the hell out of you. If you abhor vegetables, try my routine: melt butter (yep… whole, natural butter) and sautee vegetables like broccoli with the said butter, throw some crushed red pepper or garlic (use whatever you want if you don’t like it/them) and tear it down as a side of whatever meal you are eating.

Broccoli contains compounds called indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane… they are natural anti-aromatase ‘agents’ that work to preserve testosterone levels. This, combined with adequate fat levels, is (are?) GREAT. By the way, aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Google if you must.

Remember, saturated fatty acids from whole food sources are your friends. All the ‘studies’ out there related SFAs to heart disease and ‘high cholesterol’ are bunk in my book, but that’s another topic for another time.

ALSO, ALSO, ALSO:

A lot of supplement peddlers out there will say “HEY BRO, YOU NEED DIS, DAT AND DISSS” in order to leach money from your wallet. The only supplements I truly recommend that I think are beneficial? Well:

– A multivitamin (fuck megadosing vitamins; just get something that has at least 100% of the RDA of most of the vitamins in there.)
– Fish oil (yes)
– Vitamin D3 (hugely important. HUGE! 5,000 to 10,000 IU a day is what I recommend. Find a bottle with a good enough dosage/serving size. It’s generally cheap. A plethora of benefits, bro.)
– Vitamin K2 (this is the most underlooked and underrated vitamin out there. I recommend Life Extension’s “Super K” brand/vitamin that you can find on Amazon because it contains the MK4 and MK7 form of K2… if you want to know more about K2 I’ll be gladly to write more than I should about it. It helps synthesize calcium and D3 INTO your bones. Gets your ‘shit straight’, so to speak.)

I Love Stimulants

Call me a junkie, but I love stimulants. The legal kind, folks, not the illicit shit you might be thinking of. It’s why I consume caffeine in various forms like coffee, energy drinks, Perky Jerky (caffeinated beef and turkey jerky) and caffeine pills. I should take a break for a couple of weeks just so that I can give my body a refresher, but I don’t feel like dealing with the side effects of withdrawals (the headaches are the worst).

I bought two bottles of Muscle Pharm’s Shred Matrix (40 days worth of servings). I’m already loving it. Of course, it’s a stimulant/fat burner hybrid. Now, do fat burners ‘work’? You’ve gotta eat in regards to a caloric deficit and exercise for them to have any effect. I like the product for the energetic buzz and appetite suppression. Although, folks, the greatest fat burner out there that I’ve experienced that featured the best appetite suppression? Dexaprine V2. Dexaprine has since lowered the dosage of its ingredients in the newest Dexaprine XR and it’s not even as nearly as effective as its predecessor.

BSN, another reputable company that I love like Muscle Pharm, its fat burner is Hyper Shred. I’ve always thought it was a better stimulant for focusing on a task, though, given its solid nootropic blend. I’ve also recently tried USP Labs’ OxyElitePro and BPI’s B4. OxyElite Pro is a decent, little thermogenic and BPI’s B4 is very generic, underwhelming, underpriced and inefficient.

I don’t advise or recommend anybody reading to take these. If you do, do your fair share of reading beforehand. My body has a high tolerance for stimulants, but yours might not.