Part of getting back to this is to have a place to record some of my thoughts on my new diet and strength training program. It's not a place for detailed day-to-day journalling, but I think an update would be good here.
Almost 4 weeks ago, I started a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). It involves low-carb during the week, and high-carb on Friday night and Saturday. The idea is to get the body to switch to fat burning during the week and lift very heavy. Then on the weekend, you eat high (clean) carbs to replenish the glycogen in the muscles, give them something to use to repair and get stronger. Then on Sunday, back to low-carb and the whole thing starts again.
I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person when it comes to diet. I did okay on a moderate (40/40/20) diet for a few months, then the snacks and junk food would slowly sneak back in, and by August I had gained back 15 pounds from January. I actually only count 10 of it, because the first 5 was water rebound from the Medifast diet I did last year. So I found out about the CKD and decided to give it a try.
It's been 4 weeks, and I made the switch fairly easily. Never had the brain fog that affects most people. The happiest thing is that I'm rarely hungry and I'm able to get by with the targeted amount of calories. I set my calories at 1650-1750/day Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, I'm aiming for 2100-2300. You're supposed to do clean carb-ups, meaning oatmeal, sweet potatos, tuna, chicken. A "standard" bodybuilder diet with low fat and no refined sugar. In practice, I've been giving myself permission to have the things I'm "denied" during the week, or even on a 40/40/20 diet. From what I've read, it's fairly standard among people starting a CKD, and after a few weeks, you're done binging and you can easily stick with clean carb-ups.
I've only had 2 carb-ups so far, and last week I splurged on a birthday cake, so I went a little overboard. I know that a dirty carb-up can wipe out any gains during the week, so I have to take more accountability for my weekends. However, my pants fit better now, even though the scale isn't moving down very much. That's the most important thing to me, considering that I had to go buy a larger pair of pants a couple months ago. Now I'm back in my regular clothes and much happier.
It's an experiment and for the first time, I'm sticking to the rules so I can acurately evaluate what's working for me and what isn't. I feel like it's taken me many years, but every time I try something, I get a little better at it.
So bottom line for the past 4 weeks?
Low carb cals: 1650-1750; ~20 g net carbs (lots of veggies)
High Carb cals: ~2200; too much fat
Exercise: Heavy training 2 days/week, depletion workout on Friday afternoon; cardio 2-3X/week
Weight lost: 2 pounds
Waist inches lost: ~1-2 inch
Thoughts: A little slower than I was expecting. Possible reasons? Too many refined carbs and fat during the carb-up. Not enough calories during the week.
Have to really keep an eye on carbs during the week. They sneak in everywhere.
Strategy? Giving it 2 more weeks on the current schedule, then I'll decided what changes I want to make. Work on cleaner carb-ups and getting more healthy fats in and reducing the saturated fats. Aim for 4 strength trainings/week instead of 3.