Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Drinking Leads to....?

Weekend Drinking Leads to....?

This past weekend me and my girlfriend had planned to go out on the lake and do some boating with friends. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate as it was cloudy with showers.

So instead of going out boating we just hung out around her one friend's house for a while and of course when friends get together, there is going to be yummy food around.

No boating for us this weekend :(

For lunch, the food available was: grilled chicken salad, beef salad with white rice, and papaya salad. Since I'm following a low carb diet, I refrained from eating that delicious white rice and only had the salads with no rice :)

The one guy from that group of friends always offers me beer whenever we hang out. I don't particular have a taste for beer and also feel it makes me fatter than other alcoholic drinks. So I had to decline multiple times.

Evening time with alcohol
After sitting around for a bit waiting to see if the weather would get better, we decided it wasn't going to improve. We decided to head out to another friends house to eat some Pho (delicious Vietnamese beef noodle soup that is impossible to resist!)

So now at this house there were egg rolls, ice cream, papaya salad, and Pho. And now since the evening was here, people were also passing shots of Rum!

Now I don't have a problem with drinking alcohol even while dieting, but I do refuse to drink beer. However, I hard liquor is fine with me :)

The Rum I had this past weekend

Problem with alcohol while dieting
I've noticed no negative effects in terms of body composition when consuming hard liquor(within moderation of course) in the past. 

What does cause a problem though is the inhibitions that go along with alcohol consumption. Sometimes when drinking, you willpower against the diet killer foods I've been avoiding goes out the window. 

Why is that after drinking, your body craves fatty, carbohydrate laden food instead of high protein foods? 

This night I probably had just about 4 shots of rum.
Fortunately for me, this was not enough to destroy my willpower and I was able to resist this time around! 

I did have some Pho but did not eat any noodles and just had the beef and broth. I also was able to avoid the egg rolls and ice cream as well which was very difficult watching everybody enjoy them in front of me! I was able to do this by just telling myself NO to those foods. (It helped that I didn't get drunk from too many shots as well)

How do you guys deal with alcohol and the cravings that occur afterwards?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cheating on Vacation

Cheating on Your Diet while on Vacation

When it comes to whether I should continue dieting or not while I'm on a vacation, my view is ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Unless you've got a contest, photo shoot, or something where your income depends you looking awesome coming up, there's no need to restrict yourself while on vacation. 

Vacation is a time to relax
Minimizing the damage
This past weekend I flew to Philadelphia for my friend's engagement celebration. I actually flew in on Thursday night and would not be leaving until Tuesday. 

Now knowing how I am if I let myself totally go with the food, there are some things I did to minimize the damage. 

On the Thursday and Friday that I was there, I continued eating like I would if I was on my diet meaning low carb, high protein and intermittent fasting. 

I then allowed myself free reign on Saturday and Sunday. My friend's engagement celebration was on a yacht where there was plenty of food and drinks consumed. I felt like I ate everything in site and was so full, my stomach felt like it was going to explode.

Also to minimize this damage, I had dieted very strictly up until then treating it like my cheat day (I normally have a cheat day or refeed every 14 days)

I got in some home workouts as well on Thursday and Saturday morning before the yacht. 

Then after Sunday, I continued my dieting again on Monday.

So what was the damage done? Well, that Saturday morning I weighed 162 lbs. I didn't weigh myself again until Monday morning after all the damage and I was up to 169! I know this was mostly glycogen, water, bulk in my stomach and maybe just a little fat so I was not worried. 

So after continuing with my dieting on Monday, by Tuesday afternoon I was back down to 165 already. I know from past experience if I had not anything to minimize the damage, I would have gained 12 lbs or more!

Do you still diet while on vacation? If not, how do you minimize the damage?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Out of Town

I've been out of town since Wednesday night so I haven't had the chance to post anything in the past few days.

I'm on this visit to celebrate my friend getting engaged. He's the first in my close group of friends to make this huge commitment. Needless to say there has been a lot of eating, drinking, and partying (and weight gain)!

I still managed to get in two workouts so far during this trip. One workout was back and biceps and the other chest and shoulders. I was still able to get good workouts in despite working out at home at my friend's house where I'm staying. 

He has just enough equipment for me to be imaginative with and get a decent workout. 

My weight on this trip has fluctuated between 162 lbs and 169 lbs! I sure hope I can get my bodyfat back down before my friends visit for July 4th weekend!
I can't wait for that. It'll be more eating, drinking, and partying again then :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What inspired me to start working out

What inspired me to start working out

I remember when I was a chubby 5th grader, my older sister would tell me that I should exercise.

When I asked her why, she would respond with "so you don't look fat". Me being in 5th grade at the time, I didn't care about looking fat. I knew she didn't want to look fat but at that time I care how I looked.

I wasn't at the age where I was interested in girls yet so I wasn't trying to impress anybody and I wasn't so fat that I was being made fun of at school.

What I was interested in however were how comic book heroes looked with their big, defined muscles. I didn't know at the time, that they also had very little fat...I just thought they had huge muscles!

Had she shown me that I could have built a muscular, athletic body like the comic book superheroes instead of saying "so I don't look fat", I believe I would have been very interested and started working out like she had suggested.

What inspired me
What actually did get to start working out though, is an infomercial...a Tony Little infomercial to be exact.

This guy actually inspired me to start working out!
I don't remember the exact product he was selling at the time, but I'm sure it was a series of videos showing people how they can workout at home and lose weight.

The thing I remember most about those infomercials was the story about how he got into an accident, then felt sorry for himself and couldn't work out so he gained a lot of weight. They showed a picture of him looking bloated and out of shape.

Tony Little after his first accident
Seeing these before pictures and then seeing Tony as he was on the infomercial, in the great shape that he was, had a huge effect on me as I'm sure it did on many others. 

Seeing what he looked like in his before and after made me think that it was possible for me to make a change to my body with exercise!

So after seeing his infomercial multiple times, I started to do some of the exercises Tony showed on his infomercial. 

These were just simple exercises that I could do at home like push ups, crunches, leg lifts, and some light lifting with 5 lbs dumbbells. 

Changes occur
I didn't start looking like Tony Little, but I did see some changes.

I know the workouts didn't seem like much, but I actually started to see some results even as a 6th grader. I could tell I was getting thinner and actually starting to gain some muscle definition in my arms.

Now I'll never know whether these changes were a result of me working out or me starting to go through puberty. But seeing that infomercial was a great influence on me and impacted the rest of my life. 

So this was the start of me exercising but I hadn't learned anything about nutrition yet. I'll write about how I got started learning about nutrition in a future blog post :)

What inspired you to start working out?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dieting Progress Pics

My continued dieting progress pictures

Never stop making progress

After my 12 week body transformation, I still continued to diet to cut down my body fat even further. I felt like I could have made even better progress during my 12 weeks but I let vacations to New Orleans and Puerto Rico reverse my progress.

Before pic at 189 lbs on Jan 30, 2011

So I'm continuing to diet and see how low I can take my body fat. I don't know how long I'll be doing this for but I know it will be at least until June 30th. My friends are flying into town that day and I won't be dieting at all when they are here. 

I may even diet further after they leave depending on how fat and bloated I feel, since it still is summer time and its always nice to be ripped for summer :)

Or I may decide this would be the perfect time to start putting on more muscle...I guess I'll know when the time comes around.

My Progress Pics
I took some progress pics yesterday which is about 6 or 7 weeks from my pictures taken on April 24th. Here they are below:

Front Bicep at 165 lbs on June 11, 2011
Rear Bicep at 165 lbs on June 11, 2011
It looks like I have made great progress and have cut some more body fat while maintaining my muscle. A tan helps really bring out the definition as well :)

I'm happy with my progress so far but am still continuing to cut bodyfat even further! 

How has your summer cut/dieting been going?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

12 Week Body Transformation continued - Diet

How I dieted during my 12 Week Body Transformation

When it comes transforming your body and losing the maximum amount of fat, DIET is the single most important factor in accomplishing your goals.

Most people think the opposite. They think that they can start exercising hardcore and the diet will take care of itself. This is a mistake that too many people make as they can easily out-eat the amount of calories they had burned in the gym.

There's a saying that I read on Vince Andrich's blog "You can never outrun your mouth" which is the perfect way to describe how exercise can't overcome a bad diet.

This is why finding a diet that you can follow with ease and stick to is a crucial factor to success. 

I know I don't do well with carbohydrates and there's lots of research showing a low carbohydrate diet has metabolic advantages over other diets. So the diet I decided to follow was a high protein, high fat, low carb diet. 

Daily Schedule
This was what what a typical day was for me in terms of nutrition/supplementation:

7:15 AM - Wake up (Take 1 gram of Vitamin C, 1 OxyElite Pro, 4 Free Test)

2:00 PM - Take another OxyElite Pro

4:00 PM - Preworkout Myofusion shake (25 grams of protein)

4:30 PM - Workout (sip on my BCAA/Creatine mix during the workout)

5:45 PM - Post Workout Myofusion shake (50 grams of protein)

6:00 PM - Eat dinner (Take 6 grams of fishoil, 4,000 IU of Vitamin D, multivitamin)

8:00 PM - Myofusion shake with milk (33 grams of protein)

My dinner usually consisted of 3 chicken thighs, 4 eggs, 1 oz of cheese, some leafy green vegetables, and either a whole or half a grapefruit depending on how I felt.

Now you may be wondering where the food and protein shakes are from the time I wake up until my preworkout protein shake.

The answer is that I didn't eat anything or drink any protein shakes from the time of my protein shake the previous night to my next preworkout protein shake! Crazy huh? :P

Intermittent Fasting
This may sound crazy but this is the basis behind Intermittent Fasting.

This was the eating pattern I followed during my transformation which is essentially short periods of fasting otherwise known as intermittent fasting. This is the exact opposite of what is generally recommended these days which is to eat every 2-3 hours to keep the metabolism revved up.

In my previous dieting experiences, eating every 2-3 hours was a real chore. Having to constantly think about where your next protein source was going to come from was a big hassle. 

With intermittent fasting, I am not thinking about nutrition all day long. The only I think about nutrition is during the 5 hours between my preworkout protein shake and my nighttime protein shake.

What I also found with eating every few hours is that every time I ate, it would make me hungrier and want more food! Of course since I was dieting, this was not a good thing.

With intermittent fasting, I am almost never hungry now! I was hungry at first, but that was because my body was used to getting food every few hours. After a couple of days of intermittent fasting, your body adapts and then the hunger goes away.

Eating this way has made dieting sooo easy for me that EATING is actually the hardest part of it (sometimes its difficult to eat that much protein which is why I also rely on protein shakes).

If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting, check out Martin Berkhan's Leangains blog. His site is full of information and research debunking a lot of the myths on dieting.

Martin Berkhan knows what he's doing

The best thing about Intermittent Fasting is that it's just so easy to follow and adhere to. I wake up, go on with my day, and don't think about food until my work day is over!

Note that I didn't follow Martin's guidelines exactly, but I modified it to work best for me and still got great results! If you decide to try intermittent fasting, I would recommend following his guidelines exactly at first, and then make adjustments if needed.

Give it a try!
For those who don't like eating every few hours or even eating breakfast, I would recommend you give intermittent fasting a try. It might change your life...I know it has mine :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Increase Your Willpower When Dieting

How to increase your willpower on a diet

Example of willpower

During my most recent transformation, I felt like it was so easy for me to diet and resist the delicious foods that sabotage the diets of many others.

I never understood how others didn't have the willpower to resist these foods. How can someone be so weak as to allow something so small to control the way they look and feel?

When I'm dieting, I typically follow a no/low carb, fat protein, high fat diet. This means I'm restricted to eating various meats, vegetables, and basically nothing else (I do eat some a little bit of low sugar fruits such as grapefruits and berries)

Here is the secret
So here is the key to increasing your willpower when dieting. Since you know what your restricted foods are, don't allow yourself to even consider or think about any other foods!

This, combined with Intermittent Fasting, has made dieting for me a piece of cake!

When someone offers you something that you are not supposed to eat, just automatically say NO. Also if you see a food that is not on your list, don't even look at it and think about how delicious it is. 

By doing these things, you don't require any willpower to resist them. Its only when you consider the thought that you can eat something bad, that you have to use your willpower to resist it. Also by thinking about eating something bad, you start to justify to yourself reasons you can eat it.

Studies have shown that humans have a finite amount of willpower. If they use it in one area of their life, they'll have a harder time using it in another. By doing the above that I suggested, your willpower won't need to be "used up" to resist foods and can be used in other areas of your life.

So set yourself up for dieting and fat loss success by not even allowing it to get the point of willpower. Don't even consider or think about the foods you are not supposed to eat!

Let me know how this tip works out for :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Refeed Day for Fat Loss

My Refeed Day

This past Sunday was my "refeed" day in which I consumed about 500-600 grams of carbohydrates in an attempt to increase my metabolism and leptin for further fat loss during my cut. 

I started off my day by going to the gym to do 60 minutes of low intensity steady state cardio while sipping on a BCAA/Creatine drink during the cardio session.

After the cardio session, me and my gf went to the supermarket to buy my carbohydrates for the day. I bought a Take & Bake loaf of bread, a bag of Rold Gold Cheddar pretzels, and I also had some instant chicken Pho packages at home that I was going to eat as well.

Carbohydrates make you sleepy

All of this together was about 600 grams of carbohydrates. I also had a protein shake with two scoops of protein while eating my carbs as well.

Eating all these carbs after not having any for a period of time may sound great but this was no easy feat! 

As soon as I was halfway through the loaf of bread and pretzels, I felt the carb coma coming on and all I wanted to do was go to sleep! I had a very hard time eating the remaining carbohydrates.

In addition to barely being able to keep my eyes open, I felt bloated as hell! The crazy thing is this is how obese people eat everyday. I was just thinking about how horrible I felt and imagining that this must be how people who eat like this feel everyday!


Carbohydrate refeeds are not so easy and may possibly be even more difficult than the actual dieting :) I know this is the case for me. I much more enjoy the dieting process than bulking process.

I think in the future I may experiment with carbohydrate cycling. This is basically where you rotate days of no, medium, and high carbs throughout the week, but nowhere near as high as the refeed. This is something I'll write about in more detail at a later date. 

How have your experiences with refeeds or cheat days been?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gym, Tan, Laundry


Two of my favorite things to do in life are going to the gym and tanning.
The plan for this beautiful Saturday was for me and my girlfriend to wake up, go the gym, and then layout and tan :)

Tanning by the pool :)

We both woke up this morning at 10 AM. I hopped out of bed, went to get my Vitamin C (Vitamin C is supposed to help control cortisol) and OxyElite Pro and down it with a full glass of water which I do every morning. Then I proceeded to brush my teeth and change my clothes to go to they gym. 

The plan for me this morning was just to do 60 minutes of fasted low intensity cardio. I split the 60 minutes with 30 minutes incline walking on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the elliptical. 

We both finish up and head home to our condo where there's a pool and we lay outside to tan. Ahhh, tanning feels so good after the gym! 

A perfect way to start this Saturday: Gym and Tanning!

PS. Laundry is scheduled for later today or tomorrow :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Look Thinner Instantly

How to look thinner instantly with the help of a broomstick

One of the easiest ways to instantly look like you've lost 10 lbs is to improve your posture by having your shoulders pulled back, chest up and out, and your head up and back. By pulling your shoulders back and sticking your chest out and up, your body will also naturally lengthen your stomach and pull it in. This gives the illusion that you've lost 10 lbs! 

Now it may be difficult to hold this position for long periods especially if you're not used to being aware of your posture. 

The typical office worker is hunched over their keyboard with their head in a forward and/or down position and this contributes to the bad posture that everyone is accustomed to.

A simple way to help improve your posture besides being aware of it, is to use a broomstick (or some other similar firm stick object).

Grab the broomstick with both hands and extend out in front of you. The grip you should use will be wider than shoulder width. As you increase the flexibility of your chest and shoulders, you'll want to move your grip in to further increase the stretch. 

Now take the broomstick, bring it over your head and pull it down to your trapezius muscles. Make sure you keep your head up. You should feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders.

Hold this position for as long as you can or as long as you feel comfortable. Do this a couple of times during the day during your breaks and you'll notice your posture improve immediately and look slimmer instantly!

Has anyone noticed how much better they look and feel once you've improved your posture?

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