The Quick Diet Experiment: Day 15 – aftermath

The Aftermath and what comes next…


Read the introduction by clicking here! | Day 1-3. | Day 4-6. | Day 7-11. | Day 12-14. (Will open in new window)

These are extracts from my daily journal entries over at Classic Muscle Newsletter. To get the full story, including tips and more detailed thoughts, become a member today. As a member you’ll also enjoy 4 to 5 new full-length articles a month, a review of the latest research, access to more than 260 articles and training programs, and much more!

Sunday, June 25. Day 15 – aftermath: ketogenic diet and the next step:

Day "0" versus Day 15. Higher resolution photos at Classic Muscle Newsletter Day “0” versus Day 15. Higher resolution photos at Classic Muscle Newsletter.

Guess what? Yeah, got home late again after collecting 10 big “dino bones” from a friend and staying 2.5 hours at the dog park in the evening. Had to make my last meal for the day at close to 10 PM and then hitting the bed just before 11 PM. Didn’t sleep too well and woke up at 5 AM as clockwork. Yeah, I usually don’t sleep in on weekends when I sleep alone. If sharing a bed, I usually get up early, get some important work done, and then slip back into bed.
But yeah, sleep this night was not the best. And my morning weight was slightly up by 300 grams (0.66 lbs.), putting the scale at 70.2 kg (154.4). It’s actually what I weighed on June 22.
I took new photos at 7.30 AM. Not the best of conditions and it was freezing having to open the balcony door to let some early morning light inside. But it had to be done. Hopefully you can notice some small changes (although it’s only been 5 days since the last photo).
I also got a new body comp done and I’ve lost yet a few millimeters at most measuring sites. According to the 9-site Parrillo formula, my subcutaneous body fat is now at about 6.29 % – quite a drop from 7.79 % in just 14 days – especially considering that my body fat was “low-ish” to begin with.

Day "0", day 5, day 10, and day 15. Day “0”, day 5, day 10, and day 15. Higher resolution photos at Classic Muscle Newsletter.

And speaking of body weight and body composition. Although fluid retention changes from day to day, I think I’ve actually gained some muscle mass during this experiment. When I started, I weighed 73.5 kg (161.7 lbs.) with a lot of muscle glycogen (which binds water inside the cells) and I had quite a lot of fluid retention beneath the skin. Now, after 14 days of a pretty restricted ketogenic diet (including three instances of 36 hours without protein and only about 200 to 300 kcal), I weigh 70.2 kg. That’s only a loss of 3.3 kg (7.26 lbs.) The skin fold caliper body composition test says I lost about 1.25 kg (2.75 lbs.) of body fat, which might actually be pretty correct considering that it’s only been 14 days – and that would come down to 625 grams (1.375 lbs.) a week on average. That is about as much as my body can release in fatty acids at this level of leanness. At the start, I had about 5.7 kg of subcutaneous fat. At my level of leanness, lifestyle and activity level, I probably have an additional 3.5 to 4.0 kg of intra-fat (the fat surrounding organs and residing behind the abdominal wall). So with about a total of 9.2 to 9.7 kg (20.2 to 21.3 lbs.) of total body fat, I should be able to release and burn about 644 to 679 kcal of fat a day, when using the standard of 70 kcal per kg of body fat formula. That’s about 585 to 617 grams (1.29 to 1.36 lbs.) of fat a week – if perfectly healthy and in an ideal world. And… This number goes down as your fat stores shrink. Today, with at least 1.25 kg less body fat, I would only be able to release and burn 557 to 591 kcal a day, which is 506 to 537 grams (1.11 to 1.18 lbs.) a week.

Body composition sheet.

Body composition sheet.

So yes, I think the “pure fat loss” is pretty accurate. It might look like I lost a lot more, but that would be pretty much physically impossible. And the fact that I look so much “sharper” and ripped is also due to loss of subcutaneous water. Remember that the main reason for doing this experiment was to reduce inflammation, which also reduces water retention.

Considering that I should have lost at least 100 grams of liver glycogen, and 500 grams of muscle glycogen (probably close to 600 grams since I carry more muscle mass than the average man), which binds an additional 1 400 to 1600 grams of water, and at least 1 250 grams of fat, and then adding in the loss of additional subcutaneous fluids/water retention, the math fails – as it adds up to more than the 3.3 kg lost. And that without even considering the water retention.
So only one answer remains. I’ve gained a little bit of muscle mass – on a restricted ketogenic diet with a total of 4.5 days without any protein out of 14 days. According to all the Facebook and YouTube Bro-experts, I would have withered away and lost muscle mass.

It’s a funny thing how the body actually work, respond, and perform when you know what you’re doing instead of following old dogma, myths and bro-science.

So what now?

Shameless selfie. Sucking in and contracting the abs make my arm look bigger. ;) Shameless selfie. Sucking in and contracting the abs make my arm look bigger. 😉

I went into this diet experiment thinking that it would be difficult and challenging at times, especially during the fat only fasts for 36 hours or more without any protein. But truth is that it was extremely easy – and I felt great the whole time. I can see and feel the difference it has done in lowering inflammation and that my body feel “lighter” and “fresher”. It will be interesting to take new blood tests this week and to see if my kidneys are operating better than three weeks ago.

Considering all this, I will continue with a ketogenic diet with the main goal to stay in ketosis most of the day. I will experiment with carbohydrates before and after my training sessions. In other words, I’ll start by adding about 20 to 30 grams of simple carbs before my workout and another 20 to 30 grams of complex carbs after my workout. On my days off from the gym, I’ll do a strict ketogenic diet.

My main goal is, and will be, my health and feeling as good as possible – with an energetic and clear mind. Keeping my body fat as low as possible without noticing any adverse effects is second on my list (since this will minimize inflammation and toxic load), and adding a bit more muscle mass comes third.

Speaking of keeping your body fat low. I’m planning an article about that. There’s simply so much misinformation out there, claiming that low body fat is bad for you; as it will wreck your hormones, contribute to mood swings, lowered attention span and learning difficulties, etcetera.
Still, the observations that exists and warn about these adverse effects are from people who have starved themselves – as in prisoners of war, people with anorexia, etcetera. It’s not the minimal amount of body fat that is the problem in these subjects, it’s how they got there by denying their bodies the nutrients it desperately needs – that is the problem. The diet they followed or was forced to follow destroyed their hormone production, microbiota, electrolytes, etcetera. The low level of body fat is only an effect of energy deprivation, not the causation.

Anyway, I’ll start increasing calories slowly over the coming weeks, but I’ll probably lose another pound of fat or two before I focus on a short muscle gaining phase. I’ll also continue with my fat fasts. At least twice a month, simply because the health benefits of autophagy is enormous. Being in ketosis and activating autophagy is one of the best ways to remove dysfunctional cells and prevent/reverse cancer and other modern diseases. The benefits are so great that not doing regular recurring fasts would simply be extremely stupid. It’s about investing in your health. Besides your family, it’s the most precious gift you have.

I will continue with a journal, documenting the things I’ll do next – and I’ll do my best to share useful and interesting information. Thank you for reading!


By | 2016-10-16T14:03:07+00:00 June 29th, 2016|The Diet Experiment 2016|0 Comments

The Quick Diet Experiment: Day 12 to 14

The Journal: Day 12 to 14


Read the introduction by clicking here! | Day 1-3. | Day 4-6. | Day 7-11. (Will open in new window)

These are extracts from my daily journal entries over at Classic Muscle Newsletter. To get the full story, including tips and more detailed thoughts, become a member today. As a member you’ll also enjoy 4 to 5 new full-length articles a month, a review of the latest research, access to more than 260 articles and training programs, and much more!


Thursday, June 23. Day 12 – MCT-“fasting”:

Day "zero", day 5, and day 10. Day “zero”, day 5, and day 10. Next photo update in “Day 15: the Aftermath”.

It’s that day again – my third day of complete fasting from protein. I’ll only have about 20 grams of MCT oil today. The MCT’s support a deeper ketosis and provide immediate energy because they are able to cross the double mitochondrial membrane very rapidly and do not require the presence of carnitine to do so (as other fatty acids does). This results in the production of excess acetyl-coA which breaks down into ketones. Also, the shortest 8-carbon medium-chain triglycerides (Caprylic Acid) within MCT oil does not need to be processed in the liver and it only need 3 steps for your body to turn it into ATP (sugar needs 26 steps). And as ketones are your brains preferred fuel (much more so than glucose), you do feel fantastic all day – even if you’re not used to fasting and/or being in ketosis. And fats do not interfere with autophagy, so you get the best from both worlds when doing a fat- and/or MCT-fast.

Funny thing is that I weighed in at 70.4 kg today, that’s a gain of 200 grams (0.44 lbs) since yesterday. This is probably due to toxic load and other factors (I’ll explain this in more detail in a day or two).

Total for the day sums up to:
20 grams of MCT
0 grams of protein
0 grams of carbohydrates
About 166 kcal total

Felt fine the whole day. Only noticed some “tiredness” in my legs during my evening walk with my wolfdog, but just as last time I experienced this, it went away after about 10 minutes and then I actually felt really energetic instead.
Mental clarity was very high the whole day, and I was also very active as I had a lot to do. No weight training, but I did walk and move about a lot. Total energy expenditure for the day at about 2500 kcal.

Friday, June 24. Day 13 – ketogenic diet, adding in protein again:

Down 100 grams today, weighing in at 70.4 kg. Slept pretty good considering yesterday’s MCT-“fast” with only 166 kcal in total.

Kicked off the day at 5 AM with some coffee with MCT and a little butter. I had my first protein (20 grams) at 9 AM as part of my pre-workout nutrition – and I had another 20 grams during the workout, and then 30 grams in my post-workout meal (of which 5 g was collagen protein for strengthening joints and improving the skin). In the afternoon I had another 20 grams and then I had one larger meal in the evening with about 40-45 grams of protein (with an additional 5 g of collagen) and a small snack an hour later.

For my training session, I did a push-oriented workout – and as usual I kept rest intervals to a minimum, going back and forth between two exercises. Started off with some strength work in the high incline barbell press (70 degrees), ramping to my 2 RM and then doing some cluster set with 10 % less weight. While doing these, I did high-rep side dumbbell laterals in between sets (only using 33 to 44 lbs dumbbells for 15 to 20 reps). I then lowered the incline to 30 degrees and did the same with incline bench press and alternating between that and bent-over rear-delt dumbbell raises. Finished off with some mechanical drop sets for triceps.
Peak heart rate at 178 beats per minute, average heart rate at 142, and total duration at 1h 4 min.

As for food, the daily total looked like this:
195 grams of fat (of which 25 g was MCT oil) – about 71 E%
137 grams of protein (of which 10 g was collagen protein) – about 23 E%
35 grams of carbs (15-20 g fiber) – about 6 E%
About 2 408 kcal total

I was very active today (it was midsummer celebrations here in Sweden) and I took 14 121 steps and torched about 3 300 kcal total during the day – so, a huge 900 kcal deficit. But I’m not worried.

Saturday, June 25. Day 14 – ketogenic diet and words of wisdom on fluctuating body weight:

Kind of messed up my sleep this night. I got home late, didn’t really wind down, and just went to bed. I woke up four times during the night and only got a few minutes of deep sleep. Total time at sleep at about 5 hours, but sleep quality very low (which is what really counts).
Also, I hit my biggest drop in body weight this morning – a whopping 0.5 kg! I’m actually below 70 kg, weighing in at 69.9 kg (153.8 lbs.) That weigh-in was at 4.50 AM, and after re-hydrating, I’m at about 71 kg. But yeah, 69.9 kg when weighing in under the same conditions as all previous days.

So why is that? We all know that burning/losing fat is not a linear journey. You get ups and downs all the time – but why? I’ve covered a lot of reasons in several articles (and books) during the years, but the main reasons are toxins and inflammation. It’s mainly about the level of fluid retention in the body. This will have the biggest impact. Chemicals and toxins from the environment or anything you put on your skin or in your mouth are either excreted by your body or it ends up in your fat tissue. Actually, toxins you consume can be metabolized by the liver and then excreted by the kidneys – unless any of these organs are overworked/overburdened, or damaged.

Now, keep in mind that most chemicals are lipophilic, meaning that they are attracted to fat and are easily stored there. Chemicals that are absorbed by the skin, gum tissue, scalp, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract instead of through the digestive system are deposited directly into the bloodstream – and reach all of your fat cells and organs before they get to the liver!
This means that chemicals and toxins you get into your body from air pollution, skin lotions, sun screens, makeup, shower creams/soaps, toothpaste, deodorants, etcetera, can wreak havoc in your bloodstream before they end up (to a far greater amount) in your fat tissue and your organs (including your brain!)
These chemicals that prolong a product’s shelf life, emulsify water with oil, promise to make us look younger, heal a skin conditions, or stop us from sweating are actually contributing to skin problems, psoriasis, low testosterone, high estrogen, brain fog, learning disabilities, memory problems, water retention, low energy levels, slowed metabolic rate, and the rise in obesity of adults and children by damaging our endocrine systems and causing inflammation.
So be careful with that crap. Read the labels and you’ll never put that on your body again! I stick with natural oils, organic deodorants, and toothpaste made of bicarbonate, clay and some mint – and I suggest you do too.
I’ll write more articles about this in the future – since what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body for your health and longevity.

Anyway, when you’re on a diet and you release and “burn” off more fatty acids than you store, these stored chemicals and toxins are released together with the fatty acids. These toxins are stored unevenly (depending on when they entered your body and in what quantities) and they have different characteristics, so they influence your body in different ways when released – but they mainly cause inflammation, making you hold more fluids within your body as a defense. They also cause brain fog, lethargy, and tiredness, so if you have “bad days” on your diet without any obvious explanation, it’s probably because of the toxic load in your body temporarily being higher than usual.
This is probably what happened to me a few days back during my fast and when I actually gained 200 grams of body weight. Today however, the toxic load is lower and I lost some of the water weight I retained during those days.

Also, even if you could replicate several days in a row with both energy intake and expenditure, you would still not burn the exact same amount of body fat as energy from day to day. Your body is in a constant flux, reacting to anything you put in it and anything you come in contact with. Your hormonal milieu differs from day to day, so does you microbiota, and so on and on. You can never calculate or predict a weight loss with 100 percent certainty. You simply have to make sure that you support your body, do not starve yourself (unless it’s a short time plan to maximize autophagy), and learn from how your body respond.

As for those delicious nutrients, the daily total looked like this:
182 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil) – about 68 E%
148 grams of protein (of which 10 g was collagen protein) – about 26 E%
30 grams of carbs (15-20 g fiber) – about 6 E%
About 2 317 kcal total

Although I got good training session, my activity today was somewhat lower – having me “clocking in” at about 2850 expended kcal. So, a deficit of about 530 kcal. That’s nice!

In the next article, I’ll cover the days following the experiment. I’ll discuss the results, new blood work, and what I’ll do next.

By | 2016-10-16T14:03:08+00:00 June 29th, 2016|The Diet Experiment 2016|0 Comments

The Quick Diet Experiment: Day 7 to 10

The Journal: Day 7 to 10


Read the introduction by clicking here! | Day 1-3. | Day 4-6. (Will open in new window)

These are extracts from my daily journal entries over at Classic Muscle Newsletter. To get the full story, including tips and more detailed thoughts, become a member today. As a member you’ll also enjoy 4 to 5 new full-length articles a month, a review of the latest research, access to more than 260 articles and training programs, and much more!

Saturday, June 18. Day 7 – MCT-“fasting”:

Weighted in at 71.1 kg (156.4 lbs) today, another 200 grams (0.44 lbs) less than yesterday. The decline in body weight seems rather constant at the moment, but I expect a larger drop by tomorrow.
Since I’ve been training four days in a row, I have a MCT-“fast” with no protein today, and the fact that I have so much else going on I my life for the moment, I decided to take the day off from the gym.

I had one cup of coffee in the morning and one in the forenoon. Only 5 g of MCT oil in each cup. Also took a longer morning walk with my wolfdog, and at 1 PM we took a 4 km (2.5 miles) bike ride to meet up with some friends and their dogs at a dog park, where we stayed for 1.5 hours – walking around, playing and taking some photos. On the way back home, I took another, a bit longer, route home. And I did notice a bit of ammonia in my breath. And since I had my last meal with protein at 7 PM on Friday, it’s due to autophagy – the body is recycling bad cells as protein and energy.

During my evening dog walk I actually felt a bit tired in my body for the first time, but it went away after 10 minutes and then I felt really good again. Considering I only had 15 grams of MCT oil since 7 PM yesterday and that my body is still adapting to run on fat and ketones, it’s expected.
I remember the first time I did a ketogenic diet (Dan Duchaine’s Body Opus) back in 1997. Back then I felt really miserable the first week and I had the infamous keto breath and smelled of ammonia for two weeks before my body started to adapt to burn fats and ketones more efficiently.
With that said, I haven’t done pure keto since 2008, but I have done some 28- to 36-hour water fasts, especially during 2009 to 2012 – and I do a lot of intermittent fasting. So my body is a lot quicker to adapt nowadays.

In the evening, I did have some extra fats, a little bit of dark chocolate, raw cacao nibs, and cacao butter. Also 3 grams of omega-3 and a scoop of greens powder.

So to recap, my last meal yesterday was at 7 PM and it was probably absorbed within 3 hours (since it was small), which means that I was in a fasted state around 10 PM. During the day I had a total of 15 grams of MCT oil, which do not interfere with the fasting or autophagy. Then I had a small meal at 8 PM in the evening. That’s 22 hours of MCT-“fasting”. However, since I had almost no protein at all, my protein fast will continue until Sunday before hitting the gym. It will probably be close to 35 or 36 hours without protein – pretty much as during day 1 and 2 of this experiment.

When adding in my 8 PM meal, the total for the day sums up to:
32 grams of fat (of which 15 grams was MCT oil) – about 91 E%
4 grams of protein – about 5 E%
3 grams of carbohydrates (about 2 grams of fiber) – about 4E%
About 303 kcal total

That’s a deficit of around 2100 to 2200 kcal and almost no protein. Feeling pretty good though. Tomorrow I’ll add in some protein before, during and after my workout, and then I’ll raise the calories again, going back full keto on Monday.

Sunday, June 19. Day 8 – intermittent fat fasting, adding in some protein:

As predicted, my morning weight after yesterday’s MCT-“fasting” and 303 kcal total, was 70.7 kg (155.5 lbs) – a reduction of 400 grams (0.88 lbs) since last morning. I honestly thought it would be a little bit more, considering loss of body fat and contents within the intestines. Perhaps the extra electrolytes I take daily helped to maintain a good hydration/water balance (which can be tricky on a low energy ketogenic diet.)
Speaking of fluids. My previous water/fluid retention around the face and ankles has improved considerably. The fasting and high intake of fats is working. Total body inflammation is lower, which I also noticed during today’s workout (more on that in a bit.)

As I woke early today (4:15 AM), I started the morning with coffee, MCT oil and a little drop of double cream. After a brisk walk with my dog at 7 AM, I took another cup as an early pre-workout at around 8.30 AM. I then had my first protein since Friday evening – about 20 grams of whey isolate mixed with 10 grams of MCT oil. I loaded an additional 30 grams of whey isolate and 5 grams of MCT oil as my intra-workout shake and did yet another push-oriented workout. As my back is still a bit stiff, doing shoulders and some easy chest and triceps seemed as the best choice – so I can go in with more intensity tomorrow and hopefully get a good leg workout.

As mentioned earlier, whole body inflammation is lower and all my joints feel better. I’ve had a lot of trouble with my shoulders and during May and early June, I could only do barbell shoulder presses and high incline presses. If I lowered the bench beneath 45 degrees, as in incline bench press or regular bench press, my shoulders would hurt like hell and I would lose strength and control. I could actually only lower the bar half the way in bench press before the shoulders would give out, risking an injury.
Today however, I could easily do the incline bench press at about 30 degrees. My shoulders felt fantastic.

After the workout I had a tiny bit of unpasteurized raw milk with 20 g of whey protein, 5 g of collagen protein, 5 g of isomalto-oligosaccharide (prebiotic), 10 g of pumpkin seeds, 5 g of sunflower seeds, 10 g of raw cacao nibs and some raw cacao for additional taste. In the afternoon I had another cup of coffee with MCT and in the evening I had a chicken leg with veggies and a bit later some eggs with veggies. And of course, a lot of spices and herbs. A lot!

The daily total looked like this:
170 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil) – about 71 E%
120 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein) – about 23 E%
30 grams of carbs (20-25 g fiber) – about 6 E%
About 2 096 kcal total

My total energy expenditure for the day was in the neighborhood of 3100 kcal as I was a bit more active than I’ve planned, which yields a deficit of about 1000 kcal. No worries though, as calories will be raised tomorrow.

Monday, June 20. Day 9 – ketogenic diet, more on health:

Slept pretty well for a total of 7 hours with three instances of deep rejuvenating sleep, totaling about 1h 50 min. Got up at 4.55 AM and had my usual cups of coffee. Morning weight was 70.7, a slight decrease by “the usual” 200 grams (0.44 lbs.) Once again, I was expecting more. But it seems that my body is doing quite well on this experiment.
Noticed increased definition and vascularity in my legs, so they are finally coming along. I can now see muscle fibers contracting on the upper part of my calves. The lower part still holds some subcutaneous water, but to a much lesser extent than before the experiment.

Since the main focus of this experiment is to heal my inflamed and injured kidneys, I don’t want my intake of protein to creep up too high. So to keep the calories going up, I can only add more fats. Even if I have room for a few more carbs, they don’t really mount up to anything much. I’d like to keep my “energy giving” carbohydrates below 20 to 25 grams so I’m sure I’m staying in ketosis. After the experiment, I’ll start adding them around the workouts, but for now, more fats it is.
Another concern is the fact that my mother has a very aggressive form of rheumatism and psoriasis. Most of her joints and bones have been eaten away by inflammation, especially the shoulders and elbows, as well as her hip and ankles. When I was younger and hungry for gains and didn’t really care about healthy foods or avoiding chemicals in skin care products or beauty products, I did notice some spots of psoriasis. Luckily they all went away as I became more health-conscious and when I did my first famous diet experiment in 2007 and 2008. Since then, it’s been totally gone. But I still need to be careful because it’s hidden away in my genetics, and although it’s dormant, a compromised immune system or a lot of bodily stress could bring it back to the surface. So the most important thing is to keep inflammation under control, keep my hormones in check (thyroid and testosterone as high as possible and estrogen low, but not too low) and to keep my body fat as low as possible without compromising my health.

In the evening I had pork chops with butter, onions and some veggies. Made it two separate meals, because convenience.

The daily total looked like this:
182 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil) – about 70 E%
135 grams of protein (of which 10-15 g was collagen protein) – about 25 E%
30 grams of carbs (20-25 g fiber) – about 5 E%
About 2 263 kcal total

Torched about 2900 kcal today, so the deficit for the day comes in the neighborhood of 600 to 700 kcal.

Tuesday, June 21. Day 10 – ketogenic diet:

Slept pretty well for a total of 6 h 45 min. Morning weight at 70.3 – another 200 grams (0.44 lbs.) down since yesterday, like clockwork.

Had a day off from the gym today. My schedule today and tomorrow is crazy – and I’ve been wading through 50+ studies to find some of interest for my research series here on Classic Muscle Newsletter. I got 4. Will wade through another 50 on Thursday.
Diet wise I have nothing much to report really. The veins in my chest, lower abdomen and legs are coming along nicely. And I have tons of energy. Brain fog is a lot less than two weeks ago, and that’s a big plus!

The daily total looked like this:
162 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil) – about 71 E%
115 grams of protein (of which 10-15 g was collagen protein) – about 24 E%
25 grams of carbs (15-20 g fiber) – about 5 E%
About 1 985 kcal total

Burned about 2500 kcal today, so the deficit was about 500 kcal.

Wednesday, June 22. Day 11 – metabolic day, increased calories, some tips on back training:

Day "zero", day 5, and day 10.

Day “zero”, day 5, and day 10. Click to zoom.

Another pretty good night. I slept for about 6 h 35 min with three instances of deep restful sleep, totaling 1 hour and 55 min.
Sleep efficiency was at 97 % according to my Microsoft Band II and the MS health app. Time to fall asleep was 4 min 39 sec, which is a bit longer than usual. Resting heart rate at 50 (I usually fluctuate between 46 and 51). Not too sure about the accuracy of the data, but I usually check it a few hours after I wake up to see if it matches how I feel – and so far it usually has been pretty correct.

Morning weight at 70.2 kg, so only 100 grams (0.22 lbs.) less than yesterday.

Day "zero" and day 10 of the Diet Experiment.

Day “zero” and day 10 of the Diet Experiment. Click to zoom.

Today is another metabolic day to keep the hormones flowing. I’m a bit pressed for time as my afternoon and evening is fully booked. Anyhow, I took some quick photos this morning before I started to increase my calories. Since I took them 2 to 2.5 hours earlier than usual (at 7 AM), the sun was still low and didn’t give as much light as in the earlier photos, so I had to lower the shutter speed (I don’t want to go above ISO-400, as the photos will be too grainy). Unfortunately, the photos came out with a little bit of motion blur, but they’ll have to do. They look decent when shrunk, and you can still see a lot of changes in only the five days that have passed; abs a little bit tighter, vascularity is beginning to show in the legs again, etcetera.
Higher resolution photos are available at Classic Muscle Newsletter.

My workout this day was all back. I usually have two distinct different ways to start a training session. For as long as I can remember (mid-90’s) I always have begun by ramping the weight on my first and main exercise. Keeping the repetitions between 3 and 5 not to waste energy. By increasing the weight by each set your nervous system gets activated and you get warm, ready to do some serious lifts without burning much glycogen in the process. In other words, you’re fresh once you hit your heavy work sets.
This is usually the approach I take with most clients to learn and program their nervous systems to become more efficient, teaching them to recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibers.
However, once you have a pretty efficient nervous system and can switch it on with only a set or two, I have another approach that is very effective if your main goal is muscle hypertrophy and you don’t care much about doing strength work. This method is simply to start the workout with a mechanical drop-set. In other words, you pick a weight that is about 50 to 60 percent of your max and you do an exercise where you can shift positions without resting. You start in your weakest position and when you are about one repetition short of failure you shift to a stronger position and so on in three steps.
For example, since I did back, I started with Barbell Row. When I was close to failure, I raised my torso and continued to do reps in a Dorian Yates row fashion. When I was close to failure on these I finished off with Romanian deadlifts. This set took about 1 min 40 seconds and it was enough to get me warm, fired up, reach a heartbeat of 170+, and it also sat the bar for the rest of the workout. No way you can drag your legs behind after such a start!

Skin-fold body composition from day "zero" to day 10.

Skin-fold body composition from day “zero” to day 10.

Also got my body composition tested just before my workout using the Harpenden Skin-fold caliper. Most dramatic changes occurred in my upper and lower back, and to a degree in the thighs.

The daily total looked like this:
210 grams of fat (of which 25 g was MCT oil) – about 66 E%
177 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein) – about 26 E%
55 grams of carbs (15-20 g fiber) – about 8 E%
About 2 785 kcal total

At 55 grams and 30 to 35 g of energy giving carbohydrates, that was my highest intake of carbs thus far on this experiment. Did feel fine all day though, never dipped out of ketosis. Probably because I had a lot of things to do and didn’t sit around a lot. According to my MS Band II, I took close to 16 000 steps during the day. I usually average 9000 to 11 000.

So, the “calorie burn” through the day landed at approx. 3420 kcal. More fuel plus more activity equals higher metabolic flux. Still I had a deficit of about 650 kcal, which is just fine.




By | 2016-10-16T14:03:12+00:00 June 24th, 2016|The Diet Experiment 2016|0 Comments

The Quick Diet Experiment: Day 4 to 6

The Journal: Day 4 to 6


Read the introduction by clicking here! The first three days are linked here. (Will open in new window)

These are extracts from my daily journal entries over at Classic Muscle Newsletter. To get the full story, including tips and more detailed thoughts, become a member today. As a member you’ll also enjoy 4 to 5 new full-length articles a month, a review of the latest research, access to more than 260 articles and training programs, and much more!


Wednesday, June 15. Day 4 – ketogenic diet:

This night I woke up a couple of times around 1 AM to 3 AM and I only got about an hour of deep sleep. I did however wake up at 5:05 AM full of energy and I’m not the least tired.
My morning body weight was down 0.8 kg (1.8 lbs) since last morning. I’ve lost some additional subcutaneous water and my glycogen stores are now pretty depleted. I’m currently at 71.8 kg (158 lbs), so my body weight is down by 1.7 kg (3.74 lbs) since the start this past Sunday. Please note that my morning weight on Saturday, when I took my before photo was 72.8 kg, but my morning weight on Sunday when I started the diet was 73.5 kg (162 lbs.) During the last week before the diet experiment, my morning weight fluctuated between 73.1 and 73.8 kg (160.1 to 162.4 lbs.)

I started the day with the same cups of coffee, but for a more awesome taste experience, I used a natural double cream instead of butter as the main fat source. I had 5 grams of MCT oil with both cups, 5 grams of collagen protein with the first and when I was almost done with the second cup, I added a tiny bit of water and 15 grams of whey protein, stirred it for a second and gulped it down – because of laziness (or convenience, take your pick).

At about 11 AM I did a pull-based (back) workout. Since my lower back still isn’t a hundred percent, I did rowing with chest support and alternated high-rep lat-pulldowns with straight-arm lat-pulldowns focusing on peak contraction. Added some seated curls on the end and finished in 50 minutes.
Had the same para-nutrition as yesterday. MCT oil and some whey isolate before and during training. Very simple for the moment, but it does wonders. More information over at Classic Muscle Newsletter.

Yet again I upped the calories and the daily total looked like this:
136 grams of fat (of which 40 g was MCT oil)
150 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein)
30 grams of carbs (mostly fiber)
About 1 915 kcal total

This mean that I had a calorie deficit of approximately 600 to 700 kcal, since my workout today was a bit shorter than usual and I haven’t walked as much (just above 7000 steps). This is right on target and within my body’s limits as far as releasing fatty acids for fuel goes.

Thursday, June 16. Day 5 – ketogenic diet:

All right then, another night with some tossing and turning after the first two hours of sleep, followed by some deep quality sleep. My body has not fully adjusted to ketosis yet. I’m full of “nervous” energy. Although I feel a little bit sluggish in my body at times, I have a lot more energy and mental clarity then during the last month when I averaged 400 to 500 grams of carbs a day. I feel a lot better during the days, but sleep is still a bitch. It usually gets better after a week or so. Just gotta hang in there.
Still miss the carbs and the muscle fullness they give you, though – especially when blood is rushing to the muscles and the veins look like they’re about to explode, haha. 😉

Morning weight today registered at 71.5 kg (157.3 lbs), so I’m down 300 grams (0.66 lbs) since yesterday. I noticed that the separation between my muscle bellies, especially around the deltoids and the tie in to both the chest and the arms was more defined today. Also, more veins are starting to creep out on my legs, especially around the “tear drop” (vastus medialis/VMO) and inner thigh. Some muscle fibers are visible on the outside along the vastus lateralis. I’ll take a new full body photo tomorrow, before I start my “metabolic”/high calorie day.

Since my back is still a bit stiff and hurts when I sit for too long, today’s leg training was a bit compromised. I started with a quick high-rep and contraction workout for yesterday’s muscle groups (back and biceps). This took about 10 minutes and it’s an easy way to prolong the protein synthesis in these muscle groups as well as increasing blood flow and the amount of nutrients that reach the muscle, which will increase recovery.
After that I started with a ramp of the weight alternating between lying leg curls and the hack squat machine (which add support to my back). Unfortunately, I felt my back when I reached about 70 % of my 5 rep maximum (RM) at the hack squat machine, so I did a few extra sets of 8 reps at about 60 to 65 % of my 5RM while finishing the ramp with leg curls. Then I had to do some seated leg extensions, starting with a small ramp as well, and then some double top contractions – all while doing some work sets on leg curls. Usually I do some squat variation and some Romanian deadlifts. But my back would not allow that today. Then I finished off with two drop sets of seated calf raises. I first ramped up to 105 kg (231 lbs) over 4 sets with 5 to 6 reps. Then I maxed out on 105 kg/231 lbs (about 8 reps) and then dropped 10 kg at a time until I was repping with 45 kg/99 lbs – and on reaching muscle failure, I simply held the top contraction for as long as possible. It’s a neat trick that work wonders with calves. That’s it, I finished in just about 65 minutes.

In the evening I could really notice the increased vascularity – although the veins are not at large as when I’m fully loaded with carbs, more of them are becoming visible. It will be fun to add in carbs before my workouts once this experiment is over. New progression pics tomorrow!

The daily total looked like this:
138 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil) – about 60 E%
170 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein) – about 35 E%
30 grams of carbs (mostly fiber) – about 5 E%
About 2 019 kcal total

Friday, June 17. Day 6 – ketogenic metabolic loading:

Comparison after five days on the diet experiment.

Comparison after five days on the diet experiment.

Slept a little bit better and got up at 4:50 AM. Weighted in at 71.3 kg (156.9 lbs), 200 grams (0.44 lbs) less than yesterday. Had my glass of water with sea salt and bicarbonate followed by a cup of coffee with the usual.

Since it’s my “high calorie” day, I had about 5 grams extra of protein and fats in each cup. At 7:30 I walked my wolfie for 40 minutes and then I decided to set up my camera to take some new progression photos with the natural lightning from the rising sun. Same setup as last time with my “before photo”.

Although it’s only been 5 days, a lot have happened. I’m still holding some water in my legs and a little around the waist (if you know what to look for, you can see it in both pictures). Good news is that I’m retaining less fluids in my lower legs and around my eyes in the morning. Also, my joints feel better.
So it’s all going according to plan.

Skin fold body composition sheet.

Skin fold body composition sheet.

I also got my subcutaneous body fat measured using the Harpenden caliper and my 17-site protocol. The fat percentage was calculated using Parrillo’s standard 9-site formula – just to keep it simple and comparable.
The day before the start of my experiment, my 9-site body fat percentage was 7.79 %. Today, after 5 days, it was 6.95 %. As you can see in the chart, there were several significant drops in this short time. These big changes are a combination of less subcutaneous water between the fat cells as well as some fat loss. But I have without a doubt lost at least 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs) of fat. And I plan to lose a minimum of an additional 0.6 to 0.8 kg in the remaining 9 days.

At about 11:30 AM I did an another push oriented workout. This time I began with focus on chest instead of the shoulders. Finished with two mechanical drop sets of rope pushdowns for the triceps. Finished the whole workout within 45 minutes.

In addition to that, I had two longer walks with my wolfdog – very slow paced though, since he loves to stop and smell stuff and watch anything that moves (if I allow him and give him a longer leash). So I estimate that my total energy expenditure for the day reached about 2500 to 2600 kcal.

Considering that it’s my high calorie day, I had about 100 grams total of 81 % dark natural sweetened chocolate. Also sprinkled some raw cocoa nibs on top of my coffee. It’s so good.
I also had some chicken legs in the evening and 3 eggs as my last meal. Added in some extra vegetables, mainly steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

And yes, I pick all bones clean and keep them in the fridge until I need to make a new batch of nutritious and delicious home made bone broth.

The daily total looked like this:
170 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil) – about 59 E%
205 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein) – about 33 E%
50 grams of carbs (20-25 g fiber) – about 8 E%
About 2 526 kcal total

For the lolz! Vascularity slowly coming back. Veins still small due to carb depletion.

For the lolz! Vascularity slowly coming back. Veins still small due to carb depletion.

That was pretty much on target. Although calories don’t really matter that much, it’s still important to keep track in order to find clues to how the body respond, how it improves, and so on.
While nutrients are important, what really matters is what you absorb and how efficient your mitochondria can use its fuel – also, how everything influences hormonal responses, inflammation, and other health markers.

All this is what makes nutrition so interesting and fun. Of course there are still a lot of other factors such as internal and external stress, chemicals polluting your body through skin creams, deodorants, beauty products, tooth paste and other toxic crap. But that’s another story in another post.

More updates coming soon!
The complete diet experiment, with daily journals, is being documented and published in its entirety on my membership website Classic Muscle Newsletter.

By | 2016-10-16T14:03:13+00:00 June 18th, 2016|The Diet Experiment 2016|0 Comments

The Quick Diet Experiment: Day 1 to 3

The Journal: Day 1 to 3


Read the introduction by clicking here! (Will open in new window)

These are extracts from my daily journal entries over at Classic Muscle Newsletter. To get the full story, including tips and more detailed thoughts, become a member today. As a member you’ll also enjoy 4 to 5 new full-length articles a month, a review of the latest research, access to more than 260 articles and training programs, and much more!

Sunday, June 12. Day 1 – fat “fasting”:

The Diet Experiment The “before photo” from Saturday morning.

Woke up at 5:10 AM and, as I always do, had a full glass of water with a teaspoon of sea salt and a half teaspoon of bicarbonate. 20 minutes later I had my first cup of coffee with 5 grams of MCT oil. I had a total of 5 of these during the day until 5 PM. I added about 5 grams of butter to the last cup. At 7 PM and 9 PM I had 5 grams of hamp oil, 5 grams of coconut oil, and 3 grams of omega-3.
No solid foods at all this day. No protein and no carbs.

Starting weight this Sunday morning was 73.5 kg (162 lbs.), a slight increase from yesterday’s weigh-in when I took the “before photo”.

Had two capsules of electrolytes in the evening (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, and sulfate.)
And as always, about 1000 mg of magnesium before bed to relax better.

Total for the day:
28 grams of fat from butter, hamp oil, coconut oil and omega-3s
25 grams of MCT oil
About 454 kcal total

As I’m used to about 5 to 10 grams of MCT oil a day (I usually take it with coffee in the morning to boost my brain), stepping up to 25 grams was similar to using a laxative, but it’s all good.
Your intestines could use a spring cleaning once in a while – and I’ll load up on pre- and probiotics starting slowly tomorrow.

And yeah, my lower back is busted. Not a great start. No lifting today, only three walks with my wolfdog totaling in about 7 560 steps (or about 6 kilometers).

Monday, June 13. Day 2 – intermittent fat fasting, adding in some protein:

I slept really good for the first three to four hours (two instances of deep sleep for about 1 hour and 30 minutes), but then I tossed and turned for a few hours before I got up at 5:15 AM. And yeah, I’m slightly tired today, but feel fine otherwise.
Morning weight down 0.9 kg (2 lbs). Still holding some water, which is more pronounced today as my glycogen stores are running low and my muscles are somewhat flat. Today and the next couple of days will be the worst physique wise. But as I’ll get into ketosis and as I increase my calories again I will start to look a lot better.

Noticed some increased vascularity at night after the two larger and last meals for the day. Also, no lifting today. My lower back is better, it’s only troublesome when sitting and the minutes after standing up. Once I’m warm, I hardly notice the pain or the limited mobility.

Only had coffee and bone broth in the forenoon and early afternoon, including some prebiotics (more details at Classic Muscle Newsletter.) In the late afternoon I added in 20 grams of whey protein, which broke the protein fast after about 38 to 40 hours without any protein.

Total for the day:
90 grams of fat (of which 15 g was MCT oil)
85 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein)
15 grams of carbs (mostly fiber)
About 1 194 kcal total

Tuesday, June 14. Day 3 – ketogenic diet, increasing calories:

Slept decent all night. My Microsoft Band II told me I woke three times during the night, but I have no recollection of that. I probably only slept really light. Got 7 hours of sleep with 1 hour and 43 minutes of deep restful sleep (REM). Resting heart rate at 51 (slightly elevated).
Somewhat less bloat today. Although my muscles are flat, I can see more separations. My vascularity has also increased a little bit, but my veins are smaller and not as pronounced as they usually are.
My morning weight was only down 0.1 kg since yesterday, which equals 1 kg in total (2.2 lbs) since the start. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t dropped more, considering that I’ve had virtually no carbs in more than two days and only a total of 1648 kcal (454 kcal the first day and 1 194 kcal the second day.)

I had two cups of coffee during the morning with 5 g of MCT oil and 10 g of butter (the first one also had 5 g of collagen protein.) In the afternoon and evening I had two meals with a little pork, fish and a couple of eggs with steamed vegetables and fats from olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, and butter.

At 10 AM I went to the gym and did a chest, shoulders and triceps (traditional push) workout. Unless I train purely for strength, I pretty much always do alternating sets – since I seriously can’t sit down and rest because I get bored as hell. So I only rest the time it takes me to walk between the “stations” and get ready for my exercise. It’s also time efficient and today’s workout took me about 55 minutes. My back felt pretty ok once I was warmed up. And I matched all my weights on all exercises – so no decline in strength. Sipped on MCTs and Whey Protein Isolate before and during the workout (more details at Classic Muscle Newsletter.)

Total for the day:
110 grams of fat (of which 30 g was MCT oil)
160 grams of protein (of which 15-20 g was collagen protein)
21 grams of carbs (mostly fiber)
About 1 695 kcal total

I upped the calories a bit again and will probably keep my energy intake in the neighborhood of 1700 to 2000 kcal during my days of ketogenic dieting. We’ll see. I have about 5 kg of subcutaneous fat and probably another 4 kg of intra fat, so that’s about 9 kg, which means that my body can release about 600 to 700 kcal of fatty acids a day to be burned as extra fuel – and this will decrease daily as I lose body fat. Considering that my glycogen stores are depleted by now, I don’t want to go too low on calories as that will mean loss of proteins (muscle).
My current energy expenditure is about 2800 kcal a day when I hit the gym and 2200 kcal if I only walk with my wolfdog and rest from weight training.


More updates coming soon!

By | 2016-10-16T14:03:13+00:00 June 16th, 2016|The Diet Experiment 2016|0 Comments