The Journal: Day 4 to 6
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:
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.
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
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.