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21 days progress with strict Keto: Awesome Sauce! (also 2 years since my last “cheat” meal)

This entry is part 155 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

As mentioned earlier, starting January 1, 2017, I committed to writing down everything I eat in Cron-o-meter before I eat it. Turns out this works quite well, which I already knew but somehow was ignoring and doing “lazy keto” for the last few months by only eating Keto Friendly food but not really tracking food closely. Yes, Jalapeño poppers are, generally, keto friendly – but if you eat 20 of them you’re going to go over your net carbs for the day. Anyhow, I’m doing great and still writing everything down. I’m also still lifting – today I’ll be squatting 90lbs, it’s starting to get harder =) A couple days ago I failed to notice it was the 2 year anniversary of the last time I had a “cheat” meal on January 21, 2015. Since then, I’ve only deliberately eaten non-keto food once: a bite of breaded fish in September 2015, spat it out. I expect that I’ll be living HFLC for the rest of my life, sounds fun.

“Cheating” on Keto is self-sabotage. Imagine you’re trying to climb a giant sand dune. It’s really hard to get up to the top (and you get sand in your shoes, guaranteed) but once you’re there, staying on the top is easy. It’s especially easy compared to the amount of effort required to get back on top if you decide to roll down to the bottom. Being fat adapted is very similar to this: you’ve worked so hard to get your body burning fat instead of glucose, why would you ruin months of work? My advice: embrace living keto, focus on the awesome foods you can enjoy, not the foods you choose not to eat (not “can’t eat”).

Here’s an updated weight log of my progress:

Calories consumed per day (I had a tummy ache on Jan 15, ended up fasting a bit over 2h hours):

Net carbs per day:

On track with my New Year Resolutions

This entry is part 152 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

I have two health-related resolutions this year:

  1. Strength training 3x a week (StrongLifts 5×5).
  2. I’m not eating anything until it’s ALREADY logged into Cron-O-Meter.

So far, so good, on StrongLifts 5×5. I did it 3x last week (which is the recommendation for the program): Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday because Friday was a crazy evening. I did StrongLifts regularly last year but we remodeled some bedrooms in the basement and the workout area was turned into a bedroom with the power rack cage becoming a closet. That’s all done, as well as the Christmas mayhem so it’s time to get back into lifting! These first few weeks are relatively easy since the SL5x5 app had me “deload” all the way back down to starting weight. I see that as a good thing since even squatting an empty bar that first time made me sore for 4 days. There’s an excellent article over on Art of Manliness about various fitness programs – he didn’t like StrongLifts as much as he likes Starting Strength due to the number of reps. I might check that one out at a later date if I hit a wall. SS has an app but it’s $9 and I doubt it has the amazing Android Wear integration SL5x5 has. It’s seriously awesome to track my workout entirely on my watch.

As for tracking my food in Cron-O-Meter, I did this 100% all last week, I have a perfect record for 2017 =). Writing down what I eat before I eat it has an interesting effect on reducing what I’m eating. Either I decide not to eat something because I’m too lazy to write it down; or I write it down, check to see how the addition affects my macros and decide “yeah, not going to eat that after all.”

Due to the aforementioned laziness, all but one of my meals last week were Keto Chow. It’s pretty easy to enter 3x “Rich Chocolate with 50ml heavy cream and MCT” from the list of frequent foods. Saturday evening we needed to drop off some kids for a thing and then hang around for 2 hours until they finished, so we took the remaining children to dinner at Red Robin. I knew this was coming so I messed around with their nutrition calculator page (requires flash) and decided on the Guacamole Bacon Burger. I added the standard one in Cron-o-Meter, then edited a copy to change the values for carbs, fat, protein etc… I haven’t tried to do that on mobile, doing it in a web browser with multiple windows open was quite simple. Red Robin is pretty proud of the fact that they can make any burger “wedgie style” (lettuce wrap), and you can do bottomless steamed broccoli or side salads instead of the fries. I opted for the salads, ended up getting 3 of them by the time I was done =) You can see the spike in calories consumed:

Anyhow, looking at the averages for the last week, I’m quite happy with the 18.9g net carb average. I could probably go higher than 20g/day but I’m going to keep it low.

In the end, one of the big ones is: how is this affecting my weight? I’m happy to report that: Hey! I’m losing weight again! That big spike (banana for scale) in the graph below was the morning of Sunday, January 1 2017.

We had a New Year game party with our friends (who are also doing keto) and our kids (not doing keto). We made individual “fathead” (keto) pizzas for us and regular dough pizzas for the kids. I ended up eating a lot of salt and it clearly shows that following morning in water weight. I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t keto friendly that night but you eat too much keto food and you’ll be over your macros easily. I also noticed that my weight doesn’t fluctuate as much when I’m mostly eating Keto Chow and the mild heartburn I had in the morning since mid-December is gone.

So, here’s to a successful new year for everyone! May the odds ever be in your favor!

Awesome user success post from Reddit today

This entry is part 135 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

Just saw this posted over on /r/keto, thought you’d all enjoy seeing it (make sure you check out the photo gallery). 350 to 225lbs.



Weight Lifting Update – time to play critique my form

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

Yesterday I was lifting alone (normally my wife also lifts but she had something to do and wouldn’t be home until late) so I decided to record some of my lifts. We’re prepping a room in the basement for some remodeling, hence the random dressers and boxes all over. I filmed the first and last set of 5 of each exercise – except Dead Lift which aside from the warm-up sets you only do one. Squats were 140lbs, Over-head Press were 95lbs and Deadlift was 185lbs. To date I still haven’t missed a rep so the weight keeps climbing but I anticipate that maybe next time I do OHP at 100lbs (+5 each time) I might not make it. It’ll be interesting to see, that’s by far my weakest lift.2016-06-09 14.10.41

  • Green – Deadlift
  • Orange – Barbell Row
  • Blue – Squat
  • Gray – Bench Press
  • Purple – Overhead Press

Looking at the video I’m going to say that I need to do a better job keeping my back neutral during dead lift. When i’m doing it it feels like I’m actually arching my back but in the video it looks a bit hunched forward. I’m definitely breaking parallel on squat and my knees aren’t hurting when I do it (I consider that a great sign). OHP is tricky: The ceiling in the basement is low enough that I have to stand with my legs spread quite a lot in order to not bash the weights into the ceiling, so my stance is weird and it feels like I’m leaning over backwards with a TON of arch.

By |2016-10-14T07:17:52-06:00June 9th, 2016|Categories: Weight Lifting|Tags: , |2 Comments

Site fun, Sous Vide, Stronglifts Update

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

Been having fun with the site lately. And by “fun” I mean it’s been wonky since Sunday when the two web/database servers were getting hammered hard, load average was up around 50+. I’m hopeful that it’s settled down now. Most recently I got a fun error with SQL where people couldn’t place new orders, got that fixed but we didn’t get any orders for most of Wednesday morning. Anyway I have multiple app servers and database servers now for extra fun redundancy – Looking forward to boring normalcy =)

In completely unrelated news, I grabbed a Sous Vide (soo VEED) precision cooker and last night started some meat cooking at 136° F for 44 hours. It’ll be done Thursday at which point I’ll sear the outside for maillard reaction fun. It probably won’t be as good as the prime rib I got a few weeks ago but should still be nice and yummy, with very little effort on my part.

2016-05-17 20.20.11

2016-05-17 20.34.10

2016-05-18 18.21.17Lastly, weight lifting is still going well. I’m on my 5th week and I still haven’t missed rep. That’s kinda expected since I started with the bare bar (45lbs) and have been working my way up according to the plan. Honestly this was a good thing since I needed to work on my form…. a lot. Currently I’m at:

  • Squat: 105
  • Bench Press: 85
  • Barbell Row: 95
  • Over-Head Press: 70
  • Dead Lift: 145

Eventually I’ll miss a rep and the app will have me increase the weight slower but for now it just keeps going up.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By |2017-01-26T19:29:21-07:00May 18th, 2016|Categories: Site or Store Stuff, Weight Lifting|Tags: , |4 Comments

The Biggest Loser Diet – Explained!

This entry is part 125 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

This week results of a study were posted showing that contestants from “The Biggest Loser” from several years ago had mostly regained all their lost weight. From the conclusions offered in the findings it would seem there is no way to lose weight. The subjects metabolisms slowed down so much that it was nearly impossible for them to maintain their weight loss. Doctor Jason Fung does an excellent job of distilling what’s really going on here. I suggest you head over and read his article. I’ll wait.

This is what is sometimes termed ‘starvation mode’. This is what people imagine happens as their body starts to shut down in order to conserve energy. Basal metabolism (Calories Out) falls and you feel like crap. As you eat less, your body burns less calories, so that eventually weight loss plateaus. Then you feel like crap, so decide to eat a bit more (your hunger hormones are also rising like a spire), but not as much as you used to. But, your ‘Calories Out’ is so low that you get weight regain. Sound familiar? Happens to every dieter out there. What’s unfair, is that their friends and family silently blame the victim of having ‘fallen off the wagon’, or not having enough will power. Actually, the dietary advice – Eat Less, Move More is guaranteed to fail. So don’t blame the victim when they actually do fail.

You did read the article right? If you didn’t the TL;DR is:

  1. Caloric Reduction as Primary strategy puts you into starvation mode (lower metabolism).
  2. The key to losing weight in the long term is maintaining basal metabolism, or keeping ‘Calories Out’ high.
  3. Failure rate of Eat Less, Move More is proven to be 99% or so. This remains the diet advice favored by most physicians and dieticians.
  4. Actual starvation (fasting or bariatric surgery) does not put you into starvation mode (metabolism remains high).
  5. Ketogenic diets do not put you into starvation mode either (metabolism remains high).

My own experience confirms this. When I had a DEXA scan done I also did the resting metabolic rate test. Despite being on a Ketogenic diet for over a year and a half, my metabolism isn’t crazy low, quite the opposite:

The RMR report also said I probably want between 1776 and 2218 calories a day for weight loss; and that my metabolism is 10% faster than people of similar sex, age, height and weight. There were some less than useful platitudes about “you must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight” which is the same as saying “you must save more money than you spend to save money” or “if more people leave a room than come in, there will be less people in the room” – um… thanks?

So. If you want to lose weight because your body doesn’t handle carbohydrates well (like me!) and keep it off, it seems these are the steps:

  1. Switch to a ketogenic LIFESTYLE – no cheating, no end. If you go back to eating the sugary junk that got you fat in the first place, what do you think will happen?
  2. Do intermittent fasting (just don’t eat for two meals but keep drinking water) or outright fasting (24 hours without calories)
  3. If you’re feeling ambitious, try lifting weights. I’m currently a few weeks into StrongLifts5x5 (along with my wife, she’s awesome by the way; our anniversary is tomorrow) and so far it’s been simple and easy to stick to. Takes around 30 minutes, three times a week.
By |2016-10-14T07:17:53-06:00May 5th, 2016|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Stronglifts5x5 update, random stuff

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

My Dad made the news last night. Funny thing is I was in a bunch of the photos shown…. though you can’t see me because I’m hiding behind rocks holding lights =) Glorified light stand and pack mule I am. So I guess I made the news too =)

I had the day off yesterday so I went and found some of the stall mats I wanted to get. Indeed those things are heavy, like 100lbs each. I managed to get two of them onto a cart, into my vehicle and then my wife helped get them downstairs and under the equipment. My hands still hurt from gripping them. The StrongLifts program seems to be going well so far. I’m still lifting a mostly empty bar, concentrating on form more than anything. I am glad that my quads are happy now.

When I did my first lifting session a week ago I had some weirdness going on in my right quadriceps. It kinda felt like a cramp or something and I was rather worried it was going to be an ongoing problem or something. I didn’t know if it was related to being in keto for so long, not having lifted for so long or not enough magnesium since it felt like low magnesium even though I’m positive I’m getting enough. Anyway, the first two days after I lifted I was really, really sore. Then it went away and even though I’m lifting more (marginally: 55lbs 5×5 instead of 45lbs) it has not returned. I had previously noticed a tendency for my muscles to want to cramp up when I did serious stretching and starting lifting seems to have alleviated that everywhere. Should have done this a long time ago! My wife is also doing the SL5x5 program with me and she’s liking it so far. It’s quick and (for now) easy. The SL5x5 App is great and I finally got the watch integration figured out so I can see how many more sets I’m doing, how much weight and it even has a timer for how long to rest, it’s pretty awesome.

Now for the random stuff: I talked with a different co-packer that says they are able to do bags. This is a good thing since it would allow me to do a more incremental change with production instead of a major change to square bottles. It’s also good because it will keep shipping costs the same, I’m able to fit more bags in a box than I can fit hard walled bottles. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this may end up.

Next thing: I picked up a package of the chocolate “Keto Fuel” to see how it is (always a good plan to scope out your competitors). The guy in charge of SuperBodyFuel is allergic to a lot of things so he is VERY conscious about allergens in food. I’m lucky to only be allergic to cats (which is why you will never find any cats or cat hair in Keto Chow) so my recipes include potential allergens because the results taste better (to me). Anyway, Keto Fuel is “gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free”, It’s also barely not vegan (has trace gelatin from the vitamins). Because it’s dairy free it needs a plant based protein source and soy protein would invalidate the “soy free” claim so they use rice protein, which is what Rosa Labs Soylent 1.x also uses. Rice protein is a difficult beast because it can impart a gritty texture. The Chocolate Keto Fuel also has Cocoa powder for flavoring which can add some grittiness too.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with using Acacia Gum for fiber in Keto Chow instead of Psyllium husk powder, the result is what little discernible texture there was is now completely gone so I’ve been drinking almost oddly smooth stuff for a bit. The texture of Keto Fuel was quite a change compared to that. Personally I’ve had some REALLY gritty meal replacement drinks in the past and Keto Fuel is actually pretty smooth by comparison. It’s far smoother than People Chow was (corn Masa) and given the goals in the recipe I think it’s probably as good as you could possibly do. Now one caveat: I followed the instructions on the package with the heavy cream option instead of the olive oil option since I’m not lactose intolerant and know it’ll taste WAY better this way.  I drank one meal and kept the rest for family and friends doing keto to try. I’ll not lie: none of them liked it, but none of them have allergies that would prevent them from drinking Keto Chow. I’m of the opinion that if you do have problems with dairy, soy or nuts then it’s an excellent product; especially considering how difficult a ketogenic diet is with those kinds of restrictions.

By |2016-04-26T13:11:54-06:00April 26th, 2016|Categories: Future Foods, Ketogenic, Weight Lifting|Tags: , , , , , |6 Comments

Power Rack arrived this morning

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

FedEx brought the power rack this morning. We got it assembled, and ready for today’s workout. Now I just need to visit Cal-Ranch or Tractor Supply and get some horse stall mats for the floor.

By |2016-04-22T09:48:21-06:00April 22nd, 2016|Categories: Weight Lifting|Tags: , |1 Comment

Started StrongLifts 5×5 at the Gym, couldn’t stand it – time for home gym

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

I’ve been wanting to start lifting and StrongLifts 5×5 looked like a simple and effective way to get back into it (not to mention there is a seriously awesome app to keep track of it, it even has android wear integration!). I did lifting back in high school and some in college but that was 6 kids ago; and while my quads still look pretty awesome (if I say so myself, which I do) it’s time to take the next step. My brother advocated “renting” the equipment via a gym membership before outright buying so I decided to try that.

So I made an appointment at two local gyms to see what they offer. Lifetime was pretty much a country club with a price to match ($69 a person, $169 for 3+ “adults” over 13 years old, kids under 13 are $10). It was a really nice place with several hundred treadmills, indoor and outdoor pools and other amenities. VASA was more spartan with less available but again, a price to match ($10-25 a month). Both of the gyms are targeting people who want to do classes, who want to do cardio, who want to use weight machines with pulleys and cables. Both are sub-optimal for StrongLifts 5×5 because their free weight offerings frankly sucked.

StrongLifts 5×5 is pretty basic: you alternate 5 different lifting exercises 3 times a week: Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row, Overhead Press, and Deadlift. Each is 5 sets of 5 reps (hence 5×5 – except dead lifts which is 1×5), Squats is done each time or it would be 6 exercises. It ends up being really simple and doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Mostly you just need weights, a bench and a way to lift safely – that involves a squatting rack/power rack which is also used for bench press. If you have a full cage power rack you can do the whole thing without a spotter, on your own terms and schedule, so going to the gyms I was looking primarily at how many power racks they had. Lifetime had two fully enclosed free weight racks and four power lifting open cages – mostly for deadlift though you could easily use them for squatting. VASA had 3 full cages. Neither had a bench you could pull over to use in the cages so you would need a spotter for bench press. I was able to locate a roaming bar to use for barbell row/deadlift/overhead press at Lifetime but not at VASA. Neither were terribly accommodating to StrongLifts or free weights in general. At least they don’t have the moronic PlanetFitness “lunk alarm” used to actively discourage serious body building. I actually did a full SL5x5 session of lifting at LifeTime and I pretty much hated the entire experience. Waiting for a rack, waiting for a bench, searching for a bar, no bueno man. Add to that at the beginning of SL5x5 you’re just lifting a naked bar without plates; I felt silly at the gym.

So I came home and was at least grateful that I just did it as a trial run without actually signing anything. I decided half way through my first set of squats that I was going to clean up the basement and buy my own equipment. There was a really helpful post on reddit that pointed me over to the Titan T2 Power rack which I had previously seen on the SL5x5 site. On a side note: Titan has a 10% off code good until April 30, 2016 “REFUND10” – they also do free shipping which is crazy for how heavy the stuff is they are shipping. So I ordered the T2 then found a guy on craigslist that buys inventory from gyms and got some used plates, a bench and a bar. The guy gave my kids some mis-matched 1 lb hand weights because my youngest kept asking what he could buy with the $3 in his wallet. Nice guy.

Anyhow, I have a place set up in the basement and the power rack should be arriving Friday, which is pretty awesome for free shipping from Tennessee ordered Monday night. I’m looking forward to posting updates (and not being able to walk every other day).

By |2016-10-14T07:17:53-06:00April 20th, 2016|Categories: Weight Lifting|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Testing with acacia gum progressing well, thinking about starting lifting

This entry is part 124 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

So my test of Keto Chow with Acacia gum instead of Psyllium Husk powder seems to be going pretty well. Acacia gum doesn’t thicken like psyllium does so I’m having to use a thickening agent too, MOAR fiber I guess. It’s smoother that the psyllium, like really smooth with almost no texture at all except the peanut butter flour I added to this batch.

I’m still rocking 100% Keto Chow since Tuesday (well except the pickles I ate yesterday…. and then I drank all the pickle juice in the jar which was fun since they were hot chili pickles. My wife has planned for us to go out to dinner with friends tonight so I’l going to break my streak. I’m still down 4lbs from Tuesday.

I’ve been thinking about starting lifting at a gym, particularly since this post. It kinda snowballed yesterday when somebody posted a home gym on a yardsale site. I ended up talking to my brother (the one that is supposed to eventually post his experience with Keto and lifting) about it. His advice: “rent” the equipment with a gym membership, if you’re truly serious about it you can buy some later. OK, good plan. The price of the bowflex would be 3.5 years of membership at the gym nearest my house. Now the problem becomes: when will I have time to work out!? I think the solution will be to stash gym clothes in my car and stop on my way home. My awesome wife said she was going to suggest I start going to the gym but didn’t want to offend me =) So good timing I guess.