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Archive for March, 2011

3 week progress pictures

3 Weeks ago

Same weight, more muscle, less fat

 

 

 

 

 

After stalling for a week on intermittent fasting I tweaked my routine and start taking more accurate details of my macronutrient consumption. I have definitely put on muscle and my body weight has been about the same at 157-158 lbs. Here us a picture from today.

 

 

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4 Hour Body Mentoring

A little motivation can go along way

Trying to get started on the 4 Hour Body or any other diet and fitness plan?  Not sure where to start or what to eat or how often to exercise?  Wish you could ask someone questions?  Need a little extra push for motivation?

After months of research and experimenting on myself I am excited to begin offering free mentoring to the first 3 people that sign up.  Mentoring will done via email, instant messenger and skype.  This will include helping with meal plans, work out schedules and supplement advice. All for free.

Please leave a comment on my Help page

 

Real Barefoot Shoe vs Fake Barefoot Shoes


Vibram FiveFinger Bilkas VS Merrell Trail Glove

Update

I have found that water shoes can also be used as barefoot shoes.  Here are some on amazon that look decent for $20, they are called Cuda Voyage Water Shoes. I will be picking some up soon and will give a full review.

 

I have wrote a couple times about the VFF Bikilas that I purchased a while ago, and how awesome they are.  I have only been running in them a few times, but loved wearing them as an everyday shoe.  I didn’t mind people making fun of me at work, it was actually a good way to get familiar with the people at my new job.  The only thing that bugged me was people that thought they were weird and wouldn’t talk to me or gave me a funny look.

With Merrell and New Balance jumping on the band wagon I figure I could get a pair of shoes with a normal looking toe box and get the benefits of both worlds.  I recently make the trip to my local MEC and got the Merrel Trail Gloves, after waiting 30 minutes for someone to get me my size.  I did a quick test while in the store walking and jumping around, would have been nice if they had a treadmill there.  I noticed right away the differences.  Now, after wearing them for 6 days I figured I should post on why they are decent, but not comparable to the VFFs.

The Toe Box

The first issue I have is the toe box.  Although it is wider than any normal shoe, which is good, it is still not the correct anatomical shape that most toes are.  Who has round toes?  No one.  My small toe is still a bit squished on the outside, then there is a bunch of wasted space where the toe box is rounded.  After that my big toe is snug, then it round on the inside again and there is wasted space.  The problem this causes is you don’t get to use the function of your toes like you do in the VFFs or when you are actually barefoot.  I am not sure why they could not make separate toes like the VFFs and then cover the top to make them look ‘normal’

The Heel

Immediately when I tried them on I could tell the heel and fore foot had about 1mm of extra rubber in the sole.  This is different than the Bikilas which only have 1mm extra in the fore foot.  With the trail glove, my heel and forefoot feel like they are up on islands and the middle of my foot does not make much contact with the ground.  When walking this seems to take away some function of the arch an mid foot.  I am not sure why if anyone with some bio mechanics knowledge can shed some light please do add a comment.

The Good Stuff

I have been pretty negative when comparing these to the VFFs, but they still are much better than a normal shoe.  They provide decent feel with the ground, they are comfortable and very light weight.  The styling of them is OK, I am using them more for casual wear so something more plain would be nice.  The best thing about them is their durability, hold the shoe you can tell it is going to last a long time.

Final Thoughts

While I do think the VFF Bikila is a much better shoe, I still think the Merell Tail Glove is worth buying.  It is a bit over priced compared to the Bikila, but serves its function pretty good.  I am going to keep use my VFF Bikilas for running, and my Trail Gloves for casual every day wear.  Either way I think getting a “Barefoot” shoe is important and will change the way you use your body, and fix or prevent injury.

Pareto’s PAGG 2.0 … Lose Fat Even Faster

The Pareto Nutrition PAGG Stack has improved in 3 ways

Well after taking some time off PAGG I have now started back on it again and noticed some differences right away.  My weight and body fat have bounced between 157 lbs and 160 lbs the last week and a half and my body fat according to my biometric impedance scale 22-23%.  When I do remember to take the PAGG capsule I am always at the low end of that and I am sure my results will continue to go down as I take it more consistently.

The new PAGG stack is coming soon, and although my headline is catchy there is no study or proof that it will make you loose fat faster.  The difference of the new pill are on a recent blog post at Pareto Nutrions site.  I will summarize them here:

  1. R-ALA
    R-ALA is the natural form of ALA where S-ALA is synthetic.  The benefit is it less gastrointestinal side-effects such as acid reflux.  And greater theoretical effect at a lower dose.
  2. No Green Tea in the Night Pill
    This is to align with the update that Tim made after the book was published.  Although decaffeinated Green Tea Extract at night had only 1 customer complain of insomnia (never affected me).
  3. Less Pills Per Day
    Now just 3 AGG pills per day with meals and 1 PAG pill at night.

Any questions about the PAGG stack comment here or check my page on PAGG

Is there a diet better than the slow carb diet?

After reading the post on Tim’s Blog about the slow carb diet almost 4 years ago I had always tried to keep it in mind when eating, and thought it was an ideal way to eat.  After reading the book I took it seriously and jumped right in.  I did pretty good on it (plus PAGG for 4 weeks) and lost 10lbs.  I then ended up in the hospital due to appendicitis and lost 10 more lbs.  I was at my goal weight but still around 24-25% body fat (based on my bio metric impedance scale).  My goal is to get down to 10% body fat and I was far from it.  I kept eating the slow carb way as best I could, and working out 3 days a week but could not seem to get my BF% down anymore (had to take a break from PAGG).

Unfortunately I was not following the slow carb diet as strictly as I wanted to or needed to to reach my goals.  I always ate within 30-60 minutes of waking and always had the Tim Ferriss breakfast, which I do like, but after that it was all down hill.  The issues I had are probably common issues that any busy person has trying to eat as healthy as possible to lose fat:

  1. I don’t do much of the grocery shopping, my wife did try to accomodate and did often buy thing I needed but beans are not high on her list
  2. I also don’t do much of the cooking, and my wife does not like to add beans to her cooking (although she does cook healthy and is a good cook)
  3. I am not a planner, my wife is but not me, that make things like meal plans a difficult thing for me to do.  Working the hours I do I just don’t have time to spend a few hours planning meals for the week.
  4. There are often evens and social outings that I go to that don’t have things that are slow carb allowed

After reading a recent post on the 4hourpeople.com forum that had a link to http://www.leangains.com, a blog by Martin Berkhan, I started doing my research into intermittent fasting.  The biggest selling point for this way of eating is the list of Martin’s clients results which made me realize that intermittent fasting won’t cause muscle loss.  Reading most of leangains.com is a bit technical, but Martin does have a post with example protocols to follow, which is pretty easy.

So I thought I would try it this last Monday, which was an off day for my workout schedule.  I ate a normal size diner Sunday night, then didn’t have anything other than coffee (actually mocha) and water until around 2pm I had a small amount of tuna salad, some nuts and a small piece of dark chocolate, followed by a normal dinner.  The next morning my weight and body fat were the lowest they have been after I had plateaued for a week.

I was hungry most of the day on Monday, and it was a bit odd, had some hunger pangs but they were easy to manage and I did not eat  until after 2pm.  The weird thing was I had a ton of energy, and never got the 2pm drag that I usually get when I eat a breakfast and decent size lunch at noon.

So I tried it again on Tuesday but modified it a bit.  I got up and had my normal Tim Ferriss breakfast with 2 eggs and salsa with a cup of spinach and lemon juice.  Then I did my stretching and workout.  Then drank just water until around noon when I had a few homemade cookies (homemade oatmeal rasin that my amazing wife put in my lunch, who could resist?), then some nuts around 6pm, but mostly just drank water until I got home and had a high protein diner of baked salmon with vegetables.  Again 5pm came way faster then it usually did, and I did not slow down at 2pm or get tired.

I remember having read an article about intermittent fasting on Tim’s blog a while ago, so I looked it up and re-read the old 2008 guest post that Dr. Eades did.  It was called Real Life Extension: Caloric Restriction or Intermittent Fasting? It is interesting in that he didn’t really come to a conclusion but animal studies did show some amazing things.  I think there have been many more studies done since and some real world examples like those at leangains.com to prove that this is good protocol and for most healthy people something that is beneficial for fat and weight loss.

Wednesday I picked up some Xtend BCAA (bodybuild.com link), which is recommend by Martin, at a local supplement shop, and used it before and after my Thursday morning workout.  I also altered my workout a bit after researching how to add mass with bodyweight exercises.  I again waited until 2pm for lunch, got home had more left over salmon and stew, and felt pretty good again.

Friday morning I was down to 158.6lbs and 22.1% body fat.  That is 25lbs that I have lost since January, I have not been under 160lbs for 10 years (since I met my wife).  You may wonder why I keep losing weight if I am already past my goal weight.  As I mention my goal body fat % is much more important, and once I am at that % then I will re-evaluate what my weight should be.

In summary benefits to intermittent fasting over the slow carb diet:

  • Don’t need to plan much
  • Don’t have to be as selective with food (but you still need to eat smart)
  • Still get a cheat day (I know this is the same not a benefit)
  • Rapid fat loss
  • No problem with stubborn fat
  • Does not cause muscle loss (See Myth #6)
  • Really, really easy
  • A bit cheaper
  • Less time worrying about food, more time to do other things
  • Don’t spend so much time sitting on the toilet (but lots of time spent having to pee)
  • Water consumption is forced to be increased

Wether you try intemittent fasting or not I still would suggest that reading Martin’s article on leangains.com about the myths of intermittent fasting.  He does a very good job explaining things and citing recent studies that debunk these myths.

Results

I have not felt that I was ready to post before and after pictures yet, but after this weeks loss of weight of 5lbs and BF% loss of ~2% I feel the results were worth sharing.  Before starting intermittent fasting I did not look this trim.  These 2 pictures are 65 days apart (2 moths and 4 days) total weight loss 24lbs total body fat% loss 7.9%.  I took one relaxed as well as one flexing my abs, why because I have abs again!

 

Before Taken December 29th 2010

After Taken March 4th 2011

 

After - FLEXING!

 

Before Back

After Picture - Not Flexing