Date: May 31, 2014
Race: 4.5 miles, 21+ obstacles
Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Place: 2117 out of 5631 overall (top 38% ranking)
This will be the third and final update on my experiment with the Slow Carb Diet (SCD).
This month, I lost only one pound. And I’m totally fine with that. Scratch that, I’m happy about it. Two reasons why:
For the month of March I was on the road literally half the month. 15 out of the first 28 days. Or as Sara who helps me with my travel commented, no more than 4 consecutive days in the same time zone. And they were the kind of trips that were not conducive to dieting… Think SXSW for five days, followed by 3 more conferences. I’m more than happy to have maintained and even dropped a pound after all that.
Second, I am happy with the results. I lost 23 pounds. Enough to make me feel great all the time and have to update my entire wardrobe, amongst other things. So it basically took 2 months for the SCD to help me drop most of my excess body fat, and is flexible enough to adapt to the most adverse travel schedule, which are just a few reasons that I continue to be a believer in it for anyone.
So what’s next?
I still want to drop a few pounds. And since I haven’t changed any variables besides diet, the next step is to experiment with changes in exercise. I feel ready to use my new, lighter body for some athletic purpose. Finally, I want to have another goal to shoot for that’s not just about the scale or body fat reading.
So… I signed up for a Spartan Race (learn more at www.spartanrace.com). I have 2 months to go.
I have begun to ramp up the volume of my usual HIT workouts, which I believe is the best way train for anything, and have begun running and testing some movements like burpees, box jumps and tire flips. I continue to eat SCD. So far I’m having a lot of fun and feeling very motivated. Nothing like a date to put it on the line to get you going!
Further updates to come on my training and progress. Until then, it’s time to #STFU (Spartan The F- Up!)
Month 2 on the slow carb diet (SCD) experiment is now in the books (here is my post after the first month). I lost an additional 6.8 pounds of bodyfat in February, bringing the total to 21.4 pounds.
I have made no changes in exercise or supplements (I’m not taking any), so all results continue to be from diet alone. It’s also been a fairly busy month at work for me, including travel, dinners, TV appearances, cocktail parties, etc. And I continue to progress as long as I stick to the program.
Fat loss is a relative thing. 20 pounds is a lot to some, not so much to others. For me 20 pounds means I dropped a pants size, my suits are much looser, I feel much better throughout the day and there is a very visible difference in my appearance. These pics are about a month apart:
Here is a typical day of eating:
Meal 1: 20g whey protein in water, coffee
Meal 2: Egg white, spinach, tomato and feta scramble (from a place near my office)
Meal 3: Burrito Bowl from Chipotle (chicken, black beans, vegetables, salsa, guacamole… no rice, no cheese)
Meal 4: Some kind of protein (steak, fish or chicken) and vegetable (easy to stick to if you are eating out)
I’ll drink espresso, black coffee and water throughout the day, have a coke zero at lunch and a glass or two of red wine at dinner at least a few times a week.
That’s it. Cheat days are Saturday and they seem to have no ill effect (other than making me sick and not want to look at non-SCD food for another week).
Generally I’m able to get 2 workouts a week in, one being focused on conditioning (lately it has been Tabata intervals on the Air Dyne) and core stability, the other a high-intensity strength workout where I use hammer strength and nautilus machines at a very slow repetition speed to muscular failure. Both of them are very intense but require little time.
There are three key reasons for why this has worked so well:
I still have some bodyfat to lose, but since the program continues to work I am not going to change anything (although I am tempted to in an effort to get there faster. But I know that there’s a good chance I will screw something up such as overtrain and lost muscle, so I am able to resist). When/if I do plateau, it will be easy to modify things.
Lots of travel next month, so it will be interesting to see what happens!
The last post on my progress with the Slow Carb Diet (SCD) was one of the most popular ever on this blog. Since there is clear interest in body transformation I’ll try to write more on the topic.
First, an update: 6 weeks into the SCD and I am down 18.4 pounds of body fat. I am down under 200 pounds for the first time in years. I haven’t made any changes to the program and in fact dropped the supplements last week because I got tired of taking them. In addition, I was tested for the first time last week with a trip to a conference in Palm Springs. The subject of dieting on the road is a post within itself (maybe the next one), but I was able to manage just fine.
Sometimes you read things like body transformations or bodybuilding programs are 80% diet, 20% training or some other percentage. My old bodybuilding mentor Mike Mentzer (RIP) used to make fun of these proclamations, saying that they imply that if you just eat right, you can get 80% of the results of a program.
The SCD program has challenged thinking a bit for me. I haven’t changed my training at all, yet I am rapidly losing body fat and maintaining lean body mass. In fact my training is so minimal (but intense) that you can write them on an index card. You can attribute 100% of my results to diet.
I’m sure that high intensity training is helping to maintain lean body mass. It also could be that getting the last 10 pounds off will require some changes in training. But based on this experiment with the SCD, I think that the old bodybuilding lore rings true after all.
That, and “white carbs” are downright evil.
I will be pulling for Peyton Manning (and the Broncos by extension, but really Peyton) today during SuperBowl 48.
Having had a very similar cervical spine surgery to address complications due to the exact same condition (severe spinal stenosis), oddly enough at the same time in 2011 and at the same age, I can tell you this. You are never the same after that surgery and you feel that metal in your neck all day, every day. That this man came back and is delivering the performance he is (note that I did not say, “playing the same”, because he is not, everything is different now) at age 37 is beyond incredible. It is impossible, it’s superhuman.
He was a big inspiration to me in getting back into shape this year. Today you will be watching one of the toughest and most determined athletes of our generation at QB.
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