Yes its true folks… This morning my weight stayed constant at 69.7kg. However here’s the good news. My Body Fat dropped 1.1% to 19.5% my Body Water went down to 55.3% and my Body Muscle went up 0.6% to 41.9%. Woohoo! In eight days of detoxing this was the second time my body fat went down and my body muscle went up. Last time it was Sunday morning, the morning after I ate a Subway sandwich and it’s happened again today, the morning after having a Subway Sandwich for breakfast. Eating Subway really can make you lose weight!
…Ok it’s not that simple. Many variables have altered in those two days to simply pin the fat loss on just eating Subway sandwiches. Another factor that was in common with both days was that I lost fat the day after I socialised with friends. Can socialising make you lose fat? Well I bet it’s possible. Why? Because socialising with friends might help you relax a bit and relieve stress. When you’re stressed the body releases the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol can cause your body to store fat in you abdominal area. This seems to be something I might well be effected by as I do look like a pregnant man. The rest of me doesn’t seem to have too much fat, its mainly my stomach and chin. I watched a video earlier when looking into alternative perspectives on exercising on an empty stomach. I saw a video which suggested that people who have more belly fat are likely to have more cortisol in their body and exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach was more likely to lead to starvation mode in people who fit this profile.
Could that be me? Well later this week I shall experiment on this and find out what is actually happening to me if I do exercise on an empty stomach versus exercising whilst fuelled.
Other factors that could have lead to today’s results: I rested and gave my muscles an opportunity to rebuild; I ate more salad type food; I didn’t eat starchy carbohydrates the night before; I’m spreading out my meals into smaller snacks; and I cut down on my nut consumption…
Nuts are good for you if you eat about a handful a day. But as they are high in calories, if you eat them in excess you will gain weight. Also different nuts have different nutritional values. I’ve just been doing some research and have come up with the following key facts when it comes to nuts and their nutritional values.
Nuts highest in Protein value per 100 grams:
- Peanuts: 25g
- Almonds: 21g
- Cashews: 20g
Nuts lowest in Protein value per 100 grams:
- Chestnuts: 2g
- Coconuts and Walnuts: 6g
- Pecan nuts: 9g
Nuts highest in Fat value per 100 grams:
- Pecan nuts: 70g
- Pine nuts and Walnuts: 69g
- Brazil nuts: 68g
Nuts lowest in Fat per 100 grams:
- Chestnuts: 3g
- Pistachio nuts: 30g
- Peanuts: 46g
Nuts highest in Carbohydrates value per 100 grams:
- Chestnuts: 52.96g
- Cashew: 32.69g
- Pistachio: 26.78g
Nuts lowest in Carbohydrates per 100 grams:
- Brazil Nuts: 12.27g
- Pine: 13.08g
- Macadamia nuts: 13.38g
It is important to note that not all fat is bad. Nuts tend to be high in good fats which lower cholesterol. See this link for a break down of the different types of fat in nuts. However it seems pine nuts are the third highest in terms of saturated fat (generally considered bad) and me snacking on these a few days ago may well be a factor which has contributed to my increased fat percentage in previous days.
It is clear from the above nutrition facts that peanuts may well be the bodybuilder’s best friend when it comes to nuts. They are the highest in protein and one of the lowest when it comes to fat. Almonds are also up there in terms of protein content. This may well be one of the contributing factors to me gaining muscle the following morning after my night out on Saturday. Almonds combine well with whole grains and legumes to create complete proteins. So the wholemeal bread in the Subway sandwich I also ate on Saturday night must have combined well with the almonds I ate earlier leading to an increase in muscle the following morning.
In conclusion I will only eat a handful of mixed nuts a day. And if I choose to snack on any other nuts on top of that I will choose to eat either peanuts with wholemeal bread (peanut butter on wholemeal toast sounds good) or almonds in muesli or almonds thrown into cooking so that I get the benefit of their high protein content. Cashews will also be considered close to a workout for their high protein and high carbohydrate value.
Back to today’s routine: I drank a hot lemon drink, followed by my muesli in the morning. For lunch I had Quinoa with a spinach curry my wife made. I sprinkled the spinach with freshly grated lemon zest. To help my body digest the iron in the spinach more easily I drank freshly squeezed orange juice with my lunch.
There are two types of dietary iron. Heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is from haemoglobin in blood found in red meat like beef. Non-heme iron is from plant sources such as spinach. Heme iron from animals is more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron. However vitamin C increases the absorbability of non-heme iron. This is why it’s important to consume something high in vitamin C (like a citrus juice) while eating a vegetarian meal high in iron.
I did my workout quite late. I left the house at 19.30. Sunset was an hour later. My workout takes me about two hours. On my way to the park, my mind tried to seduce me into doing a shortened workout. It came up with suggestions like… “Why don’t you skip the resistance training and do it at home.” “Skip the walk; you can do that on the street.” “Only do the dips and lat pull downs and exercise the rest of your muscles at home later using bodyweight exercises.” “Skip the cross trainer. You’re going to do loads of cardio tomorrow anyway.” I was tempted. This temptation was obviously clothed in “pragmatic” thinking about the fact I would only have an hour of sunlight to deal with. Despite the fat devil on my left shoulder giving me all these suggestions, I listened to the slim toned angel on my right shoulder and carried on as normal. I’m glad I did. Apart from my crunches I exceeded the amount of reps in most of my other exercises. For my first lat pull down set I did 140 reps!
By the time I started my walk around the park it was dusk. When I was first walking through the darkest part of the park in the thick trees near Valentines School, I did think about heading back and reversing my route so that my second walk through this bit was not half an hour later when I knew it would be a lot darker. Was I experiencing fear of the dark? Perhaps. It’s not that I was afraid of the dark, just what could be lurking in the dark. Rats, foxes, something worse? A bhoot? What is wrong with me? Do I even believe in such things? I’d need to believe in a soul first, before being able to believe a spirit of a dead person was out for a stroll in Valentines Park! When fear kicks in our thinking can be quite irrational, contradictory, and defensive. Fear enhances a perspective of separateness. Even if there are such things, or non-human intelligent entities, wouldn’t I want to communicate with such beings? What if there are, and it’s our fear and close minded beliefs that stop us from perceiving them? Why should I react with fear as my first response even at the thought of their being something out there in the dark?
Anyways, despite this brave talk the darkness propelled me to exceed my previous performance. Perhaps it was the fear of the dark that sped me up. I crossed the one hour threshold! I completed my two laps 2 minutes 24 seconds faster than my previous record a day before my break. I completed it in 58 minutes and 19 seconds! Woohoo! Only a couple of days ago I didn’t think it was even possible to cross the one hour threshold.
A couple of times I could have sworn I sighted bats flying in and out the tops of trees. Do bats even exist in this country let alone Valentines Park in Ilford? Could I have mistaken a bird for a bat? Maybe. But I’ve seen bats fly in Kenya and other countries and the way these things were flying seemed just like bats. And this was around dusk too. I’ve just Googled and found that bats do exist in London. Perhaps a vampire was lurking in the dark after all!
After my walk I went onto the cross trainer. By this time it was almost completely dark and I was one of the only people left in the park. I really enjoyed my cross training session. It was cool, dark and I was alone in what felt like the wilderness. I could see a plane fly overhead in the distance as I exercised. I could see bats flying in and out of the tree ahead of me on the right. I felt energised and felt as if I could carry working on the cross trainer for the next hour. I really felt good. I wondered if I was close to feeling that “fantastic” feeling I felt on day ten of my detox 6 months earlier. I felt good, but it wasn’t quite that good yet. I wanted to stay longer than my usual 10 minutes, but it was really dark and I was concerned I might get locked in. As I walked home. I felt great. I felt peaceful and when I walked home it felt like I was gliding smoothly on the footpath rather than walking.
Post workout I had a fresh apple and carrot juice followed by a protein shake. Before going to bed I had salad and cottage cheese for dinner.