I burned fat and gained muscle eating SUBWAY sandwiches (Day 8)

Jared Fogle the Subway Guy

Jared Fogle the Subway Guy

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

Nuts

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: 

  1. Peanuts: 25g
  2. Almonds: 21g
  3. Cashews: 20g

Nuts lowest in Protein value per 100 grams: 

  1. Chestnuts: 2g
  2. Coconuts and Walnuts: 6g
  3. Pecan nuts: 9g 

Nuts highest in Fat value per 100 grams: 

  1. Pecan nuts: 70g
  2. Pine nuts and Walnuts: 69g
  3. Brazil nuts: 68g 

Nuts lowest in Fat per 100 grams:

  1. Chestnuts: 3g
  2. Pistachio nuts: 30g
  3. Peanuts: 46g 

Nuts highest in Carbohydrates value per 100 grams: 

  1. Chestnuts: 52.96g
  2. Cashew: 32.69g
  3. Pistachio: 26.78g 

Nuts lowest in Carbohydrates per 100 grams: 

  1. Brazil Nuts: 12.27g
  2. Pine: 13.08g
  3. 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.

Peanut butter on wholemeal bread

Peanut butter on wholemeal bread

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. 

Spinach and quinoa with fresh orange juice

Spinach and quinoa with fresh orange juice

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!

Slimer from Ghostbusters

Slimer from Ghostbusters

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.

Bats at dusk

Bats at dusk

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.

Salad with cottage cheese and a glass of water

Salad with cottage cheese and a glass of water

 

And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done (Day 7)

Today is Wednesday the 11th of August 2010 and it’s Day 7 of the detox. If God is believed to have needed to rest on the 7th day then so do I! I was thinking about exercising everyday for the 40 days but as I’ve not been gaining muscle or losing fat, I’ve decided to see what happens if I rest my muscles and give them a chance to repair themselves. Might rest actually increase my muscle growth? Could less actually be more? We’ll see tomorrow morning when I weigh myself. 

As for today’s weight readings my weight did drop 0.8kg to 69.7kg. However my Body Fat increased again 0.8% to 20.6%. Body Water was down to 54.5% and Body Muscle down 0.4% to 41.3%. This suggests that eating smaller spread out meals did help in reducing overall mass. However my fat content has increased again due to something. Perhaps I’ve been over doing my nut consumption?

This morning had to go out and get some lemons for my morning citrus drink. On my way back I caught a whiff of the Subway next door. I couldn’t resist so bought a wholemeal salad sandwich for me and the Mrs. 

I decided to look into whether London tap water has toxins in it or not and seek out alternatives if it seemed like a good idea. I’ll write more about water on a later blog post. All I’ll say for now is that after my research I decided to buy a water filter jug and sourced a 2.4 litres Optima Aqua jug on the Argos website. It’s only a fiver and the filter cartridges are a lot cheaper than Brita cartridges (a vey popular water filter brand). I can’t see much difference in its filtering ability either. Rather than order it online I decided to go to my local Argos branch in Ilford and buy it from there. When I checked the catalogue in store it only had a 2 litres or 2.25 litres jugs and no 2.4 litres jug. So while in the store I called my wife and asked her to go online and see if it was a 2.4 litres jug online. It was. So I then asked her to reserve one for me. The website showed that Leyton was the only branch with any in stock. On my way home I stopped off at The Body Shop again and this time ended up buying four fruity shower gels for £12. In hindsight it sounds expensive. However after a week of getting accustomed to purchasing organic natural products, at the time it seemed like a good deal. I called my friend Zar who lives in Leyton and arranged to meet him whilst picking up my jug from his area. 

I went home, quickly ate lunch (brown rice, black-eyed peas and roast vegetables with yogurt) and headed to Leyton. By the time I met Zar in Tesco 40 minutes later. I was hungry again! So he found me at the sandwiches section. I spent at least 10 minutes trying to find something suitable that would not break my detox rules. I was initially going to go for a mozzarella, tomato and basil wholemeal sandwich at £2.20. Then on another shelf a few meters to my right I noticed a healthy option Cheese Ploughman’s sandwich which had low fat cheese, salad, sweet pickle and fromage frais as a filling rather than mayonnaise in wholemeal bread. I checked the ingredients and it seemed fine except maybe a little bit of sugar for the pickle (my first indiscretion of the detox). It was only £1.50. Then I noticed a yellow meal deal sticker on it which meant I could buy a sandwich, a snack and a drink for just £2.00. How could I resist? The sandwich was healthy enough. For the snack not only crisps were on offer but also small bowls of fruit, and for a drink I could have bottled water. Great! There was a slight problem however. I was there way past lunch time and many of the products in the deal were no longer in stock. No water for a start. The only fruit bowl available was sliced apple with cubes of cheddar. Though cheddar wasn’t originally off my list I did make the commitment later on to avoid it as it is high in saturated fat. There were juices available, but all the juices on the deal were from concentrate so not really juice. I went for the deal anyway and figured I’d eat the sandwich and the apple slices and let my wife have the cheddar and apple juice (she likes apple juice). As I was about to leave I noticed a small red grape Tropicana bottle staring at me saying “New!” I could hear it calling out at me: “Pick me!” “Pick me!” I read the ingredients: pure red grape juice, nothing more nothing less. And so I picked it! 

Decaf green tea

Decaf green tea

While I followed Zar around in Tesco, I remembered the only place I saw stocking decaf green tea online was Tesco. And stock it they did indeed. I grabbed two packs which also happened to be on offer for just a £1 a box for 25 tea bags. Sorted! Then I noticed a pack of 800g of raw almonds for £4.00. Into my basket they went. I’ve been eating roasted almonds lately, but have had some really good experiences with raw almonds in the past. My roasted ones have nearly finished, so will soon be able to let you know if I experience anything miraculous from the raw ones later this month. I noticed Zar buying some shower gels at £1.79 I was thinking how only a few weeks ago I would have sought a cheaper alternative, whereas early today I had just purchased four 250ml bottles of shower gel for £12 – and that was on an offer! 

As we were leaving Tesco at the front entrance there were two promoters working for Warburtons Family Bakers giving out free samples of buttered slices of Warburton bread. I had never heard of Warburtons until I moved to Middlesbrough eight years ago. Prior to that I had thought the best breads were Kingsmill, Hovis etc. But in Middlesbrough I discovered Warburtons. What a bread! Their white bread is soft and melts in your mouth. I don’t eat white bread anymore but if you do I recommend trying it. I was a big fan of the Warburtons Seeded Batch. But since coming back to London I’ve been eating Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Multiseeded Bloomer – which is also delicious. 

Warburtons Seeded Batch

Warburtons Seeded Batch

I had thought Warburtons Seeded Batch was wholemeal bread. It sounds healthy doesn’t it? As I took a half slice of buttered Warbuttons Seeded Batch from the promoters tray the words “It’s wholemeal isn’t it?” slipped out of my mouth. Why? Oh why? Did I have to ask?! She informed me that the base is white bread with five whole grains added to it. The words didn’t register in my mind so quickly. Or maybe they did and I’m in denial. I continued to take a bite from the bread. The bread was light and fluffy. Yet the seeds were crunchy and added a nutty flavour to it. The butter felt cool as it stuck to the top of my mouth and slowly melted, mixing with the bread that was also melting in my mouth into dough. Can bread really taste this good? Yes it can. And Warburtons Seeded Batch certainly does. I wondered how could I have forgotten and why did I stop eating it? My friend Zar who was fasting for the first day of Ramadan didn’t mind so much when I ate my sandwich earlier in front of him (after seeking his permission). But as I described to him how good the bread tasted he exclaimed “Ah! Man! Why do you have to eat that in front of me?!” “I didn’t feel that bothered about fasting only until now!” He soon got his own back however when highlighting how I had just broken one of my detox rules: no white carbohydrates. It was day seven and this was my second indiscretion all within a matter of minutes. 

I still had a quarter of a slice of bread in my hand when he pointed out I had in effect polluted my detox. For a moment I felt like I had betrayed myself. It felt as though I had been cleaning my system for a whole seven days and by breaking the rules I had to pretty much start all over again with the cleansing process. This was more likely a psychological perspective rather than physiological reality. With this doubt and regret entering my mind I was now faced with a dilemma. What do I do with the rest of this delicious piece of half eaten bread? I said to Zar: “If I eat it myself, I feel as though I may incur the wrath of God for breaking a commitment I have made to myself. If I give it you and encourage you to break your fast, I will incur the wrath of God for making a Muslim break his fast. And if I throw it away I will incur the wrath of God for wasting food…” And with this reasoning I did the littlest of the three evils and enjoyed feasting on the rest of the bread. 

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Multiseeded Loaf

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Multiseeded Loaf

Whilst writing this bit I did the stupid thing of Googling Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Multiseeded Bloomer and have found to much sorrow that it is also has a white bread base. So in effect, since the very beginning, I’ve been breaking my detox rules without even knowing it. 

Anyway, the Tropicana red grape juice was very sweet but very tasty. Overall a pleasing puchase. 

Zar showed me the way to Argos, where I collected the water filter jug I had reserved online earlier. While I stood there waiting to be served, the female member of staff looked as if she might be Polish. I read her name tag. It said Katie. I wondered how she pronounced it in Polish? Was it Ke’ti? My attempts at placing her ethnicity were quickly proven wrong when she said “Ello, how can I elp you taday?” in the thickest cockney accent. I gave her my receipt, she gave me my jug. Or so I thought… 

Aqua Optima Water Filter Jug: 2.4 litres or 2.0 litres?!

Aqua Optima Water Filter Jug: 2.4 litres or 2.0 litres?!

On my way home I looked in the Argos bag and noticed that the jug given to me only had a 2 litres capacity. I had ordered and paid for 2.4 litres jug. So back I went to inform them of the mistake. I was served by Katie (pronounced Kaaytaay) again. I told her what the problem was. I even got her to load the Argos website and showed her what I ordered: a 2.4 litres Aqua Optima water filter jug. She looked at the site and looked at the box I had in front of me and noted how they did indeed have the same catalogue number though their dimensions were 0.4 litres apart. She said, “Let me go and speak to my manager.” She went away for a couple of minutes, and returned. She said: “I’ve just spoken to my manager and she says that even though it says 2 litres on the box it’s actually 2.4 litres.” “It means the same thing.” Ooh… Rarely do my emotions flare up as they did in that moment. Heat was building up inside, my heart started to pump hard and the adrenaline kicked in. I wondered in my head: “Does it say IDIOT on my forehead?” But I controlled myself and instead said: “How can they be the same thing? You have a few similar products in your catalogues by the same company. One jug is 2 litres, another is 2.25 litres and a third is 2.4 litres. I’ve paid for the 2.4 litre one and the one you’ve given me is just 2 litres. They are not the same thing.” I thought to myself, if you tried to convince a five year old child that 2 + 2 = 5 they wouldn’t buy it. Why would I buy her manager’s argument? So I said: “This is not acceptable. I don’t agree with your argument. It’s mathematically and logically incoherent. I want to speak to someone else about this. Where is your manager? Let me speak to your manager. She’s talking shit!” 

So she had a word with her manager and out they both came. Her manger was an older female around 40, with black hair… didn’t catch her name as I was busy preparing myself to confront this evil member of Argos staff. She stood in front of me and just looked at me and didn’t say anything. It’s as if she knew she was about to deal with an irate customer and she was waiting for a confrontation. Perhaps her adrenaline was also pumping hence why she might have seemed a bit flustered. I looked her straight in the eyes and was also silent for a brief moment. In all honesty I was expecting her to say something first. I think she might have eventually… I can’t remember exactly. But I do remember saying: “I’ve ordered and paid for a 2.4 litres jug, this is a 2 litres jug. I do not accept your argument that they are the same thing.” She then said: “I didn’t say they are the same thing. Sometimes suppliers provide us with false information about a product.” At this point I wish I had first let her say to me what she had told Katie to tell me, as she hadn’t said it to me directly, so she could now deny it. But it basically went from first trying to convince me that 2.4 = 2.0 to pointing fingers at how incompetent suppliers can be. When I suggested that it could be an error on Argos’s part neither member of staff were willing to accept that as a possibility. I was appalled. This was a case of the most awful customer service I have ever experienced (being hustled by and Arab dealer in the Middle East doesn’t count). 

If in the first instance they had simply apologised and accepted that an error had been made somewhere along the line, I would have most probably walked away with the jug and thought it was still a good deal for a fiver. But their attitude of treating everybody else as if they were stupid (customers and suppliers) meant that I had to, as a matter of principle, seek a refund and write in and complain at their appalling customer service. 

That aside, when I came home I had a cup of decaf green tea. Once again I had to go and dig too deep and read the details on the box and discover that it still had 0.2% caffeine in it. As I had banned caffeine outright for the detox, I decided that would be my last decaf green tea during the detox. In one day, not only did I break the rules for the first time but I broke them three times! 

For my evening meal I ate salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrot, olives, tomatoes, green chilly, celery, fresh basil and parsley leaves and a drizzle of walnut oil) with cottage cheese. It was delicious and I managed to stick to not eating any starchy carbohydrate for the evening.

 

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