Ben's Fat Loss Diary

Ben_In_NC

Active member
I'm SO glad to have found this place. I think this kind of diary in this format is exactly what I need. After a, I'll start my diary in this thread.

BACKSTORY
On the surface, it may sound strange that I'm doing a diary now. As mentioned in my short introductory post, I lost around 100 pounds between March 2021 and December 2021. Since then, I've gained some...partially intentional muscle gain, but I also ate/gained more than I'd intended during the bulking up process. I'm doing a diary now because in many ways, losing the weight was relatively easy. I had a concrete goal to focus on, and there was money on the line. (I did HealthyWage and won a little over a grand.) However, I've slowly gained in nearly every month in 2022, despite not really wanting to gain as much as I have...

January: -2.7
February: +1.0
March: +7.1
April: +5.8
May: +6.1
June: +5.1

I'm down a bit so far in July.

At any rate, I'm well motivated both internally and externally now: my 35th high school reunion is exactly 12 weeks from this past Friday, so a cut cycle of up to 12 weeks makes sense. I don't have a specific weight goal, as I've gained a fair bit of muscle in 2022. I just checked my Garmin Connect Profile, and I'm averaging right at 5 hours per week of strength training in 2022, split into an average of 5.3 sessions per week. I'd like to get my waist down to 34 inches. (It's a little over 38 now.)

I intend to post progress pics each Monday, and daily reports on nutrition/exercise.
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
Monday, 7/11 pics.


51B67BBB-9917-458A-8FB5-4EE563C01ACB.jpeg13C2FF07-01D2-4C9D-BB6C-88967E072978.jpeg
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
Quick Hits...

NUTRITION PLAN--I count calories using LoseIt, and use their recommendations for calories. Starting last week, I moved to their "Lose 1/2 pound per week" plan (i.e. the smallest calorie deficit they have,) because I exercise a lot and I've found that I need those calories to fuel my workouts. It has me eating nearly 3,000 calories a day!

I will also shoot for some specific daily goals within the calorie deficit when I'm really "on it." They are as follows:
  • at least 40g fiber
  • at least 200g protein
  • under 20g saturated fat
CURRENT WORKOUT PLAN--For cardio, I'm in week 12 of a 12-week low-heart-rate running training plan, designed to build an aerobic base while not being too taxing. I've been able to run 6 days a week on this plan without feeling especially tired. Here's my weekly schedule.

LIFTINGCARDIO
SundayPush3 miles zone 2
MondayLegs4.7 miles zone 2
TuesdayPull4.7 miles zone 2
WednesdayPush4.7 miles zone 2
ThursdayLegs4.7 miles zone 2
FridayPullOFF
SaturdayOFF10 to 15 miles zone 2

The 4.7 mile runs are that weird distance because it's sort of one lap through my neighborhood and the adjacent ones. That's just how long that route is. I do want to bring some speed work back in starting next week. I haven't put it all together how I'm going to do that, but as of right now, I'm leaning toward this for the rest of the summer:

SundayPushZ1 45min recovery bike ride (125ish HR)
MondayLegsTempo Run (150 HR)
TuesdayPullEasy High-Incline Treadmill Walk (130ish HR)
WednesdayPushInterval/Hill Run (155ish HR)
ThursdayLegsEasy Run (135ish HR)
FridayPullOFF
SaturdayOFFZ2 Long Run (135ish HR)

I say "for the rest of the summer" because, schedule-wise, I don't think the 6 days lifting/6 days running thing is going to be sustainable for me when the school year starts. I need to be home and done with all my workouts by 6:50am on school mornings to help get the kids where they need to be. I was able to pull that off for the last few weeks of the school year by leaving the house by 4:15am, but I'm not sure I could (or want) to keep that up indefinitely. (I only need to be home by 8:15 or so at the earliest during the summer.)
 
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Trusylver

Sport and Exercise Coach
Staff member
As of this morning...

Withings Scale: 24.3%
Renpho Scale: 17.0%
Hand-held: 22.1%
I will reply to this here to keep everything in the same location. as @Llama said, it can be hard to judge visually with loose skin. I am leaning towards the first number but tracking your progress visually as you plan to do is the best option. BF% can be used to fine tune calorie and protein intake.

Bio scales as you are aware are notoriously inaccurate, they need to be used under the same condition each time including time of day, hydration level and how much you have eaten to minimise the inaccuracies.

Strength training is not all about the time spent in the gym, it is the quality of the training and with a bit of careful programming that minimises the time your sitting around between set can free up some of your limited time without compromising the training.

Are you running before or after strength training ? time between the 2 sessions ?
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
@Trusylver
Quick responses to your comments/questions…
Yes, I do all measurements first thing in the morning, fasted, after urinating.

Yes, lots of superset work during the school year. During the summer, I’m doing 2-minute rests on compound lifts, 90 seconds on accessories, and 60 seconds on isolations.

Running after strength training. Typically I drive home from the gym (10 minutes,) drink a protein shake, feed the dog, then go run in the neighborhood. Right now all running is easy Z2 work.
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
Monday, July 11 recap.

Will fill this in with more detail later, but short version is that this was a really, really good day. Hit all nutrition goals and workouts were on point as well. Leg day in the gym and 4.7 miles Z2 running.
 

Trusylver

Sport and Exercise Coach
Staff member
Yes, lots of superset work during the school year. During the summer, I’m doing 2-minute rests on compound lifts, 90 seconds on accessories, and 60 seconds on isolations.
If you superset a large compound lift with a smaller accessory movement preferably one that is aimed at maintaining mobility, stability or muscle balance then the 2 minute rest can almost be eliminated because the small accessory movement is also considered active recovery for the large compound movement. when exercises are partnered well there should be almost no time waiting around between sets. When time is a big factor in training then efficiency is important for eliminating as much down time as possible.

Running after strength training. Typically I drive home from the gym (10 minutes,) drink a protein shake, feed the dog, then go run in the neighborhood. Right now all running is easy Z2 work.

That's good, ideally there should be as much time between strength training and your running as possible with the strength work before the run.
 

Llama

Well-known member
My first, overwhelming thought: I could never do 200 g of protein! I get around 100 g at 2500 kcal on a good day :rotflmao: But then I have a sensitive stomach and don't do well with protein powder or larger amounts of meat.
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
My first, overwhelming thought: I could never do 200 g of protein! I get around 100 g at 2500 kcal on a good day :rotflmao: But then I have a sensitive stomach and don't do well with protein powder or larger amounts of meat.
Heh. I am, uh, the opposite. Let's just say that I didn't get fat on carbs. 😋 200 is fairly easy for me. Yesterday's main sources were...


collagen peptides in pre-workout drink (9g protein)
Fairlife chocolate protein shake after morning lifting (30g)
280g greek yogurt at breakfast (29.6g)
59g sprouted rolled oats at breakfast (10.1g)
232g sirloin steak at lunch (62.6g)
89g turkey breast (17.1g) and 86g chicken breast (22.7g)on a big salad at dinner

That's 181.1. The rest came mainly from the buttload of veggies I had. (I have an organic vegetable garden.) I had a 507g zucchini (yeah, over a pound) at lunch, and the dinner salad had 83g sweet peppers, 186g total kale&spinach, and 357g cucumbers--all of that home-grown.
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
Looks like you shouldn't have a problem getting to your fiber goal, either...
Heheheh. Yeah. You are correct that most of the time--especially when the garden is producing--fiber isn't remotely an issue. That goal is mainly there to remind myself that I need fiber, and to help keep me from going off the rails. When I make my daily meal plan, I usually don't even bother with checking the fiber number, because I know it's going to be good. I'm guessing I average over 60g a day when I'm not off the rails. (For me, "off the rails" = "eating ridiculous amounts of ribeye steaks and cheesecake, and little to no vegetables.")
 
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Ben_In_NC

Active member
Speaking of the garden, this is lunch today: 186g smoked boneless/skinless chicken thighs, and garden-fresh (as in picked this morning) cucumber/onion/tomato salad. Veggies Seasoned with white vinegar, Erythritol, and salt.
 

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Ben_In_NC

Active member
That's good, ideally there should be as much time between strength training and your running as possible with the strength work before the run.
Yeah, ideally I would do exactly that. I work from home and have a treadmill next to my desk, so theoretically, even when it's blazing hot outside I could run at lunchtime or immediately after work. I tried doing that for a while and found that I was far less consistent once I got into my workday. When I plan to get it all done at a time before any work/family responsibilities kick in, I'm missing far fewer cardio sessions.
 

Cate

Long-term member.
Wow, what a garden you must have! I love your diary, Ben. You have provided so much info & I'm sure you will inspire others & be a good member of our community. You have done the hard yards & are now fine-tuning :)
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
Scale down today at 202.7, staying consistent with a typical pattern I see: it goes up the morning after leg day, I’m sure due to all that big muscle damage, then drops the following day.
 

Llama

Well-known member
Makes sense: sore muscles retain water and your leg muscles are pretty big (an average leg is 20% of its owner's full weight).
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
I should say that my dinner last night was really, really good! Shrimp cooked in the air fryer over edamame pasta with Yo Mama’s brand tomato sauce. (If you haven’t tried it, it’s really tasty, no added sugars, and very basic ingredients. (See third pic.) Added some onions, garlic, and zucchini from the garden to the sauce, threw in a can of mushrooms, and simmered it in a pan. Topped with the shrimp when done. Crazy protein and fiber—and relatively low calorie for something that yummy.
 

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Ben_In_NC

Active member
I suppose I'll start sharing these real-time, but here are my workouts since I started posting here on Monday:

<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/9181424361' title='Monday Legs' width='465' height='270' frameborder='0'></iframe>
<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/9181918304' title='Greensboro Running' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>
<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/9187775700' title='Pull-Tuesday-Gym' width='465' height='270' frameborder='0'></iframe>
<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/9188329492' title='Greensboro Running' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>
<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/9194522035' title='Push--Wednesday--Gym' width='465' height='270' frameborder='0'></iframe>
<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/9195178607' title='Greensboro Running' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

All runs are intentionally staying in the "easy" HR Zone 2 (approximately 130-142 for me) for now. As mentioned earlier, it happens that this is week 12 of me working that schedule, so I'll switch it up next week.
 

Ben_In_NC

Active member
Heh. Apparently HTML embedding is disabled here. Oh well. The links work if you're interested.
 
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