Phase 3 Results: Finishing Strong(er)

Well, it’s over. I’m at the end of Phase 3. How did I do?

Phase 3 Start Phase 3 End Change
Measurements 6/30/2010 7/29/2010
Waist/Hip Ratio: 32.5/40 33.5/41.5 1 inch thicker
Body Fat (by 3-point caliper method) 15.9% 15.9% SAME
Weight (kg) 81.2 85 3.8
Weight (lbs) 178.64 187 8.36
Lean Body Mass (lbs) 150.24 157.27 7 pounds muscle
Fat Mass (lbs) 28.4 29.73 1.33 pounds fat

I missed my goal of gaining 10 pounds in a month. Why did I fail to meet those targets?
1) Didn’t eat enough. My average calorie intake was only 3,332 calories per day. My target was 4100.
– By the math I did at the start, that would have suggested that I would be 6 pounds short of my target, but instead I was only 2 pounds short. Why is the math off? A longer data set would give us more clues.
2) Didn’t sleep enough. I fell way short of my goal to sleep 8-9 hours per night, and averaged only about 7 hours instead. I’ll work on this.

However, I did manage to gain 8.3 pounds in those 4 weeks, and keep my body fat ratio exactly the same! I added weight completely proportionately, which is an outstanding result in my opinion.

My strength also increased, even more than the proportionate mass gain would suggest. This 4.6% increase in lean body mass resulted in significantly larger gains in my Deadlift (130kg x1 went to 140kg x3, with NO deadlift work during that time), and of course my squats got much heavier in that time (from 65kg x16 to 90kg x15).

More than anything else, I learned to let go of my fear. Eating more is not, in fact, going to turn me back into the “old JT” – a big fat guy who weighs 260 pounds and can’t run more than 100 meters at a time. Even dairy isn’t going to do that. I can eat relatively clean and in quantities large enough to make me ill, and as long as I’m doing CrossFit and lifting heavy stuff, I’ll just get bigger. Stronger. More capable.

This is an enormous relief – and even a bit of a surprise, for me. I had thought my metabolism to be destroyed, burnt out after 32 years of abuse. Apparently the human body is more resilient than I thought. My temperature is running hot these days, processing all these calories, but I’m not holding excessive piles of those calories as fat, which is great!

Ultimately, this has been a 3-month-long experiment in three different kinds of paleo eating. I’ve documented everything that went into my mouth over that time period, and shared the process and the results as openly and completely as I can with all of you. I’ve learned a lot about myself in this process, and hopefully the rest of you have seen things in this experiment that you can take and incorporate into your own nutrition plans.

I’m tired of writing everything down. I’m going to take a break. Maybe I’ll spend the next three months writing about gender politics and philosophy, but I won’t be food logging for a while. I don’t want to become too obsessed over this food, and it’s my intention to take the fear out of food (for all of us) instead of creating more eating disorders.

So I’ll be relaxing: I will still eat big for a while, and lift heavy, because I want to get bigger and stronger. And, I will do that in a laid back, relaxed manner that will hopefully demonstrate to you (and me) that you can incorporate hard-learned dietary lessons into your daily life without being a compulsive food journaler.

I hope you enjoyed this, or at least found it useful. Thanks for all the comments and questions and support, throughout this process. I’m grateful to share it with each and every one of you – and wish you all the best in your own experiments.

This body is the only toy you’ll ever really own, people. Have fun playing with it.

Monday, July 26th

4 eggs (280/4/18/24)
Cheese (110/1/9/6)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
1 cup whole milk (150/12/8/8)
Salad w Grilled Chicken (250/3/6/30)
Pistachios (170/2/15/6)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
Beef Jerky (120/3/2/23)
2 Chicken+Cheese burgers (480/6/24/58)
2 Turkey+Cheese burgers (440/2/20/58)
Fage greek yogurt + 2 scoops whey protein (270/11/0/55)
1 cup whole milk (150/12/8/8)
Ice cream (260/28/14/6)
Totals: 3670 calories. 132g carbs, 148g fat, 426g protein.
– Oh, finally. Enough protein. Whew, that’s a relief. Feels good, man.

Costco sells enormous packs of meat. I love that. It ain’t grass fed beef, but it’s good chicken cheap and good beef in bulk. As long as you’re eating fast enough, it’s a good deal. In addition, they sell these precooked awesome chicken burgers in the chill cases that you just pull out and microwave. They’re delicious and fast, and I endorse them as a good balanced dinner or lunch choice. Take a sealed vacuum pack of 2 of these to your office, and just microwave them for lunch. You’re all set. Take 2 packs if you need 1000 calories at lunch. 🙂

I’m looking into signing up with a local organic CSA food share for meats to increase my quality, so if you have ideas let me know.

Tuesday, July 27th

1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
sockeye salmon (170/0/9/22)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
2 Chicken+Cheese burgers (480/6/24/58)
2 Turkey+Cheese burgers (440/2/20/58)
Almonds (190/2/16/5)
Almond bar: Mareblu Naturals (180/11/12/5)
12 oz steak (600/0/21/90)
3oz cheese (330/3/27/18)
Totals: 3710 calories. 88g carbs, 161g fat, 448g protein.
– It was a busy day at the gym, and I got by just drinking my calories. At least I got plenty of protein!

Wednesday, July 28th

Almonds (190/2/16/5)
4 eggs (280/4/18/24)
2 oz Cheese (220/2/18/12)
3 cups whole milk (450/36/24/24)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
Beef Jerky (280/22/6/42)
12 pieces Sashimi (360/0/3/84)
Sesame bark (160/10/11/4)
Chicken+Cheese burgers (240/3/12/29)
Turkey+Cheese burgers (220/1/10/29)
2x Mahi Mahi burgers (240/0/10/36)
Totals: 2970 calories. 96g carbs, 136g fat, 337g protein
– Another long day, but loads of good protein at the end of it helped compensate for not eating enough protein consistently through the day.

Thursday, July 29th. 85kg body weight.

4 eggs (280/4/18/24)
Cheese (110/1/9/6)
3 whey shakes (480/6/9/90)
Longhorn Trio: salmon, chicken, sirloin (860/24/37/107)
Broccoli (150/12/0/18)
Mozzarella (160/2/12/16)
1 cup whole milk + 2 scoops whey (330/16/8/48)
1 pound, steak (800/0/28/120)
ice cream (280/36/12/10)
1 cup whole milk (150/12/8/8)
whey shake (160/2/3/30)
Totals: 3760 calories. 127g carbs, 144g fat, 477g protein

Friday, July 30th

You’ll just have to ask. I’m done writing this down for a while.

However, I am more than happy to help you develop your OWN meal plan to meet your goals, and to answer any questions about what I’ve done over the last three months. Good luck – and I’ll see you at CrossFit Fenway!

7 thoughts on “Phase 3 Results: Finishing Strong(er)”

  1. JT, congratulations on the outstanding results. Thank you for taking the time to document the entire process and for sharing this valuable data with all of us.

  2. Congrats, JT! I’ve loved every post and thoroughly appreciate your scientific methods and all the time you put into sharing this with us!

  3. Christina Nik

    Congratulations JT, on your accomplishments through these experimental months! I’ve enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing. You definitely deserve a break from food logging!

  4. Awesome work.

    Definitely stop logging. It’s tedious and as you’ve shown, unnecessary. Eat clean, lift, sleep, eat more, eat more, metcon, more sleep, rinse/repeat… that’s the answer. I haven’t sweated quantity in so long all I can remember is a vague memory of how annoying it was. I really feel sorry for people that get so wrapped up in that aspect of things.

    Now you can play with linear progression, speed-strength, strength bias etc- all the various ways out there to get strong. That’s going to be fun. We can talk more about that if you want- Paul and I have been getting great results with speed-strength/Westside methods. Metcon keeps getting better too which is the bomb.

  5. Thanks to everyone for all the comments and support!

    Logging *isn’t* necessary all the time – and I still believe it’s an important first step for people so that they can gain awareness of what they’re eating. “Paleo works better for people who have done Zone first” is a generally true statement because focusing on quality matters more when you’ve already got a pretty decent grip on quantity.

    I’m gonna go lift something. Today’s WOD looks awesome.

  6. Congrats on a job well done and thanks for sharing the lessons you picked up along the way! Great stuff, but damn, that’s a LOT of whole milk.

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