Results: End of Phase 2

Holy cow! How did the time fly by so fast?

Sure enough, it’s been another month (4 weeks) since I started this experiment. That means 1 month of “paleo”, and 1 month of “stricter paleo” that reduced the nuts and fruits to just 1 servingish each day, and targeted less than 50g carbs per day. Looking at the cumulative data is pretty interesting…

Phase 2 Averages:
Cals/day: 2350
Carb g/day: 40
Fat g/day: 91
Protein g/day: 305

My adherence was pretty good. I still stuck a lot of almonds in there, but overall the eating was even cleaner and more consistent than Phase 2. Very high protein, because that’s what my body likes. A lot more calories than I would have suspected going into it, but this wasn’t a “cut phase”; my intention was to eat as prescribed and see what happened. So what happened?

Start Phase 1 Phase 2
Measurements 4/29/2010 5/27/2010 6/24/2010
Waist/Hip Ratio: 33/40.5 32.5/40
Body Fat (by 3-point caliper method) approx 18% 16.50% 14.40%
Weight (kg) 82.8 80.6 79
Weight (lbs) 182.16 177.32 173.8
Lean Body Mass (lbs) 149.3712 148.0622 148.7728
Fat Mass (lbs) 32.7888 29.2578 25.0272

Not bad. Summary: I lost 8 pounds and change in the 2 months. In the past month, when I charted body composition precisely, I lost 3.5 pounds. Oddly enough, my lean body mass stayed almost exactly the same (up half a pound), and I lost 4 pounds of pure fat. Based on estimates, this was also true during phase 1, when my calories were more restrictive but choices more open (to nuts, fruits, coconuts, carbs, etc).

More startling is the implications of losing 4 pounds of fat in Phase 2! That basically means I was running a 500 calorie-per-day deficit… at 2350 calories per day! This is way more than I’d been eating previously. I think it points to the merits of a paleo diet fueling a much larger calorie intake than my previous non-paleo regime. Something in this food intake balance has led me to a much faster metabolism than I had even 2 months ago.

In terms of strength and speed, I haven’t seen enormous improvements in my lifts. (I’ll re-run “Rowing Helen” sometime soon to get another benchmark measurement – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it today.) All my strength lifts are at or just below where they were a month ago, so I haven’t gained raw strength. This is no surprise, based on the lack of gain or loss in Lean Body Mass.

My recovery times are still good, and overall I’ve been fine with sticking to the regimen… though I do miss blueberry muffins and ice cream. And milk in general. Mmmm, dairy.

Now, of course, that brings me to “Phase 3”. What’s next, you ask?

It’s time to get big.

So what does that mean?

I’m not looking to get fat like cattle… on the other hand, I do want to be big and strong when I grow up.

As most of you know, I started this whole journey in CrossFit a year and a half ago by losing 70 pounds in 5 months – and a full 100 from my peak weight.

Since then, I’ve been fairly fixated on my weight and body composition. The problem is that this becomes a mild form of eating disorder: I’m a fat kid trapped in this body, and it’s my “engineer inside” that stays awake and data-driven, keeping me from falling off the wagon into bad eating/workout habits. That data-driven nature also keeps me from falling into compulsive under-eating habits, which is good. I know I need food to be healthy and strong, and I know how much I generally need to consume, and I’m still positive and productive enough to not choose counter to my healthy self-interest.

All that said, the prospect of gaining weight, for me, is horrifying. Every calorie over 2000 per day feels like a step towards my old fat clothes, a step towards an abyss it took me 30 years to climb out of. And you know what? Fear doesn’t serve me well. No good comes from fear. It’s time for me to face it, acknowledge it, and set it down – just like I have with so many other fears and addictions along this path.

I’m going to gain weight this month.

Specifically, I’m going to gain 10 pounds in the next month.

Find out more about my plan tomorrow, as I start Phase 3: Big And Strong. For now, I offer you the last of the Phase 2 Food Logs:

Sunday, 6/20/10

4 eggs (400/2/30/26)
Turkey cold cut pack (175/0/0/42)
Salad w/chicken+extras (450/4/12/80)
Broccoli (120/16/0/8)
12oz Burgers (600/0/27/90)
Mushrooms+Onions (40/2/2/2)
Salad (40/4/0/2)
Pork Rinds (320/0/20/36)
Raisins (130/29/0/1)
Totals: 2275 cals. 57g carbs, 91g fat, 287g protein
– not much to say. I do alright. I will say that the salad bar at the Hy-Vee had two major virtues: unlimited grilled chicken, and free wi-fi. Also, pork rinds are really tasty and totally address my desire for something salty and crispy!

Monday, 6/21/10

2 eggs (200/1/15/13)
12oz Burgers (600/0/27/90)
Raisins (130/29/0/1)
Almonds (160/3/14/6)
Broccoli (120/16/0/8)
Pork Rinds (320/0/20/36)
10oz Steak (500/0/22/75)
Salad (80/6/2/2)
Fruit (130/29/0/1)
Totals: 2240 cals. 84g carbs, 100g fat, 232g protein

– Burgers for breakfast, because the meat is just that good. I think I’m eating pretty clean. We’ll see how that affects results real soon now… my next measurement is this Thursday!

Tuesday, 6/22/10

4 eggs (400/2/30/26)
Almonds (160/3/14/6)
Pistachios (510/12/42/15)
Trail Mix (640/36/48/24)
2 Meat Salads @ Moe’s (960/8/40/136)
Totals: 2670 calories. 61g carbs, 174g fat, 207g protein.
– A tough day on the road. An early morning start, and then 9 hours on planes. Then, bedtime… because it’ll be time to coach the 5:30am classes in just 7 short hours. Thank goodness for the “Moe’s” Chipotle-style joint in Atlanta airport. The double meat salads really saved me.

Wednesday, 6/23/10

Lost Log
– Also known as the last day of Phase 2. Somehow I made it through two months without ever losing a log, until the very last day. I’m pretty sure it was a simple matter of some steaks, about 24 oz of shrimp, some broccoli and salads, and a steak salad. But I wrote the log on a back of a paper reciept… and now it’s gone.

Just in time for the start of Phase 3.

2 thoughts on “Results: End of Phase 2”

  1. Congrats JT! Those are some awesome results – you are super strong about this. Looking fwd to phase 3 🙂

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