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  1. #1
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    JLS gives it the old college try

    I've always kept my carbs on the low side as in less than 100 grams per day - definitely what most would consider "low carb." I've never actually done a full-on keto diet with anything approaching semi-strict adherence (read: I make it 5 days, then cheat my face off), however I think I've been in a fat-based metabolism for the majority of the last 3 or so years. I've tested ketones intermittently in the past and have been in light ketosis on several occasions without that necessarily being the goal. For the purposes of this log, I wanted to apply a more disciplined approach so I bought the Keto-Mojo meter.

    I feel that it is a pretty reasonable price point and the test strips are affordable enough to test everyday - which is important because I don't have 2 nickels to rub together.

    My purposes for posting this log:

    1. Adherence. As I alluded to earlier, I haven't ever been the most disciplined about diet or training and I think this will help me to keep focus.
    2. Elicit feedback.
    3.Just sort of put it out there, warts and all. Even my screen name is a pseudonym, so who cares, right?

    Goals:

    1. Get to 8% BF. Per calipers and the eye test, I'm currently at or around 15% and 184.1 lbs. Assuming a best case (and perhaps overly ambitious) scenario where I maintain all lean muscle, I need to lose almost exactly 14 lbs body fat. I'll end up at 170.1 lbs. Honestly, I'm 5'9" and 38 years old so I'd like to be somewhere south of 170 going forward for health and longevity, but we'll just put a pin in that for now.

    2. Maintain nutritional ketosis for at least 12 days out of every two weeks. I'll somewhat arbitrarily define nutritional ketosis for me as 1.5 mmol/L or greater fasted in the morning.

    3. Maintain gym lifts. I'm starting out with a 3x/ per week full body routine. I have a hectic schedule, so whatever it takes to get that in - I'll do it. If I need to go 3 days in a row because it's the only option - that's what I'll do. Not ideal, but trust me - it's an improvement.


    I'll be sticking to a pretty traditional keto diet for a few weeks in order to get a feel and to establish a good level of ketosis. After that I'll start bumping carbs up slowly to test what I can get away with while still keeping ketones at >1.5.

    I'm not going to post full workouts, just top sets.

    I built a spreadsheet for tracking my nutrition, weights, ketones, calorie burn (fitbit), etc. and I'll post screen shots for my daily updates.
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    1/30/2019 & 1/31/2019

    I didn't work out on the 30th but my top sets for the 31st were:

    Cable pulldowns (with hooks) - 175*10, 165*10
    DB Press - 80*10, 70*9
    Safety Squat bar squat - 245*3, 3, 3
    Hammer Str OHP - 180*8, 160*6
    Db row - 100*10, 8

    This is the first time I've done a true full body in quite a few years, so it was a little awkward. Felt good overall. I'm going to keep volume as low as I can at least initially and push for more of an HIT-style workout. I always had good results with them.
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    Registered User JamesLoniSena's Avatar
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    I'm either dense and can't figure it out, or I need to get to 50 posts before I can imbed pictures in my posts. So, the captures that I posted from my tracking spreadsheet aren't really of much help to anyone reading this. If it doesn't rely on a post count and anyone knows how, I'd really like to be able to post clips from my spreadsheet directly into replies.

    The first clip is from the "Daily Log" tab of my xls doc. It references information that I entered into another tab "Food dB" which is just a list of anything that I eat or have eaten on a regular basis in the last year. I've broken the daily log tab into columns for date, meal #, the food, whatever I decided was my standard serving, number of std servings, kcal, fat, carbs, fiber, net carbs, and protein. I also have columns for sodium and potassium. My goal is to consume 2x as much potassium as sodium, and later on in the spreadsheet I have formulas that tell me how much supplemental potassium I need to consume to hit that mark. Unfortunately, very few food labels actually list the potassium amount and I haven't had time to go through and really research. My solution? If it isn't listed, I assume it is zero. If it is a raw food, like pumpkin seeds, the information is relatively easy to find.

    You'll notice already that there are some foods that are really recipes. Obviously when eating something like keto meatloaf or ice cream a lot, even with relatively few ingredients it still saves a ton of time to just add it all up, create a custom standard serving, and call it "JLS keto meatloaf" or something. If anyone is interested in any of these recipes, just let me know and I'll post them.

    Here's my JLS keto ice cream:

    ingredient > Kcal > Fat > Carb > Pro

    1/4 tsp xanthan gum > I didn't bother, it's such a small amount
    1 pint heavy whipping cream > 1616 > 176 > 13.1 > 13.6
    1 C heavily fermented homemade kefir > 122 > 7 > 7 > 6.6
    150g erythritol > 30 > 0 > 7.5 > 0
    2 scoops whey isolate > 300 > 3 > 4 > 60

    Fat/Carb/Pro % > 79/6/15

    per 1/6 of the batch > 344.67 > 31 > 5.27 > 13.37


    The erythritol could easily be cut to 75 g. This was the first time I made it and it's a little sweeter that I would like.
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    Registered User JamesLoniSena's Avatar
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    The second clip, also from my "Nutrition and Body Comp Tracker" is the "Daily Meal Summary Tab" which is just a summary of all the foods eaten on the Daily Log tab by meal #.
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    Registered User JamesLoniSena's Avatar
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    The 3rd clip is my Daily Summary tab, which, you guessed it, further summarizes what I ate that day into totals.
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    Registered User JamesLoniSena's Avatar
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    The fourth capture is from my "Energy Balance & Weights" tab. I'm also going to be tracking my blood-ketone readings here. It brings over calories in from the "Daily Summary" tab. I manually enter "Burned FB" which is just whatever my fitbit says I burned. I added the +/- columns because I suspect that my calories consumed or fitbit's calories burned are going to be off somewhat. I have another tab (work in process) where I am comparing predicted weight gain/(lost) to actual. Once I get through losing water weight and have a few weeks of data points, I think I'll be able to nail down a variance factor which I can apply (probably) to my estimated calorie burn per fitbit.

    I'm thinking of getting a Galaxy Watch, so there will be retooling necessary at that point. Maybe I'll wear them both and see how they compare, compare estimated vs actual results, etc. Might be fun.

    If anyone has a statistics background, I could use a little help with the variance to apply. I'm an accounting and finance guy and if I was any good with statistics, I'd be an actuary and would probably be retired by now (:
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    Registered User JamesLoniSena's Avatar
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    When I find the time, I'll create a dashboard out of all of that. When it's just you using it, clicking around a bunch of tabs isn't really a problem. Presentation requires a little more polish.
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    2/1/2019

    Morning weight was 184.4

    Blood ketones are still 0, but my carbs were at 6.7% and 7.6% for the 30th and 31st, while not being especially active. No surprises there.

    Workout for the day was HIIT on the elliptical. 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of cycles. That was enough to kick me into light ketosis, and I'll update on that tomorrow.

    I'm not looking forward to dumping all my muscle glycogen and water over the next week or 2. It's encouraging on the scale, but flat and flabby does not a happy weight lifter make.

    Carbs are still too high. I'm going to need to find some other medium for shoveling eggs into my face. Like a fork. Fork that. The low-carb bread is probably doable while maintaining ketosis later. But I'm trying to establish, so I'll need to forgo for now.
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    2/1/2019 con't

    My daily macros were better than the 30th and 31st, but I still need to restrict the carbs a little more. They were 6.3% of total calories and I'm shooting for <5%.

    The calorie goal can be disregarded. I'm burning quite a bit more than that.
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    2/1/2019 con't

    ...and the energy balance piece. I didn't show anything prior to the 30th, but there was some serious pigging out on carbs and sodium going on there. So the weight gain shouldn't be construed as due solely to calories in/out starting on the 30th.

    I fully expect this to correct itself over the next 3-5 days.

    I'm going to post some crappy bathroom selfies later. I think it's about going to be about my last chance to post true "before" photos.
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    2/2/2019

    Morning weight was 182.4

    Had my first positive reading for blood ketones. They came in at 0.5 mmol/L.

    I had no fewer than 50 grams net carbs for the 30th, 31st, and 1st, so I think the morning fasted HIIT on the 1st really did the trick.

    ----------

    Workout for the day was full-body HIT on an empty stomach.

    Hammer Strength iso pull down - 210*8, 200*10+3
    Hammer Strength incline press - 200*9, 180*8+1
    Barbell step up, 12" box - 135*8, 8
    Hammer Strength iso row - 240*9,230*10+3
    Hammer Strength overhead press (OHP) - 180*8, 160*8

    I was gassed almost from the word "go" and I think I could have benefited from a small protein shake with added MCTs. I've trained fasted quite a bit in the past, but it's been awhile. I had planned on doing kneeling squats and some light shoulder work to finish out.

    The step ups and kneeling squats are 2 exercises I really liked from Eric Cressey's Neanderthal No More program. The weight on step-ups (and kneeling squats had I done them) will go up quite a bit. I haven't done them for months, so want re-learn good form and feel.
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    Registered User JamesLoniSena's Avatar
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    2/2/2019 Con't

    Macros for the 2nd were pretty ideal for keto induction, although protein was a little high. I think it'll be fine.

    Carbs were only 2.8% of total calories.

    REALLY need to remember to supplement more potassium into my diet.

    I also uploaded a before selfie.
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    2/3/2019

    I'm pretty crunched for time this morning, so no screenshots or detailed breakdown of what I ate. Really need to get that dashboard built.

    Morning weight was 182.0.

    Ketones registered at 1.9 mmol/L which is solidly in nutritional ketosis. The super-low carb day on the 2nd reaped benefits. My negative energy balance has also probably been a little too severe and that definitely helped to get me into the sweet spot a little quicker. I'll naturally start moving less as I settle into the cut.

    Yesterday's highlights:

    No workout.

    3400 Kcal in at 244f/45c/239p. 64.5%/5.3%/28.1%.

    3830 burned per Fitbit for a (430) balance.



    I think that I'll start posting morning weight and ketones for the current day with the recap of the prior days' nutrition and exercise. This seems to make more sense, as they really are more the result of the previous day.



    Morning of 2/4/2019 weight was 180.8 and morning ketones were 0.9 mmol/L.

    I have a PT job some nights and weekends delivering pizza and I scraped the toppings off of a few slices of Pizza yesterday. I'm sure that the sauce is chock full of HFCS and that some of the dough came along for the ride. I didn't include that in my macros, but I think it's safe to say that my carb count was probably fairly higher than listed. And this explains the drop in ketones. I also snagged a few of the mild wings and these have a lot of sugar too. Moral is: don't eat anything unless you know exactly what's in it.
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    2/4/2019

    Workout for the day:

    DB Press - 80*9, 70*8
    Cable pulldowns (with hooks) - 175*11, 165*11+2
    Safety Squat bar squat - 245*3, 255*3, 1, 1, 1, 265*1
    Hammer Str OHP - 180*9, 5+1
    Hammer Str Pullover - 180*9, 6+1
    Kneeling Squat - 225*10, 10

    I worked out much later than my usual time and had a meal under my belt. If anything, I had less energy. I think I'm probably tapping out on muscle glycogen now, or will be very soon. I've been working out at my gym for 3+ years and I honestly had never noticed that there was a pullover. The Nautilus pullover was a mainstay in my programming years' back - "the upper body squat." The plate loaded variety definitely has a different feel to it. The tension doesn't feel as even throughout as did the Nautilus. Even so, I was able to get the elusive lat pump, even in my depleted state. Great exercise. One other thing to note: I dropped a rep on DB press, and gained one on cable pulldowns. I did DB presses 1st this workout after having done them 2nd last time. I think I may superset these going forward, if the gym isn't too busy.

    Meals were pretty boring, which is something to get used to. I may make some LC meatloaf or ice cream from time-to-time, but for the most part, I'm happy eating the same things day-in day-out. I ate the exact same lunch everyday for 3 years: tuna fish sammy with fixings, yogurt, baked Lays, and almonds.

    I managed to keep my carbs pretty low again. 19 net and 3% of total calories. Morning of 2/5 ketone reading confirms this as I measured at 2.0 mmol/L.

    Morning of 2/5 weight is 181.8.
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    2/5/2019

    Workout for the day:

    LISS treadmill walk. 8 degree incline @ 3.2 mph for 45 minutes wearing my Mir vest with 21 lbs added. I don't cheat by holding on.

    I ended up making my low-carb meatloaf and peanut butter ice cream last night. I ended up eating WAY more than I wanted to and calories, net carbs, and protein were higher than I'm shooting for. I expected that I would take a big hit to my ketone levels today, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There is a caveat, which I'll explain.

    My deficit for the day was only 55, which, if Fitbit is exaggerating my calorie burn as I suspect that it is, I likely ended up with a surplus for the day. Carbs as a portion of total calories were 4.4%, but my net was 36 and I'm shooting for 30/day (20 would be better). Protein was 199 grams. I likely have no more than 150 lbs. lean body mass and am following a pretty minimalist training program so this is likely far too much.

    I woke up late and didn't test my ketones first thing as I usually do. I tested them after 7 hours of being up and active. I had also just eaten a 100 gram spring mix salad with low carb ranch about 15 minutes earlier. The serving of LC dressing probably had about 2 tsp of MCT oil as an ingredient. I don't know how much that quantity and timing of the MCT oil would throw off ketone counts.

    Ketones registered at 2.3. I expected a large drop after yesterday's dietary lack of discipline so I am very pleased with that result.

    AM weight was 179.6.
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    If anyone has any input from experience on the effect, if any, that eating MCT oil just prior to testing blood ketones would have I'd like to hear it.
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    2/6/2019

    2/6/2019

    Workout for the day:

    A. Hammer Strength (HS) iso pull down - 210*12, 12
    B. DB Press - 85*6, 70*10

    SSB Squat - 255*2, 2, 2, 2, 1

    A. HS OHP - 180*8, 6+1
    B. DB Row - 105*12, 12

    Stiff-Leg DL (SLDL) - 275*5, 4

    Shoulder work

    I started hitting the wall around the second set of my second superset. I noted in my log book that I need to take longer breaks, although I'm not sure that it would have mattered. This felt like cell-deep fatigue. I might add in some creatine to add another rep or 2 to my higher rep sets. I've been meaning to anyway as there's really no significant drawbacks other than increased DHT (I still get oily skin and acne). I MAY also consider adding some exogenous ketones to sip on intra-workout. Not sure it will help with actual volume or top-end strength. But I pretty much just sat, sweating profusely with a 1000-mile stare in between my sets, and I think it may give me a little more walking-around energy.

    Diet was pretty on-point. Macros were good. Total calories and protein were acceptable. Net carbs < 30 grams.

    I did note that I was still hungry going to bed. I also knew that I was going to wind up with a pretty significant deficit (even with my most aggressive estimation of variance between fitbit reported and actual calorie burn). Going forward I may keep a couple rib-eye steaks on rotation in the fridge. If I'm way over (under?) my planned deficit, I may smash a couple of those before bed.

    How I cook them:

    Pre-heat iron skillet on high broil for 15 minutes.
    Remove pan from oven and sear in butter over high heat, 1 minute per side.
    Return to oven and broil on high heat 1.5 minutes per side.
    Remove from oven and skillet. Seal meat and pan drippings in foil for 3 minutes.

    Perfect medium-rare, every time. You can manipulate done-ness by increasing broiling time. If you have a good cut of meat, this will make a Ruth's Chris steak seem like clown shoes in comparison.

    Waking ketones were 3.1 mmol/L.

    Morning weight was 178.4. I think it's safe to say that I have dropped most of the water and muscle glycogen that I have. Any weight loss or gain at this point (smoothed over a few days) should be construed as true fat loss.
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