A Quick Personal Update

Part of the reason I haven’t posted much about my body recomposition progress is because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of progress. I fell off for a bit, but I’m back on now.

Next 4HB Stories Carnival – June 4th

Before I get to that, though, I wanted to remind everyone that the next blog carnival for 4HB Stories is June 4th. If you’re not sure what a blog carnival is, this article should fill you in a bit more. Basically it’s a fun way all of us to get some link love and share our great articles with other 4HBers. The deadline for submissions is midnight June 3rd. You can send me articles via my brand new contact form.

Also: the Slow-Carb Recipe Carnival
The 21st Century Gentleman is having a recipe carnival THIS WEEKEND as well, so if you have any great slow-carb recipes on your blog, give that one a shout as well.

Now for my update

As you’re probably well aware, I’ve had some trouble lately staying focused. I have had very spotty results since March, and I’ve started getting slightly frustrated as I watch others who were in the same boat as me leave me behind for skinnier pastures.

An FMF commenter offered sort of a “business analysis” of my diet, so over the course of several emails, he’s offered some suggestions for improvement. Some I incorporated right away:

  • I may have not been eating enough. I’ve read this in other places that have reinforced the claim. It’s highly possible that my metabolism is low because I don’t give it enough to burn. Once I started eating more, I didn’t really feel a need for snacks and I noticed my body temperature going up. I tweeted about it and someone suggested my metabolism is probably speeding up. That’s good news!
  • I make a much bigger effort to eat breakfast earlier. He said one small change he made that had the biggest results was eating breakfast within an hour, like Tim says we should. I’m finding that to be quite difficult, but I’m slowly mastering that timing. I just feel so groggy!
  • I pay more attention to ketosis. In really brief laymans terms, ketosis is when your body is burning fat as fuel instead of glycogen (carbs). I have much less desire to cheat because I know that if I do I could break that fat-burning period and it’ll take a while to get back into it.

I’ve also been much more consistent with workouts and my race training. I can run longer, and I feel generally stronger. My wife has even said my arms are bigger and my booty sits higher (thanks, glute activations!). I can do more push-ups than I could before. Things are improving.

At the same time, that’s where things get frustrating. My scale hasn’t moved an inch in two weeks (in fact, I was a bit heavier today that I was two weeks ago). I had rough patches on Sunday and Wednesday, but I can’t fathom they were rough enough to undo the work I did the rest of the days. I measured my arms and my waist this morning just to check, and they haven’t changed. The weird thing is some of my shirts fit better, but I’ve noticed that dryer-fresh jeans are slightly tighter. I don’t know what my body is doing, but I know I’ll figure it out.

Two last things

  1. I’m still doing Diggy’s Body Recomp challenge. I’m sure you can still join if you want to!
  2. I’m also still doing the Autism Society 5K this weekend. Please consider challenging me and making a donation. I like the one Ryan from No More Bacon made me! I’m already beating that time, but I’m shooting for a $50 donation from him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for checking in. Hopefully next week has better news.


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  1. Hang in there! I’m not a 4HB person but I’ve eaten lowcarb for many years so I can really relate to your frustration with a temporary apparent lack of progress. Go by how you feel. Stuff (for lack of a better word) is changing and moving around even if you can’t always measure it. Your eating and exercise are habits are vastly improved so you have to trust that the changes are happening. Sometimes it does take a little tweak here and there to get tangible results again.

    I don’t know how ketosis fits in to the 4HB diet but I know that when I drop my carbs extra low and go ketogenic, it’s like I’m in the groove again. I can feel the difference. My appetite drops, my energy goes up, and most of all, as you point out, I’m even more careful with carbs because I don’t want to mess it up.

    And finally, a point on rough patches: A day or two of less-than-stellar food choices can absolutely mess up your scale results and measurements for a week or two, but they cannot undo your progress to date. This is something I remind myself of every day. This wknd I went nuts with beer, a funnel cake, cotton candy, etc. I felt bloated, fat, hungry, and annoyed with myself. The scale went up 4lbs, my pants felt tight. I started to freak out that all the new smaller clothes I’d just bought weren’t going to fit anymore, but then I came back to reality. A couple hundred carb grams are not going to undo the hours and hours of kettlebell work I’ve done. They’re not going to instantly add back 12″ to my waist…it felt like it, though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You’ve got this! (Sorry for the novel.)

    • This is seriously why I blog about this. ๐Ÿ™‚ Heli, if I didn’t have people like you coming and validating my emo side, I might spend more time giving up!

      Ketosis and 4HB work well together, although I probably need to lower my legume intake. Another 4HBer suggested over twitter that I get some ketostix to see if I’m *really* in ketosis. I’m excited to be able to do some personal research to see how much of a difference it really makes.

      I have a hunch that after a couple days my weight and pants will be back to normal, but it’s still frustrating, you know? I have to remind myself every day that I’m not racing against everyone. If I made a bad choice for lunch, I can make a good choice for dinner. Fortunately my good choices far outweigh my bad chocies.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Hey Jason – are you still following Slow Carb or have you transitioned into more of a Paleo eating plan? I would think that lentils or beans would prevent you from entering ketosis (if that’s your goal.) Lentils have 36g carbs per cup, and I *think* you need to keep carbs at under 30g to go into ketosis. I

    ‘ve been eating pretty low carb but am greatly concerned that I’m not getting enough fiber without beans…and there’s only so many vegetables I can eat each day.

    Another thing I’ve experimented with is trying to eat strictly for a few days to enter ketosis and then stack some of my benign cheats all in a day (things like roast sweet potatoes, dark chocolate) and then do another few days strict so I can go back into ketosis.

    • Hey Laura! Yeah, I’m still doing slow carb, but I have been watching the beans. You can be in ketosis as long as you stay under 100 (I’ve heard as high as 150). Incidentally, I picked up some ketostix last week to regulate my ketosis. It’s taken 3 days to get into it, but I noticed last night that it was starting. I’ve maintained about 100g. I plan on doing a study specific to ketosis to see if THAT makes a pointed difference. My suspicion is that it does.

      I’m intentionally being very strict this week (my wife makes me promise every day before work that I won’t cheat), and I’ve noticed a drop in weight again. Sunday is cheat day, so I’ll weigh then and probably include the results in my ketosis post.


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