Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 21

Welcome to Week 21 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 2016
April 2016

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 21: April 1 – 7 2016

April 1st Stats
Scale Weight: 202.0 pounds
Waist: 34.0 inches

Week 21 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 202 to 201.8 pounds
  • Keep waist from going over 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the first week of my new strength workout routine. Due to me following bodybuilding style routines for so long, I thought it was time to change the pace and focus on my strength. Due to the amount of calories I’m eating, I know that I will not be building any new muscle. It’s more about maintaining my muscle. If I’m maintaining, why not see just how strong I currently am?

I will be working out only for three days a week (Monday, Wednesday & Friday). These are heavy intense weightlifting days.

Sleeping

Staying up to watch Wrestlemania on Sunday, put me behind the curve for the majority of this week. I average around 6 hours this week. Mainly due to waking up in the middle of the night due to odd dreams & a sore body.

Sleep needs to get closer to 7.5-8 hours so my body can recover from the heavy weight lifting sessions.

Fast Weight Loss

In last week’s post, I mentioned how I went on a four day Easter weekend food binge. Despite that binge, I ended up dropping weight without even exercising last week. Seriously, I barely did twenty minutes of bodyweight exercises.

That weight loss continued all the way into this week. During the weekend, I stepped on the scale and saw my weight go all the way down to 198. Most people would be excited with that type of weight decline. Well not this guy!

I decided to let my wife do some caliper measurements so I could estimate how much lean mass & fat I had on my body. The numbers caught me by surprise. They revealed that had approximately 175 lbs of lean mass with 24 lbs of fat.

When I created my “lose 15 pounds of fat” challenge, I underestimated the amount of fat I had gained prior to the countdown and also DURING the countdown. Those holiday months set me back more than I anticipated.

The Countdown to 195 will still go on, but my stats tell me that I have 9 lbs of fat to meet my goal of having only 15 lbs of fat.

New Eating Style

Knowing that I’m basically right where I was in Week 6, I decided to change my eating slightly. With the scale dropping fast despite me not doing anything, I decided to increase my calories slightly for a few weeks.

I want to insure that last week’s massive weight loss wasn’t due to me losing muscle. My goal is to lose fat NOT muscle! Just because the scale number decreased doesn’t mean it’s 100% fat lost!

Due to me performing heavy strength training, I decided to do carb cycling throughout the week. Carb cycling simply means that on my weightlifting days, I will eat enough calories to support the heavy lifting. On my off days I will just eat less calories. If you look at the total week, I should still be in a calorie deficit that will lead to fat loss.

I will no longer be tracking compliance. I will be more focused on hitting my targeted macronutrient/calorie numbers for their respected days. I’m going to keep doing this for the next two weeks to see how my body responds.

Food Journal

Here is the Real World food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 1 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 2 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 3 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 4 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 5 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 6 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 7 2016

End of Week 21 Stats: April 8th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 199.8 lbs (2.2 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.5 inches (0.5 inches lost from previous week)

Due to the carb cycling, I don’t really trust what the scale says anymore. I weighed myself throughout the week and my weight was between 197-205 pounds. That tells me that on my lower carb days, I don’t have as much water in me thus the scale goes down.

People who follow low-carb, hardcore Paleo style diets normally see a drastic scale weight loss and think it’s all fat. It’s not!

The majority of that “fast” weight loss is just your body dropping water weight. When you don’t eat carbohydrates, your body doesn’t store as much glycogen. Glycogen is what carbohydrates turn into when in your body.  Glycogen is made up of mostly water.  So if you eat less carbohydrates, you than have less glycogen in your body which equals less water in your body.

I’m trying to lose fat not water, that’s why I never take the scale seriously.  I 100% believe that my waist measurements and mirror analysis are the best indicators of progress.  Both look good, so I know I made progress this past week.

 

Upcoming Week 22 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

21 Weeks Down……5 Pounds Until 195….But 9 Pounds of Fat to Meet Old Goal……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

For the first time since doing this Countdown I’ve reach the under 200 lbs mark! Will I be able to ride the two week momentum? Is there a dirty filthy shameful eating binge awaiting me next week?

Tune in next Friday for Week 22!