Showing posts from 2012

Fewer, larger meals may be more satisfying and good for you too.

Today's post is about the benefits of eating less frequently (aka intermittent fasting), especially for smaller people such as myself.

As you might remember, I'm currently "cutting", or reducing my calorie intake to shed the last few pounds to get the abs showing through again. Given that I'm only 125 lb, my calorie intake when dieting is going to be roughly 10 - 12 times that figure, or 1250 - 1500 calories. In practice, I've found I need to go to the lower end of this even with a decent amount of exercise. At the moment, I'm losing about 1 lb per week at an average daily calorie intake of 1300. I do about four hours of exercise per week (two heavy weights sessions and two moderately strenuous yoga sessions). Remember also from previous posts that the absolute number of calories doesn't matter - it's more important to keep adjusting them depending on what the scales tell you on a weekly basis.

At such a low calorie intake, I'm finding it muc…

Quarterly UK House Price Update

Now that Halifax and Nationwide have both published their quarterly house price data, I can update my graph of house prices vs. demographics. Incidentally, as you may have read, the ONS updated their census data too, so that is also reflected here with the data for the population of 40-42 year olds.

I stand by my assertion that it's demographics and population that determine the fundamentals of the economy and, if things pan out as the model is indicating, house prices in real terms are going to keep drifting down until 2015 - 2018. It's important to remember that the prices reported in the press are always going to be nominal, so I expect reported prices to stay fairly constant. Many people will assume that house prices are stable, or possibly even rising slowly, but once converted to real prices, the slow drift downwards will become apparent.

It's also important to remember how slowly the cycle of house price highs and lows moves. From the graph of UK prices (blue line)…

European Debt Crisis

Sorry, another fantastically lazy post from me (I've been busy with work and it's been interrupting my diet too!), but hopefully an entertaining one.

Nigel Farage is one of the few politicians to tell it how it is. Enjoy!

Supplements - the REAL secret...

This is an important post and hopefully, it will save you money and help you in your body-recomposition goals.

Supplements, as the name suggests, are just that. For the vast majority of people, they are the least important aspect of training / health / fitness. However, because companies can make profit on them, they are advertised as panaceas - you know the adverts I'm referring to. Miracle cures to help you "melt, burn and destroy body fat!".

The truth is that, until you get the basics, supplements will do very little to help lose fat or gain muscle. (An important exception is anabolic steroids, either oral or intravenous - these have a dramatic effect on muscle synthesis, but are powerful compounds that affect the endocrine system and have many potential side effects. They are also illegal in most countries, but are widely used, especially in bodybuilding competitions that are not explicitly designated "natural". I don't condone or condemn anabolics, I …


So I finally got one of these iPhone things - it's not actually an iPhone, but an iPod Touch (I have no need of another phone, but I wanted the ability to use apps and have a portable media device). I hate to say that I'm impressed.... I've never been anti-Apple, but being a nerdy gamer, I've just always used Windows-based systems because of the custom-built hardware option and the availability of games. I bought an iPod Classic a few years ago because I wanted something to store all my music (one of my passions!) and have an intutive interface and have also been very happy with it.

I've found two especially good health and fitness-related apps, so these are the subject of today's post:

The first is Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. The premise of the app is that it uses the accelerometer(s) in the iPhone or iPod Touch to monitor your movements while you sleep (you place the device on your mattress). Knowing how the movements of your body correspond to different sleep …

Update on the true economic situation in Europe...

Nobody says it better than Nigel Farage...


PS - I have no political party preference. I'll write more on some economic and political ideas in the future...

Protein Pudding!

So, the cut continues to go well and, despite being away working in Germany for the week, the combination of LeanGains (i.e. not eating during the day and just having all my day's food in the evening) and reasonable food choices (All-you-can-eat Sushi at Sushi Am Ring!), I lost about 2 lb. This is a little more than I would like and I need to be careful not to lose too fast, but I was concerned that I would over-eat. Obviously not! I made sure that I filled up as much as possible on wakame seaweed salad and sashimi, but I didn't particularly hold back when it came to my personal favourites, salmon nigiri and tuna maki!

Anyway, today's post is about the somewhat infamous Protein Fluff. I'll be using this as my pudding of choice for the next weeks / months of reducing body fat while retaining lean tissue. I ordered a whole lot of different flavours of protein from MyProtein, opting for the Milk Protein Smooth because this had the biggest range of flavours and, more impo…

Real world example of muscle gains

Now that I'm cutting, and enjoying the new challenge of maintaining my strength while reducing calories, I can look back on my second "bulk".
As you know, I'm a small guy and not taking steroids. Therefore the rate at which I can gain muscle is going to be fairly slow. I'm confident that this is a reasonable real-world example of a typical rate of muscle gain however, so let's take a look.

This is the graph of my bodyweight over the course of my second bulking phase. As you can see, I started at the beginning of May 2011, weighing 120 lb. I stopped at the end of Feb 2012, weighing 140 lb. I was reasonably lean when I started. See my previous post.

Some points I want to stress:

This was real-world. I have a full-time job and all the usual stuff to worry about.I was lifting twice per week (roughly each muscle group every 4 days, which seems to be optimal for naturals). Lyle McDonald reckons every fifth day, although he tends to split muscle groups up more - sin…

Tonight's dinner...

I'm truly into my cut now (i.e. reducing body fat while maintaining strength and muscle). I had to buy in some extra goodies to meet my nutrient requirements, the fundamentals of which are as follows:

Lower calories approx. 10% per week until I achieve a steady 1 lb per week loss.Increaseprotein intake to around 1.5g per lb of body weight.Maintain intake of essential fatty acids e.g. Omega 3 fish oil tablets (6 daily) and hemp oil (10 ml daily).
As you probably know, I eat all my food in the evenings for the following reasons:

Preparing meals to meet specific calorie and protein targets is annoying enough as it is. It's so much easier to do this once I'm home from work, rather than prepare things to carry with me in the day! Changing your body takes work, there's no denying that, but I like to make it have as little impact on my life as possible. Eating all your food in the evening also helps with social occasions.There is lots of evidence to show that fasting for 12 ho…

Another lazy post...

More on inflation and the simple nature of the global economy:

Global Economic Collapse

Just a quick money thought for today...

Presented without comment.

Source = ZeroHedge

And an excellent video along the same lines that exlains what is truly happening in the financial world:

Punk Economics - Lesson 3


I've chosen an image by Escher for today's post because I hope it will provide you with a different way of looking at something, namely inflation.

Inflation is most often defined as the rise in price of goods and services over time. However, its less often quoted meaning is the loss of value of the currency. It's this second meaning that is more representative of what inflation truly is. I strongly believe the first definition is misleading, perhaps deliberately so, as we shall see.

We have become so accustomed to living in a society that uses money that we often take its units of measurement, be they Pounds, Dollars or Euros, as fixed, much like distances like metres and weights like kilograms. In reality, they are units of exchange and are thus subject to the laws of supply and demand.

Think back to a time before money. Perhaps a wheat farmer wanted some meat for his meal. He might exchange a bushel of wheat in the local town for a pig. One year, pork is particularly po…

Food choices when dieting

I've started the process of losing the fat I inevitably gained from eating a slight calorie surplus for the past 10 months during my muscle and strength-building phase. I now need to make sure that the food I'm choosing to eat is as satiating as possible. Losing fat depends on a number of factors, the most important I believe to be time, willpower and calorie intake. Unless you are very overweight, you don't want to lose weight too fast because you will also be losing the good things like muscle and potentially interfering with hormones, which lead to feeling like crap. In your head, you want to be lean now, but your body is going to fight that and if you go too quickly, you'll end up falling off the waggon too soon and never making much progress. Changing your body is about time and patience. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

I'm aiming for a loss of 1 lb per week and to do this, I'm going to taper my calories down each week to ensure that I maintain this ra…

UK House Prices Update

Since the mid 1990s, the UK has "enjoyed" substantial growth in the UK residential housing market. I say "enjoyed" because increasing house prices are a double-edged sword - they benefit those who are smart (lucky?) enough to get out at the top and hurt those who get locked in to a property worth less than the loan secured on it. I've written before on one of the factors affecting the market - the number of buyers, i.e. the demographics. Now I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and make a prediction for where prices are headed.
First, I need to point out the importance of real prices vs. nominal prices. Essentially, real prices are corrected for inflation and nominal prices are not. When discussing prices of anything over a reasonably long time period (5 years or more), it's important to use the real price because even a small amount of inflation can make large impacts to the value over time. This is due to the nature of exponential growth and I…

Long time, no see!

I've been away (from this blog) for far too long. My health routine is largely unchanged but I've changed my attitudes towards finances to some extent. I'll go into details in future posts.

This post is just an update to my muscle-building / fat-burning progress:

I'm no longer vegetarian (long story largely unrelated to nutrition).I'm heavier.I'm stronger.I'm older (now 31) :DI only work out twice per week now (it used to be three times, but I found no significant difference in progress by dropping to twice and possibly improved recovery of the big lifts - squat and deadlift).
Things that have not changed:

I'm still an IFer (LeanGains style, although since the whole thing is about convenience, I eat between 5pm and 10pm i.e. when I'm home from work).I still get the vast majority of my calories and protein from food (i.e. I don't use shakes).I still only supplement with a little whey protein and creatine (along with the obligatory multivitamin).I …