Monday, August 22, 2011

Post Mortem: 30-day Detoxification Program

Objective: Perform a 30-day detoxification program that has been used by a number of people with success.


* Weight went from 178.0 lb to 164.0 lb, for a net weight loss of 13.0 lbs. On my last weigh in, I was a little dry, and I believe a more accurate weight was 167.0 lb, my weight the following morning. It was still a net weight loss of 11.0 lb, even though weight loss was not the primary goal. By the way, this is less than I weighed when I graduated from high school. Also, my half bodyweight RKCII press is the 36kg/80lb bell, which I do for reps, easily.

* I was still able to lift heavy and often during the detox. This detox was not one where you just drank spicy water and took pills. This was a detox that encouraged clean eating of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. What this detox did was avoid toxins (duh) and allergens. It was not a starvation diet. The workouts, primarily barbell and double kettlebell exercises, included:

- Long Cycle Clean and Jerk: 2 24kg x 5 x 5,10,15 and 2 32kg x 5 x 2,4,6
- TGU: 32-40kg x 12 minutes
- Max VO2: 20kg x 25-40 minutes or :15/:15 and 25+ minutes of :30/:30
- Good Mornings: Up to 355lb + maxing out the Leg Press
- Box Squats: 225 - 315lb (unfortunately, the gym that I go to doesn't have any low boxes, so these were slightly above parallel) + Dimel deadlifts with 185-245lb
- Double KB military presses, up to 2 32kg bells, snatch start.
==> These are athletic workouts. No curling in the squat rack here.
==> These are short workouts: 10 - 35 minutes for the most part.
==> There was absolutely no compromising of training intensity/volume on this detox. In fact, I set a number of PRs.

* I did not have any diet soda or any artificial sweeteners for thirty-six days. I have to say that I was extremely surprised at the affects that it had on food cravings and also encouraged me to drink more water. Also, this saved me probably $3-5/day. While that doesn't seem like a big deal, if you take the money from that, about $30/week, you can definitely upgrade your choices of meats and seafood. It also force me to drink a lot more water, which I believe paradoxically caused me to retain less water.

* The protein powder that I used for meals where I could not cook did not have any artificial sweeteners or flavors. While I am not huge on protein shakes (about 1/day), there are times when either:
- I really want something quick in the morning and don't have time to cook/clean and/or
- Post workout, I really don't want to eat harder-to-digest animal protein.

The protein that I was taking felt more like eating real food than most protein powders. Normally, if I have a protein shake, I am hungry 90 to 120 minutes later. This was very filling. Also, it is definitely not something you will find at Wal-Mart, but it is less expensive the that boutique protein powders you find in the health food stores.

* I was starting to feel veins where I haven't in a very long time, including in the front of my shins and in my hip flexors. There were definitely body composition changes. I will say, however, that not all of the weight loss was probably not fat, and I am OK with that. A lot was probably removing water retention associated with a toxic environment. Also, the internal cleansing contributed to the pounds as well. While that may not sound like a big deal, removing that waste help your digestive system function better, allowing you to absorb more of what you eat and helping you eat less, while still getting the nutrition (the "good stuff" is also the hardest to digest).

* I found that my alertness skyrocketed. I got a lot more projects done because I was able to focus better. I am not sure if that was the diet itself, or the fact that I slept much better. If you are dragging ass in the morning and "tired by wired" at night, chances are your cortisol is out of whack, and you may need a detox. If you are throwing coffee, Red Bull, or other nervous system stimulants at a sleep or recovery problem, you are just applying a band aid, except this one will make you psychotic. It is amazing how many people, even personal trainers, brag about how many Red Bulls they drink.

I noticed that I had a lot less lingering pain in my shoulders. I am not sure if this was just part of the recovery process, or if the detox has anything to do with it. I work at a residential fitness center, Core Fitness Solution, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence there or people having reduced joint pain even though they did not get direct medical therapy. Hmmmmm......

Things I wish I did better:*

I normally don't plan my grocery shopping trips. I am pretty minimalist in what I shop for, I don't keep much in inventory, and I can shop every other day with my schedule. I usually just go and get what I need. I did find, that since detox was not on my mind 100% of the time, that a lot of times I bought stuff out of habit. I remember one day getting a can of diet soda, then thinking "Why the frack did I buy that?" I really didn't plan weekly menus and shopping lists, but in retrospect I really should have.

* I wish I did a better job of logging my meals. I know I wasn't perfect with the detox, but I was pretty good. I wish I logged my meals better not so much to improve my choices, but to see what affect those choices had on me. This is going to be especially important that I am "adding stuff back in."

What did I learn:

* Beer has a more negative effect on my than I original thought. I really like beer, and I am not going to give it up completely, but it does affect me, especially in terms of retaining water.

* Breads are a real no-no. I don't think I am allergic or gluten intolerant, but I do noticed that if I eat bread, it stokes my hunger. Given that there are no nutrients in bread than cannot be found in other sources, there is no reason to have to rely on them. I do think bread is tasty, if you see me eating a chicken parm sandwich, it is because it is tasty, not because I think it is healthy.

* Significant healthy weight loss can be achieved quickly while maintaining workout volume. This is just another tool in the tool box.

* In a way, the only way that matters to your bank account, detox-style eating is cheaper than the SAD (Standard American Diet). Even though you may spend more on individual items, eating toxic foods costs more because:

- You get nickel-and-dimed by eating snacks. You spend only a little bit of money, but they add nothing to nutrition. You still have to eat more to get nutrients. Lead with healthy food, and you save in the long run. All of the major fast food companies and large commercial food producers are 5-and-diming you out of your health.

- Things like sodas are much more expensive than water. Sure, things like an organic soda might cost more than a Big Gulp, but you have an alternative that is free -- water. Also, you are most likely craving diet soda (or Crystal Lite or Gatorade), because it is wet, not because it quenches your thrist. Also, do you know what the process is that breaks down fat? HYDROlysis. Get the picture?

- You don't go out to eat as much. When you go out to eat, only 67-82% of what you pay for is food cost. The rest goes to make it, serve it, and to cover corporate overhead. Use that savings to buy better stuff to cook. Even if it costed 2x as much (it doesn't), you are still better off.

* If you spend an hour in a grocery store, I will almost bet you are not eating healthy. When you are detoxing, shopping is really easy. About 70% of the grocery store is off limits. I go to the health food store, and most people are not healthy or fit. Just because your cookies are organic does make them healthy. Most of the companies that specialize in "health food" aren't in the business of making you healthy. They don't make money if you lose weight. The do make money when you buy their crap. They are in the business of JUSTIFYING UNHEALTHY CHOICES.

* Don't think of foods as being "good" or "bad". It is not that black and white. Are strawberries good for you? "Yes". Can you eat a flat a day? NO! Are they good to have before your workout? NO. This is another way that overweight people justify choices that are making them fat. "How many points is it....?"

I think people who think of foods as either "good" or "bad" were not very creative and/or punished too much as children.

* If you have a fitness goal, write the goal down, BUT DON'T TELL ANYONE unless you are paying them. This is because:

- No one cares. And if someone does care, they probably think you are a righteous asshat or they want to bring you down to their level.

- If you are committed, there is really no need to tell anyone. I know there is a lot of talk about "accountability partners", but I think they are a copout. At the end of the day, there is only two person who cares, and that is you and someone who benefits from your success. My dad has a saying, "When you are in trouble, you are a alone." If you don't believe me, ask the most hated jocksniffer in Florida, Nevin Shapiro. He had a lot of friends when he was buying Miami Hurricane football players hookers and cars. But now that he is in jail, they are shunning him big time. I would like to think that if someone did that for me when I was in college, I would have their back.

I am not really big into the shows like the Biggest Loser and other programs that preach hyper-fast weight loss. I meet a lot of people who can't see their toes tell me how fast they have lost weight before. If it is not sustainable it is not right to do, EVER. At the end of the day, it has to be THE RIGHT THING TO DO. This detox was based on eating clean foods, avoiding toxins/allergens, fixing the body from the inside, and effective exercise. The benefits were improved body composition, performance, and sleep quality, and I even saved some dinero. How can that be counterproductive long term?

If the reason you are training is to look, feel, and perform better, and you are not getting the results as fast as you want them, a detox-program may be for you. Based on what I have experienced, even highly fit people can benefit. Contact me at 813-951-7470/ to learn more.


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