Mistakes in nutrition – preventing more lost gains
Not content with the fat gains from Occam’s Protocol, I went on a mission to find a better nutritional option. Pairing the ‘forgotten third workout‘ program with slow carb + protein shakes and peanut butter, I was sure that I was covering my bases, and was on my way to achieving the results I wanted. A few hurdles later, I have a better view of how this nutritional decision affected my progress.
This is a frustrating article to write for me, as it makes me totally aware of the fact that I could have perhaps been at a point closer to my ultimate goal (185lbs at 8% body fat) than I currently am. Sure, there’s some other reasons that have led me to this point, such as some intense team sports in August, which meant I couldn’t do anything but undereat and miss gym sessions, therefore going backwards in progress for a month, but fundamentally, nutrition was at the heart of it all. Having now completed a full month of this modified slow carb eating plan, I have decided to go in a new direction, but not before I analyze the why’s of how things went for me -so that you can learn from my experiment.
The protocol I tested:
Breakfast: Slow carb – 1 cup of canned beans (black or red kidney), spinach (equiv to 2 cups fresh), eggs (usually 4 whole eggs)
AM: Protein shake (unflavored) with water, 1 tbsp peanut butter
Lunch: Slow carb – Protein, 1 cup of beans, vegetables (mainly broccoli, spinach)
PM: Protein shake (unflavored) with water, 1 tbsp peanut butter
Afternoon Lunch: Slow Carb – protein, 1 cup of beans, vegetables (mainly spinach)
Evening: Sometimes a protein shake with water
Dinner: Slow carb – usually chicken, maybe eggs, 1 cup of beans, vegetables
Workouts: Protein Shake with water
Supplements: ALA, Garlic, ChromeMate, Cinnamon (1.5 tsps), Vitamin B, Vitamin C (1000mg), Creatine 2x day (5g powder ea), L-Glutamine after workouts (20g)
Variations: Sometimes used low sugar high fibre protein bar instead of protein shake after workouts. Sometimes reduced beans in meals to 1/3 can of beans
Cheat Day: 1 every 2 weeks
Workouts: The Forgotten Third Option Splits every 3 days
Gained 2lbs. After 4 weeks. Very slow gains, and certainly expected more, considering caloric load.
- Tim recommends 20 calories per pound of lean body mass + 10lbs, to account for your aim to gain weight. I believe I was under this target by approximately 300 calories/day. It’s difficult to eat that much!
- Addition of peanut butter to protein shake most likely didn’t aide much muscle gain, having now learned more about what muscles need to build – milk would have been a better addition for roughly the same number of calories
- Minor sleep debt can affect muscle growth, though less likely in this case
- Frequency of workouts works well
Things to change for the better:
- Adding in milk to get more calories, and a low-ish GI carbohydrate.
- Maintain 6 meals per day, ensure mini meals are larger than 200 calories
- Count calories to ensure the target is hit
- Ensure 8-9 hours of sleep per night
This modification, while providing lots of calories, wasn’t supplying my body with enough of what it can use to easily build muscle. I expect too that there just wasn’t enough food energy coming in, to rebuild the muscle, and so workouts were cutting rebuilding phases short.
From here, I will be going back to the Occam’s Protocol eating plan, and focussing on hitting the target number of calories required to build serious amounts of muscle.
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