72 Days until the end of the decade, and 72 days to lose the gut challenge – DAY 7

Day 7 of 72

Happy Monday y’all!! — and if it is a happy day, then you’re doing something right. So you’ve done this for a week and it’s been challenging, but somehow, there has been reward in tackling something new. It’s that feeling that tells you that you’re not quite there yet, but you’re doing something that is going to pay off.

I’d like you to weigh yourself today, and record the weight in a diary somewhere. During the next few days, I will send you a diary-style excel doc, so that you can update your progress. There’s nothing as nice as checking in during let’s say week 4, to notice that you’ve lost centimetres around the waist.

We’re not going to bother with pics, since these should be done at greater intervals. ie every 2 weeks. if you want them to be motivational.

How was your Sunday diet? Did you feel restricted in what you were able to eat, or did you feel as if you were handed a free meal pass? I can tell you that I took Sunday quite seriously, like a bear getting ready for the winter. I made sure that I had enough junk and other food in me, so that I could traverse Monday without remorse. You were granted a little reprieve from what is essentially a calorie restricted eating plan. Your system took in all the food like a sponge, and now it’s time to get back onto the bike.

You will remember to eat after 1, or within the 16 to 8 hour split. Still no carbs — just a post training shake with max 30g Have your vitamins Do your cardio

This is the last week of having NO carbs. Remember that you’re in the middle of your system re-set with insulin. The insulin reset is pretty much what it sounds like: a specific dietary protocol intended to reset your insulin sensitivity. The insulin reset utilises carb cycling in the sense that you’re always eating more carbs on workout days — however, this starts out in a relatively intense fashion: with zero carbs three days per week. During the first two weeks, you will take in no carbohydrates whatsoever on the days that you don’t train with weights. On days you do train, you’re limited to 30 grams. I’ve recommend that all 30 grams of carbs come in the form of a post-workout shake. Although it’s not exactly fun eliminating carbs for a couple weeks, it’s incredibly effective and surprisingly easy to adjust to. This is not a gimmick. While some diets will put you through a crash course of low carbs where you lose water weight and appear to have a lot of success only to put it right back on, this is the first phase of a complex scientific strategy designed to keep the weight off. More carbs will be added after the first two weeks, and you won’t become fatter.

And, if you think that this level of carb reduction sounds extreme, keep in mind that technically it’s not zero carbs. You will be eating plenty of fibrous vegetables that we consider “free foods.” These foods — when combined with the amount of fat and protein you’ll be eating — will keep you much fuller than you’d ever imagine on a “zero-carb” plan. We restrict carbohydrate intake to very low levels for these first two weeks because it’s the fastest way to get your insulin under control. As you know, when you’re minimizing carbs, you’re also minimizing the secretion of insulin. Keeping insulin levels low will help your body become more sensitive to it.

Feast

This week, you should try getting into the groove of measuring what you eat. I know it sounds like a drag, and it is. The good news is that you can now quantify what you’re doing. You’re accumulating some data. If you record your progress and you food consumption within each category, you can make adjustments. If you’re straying off course, then your numbers will tell you.

The other good news is that you quickly learn to assess portion sizes. ie you start getting the hang of your portions, and your meals, and you go onto auto-pilot. ie you get used to the drag

I will put together a spreadsheet that you can use to track your food, and your progress.

Training

Your session to sweat is the key to this challenge. While some are still settling into a cardio routine, others are beginning to throw some weights around in the gym. During the first 14 days, I just want you to settle in and NOT MISS A DAY. The benefit is more in the mind. You’re training yourself to show up every day. By turning up the volume on your physical exercise, you’re giving yourself a little more freedom with you food requirements. Your body is able to pack more good nutrients into the equation, with the end result being improved health, fat loss and muscle gained.

Sleep

A small improvement in your sleep patterns, will ad immeasurably to your transformation. Better sleep, reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of the power players in the hormone game. Quite simply: fuck with cortisol, and it will fuck you up. That said, cortisol isn’t all bad. It’s tied to your fight-or-flight response. So the occasional surge in cortisol can be helpful for everything from lifting more weight to improving your immunity and even helping brain function and memory. But like most things in life, the poison is in the dose. Cortisol levels are often increased due to stress. And we’re not just talking about watching your team blow another lead with ten seconds left in the game or dealing with a pain-in-the-ass boss. This is every type of stress, such as not sleeping enough, having too much fat on your body, or worrying about how to resolve conflict with your significant other. Even eating the wrong foods can stress your body and increase cortisol.

And when cortisol levels remained elevated or are constantly spiked, your body eventually breaks down in every way possible. You age faster. You gain weight more easily. And you suffer from disease. So in order for you to remain happy and good-looking, it’s important that you keep your cortisol in check.

You see, high cortisol creates interruptions in sleep patterns. In other words, it makes you sleep like crap and wake up feeling even worse. But it’s a vicious cycle because poor rest means your cortisol become elevated even more, which will ensure that your sleep will continue to get worse. What’s more, less sleep also robs you of your testosterone, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And we’re not talking a tiny drop; the researchers indicated that poor-quality sleep could cause up to a 15 per cent decrease in testosterone — giving you one more reason to focus on your rest. What’s most amazing — and scary — is that the changes were almost instant. After just one week, the researchers noted the drop in testosterone and the men reported feeling more moody, having less vigor, and struggling with concentration. Even worse, the highest drops occurred during the afternoon hours and into the late evening (around 10pm) — meaning your testosterone will be lowest when you need it most to perform in bed. So while we’d love for you to get your eight hours of sleep, we’ll settle for improving the quality of your rest and leaving you with plenty of time for the more important things in life like watching football, reading books, and having sex.

How do you improve your sleep experience? — There are many ways, but start with this…

Make sure you sleep in a dark dark room. Pull down those blinds and draw the curtains. Put your phone on Airplane mode, and ensure that its not beeping from messages during the night. Switch off the little blue lights at your plug. Make sure your bed is comfortable, that your sleeping posture is natural. The foetal position is the most natural. Sleeping on your back will change your breathing patterns and can make one snore…

Sleep is vital to our health, because it’s the time when the body takes care of housekeeping. Your subconscious processes the experiences you’ve had in the day, while your body is able to attend to “the dishes”, so that when you wake up, you start with a clean slate.

Enjoy Monday!

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