Monday, 14 March 2016

bodycoach: cycle two review

The second cycle arrived and I'm filled with joy. I can pick and choose ingredients and make up my own recipes! Carbs three meals a day on training days! Pasta, tortillas, bread, rice, and potatoes! But...wait...carb day also means low fat day. So it's kedgeree without the egg and tortilla pizza without the cheese. And low carb/rest day is now Super Mega Low Carb Day filled with Excessive Vegetables. Huge, huge portions of the same dozen vegetables three meals a day, on both rest and training days. Soups. I will have lots of soups.

So yes, a change in diet and training this cycle. Weightlifting is introduced, which is great. I do like lifting heavy things. Calories are up by about 300 or so on both training and rest days. Training days aren't as carby as people fret about. For me, it's roughly 200g/day which is the equivalent of about a handful of potatoes, one bagel, and two bananas. An amount easily knocked back in every meal on most diets.

As for the food, well...let's just say I opened up my ten millionth package of chicken and thought I was going to hurl. Weirdly, things I was really looking forward to on this cycle are making me feel sick - like smoked salmon. Two packages of smoked salmon in one sitting? And you can only have it with eggs and/or vegetables? No, no, no, I want my rye bread, smoked salmon, and avocado breakkie back, please. Also, let's talk about the side sauce concept. Why do we have to eat a blob of yoghurt, sour cream, and/or cottage cheese with EVERY MEAL, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK? Seriously, why? Is it to meet macros or is there some magical property in some dairy products that burns fat? And then when you look up swaps, you can trade these for low fat mayo, barbecue sauce, or any other non-dairy substitute...which will give you a completely different macro count. It makes no sense.

It's clear (from social media groups) that people don't really understand how macros work and why we eat how we do. You see people say things like "macros are calculated over the week, so it's fine to go over one day" or "you lose fat because you're in ketosis." (You're not. Really, you're not.) The plan doesn't explain much about how the food is calculated, so it stands to reason why many people don't understand how it works and ask questions like "Can I eat basil, or will it mess up my macros?"

So, cycle 2 in summary:

  • The food still makes no sense. Well, okay. I'm being harsh. Some of it makes sense but the ingredients are still incredibly random.
  • The MASSIVE change in carbs from day to day is awful.
  • I still miss bacon and sausages. And bananas. And who has stolen my cheese?!

My Cycle Two Diary

Day 7: I feel almost as rotten as I did on cycle one, so I guess having carbs back again isn't helping. I've had cramping and diarrhoea off and on since I started this plan in January, so I suspect I'm possibly allergic to something I'm now eating regularly (or whatever it is in large quantities is bothering my digestive system.) I'm not taking any of the supplements and the protein powder is the same one I've been using for about a year, so I think it must be down to one of the foods I'm eating. In terms of the change in training and rest day meals, the higher carb days are fairly high (for me), but the low carb days are at Atkins level. I get that this helps balance things out overall, but the constant change is making me feel ill. At least I'm not hungry so far. In fact, I am not managing to eat all of my food and I'm certainly not eating the hundreds and hundreds of grams of vegetables each day. This isn't really a good thing.

Day 21: I am feeling much better, but I still feel like I'm allergic to something I've been having a lot on this diet. My eczema is awful and it hadn't flared up for about a year before this.
Otherwise, I feel fine. No "bloat", enjoying lifting heavy things, and I'm pretty sure I'm still losing inches.

Day 28: Final tally: I've gained 3lbs and I've lost one inch in total (from my waist.) Oh dear. Let's just say that cycle two was not for me. A friend of mine said this was her best cycle, in terms of results. I think because I carry all of my weight around my middle, higher carb/low fat was never going to work well for me. On to cycle three...