Monday, February 5, 2007

BigAssSuperstar: Un-Weighted: Week Twenty

My appetite has returned. My exercise routine has not. Thus ...

Start weight: 220 pounds
Last week: 208
This week: 209
Change: +1
Total loss: 11 pounds

I actually had one reading of 208, but went with the prevailing 209 so as not to "cheat" and set myself up for 210 next week.

The recent visit with Sandra and Byron introduced me to a book called The Testosterone Advantage Plan. (Available at Chapters and Amazon.) Byron says he's trying it and finding it useful. Turns out I had the book on my bookshelf already, but I'd never opened it.

It's a nine-week plan from the people at Men's Health Magazine which purports to exploit and enhance the male body's own testosterone to achieve a stereotypically manly physique. Its diet premise appears to be a higher-protein Mediterranean diet, with about one-third protein, carbs and fats. It postulates that fat has a role to play in making testosterone, that protein is helpful to enhance the thermic effects of eating (that is, the calories you burn processing the food you ate), and that carbs aren't all they're cracked up to be. I haven't reached the workout part of the book yet, but the preliminary chapters hammer home the concept that to burn fat, you really ought to be building muscle, since muscle-building is heavy metabolic work, and the body burns more calories when it has more muscle. Sounds fair.

So far, so good. I can totally agree that more muscle = more calories burned, and more muscle = good lookin', and that paying attention to protein intake etc. is generally wise.

I'm slightly skeptical of the book's "(almost) everything you've been told about eating and fitness is dead wrong -- and we're right" approach. The authors pick apart studies that support the old low-fat diet concepts, being especially harsh on studies with small sample sizes. However, their own sample size is something like a dozen guys. And for all their hype about testosterone, they don't actually test for testosterone at any point in their studies.

Having said all that, I'm not crying "bullshit" over the Testosterone Advantage Plan. At this point, *any* prescribed diet and exercise program, followed carefully, would likely do wonders for my body. So I'm going to keep reading, and try to use the authors' motivational hyperbole to get me lifting weights again.

I only have another month and a half in the Un-Weighted project, so it's time to see if I can crack 200!


  1. hey scott.
    so, i was reading this latesdt blog and i just have a couple comments...
    I am not convinced by the author's statistics either - a small sample such as they have cited is not very useful and has no statistical merit...dissing other fitness plans/methodoligies is also not really very useful either. cardio workouts are a great way to burn calories and strengthen the heart.
    however, be that as it may, i took up 'the plan' 4 weeks ago and so far my results are as follows:
    start weight: 206lbs
    today's pre-workout weight: 197lbs.
    I have not been hungry at all eating by the schedule laid out by the author, and have even gone 'off the roadmap' a couple times when S and I have gone for dinner...Also, i spent a week in South Carolina, so i had virually no workouts and, well, the food available there isn't the healthiest :)
    So I guess that it might either be 'the plan', or just consistent working out and carefully planned caloric intake.
    Either way, there is one fact that is true in the book - gaining muscle is almost the only way in which to lose significant weight and keep it off. The increase in muscle also increases a mans T-levels (I think they elude to that in the book but never really make it a big issue).
    I feel much more energetic these days and I am seeing real results.
    I hope you can find something that works for you well and you can keep with it! Keep it up dude.

  2. heya fella,
    I don't think your exercise routine is something you can expect to come moseying on back on it's own like a lost kitten, overjoyed to once again be in familiar company. For me, at least, it's the sort of thing that you have to seek out in all the dark corners where it might have scooted off to, and you have to coax it out gently, and if that doesn't work, you may have to resort to more extreme boot camp measures :)
    This is something I continually struggle with, and I know how hard it is, but we must be patient and not let our non-routine exercise schedules become routine! Good luck, my buggy!