Two Weeks and Two Pounds

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I am two weeks into my cyclical lean bulk, and things are going well! After last week’s one and a half pound weight gain I was a bit worried that I was just retaining water, packing on fat, and not gaining muscle and it made me sad. But this week, I only gained a half a pound and with a tiny change in my diet my water retention is much more under control, that makes me happy! It also gives me a little hope that I might be able to eat more after I go back to a ten day cut with three refeed days or cutting with a one cheat meal whatever my coaches and I decide… that’s in the future though so we will see what happens.

Let’s talk briefly about the importance of listening to your body and then asking questions and listening to your coach(es). Perhaps not, but I think I was justifiably freaked out last week after I blew up like a balloon with only a 100 calorie daily increase. So I asked:

 

Question: We said gain four pounds, what if I do that this week? Should I bulk for another week like I had planned? Or start cutting early?
If you gain 4lbs this week from the small kcal increments, then it is likely water retention. To gain 4 lbs of muscle/fat, you would need to have over eaten by close to 15,000kcal over the last couple of weeks. With this in mind, if you do not mind the water retention I would suggest we push up to 6lbs gain, then cut back 4-5lbs and repeat?

 

Okay, totally makes sense to me. But at the end of the email I also said:
Side note: I have no idea how people can do this for so long. I’m so puffy. I know it’s mental. But watching myself fill in a little more every day is just depressing. It’ll be worth it in the end though.
I go through the same thing with bulking unless you go very low carb and bulk or take it really slow, it is difficult not to look puffy.

That got me thinking. I was going slow but what would happen if I went very low carb? It turns out I already was low carb which is anything under 90g net carbs (carbs – fiber = net carbs). This is where the listening to your body thing comes in. I crave fat all the time; peanut butter, other nut butter, nuts, seeds, tuna steak, beef, but not carbs like bread, potatoes, bananas, etc. What if my cravings were my body telling me I need more healthy fats in my diet and fewer carbs?

I asked, and we decided to see what happens if I reduced my Net carbs to 40-50, in the end, I only reduced my total carbs by about 25. Essentially replacing a potato in one of my meals with something green and reducing my steel cut oats by five grams. Haven’t missed them, barely noticed the change and the results were almost instant. My water retention has nearly gone away; I require less willpower because my body is getting what it craves, and I had no ill effects from reducing carbs. With my old coach, I reduced my total carbs to 50 on cardio and rest days. The day of, I always had a headache at some point, and they would often turn into a migraine. And then I was fuzzy headed the day after to the point where my work was affected. I also tried going Paleo once… it was the worst week of my life. Will you people please stop calling something bread that has none of the ingredients of bread in it? It’s like the most horrible prank ever.

One more small change to mention. This bulk is going to go longer than three weeks. I’m going for the four pounds. I want to see how much muscle and strength I end up gaining and how quickly my four pack comes back. lol

My son's homework. He said, I was going to draw you before you started working out but decided to give you your four pack.

My son’s homework. He said, I was going to draw you before you started working out but decided to give you your four pack.

 

front3-7&3-15&3-22emmy
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Have a great Tuesday and week ya’ll!
~ emmy

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