Week 5- Julie's Figure Competition Blog


Week 5 was another solid week down and I am down another pound making it a total of 5.2lbs of fat lost so far along with some lean muscle gains 🙂 I did a TON of research this week (mainly Layne Norton, PhD’s articles and the links he has posted to his articles if you are interested) on several things- Leptin, refeed meals and also different macronutrient ratios and nutrient timing that might respond better to my body, especially coming off of a keto diet from the last 2 preps. I learned that a person may be more carb sensitive or have an inflammatory response after having such a low carb diet for an extended period of time. So I rearranged my macronutrient values to 23% fat, 36% carb and 40% protein as well as rearranged my carbs to my breakfast, pre, during and post workout meals. So aside from breakfast, your carbs are centered around when your body will be using them optimally instead of storing them. I can tell a huge difference in my appetite from changing my nutrient timing. I am more hungry, however I am eating 7 times a day so by the time I start really feeling it, my next meal is around the corner. Spacing the meals out like this helps increase my metabolism because each time the body has to work to digest the food.
As I had blogged in week 3… Energy levels were super low. This is where my Leptin research came in 🙂 Leptin is known as the “anti-starvation signal” hormone so if Leptin levels are low the brain receives a signal saying it is starving. With this, one would have increased appetite and  cravings, decreased resting energy expenditure, loss of muscle due to body turning to muscle stores for fuel, and susceptibility to illness and fatigue.This is crucial for someone that is dieting to keep these levels high in order to off set these reactions. The goal of the diet we are on, as Layne Norton puts it, and in this specific order: 1) increase or maintain lean muscle 2) decrease body fat and 3) keep a high intensity in the gym. With low Leptin levels this is not possible. With all this information we then have to look at what keeps leptin levels elevated. This is where our refeed meal comes in. This is not a “cheat meal or cheat day” this is a planned day with certain goals in mind. The point of it is to boost leptin levels before they have completely dropped. For us, our levels had dropped early in week three so every 2 weeks would be great timing. As you get leaner, leptin levels are not as high therefore frequency of the refeed meal is increased. The total amount of calories for the day should be at maintenance level in other words, the amount of calories you burn on a typical day (this is where the body bugg is handy). The macronutrient values that I found for this are going to be about 1g per pound of lean body mass in protein, between 20-40g of fat and the rest of the calories come from carbohydrates and can be anywhere between 50 to 100 times your normal days carb value. Another thing to note is that a refeed is going to be best on a day of the body part you want to work on the most. For both Nicole and I this is legs 🙂 We will continue testing this out and report back any findings.
On Sunday Nicole, Angie, her twin sister Leah who competes in bikini, and myself met for a killer leg workout that left us all wobbling out of the gym. We then went to first watch and enjoyed a big carb rich breakfast! I could tell that my body was in complete shock, my heart rate was increased, I was much more vascular and I could feel heat coming off of my skin the entire day. I tried to do as clean of a refeed day as possible (with the exception of the pancakes) so my carbs consisted of oats, Ezekiel English muffins, fruit preserves, dextrose, rice and kashi cereal. Protein was from chicken, shakes and eggs and my fats came from whatever fats were in the foods I ate, no intentional fat sources were eaten.  We discussed that in two weeks when we do the next refeed meal, we will go to one of our houses and make healthy pancakes instead 🙂 Monday is normally our off day but being that we had the refeed the day prior we are going to do a HITT interval session instead. We will do a 10 min walking warm up on the treadmill and then used the Woodway Curve treadmill for our 30second sprint:30 second rest intervals followed by a 10 minute walking cool down. The Curve is killer because you have to produce the power by running or walking on it like you would on an actual outdoor track so it is a much harder workout than doing them on a regular electric powered treadmill. I hope everything made sense, I know it is a lot of information all crammed into one blog but I wanted to share with everyone the main points of what I found this week. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or are interested in the reading the articles I gathered my information from(jmhct4@gmail.com). Thanks for reading and I will continue to up date you on my progress so stay tuned for next week!