Macro Experiment: Week 6 (4/25/16-5/1/16)

I decided to continue with the carb-cycling this week since I did break the 125 mark the Saturday before.  As such, I re-calculated my calories and macros again.  For week 6, I started with the following values:

TDEE:              1,693
Calorie Target: 1,354
Protein:            125 g (non-training) / 150 g (training)
Fat:                   50 g (non-training & training)
Carbs:              100 g (non-training) / 113 g (training)

While I wasn’t too excited at dropping the calories again, I’m determined to reach my goals.  I’ve been loving the macros process thus far and want to see how far I can take my physique!

Types of Protein

I mentioned supplementation earlier, and one of the ways I’ve been supplementing my food intake is with various proteins.  I currently use Beachbody Recover following my workouts, which delivers 20g of whey isolate protein to my muscles.  I also try to drink Shakeology daily, which has 18g of protein and was curious what the difference in proteins is.  As such, I began my research into proteins!

Protein bars

These are great in a pinch, but many bars contains unpronounceable ingredients, sugars, and other things which essentially make them high-protein candy bars.  There are several brands that rise to the top, but I found it’s best to make your own bars whenever possible using some of the proteins I’ve listed below.

Whey

I’ve learned that whey isolate is the best protein for immediate muscle recovery.  It’s a fast digesting protein that quickly helps muscles rebuild after being broken down from a workout.  There is also whey concentrate, which is beneficial, but not as effective as the isolate version, which has the complete panel of amino acids.  However, I’ve read several articles that indicate whey protein blends (containing an isolate and concentrate) are no more effective than just consuming an isolate.  I suggest trying several different protein brands (with the purest ingredients possible) and see what works best for you.  Whey protein is typically found in protein powders, and certain cheeses like ricotta or Indian paneer.  It is a byproduct of cheese-making from cow’s milk.

Casein

This protein is also derived from cow’s milk, but takes longer to digest.  As such, it’s great for night time muscle repair and to stave off hunger in the middle of the night.  Casein can be found in dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt, but can also be found in protein powder form.

Egg Whites

Another great source of protein are egg whites.  These guys have no carbs, no fat, are low in calorie and pure protein.  It’s no wonder the body-building community relies on them to meet their macros.  You can find cartons of egg whites in the egg and dairy section of most grocers (though these have small amounts of carbs), but there are also a number of egg white powders available as well.

Plant-Based

As the number of vegans and vegetarians continues to grow, getting enough protein can be tricky for this slice of the fitness world.  Many plants, seeds, legumes and vegetables have some amount of protein, but there are also several protein powders that are derived from plants to make it easier and more convenient to get enough protein in a day.

Animal-Based

This accounts for meat.  Eating meat is a great way to get in a lot of protein in one sitting.  Whole eggs, chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish and shellfish help make meals filling while providing lots of muscle-building protein.

Week 6: In Summary

I was happy to see much more progress this week following last week’s slight increase.  By Wednesday, the scale dropped again, and I could see more definition in my abs.  By Saturday, my weight dropped below 124, but crept up a bit during the day.  Either way, the fat around my mid-section is “jiggling” less, and my arm muscles have started to pop.  I’m also happy to share I went down another dress size!

Calories/Macros:

TDEE:              1,693
Calorie Target: 1,350 (non-training) / 1,502 (training)
Protein:            125 g (non-training) / 150 g (training)
Fat:                   50 g (non-training & training)
Carbs:              100 g (non-training) / 113 g (training)

Stats:

Weight:                     124 (-1.5 pounds)
Dress size:                2
Natural Waist:           26.5″ (- .5″)
Estimated Body Fat: 19%
Updated Goal:           Shooting for 120lbs

 

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