BREWMASTERBILL's SparkPeople Blog BREWMASTERBILL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Maintenance Success Story Wow, so it's been almost a year since the last check in. I'll spare you most of the long story. I met and fell madly in love with an amazing woman. Pretty cool, right? Well, it happened at a rather messy time in my life and to complicate matters further, she lives in Ireland. The story is a bit wild, but we met on Facebook in a diet and fitness group. It started innocently enough. Things stayed on topic, but escalated to personal questions in private messages. We had so much in common and the... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:38:28 EST Checking In Hey all, it's been awhile. I have good news and bad news. The good news, I've more or less kept up with fitness and food. I've maintained successfully. So call me one of those people that disappears and you wonder if they maintained. Well, I have. That's good news. The bad news is that up until very recently, I've stuck to lifting at least 2 days a week and keeping my diet reasonable. That is how you maintain after all, right? <BR> <BR> Life has thrown me a significant curve ball. As you kno... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 11:38:51 EST Good news, dieters! I know this has been proposed before, but now it seems to be a reality. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ood-news-dieters-the-kilo-is-losing-we<BR>ight-changing-all-of-science-but-unfor<BR>tunately-we-dont-know-why </link> <BR> <BR> We all just lost weight. Woohoo! <BR> <BR> Unless you weigh yourself in pounds, then you're still the same. Sorry. Of course, you could consider weighing yourself in kilos, then converting to pounds. Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:48:48 EST On Breakfast and Media Came across an interesting article and subsequent study. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>4529.php </link> <BR> <link><BR>oby.20460/abstract </link> <BR> <BR> The headline "Could a bigger breakfast lead to a smaller waist?". <BR> <BR> The short of the article: <BR> <BR> "Each group ate 1,400 calories daily for 12 weeks. The first group consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. The second group ate 2... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 09:25:05 EST Simple, Effective Strength Training For Beginners This program is for healthy boys AND girls. Men and women have the same musculature, separate programs for men or women are not required. If you have injuries or health issues, this might be the wrong program for you. I'm not a strength coach, a trainer and I'm certainly not a doctor, so check with your appropriate professional before starting. <BR> <BR> Let me start off by saying that this is heavily borrowed from Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Starting Strength was the most effective p... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 07:59:44 EST Why Aren't You Deadlifting? There are few magic bullets when it comes to diet and exercise. I would consider vegetables and lean meat the 1-2 punch when it comes to getting your diet in order. Imagine trying to diet without lean meat and vegetables. Instead you went on the Twinkie diet. Sure, you might lose weight (if you ate few enough Twinkies) but it would probably be a pretty miserable experience. <BR> <BR> Like meat and vegetables are to diet, the deadlift is to strength training. What muscles does the deadlift wo... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 13:13:48 EST Lurker, Checking In [Lurk mode off] <BR> <BR> Prompted by TINAJANE's post about lurkers and deserters, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about where I am and where I'm going. I agree with TINAJANE's speculation that most people who "abandon" SP are probably not moving in the right direction. When I was a lot more active on SP and viewing stranger's posts, the "I'm back" post was common. When I read the title, I asked (in my own mind), "so how much did you gain?". 95% of the time the person did gain, sometime... Wed, 8 May 2013 16:45:58 EST Caffeine Day Diet Drinks Do Not Increase Appetite <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6669.php </link> <BR> <BR> Plenty of concerns here. The food intake was self reported which is always a red flag. But this wasn't necessarily a food based study and the weight stayed the same. Also, the study period was rather short. <BR> <BR> Caffeine Consumption And Mortality <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6623.php </link> <BR> <BR> "a clear trend: as coffee ... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 07:52:48 EST It's About Getting Strong Strength training is about one thing. Getting strong. I was inspired by 4A-HEALTHY-BMI's blog post Tuesday. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5248234 </link> <BR> <BR> What is truly inspiring to me is seeing someone lift and progress. <BR> <BR> She used the site to measure progress. The site normalizes and ranks your lifts based on sex and body weight. 4A ranks in the intermediate category, which is no small task. The e... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:52:12 EST Putting Research into Practice <link><BR>5995.php </link> <BR> <BR> "Many people chose diet soda mixers with their alcoholic drink, the aim being to consume fewer calories - few know that these drinks make you drunker more quickly" <BR> <BR> Tomorrow will be gorgeous. Sunny and in the 60's. A great day to take the dogs into the woods, cook up some bacon and drink some whiskey with the guys. <BR> <BR> This may sound like all fun, but I'm going to take a can of diet soda to mix wit... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 13:48:13 EST Compare all prices for ON Whey on Amazon in one page If you're an Optimum Nutrition powder purchaser (like me), I found this link incredibly handy. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ein_prices.html </link> <BR> <BR> Found here. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>xu1m/compare_all_prices_for_on_whey_on<BR>_amazon_in_one/ </link> <BR> <BR> Now I need to figure out how this works because I want to do the same thing for coffee. <em>211</em> Wed, 6 Feb 2013 07:38:41 EST Race Report Second year in a row I've done this 11.5 mile trail run. It's the hardest race I do. Last year I spent nearly all winter building up distance. I could knock out 10 mile runs on pavement without issue. Last year, I was confident I was ready for this race. I was pretty wrong. To date, this is the only race I've ever walked a bit. It's on a mountain and the hills are killer. They go from about mile 4 to mile 11. <BR> <BR> This year training was dramatically different. I've pretty much ... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 09:39:29 EST There Is No Such Thing as "Toning" "Toning" is a myth, specifically exercises or rep ranges that claim to "tone". There is only building muscle or losing fat. I suspect women use this term more than men because they want to avoid the fear that they might accidentally Ronnie Coleman. Preposterous. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> With a solid strength training plan, muscle will replace fat. Muscle is way more shapely and aesthetically pleasing than fat. To get a body... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 08:54:38 EST Should You Be "Eating Clean"? Great article on Science Based Medicine that more or less sums up how I feel about the religious discussion of "eating clean". <BR> <BR> <link><BR>index.php/should-you-be-eating-clean </link> <BR> <BR> "Categorizing foods as or diets as 'clean' is clearly a successful marketing strategy, but is less useful when it comes to daily decision-making about good nutrition. Some of the concepts that underlie 'eating clean' are supported by good scientific evide... Thu, 31 Jan 2013 10:52:44 EST Getting Emotional About My Weight My current strength training program has me working in cycles where each cycle is one month. I only do the same rep scheme for the same exercise once per month. Since I'm currently on my second cycle, I have something to compare against. I have a terrible memory, so I don't remember how many reps I did or even the weight from last month. I've discovered that I don't care to look either. I get the impression that if I know how much weight was on the bar last time, I'll either slack once I... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 17:14:51 EST My Lifting Blog I've always kept pretty thorough records of my lifting sessions. I'm currently on a new plan where I want to document my progress and also keep records of my discoveries along the way. For a number of reasons that I won't get into, I've always been hesitant to post lifting log related entries here. So if you're interested in adding me to your RSS aggregator, bookmarks or blog roll, I'd be honored. <BR> <BR> I'll still post my usual research findings and other things on SparkPeople just li... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:32:35 EST Protein Shake Immediately After Workout? Still taking a shaker bottle to the gym and downing it immediately after your workout? Completely unnecessary according to this study. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> "Results indicate that the time of protein-supplement ingestion in resistance-trained athletes during a 10-wk training program does not provide any added benefit to strength, power, or body-composition changes." <BR> <BR> Sat, 19 Jan 2013 06:39:25 EST Waist Measurement Says More About Health Than BMI I hate the scale. It's not for the reasons that most people hate the scale though. I hate it because it's used incorrectly. It's also used as the measure of success or failure in body recomposition. The tool sucks, yet so many put so much stock in it. <BR> <BR> Especially the maintainer group. De-emphasizing the scale should be a top priority. This is about getting healthy and strong, not placating the scale. <BR> <BR> With my rant out of the way, I present you some science that say... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 07:22:47 EST DOMS is not an Indicator of Progress DOMS = Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Simply put, being sore after an activity. For some reason DOMS has been attributed to workout success or lack of DOMS an indication of workout failure. <BR> <BR> The truth is, it's neither. DOMS is really not a reliable indicator of anything. Soreness is no indicator of good/bad workout. The only reliable indicator is progress. Are you lifting more weight or performing more reps than the last workout? If you don't know, you're doing it wrong. Pla... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 09:26:36 EST Hard Lessons Learned I got a little reflective on a blog comment recently. I'm going to parlay my comment into a blog post in hopes that some others might find this helpful. I've seen this path in myself and others, so potentially I can shave many months or years off for someone else who might be heading down this route. If it's not applicable to you, that's fine. <BR> <BR> When I first started this process in 2009, I was exclusively cardio. By 2010, I was so skinny that people worried about me. I was misinf... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 10:16:32 EST What is Fitness? Fitness seems to have varying meanings. I pondered this question recently when in a room with a multiple time Ironman finisher. Someone else in the room mentioned that no one else in the state had finished the Ironman this year (I'm not sure if that's true), so he declared this person (in his mind) the fittest person in the state. A few months later, the person attended a conference where some somewhat heavy equipment was present (scaffolding, large electronics, things that are perhaps aro... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 10:12:31 EST On "Muscle Confusion" Some may have seen the misapplication of homeostatic disruption dubbed "muscle confusion". This is marketing speak and doesn't hold much value. Doing different things for the sake of doing different things is pointless. When you can no longer progress at what you are doing, then and only then is it time to change. This doesn't necessarily mean different exercises, it means going about disruption in a different way. A runner may try improving a 5K time by doing hill sprints or logging dis... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 08:53:59 EST Homeostasis At the prodding of BLITZEN40, I've decided to talk a bit about homeostasis. As it relates to biology, it is the process of keeping things stable. A simple way to look at it is what your body currently considers "normal". Some things are non-negotiable such as body temperature or blood pH. There can be slight adaptations for body temperature, for example, have you ever noticed that 65 degrees in autumn feels cooler than 65 degrees in the spring? The body has adapted slightly to colder tem... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 09:23:38 EST In Maintenance, Scale Matters Little Most people during weight loss are focused on the scale. It's hard to convince them that they need to be focused on FAT loss, not weight loss. I know, I was there. Big mistake. But as we transition to long term maintenance it is important to focus much more on body composition. More muscle, less fat. <BR> <BR> I think the only thing more grossly mis-estimated than people's calorie intake are people's self body fat percent estimations. <BR> <BR> <link> </lin... Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:32:19 EST Getting More With Less Back to the "training economy" line of thinking, I'd like to talk about maximizing returns in the strength training department. Simply put, if you're doing bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, ab exercises and other isolation moves and you're not benching, squatting and deadlifting, you're doing it wrong. Or to put it delicately, your training economy can be dramatically improved. <BR> <BR> Strength training moves are generally lumped into two categories. Compound and isolation. <BR> <BR> A fa... Tue, 23 Oct 2012 09:07:00 EST You Will Never Be "Naturally Thin" My missus is "naturally thin". These people have us completely fooled. They give you the illusion that they can eat anything and never gain weight. After years of observation, this is false. "Naturally thin" people generally do not have faster metabolisms than us fat folk. In my observation we've been fooled in two ways. <BR> <BR> 1) They hit the buffet with us and eat as much or even more as we do. However, after the buffet, they often do not eat for the rest of the day, maybe longer.... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 11:00:54 EST Blood Type Diet <link><BR>itiques-eat-right-for-your-blood-type </link> <BR> <BR> Simply put, if you bought this book, you got guru'ed. <BR> <BR> Just like any other diet, it "works" because of food avoidance. <BR> <BR> "Dieters are also encouraged to scale back on sugar and processed foods while adding more whole foods into the mix." <BR> <BR> Ya don't say. <BR> <BR> So why do folks continually look for rituals and restrictions that a straight forward concept less... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 08:40:48 EST Myths of Running: Forefoot, Barefoot and Otherwise <link><BR>ths-of-running-forefoot-barefoot-and-o<BR>therwise/ </link> <BR> <BR> Enjoyed this article, thought I'd pass it along. I'm still watching this debate. The barefoot, minimalist types seem to be vocal but the science is inconclusive. My anecdotal evidence indicates reduced performance and increased event of injury. <BR> <BR> Once again, the moral of the story is do what works for you. Tue, 16 Oct 2012 08:34:51 EST Training Economy I came across an article this weekend that succinctly stated what I have been trying to communicate recently. The article is here: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/most_recent/7_ways_to_make_your_train<BR>ing_efficient </link> <BR> <BR> While I'm not a huge fan of T-nation or a fan of the "numbered list of things to make x mo' better" type articles, the phrase "training economy" resonated. So allow me to take a succinct phrase and draw it out ad nauseam. <BR> ... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 08:26:53 EST Eat Junk Food I could have come up with a sciency sounding title like carb backloading (which is probably what you'll want to google), but I went for something our media would use to hook you. <BR> <BR> However, I am really talking about incorporating junk food into your life in a productive way. Productive meaning building lean mass, not fat. As you know, I'm not one for gimmicks, I'm results oriented. With that said, I approached carb backloading with a bit of a skeptical eye, but there seemed to be ... Tue, 2 Oct 2012 09:37:58 EST Maintenance - My Take Not sure if surrounded by people maintaining or if maintenance is getting a lot more attention these days, but I'd like to weigh in on the trending topic. I know I've been rather quiet lately and there are a lot of reasons for it, but none have to do with the fact that I haven't been thinking about maintenance and of course, doing a lot of experimenting. I've just spared you the boring details. Back to business ... <BR> <BR> There are two basic premises to put forth. Maintenance is about... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 08:01:25 EST Decided To Go Full Paleo If you're going to do it, do it right. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>tions/2012/09/24/in-prehistoric-britai<BR>n-cannibalism-was-practical-and-ritualistic/ </link> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:28:30 EST You're Nuts Straighten me out here. Why are nuts, particularly almonds prescribed for a) getting more protein and b) curbing hunger. I am but one man, but nuts do not accomplish either goal. Most nuts have more fat than protein. If you want a protein snack, how about beef jerky, cottage cheese, greek yogurt or a steak? Curbing hunger ... jeez, a handful of nuts is nothing from a volume standpoint and a LOT from a calorie standpoint. <BR> <BR> It has no properties of curbing appetite. So I don't ge... Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:54:34 EST The Sensible Middle <link><BR>e-sensible-middle-part-1-in-defence-of<BR>-calories </link> <BR> <BR> I'm not even giving Cliff's Notes here. Read it, all of it. It's a great summation of my stance on calories. <BR> <BR> Is a Calorie a Calorie? Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:50:30 EST Go 4A! A rare cheerleading post from me. It must be something pretty special and it is. Our very own 4A-HEALTHY-BMI was on that fancy picture tube this morning. Well done! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4983177 </link> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 12:17:53 EST Intermittent Fasting, Is It For You? <link><BR>termittent-fasting-is-it-for-you/ </link> <BR> <BR> I've been mentioning Intermittent Fasting a bit lately. I mostly practice it for reasons of convenience. I don't believe it possesses magical properties. I'm not hungry in the morning, I like to chow down after a workout (at night), so I'm naturally a fit for this. My day is sometimes completely unpredictable, so skipping lunch even happens from time to time. <BR> <BR> The author brings ... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 09:50:25 EST Myths of Women's Weight Training <link><BR>ensfitnesstopics/a/womenmyths.htm </link> <BR> <BR> This was the result of an argument I had with a woman at a party recently. When I told her that lifting would not make her bulky, she called me full of sh1t and said I didn't know what I was talking about. It was as if she had some experience in this realm. I sent her this link and thought I'd share. There are other myths in this document that are pervasive in the community. <BR> <BR> Thi... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 11:48:56 EST Plateaued? Fighting Regain in Maintenance? Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass. This happens with age and it also happens with weight loss. In the study review "Human Biology of Weight Maintenance after Weight Loss" by Edwin C.M. Mariman I was struck by this. <BR> <BR> "As the closely related basal metabolic rate is largely determined by fat-free mass [14, 15] , it can be assumed that a fat free mass sparing effect is strongly involved in the risk for weight regain [10] . In this respect, the ratio of fat mas... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:13:24 EST Knock on Wood A recent article about strength training as a fix for tennis elbow got me thinking. I haven't been injured in quite some time. In fact, it's been the longest stretch by far of complete health. Not sick, no chronic flare ups, no inexplicable aches, pains, nothing. <BR> <BR> It could be coincidence, it could be due to the fact that I've ratcheted down my cardio, it could be due to ramping up strength training … a lot. A combination of all three, perhaps? Whatever it is, I'm grateful. The... Sun, 15 Jul 2012 10:56:24 EST To My Male Biking Friends This wins the best study title of all time though. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I'm also going to try and use the term "penile vibrotactile sensitivity threshold" more in casual conversation. Wed, 11 Jul 2012 12:50:13 EST Eat More Frequently They Say? <link><BR>hich-you-eat-makes-you-slimmer.html </link> <BR> <BR> Not according to this study. <BR> <BR> Cliff's Notes: <BR> "After about four months the FA mice had put on a lot of weight. The mice that had eaten the same food, but had fasted for 16 hours a day were considerably slimmer." <BR> <BR> Issues I have with the study. It's animal based. I'm not a mouse. It also was NOT calorie controlled. So eating more frequently tends to mean the mice c... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:27:18 EST Are High Protein Low Carb Diets Effective? Relevant New York Times article. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>trition/q-and-a-are-high-protein-low-c<BR>arb-diets-effective.html?_r=1 </link> <BR> <BR> Cliff's Notes: <BR> No. <BR> <BR> My Take: <BR> Not really. Except .... <BR> <BR> You need to define "effective". There are studies that have proven that protein seems to promote satiety. This could make adherence more probable. Second, higher protein intake does favor better body composition, some recen... Mon, 9 Jul 2012 14:56:57 EST Acute sleep deprivation enhances the brain's response to hedonic food stimuli In other words, being tired makes you crave bad food. <BR> <BR> Here is the study. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>?dopt=Abstract </link> <BR> <BR> We all know how important sleep is, but this confirms that lack of sleep can impede your ability to control intake. <BR> <BR> I'm living this now after a long night of drinking beer and watching the fights. <em>33</em> <em>198</em> Sun, 8 Jul 2012 17:00:23 EST Why Does Breakfast Make Me Hungry? All of my adult life, I've been a breakfast skipper. Particularly on the weekdays when it's a rush to get to work, breakfast is the last thing on my mind. The myth about breakfast being the most important meal of the deal was drilled into my head and when I made the switch to a smarter life style, one of the first things I did was eat breakfast. Make that, I FORCED myself to choke down breakfast every day. Something good of course, oats, eggs, fruit, bran, etc. Because it's the right thi... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 08:27:36 EST Peachtree Road Race Recap Enjoyed my 2nd Peachtree. The numbers were similar to last year. 60,000 participants were selected. There is a lottery process and I know of at least two people who did not win the lottery this year and therefore could not run. As one might expect, it was warm and muggy here in the dirty south. <BR> <BR> The race runs in waves. You are assigned a letter, A through X, based on a qualifying race. I submitted a qualifier time from my 10K in November. It got me put in wave A. My friend g... Thu, 5 Jul 2012 07:34:20 EST There's No Such Thing As 'Cardio' <link><BR>/theres-no-such-thing-as-cardio.html </link> <BR> <BR> Cliff's Notes: <BR> "Research demonstrates resistance training produces significant improvement in cardiovascular fitness (VO2 max, economy of movement). " <BR> <BR> This is something I've been wondering about lately, so the study is well timed. I will find out tomorrow at the 10K I'm participating in, but lately while I've severely curtailed my cardio in favor of weight training I have ... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 14:11:12 EST Oh No, She Gained 10 Pounds! Wonder how she got the weight to go in all of the right places? <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>zva/what_5months_of_starting_strength_<BR>looks_like_on_a/ </link> <BR> <BR> Before and After pics (Front) <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Before and After pics (Back) <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I also love her lift progression. Think "small" ladies cannot lift big? <BR> <BR> Squat: from 45 kg (100 lbs) to 85... Tue, 19 Jun 2012 11:52:40 EST It Aint Strength Training Unless You're Gettin' Strong <link><BR>training-unless-youre-gettin-strong/ </link> <BR> <BR> Great post/rant about the rampant screwing around along the road to building muscle. <BR> <BR> Cliff's Notes: <BR> Compound lifts with progressively heavy weight. That's it. If you want to screw around with circuits, boot camps, body pumps, Crossfit, P90X, etc, etc (i.e. 99% of the crap out there) ... expect inferior results. Strength train to gain strength, condition to condition. <BR... Mon, 18 Jun 2012 07:32:49 EST Sugar Has To Taste Good To Make You Fat <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4869949 </link> <BR> <BR> I briefly brought up the "Is Sugar Toxic?" question in the above blog post. Now an interesting post/experiment here. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>06/new-study-demonstrates-that-sugar-h<BR>as.html#more </link> <BR> <BR> Cliff's Notes: <BR> "Mice and rats love sweet food and drinks, just like humans. If you give them a choice between plain water and sugar w... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 07:10:30 EST BK Bacon Sundae - Sign Me Up! You had me at bacon. Also, BK is brilliant. Nope, not because of the bacon, but because they've taken a page out of the Hardee's playbook. Everyone seems to be up in arms about the bacon sundae. Free publicity for BK. Supposedly it's coming to my area this Sunday and I've already made plans to be there. <BR> <BR> So I'll admit, I didn't look at or care about the nutritional data because I wasn't expecting it to be a super food. It's a novelty and I love bacon. But 4A-HEALTHY-BMI made ... Wed, 13 Jun 2012 09:36:28 EST