Update: 6-Week Cure, Week Two

      26 Comments on Update: 6-Week Cure, Week Two

I weighed myself at the gym yesterday, which was the morning of my 14th day on the 6-Week Cure.  I started at 205; yesterday I weighed 201. This morning, I measured my girth at the biggest part, around the love handles and belly button.  That’s gone from 41 inches to 39, which pleases me more than the weight loss.  I’ve also had to start cinching my belt a notch tighter, which means I’ve lost some fat below the belly as well. (Since I’m not over 65 yet, I’m still allowed to wear my belt below my belly button.)

As I’ve said many times, I don’t give a hoot about weight and BMI.  When I’m diligent about working out, I add muscle and get heavier.  My current BMI is 28.  Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators has a BMI of 30.6  — he’s 6’3″ and weighs 245, which makes him technically obese.  Guess which one of us is fatter?

I’d say the most pleasant surprise so far has been the effect of drinking whey protein shakes, which seem to be helping my strength.  I was stuck for awhile on a couple of weight machines — couldn’t squeeze out that one more rep, despite huffing and puffing and blowing the house down — but during the two weeks of drinking the shakes, I went up on every machine except the leg press and leg curl.  I can’t go up on those, because I’ve reached the bottom of the weight stack.

Today I begin week #3 – bring on the meat!

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26 thoughts on “Update: 6-Week Cure, Week Two

  1. SnowDog

    Good Work!

    I have to admit that I’ve been ‘afraid’ to start the diet. It seems so boring — not that my current low carb diet is exciting — but I need faith that 3 protein shakes a day, each with about 400 – 500 calories, plus a real meal, can lead to weight loss. I weigh 185 and believe that at this stage of weight loss, I may need a calorie deficit. So I’m looking for a definitive plan for a weight loss before I’ll sacrifice the two weeks of no alcohol (aaahhh), no caffeine (aaahhhh), and no good breakfast. 🙂

    The shakes can get a bit boring, but I figured heck, it’s only two weeks.

    Reply
  2. Bryan Rankin

    You could start doing one leg at a time you know.

    I tried that, but I tend to get contorted out of position. I may have to add sets.

    Reply
  3. TonyNZ

    Re: Weight machines = Freeweights are much greater in my opinion, as long as you take care.

    Re: Fat loss. Have you had your bodyfat% done recently? (If you don’t mind me asking.) In your documentary I remember that went down a good bit. Has it continued to do so? That would give you a better measure on muscle vs. fat that BMI ever will.

    I haven’t had a body-fat measurement done. I’m not all that anxious to know the number. I agree wholeheartedly with something Tony Robbins said: all we can control is our actions; we can’t dictate the results. So if we want to remain positive and enjoy life, we must define success as doing the right things, not as achieving pre-defined results.

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  4. Kevin

    Tom

    Congrats on the gains. If I could offer any advice though it would be to avoid weight machines. They force you through a range of motion that isnt natural for your body and they also usually involve movement that is completly foreign to how you would normally move a weight in everyday life/evolutionarily. Take a look at starting strength by Coach Ripptoe or get down to your closest crossfit gym.

    Kev

    Crossfit sounds like a good system, and lots of people have recommended it. Looks like there’s a club in my town, too, so I may give it a look someday.

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  5. txchlinstr

    Tom: When I got to the bottom of the weight stack on the leg machines, I first started upping the reps. When I got to 20 reps, I went to “super-slows” (3s+ up, 3s+ down), which brought me back to 8 reps (and soreness!). You might want to try that.

    Snowdog: If you are using 2 scoops, the calorie count of the shake is closer to 300. With a small meal and 3 shakes, the calorie total for each day is around 2000-2200, which should be deficit. With 3 scoops, you are looking at about 2300-2500, still a bit of a deficit (the heavier you are, the more calories you need just to maintain that weight, which is why your loss rate tapers off as you approach goal.)

    My 6wc report: I am nearing the end of week 3. I have had to go back and read some confusing parts of the book and tweak the plan (also helps to read the Eades blog, especially the comments on 6wc — the book has some stuff that is confusing and/or missing). So far, I’m down 10 lbs and one belt notch. I was hoping for more, but 3 lbs/wk is really about the best you can expect for sustainable fat loss rate anyway. It also seems to come in spurts; I’ll go 3-4 days with no loss on the scale, then drop 1.5 lbs one night. Wish I knew what that was all about.

    I have about 50 lbs left to lose (I’ve lost just over 100 since 1999 just following a gluten-&-starch-free diet, not particularly super-low-carb), so I expect it to take around 6 to 7 months to reach goal. BTW, I’ve noticed that weeks 2&3 closely resemble Atkin’s induction.

    Slow and steady wins the race. If you can keep losing 2-3 pounds per week, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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  6. David R

    Hey Tom, Love the blog and the movie and I wish you the best of luck with the cure. I have to suggest however that you try a different fitness routine. The reps and sets on machines is alright, but nothing compared to CrossFit. Check it out on-line, it will certainly expedite your results and you’ll feel incredible. I believe there’s an affiliate in your town – http://crossfitmt.blogspot.com/ (I think this is your town??) Just a suggestion. Thanks again for all the intellegent and entertaining info!

    Yup, looks like they’re in Franklin, same as yours truly. I may give CrossFit a look someday. (But if they expect me to show up for a workout at 7:30 a.m., it’s not going to happen. I’m a natural night owl, and rarely coherent before 10:00.)

    Reply
  7. Aaron

    Now it is time to put on your big boy pants and pick up some barbells :).

    I might go that route, but I’ve never cared much for barbells. Considering that I’m nearly 51 years old, with a bum knee and a surgically-repaired shoulder, I’m happy to be where I’m at now.

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  8. Jenny Ruhl

    Are you confusing the shrinking of the liver and muscle tissue due to burning off glycogen with fat loss?

    The data on interventions to reduce liver fat suggest that it takes up to 6 months and that very modest changes occur even then when the loss is measured with biopsy, which is the only effective way to measure liver fat.

    Eades relies on two very poor studies for his claim that low carb diet reduces liver fat. I have read them, and the most relevant was a very small study done by the Low Carb study group at Duke university that involved 5 obese individuals who spent 6 months eating a diet of less than 20 grams of carbs a day along with a special, unspecified nutritional supplement. This study reports that it found some decrease in liver fat on biopsy (The only accurate test for liver fat.)

    However, the abstract does NOT quantify the amount of the decrease in liver fat, an omission that suggests it was small. In addition, the P value which is a statistical measure of how likely it was that the result was not due to chance was not impressive. This increases the likelihood the change was very small. One of the five subjects saw no decrease in liver fat after 6 months on the <20 g diet.

    So while your visible “fat” loss might be motivational, it is probably illusory.

    This latest book of Eades confuses liver detox with liver fat loss, relies on bad studies, and presents a high protein diet that good research suggests is more likely to RAISE than lower liver fat.

    The evidence is that high fat diets, lower the liver fat very slowly over a period of at least 6 months, that high carb diets raise it and that high protein diets may raise it too.

    I would suspect there’s a bit of water loss at the start of any low-carb diet. However, I restricted my carbs even before beginning the 6-Week Cure, usually to no more than 50 grams per day, so I doubt it was a dramatic adjustment in my case.

    I don’t know how much of the thinner middle is due to subcutaneous fat loss or visceral fat loss or even water loss. As I said in a previous post, determining those proportions, even if I could, doesn’t change the results. As long as I’m not losing muscle mass — which I’m clearly not, given the increases in strength — I’ll take whatever results I get.

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  9. T.J. Freeman

    Tom, glad to hear you noticed a difference in the gym with the shakes! I got sick of not being able to actually eat food. I started week 3 on Monday and am loving it so far. I got to a place where I looked soooo forward to my “chew meal” that I figured it was really time to give up the shakes. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many variations that I wasn’t bored with the flavors or anything.

    SnowDog, one thing I was really blown away by during these first two weeks was not only the fact that you can (and will) lose weight during the first two weeks, but I was so full that I usually couldn’t make room for the third shake. I started making them a little smaller so I could get three in per day.

    I went to bed a couple of times without remembering to make my third shake of the day. They are pretty filling.

    Reply
  10. penty

    At the bottom plte of the machines? Time to learn free weights and get practical strength. The body needs to be trained as a unit training “parts” causes imbalances and neglects necessary small muscle stablizers.

    Just two machines. Not as impressive as it sounds; it’s Paramount equipment, not exactly up to power-lifters standards.

    Reply
  11. SnowDog

    txchlinstr

    I think there’s something magical in a low carb diet. I lost 60 lbs over a 6 month period last year. Checking in my log, I lost 17 pounds the first month, and 13 pounds the second month. I was eating quite well, so there’s no way that those early months could be explained by the calculated 1500 calorie/day deficit, that science tells us should be necessary for that type of loss. But I also noticed that I would plateau for a few days, then drop; plateau, then drop. I also now notice weight gains when I start eating carbs, which can’t be explained by the increased calories. So I think there’s more to weight loss than science can currently explain. I think the body, somehow, prepares the fat cells, then when they’re no longer used, it dumps water from them — maybe. I am not a scientist, and I’ve never played one on TV.

    Reply
  12. ArrowSmith

    I agree that the weight machines generally take you through unnatural range-of-motion. I’m trying to gradually eliminate my use of them in favor of strictly free weights, power rack and body weight exercises. The key thing is progressing towards that goal, don’t allow yourself to rushed into it.

    Reply
  13. Kathy

    I was told by my liver specialist (after a diagnosis of NAFLD) that the best way to eliminate fat in the liver was to lose weight. BUT, she also acknowledged that NAFLD is not necessarily caused by being fat–there are plenty of overweight individuals that do not have fatty livers. Drugs (such as prednisone, which I was on) and carbs can pack in the fat. Weaning off the prednisone (which had been prescribed for a condition that I didn’t have and caused me to gain weight fast!) and going on the Protein Power plan started the weight loss. I used be awakened in the night by sensations of my liver shuddering. The doc said it was my liver ridding itself of fat. It wasn’t quick, but then I wasn’t on such a targeted plan as the 6-Week Cure.

    Reply
  14. mrfreddy

    grab one of those little girly 2.5 or 5 pound barbells, put it on top of the stack, problem solved.

    They have a slotted 7.5 weight I already drop on the leg press. I figure if I reach the bottom on some machines, I’ll declare victory and try to stay there for the rest of my life … or until the gym buys machines with more weight.

    Reply
  15. Debbie

    Interesting to see the different exeriences. I decided to try the 6WC too. I enjoyed the shakes initially, but they never filled me up. I was starving almost every waking hour of the day. I can’t get over the people who didn’t even have all their shakes. I think I could easily have had 5-6 shakes a day and it still would not have filled me up.

    And to add insult to injury I lost exactly ONE pound and ZERO inches during the shake weeks. I was so tired of being hungry all the time I switched to the meat weeks two days early. Result? I lost *nine pounds* during the meat weeks and had absolutely no hunger. So right now I’m just sticking withe adequate meat and plenty of fat. 🙂

    I’m on the meat weeks now, and I definitely prefer eating this way to drinking shakes. Congrats on the nine pounds.

    Reply
  16. Tim Starr

    Leg-extensions & leg-curls are normally done with both legs at once. My solution to maxing out the weight on them was to do one leg at a time, starting with half the weight stack. But I hardly do any weight machines anymore, preferring my kettlebell, home-made clubbell, jump-rope, and bodyweight exercises.

    At my age, I consider it a good problem to have.

    Reply
  17. Angel

    Kathy,

    Livers can *shudder* ???

    That sounds so creepy! Like something you might see on X-files.

    Coming soon to a theater near you: The Liver Files: I Want to Relieve

    Reply
  18. Amy Dungan

    Congrats on your progress so far Tom! I’ve done well on this plan and actually liked the shake weeks. I’m in week 5 but not ready to change to weeks 5 and 6 so I’m actually going back and forth between the shake plan and the meat plan. I’ve dropped 11.2 lbs and almost a dress size (I’m so close!) I’m enjoying what I eat and it’s working for me.

    Enjoy your meat meals!

    Kudos on the 11+ pounds, Amy. I’m enjoying the meat week so far, but I’m going to toss in a shake or a two on workout days. I could feel the difference with those.

    Reply
  19. TonyNZ

    “I’m going to toss in a shake or a two on workout days.”

    Without sufficient protein to maintain/build your muscles, resistance training is worse than useless. This would be a good idea.

    I’m finding the protein shakes to be a big help.

    Reply
  20. Willa Jean

    Tom, does it seem to matter whether you have a shake before or after a workout? Just curious.

    I was drinking three per day during weeks one and two. I’m only guessing, but it would seem the extra protein would be necessary after the workout, when muscle tissue would need to rebuild.

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  21. TonyNZ

    @Willa Jean

    After (and no more than 30 min after) is best, but I find the best results when I have one before as well.

    Reply
  22. pjnoir

    If weight loss is a goal- do NOT eat or use a protein shake before a workout. The body can handle exercise even on an empty stomach. Allow the natural release of Growth Hormones to kick in. The body does not need to be digesting food all the time. And protein doesn’t not produce energy…wait til after the workout.

    Body builders eat before and durning workouts, but they are building great MASS, most of us aren’t. And many BB become diabetic later in life for these very reason. Less is more, Less is better.

    Reply
  23. Kathy

    Yep, I have to say the liver “shuddering” creeped me out too! I’m very glad it stopped, but it took about three months. I read years ago that the liver is a long-suffering organ, rarely making a peep while damage is being done. I had no idea there was anything amiss until I got some scary results on a blood test. I was sent to the liver specialist because of suspected hepatitis, which I knew was nearly impossible, but the fatty-liver diagnosis was a shock to me as well. I don’t drink but maybe once or twice a year, I’ve never smoked, etc.; all I did was take large doses of prednisone. The resulting weight gain, blood sugar issues, blood pressure issues, and gout were a nightmare. And then the doctors ask accusingly, “What have you been doing?” Gives new meaning to “practicing” medicine.

    Reply
  24. TonyNZ

    @pjnoir

    I was talking about bulding muscle, not losing fat. Should have made that more clear. I go to the gym to gain weight.

    Reply

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