2018 Annual Food For Thoughts: Cyclical Keto+IF (3/4)

Now, details surrounding training, refeed and supplementation protocols.

  • PART 3
    • The Carb Refeed
      • 2.5 Day refeeds
      • Limit complex starches / more simpler sources
      • Little to no more beans and vegan friendly milks.
    • Training
      • Training philosophy
      • Training Samples / how hard do I train?
    • Supplementation
      • Quasi breakfast intra workout concoction
      • The essentials
      • The somewhat conditionally essentials.
An open message to the (many) fitness orthorexics –  if you already are at a <9% body fat percentage claiming you never complain of hunger, or  the thought of chicken breast, garlic powder and brocolli happily reside with you for life – then by all means close this browser window. You are reading someone else’s in-depth account/s upon nutritional & life intervention/s spanning across ONE YEAR; covering everything from psychology, supplementation and fitness training. This is NOT a light reading. Don’t like it? Then go somewhere else.

“You don’t need refeed!”

Anytime someone shoved the above down my throat, I’d throw back at them: “Do you egoistically claim over someone else’s individuality?  My stance on Carbohydrate Refeeds still remain simple – I listen not by what research or papers dictates me what to do. Instead, I look for cues from within – genuine hungers and/or very definite muscle loss visibility. Hence, some things have changed in the way of preferences as curated below:


2.5 Day Refeed experiment

I have for a number of occasions attempted Dan Duchaine’s / BODYOPUS original 2.5 day refeed protocols. Just without the crazy schedule of eating every one and half hour during sleeping window.

  1. My adopted version instead begins as either a TKD-style Preworkout shake (15g worth of WPC + 10g of dextrose) to break the 18+ hour fast and proceeds as an ordinary HC+IF day. OR;
  2. forgo the TKD component make all solid meals firstly from (9:30pm) as carbohydrate meals from there on.

Convincingly – lean muscle mass retained that much more easier. Sounds good right? Yes, and no. My state of readiness to eat on a surplus right away after training remains questionable. “Hunger” hormonal response amongst various training programs as per this study; shows great individual variability. I’d dare say that I am an outlier belonging to the not-so-hungry group after mere post workout 30g shake.

At the very least, I still remain adamant at sticking to my own mandatory 48 hours protocol from Saturday to end of Sunday.


Limit Complex starches.

This year puts my preferences of carbs towards simpler sources. The simpler, the more straightforward I feel in the gut. At least, I am not the only one in this boat. High fibre intake might not be the best idea. Long gone the days of my Kellogs’ sultana bran – consuming these paved for the next day’s regretful diarrhoea. Almost without fail.

Give me something logistically accessible. White lebanese breads (just don’t buy from Woolies or Coles to save yourselves money), rice-based cereals, with whole milk, whey and pea protein concentrates, yoghurts, with honeys (in moderation). Syrups to taste (if I can afford like a king – pure maple syrups). Alongside with usual carb meals from oats (pre-soaked for at least 12 hours+ with boiling water, bit of apple cider vinegar and himalayan salt), pastas, potatoes and white rice.

Buckwheat / Brown Rice? Sadly, for reasons I’m yet to understand – they impose a  somewhat “heavy” psychological numbness and sluggishness all throughout the day (and night). Suffice to say sadly they very rarely appear within cravings nor as physiological incentives.


Using simple sugars (yes, “sugars”).

I have tried both (simple white sugars vs “raw” brown sugars)  as supplementary carbohydrate and as actual sweeteners. Suffice to say it has been interesting. My prior source being cheap $4 per kilo Dextrose (Palatinose now unaffordable to me) seemed rather energetic in comparison. Raw sugar impose me that “warmth” feeling, both in the head and neck; which may or may not be related to an increase of thyroid activity.

Using normal “white” table sugar however did not turn out well. I felt uneasy inbetween meals as opposed to using raw brown sugar.

I assert that I am not a subscriber to Dr. Raymond Peat’s protocols on very high sugars, orange juices, ice cream and low fat milk. I am yet to determine these as a viable hypercaloric, refeed protocol. Because the amount of fructose his protocol demands seems quite high; as per my prior experience could tell– excess intake made me sluggish akin to “hangover” alcohol symptom by Monday morning. Worse – It may even linger onwards for quite some time.


Low fat = underwhelming. No more beans. No vegan milks.

This is a not message you may confide the same dairy tolerance as I do.

The dogmatic law of reefeds heavily revolves around purely low-fat. I have tried acclimatising but continuously felt underwhelmed due to the missing nutrient profile/s, especially amongst dairy milks. The natural fats alone – not only increases their caloric value but also contributed to the full bodied taste, with few if anything is stripped away. I’d wager that for this reason, and speaking from personal experience of refeeds since 2016it is far more easier to gorge on low fat products, than their full fat variety to reach satiety.

I’ve disclosed before that carageenans found amongst Almond / “Vegan-friendly” milks – contributed to sluggish, and cumbersome overall state of being. Not just in the gut, but impacts more so – in my head. Likewise with beans – from kidneys / cannelinis etc- my humble and were once proud protein-replacement staple in my refeed meals – now bloats and brain “numbs” me similarly.

Eliminating one suspect after another, I am now more convinced than ever that at least – the puffiness or very noticeable bloatedness come Monday mornings and afternoon – seems lessened compared to all that of my previous experiences.

Training on Cyclical Keto + IF.

The spirit of Vince Gironda‘s limited rest (<15s for isolations, <30s compounds) 6×6 resistance training still lives on, for three (3) years strong. The reason why I remain subscribed to this principle  – is because it tests the trainee’s overall honesty. My four day training splits remains more or less the same as per last year’s:

  1. Monday (Chest & Tri’s). Up to 300 reps depletion across up to ten (10) exercises up to or under 1 hour & 30 minutes.
  2. Tuesday (Legs). Up to 200 reps depletion across up to eight (8) exercises just under an hour.
  3. Thursday (Shoulders / lats). Up to 300 reps depletion across up to ten (10) exercises up to or under  1 hour & 30 minutes.
  4. Friday (Backs & Biceps). Up to 300 reps depletion across up to ten (10) exercises up to or under 1 hour & 30minutes.

My training session now stretches out bit longer than before because of the need to patiently foam roll before doing any major compound work.

1/4 My stats thus far

Despite prevailing risks of Metabolic Damage; I am met throughout this year a weight set point ranging between (as low as) 63.9kg (at a muscle loss) to 68.5kg (post succesful refeed on Mondays). Note that these weigh-ins are done at around preexercise timing upon arrival at the gym at 6:15/30PM.

Post refeed weight come Mondays hovers between 67.5kg and 68.5kg. As you’d expect – the overall calories and length of refeeding determines the final weight. 2.5 Day refeed protocols would obviously conferred more gain.

Body Fat % via calipers Pollock method on three sites (pecs, halfway quad, and side of belly button) remained usually in a range between 11-13% amongst any given Keto/IF Days.

After 5 days of Keto/IF cycle and before the morning refeed meal – the lowest recorded was just shy under 10%. Of course, calipers are only “feel-good” underestimations. If scanned with a proper DEXA, I would (bravely, without shame) add anywhere between 0.5% to 0.75% on top of caliper measurements. That is if only $125 ever becomes an accessory privilege.

2/4  Humility. Not Intensity.

So how “hard” do I train? Just enough for me not able to talk. Just productively enough – no more than 15 – 30s seconds of rest inbetween sets of five or six. Just heavy enough – that I’m able at holding up two or even three seconds – of genuine eccentric negative tension holds in each rep, with as full range of motion as possible however as accordingly to my connective tissue resilience.

That’s it. Multiply that by Ten and over the next one and half hour – then you’ve pretty much figured out my life routine

I feel no need to envy someone else’s prowess at lifting 250+ pounds worth of squats, benches or deadlifts. Be it a man or a woman. They remains as “them”. “They” do not represent “my” existing injuries.

I have spent enough years in the gym to realise two types of people.

Ones who sternly gets in and out, hardly a chat inbetween. And the other? “hoofing” around impressing mates on 7-rep incline bell 25kg presses. Rested for ten-minutes chatting before doing volume “air” momentum reps on a curl machine.

The most number of exercises I have done were thirteen (13) exercises, across two hours. Nearing 300 reps all with eccentric tension holds at varying intensity based on however my own (subjective) connective tissue tolerances, all at anywhere between 60-70% 1RM each rep. 

3/4 Sample training – Uppers.

For a chest and triceps split day consists of:

  1. Brisk walk 65 cals level 7 incline with 7.5 speed or Run + Brisk walk 75 cals under 5 mins.
  2. 6×5-6 Compound – choice of either:
    • Jeffersons 25 / 27 / 32.5kg  (each side exc. 20kg bar)
    • or corrective ATG squats progressive from 15kg to 25kg max
    • or 17.5 to 20kg dumbells-on-deltoid ATG squats.
      These being compound movements require absolute synergy from the central nervous system to every other system/s; hence this requires longer resting times (up to 45 seconds) inbetween sets. This compound exercise is repeated across ALL training days.
  3. 6×5 Incline barbell benches 20kg (60kg total inc. bar), lowered if need be to 17.5kg Less than 30 seconds rest.
  4. 5×5 Close grip bar benches 15kg (50kg total inc. bar) Less than 30 seconds rest.
  5. 6×6 Cable crossovers 12.5kg. 15-20 seconds rest.
  6. 6×6 Standard Tricep push downs 150 pounds. 15-20 seconds rest. Attempts with 1-s pause upon extension.
  7. 6×6 Double (each hand) dumbell tricep overhead 10kg. 15 seconds rest.
  8.  5×5 Standard benchpress bells 27.5kg or 25kg (each arm). 20-25 seconds rest. 
  9. 6×6 Inverse tricep push downs 120 pounds. 15-20 seconds rest.
  10. 6×5 Assisted machine tricep dips 25kg. up to 3 second negative tensions.15-20 seconds rest. 
  11. 6×6 Finishing Accessory dumbbells hammers grip standing back laterals 10kg. 15 seconds rest. 

4/4 Sample training – Lowers.

Everyone’s favourite day! Consists of:

  1. Brisk walk 65 cals level 7 incline with 7.5 speed or Run + Brisk walk 75 cals under 5 mins.
  2. 6×5-6 Compound – choice of either:
    • Jeffersons 25 / 27 / 32.5kg  (each side exc. 20kg bar)
    • or corrective ATG squats progressive from 15kg to 25kg max
    • or 17.5 to 20kg dumbells-on-deltoid ATG squats.
      These being compound movements require absolute synergy from the central nervous system to every other system/s; hence this requires longer resting times (up to 45 seconds) inbetween sets. This compound exercise is repeated across ALL training days.
  3. 6×5 Leg presses 170-180kg (first 3 set) restretch briefly before moving up to 200kg. Less than 30 seconds rest inbetween.
  4. 7×6 Seated or standing calfs 45kg -55kg alternate if nerve pain is visible. 15-20 seconds rest.
    <HALF TIME. SPLASH FACE WITH COLD WATER. MENTALLY RECUPERATE. Takes 1/2 aspirin 5-6 minutes total>
  5. 5×4-5 Front ATG Squats (each side plate on a 20kg olympic stick) 15kg, 17.5kg, 20kg, another 20kg (if possible) then lastly on 17.5kg. 30 seconds rest inbetween.
  6. 6×5  Leg extensions 10kg. 15 seconds rest in between.
  7. 5×5 adductors or abductors 65kg-60kg alternating. 15 seconds rest inbetween.
  8. 4×8 Combined Finishing Accessory Exercise – 4 rep of pull ups, followed by 4 Otis Ups using 15kg plate as 1 set. 15 seconds rest inbetween. 


Supplementation (Training)

Pre & Intraworkout all-in-one (as “quasi” breakfast)

I am calling this “Quasi” breaking the fast after 18+hours. Because my hunch suggests the small & minute calorie intake of these below will likely overrides this caloric footprint. First sip begins at 6:15-6:30PM. A choice or a 50/50 mix of the following:

  1. BCAAS. I’d willingly change my stance from previous year – that now – I am calling BCAAs a deserved supplement to be deemed essential, but warrants careful periodisation. At any stage I feel somewhat dubious over finding any confidence improvements; I’d alternate its dosage. Or willingly take an on/off usage altogether from one training session or several at a time.
  2. Preworkouts. Now a necessity more than ever; Almost (any) commercial preworkout supplementation works to capacity. Though I must admit that it has been YEARS since I’ve touched any commercial products  but a 30 serve pre-mixed concoctions serves for up to a good TWO (2) months of use at half serving and with quarter serve of BCAAs.

I also likely add some of the left over black coffee + bits of ALCAR + Creatine and 100 to 150mg of cheap Aspirin (taken about 10 minutes before arrival to the gym). As well as up to TWO  teaspoon/s worth of baking soda, if I have neither of those BCAAs or any existing preworkouts.  Since I am still likely consuming this during my workout – hence I am titling this as the all-in-one drink solution as both preworkout AND intra workout. Which typically finishes at around halftime – of each and every training session.


The first meal, politically speaking for the day is not solid. But as post workout shake anywhere between 8:20PM to 8:45PM. Between 30 to 40g powder weight worth of unflav whey protein / pea proteins, sweetener to taste, bit of cinnamon powder and 130ML of full cream milk. If it gets so late (9PM) I would not even bother finishing the PWO shake. Save left over the for pre-bed sips.

Supplementation (IF days)

Now, during weekdays from the criticals to the dubious.

The essential.

Betaine HCL & Pepsin – DIY route.

From assisting mineral absorption to protein breakdown, I feel no need to repeat what I assert earlier in my 2017 write up of thoughts. It is also thankfully quite cost effective. My one, yes (1) year-ago purchased supply of 100g at $25 is due to soon for a replacement as I am writing this. Combined with separate 25g pepsin purchase – insures for a long enough supply of enzymatic support for an uncountable number of months.

People may ask how I’ve prepped all this myself. I am yet to try a DIY filling station, but take all this with a grain of salt that your needs and dosages may vary.

  1. First things first – would require purchasing a precision micro scale; costed no more than $12.
  2. Then, a 500 qty size “3” gelatin capsules at $17.

Starting with weighing: for a batch of 20 capsules, I measure two (2) grams of betaine HCL and 2 grams of pepsin in a clean tiny condiment bowl. Mix with the handily included scoop my 25g pepsin brand provided. Then the real labour comes in – individually unscrewing, manually filling in the powder one by one and securing it. Repeat the next capsule and the next. Obviously this is no lab quality. But accommodates humbly.

Each capsule thus measures between 150 to 200mg even mix combination of betaine HCL + pepsin. I take this anywhere between two to three times a day during meals.

Magnesium, Zinc + potassium

Once again, it’d be redundant for me to repeat what I previously asserted. Magnesiums remain an inrefutable necessity. For years without end, I still cling to my morning ritual at applying my own DIY magnesium oil based on any Magnesium Chloride flakes I can afford; dissolved in hot but not boiling – distilled water.

The question that I am yet to find an answer for; is whether they disturb or augment the effects – of fasting windows. General guidelines amongst fasting community suggest none for short fasts. However, to this day I remain pragmatically leaning to safer side of the equation. Having previously speculated that during stressful periods that subject to mineral losses – be it through sweat / perspiration I’d certainly take at least a small bite of magnesium. Alongside with salted water to mitigate any worrying and signs of deficiencies. Ranging from fainting, palpitations, slow breathing, odd heart beats etc.

Zinc is what I’d consider a long lost forgotten mineral. I need not bother repeating their crucial importance covered in part 2 of this Annual Food For Thoughts.

Vitamin D & E, Milk Thistle, MSM, Baking Soda, COQ10 Aspirin.

I have begun supplementing liquid vitamin D form, derived from lanolin anywhere in the dosages of 4000 IU to self experimental 10,000 IU (ten-thousand) per day. I’d warn for the most serious Fast-ers out there however – that I do notice a glycogen uptake response upon mixing it with water first thing in the morning. Indicating that it MAY have a somewhat insulinogenic effect. To not spoil my fasting window therefore – I’ve decided to apply up to 7 drops topically – on necks, upper pecs, shoulders arms and backs. I put my faith, that utilisation this way is not compromised as from reading this study.

Liver health wise – Milk thistle and organic sulfur MSM. For joints, methylation support agent, an anti-inflammatory and a bone growth hormone potentiatorMSM is what I’d take first thing in morning for all my fasting window. I’m not entirely convinced over the fear-mongering of Milk Thistle’s estrogenic potential, I’m still taking it regardless to help my liver handle all the incoming surplus of calories. Especially during refeeds.

As explained in Part 2 – Vitamin E also is another one I’d consider supplementing daily to prevent excess LDL oxidations. I’d imagine should anyone dare similarly attempting an Omega-6 PUFA Keto N=1 experiment – Vitamin E and any extra antioxidative support would be crucial.

If statins is the most prescribed drug for aging population – COQ10 is defenitely something I’d continue investing from both supplements + food form as I get older. In addition to of course – natural source from beef hearts & livers.Beyond an antioxidant for the heart but also for kidney health I’d continue taking them on up to 450mg per weekly dosages.

The (somewhat) conditionally-Essential/s.

It’s amazing how much Intermittent Fasting can blindingly saves you so many other minute things you previously thought of being crucially essential. Yet by the grace of passing time itself – eludes much of this fear altogether.

1/4 Multivitamins

Shocking but true, that a significantly 3/4 part of this year – I’ve trialled my next austerity measure. By no longer buying a Multivitamin. My prior choice – the Natures Way multi-vitamin with Spirulina have saved me $15. But does it save me anywhere else? So far, I am surviving.

My reason for omitting them is beyond just saving money – but it is my own interest at truly concentrating on understanding and feeling the effects of isolated mineral intakes themselves. From Magnesiums, Zinc, Potassium, Coppers, to Chromium without added influence of “all-in-ones” blanketed solution.

I’d still classify them nonetheless as essential within my manuscript; fasting or non fasting. A context whereby I still mildly believe a multivitamin still holds in place – is when you are unexpectedly exposed to heavy and regular – stressful waves of change, particularly towards hotter seasons. Many of water soluble vitamins – are likely lost in the process anyway due to fasting or ketogenic’s diuretic nature.

I suspect the need for multis also apply amongst those who travel a lot overseas. Even if you intend to cook your own meals, you will likely not going to look and feel an exact 1:1 replica of your former self. Especially from a change of your living environment.

2/4 Chromium Picollinate / Chromium GTF.

Throughout this year of fasting and feasting – I’d consider this nevertheless essential. But not as life-crucially essential as submitting to humongous 1000mcg+ per day. During 5 days of KETO+IF however – the usage and reliance on chromium is obviously MUCH LESS. I do not think lowering the glucose anymore than what is necessary seems that well justified.

However for carb refeed days or the few attempt/s of HC+IF weeks – very different story. Contrary to the advice of Lyle McDonald – I still believe any “insulin mimicker agents” to be a necessity to keep glucose control in a favourable range. This makes sense to me, pragmatically at least – since you must somehow metabolically prepare yourself to partition that much of caloric surplus of any given “refeed” day. For anyone to refute the need for these supporting agents – is beyond me.

3/4 No-Tropics = optional. ALCAR – still slightly important.

I am glad to say that my reliance on Notropics overall have lessened throughout this year. Simply a pinch of ALCAR into the cup of coffee alongside with baking soda. Or within my pre/intra workout solution as outlined above – ALCAR summed up as my cognitive insurance for getting through the day as emotionally collected, as possible. As I wrote previously, I do not mainly “worship” ALCAR as a weight loss simpleton icon. But also as a muscle protectant during stress during training.

Other NoTropics – including Gingko Biloba or the expensively straight 98% Mucuna concentratesboth remain to this day – an optional “novelty”. I am glad that I have survived cognitively day in day out without such reliance as I was back in 2017. Such supply still remains usable, sitting more than one year old now as I’m typing this.

4/4 fish and krill oils supplementation = detrimental to my morning state of mood?

The most disappointing suspect of all supplementation/s this year, goes to Krill and Fish Oil’s detriments on my psyche-well being. Anecdotal phenomenon suggests their oft-proclaimed anti-inflammatory effect do seemed plausible in the short term, yet strangely turns out worse when supplementing long term.

My on/off intakes have been quite similar in that I am finding Fish oil supplementation as simply just that – confusing and inconsistent. 

At worst – ranging from very pronounced feeling of helplessness, followed by very “heavy” thoughts – both occuring first thing in the morning for at least few hours.

At best – I only noted for their relaxing effect particularly before bed. The above revelation however, is what kept me worried.

I’d still supplement but nonetheless keep a vigilant journalling and whenever needed be – periodize.

Meanwhile, wholefood sources I’d wager, cannot be ignored. There are other things besides Omega 3s and the complete proteins amongst sources such as sardines, mackerels and/or organ meats (particularly brains). Namely the much needed traces of selenium and copper. Hence, ignoring any Omega-3 intakes altogether in my opinion, isn’t wise.


End part 3 of 4.

Now onto the last and final part – of me discussing surrounding aspects of budgeting and final thoughts on Fasting – my deep contemplations – of both its effects, impositions to the world around us.


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