What happened post photoshoot? | Sustain Nutrition

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What happened post photoshoot?

James Walker | Director

What happened post photoshoot?

NOTE: I do not advocate eating like this on a regular basis, having dieted for a photoshoot I made a conscious decision that I would eat as I see fit after the end date. As a fully grown adult I can do and act as I feel fit and having dieted for 9 weeks meticulously, and having no commitments after said photoshoot, I chose to follow this course of action (eating whatever I wanted). The results of which make interesting reading for anyone interested in nutrition, which hopefully will include the people who follow Sustain. AKA don’t get your knickers in a twist thinking I’m endorsing this way of life. This was just my reward to myself for a job well done and the results that followed.

I have been described many times as “all or nothing”. Whilst many people dislike this term it doesn’t really bother me as I feel I’m in control of when I push the on switch, or when I fall off the wagon with a hefty bump. My friends often rejoice at tales of me eating ginormous portions of food for no reason other than because I can, or I’ve drunk too much (many moons ago of course, I’m a reformed man these days …). About a week before the sustain photo shoot I began buying in the various goods and foods I had written on a list of my perfect weekend of debaucherous eating. Many people have seen the image of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 14,000 calorie cheat day, well I’m the Stone Cold Steve Austin of this situation. A nemesis of equally impressive / repulsive proportions when it comes to eating big portions. From the saturday afternoon my “nutrition” if you can call it that, consisted of brownies, a massive slice of cake, fish and chips, crisps, doughnuts, more brownies, chocolate, a full english breakfast, buffalo burgers, a curry and more brownies (I love brownies) and guess what?

I felt fantastic, loads of energy, clear mental focus, exceptional digestion


Is what I would love to say, but the reality surprised even me.

My joints hurt, my mobility worsened dramatically overnight, I was exhausted and my breathing was effected. Yes. I found it harder to breathe.

So to put this in perspective prior to the photoshoot I was consuming green vegetables, white fish, turkey and small portions of cashews. Again I don’t endorse this as usual practice but as I had 9 weeks to diet I employed the most effective tactics, regardless of how taxing these were for me. The vast majority of people can’t follow this so we don’t advise them to. In addition to low calories, nearly zero carbs and low fat I was walking for an hour in the mornings (530am), performing superset resistance sessions for an hour at 11am and then performing half an hour of sprint work in the evenings (1 minute on ,1 minute off) AGAIN, this was to achieve maximal results in the time I had available! And I STILL had more energy doing this than when I was eating crap food, doing no training and sleeping longer. The proof really was right there in front of me, eating more calories is not instantly going to give you more energy. I was napping in late evening and then sleeping longer the next morning. Whilst this is only anecdotal I dare anyone to say they sleep better and have more energy by eating poorer quality foods. Whilst the calorie may be king when it comes to fat loss, which individual is going to train harder, prepare more food and generally make better decisions, the tired individual or the energised individual … I’ll leave that one up to you.

I found putting on my socks, walking and sitting more uncomfortable. I would hazard a guess the inflammatory effects of processed foods had a more noticeable effect on myself having had none. As above, although the calorie is king, the pain free individual is highly likely to be more effective in the gym and more content in daily life if he or she can put their socks on more easily.

The really scary one. My breathing. As a convert to the wheat removal brigade allow me to indulge myself on the negatives of wheat quickly. The processing of wheat has changed drastically since the 70’s and whilst this has been overhyped in some circles, the pro wheat circles are exponentially bigger and more powerful. As such many, MANY people see it as a health food when in reality it offers no essential or even beneficial nutritional benefits to health or fat loss. Essential amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids (fats) are the only essentials your body needs to ingest. You don’t NEED carbs. So as much as you feel you “need” them this is simply a want or desire rather than a physical necessity. Having eaten wheat and gluten (predominantly pasta) for much of my life I never thought I had any issues with it but after consuming 2 bread buns I became aware that my normal slow breathing (I breathe like an elephant, using approximately 8 breathes a minute compared to the average 12) had rocketed up to around 20 breaths a minute, having to breathe through my mouth (despite lying down) and longer controlled breaths left me gasping and panting. Not the most comfortable of experiences. And from eating two bits of bread!

So whilst my cheat days / week away were fun I am genuinely glad to be “back on the wagon” and having been a yoyo dieter in the past my 9 weeks of dedication have shown me that I am able to follow a strict path and the results have shown me that the sacrifice and dedication was definitely worth it. I will be blogging my training and eating going forwards as well as some of the lessons I’ve learned from following such a strict path and hopefully you can learn from my errors!

Big love and wheezy breaths,
Bent Nose / Wheat Lung / Joe

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