Sunday, June 30, 2013

Slow Carb Diet and More

I finished my 4th week on the Slow Carb Diet [1].  I dropped 7lbs in 4 weeks, from 149lbs to 142lbs.  I'm pretty happy as it's given me some data on how I should proceed in the future. A few notes:

  • I'm sure I lost *some* muscle, but not too much.  My strength pretty much was the same, maybe slightly worse. I focused on strength workouts of very low reps (4-5) with heavy weights (close to 1RM values).
  • I did much less cardio (limited to once intense short session per week in addition to hockey).
  • I wasn't "perfect" with the diet, I should logged all my food and calories :(
  • It's hard to do this diet with the family.  I pretty much ate what I could with them and then made my own supplemental SCD food.
  • Definitely don't have near the sugar/processed food cravings I always had. The cheat days made my stomach hurt at night and the next day.
  • Certainly not where I want to be overall but do suspect I got rid of some visceral fat (that's the "internal" fat next to your organs...yeah.
Even with less cardio work, playing hockey with 7lbs less weight has more than made up for some lost sprinting endurance.  So what now?

First, I'm definitely going to add more carbs, though probably limited to select quantities of rolled oats and brown rice; likely some pasta right before I workout or play hockey.  I started doing this the last week and I didn't put on any extra pounds but did notice a significant difference in energy and post-workout soreness.

I'll still avoid all processed carbs except for a cheat day (will still maintain that).  Ideally a breakdown somewhere around 35-45% Protein, 30-40% Good Carbs, 20-25% Fat.  Tracking to be done via (the site performance is slow, but pretty good overall and free).

I plan to run with this modified diet a couple more weeks to see if I can peel a few more pounds of fat then reassess again - all the planning/cooking is still somewhat of a pain.  I have a more practical plan "next", but will save that for another day.

[1] This blog entry has the diet pretty much summed up if you don't want to read the book:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The 4 Hour Body

So a friend raved about The 4-Hour Chef - it wasn't available at the library (yeah, I wanted to browse it before buying) but I did see a copy of The 4-Hour Body. I hadn't really read Tim Ferriss' other book but ended up borrowing it. The book jumps all over the place but I was intrigued enough to give the Slow Carb Diet a shot.  I'm in decent shape but wanted to burn that extra "late 30s" fat.

In a nutshell, you can't really eat any "white" carbs, sugars, etc; you need to get enough protein at each meal as well.  This was extremely hard for me since I eat a ton of rice, breakfast bars, etc.  You get your calories from legumes, lean meats and fish, eggs, and vegetables.  I'm on week two, but a few observations:

  • Initially, getting all the calories was difficult.  Without the high-GI carbs, you have to eat a lot of veggies and beans.  I think I have the load down now so my energy levels are consistent. 
  • I think I need to do *some* carb loading before and after lifting weights, playing hockey, or doing an Insanity workout.  I've been very sore after some of these workouts, which is usually not the case.  I've added potassium and more avocado to help here.
  • Eating the same stuff over and over is getting old already, but I certainly do not crave the sweets I used to.  I do have to cook my own stuff a lot more, which means more dishwashing :(
  • Chipotle is a good option - salad bowl with beans, chicken or steak, salsa, and guacamole.  Enjoyable and within the SCD guidelines.  Cottage cheese is another okay item with low fat and plenty of protein.
I plan to keep on it for at least 4 weeks, hopefully longer.  I had a cold last week so really couldn't work out as hard as I wanted.  I have indeed lost about 5 lbs but I'm very light to begin with - I do think I've lost a bit of muscle as well.

I'm not sure I could keep this up long term, but still curious to see if it can burn fat as aggressively as it claims.  I think my body is hardwired to need carbs.  I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ice Hockey in the Bay Area

It's actually kind of surprising how popular ice hockey is in the Bay Area.  I recently joined the league down in San Jose and someone told me it's the largest adult hockey league in the US!  I think it has like 20 different divisions.  I grew up playing in a house league in Michigan for about seven years, but ended up giving it up in high school since the games were mostly about fighting.

When I first moved to the Bay Area, I lived up in the city and played over at Yerba Buena in SFAHL.  My team, Storm, eventually won the C-division [1] and several of us moved into the B-div onto different teams (I joined Point Blank).  After a few seasons, I ended up taking some time off then re-joined with a friend on his B team, Short Fuse, in San Mateo (PHA) after I moved down to the peninsula.  Unfortunately, the San Mateo Bridgepoint rink is closing in 2013 and they shutdown our division.  This led a few of us to form a new team, Mavericks (think Top Gun, with the Winnipeg Jets jerseys), to play in CCC [2] down in San Jose.  I've posted some old pics from various teams at the bottom.

Overall, most of the leagues are pretty well run.  I would have to say San Jose is run the best and is probably the best bang for your buck.  In terms of divisions, A-level is really good, mostly high level college players or above.  B-level varies from league to league, but it is usually comprised of good high-school level and above [3].  C-level is mostly high-school level/below. You get "older" high-level players as well as college women's players in these leagues as well.  D and below are some high school but mostly recreational level, or folks that learned to play as adults.  In general, there are a lot of rink-rats who play up and down leagues so you often see players that are too good for their leagues and they just sandbag.  I would say our new CCC league in San Jose is closest to B+ in San Mateo and somewhere between B/C in SF.

If you live out here and are interested in playing, ping me!  I had just happened to be walking by a coworker's desk and he had a puck on it - we got to talking and I ended up joining his SF team after a 15 year layoff!

[1] (wow, the link still exists!)
[3] San Mateo PHA was an outlier - their B+ was between B/C level while their B was more like C/D in other leagues.

2013 SF Tourney B Runner-Up - Short Fuse

2012 Cow Palace Tourney 30+ Bronze Champs - Short Fuse
2004 SFAHL C Champions - Storm

Welcome (again)

I'm not sure how many homepages I've created over the past 15 years, going all the way back to my Enteract account in Chicago.  Anyway, I do have this domain, so I figure I would throw up the basics.  I probably won't post much here since I spend enough time on the computer at work.  Some other places I'm on the "net":

  • - my family homepage with links to various family pics via Flickr.  I update this several times a year.
  • LinkedIn - see my online professional profile there.
  • Facebook - I'm not an addict but do have an account I'll post to on occasion.  I'm apparently "Chris Chong #52056" (sector 97, zone M).
  • Twitter - userid cpchong, don't tweet much either.
Welcome back :)