Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Man 2.0, engineering the Alpha.

Five weeks ago I started a program called Man 2.0, engineering the Alpha. It's an American program designed for overweight non movers (people who don't work out and walk about 5000 paces a day). The goal is to lose fat mass of course but mostly it is meant to reset your hormones. It should boost testosterone, repress estrogen and cortisol (the stress hormone) and reset your hunger hormones and fat burning hormones. All in all it should make you feel fitter, stronger, more energetic and happier. It should also make you look better. I know that I have female plumbing but I also know that there are transmen who try to become more masculine all on their own, without synthetic hormones. And some of them succeed very well. I have noticed the synthetic testosterone that I am taking is still making me nauseas. Plus, it's a nuisance to have to remember it all the time. Most of all, I prefer not to be dependent on doctors and my insurance in order to be able to be myself. Right now my meds are still covered but they are cutting back on every possible thing here in Holland and I heard rumor that the psychiatry for the screening is on the shit list. The less medication I need the better. So I decided to try this program.

The first few weeks I just felt horrible. I talked to some friends about it who know quite a bit about this sort of stuff as well and realized I had forgotten a tiny detail: I'm not a non mover. Those 5000 steps a day I already spend inside my house. I don't have a car. I ride my bike to the gym or walk. I stand many hours a day. I also teach BodyPump, do kung fu and yoga. All those things count. If I would stick to the calories the program told me to I would have only 90 calories a day for all those activities, spending the rest on my basic metabolism (this is the energy you need to not die, as in keep your heart beating, breathing, that sort of thing). No wonder I wasn't feeling well. So I started eating more and indeed my fat mass dropped and my muscle increased.

The program is divided into 4 phases, each lasting one month. I am now in phase two which includes cheat days. During a cheat day basically you just binge all day long. The reason behind this is to boost certain hormones that become too low when you are eating a bit below your maintenance need, slowing down your fat loss. Most of the time you eat low carb (sugar) but this day it's all about the carbs. Normally I eat less then 100 grams of carbs a day which really isn't a lot. But on a cheat day you take in loads and loads. There are several ways to do this. I have 3 cheat days so I decided to try 3 different methods. Cheat day 1: processed sugars. Cheat day 2: slow carbs like starches. Cheat day 3: Paleo, eating lots of fruit and such. I wonder if I will feel different on different types of carbs.

So how did cheat day 1 go? And what did I eat? Here is the list:

25 g dark chocolate: 131 cals
250 g negerzoenen: 933 cals (Officially they are called zoenen these days as they used to be called nigger kisses and that was racist so they changed it. In the US I think they are called angel kisses. In Germany Schaumk├╝sse. At least everyone agrees on the kissing part.)
4 tompoezen: 1152 cals (see right image)
600 g huzaren salad: 1020 cals
75 g white chocolate: 406 cals
216 g nougat: 900 cals
75 g butterscotch chocolate: 490 cals
1 piece of brownie: 264 cals
100 g chocolate raisins: 388 cals
200 g Brie: 676 cals
125 g cassava crisps: 613 cals
Total calories: 6973

I had expected to feel sick but I didn't. I was really surprised. I had expected to feel full and my bowels did but my stomach didn't. I kept feeling hungry all day. Even though I did get a bit queasy I had no trouble continuing eating because I felt so hungry. I hadn't felt that hungry in ages. It was like trying to fill a bottomless pit. In the evening I had about 2000 calories left and I felt slightly panicked because I knew I would still be hungry. I've always wondered how people get obese. Now I know. When you eat loads and loads of carbs you just feel more and more hungry. It's horrible.

Other then the constant hunger I had trouble concentrating, not understanding what people said all the time and constructing sentences took a lot of effort. If I would have had to drive I surely would have caused an accident. I felt slightly spaced out and shaky all the time. This feeling continued throughout the next day. I had a hard time falling asleep, feeling restless. I woke up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat. In the morning I felt like I had slept on a plane. My entire body felt sore and stiff. I had a sharp headache and I was dead tired. I went for a walk to get the blood flowing again and clear my head which did help to make me feel a bit better. But in the afternoon I just felt completely exhausted again and fell asleep on the sofa twice. I didn't feel as hungry as I had expected, less hungry then the day before actually, and managed without food just fine the whole day. I had plenty of fluids though. I felt sticky on the inside and really just wanted to wash it all away.
All in all it was quite a nasty experience. I felt really miserable. I hope next Sunday will be better with the starches. I do need to find some gluten free pasta though. I haven't had pasta in ages as I don't eat grains at all these days. I may be willing to make an exception for this one day but gluten is just too much. Just that, even in small amounts, will make my belly so unhappy it will be hard to tell how I feel from the starches.

One things is for sure. I am permanently cured from processed sugars. I might have a tiny bit sometimes, but just for the taste. Then again, a lot of the foods that I had been looking forward to actually tasted quite bad when I finally had them. It's pure, white and deadly alright. Once you are no longer addicted to sugar you can taste what it really is. Pure poison. Quite a wake up call.


  1. that sounds like a really interesting program. I googled it quickly and saw that it's a book. Did you buy this book or find the program elsewhere? I would really like to try it out.

  2. I bought the book online. I'm one of those people that prefers hardcopy ;)