I went off the plan this past weekend with Melissa (my girlfriend and business partner) when we went to Sonoma. I think it actually helped. In nearly three weeks I had kept very consistent and may have cut back calories too much, causing my body to become more calorie-efficient and inhibit fat-burning. Most fitness competitors do at least one cheat meal each week to avoid this; some do an entire cheat day. My pre-diet habits were pretty close to the BDNOWEU plan anyway, so my cheats are pretty modest as well.
All in all, with a 1% drop in body fat (which suggests an actual 1.6 lb. fat loss) and somewhere between a pound and two lost on the scale, I’m pretty much on target to hit my goal by my birthday. But it wasn’t the front-end drop I had expected so it’s time for some fine-tuning. Here’s what I plan to keep and what I plan to tweak to better suit my lifestyle and preferences (key in long-term sustainability for an eating approach) and reach my goals:
1. Add back dairy (I don’t think eliminating it was consequential for me, and I miss my milk lattes and Greek yogurt).
2. Add back whole grains in the morning. The lack of variety of food groups available actually made eating enough food problematic with my schedule. I think, as a result I was intermittently into catabolic mode (preserving fat and breaking down muscle tissue). I believe this more hindered, rather than helped my efforts to lose more fat.
3. Add one more day of exercise so I’m getting 4-5 hours per week (I’m currently averaging three or less).
4. Keep the water, veggie and then lean protein sequence for all meals and snacks past breakfast.
5. Make sure I’m hydrated between meals and snacks. This was the best part of the first week both in terms of how I felt re: blood sugar and appetite and the weight loss yielded. I drifted away from this in weeks two and three, and I suspect that affected my fat metabolism for those weeks. This week I’ll make it a priority again.
I’ve also noticed that there are two food items that tend to make me feel very full and carry me for longer than other foods with a low calorie count that I haven’t had for a while: Split pea soup and oatmeal. I’ll make a big batch of both this week and have 2-3 servings of each over the course of the week. A trip to the store for a few different varieties of tea is also on my agenda for the day. More variety makes us more likely to consume greater volume (it’s science). So, since hydration is my (as with many of you) primary consumption behavior sticking point, I’ll focus on that this week.
Learn more about how to get and stay in great shape? Contact Dan at Tri Valley Trainer