This little experiment of taking a basically sound eating program, starting from a fairly low body fat level and applying more rigid constraints intending to get very lean has been a limited success so far. My short-range goal is to get leaner for the summer. My longer range (and more important) objective is to establish some very reliable principles I can confidently promote to my clients, regardless of their current body composition.
Here’s what I learned in the first few weeks over which I’ve lost two pounds (of the seven I wanted to lose in total, leaving five more to go in the next three weeks) and one percent body fat (of the three I want to drop):
1. Cutting out dairy and grains was too restrictive for me, both in terms of enjoyment and calorie accumulation. I actually felt like I couldn’t eat enough food to keep my blood sugar stable. But…
2. Adopting the structure of the original food sequence (water, then veggies, then lean protein…) at every meal established a critical process of prioritizing these elements in my diet. The renewed emphasis on water and veggies has been the most consequential trigger to the weight loss. It is also, not-coincidentally, the common thread between a typical lower-carb diet (like Paleo) and a traditional low-fat diet, which can be much higher in carbs.
3. Recently I have come across more research regarding hormone imbalances and their effect on both appetite and fat metabolism. A major factor in balancing hormones is the amount and quality of sleep you get. I currently average between 4.5 and 6 hours. So this, besides hydration, is probably my biggest opportunity in the coming weeks.
So, my main priorities up to my 52nd birthday are to get to bed earlier, to keep water and tea my pre-meal and snack rituals, and, finally, make veggies about 1/3 of my diet.
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