Let’s get STRICT!

It’s been a while.. and I’ve been busy. I’ve got a load of new recipes and ideas that I want to write about but unfortunately those are for another day.

Starting YESTERDAY I am getting strict. I have been following a clean eating plan (80% of the time) and a good lifting plan (3x a week, without fail) but am not seeing the magnitude of change that I want – namely a clear reduction in body fat!

My issue – too many calories! It really is that simple, see:

  • Winner of the 2014 bodybuilding.com transformation challenge – Matt was eating on average 1200 calories a day, his body was burning 3000, he was loosing the equivalent of 1800 calories of fat per day, or just less than 4lbs a week, or 46lbs over the 12 week challenge. Matt sums it up very well with a number of simple bullet points but, most pertinent to me is this statement: “The single most important skill to develop is the ability to be hungry and not-eat….You have to live with a caloric deficit in order to lose fat” – yeah duh! And my issue, even when I think I’m eating low, ill give in and cheat, or convince myself that I can still lose weight with an excess of healthy food – not so! Also if I can’t see changes (1 lb a week fat loss should be visible after a few weeks!) then I need to reduce even more, not stick with it and assume I’ll wake up one day lean.
  • Why Am I Not Losing Weight: 11 Reasons You’re Failing To Lose Fat – basically repeating the above wisdom – for the average person (and I would say, after weeks of eating clean but not much change, definitely me) it is a case of eating less than my body needs to force it to fill this deficit by utilising my fat stores for energy, simples!
  • Something else I read the other day (I cant remember the source): “Cut till you’re at the body fat % you want, then slowly bulk”. I’ve been in two minds whether I should be bulking now to put on muscle to help a short, fast cut before I travel, or to do a million other things. At least now I have a direction – cut, pretty steeply, till I’m in a good place (12-15% bf), hopefully by May, then I can think about maintaining or slowly bulking till I go away.

Using this very helpful IF calculator I’ve calculated my needs as follows:

Goal - starting 7 March

Which works out as:

Training days:

200g rice, 600g chicken (2x whole breasts), 600g mixed veg, 25g oats and whey shake.

I’m now following a more Leangains style protocol – Intermittent fasting and high carbs on workout days to spike insulin, maximise muscle growth and ensure adequate muscle glycogen for the next workout. I’ll post about this soon.

Rest days:

3 egg, cheese and veg Bromlette, 2x chicken quarter, 300g mixed veg, tin tuna

Strict. Spartan. Exactly what I require, nothing more. Also cheap! This coincidences with the final week of term and the beginning of the Easter holiday – I’m staying up at University as I have SO MUCH work to get on with but once lectures are officially over I can spend my days revising, writing up my project, working out and being generally healthy (and so in turn SMUG!). Routine I am sure is the key to success and following this religiously for the next few weeks should really allow me to see some progress.

And if things get boring there is always Sriracha…

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