So my journey to 7% body fat (why do I do this to myself?) began on Monday 4th February. I cut my calories down to about ~2200 every day, and this is a do or die figure that I avoid surpassing at all costs. Mess up your calories, and you mess up the entire thing. So even if I have ‘less clean’ food, it’s fine as long as the calories are met. When maintaining in Jerez I was about 2400, but my activity was low. It’s higher now due to a third full-body training session. All meal 1’s are being prepped in advance and stored in Tupperware’s. Right now I’m not doing bulk cooking – I’m just doing meal 1 the night before (after cooking meal 2). This may change in future though.
Breakfast every day is two coffees. Then on Monday I had an apple as the fruit snack, followed by fish, potatoes etc. This kept me nice and full until meal #2. Chicken & mushroom risotto – very tasty. Arguably too many carbs (which resulted in the 50% figure you can see top left, but never mind. Carbs will be coming down in later weeks. By the way, ignore the ‘2810’ goal – I don’t know why but it didn’t update to my lower calorie goal until Tuesday or Wednesday. Final point for Monday – stay tuned for next week’s update, as I’ll be including pictures of each meal so you can really see what all of this stuff look like on a plate. Also stay tuned for update pictures of my physique.
On Tuesday, fats went up, carbs went down. As long as total calories remain on-point, carbs and fats are largely inter-changeable. Yes, this flies in the face of the Carnivores and low carb enthusiasts on Twitter. Don’t care. And by the way, as you can see, my usual carb sources are apples, bananas, potatoes and rice. Not the usual junk that most people have.
I had lasagne with a lady friend on Tuesday night, which was delicious. This is one of the major benefits of IF. You can have tasty meals and a good social life without sacrificing your fitness. As you can see, I only ever have 10 calories for breakfast (save them for later!) The only big sacrifice I’m making at the moment is a lack of alcohol (and red wine….boo!) The problem is that I would definitely lose muscle if I drank whilst trying to get shredded. Lesson: You can have a lot more carbs and fats than you could ever imagine, on any diet ever seen before at meal #2 if you just have black coffee for breakfast.
Got a nice mix today, with protein being a little higher than usual. Calories bang on though, which is the key. Lunch was also unusually high. For some reason I was craving bread at lunchtime – had a bit of lower willpower there, but never mind. Sometimes lifestyle impacts your mind too (over-worked, stressed etc.) even if your diet has no crap in it.
Spaghetti Bolognase was Wednesday’s meal #2. Not as good as steak + eggs etc. but you can afford to be a little more flexible when you get LOADS of protein at meal #1 (one of the many reasons I suggest aiming for 70% of your daily protein goal at meal #1). I’m currently eating ridiculously clean as I type (week 2) so it will be interesting to see the results of this. Finally, I had some cottage cheese in the evening to make up the rest of my macros.
Similar macros to yesterday, except the snack was slightly larger in the evening – a protein bar, plus more bread (carbs were looking a little lower, and I don’t want to start going ‘low carb’ until I have to. If you cut too much too soon, you end up causing problems for yourself (usually). Appetite, energy, muscle loss etc.
I only had the carbs from the apple at 12pm, then my meal #1 had zero carbs (virtually). I’ve been doing this more in week 2 as you can tell a slight increase in energy levels. Sure, there’s more to it, such as sleep the night before (CRUCIAL!), whether or not you’ve already trained, sunlight, stress, sex life etc. But lower carbs is definitely advisable during the day (apart from a little fruit). Lesson: Keep carbs low during the day – save the majority for later when it’s actually time to relax.
Carbs are a little higher here, and protein a little lower (although still at 1 gram per pound of bodyweight or so). This is largely due to the fajitas my brother and I had at my new apartment – a decent amount of carbs in those wraps. Again though, once the work is done for the day, you can relax a little and have more carbs. Even more so if you trained earlier.
Quite a high carb day today due to me having poor logistics and poor planning. It was a day where I was driving back and forth beteen apartments moving stuff from one place to the next and I ended up buying some junk sandwiches, including a Subway. I still kept within calories, but my energy was shot, and I looked puffier/more bloated (partly from the sodium). Lesson: Always meal prep the night before, even if it feels like a pain in the ass.
Lunch was also bigger than I would like to have seen it, in terms of total calories too. It’s better most of the time to feast in the evening. That’s when you really get to enjoy yourself and still have fun whilst on a diet (but stay away from cookies, pizza, ice cream and alcohol!)
Low protein! Uh-oh. That’s because Alex was an idiot and had several glasses of red wine (with a woman) and ended up having to sacrifice protein. Dick. It’s meant to be a lower protein day anyway on Sunday (and higher carbs) but not by that much. I think from now on I just need to be a complete robot and keep it the same every day. No need for refeeds at the moment. I’ve not touched a drop of alcohol since this disaster.
Total calories were still on-point, but there were too many carbs and/or empty calories (depending on if you want to count red wine as carbs for simplicity’s sake). My bodyweight was actually lighter the next day, but this is purely because of the liquid calories taking up less volume, and is one example among many of how the scale can be misleading on a day-to-day basis.