While this follow up was ment to come sooner due to a pretty stressful house move I have not had much time to write. That said it was great timing for the final week of the 28 day lean down to finish the week before we moved. The 2 previous posts of how the diet and training is set up are explained here:
My final weight was 92.8kg on the final Friday- an overall weight loss of 5-6kg in 28 days (starting weight was circa 98-99kg). That said on rehydration the weight came back up to 94kg three days later with the inclusion of a larger amount of carbohydrates. This sort of shows the large scale variability that using scale weight can provide when using it as a guide to weight loss- this is even more prevelant for females who’s hydration state can fluctuate during their monthly cycle. Skinfolds came down around 20mm in 4 weeks placing my “new” body fat at just under 15%, this was agreeable though hitting the gold standard of sub 10% may be the next target.
So what are my overall reflections for this period of training and nutrition? Firstly, nutrition needs to be perfect for the ideal result- the final week was hard from the dieting perspective. I have performed low carb plans before though the problem comes when you start to feel devoid of energy, you start to feel ill or your training leaves you feeling light headed and weak. This sort of happened to me around the week 3 to 4 transition. To me it highlighted the neccessity to consume the right amounts of food and to keep the right type of fats in your diet. Simply speaking I felt rubbish in the last week and slipped up on the food front. At the same time this is a lessoon in perserverance- 28 days is a good amount of time to perform a lean down. Could I have gone out to 6 weeks? Well by the end of it I was pretty much in to the swing- focus has an addictive quality and it is important to understand this and manage it appropriatly. As I say to my cleints a diet is a short term fix, it is not healthy, it is a form of nutrition that often removes certain food groups though it can cause a desired result. The addictive nature of dieting often is seen in the results escpecially if things go too far.
Lifestyle is also another major factor. I feel that that organization and structure provides the best environment for fat loss. That means making the right foods available at the right times. Making your lunch and taking it to work seems to be an alien concept for a lot of individuals I work with. Simply it provides the control to have a healthy lunch without giving in to the chocolate bar or fizzy drink that you may pass on the way to the shops (if you have to buy your lunch). If you are busy obviously this squeezes the time to be organized in but finding time to plan is vital for success in fat loss as it is in any walk of life.
Sleep is another vital component. I will probably get hate mail for this but 6-7 hours a night is as much as I get on a good night. While increasing my work commitments in the short term you notive that with training it is harder to recover and strength levels are reduced. Comparing the body to a car if nutrition is petrol to your body then sleep is like the air in your tyres- you are not going anywhere quickly without it.
I used some pre-workout supplements before training, I varied the source to analyse the effect they had. While not wanting to actively promote any specific brands one of them high in caffeine and a hundred of other things provided a useful push to training early in the day. While not adverse to these products I am not a fan of their loading protocols. Simply anything packed high with stimulants such as caffeine can have addictive qualities as well as building up your tolerance to said stimulants (these were all of the shelf products). If you overload on these type of products it can leave you a bit amped up which is not always good. One point that I would like to make though is that these pre workout supplements where great when feeling fresh after a good nights sleep. Using them when tired though was a bit of a disaster, in fact one of them made me feel pretty rough. All in all it is an area of fat loss nutrition that I need to be sharper on so I intend to investigate these products a bit further and their advantages and disadvantages.