carb cycling

WEEK 22 WEIGH IN: Tightening the Strategy to Make it to the Finish Line

It has been on my radar that my efforts weren’t producing results. I have found myself, in the last handful of weeks, having a few too many binge sessions. As I discussed in last week’s post, I was feeling really weighed down by the lack of progress I was making. Even though I’ve been following a lot of the rules, I was way too laxed, giving into impulses to eat foods contrary to my strategy.

That wasn’t working!

I’ve taken the week to contemplate how to push forward. I’m so close, and I’m super tired of dragging this process out. I know that it’s time to tighten my strategy in order to sprint over the finish line!

Since Monday, I’ve changed my eating approach to go into carb cycling. I’m going to spend the next 8 weeks (including this one) with 2-4 days where I consume a ketogenic macronutrient range of 65% fats, 25% protein, and 10% carbohydrates. I’ll alternate those days with one carb up day where my macronutrient approach will be 40% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 25% fats. I know that this approach will allow me to be aggressive in getting to the body that I want to maintain.

I’m committed. I’m ready to re-embrace my love for all the fats. I’m ready to keep my eye on the prize when all the carbs in the world are calling out to me. I’ve come this far. I know what has to be done, and how to do it! I’m ready to win the day! (Another Mark Batterson reference!)

Moving on. Let’s talk about how things ended on week 22.

End of Week 22 Before and After Pictures:

Week 22 Food Journal:

It hasn’t been a strong food journaling week. Saturday and Sunday, I only logged my food intake the first parts of the day. It’s probably because I wanted to be in denial of all the extra things that were jumping into my mouth. It’s fine…it’s in the past…

Monday, for lunch, the hubs and I went to a Brazilian churasco to celebrate closing on our first rental property. Afterwards, we went to this awesome spot in a local mall where you can get edible cookie dough called Scooped. So good! I didn’t log my food at all that day. But after that Brazilian food binge fest, and cookie dough, I fasted the rest of the day. Since that fast, I’ve been successful in my new carb cycling approach: Tuesday and Wednesday super low carb macro range, and slight carb up today. This next cycle, I’m going to tackle three low carb days. So my next carb up day will be on Monday.

I’m going to drop my food journal entry from today, right here.

The rest of the food journal entries can be found at the bottom of this post.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 129.9 lbs. (Decrease of 2.6 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 13 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 80.9 lbs (Decrease of 1.1 lbs from last week. Total of 2.6 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.3 lbs. (Decrease of 0.7 lbs. since last week. Increase of 0.2 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 21.2 lbs. (This was a 0.4 lb. decrease from last week. Total of 14.3 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.3 lbs (Decrease of .9 lbs since last week. Increase of 1.3 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.3 (Decrease of 0.4 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2.2 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 16.3% (This decreased by 0.1% from last week. Total of 8.5% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1435 calories (This decreased by 36 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2232 calories on moderate exercise weeks. 2484 calories on heavy exercise weeks.
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1500 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 22 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/8 inches (up 1/8 inch last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Down 3/4 inch from last week, Down 6 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 inches (Down 1/2 inch from last week. Down 3 5/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 33 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 7/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 inches (Down 1/2 inch from last week, and down 3 1/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 1/2 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 5/8 inches (Up 1/8 inch from last week, and down 11/8 inch from first measurement).

This is What My Workouts Looked Like:

Summary:

I dropped two and a half pounds this week. That lost weight was a combination of water, dry lean mass, muscle, and 0.4 lbs of fat- which is all we really care about. The measuring tape results showed a marked decrease in my hips, butt, and waistline.

It feels good to be a few days into my tightened strategy. The more days I go, the more confident I am becoming in my ability to stick to the strategy. And it’s with consistency in our efforts that we realize our end goals!

That’s it for today. Talk to you soon.


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Friday, May 28

Saturday, May 29

Sunday, May 30

Monday, May 31

Tuesday, June 1

Wednesday, June 2 (Yesterday)

carb cycling carb cycling carb cycling carb cycling

Sneaky Food Labels

The Truth Behind Diet Foods and Packaging Labels!

While doing a killer full body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) this morning, I was listening to another episode of the Fit2fat2fit podcast. This time, the person being interviewed was Jeff Scot Philips. He is the author of the book, Big Fat Food Fraud: Confessions of a Health-Food Hustler. I haven’t read his book, but the message of the podcast got me all fired up. I just knew that today’s post needed to be a warning to be cautious of diet food products out there!

Did you know that marketers look for the healthy buzz words of the day, and plant those onto our food products as a way to draw in more customers and make more money? We are hearing and seeing diet buzz words like these everywhere: keto, gluten free, dairy free, omega 3’s, protein, grass-fed, electrolytes, soy free, sugar free.

These approaches can be legit nutritional needs for some people. People with Celiac disease have gluten allergies, and need to avoid gluten in food. Those who have dairy allergies and sensitivities need to have a dairy free diet. Those with type 2 diabetes, are morbidly obese, or are fighting cancer and other diseases might need to adopt a ketogenic lifestyle. Some people are disposed to soy allergies or sensitivities and need to avoid products containing soy. We all benefit from watching our sugar intake, getting enough protein, omega 3’s, and electrolytes.

Many people dabble in the keto approach, or choose to live a gluten free lifestyle to help with weight loss or just to be healthier.

But, as Jeff Scot Philips reveals, the food marketers suck in buyers by placing these buzz words onto their product packaging. Sometimes what you see is what you’re actually getting. But often, these companies deceive people into thinking they are getting a healthier product. Some of these products have ingredients on the nutrition label that are counterproductive. We might not be getting gluten, but we’re getting an over abundance of sugar. We might not be getting sugar, but we are getting a mix of artificial sweeteners that really might not be doing us any favors.

I took a little field trip through the grocery store, after my workout this morning. I wanted to lay eyes on these sneaky marketing ploys, for myself.

Check these out:

While this fruit juice is loaded with beneficial nutrients, one of the added protein sources comes from soy protein isolate which can have negative effects for some people.

This is a better hot dog option, for sure. Grass-fed, no added nitrates, but at the end of the day, it’s still a hot dog. Also, it contains celery powder which is a natural nitrate.

Keto bread! Awesome! But two of the ingredients on the list, modified wheat starch and soybean oil, can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and fatty liver!

A dairy free protein bar! Perfect for a dairy free diet! But wait, palm oil is on the list of fats which aren’t heart healthy. Also, does anyone even know what “natural flavors means?”

A Soy free, vegan mayonnaise option! But wait, ingredient #1 – Safflower oil, is one of the highest inflammation causing vegetable oils out there!

A dairy free cheese option! But hold on, are you sure you want to be eating modified food starch? Very little nutritional value comes from this cheese alternative!

Gluten Free Oreos! They might not have gluten in them, but you’re getting 1/4 of your daily value’s sugar recommendations.

Yessssss! Gluten free brownies! But look, ingredient #1: sugar! And 20% of your recommended daily value. Better not eat more than one serving!

So what are you supposed to do?

Now I completely get that there are circumstances which call for these types of food substitutions. Someone with a gluten allergy is absolutely allowed to eat a gluten free birthday cake!

But that doesn’t mean that these foods are automatically healthy for you! If it is a habit to throw these type of diet foods into the cart on a regular basis, I urge you to be cautious. Look at the ingredient labels. Are you staying within the recommended daily allowance for the macronutrients and micronutrients nutrition label? Do you know and understand what everything is on the list of ingredients? In most cases, you are substituting one thing for another, but are you really trading for something better?

If your goal is weight loss, processed foods (even diet friendly ones) aren’t your quickest route. Your best bet will always be to eat real food from unprocessed food sources. If you need to live a gluten free, keto lifestyle, vegan, dairy free, etc lifestyle, make your own meals, treats, snack bars, etc. The internet is swimming with great recipes. In fact, you will find a bunch here in the weekly meal plans! Wherever you decide to get them, trust me, you’re body will thank you!

Okay. Rant over! Talk to you soon!


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Diet Foods and Packaging Labels Diet Foods and Packaging Labels Diet Foods and Packaging Labels

Tightening Your Nutrition Strategy

I Commit.

During week 7 and week 8, my weight loss hasn’t been on the downward trend like I want it to be. Since I’m in the business of full transparency, this lack of progress is all due to my own loose actions. I’ve been taking extra bites of food, here and there. My indulgence meals… Ha! Remember how I said that I could eat anything I want within a one hour window? Well, I’ve managed to break that rule every week for the last handful of weeks. In reality it has been upwards of four hours filled with sugary items. I’m just going to say it. I am absolutely irresponsible when it comes to sugar! During my indulgence meals, I have recognized a mentality of desperation. I catch myself thinking that I have to eat all of the different sugary treats I have been craving because I don’t get to eat treats again until the next indulgence meal. It’s, for sure, embracing the inner binge eater in me. And worst of all, every single week, I’ve indulged until I’m sick!

THAT HAS TO STOP!

I’ll be honest, I’m kind of scared to even attempt a moderator mentality. It’s so much easier for me to wrap my head around abstaining from the sugar than only eating a small portion. In my opinion, it is healthier to be a moderator than an abstainer. Abstaining serves a purpose, but can also lead to the binge.

Here’s my tightened nutrition strategy:

I am going on a beach vacation in five weeks! That’s five whole weeks to prepared for a swimming suit bod. 5 weeks is enough time to see a visible change in body composition. But for me, it’s not really motivating enough to say I’m following a strategy just so that I look better in a swimsuit. I feel like I need more of a prize. So, my plan is that every day I stick to my eating strategy without giving into the temptation to eat other foods, I will place $3 into a jar. Including today, I have 36 days where I can accrue up to $108 to spend on a cute new swimming suit (or two). Now, that is motivating for me!

beach vacation
Naples, FL here we come!

Now that I have something a little bit more exciting to work towards, here’s how I’m going to do it:

The indulgence meal:

I’m going to go a solid three weeks, again, without an indulgence meal. That really helped to get me going in the beginning of this journey. Three weeks of sticking within my set calorie and macronutrient range is a sure bet in helping me to push past the plateau. When those three weeks are up, I will commit to actually timing my hour long window, and not extending it for hours after.

Food Journal:

I’ve slacked, this last week, in my consistency with food journaling. As I mentioned above, full transparency is important. I am not doing myself any good by embracing the denial of all that has gone into my mouth by not recording my food intake. Although food journaling can feel tedious, I want complete success so I’m willing to commit.

commitment

Extra bites of food:

I commit to not helping my kids clean their plate by taking little tastes of what they didn’t finish. All the little bites add up. Also, when I’m not recording the extra bites in my food journal, then I’m actually consuming significantly more than is written down.

Sticking within my calorie and macronutrient target range:

Since I’m still not exercising this week, it is especially important for me to be conservative with my food intake. I’m relying on nutrition, alone, to help me lose weight this week. So my food choices need to be high quality, non-processed, and from whole food sources. I’m determined to keep my carbohydrate intake between 50 to 100 grams per day. My body responds really well to a low carb approach, so I commit to keeping my carbs low. Until I’m exercising, again, I also commit to keeping my calorie intake around 1500 calories.

I Want Success!

I know that the only way that I’m going to succeed in my weight loss journey is to be fully committed to all the tiny actions. It’s nice to have an end goal, but if we are not taking the baby steps which lead to that end reward, then we’ll never reach our goals. I’m committed to saying no to all of the tiny distractors that I’m sure to face. This is going to happen!

Here’s to pushing past the plateau!

What will you commit to doing to push past your roadblocks? Drop a comment below!

Talk to you soon!


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