I Got Fat

Well, I did.

My bodyweight and bodyfat have been pretty happily at 230-235 pounds and about 20% for quite some time.  That’s kind of a set point for me, and while I’m not Captain Health at this size, I feel good, my blood pressure is fine, I can move, and training tends to go well.

Over the past month to six weeks, though, I haven’t been feeling as well; and in the last two weeks, it’s really started to bother me.  Mostly, I feel out of shape (I am), fat (I am), and I know based both on measurement and feeling that my blood pressure is up.  I’ve been drinking too much (it’s far too common for me to have a cocktail AND a couple of glasses of wine with dinner or a beer or two), and eating like I’m 23, not like I’m 43.

Part of the issue was I took some time away from training because of a nagging shoulder thing.  That’s cleared up now, so there’s no excuse not to get in the gym.  There was never an excuse to stop everything, but I did.

Anyway, I decided today I need to make some changes, and hopped on the scale to get my baseline:  235.5 pounds (right in line, just a couple of pounds heavier than I had been running), 41 inch waist (at the navel, as big around as I can remember being).  That works out to about 24% bodyfat.

Yikes.

Luckily, I’m pretty disciplined, I know a lot about nutrition, I know how to get lean, I have access to great food, I work primarily from home, and it’s a slow time of year for us.  So this is a great time to get my diet in check and drop some fat.

That said, it’s also the holidays.  Lots of parties, Thanksgiving, all of it.  I’m not a crazy dieter, though, and can fit in fun stuff and good food/drink without losing sight of the main goal.

The Eating Plan:

Simple rules work best for me.  I think one of the best fundamental eating plans for people who lift/train athletically is John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition.  It is fundamentally just a set of rules, easy to follow and execute, with room for error.   These are not the exact rules he published, but they are close, and what I’m going to do.

  • 235g Protein every day.
  • 5 servings veggies every day
  • Less than 200g carbs per day on non training days, less than 300g on training days
  • Carbs consumed primarily around training, and typically all before noon on a normal day.
  • No Cocktails at home
  • Wine only with food
  • No limits on fruit or veggies
  • No dessert/sweets (the carb limit pretty much excludes these, anyway).

I will follow these guidelines pretty much all the time, however, if we are going out to dinner, or are entertaining, or it’s Thanksgiving, I’m doing whatever I want.  Berardi says to follow the rules 90% of the time, but I don’t include his meal frequency guidelines.  Not every day will be perfect, but if I do most of these most of the time, I’ll be OK.  Frankly, this is how I should be eating all the time, anyway.  I’m not going to do anything signficant or drastic.  While I know I can make body composition changes more quickly using a more aggressive diet, I also know that the change tends to be temporary.

The Training Plan:

I still want to get back on the platform, so I’ll stick with my Conjugate/Westside style training.  I’ll walk in the morning on non lifting days, and for now, I’ll walk on a treadmill after lifting.  As I get into better shape, I will replace the treadmill with the prowler.

I reasonably expect I’m going to need to drop down to 210-215 to get my waist down where I want it.  There is research that points to simply your waist measurement as a predictor of health issues; keep your waist under 1/2 your height (in my case, that’s 35 inches), your general health risks are reduced.  Plus I’ll feel better.

I don’t know how much I will update progress here, I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting training, I guess we’ll see.

 

 

 

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About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

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