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.
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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