For the next 12 weeks, I’m changing my diet and altering my workout routine.
I’ve tried variations of diet and exercise from trainers with specialized meal plans to Adkins, TNT Diet, and Bigger, Stronger, Leaner. None of them quite cut it for me. The TNT diet did help me lose weight, but I also lost muscle. Bigger, Stronger, Leaner did increase my strength, but I maintained the weight and body fat percentage.
In the past, the biggest weight loss (40 lbs) came from diet and weight lifting with a high-calorie burn from Cybex Arc Trainers. All of those were not sustainable for me.
Everyone is different. You have to find the lifestyle that mixes diet and exercise that works for you.
Losing weight is hard work. Keeping weight off is harder work. The two things that I see many trainers and diets not address thoroughly:
– promoting lasting change through transforming habits at a pace that a person will absorb the change,
– addressing bad mentality or poor mental framing that enables bad habits that lead to weight gain.
In my opinion, this is why contestants on the biggest losers lose a ton of weight only to gain it back later.
Losing Weight Is More than Dieting and Hitting the Gym.
I’m addicted to escapism, and part of that is from having A.D.D. which creates a thing called hyperfocus. People with A.D.D. are more susceptible to addiction and drug abuse. I can lose hours at a time on something I’m focused on. I escape reality through reading books, working on computer projects that I find fascinating, and I eat out because I enjoy the stimulation of new surroundings. I drink loads of soda because I’m addicted to the taste and being overly caffeinated which helps to focus on things that I hate doing. I’d rather have soda than beer, wine, liquor, candy, chips, pizza, etc.
As a kid, I used to ride my bike a few miles just to get a big gulp. As an adult, I’d drive or walk to a place to eat just to get away from the office or home for the same thing.
When I get stressed from life hitting me from all sides, and I need to push through, I go back to my bedrock which is drinking sugary caffeinated drinks. That one bad habit triggers all the other bad ones.
Even if a health advocate (nutritionist, fitness advocate, or trainer) hears this, they will still advocate and even chastise water as the replacement. That lacks understanding of the issue, which is both an addiction and a habit. To get rid of a bad habit, you have to overwrite the bad habit with a good one and water just isn’t going to cut it because it’s not a reward that will drive creating a new habit.
The amount of willpower that it takes for me to exert to drink water over soda eventually combine with the other changes I’m trying to make eventually loses out. People have a finite amount of willpower per day. If you too much on one task, you leave none for all the other things. Willpower is tied to glucose and sleep. WillPower resets after a night of sleep and willpower can be replenished in a limit fashion with glucose.
Limited willpower is not an excuse to be lazy. It’s a reason to be smarter about how one creates sustainable change.
The Next 12 Weeks.
For my soda replacement, I’m using unsweetened Teavana’s Jade Citrus Green Tea; it’s the same green tea that Starbuck serves. Green tea has a load of health benefits. The Jace Citrus Green tea has a refreshing flavour because of the lemongrass and mint in the tea leaves mix. I’ve always failed at replacing soda, even diet soda, with water. However, over the last few months, I’ve been able to replace to replace soda successfully with the green tea which leaves me free to exert my willpower to drive execution of solutions for other issues.
I’m not doing a traditional diet. I can still have things like rice and potatoes, but only If I have them for lunch. I’m avoiding bread. I’m allowing myself to have sugar in the form of fruits, but not after 3 pm unless it is right after a workout. No alcohol.
I am aiming for smaller more frequent meals, but that isn’t as high of a priority as making sure I avoid unnecessary calories.
For the gym, I’m using the Stronger, Bigger, Leaner workout as a base. I’m switching from strength training to hypertrophy and mass. The Stronger, Bigger, Leaner type of workout is a five day split with low reps and 3 – 5 minutes rest sets to recover ATP synthase between sets.
Instead of the 3-5 minutes, I’m resting 90 seconds between sets with 6 – 12 reps. I have a minimum of 24 total reps for any exercise. If I do three sets, and one of those sets is under eight reps, I add extra sets till I hit the 24 rep minimum. I rest at least 3 minutes between big compound exercises e.g. Flat bench press and Incline bench press. At the end of each session, I do a burn exercise. Twice a week its sprints with HIIT. For other days, I’ll either perform kettlebell swings or burpees or pushups with a plank to drive it home.
Over time, I’ll decay the rest between sets from 90 seconds to 60 seconds.
My first weight in is at 230 lbs. I’ll put some pictures and set up my Fitbit profile so that people can track my weight ins.
Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, doctor, nor a trainer. You should always consult with a doctor on your overall health.