Weight Loss Mini Series – Episode 2 – Nutrition
It’s now been 4 weeks since the first episode of my weight loss mini-series, so it seemed like a good time for an update.
First of all, I weighed in at 193 lbs which is a total weight loss of 5 lbs. This is 1.2 lbs per week on average; I was aiming for 1 lb per week so this is about perfect for what I wanted.
I’ve started to feel a lot leaner in general, although looking at the side by side comparison the changes seem quite minor so far. I wasn’t expecting massive changes, but I felt leaner than I look in the video! Remember I’m not looking to get super shredded for a photo shoot, I’m just looking to get nice and lean for my holiday.
So in terms of my diet, I’ve been eating approximately 2,600 calories per day on training days and 1,800 calories per day on non-training days. If you’re interested I’ve included the macro breakdown in this video.
One thing you may notice is that my protein is typically low for a bodybuilding diet; I’ve been on plans where I was eating 270g protein a day which was crazy, but I’ve found that between 140-180g protein per day works fine for me.
In the first video I explained that the most important factor for me was consistency and adherence in order to get results. The way I do this is by not really restricting myself from particular foods. Here you will see a typical dinner which includes pitta-breads and vegetable kofta; this would have been a big no-no on other diets, but within reason I follow a bit of an IIFYM approach.
In terms of my eating schedule, I eat 2-3 large meals per day within an 8-hour eating window. This is a form of intermittent fasting known as the 16:8 diet made popular by Martin Berkhan.
This is why I use this approach:
On a normal diet I would probably eat in a 14-hour eating window between 7am and 9pm. My calories would be split into 5 meals spread out though out the day. This is fine as a short term approach to dieting, but for me isn’t sustainable for lots of reasons.
The first is that I’m never full; in fact this approach makes me constantly hungry. This means that chances of snacking between meals becomes a big possibility, so I don’t adhere properly to the plan and over eat. Additionally, my whole life seems to revolve around making food or eating food, which again is difficult to adhere to.
On an intermittent fasting diet, I essentially skip breakfast and eat between 1pm and 9pm. If I get hungry in the morning, I find it easy to deal with knowing I have 3 big meals coming up later in the day. This reduces the possibility of overeating and helps me adhere very closely to my calories. It’s also very easy to fit into my lifestyle.
If we compare the different diet approaches, this helps further explain the greater level of adherence on the 16:8 diet.
- The 5 meals a day approach has worked for me very well in the past, so it is tried and tested, even if it is harder
- Eating 5 times a day is better for building muscle as it increases the opportunities of muscle protein synthesis. If you’re eating a lot of calories to try and bulk up, it’s better to split up your food into more meals.
- However this approach can dominant your life, especially if you’re already busy
- Because the meals are smaller, I never feel full and I’m always hungry
- This leads to a greater level of willpower needed to stop myself from snacking
- Because adherence is harder, I can only really use this approach in the short-term
With the intermittent fasting approach:
- It’s very hard to go over your calories for the day because of the shorter eating window
- The bigger meals leave me feeling satisfied and full
- I don’t spend lots of time preparing meals and eating
- I find it a very easy approach to follow which leads to better long-term adherence
- This approach isn’t ideal however for building muscle or high calorie bulking diets in my opinion
- In fact, a common problem is under-eating because you can’t fit all your calories in to 3 meals
- Social situations can be a problem, however this is true of any diet.
So I hope you found this interesting. In the next episode I will be covering the training I’m doing on this weight loss journey, so make sure you like this video and subscribe to see my progress!