My 12 Week Nutrition Challenge Summary

16 Apr

On January 23rd, I decided to hire my friend, Huong Ho as my nutrition coach. She’s was an IFBB Pro Figure Champion, and she has helped many of my friends meet their nutrition and fitness goals. I decided to take the plunge and dedicate myself to 12 weeks of eating portioned control meals, and seeing if I could lose some fat. Really, I wanted to fit in my clothes better, and get rid of the baby fat that my two boys left behind for me ;-). In the long run, I want to get stronger and be able to do a lot of the WODs RX’d, such as Grace.

After doing CrossFit for so long, I never felt like I had the physique that came along with it all my hard work. Granted that I was pregnant for almost half the time that I’ve been CrossFitting, I knew it was time to get my butt in gear and eat right. You might think I eat Paleo, so isn’t that eating right? Well sure, if your goal is just to be healthy. I was eating Paleo, but I ate too much of it. I love protein, beef, pork, all the fatty cuts. Having a 6-8oz steak every night did not do me any good. Oh ya, and I would indulge in dark chocolate and some cookies every so often.

I shouldn’t even say indulge, maybe more like binge! Also, the Philz Coffee visits were not doing me any good. At first, I’d get coffee without cream, then I added in the cream. It tasted so good. Then I added in a bit of sugar…EVEN BETTER! See, my addiction just spirals out of control.

Anyways, it was time to get strict and have a plan for myself. I started off at 123 pounds with love handles. The CrossFit Open Games were coming up, and I wanted to do well during those 5 weeks. So, what perfect timing! When I first got my meal plan, it was lots of fish, no egg yolks(or hardly any), and chicken breast. Really? Chicken breast? Chicken breast is so dry, and boring. I thought I could eat fat and it would help me. And no yolk? Isn’t yolk healthy. Well yes the yolk contains a lot of nutrients, but having too much along with other fats might keep those love handles around. And who eats fish? Not me. I hate cooking fish because it taste so bland. Especially white fish, it all taste the same. Once I got past the shock of not eating the proteins that I loved, I got used to it. I even woke up at 4AM to eat breakfast on my workout days at CFPA. It was hard at first, but my mind and body adjusted. Here were some of the meals that I ate:

Egg whites with Ezekiel Bread and Almond Butter

4oz Salmon with Veggies

Salmon Sashimi Salad with an Apple

Steve's Original Chicken Jerky with a nuked yam

Greek Chicken Salad

Here’s my personal realizations from the last 12 weeks about the food that I eat:

  • Macronutrients are important when you are trying to lose the last 10-15 pounds
  • I need to incorporate more fish into my diet
  • Carb timing is important
  • For every goal there needs to be a clear plan on how to achieve it. For me, that meant prepping food every Sunday for the week.
  • Got introduced to Kombucha Tea, and will be drinking more of it
  • What I’ve gained after 12 weeks:

  • I’ve lost inches:
    Waist: 29.5->28.5
    Right Thigh:21.5->21
    Right Calf: 14->13.25
    Right Arm: 12.25->11.5
  • I’m getting stronger
  • I’m starting to enjoy running again
  • My metabolism is really slow, so it takes longer for me to lose fat. This might actual be a real probelm that I’m trying to investigate.
  • I was starting to lose focus around week 10 because I was getting tired, irritable, and hungry! My nutrition coach suggested I get “dunked” to see where I was at. Results came out and I had 24% body fat, similar to when I last did the dunk in August 2010. My long term goal is to get down to 19%.

    Here’s the result in terms of weight.

    Not only did I lose close to 10 pounds, but I feel like I’ve improved a lot in my WODs and lift. In the end, improving in my workouts is all that really matters to me. When I can’t do something to my expectation, I get hard on myself. Everyone has their good days and bad days, I just hate having BAD DAYS. It’s going to take more hard work on my part to get down to 19%, but I want to get there bad. I just don’t want to kill myself, and lose strength. It’s hard to want it all, but dammit, I WANT IT ALL!

    Thanks to Huong for the support and annoying emails about all the substitutions that I wanted to do. And thanks to CFPA for always providing me with a great workout and community. Oh ya, and hubby and kiddies. I know I was irritable sometimes, but you guys put up with that, and I love you for it. 🙂

    So what next? Well, I’ve been reading up on LeanGains, and carb cycling and I think I’m going to try it out for two weeks and see if I can hang. I have a 14-16hr fasting window and then have a 10-8hr eating window. I plan on doing a -20%/0% cut which means -20% of maintenance calories on rest days, or active cardio, and maintenance calories on training days. I’ve got a meal plan all set and ready to go. On training days, your carb macro is high, while fat macro stays low. On rest days, the carb macro is low while fat macro is a bit higher. The protein macro stays the same. You can read more about the effectiveness of LeanGains on the site, or you can go to this site. It condenses all the information into a few pages for you.

    I do have other plans if this IF thing doesn’t work out and I end up gaining weight or feeling weak. I just have to do this n=1 experiment to see where it takes me. Just as long as I don’t gain anything back, and don’t lose my health!

    P.S. I do have before and after pics. I’m just not ready to share with the world wide web.


    2 Responses to “My 12 Week Nutrition Challenge Summary”

    1. M April 17, 2012 at 12:51 am #

      IF is the best! Leangains is great, but I’ve found that Eat Stop Eat-style with a little bit of Warrior Diet mixed in works best for me. One thing I would suggest would be to give it more than 2 weeks. The first week or so is the hardest, as you adjust to the hormonal changes, and I personally didn’t feel I saw real results until 4-6 weeks in (been oracticing IF for about 5 months now with no problems and lots of excellent results). Also, don’t forget your BCAAs before and after workouts! Makes a massive difference, even if they taste like hell.

      • stle57 April 17, 2012 at 6:13 am #

        Hi. Thanks for the advice. I’ll check out ESE, and maybe try a 24hr fast sometime. Saturday to Sunday would probably work best. I probably will try to stick to LG for a month, but we’ll see. If I see fat coming back, I’m probably going to go another route.

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