Theme of the Week: Intermittent Fasting & Leaving Drinks.
Just weighed in this morning – 187.4lbs. The goal was to get to 186-187lbs by 29th March, ahead of going to Australia for a month. So, things aren’t looking too bad. That said, yesterday I exchanged dinner calories for a bottle of red wine whilst out on my leaving drinks – so expect the scales to jump up a little tomorrow as I get the food volume back in.
The above photo was taken a few days ago. I am definitely losing some of my thickness and am feeling and looking a little more athletic. My end body goal, which you can see here, whilst looks kinda similar, will require me to put on another ~10lbs of lean muscle mass, and get shredded down to about 7-8%. Therefore, my objective of this mini-cut is to quickly drop the gradual fat increase I’ve built up through bulking this year and prepare myself for the next bulking phase of my diet programme.
THIS WEEKS UPDATES & APPROACHES
#1 – Taking Full Advantage Of Our Month-Long Trip To Australia
Check out my quick Australia & Quitting Job Announcement video, where you get to see how we’re thinking about the trip from a AdapNation and Body Goals perspective. Outside of the shear excitement of having a big family holiday, I’m really looking forward to working out in a bunch of new gyms and settings, having such an active outdoorsy few weeks, as well as experiencing the Australian barbecue culture. I’ll be my leanest I can be going in to the holiday, and am conveniently timing my next bulk to coincide with the holiday. Just as well! That should mean fuelled and high performance workouts. Plus, the opportunity should I struggle to be accurate on calorie goal adherence, that I’ll have a nice surplus to make some noticeable muscle gains.
#2 – Intermittent Fasting Is In Full Swing
Guys, I’m telling you, this IF thing once you get into the groove is a game changer for weight loss and controlling any addictive relationship you may have with food. Skipping breakfast and not eating until say 2 or 3pm means I can have a tasty but controlled lunch, whilst having my normal large plates of super tasty dinners you see in the Food Diary. Sounds difficult, and is a struggle for a couple days, but if you keep yourself busy and take advantage of the extra time and energy IF’ing creates, you’ll find this weird twist to food consumption. Enjoyment and anticipation does not change, but you become the boss of food and when you eat, versus food and social norms being the boss of you. An incredible and liberating experience I would highly recommend you try.
#3 – Fitting In A Night Out Of Drinking With No Consequence
I had my leaving drinks at my current corporate job yesterday. It brought home the reality of my leaving, resurfaced all the great moments we’ve had together, and made real all the people I will dearly miss collaborating with. We had great conversation that ran through till late, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to grab this time with colleagues. However, I took a different stance to going out last night, versus my previous MO. My mini-cut goal is super important to me, so I wanted to ensure I did not cause to much negative consequence by being out all night. So, I did the following, all of which took absolutely nothing away from my enjoyment and experience:
- I made a late lunch my last meal of the day
- I decided to not eat whatsoever at the venue or otherwise. No snacks or dinner
- Instead, I knew I had another calories to have 4 large glasses of Red Wine – 850 calories.
- I chose upfront to have Red Wine as I really enjoy a full-bodied red, it’s somewhat healthy for you, and I didn’t want the wheat and gassiness that comes with necking loads of beer.
- Red wine also had the benefit of being a drink you enjoy slowly, meaning I was never without a drink in my hand.
- I was so busy chatting, food didn’t even enter my mind. On the way home, I snacked on a few nuts on the train, and had a protein shake once I got home. All accounted for upfront.
Compare that to previous nights out. I would have had a big breakfast and lunch, with no appreciation of how many empty calories are in the alcoholic drinks I was about to consume. I had no rules on what and how much to drink, which meant maybe 5 pints of beer, before getting into a number of spirit mixers and even sugary shots. Then there would be the bar food I would order to keep hunger at bay, followed by the insatiable need to eat something fatty, salty, carby and calorific once the night draws to a close, in an effort to absorb all the alcohol. But it doesn’t stop there. The following day I would make a heap of bad decisions as I was still under the influence, was tired so needed lots of glucose-risk foods, and would have the urge to eat myself out of the hangover and drunk state.
So, one harmless and fun night out could have cost me easily 5,000-7,000 extra calories over the course of two days. That’s equivalent to 1.5 – 2lbs of gained body fat! Ouch! Now, I’m not saying don’t have enjoyable nights out like that when you fancy it. But if you have a strong enough why and timeline to losing weight, you need to consider if it’s worth it. Or, can you reconfigure your night out and expectations, which gives you the same enjoyment factor, but with perhaps a little less of the downsides?
#4 – My Daughters 5th Birthday
Similar to the above, I took the same approach ahead of our evening restaurant meal to intermittent fast and in doing so proactively save the right amount of calories to have a completely unrestricted and enjoyable experience with the amazing girls in my life. I had a little puff bread with my hummus and crudités (the rare occasion I allow bread into my diet). I then had Calamari and Halloumi as a combined starter. Main was a Lamb Shish Skewers with White Rice and Fattoush Salad, accompanied with a small glass of Red Wine. As it was a celebration night, it was definitely time to indulge and have desert and a decaf Latte – I went for these lovely syrup-soaked Figs with a little Cream. Based on prior experience of counting, I knew I needed about 2,000 calories for the night. No dramas, as I had that in the bag saved up on purpose. No weight gain, yet full enjoyment! Amazing. 🙂
WHAT’S COMING UP?
- Another Birthday Celebration – Why not? Same daughter, but with my side of the family. Will use above strategy again.
- Flying Next Thursday! – Packing, cleaning, prepping, Last min purchase etc. As above, goal is to get to 186-187 by then.
- Drafting up my Hybrid Holiday-Friendly Training Programme – This will be exciting. Bryn and I are building a training plan that allows for time efficient 5-day training volume, but also will have built-in flexibility as I suspect I will not have squat racks and heavy barbells at each an every gym location we visit. Therefore, I’ll need alternatives that achieve the same muscle building signal and damage.
I’ll let you know how I get on… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.