One Week kickstart - opinion and results - and Next Steps
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Well, one week into the fall plan and things are going well. 4 ½ weeks until my cruise and motivation continues to be high.
So, as a recap to last week’s plan and goal post, I’ll remind you to say I started Lee Labrada’s Lean Body Trainer – it’s a 12 week plan which I intend to follow until my cruise and then I will decide whether I’ll continue that or go back to LiveFit when I return. I will say that I am LOVING the trainer program so far.
I also followed the “Belly Fat Cure” kickstart, a program by author and diet “expert” Jorge Cruise. I only intended to follow the 7 day kickstart and not continue with the BFC lifestyle. I’ll write a summary of the concept, the basic kickstart plan, how well I followed it, and the one-week results (granted, I worked by tush off at the gym as well). Lastly, I’ll summarize what I’ll be doing for the next 4 ½ weeks.
Summary of Belly Fat Cure (BFC): The Belly Fat Cure is a DIET based on limiting sugars and balancing that with carbs [S/C]. The basic formula is 15/6 , that is 15 grams of sugar (or less) per day and 6 “servings” of carbohydrates per day. A single serving is considered to be 5-20grams of carbs(that’s a maximum of 120g per day). The plan gives no regards to fat or protein or really serving sizes, in many cases. It also basically assumes you are NOT working out.
The “Kickstart”: This 7-day plan sort of seemed reasonable when I looked at the ingredients for meals; seeds, nuts, eggs, whole wheat breads, cottage cheese, chicken, turkey, salad. Other than the bacon and cheese, it seemed close-ish to my normal clean, lean and green style of eating and didn’t seem lacking in food. However, I soon realized how low-carb/low calorie it really was and was frustrated with the lack of normal veggies. With less than 120g of carbs and has no consideration for pre/post-workout nutrition, the kickstart is more extreme than even the normal BFC. I counted the sugar/carbs ratios for the kickstart and it seemed to be closer to 11/5, or 11g of sugar and 5 servings of carbs. Following the diet exactly (the same plan every day for 7 days) was under 1000 calories, only about 50g of carb, 46g of fat, and 79g of protein daily.
Still, I wanted to try to try it out, especially since I’d bought the food, but knew I probably couldn’t do it exactly. First there was a option of some alternate “every day” meals. I figured if I could trade the same S/C meal with a kickstart meal. Also, it had coffee and red wine every day, neither which I normally drink. I forced a coffee with cream the first day but did not continue. I had bought a bottle of red wine and drank a glass 3 of the nights, the other nights I opted for blackberries- the alternate ‘snack’. After the first day and a half, I caved and added a half an avocado a day. It wasn’t breaking the S/C formula and I preferred it to the mayo and butter included—however, it increased my fat intake dramatically (one day I went up to a whopping 72 grams of fat—still not breaking the S/C rule, but Ugh!). After 2 ½ days, I caved further and added my post-workout protein shake on weight training days. The carbs didn’t count towards the number of servings, but it was 3 added sugars for a 3/0. I compensated by not having the wine (2/0) OR berries(3/0) those days. My counts went from 11/5 to 11- 13grams of sugar and 5-6 servings of carbs—still under the 15/6 of the ‘standard’ BFC plan. Ultimately, I got bored- even with the alternates, it was only a total of2-3 different options per meal and I only had ingredients for a couple of the extra larger meals. I also did not enjoy the bacon- I have lost a taste for it and its far too salty. As were all the luncheon meets (even freshly sliced at the deli, they were full of sodium. And the cheese. Now, don’t get me wrong- I actually love cheese. But one string cheese or one slice of cheddar by itself is pretty darn boring.
What I *did* learn: There’s a lot of sugar in foods that I hadn’t considered. I think it was a good exercise to try to track it and I might try to continue to be aware of it and even try to limit it (15 grams actually seems doable, but some days you just have to have a banana![10g of sugar!]). I had also discovered some new carb and protein options that will work well for any lean & clean diet, so that was nice. A couple of the alternative recipes were REALLY good and I’ll keep them around to rotate into my normal meals. Also, I found a red wine that I like, which I know will be healthier than my normal cocktails. I never felt the urge to drink a second glass(which is an issue with me), but it was nice to have an option to have *something*.
The Results: I lost weight, I gained weight-TWICE. I generally do not see this behavior on my scale (the gains always seemed to be after a cheddar cheese day] I have not yet done my final weigh in, but I’m guessing I am only down 1 pound in the week, if that. Not overly dramatic, but I’m fine with a pound a week. Plus I’ve been hitting the weight training pretty hard (Labrada is 2 days WT, 1 day cardio, continued with no “off” days). So at least some of my weight is converting to muscle as evident by my body fat percentage- down to 25.9% even if I weigh the same or 1 pound down. This is the result of dramatic reduction in inches in this short week. Another inch off BOTH my hips and waist. In a week! So very interesting.
However, I still do not think BFC is for me. I do NOT enjoy eating the types of fats included- if I’m going to eat fat, I’d rather most of it be from healthier fatty foods such as olive oil, avocado, olives and nuts instead of bacon, cheese, and butter. Secondly, it was really HARD to keep track of sugar and carb ratios. Even when I added up the meals prepared from BFC recipes, I was not getting the same S/C values as the recipes had listed. I was constantly in doubt. Lastly, I *really* need fuel to support my workouts and muscle growth, including more daily calories, more daily carbs, and definitely a post-workout shake!
What’s Next: First off, I had to revise my inches goals as I already hit 5 out of 9 of my October 10th goals. So I’ll be going for ANOTHER inch and a half off both my waist and hips. Next, I definitely wanted to go back to a clean, lean & green nutrition program. I looked at Labrada’s nutrition guide for the Lean Body Trainer and feel it is too skewed in portions to men. I did print several recipes as some of them looked very good. I didn’t want to go back to LiveFit nutrition guide exactly as while I followed it previously, I was often having trouble fitting in the starchy carbs and often would not even get a minimum amount of fat in a day. Right now, I want to follow something a little more planned out, which includes more carbs on a regular basis and more healthy fats on a regular basis. So I chose to follow 2 different ‘fat loss’ nutrition programs- both clean,lean, and green- from Bodybuilding.com. They are very similar to each other but just provided more total weeks of meals planned. One is a one-week fat loss plan from Jamie Eason and the other a 2-week fat loss plan from another BB author. I will start with Jamie’s, then go to the 2 week plan, then repeat Jamie’s again until my cruise.
I’ll post final results after the next 4 weeks.