Two weeks before my holiday I decided to try a "low-carb" diet. I had never tried carb-cycling. I always kept my macros the same day-to-day with a cheat meal at the weekend. So many people claimed it the best way to drop body fat fast. I said I would experiment on myself, rather than on my clients.
I also decided to try a "clean" diet rather than IIFYM style, so no protein bars or treats bar the peanut butter.
Low carb, for me, was about 65g of Carbs. I kept the protein and fat high (195g and 75g respectively). This only added up to about 1700 calories which is quite low for me.
My daily diet consisted of
- Small bowl of oats and whey (protein porridge)
- Eggs, spinach, smoked salmon with feta cheese and franks hot sauce
- 3 x Turkey Burgers with very small portion of sweet potato
- Some nut butter and nuts as snacks
By Friday, I had two people in the gym say I looked a lot leaner. I ate this until Saturday afternoon when I went to a friends house for lunch and had a huge "refeed". I ate ok on the Sunday but didn't track it. I had one of my Fizza's (fake pizza) on Sunday night and then straight back to the above diet on Monday.
By the time I got my spray tan done Thursday night, I thought I looked great. I was in a bikini on Friday and felt fantastic! Had I just found the perfect diet?
The Cons: I was exhausted. I was working hard inside and outside of the gym, as well as trying to train myself and I was like a demon. My strength was much lower across the board. I knew this would be a side effect of going low-carb but it was only for a short term so I kept going. There is no way I could feel like that all the time! I want to feel happy and healthy! Plus I gained the weight back on pretty easy.
So I went to Portugal and ate and drank all around me. To summarise I weighed 5.3kg heavier on the scales from Friday morning to Thursday morning!! Almost 12 pounds! I feel swollen!
I am not panicking though, this always happens when I go away. It is also the result of the "crash-diet" I did before I went away. I could go low carb again but I want to keep energy levels high so I can train hard.
I am keeping my calories at about 2000, Carbs 150g, Fat 78g and Protein 176g. I'm trying to drink at least 4 litres of water. I will report back on how this goes for me but even after one day at those macros I've dropped 1.7kg on the scales. Water weight, I presume. I'm not looking for dramatic results on the scales. I know if I focus on feeding my body well and training hard, aesthetics will look after themselves!
My daily diet this week:
- Oats, protein powder and egg whites
- Eggs, Chorizo, Spinach and Feta Cheese
- Beef Steak and Veg Stir Fry with Rice Noodles
- 2 x Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato
- Quest Bar with Peanut Butter
- Beltsander Brownie with Fruit, Greek Yoghurt and Nutella.
I am reintroducing the protein bars and the treats because, for me, this is what makes this lifestyle sustainable. I don't let myself feel hungry or restricted.
I have started a course this week in Advanced Nutrition so I may be making changes as I learn more but for me, this is what works and I am happy so I will keep with it.
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PS. I have previously blogged about how to not ruin yourself on holidays. You can read that here.