We have finished month 2 at a local gym in Dallas, and are now entering the third month of Operation Fat Ass. The second month was spent mostly in limbo. I used the month to evaluated my next step. I’ve stuck steady in the mid to high 230’s as far as weight goes (238 this morning) so I’m still down about 20 pounds since new years. Mainly this last month has been spent learning how to gain muscle, burn fat and what types of exercises/foods will sufficiently help in obtaining those goals. Below are a few things that I’ve learned.
- You can either workout and diet to gain muscle or workout and diet to burn fat, but you can’t do both at the same time. The type of diet and exercise it takes to seriously put on muscle will not burn a lot of fat, while the type of diet/exercise to burn fat doesn’t put on muscle (and sometimes reduces your muscle mass).
- Eating many small meals each day instead of three large ones helps to speed up your metabolism. Anyone else get tired around mid afternoon? The problem with eating three large meals each day is two fold. First, it causes your insulin levels to shoot up and down in high highs and low lows, which is horrible (insulin levels is one of the main tenets of the Atkins diet). Second, by keeping your body consistently fueled your metabolism remains active throughout the day. What happens when you go long periods of time without eating (say 5 hours between lunch and dinner) your body thinks you can’t find food and both slows down the metabolism and hangs onto all the energy (fat) it can. I’ve actually increased my caloric intake, but reduced my weight over the last few days by eating every 2-3 hours.
- Calories aren’t necessarily your enemy. It all depends on where you are getting your calories from. Right now I try to take in most of my calories in protien with carbohydrates following in priority and finally a small portion coming from good fats (ie. Yogurt). I eat about 2000 calories a day and I lost a few pounds over the weekend not doing much of anything.
Over the last three days I’ve been keeping meticulous logs of what I eat. I eat every 2-3 hours and I can honestly say I don’t get lethargic during the day like I used to. I instantly noticed that I don’t yawn throughout the day and I’m generally more focused. Below is a rough outline of what my diet is now – though I must admit eating every two hours from 7am to 9pm is crappy. I’ll most likely start eating every 2.5-3 hours.
- 7am – Small bowl of cereal (1 cup cereal + 1 cup skim milk)
- 9am – Granola bar
- 11am – Meal replacement shake (large protein shake with bananas and such)
- 1pm – Baked chicken breast and a yogurt
- 3pm – 1/2 cup of Tuna and a granola bar
- 5pm – 6 inch turkey/ham sub from Subway
- 7pm – Yogurt and a granola bar
- 9pm – 1/2 cup of Tuna
I stick to fish and chicken throughout the day because they contain pretty much no fat, they taste decent and are loaded with protein (which your muscles love). On the days I workout I move the protein shake to 7pm, which is after I work out to help with recovery. It’s a lot of work and focus to eat this often, but after a few days I’m getting into the rhythm and it’s working out fine for now.