My family and I just got back from California last night after a great weekend & youth hockey tournament (our kid scored 4 goals!).
Today is the day to face the music. The holiday over eating and over drinking (more on that in a second) has run its course.
I’ve gained about 10 pounds since Thanksgiving. Yes, I’ve been lifting heavier as I always like the call the holidays a “bulking phase” which is kinda bullshit, kinda legit.
But if I had to guess I’d say the 10 pounds I gained is maybe 1 pound of muscle, 5 pounds of fat and 4 pounds of water. That’s a guess. But I think it’s reasonable.
So how did I get here? Up to 190 when I know I’m at my best at 180?
Easy peasy- I ate too much and drank wine far too frequently. I’m not beating myself up about. I understand how I fall into that trap. Mostly, overeating and drinking wine (way) too frequently is how my wife and I cope with stress.
We both work full time. We have 3 teenage boys, all in competitive sports. We are effing busy. And so we tend to fall off the nutritional rails and end up gaining weight, feeling tired anxious and generally shitty.
I didn’t want to go with any of the current fad trends- Whole30 (again, ugh), Keto (I like carbs, and too much fat sends my cholesterol sky high), vegan (I’d rather die), etc.
What’s always worked for me is simply managing my calories without being overly obsessive about it, taking full break from alcohol, eating mostly whole foods (like cooking things at home, mostly), training without over training, and trying to get decent sleep.
My 42 Day Reset Rules:
- Eat within my calorie target every day, no exceptions
- Lift reasonably heavy at least 3x a week, w at least 3 conditioning workouts each week (can stack one of each on any given day)
- Take at least 1 (or two) days off from hard training each week. Walking or yoga are fine.
- Alcohol- Just say no for 6 weeks.
- Track calories Every Day using an app like my fitness pal.
- Weigh in twice a week at least, daily if I can remember. Record in my fitness pal to see trends.
Here is my rationale for each rule, and a little about why each rule exists.
- Eating within my calorie target every day, no exceptions.
The calorie is simply the currency that we use to measure energy intake and expenditure. Think of it like money. You have to pay some attention to how much money you earn versus what you spend to get yourself the lifestyle you want. Similarly, you need to pay some attention to how many calories you consume versus what you expend to get yourself the health and appearance that you want. There really are no short cuts, no matter what all the current biohacking gurus tell you. Managing calories is the only thing that has worked reliably for me in the past, and that’s why it’s rule 1 for me.
Keto, Low Carb, IF, Carvnivore, etc- all are ways of essentially restraining calories. And that’s just fine if that’s what you want to do. I don’t like any of that, with the exception of some reasonable IF (Intermittent Fasting). I’ll discuss that a little more later.
Long story short, by averaging the calorie estimates for me from 2 apps (Lose It and My Fitness Pal, both are good), and 2 online calculators (one from Legion Athletics and one from Precision Nutrition), I came up with 2 daily calorie targets, one for losing fat and one for maintaining.
My fat loss calorie target- 2000 a day.
My maintaining calorie number- 2500 a day.
For the duration of the 6 weeks (42 days), 2000 is my target. I will allow an optional once weekly 2500 day, just to account for the occasional special event, like the Super Bowl. The apps and calculators pegged my daily protein intake at around 146 grams, so I’ll try to stay within 20% of that without going nuts over it.
As this post is getting a little long, I will elaborate on each of the other 5 rules over the next 5 days. I’ll also share my lifting and calorie log from my fitness pal.
One quick note- I do NOT connect my exercise calories to My Fitness Pal since the activity level is already factored in to the number. So if I get 600 calories of exercise I DO NOT add 600 calories to my total eating that day.
Happily, I discovered that I can copy and paste my calorie log our of myfitnesspal.com. Here is Jan 18, 2022:
|Garden of Life – Whey, Vanilla, 1 scoop||120||6g||0g||24g||5mg||120mg||0g||4g|
|Meredith – Shake, 2.25 cups||210||23g||–g||30g||–mg||–mg||–g||–g|
|kevins – korean style chicken, 11.67 oz||350||12g||9g||54g||163mg||1,190mg||–g||–g|
|Homemade Brown Rice – Brown Rice, 1 Cup Cooked||150||32g||1g||3g||0mg||0mg||0g||1g|
|Garden of Life – Vanilla Protein Sport, 21 g||80||4g||2g||15g||0mg||80mg||0g||1g|
|Raspberry Jelly – Jelly, 1.75 tbsp||88||23g||0g||0g||0mg||–mg||21g||0g|
|Sunbutter – Sunflower Seed Butter, 1 tbsp||100||4g||8g||4g||0mg||60mg||2g||2g|
|Dave’s Killer Bread – Dave’s Killer Bread, 1.38 slice||165||30g||3g||7g||0mg||248mg||7g||7g|
|egg bites – egg bites, 1 serving||310||2g||25g||20g||–mg||–mg||–g||–g|
|Clif – Shot Blocks, 3 blocks||100||24g||0g||0g||0mg||50mg||12g||0g|