12 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Week 4 Update

Tying Shoe Laces Ready For A Game Of Badminton

Week 3 review

Well, I’m feeling pretty damn pleased with myself right now. Week 3 was a stellar week, certainly in comparison to week 2. This week it’s been reaffirmed for me how true it is that protein really does keep you full, and the days I stuck strictly to the plan I went to bed feeling great – full enough, light and lean.

Diet:

I learnt two further lessons this week about the importance of planning. The first was Wednesday, a day when I had another breakfast function to attend. I’d told them I didn’t want anything with wheat for breakfast (being too coy to specify ‘low carb’ because it sounds a bit wanky), but I turned up still sceptical about whether I would be happy to eat the food, and sure enough, the options were mini banana muffins, mini cheese and tomato croissants (I would have eaten these if they’d had ham in them), cereal, fruit and yoghurt. So not nearly enough protein in any form for me. The annoying thing is that the breakfast went from 8 – 9 and I had assumed this meant that I couldn’t stick to my normal routine. Whereas in fact I dropped by the office on the way, and the venue was only 5 minutes from my work. Given that I often don’t eat breakfast until after 9am there is no reason why I couldn’t have just eaten my usual breakfast when I got back to work.

As it was, I didn’t eat anything at the function and by the time I left was ravenously hungry and bought a ham and cheese croissant from the nearest cafe. Not the worst choice, but it did mean my total carb count for Wednesday was higher than originally planned. It’s funny how one slight change to the routine and I assume the whole thing has to be re-thought.

On Saturday my PT cancelled because she was ill, and that put my whole day out of whack. I tend not to plan my eating for Saturdays, but somehow always manage to come in under my calorie goal because of the PT session, and because it inspires me to be fairly active for the rest of the day. This time, however I felt flat as a tack (hormones) and totally uninspired, so spent most of the day just mooching around. The only food in the house was largely carb-based and I was too lazy to go out to buy food, so that meant that again my carbs were more like 40% of the daily intake instead of 15%. Too high to achieve the fat loss goals I’ve set for myself. So again, the moral of the story is that at least for the 9 remaining weeks I need to plan weekends as meticulously as I plan the week, and just ensure that I’m mixing the variety of foods up enough so that I don’t get bored.

Exercise:

Except for the missed PT session on Saturday, this week has been perfect. I did my weights routines Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights and went for my first run in months on Thursday night. The run I was particularly excited about, because I hurt my hip running a couple of months ago and have been having treatment by an Osteopath and doing exercises to build up weak muscles around the right hip since. I’ve done a few short bursts on the treadmill in the last couple of weeks, and that went fine, so it seemed like time to try outside. I’m under strict instructions to build back up to any distance (not that I’ve ever run further than 5km previously), so have decided to use the Couch to 5km smartphone app (it took the amateur running world by storm when it first came out a few years ago, so you may have heard of it). Thursday night was Day 1 of Week 1 of the C25K program. There’s a 5 minute warm up, then 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds walking over 20 minutes, and a 5 minute cool-down period. By doing this three times a week for 8 weeks you build up the running times until you can run 5km without a break. This feels like about the right pace of build-up for me, but I’ll take it more slowly if I feel I’m in danger of re-injuring myself.

I’ve also been really diligent with using my resistance bands, foam roller and massage ball on all my muscles after each workout principally to avoid further injury. I pulled up a little bit sore on Friday morning after Thursday night’s run, but really not too bad, and I’m quite sure that not missing a day of the rehabilitation plan has really helped.

The foam roller is the most important of the ‘kit’ I’ve relied on, and you can get one for yourself on Amazon here by clicking on the image below.

Below I also link a bunch of resources explaining why foam rollers are so important.

Breaking Muscle

Physio Advisor

Women’s Health

 

Week 4 plan

This week Monday is a public holiday so I’ll be doing an all-day hike with one of my hiking clubs. I haven’t planned what I’ll be taking for lunch yet but I’m expecting that I’ll have an omelette for breakfast, a salad for lunch (probably chicken caesar or something I can easily buy take-away that has plenty of protein in it) and a protein bar, shake and nuts as snacks.

When I’m back at work on Tuesday I’m going to try and mix it up a little by having a lot of smaller snacks throughout the day rather than a lunch as such, and then making the evening meal a bit more exciting. Snacks are by far the easiest way to keep the protein count high. For example, tins of tuna or chicken with veggie sticks, cottage cheese or other cheeses, nuts, protein bars, etc, are easy to eat on the go, and ensure the protein count stays high and the carb count stays low.

So, although I haven’t mapped out the full week yet, here’s what is planned for Tuesday:

Breakfast: fetta, egg and spinach scramble (miraculously I’m not sick of it yet!)

Snacks (in lieu of lunch): 50gm ham, Low carb chocolate protein shake, 1 small flat white coffee, an Atkins protein bar, 100gm cottage cheese with cucumber sticks, 30 almonds, 1 slice of low fat cheese and a small decaf coffee after dinner with almond and coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.

Dinner: 200gm rump steak with steamed asparagus, green beans and zucchini tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and 25gm parmesan cheese to jazz it up a bit. Yum!

I can’t imagine being hungry or bored with a menu like that! Total calories for the day will be  1545 and the macro split is the best I’ve come up with yet: 10% carbs, 50% protein and 40% fat.

Depending on how that goes the rest of the week should be much the same although I’ll swap the ham out for something else – maybe a tin of teriyaki flavoured chicken (Heinz brand, 88 calories) or 50gm sliced turkey. I don’t know what next weekend is going to hold yet but I know I won’t make the mistake again of not planning it!

Exercise-wise, it will have to be a bit different this week. Monday is the hike, and Tuesday night I have a naturopath appointment after work so I’ll either go for a run or to the gym Tuesday morning instead. Wednesday night I’ll be at the gym and Thursday night I have an Osteopath appointment, so again will have to come up with some alternative arrangement. I won’t be seeing my PT next Saturday because we’re switching to Monday nights (as from  Monday the 16th), so I guess another run could happen on Saturday instead.

My clothes feel looser every day, but I’m not sure if I’ve actually lost any body fat yet – I doubt it since I’ve yet to have two good weeks back-to-back. My stomach fat appears jigglier, which I’m going to take as a positive sign of the fat cells loosening up but it doesn’t do much for the self esteem.

On Monday the 16th I’ll be a third of the way through, and it’ll be time to weigh and measure. I’m hoping for a small positive improvement. If there’s none, I’ll look at the plan and think about how I could tweak it.

Funny, I started writing this post thinking I didn’t have much to say, but I guess I was wrong! I’m excited about this coming week. I feel like I’m learning little lessons each week to help me improve the following week and certainly feeling further encouraged about how good it feels to eat this way – not torturous at all, provided I’m organised about it 🙂

 

Other 12 Week Challenge Posts

12 Week Fat Loss Challenge
Week 2 Update
Week 3 Update

 

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