During the 2011 holiday season I got to an all time high in weight. 182 lbs! My wife wanted to get me some new pants as part of my Christmas. As I was trying on new pants at a local store, I realized I would need a size 34 waist. That was NOT going to happen!! So I walked out of that store with a mission:

I was going to do whatever was necessary to  either continue to fit in my 33’s, or better yet, get to 32’s again!!

It wasn’t so much the weight I was concerned about; it was the inches around my waist.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am an avid reader. So naturally, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about fat loss: types of workouts, and how I could change the way I eat without starving myself to lose this bodyfat.

My key limitations were:

  1. I only had two days a week for strength training outside the home. I could do some home-based stuff here and there, but I do much better without distractions.
  2. My work schedule would make it very difficult to eat more than the standard 3 meals a day. I do alot of driving, and I knew  packing meals in a cooler every day would eventually cause me to give up.

Here’s what I came up with for the nutrition piece of the equation. See notes at bottom for the references I used.

  • Increase protein intake. When I evaluated my caloric intake I discovered it was completely out of whack. Everything I read pointed to increasing the amount of protein in my diet.  At first I used whey protein to supplement, then I had to switch to egg protein powder because of a recently discovered lactose intolerance.
  • Decrease carbohydrate intake. Once again, virtually everything I read said to eliminate processed carbs, anything white (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread), and most of all, SUGAR. So I have learned to love vegetables again.
  • Increase good fats. I also discovered I wasn’t getting nearly enough good fats. The best sources for me were extra virgin olive oil, avocados (guacamole!!), and nuts.
  • Drink water. I carry a 24 oz Tervis Tumbler with me on the road filled with ice water. I eliminated all drink options except water, beer (with/after supper), and milk (and once I found out the hard way that I was lactose intolerant, I switched to Rice Milk for mixing my protein shakes in the morning)

Here’s how it looks:

  • 5:30 am: One scoop of 100% egg protein powder, 5 gram scoop of Creatine Monohydrate, and one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in 10 ounces of rice milk. (if you aren’t lactose intolerant, use whey protein and skim milk). I also put a tablespoon of organic chia seeds in 4 ounces of grapefruit juice for Omega 3’s and fiber (in a separate cup of course).
  • Mid morning snack: 1 organic banana (organic bananas are only a few cents more, but they last longer and taste better)
  • Lunch (11:30-12): Lean meat (beef, pork, fish, or chicken), green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc.), and if available, a sweet potato with ground cinnamon only (NO butter, NO sugar). And water with several lemons to drink (the lemons help with the digestion process). And NO BREAD. 
  • Supper (5:30-6:00 pm): Same as lunch, but without the sweet potato. And instead of water, I’ll have a beer (this is against most of the things I read, but there are just some things we have to enjoy and this is mine. I’ll post sometime on my love of good beer!)
  • If I get hungry in the evening, I eat some almonds.
  • Here’s the final key: One day per week I ate whatever I wanted. Pizza, lasagna, ice cream, etc. I didn’t totally lose my mind, but during the 6 days of eating right, I knew I had a day I could eat what I wanted.

Pretty simple actually, and I NEVER starved myself–not even once. And I can finally see my abs again when I look in the mirror!

It worked for me. It may just work for you. This is not a male specific eating plan, but there are some aspects that I incorporated that have male-specific reasons (aka testosterone). For you guys that read this, feel free to hit me up in the comments with any questions.

Part 2 covers the fitness side of the equation. Thanks for reading!