The Quest for a Six Pack – One Diet to Rule Them All
I spent July, 2012 to March, 2013 on a low-carb diet. My initial results were great, but I lost the bulk of the weight/inches in the first month. The downside was not much further progress, crankiness and low energy. I decided it was time to tweak the diet.
I have been reading and using the information in a book called “Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha” by John Romaniello Non-Affiliate Link . I wasn’t crazy about the exercise portion of the book. It seemed to be more geared towards a younger guy. The diet portion of the book was terrific though. I would recommend any male purchase this book. This is the guy Arnold is using to get back in shape after letting himself go. Well worth the price.
I decided to use portions of this diet with portions of other things I’ve learned to create a “hybrid” of all of them. I’ve been using it since April, 2013. The results have been very good. I have been keeping my weight steady while shrinking my body fat percentage. I’d rather increase my upper body muscle mass than holding steady, but I will leave that to phase three.
During phase one of my diet my body fat percentage “plateaued” in the range of 11.5% to 12.5%. I found body fat to be like your auto speed on a highway. It is hard to keep at one number. You drive in a range and avoid the extremes.
My goal is to get down to a range of 8.5% to 9.5%. As of today (June 23) I have kept my body fat in the range of 10% – 11%, so down about 1.5% in about twelve weeks.
My abs are really starting to come into view now. It is weird how my right half of the abdominals are very cut and the left side is barely cut. I also have no spare tire any more.
Ok here are the specifics.
I figured out the calories I need just to maintain my weight. I used 17 calories x my lean body mass (total weight less my body fat). This came out to be around 2300 calories. Then on workout days I eat a little more (2500) and non-workout days I eat a little less (1800 calories). This varies depending on your current body fat percentage. The book details what you should use.
I use the low-carb diet on non-workout days. Veggies are ok, but no bad carbs like sugar, white flour…I try to limit fruit and potatoes, carrots on these days. Workout days, however, I have added back carbs. I eat sweet potatoes and red potatoes with my dinner and put a banana in my protein shake.
I use intermittent fasting throughout the week. This is a method where you divide up your eating into two periods; fasting and eating. This was popularized by guy named Martin Berkhan. Others have also used variations of it with the Warrior diet , and Brad Pilon’s “Eat, Stop, Eat”.
I fast for sixteen hours a day and eat for eight hours a day. This involves no snacking after dinner and skipping breakfast and eating a late lunch. My fast hours are from 9p to 1p.
On every other Saturday I have a binge day and eat whatever I want, however much I want. Yesterday for example I ate ceral, three hotdogs, a strawberry shake, a chicken burrito, a pint of ice cream, a bag of cookies and two beers. When I woke up today I had not gained a single pound. The bad side of this is on Sundays after a binge I fast for the whole day.
Typical meals for me our:
1. Six eggs with bacon and veggies
2. Chicken breast/tuna with avocado and lettuce/tomato
3. Steak, Pork or Hamburger with potato
4. Snacks of almonds, apple or cashews
Yes it is kind of boring and requires a lot of discipline initially, but the binge day really does make up for it. And the results have been great. A 1.5% drop in body fat in twelve weeks. I would guess I will be at my goal of 8.5% to 9.5% by the end of this summer, or about 22 weeks total. Could I have gotten my body fat below 10% much quicker? Possibly, but I think the methods would have been more drastic. I am going for simple, safe and steady…the three S’s!
Protein shake or scrambled eggs/omlet with veggies
Tuna with light mayo on a bed of lettuce, or chicken breast and avocado over a bed of lettuce with oil and vinegar dressing
Steak, Hamburger (no bun), Pork Chop, Chicken, Pork Tenderloin and Frozen Veggies.
Raw Almonds, Almond Butter, Apple or Protein Shake
For chicken, I was getting the cooked, whole chickens from the grocery store for about $7 each. Then I found them at Costco for $5 each. This was actually cheaper than buying one frozen and cooking it myself. There is something manly about eating a whole chicken and leaving nothing but a carcass…reminds me of the three stooges. An even better method (for me) for chicken was going to the deli section of our grocery store and finding out that they take the whole, cooked chickens that don’t sell and pull the meat off and sell it…no bones or skin. It is expensive $4.99/lb, but oh so convenient to just add that to a salad. If your store doesn’t offer it ask them to try it out.