NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘dieting

Two pics taken one month apart showing effects of BODYCOMBAT and proper diet

Two pics taken exactly a month apart following diet below with BODYCOMBAT

Ever since I published this post detailing the results of my diet and loads of BODYCOMBAT I’ve had a tonne of messages asking me exactly what my diet entailed. (Almost all of these were via facebook so if you are on the site and you haven’t already please add me as a friend).

Before I begin let me say I’m the kinda person that doesn’t really do things by halves. So when I decided to drop my bodyfat the programme I set out on was fairly hardcore. In fact if you’re looking for an exciting, interesting nutrition plan that keeps you satisfied you’re probably not going to find it here! I’d also like to say that the programme I followed is  not one I’d recommend anyone follow long term. It was a targeted short term solution that I set out to follow for 4-6 weeks with the specific goal of getting my bodyfat down to single digits in the quickest possible time. My other goal was to maintain energy levels so I wasn’t collapsing on stage when teaching! And it worked, I dropped over 11 lbs in 4 weeks… but – this diet definitely aint for everyone that’s for sure! So, what did I do?

Effectively I ate the same thing every day (told you it wasn’t exciting!)

  • Breakfast: 4 egg omelet with mushrooms, spring onion, tomato and cheese (yes cheese! More on that below)
  • Lunch: One – two skinless/boneless chicken breasts (grilled with various spices) with a lot of broccoli
  • Dinner: Chicken (or a lean red meat) with a tonne of salad (lettuce, tomato etc) and low carb balsamic vinigrette
  • Snacks: Low carb protein shakes or bars (up to two a day as required)

Okay, so – the first thing you’ll probably notice is the distinct lack of carbohydrates. Yes, this is effectively a very low carb (or ketogenic) diet. Although there’s a lot of debate about low carb diets I’ve tried almost everything and (for me personally) they are definitely the best way to lean up quickly. Without being bogged down in the science of it all when you eat very low carb on or around day 3 of your diet your body goes into a state called ketosis whereby it burns ketones as its primary energy source. And the best news is ketones are produced exclusively via the metabolism of fat.

What this means is that once you’re in a ketogenic state you literally give your body no option but to burn fat as its primary fuel. It works, and it works well – especially when combined with effectively exercise!

While on the subject of exercise I’m sure some of you would be concerned about having low energy due to a low carb intake. The thing is, yes, on day 2 and 3 you do feel tired, and your energy levels do suffer. However, once your body goes into ketosis your energy levels return to normal – in fact some people actually find they have more energy on a low carb diet. If you are wondering if your body is in a ketogenic state you can test for it using ketostix (they’re cheap as chips and available at almost any pharmacy or drug store).

There’s loads on the net about low carb diets, probably the best known is the Atkins Diet – however unlike the Atkins diet the diet plan above is not high fat. It’s all the fat (saturated especially) that gave the Atkins diet a bad wrap, and because we’re all doing this to look and feel healthy high fat is not the way to go. However… because your body is in a fat burning state some fat is okay (hence the cheese in my omelet!) – the trick is not to eat more than 20 grams of carbs per day (if you can’t be bothered counting carbs then just don’t eat any!)

So there you have it. I never said it was exciting – and I’m sure it’s not for most people but lemme tell you it works!

On a lighter note the GFX is coming up exactly two weeks so I’ll have loads to report including the latest on BODYCOMBAT 41, and BODYPUMP 71 (as well as more on BC40 and BP70). Any questions or comments just fire away! 🙂

I’m heading on holiday in about ten days and figured about a month ago I’d sort my diet out and lean up a bit for the trip – I’m heading to Perth and it’s about 40° C there at the moment (over 100° F!) so will be on the beach a bit! Anyway, always good when you set a goal to have a starting point so I snapped a before pic. I wasn’t out-of-shape (at least I don’t think so) but my diet wasn’t ideal so really all I did was stop eating any rubbish for one month. Without a word of a lie literally the only exercise I’ve done over this period is… you guessed it; BODYCOMBAT.

The pics below were taken exactly one month apart to the day and I think speak for themselves (the second pic was actually taken about a week ago and I’ve gotten quite a bit leaner still since then). Total weight lost is about 5 kilos (11 lb) in 4 weeks.  Don’t let anyone ever tell ya group fitness doesn’t work my friends!

Two pics taken one month apart showing effects of BODYCOMBAT and proper diet

Two pics taken one month apart showing effects of BODYCOMBAT and proper diet

So I’ve got my Les Mills BodyCombat instructor module in exactly two weeks. Three days of Body Combat bliss that, all going well will result in my official certification… yay! Only thing is, I got it in my stupid fricken head that I should be in REALLY good shape for it, so two weeks ago I started dieting in a big way. Don’t get me wrong, I was already in good shape (if I do say so myself! haha) but, I thought heck why not get in AMAZING shape so I really look the part! The point of which I honestly have no idea… it’s not like I’m gonna be strutting around Les Mills with my shirt off so an extra couple % points of BF lost aren’t going to make much of a difference in clothes! Maybe I just wanted to set myself this goal…. regardless of the stupidity of the idea I’m doing it. And it sucks, big time.

My diet now is seriously down to two 160 calories low carb protein bars per day, and two smallish two meals of skinless chicken breast (with some broccoli or salad). And that’s it. Total calories about 1600. Add to that the 800-2000 extra calories I burn per day exercising on top of my basal metabolic expenditure (estimated at a smidgen under 2000 calories per day) and I’m in a daily deficit of 1200-2400 calories every day. Which means I’m getting very lean very quickly. The downside? Well, where do I start; I’m grumpy, perpetually tired, sleeping badly and, just to put some icing on the cake (yummmm cake…) I can’t remember what it’s like to have any, umm (how do I put this…) *ahem* “mojo”. Plus, I’m fricken starving all the time.

But at least my training isn’t suffering. Great thing about group fitness is the second you’re on stage, or even on the floor with a whole bunch of like-minded people and the music starts pumping the fact you’re ready to keel over in exhaustion just disappears out of your mind… thank God! And it’s only for two more weeks… 14 days…336 hours or around 20,000 minutes. Not that I’m counting or anything…

I often get a lot of questions about my diet/supplementation plan, possibly because I’ve spent about a decade in the supplement and fitness industry – or possibly because last year in three months I lost about 15 kilos of fat (maybe I’ll go into exactly how I let myself get that far outta shape in a future post!) so thought I’d post a bit of info on my diet here.

I’ve tried many many diet regimes over the years; Body for Life, Atkins, BodyOpus, low-fat, low-carb, I even went through a stage where I was eating at most one solid meal a day and living on meal replacement shakes (heck they were free and I was really busy what can I say!) I’ve tried most of these not out of necessity (to be honest for almost my entire adult life I’ve kept in pretty good shape – I did say almost!) but more often than not I’d give a diet and exercise plan a whirl so I could give an educated opinion on it’s merits if asked. My business meant I’d attend a lot of sporting trade shows and fitness events and get asked a lot of questions, and I don’t ever comment on something unless I feel I have adequate knowledge on the subject. So, with the exception of the really moronic fad diets (the all cabbage diet, all juice diets and the like) I’ve probably tried ’em all at some stage.

Most of the popular diets on the market work within certain limitations and certainly most work if only in-the-short-term; Body for Life for example is an excellent programme which definitely works (heck it if didn’t I wouldn’t have advocated it for so long). The Atkins diet has it’s merits, and BodyOpus definitely works – but both are hard to sustain long term. Body for Life is an excellent programme which will take you from “normal” looking (read that as overweight) to athletic. But I found BFL could only take you so far. If you’re looking to get down to a single digit bodyfat percentage then certainly the ante needs to be bumped up somewhat.

For me personally the best approach has been to amalgamate certain facets of all three of those programmes into what is effectively a cyclical ketogenic diet which quite simply kicks ass. Body for Life works as it advocates small frequent protein rich feedings each day, for six days per week and one “free-day” where you come off the diet all together. Ketogenic diets work (Atkins) as they cause the user to enter ketosis, which in layman’s terms is a state where your body far more readily burns fat as an energy source. BodyOpus is a pretty hardcore cyclical ketogenic diet whereby you follow a ketogenic diet from 6pm Sunday until late afternoon Friday, and then eat super high levels of carbs Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon.

Both BodyOpus and BFL have their “free” periods – albeit for slightly different reasons. BFL has the free-day for two reasons, the first is psychological; that is, if I put you on a fairly strict diet plan for 84 straight days and tell you you aren’t allowed to cheat at all then more often than not you will “fail”. 84 days of chicken breasts, tuna, brown rice and salads may sound okay on paper, but you’ll get cravings (for me it’s pizza) -you’ll have work functions, and family events. It’s not practical to eat that way 100% of the time. If you set yourself up to do that you’ll set yourself up for failure. So, the free-day is a psychological release day – it’s MUCH easier to say no to that slice of pizza on Thursday, knowing you can have it on Saturday. It’s much harder saying no when you think you can’t have it at all.

The second reason is physiological – a free day gives you a consistent kick in your caloric intake which theoretically should help prevent metabolic slowdown – the primary reason for the yoyo dieting syndrome.

BodyOpus on the other hand primarily, in the most basic terms, has the carbing phase as a method to minimise muscle loss caused by the very low carb ketogenic phase. Effectively during the week you starve your body of carbs, and follow a rigorous exercise plan which could easily cause the burn up of muscle as fuel due to it’s intensity. The carbing part of the programme works to counter this by glycogen replenishment – that is hyper-saturating your muscles with glycogen for about 48 hours and staving off muscle loss.

For me, the two days of solid carbing was too much. It would almost counter the efforts of the week. So, my diet is a hybrid of the above. I follow a ketogenic diet all day Sunday until Saturday morning, and then take all of Saturday off and eat whatever and in whatever quantity I like. The rest of the week my diet is a low-carb, low-fat ketogenic diet (note this dramatically differs from Atkins and BodyOpus which are moderate fat and high fat diets respectively). So on any given day I live on chicken breast, broccoli, leafy salads and lean red meat (and sometimes fish). I eat small frequent meals (every three hours) so there is never a glut of calories, and I’m never hungry, but also never full. I start eating this way Sunday morning and I’m always in ketosis again by Tuesday evening.

So that’s it! No real brain surgery required to understand it. This method maximises fat loss, still allows me to build muscle (instead of burning it off as one would via a typical ketogenic diet) and still allows me to have a social life. It may sound boring to some people but the old adage “nothing tastes as good as looking great feels” definitely applies!

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