Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lean Eating Program

I am now 11 weeks into the coached nutrition program that I started in late November.

The program has been very beneficial so far, in many ways, but mostly it's been the mental challenges that the coaches have thrown at us. We've had to read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, post reactions to information, etc. And, every other week, we have a moment of truth where we post photos, a compliance number (how well are we eating vs. the program goals), and measurements.

To be honest, until 5 weeks ago, I was coasting through some aspects of the program. During the holidays, I was drinking more alcohol than I should have been drinking and my eating was a bit haphazard. In the last few weeks though, I've tightened up my eating. And, the coach I'm working with has had a few suggestions related to exercise and my nutrition.

When I step on the scale these days, I'm somewhat disappointed by the slow changes going on there. But, when I use the measuring tape and the skinfold calipers, I get a different story. I've added 3.5 pounds of muscle mass in the past 11 weeks. I've dropped 5.5 pounds of fat and the fat loss is accelerating. Yes, the muscle mass will probably not help me at Western States. But, once my endurance work really takes off in April, I think some of that mass will disappear. Right now, I'm more focused on the fat loss portion of the program.

I'm guessing that some changes we made to my diet this week will really help in that area in the next few weeks, if I follow through. I'm going to completely eliminate dairy fat for a while (all dairy except whey protein isolate), and I'm going to start being more careful about quantities and types of fat I eat. Essentially, I'm going to limit fat to olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, fish oil supplements, and meats that are either wild-caught or grass-fed. And, I'm going to cut way back on grains, trying to get most of my carbs from fruit instead. It might be less exciting to eat that way for a while, but I think those changes will help with fat loss.

Last night, I lifted at the gym and then spent some cooldown time doing stretches and yoga poses. My left ITB remains tight, and I'm working on that on a daily basis.

This morning, I did an easy 51 minutes of snowshoeing before work. Tonight, I'll do running intervals on the treadmill.

The weather for the next few days looks awful - sleet and freezing rain tonight, temps in the mid-40s tomorrow, rain tomorrow night, and then freezing rain on Thursday morning. If we're lucky, we may get some mountain snows on Friday that could make skiing this coming weekend much more pleasant.


David Ray said...

Sounds like a tough diet. Pretty strict. But you should see some good return on that. Also good to see the positive feedback from the fat numbers.

Damon said...


Some of the changes will be tough, but those are the things I think I need to do to get my weight down. I've been fighting my weight ever since I was 12 or so, and it's just a never-ending battle. As the years pass, it gets tougher and tougher.

I think the good thing is that I've spent a lot of time in the past two years reading somewhat "alternative" information about nutrition, and I've found some tricks that work better for me than the USDA Food Pyramid. I simply need to stay away from simple carbs to lose weight. When I try to eat a high percentage of carbs and do endurance work, I end up starving all the time and I eat way too much. I've found that a diet that emphasizes protein and healthy fats leaves me feeling more satisfied than a carb-heavy diet.

I can't tell you how much I miss bread and pasta, but I use them as "treat" foods now rather than staples.

I'm simply not someone who can exercise my way to the weight I want to be. I am somewhat envious of people who can do that, but my body isn't that cooperative.

If you read today's post, you'll see that I have an even bigger incentive now to eat cleanly.