The Method


I had considered doing a post or two about how I am losing weight, but I thought that putting up my basic methods on its own page would make it easier for my readers to reference this information. I know that many of these methods will work for the vast majority of you. That being said, this is NOT medical advice. It’s just an account of what I’m doing to improve my health. There may be mistakes along the way, and I’ll be sure to point those out.

Diet

The most important change that I have been making is in what I put in my body. Most of what I put in my body requires little preparation or processing. Vegetables require little more than washing, chopping (optional), and eating. I eat plenty of protein in the form of meats, eggs, and beef protein powder. Fats are acquired through meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and oils like olive, grapeseed, coconut, or flax. Essentially, I strive to eat foods that are minimally processed or that come in natural form. I am also avoiding gluten since it causes stomach upset for me. The benefit of cutting out gluten is that it also removes a large amount of carbohydrate options that make fat loss difficult.

My current meal plan looks like this:

  • Meal 1 – Coffee with cream. No sugar. Maybe a bit of raw honey in the coffee. Sometimes I have eggs, bacon, and avocado, depends on the day and the schedule and hunger levels.
  • Meal 2 – Protein shake with 25-50g of protein, a banana or other piece of fruit
  • Meal 3 – Grilled meats like chicken, beef, pork, tuna, salmon, etc. Salads, vegetables, or vegetable soups.
  • Meal 4 – Large salad or steamed or roasted veggies, grilled meats. See a pattern?
  • Meal 5 – More meat and vegetable. Depending on whether I am training the next day, I have rice, potato, or sweet potato. Or all of it.
  • Hydration – Water about 4-6 liters a day.

Exercise

I will be using a variety of exercise modalities to keep workouts fresh and to encourage continual adaptation. Currently, I am using Greg Nuckols’ Bulgarian Method with a focus on front squat and overhead press. I started the program in December 2015 and will run it until I compete at a powerlifting meet in February 2016. I chose this particular program to address some glaring weaknesses of mine, namely upper back strength, shoulder strength, and squatting technique. This should fix those issues and bring up my strength levels considerably.

6 thoughts on “The Method

  1. First thing, I’m surprised how NOT unalike our diets actually are. Obviously, I’m not eating any meat or dairy, but I also center my meals on whole, unprocessed food.

    Second, I’ve been thinking a lot about adding real weight lifting into my routine. I hear people talk about a sort of trilogy of exercises — deadlift, some sort of press, and some sort of squat. (I know, you’re totally impressed with my technical language. Don’t be intimidated.) Do you think a person can build strength with only a few full-body moves, or is a complex regimen necessary?

    Follow up to that, I’m thinking about ‘cashing in’ one of my free with membership personal training sessions just to have someone walk me through the free weight area of my gym and get me started. My hesitation is, I never see those trainers working with women and free weights; it’s all elliptical and the cable style machines, without exception. Is that a red flag, in your opinion?

    Thanks, as always, for the information and sharing your health journey. 🙂

  2. Quinnbee, I highly recommend weight training. I would read, watch, and listen to anything by Mark Rippetoe on technique for the Big Three (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press), and a whole lot of other lifts. You can build a great physique with just those three exercises, and honestly, in the beginning, you won’t want any more than those three. I am a big believer in keeping it simple. I only do variations of those three movements for the majority of my workouts. Accessory exercises are useful for developing weak areas, but you won’t even know what those are until you do the Big Three for a while. And by a while, I mean a year or so of solid progress. This is no sprint. The Big Three are particularly good at building strength if that is your main goal. They are also VERY effective as a basis for a fat loss program. Or as a muscle building program. They are your foundation for whatever it is you may want to accomplish. Complexity is not your friend when you are starting out. You are looking for something sustainable, and these three exercises will give you a basis for a sustainable program.

    Yes, those trainers are dressed in red! They’ve obviously been drinking the Kool-Aid. Google Rippetoe. He’s got videos on Youtube, on his site: http://startingstrength.com/ and he also has a book out there by that name.

    Hmm, I kept that relatively short. Hit me up with more questions!

  3. And on the nutrition..almost forgot. If you are careful to get a full spectrum of protein types (and BCAA’s), you can expect to see just as good gains as you would on a meatatarian diet. I do have thoughts on soy…many, many thoughts. So if you pull the trigger on that one, be ready for a full barrel. I’ll wait.

  4. Awesome, DJ! Thanks for the input. I’ll wait about the tofu, haha, but I did hear some good info from Brenda Davis RD re: same. I’ll save that for out next fireside chat, though.

    But, partially on the same topic, do you think this gaining policy applies to women, as well? If a woman started lifting, focusing on the Big Three, would the fat loss and muscle building be adequate without increasing protein consumption?

    Not sure I’m putting that right, but you usually figure out what I mean, in spite of myself. 🙂

  5. Cool. And I’ll try to get all my ducks (uncooked) in a row for you on that topic.

    As far as protein, I look at any diet plan with that as the foundation. Determine your protein needs and then build in the carbs and fats around that. The rule of thumb (until a better digit comes along) is that you start with 1g per pound of body weight. For sweet “gainz”, you may want to go up to 1.5g per pound. Personally, I favor 2g per pound, but that is because I seem to be particularly carb sensitive, and I just feel better on protein and fats. I must be part Eskimo.

    A safe place to start (for a fat loss focus and maintenance/growth of muscle) is 40% C, 30% P, 30% F. As far as I can tell, there really isn’t a perfect formula – you just have to tweak the numbers a bit to find what works for you. Mine looks more like 40% P, 30% C, 30% F.

    Clear as mud?

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