So why this plan?
This plan comes down to one thing….regulating insulin! Will try and not go ridiculously in depth and over the top with this. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. It causes glucose to be taken up by cells in the liver, muscles and fat tissues, where it is converted to glycogen to be stored. Insulin also lowers the use of fat as an energy source. These are both vital functions for the body, but things go wrong when these insulin levels rise too high or low. Almost everything we eat will cause a increase in glucose and insulin, but things like sugar, simple carbohydrates, fruits and caffeine cause insulin levels to rise higher than normal. This then causes a spike in insulin, which means you are less likely to use stored fat and more likely to store fat cells. On the other hand letting your blood glucose drop to low, will cause you to become tired and lethargic, and increase the production of stress hormones that will also affect how the body burns fat. Everything on this plan is designed to keep blood glucose and insulin at a stable level. It will also elevate those ups and down in energy throughout the day making you feel better!
It’s here and my cupboards look like they would happily feed the Animals of Farthing Wood. I bypassed the coffee and porridge, and went straight for the Brazil nuts and ice cold water! This was then followed by my shower……..of which the last minute was cold (I can’t exaggerate enough how long a minute feels when the water’s that cold). To my surprise I actually felt pretty good afterwards, well and truly invigorated! Breakfast, 3 eggs whites and 1 whole egg scrambled with smoked salmon (this has now become my breakfast of choice. Late morning……the serious urge for caffeine begins. Normally by now the coffee machine would be on, and I would have the sweet ringing in my ears of caffeine’s fake energy. Instead I was drinking hot lemon water! The 90 second workout helped with the urges……ish! As the morning turned to lunch time I found myself for the first time in a while looking forward to lunch! Not because I was hungry, but because my healthy lunch wasn’t one of the typical options (pasta, sandwich, soup). Today’s lunch was Chicken breast with whole cloves of garlic, spinach and sesame seeds, and a side of mixed beans in balsamic vinegar…..Not to blow my own trumpet, but it was pretty good! By later afternoon I found myself getting pretty hungry, and I knew why! I had made the portion of beans for my lunch too small. Beans are going to be the biggest form of carbs in your meals, so making sure you have enough to keep you going to dinner is a big deal. I quashed the cravings with more water and a small handful of nuts and seeds. Had training planned today, decided to time it right before dinner. It means you have a nice sized meal right when your body needs the nutrients the most, and it alleviates the need for supplementing things into your diet after training. Training was resistance based, mainly leg stuff today…heavy squats, lunges, glute activation, core and elements of posture correction. Dinner was a chicken and chickpea salad, with lettuce and celery.Finished up work for the night and to my surprise I was still hunger free….result! I did my 90 second workout, pulled the ice pack out of the freezer and popped it on the back of my neck for 30 minutes. I also caught the start of “the man with the 10 stone testicles”, and while I sat there with a freezing cold neck I thought “It definitely could be worse!”. So that’s day one over, apart from the odd wanting for caffeine it’s been ok! Though I’m feeling like most of the issues based on habit. Eating and drinking because I’m bored or frustrated with something have become second nature, Think a big key is going to be breaking routines
So why all the cold stuff?
I know the cold showers, ice packs on the neck and drinking ice cold water seem mental……and yeah they are a bit! But there is some logic to this madness. Swimmers, mountain climbers, arctic explorers all have 2 things in common…..massive calorie consumption and cold exposure! All these people consume massive amounts of calories daily, but not all of these calories are used just for movement and activities. A big portion is used for the maintenance of core temperature. Research has shown that cold exposure can increase the production of a hormone called Adiponectin. This hormone increases the oxidation of fatty acids and the uptake of glucose into the muscle. Cold exposure also stimulates brown adipose tissue to burn fat and glucose to produce heat. Now I’m not implying that we all need to start going for cold walks in our pants, but the odd cold shower, ice pack on the neck and drinking ice cold water can have some great effects on fat loss.
Today is always going to be a pain as I spend all day at work (7:30am-9:00pm). So have to resort to Tupperware boxes, to stop the urge of using any number of Charminster’s eateries. So had prepared 2 boxes of food in advance. One of prawn and bean salad, the other of tuna steaks, spinach salad and lentils. The morning started the same as the day before! I’m going to try and keep the morning routine…..Wake, ice water, almonds, cold shower, eggs and salmon, 90 second workout! Hopefully that will be set to autopilot in a few days! About 11 o’clock and a headache from behind the eyes hits like a steam train! I’ve been denying this would happen, but this was inevitable……This is the withdrawal from sugar and caffeine! This is because of an increased susceptibility to a neurotransmitter called Adenosine. Adenosine widens the blood vessels in the head, but is normally suppressed by caffeine. When you cut out caffeine in one go, the effects are exaggerated and BANG!…..massive headache! Lots of water and a power nap definitely helped to take the edge off. Training in the afternoon and pushed for time so had to stick for intervals on the spin bike. 5 sets of 5×30 second sprints, with 30 second rest between sprints and 4 minutes rest between sets. This training is normally brutal, and today was definitely no exception!
The change of eating hasn’t seemed to have affected the training, I felt a bit sluggish before, but once I started all was fine (as fine as you can be when your heart rate’s peaking at 190bpm). Finally made it back from work, Tupperware boxes empty, and knackered! Though that annoying stomach gurgling began, late night hunger had kicked in! Now normally in these situations I’d be stirring up a big bowl of milky porridge. Tonight I went for a small bowl of prawns and smoked salmon…..this did the trick! I am amazed at how much my appetite has decreased in just a couple of days! Chewing food and getting rid of the stodgy stuff has got the stomach back to normal! Ice pack on the neck and some New Girl on the tele, then off to bed! Day two survived!
Routine as normal this morning, slowly becoming a habit, so can just roll out of bed and get on with it. Had a break early this morning so swapped the 90 second workout for 30 minutes of resistance training. H.I.T. weight training, I highly recommend it! Lunch rolled around a few hours later, mashed Mexican beans stuffed and roasted in peppers, with fajita chicken….seriously hit the spot! Again switched the 90 seconds work out for 15 minutes of posture rebalancing and glute activation work (can find more info in the Power of the Buns blog).Slightly annoying timing for dinner tonight, decided to eat earlier. Its better being full rather than getting hungry later at work…..bad decisions happen if you let yourself get hungry! Chicken, bean, spinach and cashew nut stir fry for dinner, really quick, easy and filling! Made it through the late night at work with no hunger pains….though still could murder a coffee though, but that’s getting better! Home, ice pack on neck, water and an early night…..3 days in and still ok!
Morning off today! Little lie in, but same drill as normal! I knew I was going for a run in the afternoon, so was going to have to time lunch. Lunch today was seared Cajun tuna steaks and peas……lots of peas! Run at 3pm, so lunch at 1pm. This gives enough time for the stomach to empty, but also still to have the slight rise in blood glucose to help with training. I’m not going to lie, training was horrible! 3.5km around the off-road Meyrick lap! If you’ve never done the Meyrick park lap I would recommend it. Hilly, varied terrain and very fast once you get the feel for it. My legs felt like lead from the first minute, but this was to be expected! Every training session has been powered by high energy, fast acting foods and drinks. This diet is designed to make the body more efficient with the stored energy it has, but this does take time (from what I’ve experienced in the past, about a week). Finished the run, and only fractionally slower than normal, but definitely felt harder. Treated myself afterwards to a hand full of nuts, seeds and some berries as a recovery snack. Dinner tonight was a Tupperware box with tuna steak salad. Really looked forward to it after today’s run as I was feeling a little flat. Finished work and quickly did some stretching and posture exercises before heading home. Normal evening finish with an ice pack on the neck, and cold water before bed. Definitely starting to see and feel some changes. Reduction in bloating, water retention and weight, all of which are definitely noticeable around the stomach. Also a massive reduction in appetite! Not getting those hankerings for snacks throughout the day. All seems to be heading in the right direction! And not far from the cheat day!!!!!