Iron Dad Diet Plan: How to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks

Entitled to at least a little smile from my post yesterday 🙂

You know…I have to say…I’m a bit surprised that 10 pounds came off that quickly…even though I felt that I had a good plan, I find myself in the 195 pound range, and feeling a bit weird…sort of like my brain hasn’t caught up with the new numbers on the scale..and have this gnawing sense that if I let-up the ‘pressure’ my body will balloon back to where it’s been…sort of what keeps me exercising…I do not want to have to start over again

In terms of the basics, my Base Metabolic Rate (BMR: calories I burn just to live every day) is calculated as 2,000 calories by the Food Diary that I use…this is based on my basic ‘sedentary’ lifestyle, since I generally sit in front of a computer all day…add to that the additional calories burned during exercise each day, and I have my calorie ‘budget’ for the day…subtract from that the calories in the food that I eat, and my goal was to still have 1,500 calories left before I ate a 750 - 1,000 calorie dinner, and therefore run a calorie deficit of 500’ish calories per day…leaving a little room for calorie-count variations.

..this past 4 weeks I’ve been between my Vancouver Half Iron race, and the ramp up to Ironman Florida which starts next week…so I’ve had a relatively relaxed training schedule…since July 9 there were 3 complete Monday - Sunday weeks, of 11:02, 11:28 and 11:28…so not slacking, but not the 15-18 hours of the Ironman training level…calories burned per week were around 8-10,000 or about 1,000 per day during the week and around 2,000’ish+ on Saturday

…of course, to some that may sound like a lot of exercise, since 1 pound = 3,500 calories…but since I’ve been at that exercise level for years, and haven’t been at 194-195 pounds since I can remember, something different happened in this past 4 weeks

…so to recap, typical mid-week day: 2,000 BMR + 1,000 exercise calories = 3,000 total calorie budget…consume 1,500 during the day before dinner…leaving a 1,500 ‘budget’ for dinner

…soooo, let’s look at the 5 key elements that I think got me there…and also a reinforcement for myself in my next quest for 185 pounds…along with relevant links for more details

1.  A decision to lose weight with specific number and date goals

Sort of obvious, but even though I’ve been ‘watching’ what I eat and all that, it wasn’t until I decided to lose the weight, decided on specific number and date goals, and wrote about it on this blog, that I finally took it seriously enough to do something about it, and treat it like any other training element

2.  Learning to listen to my appetite during the day…constantly

This was the most challenging behaviour modification that I made…to only eat when ‘ready to eat’, or ‘quite hungry’ and only eat to the point of being ‘satisfied’…not ‘full’…I’m still learning this one

…I did pretty well during the day, although sometimes overshot the mark, to the hungry, stomach growling point a few times…although typically surprised at how long between meals it often took…’before’ I would have had a ‘snack’ just to even out the ‘energy’ during the day…turns out it was just a bad habit…obviously added up to a lot of calories during the day

…and I still tend to overshoot at dinner though, often rolling past the point of satisfied to full…although getting better

3.  A 1,500 calorie ‘budget’ for dinner

I did pretty well at this one…in my Food Diary I recorded all calories I ate during the day, and those burned through exercise, with a target to have at least 1,500 calories left over before I sat down for dinner in the evening…I knew that once I got into the 750 – 1,000 calorie range I would start to feel full, and I knew that I’d be under calories for the day if I didn’t get to the over-full point…I rarely recorded what I actually ate at dinner…that love of great food, fine wine and craft beers that I didn’t want to give up in the quest to squeeze off a few pounds…and didn’t…so that was great

…and this was the HUGE advantage of that 8-10,000 calorie burn per week…a great dinner still 🙂

4.  Nothing but water on workouts up to 2 hours

In the past I’d be on Gatorade or gels past 1 hour…and sometimes just take Gatorade out on a run under an hour without thinking about it…that also added up to a lot of calories…and not very nutritional ones…this past 4 weeks, if the workout was going to go longer than 2 hours, I’d be on the Gatorade and gels as I normally would in a race

…not a lot of intensity in the past 4 weeks, so I may need to watch that since the most popular advice is water only up to 60…some say 90…minutes…so I’ve been stretching this…but I like this idea at this point

5. Miscellaneous food adjustments

I’m not a junk food guy at all…no chips, no donuts, none of the classic junk food that others may be tripped up on…so that’s not been an issue…I did make some food adjustments though to make my calorie goals easier each day:

  • no french fries…a bad habit that leaked in somewhere
    …sooo good, but sooo bad
  • nothing fried anywhere
  • no dessert at home dinners…limited desserts on dinners out
  • ‘watching’ alcohol at home and out

So that’s my best guess on how I dropped 10 pounds in 4 weeks, and now sitting at 195…the interesting next stage actually is coming up as I re-set my goal to 185…now this is definitely uncharted territory

…in the early years in high school, I remember wrestling in the 178 weight class, but adding muscle, I couldn’t sustain that weight class, and by university was in the 196 weight class, and played fullback at what was ultimately a solid 208…in high school I was the quarterback/captain of the division championship football team for years, and was _really_ muscular and lean…like girls at parties would poke me in the stomach to feel how hard my abs were…girls are too funny sometimes 🙂

…also too funny the memories that are stored in the recesses of the mind…I hadn’t thought about that high school party routine for decades, until I just wrote it

…maybe I’m in a calorie deprivation mode…or maybe my brain is trying to find some rationale for this new quest for the 185’ish level

…in either event, that’s where I’m headed…’another 10 pounds’ before Ironman Florida…join me if you’re so inclined 🙂

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