Friday, January 28, 2011

Cleaning up the diet

Posted by PicasaI started my "diet" on Monday, here I am on Tuesday. I am at 127 pounds and in my opinion, not carrying a great deal of fat. As you can see, my stomach is where it all is, and I have no problems with my hips or thighs, its all right there in the tummy.

I have to lose body fat for a May 7 competition.

I compete anywhere from 118 to 120 pounds, it all depends on how much lean body mass I have. I really worked hard this past winter to add muscle and keep off the fat, I think I did a really good job, but it won't really be evident until I drop down to about 4% body fat, where I get at competition time.

I get unusually low body fat, and yes, it has been verified with calipers and hydrostatic testing.
I have some friends who have gained quite a bit. They will have a harder time losing it. There was a time the school of thought was to "bulk up" and pack on all you can. Some people still hold on to this, but many have proven that you can successfully add mass and not a great deal of fat if you eat properly.

To gain muscle you need to ingest more calories than you expend. That's how you gain fat too. So how do you ensure you gain muscle and not a great deal of fat? You eat the right foods, not a bunch of crap. You also need to figure out how many calories you are expending and then eat more, don't just guess and keep loading up your plate!

Typically a competitor will start their diet 12 weeks out, that gives them time to slowly lose the fat at a safe rate to keep the skin tight and elastic and maintain muscle. Lose too fast and your skin gets saggy and loose, and the muscle drops off with the fat.

I am starting a bit early because I will be in Mexico on vacation for a week, and I am not sure if it will totally trash my preparation or not. I certainly don't plan to diet on vacation, but I will eat healthy as I do year round anyway.

I figure if I start a bit early, maybe vacation won't set me back too far.

So what do I mean by "cleaning up my diet"?

I stick to a good, clean diet year round. When I am not purposely eating to lose body fat (what most competitors like to refer to as the off-season. I don't care for that term, makes me think of a dog in heat), I will eat some things that I wouldn't normally, but not many.

For instance, when my son and husband have ribs, I will have a couple bites. When they are eating chips I might snag a couple as I walk by. I will eat bagels after training, and sandwiches occasionally.

I will eat some fruit, and a glass of wine on weekends.

But now, I won't do any of that. I will stop snagging bites and won't drink any alcohol. Bye bye fruit and bread.

I will adhere to my regular diet and portions, so it's the same thing basically without all the snacks in between. And that will make me drop body fat fairly quickly.

I will start doing a bit more cardio, but never much. For instance, today I walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes, it was all the time I had. If I can drop the fat without a lot of extra cardio, I will.

I still run my stairs and jump rope at lunch, but that is only 20 minutes and is necessary for my sanity, it's about the only time I get out of the office!

I will keep you posted with progress, you can count on me to have more pictures!
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