As some of you may know, a little over 5 weeks ago I instinctively decided to take the necessary steps to drop body fat, restart my cardiovascular system, and make my own workouts a priority once again. You see, the preceding 5 months of my life the my focus was largely directed towards my business endeavor of opening a gym. Sure, I was still working out 3 times per week with weights and eating properly 50 percent of the time but for someone who is at an advanced fitness level like I was, these curtailed efforts eventually took their toll on my physique and I started to backslide. In that time frame, I would guess that I gained 6-8lbs. of fat and lost 4-5lbs. of muscle. My goal was to reverse that process--in 28 days!
I knew that the nutrition component needed to be the cornerstone for this transformation process but I also knew that with the new responsibility of being a gym owner, things wouldn't always go according to plan and I'd have to adjust and adapt. The staples of my nutrition would be my first and last meal of the day--the meals I knew I could always eat at my home.
Breakfast consisted of:
4 egg whites, 1 whole egg, iodized salt and pepper
2 strips of turkey bacon
2/3 cup of oats with unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon
chobani greek yogurt-individual container
8oz. orange juice
For lunch, I would typically eat out at one of the following restaurants in San Diego: Chipotle, SanSai, Flame Broiler, Crazy Bowls and Wraps, Panda Express. The constant at all of these restaurants was a lean chicken breast, rice, vegetables, and beans if I were doing chipotle. I omitted the sauces and other additions like guacamole, etc.
I would workout at mid-day and drink a protein shake afterwards that consisted of:
12 oz. of unsweetened almond milk
30g of protein powder
10g of L-Glutamine
2/3 cup of oats
My late afternoon to early evening meal which I would also eat at my home would be:
8oz. 93/7 ground turkey
1 boil-in-bag brown or white rice
1/3 cup of pinto beans
My last meal of the day would be a chef salad:
chopped ham and turkey
small amount of ranch dressing
1 cup of cottage cheese
1/4 cup of mixed nuts
To summarize my nutrition, I was getting at least 1 gram per 1lb. of bodyweight daily and keeping my total fat intake during the day to less than 50 or 60 grams. My daily carb intake was always dependent upon my activity level and some days would be as high as 400g and others as low as 200g. What made the biggest difference for me was eliminating snacks in the evening. It's incredible how the calories can really add from chips, etc.
The exercise component shifted quite dramatically for me as well when I started this transformation process. I went from training very heavy for low repetitions(3-5) to training moderately to light for high repetitions (15-20). My exercise selections also shifted as I now had incredible equipment to train with in my new gym and had to rely less upon basic barbell workouts. I still incorporated free weight movements but also incorporated a lot more isolation, muscle-group specific exercises. I would train with weights 4-5 days per week and have 1-2 days be devoted to cardio. I would do either the stationary bike or step mill for 45 minutes and keep my heartrate around 150 for the duration. Each week I made sure that I took one complete day off from exercise but this certainly wasn't a lounge on the couch day. It was productive in it's own rite--running errands, tending to business items, and trying to stay as domesticated as a single man can these days.
Some additional things to mention were that I consumed 1 gallon of water per day and only consumed two drinks of alcohol and a few slices of pizza in this time frame. I was working from about 9am until 10pm at my gym so it didn't allow for many social situations in which I would have to resist a temptation and in the little free time that I did have I used it to tear through a few series on Netflix.
The biggest takeaway for me that I'd like to share with you is that my aforementioned approach to nutrition and exercise during this transformation process made it a breeze to cruise right through the 28 days of this Anti-Diet, Diet. It brought me back to routinely making good food choices and prioritizing my own workouts. Now that I've gotten my body fat back down I hope to keep it in check because I feel so much lighter on my feet, enjoy the added definition to my physique, and appreciate the improved function in my cardiovascular system.
About the Author
Gym Owner and Personal Trainer, Keith Diedrich has a B.A. in Exercise Science and has been professionally involved in health and fitness in various capacities since 2005.
"My initial thought about Keith was that he seemed very casual and not as frenetic as other professionals. I quickly learned that he was gauging my stamina, movements, and technique. He wasn't after a fast burnout, but he wanted to exhaust every muscle every time. He said we were working on a "mind to body connection." With this connection I'd be able to gauge whether a set was 15 reps or 20 reps regardless of the initial "goal of 15!" I believe much of my gains came from Keith always seeing my potential even when I couldn't." ~ Saul "Mr. Biceps"