My 30 Day Challenge
I have been reading about going Primal for a few months now, and while I have implemented some of the ideas I haven't completely. I have an obnoxious sweet tooth, and constantly finding myself justifying eating sweets just because I ate well all day. This has definitely halted my progress!
My main goals are to gain muscle mass, lose belly fat, and get an overall leaner physique. I also hope to feel more energized and alert. I am a 6'2", 25 yo male, and currently weigh 180 lbs.
So - for this 30 days I am planning to do the following:
1. Say no to grains and sugars - eat only what's described in the paleo/primal diet. I want every meal of every day to be as primal as possible.
2. sleep more - need to get 8 hours - typically I only get 5 being a full time student and having a full time job
3. hit the gym - I was on track with this and kind of lost it over summer. I want to start lifting twice a week and incorporate sprinting exercises once a week.
4. bring lunches to work - when I don't, I end up making mistakes.
5. Save more money by eating primal - find ways to not spend so much. Any one with any ideas? I've read the blog, but find it difficult sometimes to not spend a fortune!
So far this is what I have done and eaten:
Breakfast: unfortunately had to skip - late for work no time to eat - coffee with a little bit of milk only
Lunch: grilled chicken and roasted veggies
snack: brazil nuts and almonds (about a combined handful)
dinner: chicken breaded with almond and thyme, 1/2 avocado, roasted brusselsprouts
Activity: walked to and from the grocery store (about 2.5 miles)
Sleep: only got about 6 hours - missed this goal
Breakfast: crustless quiches (2) w/ avocado and green salsa, coffee w/ milk
Lunch: leftovers from Monday's dinner
snack: apple & a few almonds
Dinner: chicken fajita salad
I have been hoping to try this for 30 days for several months - this is the time!!!
My 3rd day in --
Today was a good day - I felt better than yesterday overall, and I found myself craving my lunch instead of sweets which is a huge accomplishment for me. However, I went to the bad news and got some bad news regarding my dental health - which is even more encouragement to give up the sugars and soda and grains! Now I realize I must change and I know I'll follow through. Here is what I ate today:
Breakfast: crustless quiches (2) w/ 1/2 avocado and green salsa [again - so good!], coffee w/ milk
Lunch: left over chicken fajita salad w/ 1/2 avocado
Snack: Apple and piece of turkey
Dinner: hamburger patty, sauteed broccoli
snack: 1 oz. macadamia nuts, roasted pepper, little bit of chicken [leftovers from chicken fajita salad]
Activity: lots of walking today, but still no time for the gym, have to study all night for exams and then work early again. I'm not sure how I am going to fit the gym in at this point which is stressing me out.
Sleep: 6 hours again - need to try for more.
Kyle, good luck with this! You've made an admirable start. I know it's hard to go cold-turkey with the grains and sweets, but that's the easiest way, in my experience. If you find yourself craving that stuff: eat more fat.
Good luck with the sleep, too. That can be the hardest part but it's just as important as diet and exercise. Avoiding electric light after dusk is key.
For good primal food that is also cheap, I suggest finding a local farmer's market. You'll get better prices than a place like Whole Foods and higher quality to boot, especially if you go for unpopular foods like marrow bones and organ meats. Otherwise, one of the best primal foods on a budget is sardines, tinned with the skin and bones included. They may take a little getting used to but they are very nutritious.
Hoping the best for you. Follow those five steps you listed, and you will definitely achieve your goals and amaze yourself!
Thanks Timothy for the encouragement! I appreciate getting some feed back and hearing about your experience. I haven't had any cravings today which I am glad for. The sleep is still a problem, it's difficult when my nights are filled with classes and studying, but hopefully I can get it down to a better system. I will look around for a farmer's market as well!
So today was a bit difficult - very little sleep last night as I was up until 2 am finishing up assignments for my classes. I also had to be to work at 8 am, so that equates to about 5 hours of sleep. Surprisingly, I'm not tired - so I'm not sure if it's the eating or just the fact that I haven't had time to rest. Hopefully I can get a good night of sleep tonight.
I also feel like I am eating right, but that i am feeling bloated and like I'm gaining weight. Is this normal to feel kind of bad before the good starts? I'm questioning it right now..
Today I ate:
Breakfast: 2 eggs, half a tomato, bacon + coffee & milk
Lunch: Hamburger patty with broccoli, and snap peas
snack: apple with almond butter
dinner: salad with chicken, salsa, avocado, roasted veggies, green tea w/ ginger
So - is there anything I need to be changing in my diet? I'm trying my best to do what I think, but I' not sure if I am eating too much, too little, or too much of a certain thing and not enough of another. I've been eating a lot of avocado (about 1 per day) - is that too much?
Here is my summary for the last 2 days:
Breakfast: one mini quiche, coffee & milk
snack: slice of turkey
lunch: skipped b/c of work - didn't have time to eat
dinner: 2 hamburger patties with roasted red peppers and cherry tomatoes
snack: trail mix: walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries, macademia nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds (about 1 cup of this) + wine
Breakfast: I was forced to eat at school b/c I didn't have time to do anything this morning (decided to sleep in and catch up on sleep!) - so I got a strawberry smoothie with banana and protein - probably not the best choice but didn't have any options
Lunch: 3 hardboiled eggs, turkey slice, cherry tomatoes
Dinner: coconut chicken tenders, roasted vegetables, red wine
So - I feel like my first week is almost over and I'm really proud of myself! The cravings today were a little bad, I have been dying for a piece of bread or ice cream. I have not given in yet, because I don't want to halt my progress by messing up.
Although I feel better, I'm not seeing any differences yet, but I'm assuming it's too soon. Anyone have any ideas when I can expect to see some results? Also - I feel as though I may or may not be eating properly - would love to hear some advice on my menu from some people who are into the primal lifestyle already. Any recommendations for changes? I hope to see some weight loss soon - currently my weight has been the same as it was on Monday morning. I know I need to find more time for the gym... but it's difficult with exams this week and work.
Hello Kyle! I'm your "next thread neighbour" I guess, because under my thread I clicked "next thread" and landed here.
My advice is count your carbs. It may seem tedious at first, but you'll soon (3-4 days) get a hang of it. Then you will know if the avocado was too much. Beware of nuts, they have some carbs in there that can creep up if you don't check them.
I've been trying to eat under 50g of carbs a day, and have found that an apple or a glass of milk can add up to 15 grams each, so watch out!
On the bright side, today I weighed 51.5 kg. That's 2 than last time and totally unexpected. Change from last time was eating less dairy and fruit.
The cheapest for me are fresh season veggies and eggs. I don't care much about organic and still it has worked wonders.
Good stuff, Kyle! It is indeed a bit soon to see results on the scale. My experience was that my weight barely budged at first -- I think because even though you are losing fat, you are also building up lean tissue that was lacking on a poor diet. Scale weight should start dropping in the next few weeks, but since you're already lowish BMI (6'2" and 180 is pretty good), it may not be that dramatic of a loss, and it may not last for long before the muscle gains start taking over if you are indeed lifting.
There's nothing much in your diet to critique; all the foods are good and you're not giving in to the grain and sugar cravings. Personally I would recommend tapering off your breakfasts, beginning with avoiding the milk, but I'm a bit of a nut for IF and that would just be tinkering around the edges. You're off to a great start, keep it up!