I decided to binge on a pizza this weekend while planning out my return to healthy living. I’ve been too influenced to eat bad food over the past few months and it’s essentially become habitual. At least I’ve identified the problem.
Now it’s time to change. I know what to do, it’s just the first couple weeks of doing it that can be a bit of a system shock. It’s like the “three day hump” a lot of smokers go through when trying to quit, except this is a hump experienced trying to get into a habit.
- Reduce body fat percentage. I estimate I’m around 20%. I want to be around 12 to 15%.
- Gain 15 pounds of muscle.
- Repetition goals: 100 pushups, 20 pullups.
- Grate cheese on my abs.
The first two goals are determined by physical appearance (i.e. muscle size and definition). The third goal is a mark of strength which doesn’t necessarily correlate to physical appearance (powerlifters usually have a lot of fat but can lift hundreds of pounds with ease).
Since I want to reduce body fat percentage and gain mass (muscle), this is quite simple: eat primarily protein and fat while cutting carbs and eat more calories overall. To achieve this, I’ll be getting back into paleo as I was doing briefly a little while back. No bread, no legumes, no sugary drinks, etc. Basically, anything that you would’ve found humans eating in the Paleolithic Era (right before the invention of agriculture) is good to go. Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and water. If it’s packaged, it’s a no-go in most cases.
I’ll have to do a few calculations, but I’m looking at something like 2500 to 3000 calories a day and around 150 grams of protein. That’s more than 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight, but hey, it won’t hurt at all.
To more easily get protein, I’m betraying one hotly contested portion of paleo — dairy. Technically, it’s not paleo, but it does have a lot of benefits. Dairy really comes down to the individual because some people can handle the casein protein and some can’t. (Chocolate) milk is a great way to meet caloric goals and makes for a good shot of protein. Greek yogurt has loads of protein. And cheeses certainly pack a punch as well as enhance pretty much any food.
Without further adieu, the foods I’ll be consuming 95% of the time:
- pretty much any vegetable (for large salads)
- Builder’s Bars
- Greek yogurt
- chocolate milk
- almond milk
Other than the occasional potato, carbs are pretty minimal. Bread is a definite no except for scheduled cheat meals/days.
I decided to start with P90X instead of Primal Fitness. While PF has everything I need, it’s more of a do-it-yourself deal, whereas, P90X is an actual program that sticks to a schedule. After living with myself for over two decades, I know myself well enough to say that’s it’s better to start with a program.
I still need to call about soccer, but that’ll fit in as primarily cardio (and fun). Golf isn’t too strenuous, but it’s still good to get out under the sun and enjoy the outdoors. Lastly, rock climbing. If I were living in a different city where they actually have a gym, I’d be doing this everyday and not likely bothering with a workout program. However, I have to travel over an hour each way to the nearest one. Given this, I’ll only be going on the occasional weekend and it’ll mostly just be for fun and meeting cute climber chicks.
Ha! There is no end game, silly fools. It’s a lifestyle change for the better. I recall being surprisingly energetic and content when I was previously eating clean and physically active just over a year ago. Then life started changing and my habits changed with it. I thought I could justify being lazy because of changes in my job/career, moving, breakups, etc.
Now I’ve realized that it’s not okay to let those around you influence your health. It’s not okay to use them as excuses either.