Tonight I weighed myself for the first time in a long time. I have always hovered right around 153lbs but tonight the scaled read 159lbs. I thought the scale must be wrong so I weighed myself again and again it read 159lbs. I kind of freaked out and started to look for reasons why I have had this weight gain over the past 3 months. Many reasons came to mind and some have to do with my nutrition. Let's look at a few.
The first reason for the weight gain could be due to increase in muscle mass. Some of my lifts have increased significantly in the past 3months. I put 20lbs on my snatch, 15lbs on my clean and jerk, and 10lbs on my squat. These increases came from increase muscle mass so that could be the reason. I like this line of thinking. I am getting stronger so in turn I gain weight. There has to be more to it than that.
Then I began to look into my nutrition. Chicago as a whole creates many nutritional traps. There is so many great places to eat and they all serve massive portions. Now I have not been going crazy eating out all the time but I can honestly say that I haven't always made the best decisions while eating out. I have consumed unfavorable carbs and fats and I am not proud of this. I have also consumed more beer than I did all of last year. Now I am not saying that I am drinking all day everyday all I am saying is that there has been an increase in alcohol consumption. So the combination of poor dietary choices and alcohol could be a huge contribution to the weight gain. This is a good possibility but one cheat meal and 1 or 2 beers on a weekend can't add 6 lbs. There must be more.
How about we look into my block counts and what I consume at each meal and snack. I eat strict zone and paleo foods...ONLY those foods. My zone block count for each meal currently is 5-5-15 and for snacks it is 2-2-6. Now some of you know what this means and some of you may not. I will give a brief explanation. If you want more info refer the book "The Zone Diet" by Dr. Barry Sears. This basically means that on any given day I consume a total of 19 blocks of protein, 19blocks of carbs, and 57 blocks of fat. At each meal I consume 5 ounces of a protein source, a combination of low glycemic high fiber carbs, and lots of healthy omega 3 fatty acids and fats. A typical dinner will be 5 ounces of chicken, 1 cup of broccoli, 1 cup of cauliflower, 3 cups of spinach and a combination of zucchini, tomatoes, and onions sauteed in olive oil. I then will also consume 1 whole avocado. This fulfills my 5-5-15 requirements. I have decided that I need to reassess my dietary needs. Let's go through the process!
I need to calculate my body fat percentage. First I measured my waist at my belly button and got 32 inches. Next I measured my wrist...6 1/2 inches. I now need to subtract the wrist from my waist and the result is...25.5 inches. Using a chart I found out that my body fat percentage is 11.5%. Now I need to calculate my lean body mass. Multiply my weight by my body fat percentage. 159 x .115= 18.25 which is the total weight of the fat in my body. Now I need to subtract my weight from my body fat mass. 159-18.25= 140.75. This is my lean body mass. Now I need to figure out my protein requirements. Okay I need to determine my physical activity factor. According to the chart I am active (1 hr per day 5 days per week) which equals a factor of 0.8. To get my daily protein requirement I multiply my lean body mass times my activity factor. 140.75 x 0.8= 112.6. I need to consume 112.6grams (113) of protein a day. Now each block of proteins equals 7 grams. I need to figure out my block consumption for the day. 113/7= 16 blocks per day. I have been over shooting my nutrition by 3 blocks per day. Looks like I need to adjust my intake. I will need to go down to 4-4-12 per meal and 2-2-6 per snack. Okay so here is the goal starting tomorrow reduce the blocks to the right portions and see where I go from there.
There is a lot of science behind the zone but in my opinion there is some wiggle room. I three times my fats because that is what I have found to be the right amount of fats to consume in order to fuel my body. Any less than that per day and I suffer massive headaches. I will eat the 16 blocks of protein and carbs and see how I feel. I know that I will feel great and I need to get back to this point. I knew my nutrition was off but I wasn't sure how much. A solution has been determined and away I go.
Let me give you a small fact list about what The Zone Diet and Crossfit has done for me. First of all it got me to lose 35lbs, reduce my cholesterol from 204 to 130, decreased my blood pressure from slightly above normal to 112/72, cleared up my skin, reduced aches and pains in my body, decreased my body fat from 26% to 11.5%. Crossfit has done more for me than I can explain in words. Lets just look at some numbers. My first Fran time was a 11:30 mins and now it is 2:39mins. My deadlift went from 295lbs to 405lbs, squat from 300lbs to 365lbs, snatch from 155lbs to 205lbs, clean from 225lbs to 260lbs, and front squat from 250lbs to 300lbs. You want to know what else this was all in less than a year. I started Crossfit at CF Durham July 20th 2009. It is now June 24th 2010. 11 months!!!
See what determination, sacrifice, proper nutrition, and an undying desire to succeed has achieved. I wish that everyone could experience what I feel right now. I am very happy and excited and know that the only way for things to go is up. So I gained 9 lbs...I can fix that, hit the workouts harder and more often and adjust my nutrition. A great inspiration to me is my friend Melinda. With proper nutrition, Crossfit, and yoga she lost 100lbs and she is still going. I love her story and love to see her accomplishments. She is one of my inspirations for never giving up and always looking on the bright side of life.
If you have any questions or need advice on nutrition let me know I will do my best to help you or send you links and resources that can help.
"Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”
- General George S. Patton
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