The End of My 8 Week Program (just the beginning)…

Wow, where have the past 8 weeks gone!?

Only 8 weeks ago was I in Scotland on holiday excitedly looking forward to working with my nutrition coach for the first time, after smashing away 5 pints of Guinness the night before…

I’ve learned so much from working with a nutrition coach, but little did I know it would have such a profound impact on me, which I’ll come on to further in this read…

 

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Today's dinner, a frequent easy go-to: Meatballs, fresh pasta, cheese and spinach. Oh, and my favourite plate 😍 It's so easy to fry up some meatballs in 10 minutes, simmer in a sugar free recipe sauce, fresh pasta takes two minutes to boil, and tastes SO much better, and BOOM 💥 Healthy meal in a stitch… Macros: P:62g, C:75g, F:41g (don't add cheese if you want the fat a bit lighter). I definitely needed this meal after tonight's workout. A proper healthy meal in 15 minutes. . . . . #chargenutrition #health #fitness #nutrition #lifestyle #inspiration #motivation #instagood #love #cleaneating #cleaneatingideas #healthyfood #recipe #recipes #mealprep #food #foodporn #foodlover #foodblogger #fooddiary#foodisfuel #foodies #foodoftheday #foodlove #fitnessfood #crossfit #fran #frankilledme #carbspls

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So what HAVE I learned? Well, its more a case of what I’ve learned with my body, as well as learning some cool tools I can use to propel me towards some sort of nutrition success. Either way, the position I’m now now is a very different position to where I was 8 weeks ago.

The main thing I’ve learned that in order to have a successful result at something you need to be consistent. I fell off the rails tracking my macros a few times in the 8 weeks, only slightly. It couldn’t be helped in parts, I’ve been very ill the last week having not trained in 7 days (you can tell I’m not faking it now) as well as having a few blips in terms of macro planning and going ‘fuck it’ and nailing some cereal or some doughnuts outside of my macro target. I was that ill one day I started questioning whether it was worth it being all nutritious and healthy and shit. It’s safe to say I knocked that out my mind instantly and that the fact I’m here and rambling on so fast is a testament to my passion.

But I’ve learned I had such a bad outlook on food previously, I deemed ‘healthy’ to be the epitome of ‘my body is a temple’ or ‘I shall not sin my body with sugar’. In fact, that’s actually a very bad way to look at it now I’ve learned. Now, I have a really good outlook on food, I eat what I want when I want it, as long as it fits in my macro, BUT at the same time, ensuring my 3 main meals a day are as nutritious as possible, getting my fibre, protein from animal sources, a good carbohydrate source (not pure sugar) and a good bit of fat. It’s my snacks where I figured I actually can crave and get away with little treats here and there. Ice cream before bed for instance, it’s a rarity. A piece of cake or decent size of flapjack whilst working in between meals. I really enjoy eating healthy main meals but I realised I also really enjoy having small treats every now and then in the form of breakfast biscuits and Soreen mainly.

I’m really happy with my relationship with food now and I’ve completely flipped what healthy means to me, that healthy is ‘having the food you want, when you want it, in moderation whilst really thriving off nutritious main meals’. I certainly don’t eat a load of cake every day, but now when the chance comes, I don’t dread the question, I go ‘yea sure’. 🙂 But if it’s going to put me over for the day in macro targets and I’m not hungry, I really don’t care if I say no anymore. So I’m chuffed with that…

 

 

I’ll show some figures now from where I’ve come from in the past 8 weeks:

My starting macros were: Protein: 200g,  Carbohydrates: 300g and Fat: 115g.

My end macros are: Protein: 200g, Carbs: 325g (I have a refeed day every monday with 375g carbs) and Fat: 125g.

You’ll notice there’s not hugely a great deal of change. But the 25g of extra carbs a day over 8 weeks has been the difference between one week feeling starving (and eating more food than my targets) and the next week getting 10g extra carbs a day and feeling fully satiated for the next 2 weeks. It may come at the end of those two weeks my body is used to those carbs and I need some more, so we added 10g more. Test, re-test, evaluate. And it’s worked my body is getting exactly what it needs and when I’m hungry I eat a bit more until hunger stops. It’s a slow process but it works.

The whole point of this is that It’s not a restrictive diet, if you want something eat it, it’s your diet, but the point is we need the consistency to assess what carbs your body needs for example, don’t starve yourself, have some damn food, just tell your coach or whoever is responsible for your programming. That’s what I’ve learned too, not to restrict myself, take away the shackles… Key takeaway here is just hold the consistency and listen to your body, it’s smart as hell.

In terms of my objectives they were: Increase strength and drive performance in the gym.

OK. My diet was built mainly to drive strength and performance, in other words I need more carbohydrates. If i was going for leaning up and losing a bit of weight I’d opt to go for less carbs and more protein…

So after counting I believe in the past 8 weeks I’ve added nearly 10kg to my snatch PB. I’ve added 10kg to my clean and jerk PB. My fitness has gone up as noted by my workout times in CrossFit AND my body has leaned out. I’m now 80kg bang on, where as I was 85kg when I started. Nearly a stone lost in a month, and that’s with eating to get bigger and stronger. It’s so obvious now that in order to ever lose weight in the first place, you need to eat more for your body to kick start the processes that make this work. We need to change the opinion on starving ourselves to lose weight, that’s going to be one of my missions.

I actually have gained muscle too, check out these progress pics:

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So I’ve probably not been fair here. Going forward I’ll use the same pose as a direct comparison, but I got my confidence back, which shouts wonders itself.

My shoulders are bigger, my arms are bigger, I’ve definitely leaned out in the stomach and my face seems leaner. People comment too, don’t be afraid to listen to people when they comment on if you’re looking ‘lean’ or ‘better’ or ‘well’, it’s a comment you should acknowledge and thank them for sharing!! It may also shows you’re doing something right, the nice gesture also goes a hell of a long way to brighten your day too, so let’s not forget to encourage other people the same too. A tactical haircut also does wonders to look leaner too though!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

There’s definitely a few things in there as well I’ve learned, more of a personal level. For instance, I’ve learned that nailing 100g of carbohydrates in the morning in the form of 200g of porridge with milk, makes me crash mid-afternoon after lunch (very weird). Instead, I’ve held myself under 60g of carbs in the morning, yes I’m eating sourdough toast for breakfast, you can have bread, and I’m never crashed in the afternoon because of it. It’s the self regulation that you actually pick up along the way, I realised it only left me with a small dinner at night when I had that much in the morning so i had to adjust. But tracking your food intake does wonders, it really does!

The one thing I feel really down about though is my relationship with alcohol though. I don’t drink, or try not to, it’s a simple as that. In the last 8 weeks I’ve not had one sip of beer or alcohol. Mainly on a personal level I believe I’m slightly allergic to alcohol and I can’t have one pint without being immediately laughably hungover or tipsy. That’s a brilliant incentive for me to not drink because I feel like utter CRAP because of it, that and I know that even one drink affects my mood the evening I have it as well as the next day.

But it’s something that bothers me, I’d love to relax with a pint with friends and good company but I am so defensive of it it’s as if it’s like my previous relationship with sugar, almost toxic.

I’m actually very happy going to a meal out and the first thing I order is a coffee, I love it. But I feel so conscious about it and I don’t know why. It’s something that bothers me when I don’t want to or can’t drink alcohol with people, I’d rather genuinely be considered boring than feel like shit because of it, yet at the same time I want to relax with people and be considered fun, I dunno. It’s a demon of mine, I just don’t know whether I care that much to never have to drink again, as I could genuinely go the rest of my life without drinking alcohol!!

Either way, I’ve learned a tonne, and feel so so good for what I’ve done the last 8 weeks, I feel healthy, feel strong and am happy with my strength going forward, but more so I now enjoy my relationship with food and pizza again. As long as I make that pizza fit my macro I’ll make damn sure the day before I allow it to fit! It’s as simple as that, plan for your meals you’re going to have in the day the night before and I promise you I’ll make myself take that pizza and hit my target bang on.

 

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A week off work means loads of cooking and a well prepped week of snacks and meal prep! Food coming out my ears… 🌯👂🏻 Today's treat were Sweet Potato and Egg Muffins with Parmesan and Spring onion. Amazingly healthy @ P:11g/C:26g/F:6g and 5g of fibre per muffin. I had two, and what 😍😜 Hit me up if you want the recipe, amazingly tasty!! . . . . . #chargenutrition #health #fitness #nutrition #lifestyle #inspiration #motivation #instagood #love #cleaneating #cleaneatingideas #healthyfood #recipe #recipes #mealprep #food #foodporn #foodlover #foodblogger #fooddiary#foodisfuel #foodies #foodoftheday #foodlove #fitnessfood #foodie #photooftheday #photo #picoftheday #manchester

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I’m starting to waffle on a bit, I’ll be wrapping up soon…

The ONE thing I’m most excited about though is that in the last 5 weeks I’ve been speaking to the owner of the company who hires the nutrition coaches and am working by his side very closely. He’s agreed to mentor me to become a nutrition consultant myself over the next 10 months and this is something I’m SO SO excited about.

I’m that excited because as a first task he’s asked I go out into the real world and find real people who want to get real results, and act as guinea pigs as my first clients under Charge Nutrition.

This was a free opportunity for these individuals but it’s something that I wanted to do to allow me to train under supervision from Jason, my mentor. He’ll be overseeing the work before I ever give anything to my guinea pig clients (I believe they really don’t mind being guinea pigs) and to make sure i’m doing the right thing for them whilst I’m being trained. But it officially marks the start of getting the business I wanted to make to help people, off the paper and screen and into the real, tangible world. It’s something I feel proper passionate for now and I’m so excited to start helping people out that i’m trying everything I can to avoid making rash decisions with my current job.

I firmly believe as a whole Charge Nutrition as a business offering nutrition services, will open it’s doors to the public with 5 months, maybe even sooner… I just need to to become knowledgeable first and show other individuals with my guinea pig clients that what I’m doing is real and not all just hot air. That’s why I’m so excited and THAT’S why I started blogging in the first place. So I can at least help one person with these musings or potentially work with them going forward to get there goals.

There’s no agenda, no bullshit, no false hopes. I’m breaking it down for you in this blog with all the stuff good and bad stuff that happens, but I’m not gonna hide the fact I’m excited to be officially starting to help people and that I’m one step closer to making the vision of decent nutrition to the world a proper reality!

Charge up team! Watch this space for more news and fun goings-on!!

Hope you’re all well and have a top weekend.

Dan

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