In October, I had all but decided that I had worked so hard this year, I was going to just coast the rest of the way and maintain my diet and current weight. After all, I’ve accomplished a lot of fat loss so far and the holidays are approaching, so there’s definitely some good, hearty meals I want to indulge in.
As sure as November 1 struck, I started wrestling with my conscience and questioning my decision. I realized that I simply didn’t want to give these months up. All of this came while writing about finishing the year strong. I had previously convinced myself that just eating great and maintaining was enough, because just doing that can be difficult at this time of year.
As I sat and contemplated what I wanted most, I couldn’t help but feel excited about the alternative of working my butt off through the whole winter and seeing even greater results.
I didn’t feel any excitement about “maintaining” just to enjoy a few holiday meals, so that was my “id” telling me what to do, right?
This is when I knew.. This is when I realized that I wasn’t about to take it easy for the next two months. I’ve come too far, so why waste time? I’ve had the best year of training and nutrition of my entire life and pushing on just makes the most sense.
With every workout this week, my decision to “hit it hard” has been reinforced. There was no break in my workout prior to this attitude change but what has happened is a renewed attention to detail with my diet.
I’ve been eating great, but I’ve not been tracking every macro and calorie and when I was doing that, I was getting the best results.
Success in getting lean and ripped is about dedication and creating goals.
October was the first month this year where I didn’t feel like I pushed any harder than I had to. While much of this was due to being sick over half the month, I’ve also found self-satisfaction at my current weight of 158. It’s easy to kind of coast when you are feeling good about where you are and especially after working extra hard to get there.
Even still, I learned a pretty great lesson in October that’s worth sharing:
You can eat all the bacon and eggs you like and never get fat!
My plan was to finish the year out alternating a high carb day and a high fat day. On my high fat days, I’ve been eating a good pound of bacon a day and around six eggs… and not gaining a pound! I even had close to 200 grams of fat on two different occasions (interesting to note that the day after one of these days was when the scale showed I lost a pound!).
I’m still not entirely sure that I couldn’t maintain eating this way the rest of the year and get leaner.. but I’m going to move forward with getting most all of my fats from EFAs (essential fatty acids) while employing a combination of carb cycling and intermittent fasting, as this been the most effective means of losing fat this year.
But still!… I can’t tell you how nice it is to finally realize that eating a lot of fat is not making me any fatter. And for those worried that the cholesterol levels might be the downside, I encourage you to read ‘The Great Cholesterol Myth‘.
So while I don’t consider October a “win” for leaning up more, it’s definitely a win to realize that in trying to maintain any weight I choose, I can eat a high fat diet (very high fat actually) and achieve awesome results. When I do ultimately decide to stay at a particular weight, I can look forward to enjoying some of my favorite foods such as butter, cheese, bacon and eggs, and with the full assurance that I can eat these foods often and still look great.
If you’re interested in a more scientific explanation of why a high-fat diet not only works, but should possibly be preferred, check out Dr. Peter Attia’s blog at EatingAcademy.com. He’s definitely recommended reading and someone I try to routinely follow.
The Excitement of Winter Gains
Remember when I said that I had a feeling of excitement about making lean gains in the winter months? Here’s why…
I realized that as the cold weather has set in, the compliments (outside the gym world) have stopped. I don’t get to walk around tanned and looking muscular and lean. In fact, it seems I now need to invest in a new wardrobe, as everything looks rather large on me. My co-workers now love to ask me “are you sick?” or “have you lost weight?”.
But I realized that hitting 10% body fat made me comfortable after being well over 20% for so long. I maintained diet but I didn’t eat to keep losing as I had planned.
What’s exciting to me now is the realization that all my summertime activity friends (I indulge in a lot of summer sports) won’t see me playing outdoors for another six months. I felt like I impressed last year but I get down-right excited with the realization that I can lean up to my ultimate desired goal of six or seven percent in the next six months.
What can I say? I love creating shock value with my body. I think we all do. There’s something special about attaining a level of excellence that others (and maybe even yourself) never thought you capable of.
This winter is going to be about slowly reducing calories the entire time. It’s going to be about dedication and commitment and it’s going to be about success.
In 2012, I have realized “I can” and I have figured out the best methods for achieving fat loss. 2013 is going to be about finishing the job.