One of the best “side effects” in getting ready for this endeavor has been losing 30 pounds. In so doing my body composition went from 25% body fat down to 15%.
Here is how I did it.
- I created a calorie deficit of approximately 500 calories per day and stuck to it. I didn’t weigh my food or keep a diary but I did look up a lot of foods in various tables.
- I did not follow a “diet with a name” (guaranteed not to work long-term) but stuck with the concept of performance based nutrition.
- The deficit was a combination of exercising and consuming less calories.
- No more weight loss than a pound per week so as to preserve lean muscle mass. The last thing I wanted to do was shrink my “engine” and wind up looking baggy.
- Lots of protein and exercise. The books I read indicated that preservation of muscle mass is optimized by eating lots of protein and exercising plenty. So I did.
- Cut the carbs. I didn’t go ketogenic but I cut way back on grains, sugars and legumes. My carbs are from toast three days a week with almond butter and black raspberry jam and occasional pasta. Note that when I’m out hiking or recovering from a hike I fuel with plenty of carbs and protein. Unlike fats and protein carbs do not contribute to the body’s construction. Carbs are for fuel and their intake should be adjusted according to one’s activity level.
- Eat lots. I made sure I was never hungry and ate large, healthy meals with plenty of meat (grass-fed beef, fish, cage-free chicken) tons of vegetables and healthy fat. Then I forgot all about food until the next meal.
- 90% chocolate for dessert, one or two squares sufficed.
- No food after dinner. If dinner was sufficient why eat anything more?
- I bought a scale that indicates body fat to ensure I wasn’t losing lean mass.
- Along the way I probably read 15 books on various aspects of food, nutrition, cholesterol and fats. One of my favorites was “Racing Weight”, which really got the ball rolling for me and helped me train and lose weight at the same time.
That’s about it!