James McQuarrie

A collection of random links and thoughts curated by James McQuarrie

2013 Fitness plan: Days 6 and 7 Week 3

After Friday’s weight session mishap I was happy to have the weekend off from training to rest and recover before the start of week four (today). Thankfully the two days rest seems to have been enough, my neck is still a little stiff but it’s much better and good enough that this morning’s run was fine, in fact it was more than fine. More on that in this evening’s update.

I did no training over the weekend, as per the original six week plan, but did keep a diary of what I ate and drank as normal.

Saturday was cheat day, so I could eat and drink anything that I wanted. I’d been looking forward to it all week, dreaming of sweet, sticky cakes and creamy, dairy based desserts. Ultimately though Saturday became more of a carb-fest than a sugar indulgence:

  • breakfast was four slices of wholemeal toast with some butter, a slice of cheese and a slice of ham on each. Two of the slices of toast also had some slices tomato on them. I also had a banana and peanut butter smoothie (low fat yoghurt, a dash of milk, one banana and two big dessert spoons of crunchy, organic peanut butter all blended to a smoothie)
  • lunch was out with friends at a Carluccio’s and consisted of 1 portion of lasagne, two pints of larger and several glasses of water
  • mid afternoon snack was 1 half of an extra large Twix and half a bottle of white tea with blueberry drink from a newsagents
  • at home I finished what was left of a big bag of salt and vinegar crisps (about half) and had a pint of squash and some wasabi nuts
  • in the evening we went to our local cocktail bar and had some salted popcorn (on the house) and I had an old fashioned and a special cocktail they had on for Burn’s night called a Rabbie Burns (which I highly recommend)
  • dinner was at a Thai restaurant called Thai Metro and consisted of a mixed plater to start and a yellow chicken curry and coconut rice main, and most of my girlfriend’s tofu pad thai (she wasn’t that hungry)
  • I also had one cornetto on the way home (I had a real hankering for ice cream, despite the rain…

I knew on cheat day I go over the top a little with the volume of food that I have, but it’s only when I write it down like this that it sinks in just how much I have. I’ve noticed that I’m starting to look at portion sizes in a new way. At the Thai restaurant, for example, the portions looked about right to me. A month or so ago I’d have thought they were a bit on the small side.

I think the fasting days are starting to help me understand that we don’t need to eat as much as we tend to do (or at least; as I tended to do) and that while there’s plenty of food, good and bad, available 24/7 all around us, that doesn’t mean we should be eating as much and as often as we’d like. I knew that before starting this, but the past few weeks of this experiment have made it much more real and apparent.

Saturday Morning Measurements

Weight: 98.4kg down 0.5kg since Friday
Body Fat percentage: 18.1% up 0.4% since Friday
BMI: 25.1 down 0.1 since Friday

Sunday – Day 7 Week 3

Sunday was a fast day again. Which is a good thing after Saturday’s marathon of eating!

It was the hardest fasting day I’ve had so far, it took a lot of will power not to snack in the evening. Sundays are a little bit harder than Wednesdays for fasting as we usually get our weekly food shop delivered on a Sunday afternoon. I then spend a few hours preparing a huge pan of soup or stew or chilli, etc for our lunches for the week. It saves time and money in the week, and it means we know what we’re eating so it makes eating healthily easier. But, it also means that on one of the two days a week when I can’t eat more than 600 calories, I’m having to prepare and cook big pans of food. It takes a lot of will power to not lick the spoon or take a taste every 5 minutes as I’m cooking…

I didn’t. I stuck to the fasting plan. I had:

  • breakfast (late breakfast) 2 eggs, one slice of wholemeal toast, 1 apple and a mug of green tea
  • no lunch – breakfast was at lunchtime
  • 1 egg and 1 apple for dinner
  • 1 cup of black coffee in the late afternoon
  • 2 pints of (diet) tonic water
  • 1 pint of water

Sunday Morning’s Measurements

Weight: 100.7kg up 2.3kg since Saturday
Body Fat percentage: 17.9% 18.1% down 0.2% since Saturday
BMI: 25.7 up 0.6 since Saturday

It’s worth noting that I don’t pay too much attention to the daily readings for each of these measurements, I’m more interested in the overall trends; but I think the weight reading here is an abnormally. It seems like a very big jump from one day to the next. Whether that’s because I ate late on Saturday night, or took the Sunday morning reading a few hours later than I normally would, I’m not sure. But that’s the biggest jump (up or down) I’ve had since starting these daily readings, by some way, so I’m not sure it’s accurate.

Like I said; it doesn’t matter too much as it’s the overall trend that I’m more interested in. And, in fact, I’m much more concerned with reducing my body fat percentage than I am with loosing or being a specific weight.