Saturday, 19 May 2012

Chicken Run - Balancing your Diet

I'm writing this post from the bar on the 23rd floor of The Hilton hotel in Manchester. There's a very tempting free bar for residents and I'm two beers into it - STOP!

The last ten days have seen me really change my eating habits and stuff with refined sugars within it is a no no (cutting out the rubbish) and in a moment of weakness the free bar got the better of me. Interestingly my bottle of Fosters doesn't have any ingredient labelling on it, no sugar or carbohydrate info but I'm guessing it's better I don't know.

Looking back on the last ten days of my nutrition plan from, I'm definitely feeling the benefits. I've not been suffering any afternoon blood sugar crashes leading me to normally reach for my office biscuit basket, I don't feel empty anymore which often led to late night snacking on crisps at home, I've got more energy as my hydration levels are really benefitting from the 2-3L of water I'm getting down my neck a day and my diet is a lot healthier with more fruit, fish and veg within it.

Bread has had to go, except after a long ride in the recovery window. One thing I am enjoying is steering away from foods with the words "low fat" on them, primarily as they tend to be packed with empty carbs. My new favourite tipple is a pint of full fat milk everyday, contributing to getting the right balance between protein, carbs and healthy fats right and I'm eating chicken or eggs for breakfast - nice. In fact, chicken is one thing I'm eating a lot of to increase my protein intake to around 110g per day.

This is all part of a big master plan to get my body burning more fat naturally by ensuring it gets everything it needs through a day to function, minimum calorie intake is 2.1k per day and 3.5k if doing a long ride for me. Funny enough some days it's harder than you think, particularly when you're trying to balance protein and carb intake. Initial results are it hasn't felt too hard. It takes more planning, that's for sure, particularly if away on business and it costs a little more than normal as fruit spend has gone up.

Target is for a gradual weekly decline of around a kg, sustained week after week until reaching the desired weight. Idea is for a lifestyle change, changing body composition and eating habits for the long term, a marathon not a sprint.

One things for sure, I'm in the saddle less. Focusing more time on high intensity bursts on the watt bike, two gym visits for weights and stretching sessions leaves around six hours per week for an aerobic ride on the road. It will be really interesting to see the results.

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