A hard diet lesson

This January Kaci and I joined a P90X2 Challenge hosted by our Beachbody Coach, Wayne Wyatt.  At that point I had dropped to 160.4 pounds and was coming in at about 9.4% body fat.  In my mind I was thinking, “this is so cool!  I’m down from 19% body fat since August…I’ll hit my 7% goal mid way through this challenge”.  But it never happened.

Thing is, if I would have gained weight or lost ground with my body fat percentage or measurements I might have had something to go off of.  Instead the most frustrating thing that can ever happen to someone trying to reach a goal…I plateaud!

Over the next two month period I tried going on the X2 Fat Shredder to cut the body fat…nothing.  I tried equalizing my carb to protein ratio…nothing.  I tried lowering my caloric intake…nothing.

At face value all those options sound pretty logical when battling body fat.  The idea being “let’s have the body target the fat stores”.  Right?

Last week (May 7th, 2012 to be exact) in the middle of the night I made a startling discovery.  As I was tossing and turning in my sleep I was woke up to an ammonia smell.  It didn’t take long to figure out it was coming from my perspiration.  Good and bad news all wrapped up in one!

Here’s the good news.  That odor gave me the clue I needed to begin adjusting my diet to not only maximize my workouts but to be healthy.  The bad news.  Well the ammonia smell is an indicator that our body is in “survival mode”.  This odor is given off when our bodies begin to metabolize our muscle while preserving it’s fat stores…sometimes even adding to the fat stores (which wasn’t the case here).

So what did I do to cure this?  Two things.  I upped my caloric intake from 1,900 calories per day to roughly 2,300 – 2,500 (still figuring out where to land here) and I lowered my protein intake while boosting my good carbohydrate and good fat intake.  Within 3 days I could see visible signs around my mid-section (my love handles are my trouble spot) that they were beginning to shrink.

The lesson in this for me is that sometimes we get stuck in a fitness paradigm of “less calories, less carbs” when in reality our bodies need more calories and more carbs.  If you have a job that has you doing more than sitting at a desk plus you are “pushing play” and “bringing it” daily with a Beachbody or another high octane workout (such as cross fit), then you might want to consider putting more good fuel in your body.  Especially if you’ve hit that fitness plateau and can’t seem to shake it.

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