14th September 2014
Today marks the end of the first week on my comp prep diet. In the past, I have always exercised regularly and eaten healthy. However, I have learnt that eating for health is not synonymous with eating for body composition. Although they do overlap, the restrictions are far greater when you are eating to lose body fat and build lean muscle. Dairy for example can be healthy, but it is not ideal for body composition.
I was not particularly surprised by any of the restrictions my trainer imposed upon me – no dairy, no grains, no gluten (suits me just fine because I suffer from an allergy to gluten anyway), no artificial colours or flavourings, and only one carb meal a day. Although I’ve attempted to eliminate some of these things in the past, without having a solid goal in sight I was never able to fully commit to it.
In short, my diet is now just eggs, meat and vegetables, six times per day. I’m eating a lot of food so I never feel hungry; it is just the types of food that are restricted.
The major difficulties I faced this week were:
They say the first week on a new diet is the hardest and well, they aren’t wrong! Admittedly, I was craving sugar all week. A friend and personal trainer told me that this is common because bacteria that lives in your stomach feeds off sugar and thus leads to sugar cravings. She also said that bacteria will die off after being on the diet for a while, making it much easier. I certainly hope so!
I slipped up once this week, smashing a Quest bar in a moment of hunger, and sweet tooth-ed weakness. However I didn’t hang on to it – if there’s one thing I know, it’s important that when you do lapse on your diet, that you don’t beat yourself up over it, and you move on back to eating healthy foods. That is the only way you can maintain a healthy relationship with food. After my one minor slip, I managed to hold myself together by planning ahead when and what my cheat meal was going to be. Having something to look forward to made it easier getting through the week.
- The limbo between programs
We didn’t start training this week, which I think made sticking to the diet harder. Not training (I decided to give my body a rest before commencing this tough 12 week program) leaves me unmotivated and lethargic, which is when mentally I’m at my weakest and I crave crappy foods. I’m itching to get started on the training next week so that I feel more motivated. At the moment, I’m just picturing that goal body at the end of my journey, and it’s kept me on track enough with the diet for now.
- Meal-prep and time management
Another issue was organizing myself in terms of meal prep. Eating six cooked meals a day is a lot of work! I know I’ll get faster at cooking meals, but at the moment it feels like my life is a mess of cooking and cleaning all day every day! I’ve got some tips from a friend who has been on a similar diet for a while and is basically a meal prep guru. Hopefully once I implement her advice, I get a good system going and spend less time cooking. I’ll keep you updated on how I go with this. In the meantime, I invested in a hot pink 6-pack bag to help carrying around my meals for the day that little bit easier (pictured) 🙂
The first week certainly has been the toughest. For now I’ll just remember, “nothing worth having comes easy”.