Friday, April 1, 2011

Time to shape up

Time for a confession: I've been letting the diet slide lately. And I feel like crap as a result.

The past few weeks I've been seeing a physical therapist for my shoulder injury 3 times a week, so I decided to lay off the Olympic lifting until I finish the PT. I changed up my training to 3 days a week of heavy compound movements (back squat, weighted dips, weighted pull-ups, deadlift) with some metabolic conditioning thrown in when I have the time. All of which was going great, and I've been making really good gains in strength. But, in the interest of "recovering" from my workouts I've started allowing things that I had practically eliminated from my diet. Rice, fast food, candy, etc.

But the funny thing is I'm now recovering worse than before, even though I'm eating more calories and more carbs. Right now my body is terribly inflamed, I had no energy for my workout on Wednesday (which I had to give up on), and I'm sore as heck from a level of volume that should be easily maintainable by me, even while attempting to lose weight. I had forgotten just how sensitive I am to dietary toxins, but this has been a rude reminder.

What all this means is that it's time for another round of "super diet clean-up." Beginning Monday, April 1st I will rid myself of the following things:

* Any beverage stronger than green tea (includes coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, diet soda, etc.)
* Any and all grains or grain-like seeds
* Sugar
* Most dairy save for some whey protein post-workout and a small amount of grass-fed butter, as I've found these don't bother me

If I need some post-workout carbs I'll have a couple bananas, or a sweet potato, and just stick to meat, eggs, veggies, berries, a small quantity of nuts, fish oil, and a variety of spices to keep it interesting. A square or two of 85% dark chocolate here and there, and a few glasses of wine once a week (on the weekend) to help keep me sane.

The goal is to stay this strict through the month of April, and re-evaluate at the end to see what worked and what didn't. I can practically guarantee a few things, though: improved recovery, improved sleep, more energy throughout the day, improved body composition, and hopefully some PRs in the gym. The first week is always the toughest, so I'll be blogging every day next week to keep my mind in the right place. I'll take some measurements this weekend as well for comparison.

Wish me luck!


Fatman said...

Everyone's different, of course, but in my experience carbs can assist your recovery far better than anything else. Especially if you're nursing an injury. Of course, not if eaten as empty calories (candy, junk stuff, white bread, etc.).

I have gone through a couple of low-carb kicks with decent results as far as fat loss is concerned, but even that aspect of low-carbing tends to stall as your BF% drops and in the end I just end up losing energy, resulting in lower poundages lifted.

Then again, you have used this approach with success in the past so you know best what works and what doesn't. Either way, good luck!

Geoff said...

I feel you. I plan on getting a large quantity of carbs post-workout on heavy training days in the form of starchy vegetables (squash, yams, bananas, even white potatoes and some black beans), looking at maybe 75-100g, in addition to whatever else I get from fruit and veggies. So it's not really all that low-carb, just minimizing low-quality carbs that get me all inflamed.

I'll keep you posted as to my results in the next few weeks.