Week Five of Mike's countdown to 195

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Five

To stay motivated, Michael has decided to update everyone on his main 2015 goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until the goal is accomplished.

History

Back in January 2015, Michael had a goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by the end of the year. If he did not suffer muscle loss, 195 pounds would roughly equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals for 2015 was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

If you missed it, go back view previous weeks:

WEEK 4: December 4th – December 10th

December 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 204 lbs
Waist: 34.4″

Week 5 Main Goals

  • Get back to being 90% compliant with my eating .
    • That means that out of ten meals of the week, nine of them had to follow my healthy eating plan.
    • I went overboard the days after Thanksgiving. I wanted to get back on track.
  • Get more than 7 hours of sleep a night.
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Two years worth of data shows that this is where my calories need to be to lose weight
    • During the previous week I ate too many calories consistently so this was my main focus of this week.
    • That breaks down to:
      • 178 grams Protein
      • 178 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
  • Weight Training 5 Days a week
    • Sunday: Chest & Calves
    • Monday: Back & Abs
    • Wednesday: Shoulders & Hamstrings
    • Thursday: Quads & Abs
    • Friday: Biceps & Triceps
  • Conditioning
    • 10 minutes of random exercises four times a week after weight lifting

Observations & Challenges

During this past week I was faced with a dilemma that everyone who attempts a diet will be faced with sooner or later. This week I went out to a restaurant for dinner with some friends. So what’s the big deal about going to dinner? I wasn’t going to cheat.

Normally when faced with the prospect of going out to eat, it becomes easier to make that your cheat meal for the week. I didn’t want to use the fact that I was out in a restaurant an excuse to eat poorly. I had already done that (see Week 1). I use to eat out at restaurants all the time when I traveled for my job. It was time for me to get back into restaurant eating shape.

Prior to going to the restaurant, I viewed its menu online. The website didn’t have nutritional facts but it did provide some good details about what each dish contained. Once I got to the restaurant I ordered a roasted chicken salad with the salad dressing on the side.

As my friends and I waited for the food to come out, of course we were presented with breads. This particular restaurant is infamous for their delicious variety of breads. I was so tempted to have one bite, but I reminded myself that today was a day to stay strong. Christmas is next week, and I already have three days marked off as possible cheat days. To meet my goal of getting down to 195, I would need to eat my 1776 calories on this day. I did not need to go over that amount.

Once I told myself that the bread was not in my plan, I got over it. After some good conversation, our food came to the table. As soon as I got my salad, I realized I had just made one tiny mistake. I forgot to order extra chicken for the salad. I needed that extra protein to meet my macro-nutrients for this day. Instead of dwelling on it, I just reminded myself that it was OK and enjoyed my salad. Out of the full cup of salad dressing that was presented to me, I used barely a teaspoon of it. The salad had avocados in it, so that was more than enough flavor.

As I drove home, I felt good about my efforts. I had set out to do what I wanted to accomplish. Sure in the past, I use to eat at restaurants with ease. I’m humble enough to realize I’m not that same guy at this present time. I’m slowly trying to build that skill back up to get back towards that level of leanness. It’s just like riding a stick shift. Once you learn it, it stays with you but that first drive is probably going to be a somewhat shaky.

NOTE: If you need to build some skills to handle real life situations check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and gain the confidence you need to live in the real world!!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week.  Can you guess which day was a cheat day?:

Mike's Daily food journal for December 11 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 12 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 13 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 14 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 15 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 15 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 17 2015

End of Week 5: December 18th, 2015

  • Scale Weight: 201.4 lbs
  • Waist: 34.0″
  • 94% Compliant
    • 16 out of 17 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

So that’s two weeks in a row in which I’ve been back in the zone. Nothing complicated, just consistency. Like I said last week, all I can control is what goes in my mouth. I can’t control the scale and/or tape measure. I know that if I hit my target numbers, the desired result will come.

As I get closer to 200 pounds, I also know that I am strictly in a fat loss mode. There’s very little chance of me gaining new muscle when going this low. I have to be very careful that I don’t start to lose muscle. In the previous weeks, I was making sure that my overall calorie intake was about 1776 per day. Now that I’m closer to my 2015 goal of losing 15 pounds of fat, I need to make sure it is only fat I’m losing.

What that means is that I will need to make sure that I’m getting enough protein. It doesn’t have to be perfect every day, but I do need to make sure I’m getting closer to 178 grams than 100 grams a day. Remember, that my goal is to look muscular when I lose my fat. I don’t want to appear like a stick figure. That’s why I came up with the macro-nutrient ratios.

My food plan is designed to aid my weightlifting sessions. A couple times during this past week, I didn’t feel like I had my A game at the gym. I got fatigue very easily and I know that’s a combo of my total calories and peri-workout nutrition. For these final weeks, I’ll be drinking Branch Chain Amino Acids before and after I work out. Think of it as extra muscle insurance due to my calories being so low and activity slowly increasing.

I’m confident I can still get down to 200 pounds just by following the same routine for another week. There’s no need to reduce calories even more and/or add too much activity to my workouts.

This upcoming week will be somewhat of another curve ball like Thanksgiving. This is the week of my birthday and Christmas. Two days I definitely plan on eating what I want! I expect my stats to increase slightly before I weigh in just like they did for Thanksgiving.

My goals for this upcoming week is to have 80% compliance (going slightly down from 90% due to 3 planned cheat days) or better eating habits, try to get closer to 8 hours of sleep (I’ve been averaging 7), and do four 10-minute cardio sessions after I lift weights.

With the weeks dwindling down in December, do you still think I got what it takes to be 195 lbs by December 31st? Or will this countdown have to cross over into 2016? Stay tuned for Week Six!