Mike’s Countdown To 195: Week Four

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 and view Week 1 , Week 2 and Week 3 )

WEEK 4: December 4th – December 10th

December 4th Stats
Scale Weight: 206.6 lbs
Waist: 35.2″

Week 4 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 needed to get back on track
  • Get 7-9 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 three times a week after weight lifting

 

Observations

In a perfect world, I would be eating 178 grams of protein, 178 grams of carbohydrates and 39 grams of fat each day. Those are the macro-nutrient numbers I calculated that I needed to achieve 1776 calories per day. Those ratios were ideal for my goal to maintain (and maybe just maybe gain) muscle mass while losing body fat.

Like you, I live in the real world. Every week is not going to be perfect. There are weeks in which I end up eating only 135 grams of protein.

Oh no!! Should I just give up all together? Doesn’t research show that the one-day I stop eating exactly 175 grams of protein, all my muscles will just vanish?

If you believe all the fitness magazines that sell supplements, that’s exactly what you would think. In an ideal world, you would eat about .8 – 1 grams of protein per pound of lean mass you have. To make it even simpler, instead of lean mass you could just use the weight you see on the scale, which is your body mass.

So if you weighed 200 pounds, you should be eating between 160 – 200 grams of protein (200 x .8= 160) to keep and grow lean muscle. Going higher than that amount of protein is really not necessary. Just because you eat more protein then the recommended amount doesn’t automatically mean you will have a ton of muscle. If that was the case, the majority of the folks you see at the gym would look like Greek Gods instead of average Jane & Joes!

Greek God comic type drawing

I mention all this because during some of my weeks, I was eating lower than my calculated 178 grams of protein. With my goal to get down to 195 calories, I’m focused more on getting about 1776 calories a day. That’s the number that matters right now.

Yes, I would love to have perfect protein numbers all the time because experts say that’s EXACTLY what I need. But what happens when I eat a meal higher in fat or carbs? When that happens I need to adjust my ratios to make sure I don’t go over my calories for the day. That’s why I’ve been keeping a food journal while I go down to 195. It helps keep me honest and let’s me know exactly how many calories I’m eating.

Of course nothing is perfect. I expect the numbers to be off 100-300 calories, but still at least it gives me a baseline. I can go back and see exactly what meals worked or hindered my progress. That’s why I’m comfortable with eating less than 178 grams of protein on certain days. My history has showed me that my body is not going to lose muscle and the world isn’t going to end just because I didn’t have the “perfect” amount of protein. One day doesn’t make or break a diet.

NOTE: If you are still caught up focusing on your past diet and fitness failures, maybe it’s time for you to let it go. Check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and get the clarity you need to be successful!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week:

Mike's Dec 4th Food Journal Mike's Dec 5th Food Journal Mike's Dec 6th Food Journal Mike's Dec 7th Food Journal Mike's Dec 8th Food Journal Mike's Dec 9th Food Journal Mike's Dec 10th Food Journal

 

End of Week 4: December 11th, 2015

  • Scale Weight: 204 lbs
  • Waist: 34.4″
  • 100% Compliant
    • 18 out of 18 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

This week is a good example of why you should take several different measurements. I can’t control what the scale will say every morning. All I can control is the food I put into my body. If I only relied on the scale, I would see that I lost two pounds since last week. Which isn’t bad, but there was more to this week’s story.

You see the thing the scale doesn’t show is the fact that I knew I was losing weight without even looking at the scale. Heck, I didn’t even need the tape measure to let me know that I was back on track. All I had to do was look in the mirror.

When I glancing into a mirror, I could visual see my waist appear smaller. It was also obvious that my waist was getting smaller due to how loose my underwear was becoming. If one pair was loose, I wouldn’t know but the fact that several pair were loose informed me that I had lost some weight in my waist/hip areas.

Prior to starting this countdown, I estimated that I would be around 200 pounds by December 11th. I’m above that goal but moving in the correct direction again. I would love to get down to 195 BEFORE Christmas Eve but we’ll see what happens.

Next Week’s Goals

My goals for this upcoming week is to:

  • Continue with my 90% compliant or better eating habits
  • Try to get closer to 8 hours of sleep a night
    • I’ve been averaging 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Add one more 10-minute cardio session into my weekly routine.

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 Five!