When training to change your body composition dramatically, your diet becomes incredibly important. It doesn't matter how many hours you put in at the gym, if you haven't got your nutrition spot on, you won't be able to achieve your desired results. For the last 5 weeks I have been on a fat loss nutrition plan, devised by my trusty nutritionist Freddy Brown of Specific Nutrition. Freddy has worked with many elite level athletes so I have faith that I am getting the best nutrition support to get me competition ready.
I am eating 6 small meals a day, with an emphasis on high protein, moderate carbohydrate and low fat intake. I've never eaten this way for fat loss before and have always opted for a high protein, low carb and high fat approach, which has worked well for me, but Freddy has encouraged me to try this method as it will allow me to preserve muscle mass as while I slowly strip fat off. The extra carbs also help me to maintain a high level of training intensity and volume, especially with the the demanding twice a day workouts.
As with everything I am doing in preparation for this competition, it's all an experiment, I've never done this before so it's very much trial and error. I am trying different training methods and different nutrition approaches, monitoring how my body responds, and adapting as I go. It really is one big experiment to see what I can achieve with my body, and it's certainly proving interesting! Nutrition will need to get a little more extreme during the final few weeks, but I am just taking it one day at a time right now.
Here's a breakdown of what I'm currently eating each day and some pics so you get an idea of portion sizes too. I'm certainly not starving myself and in fact I'm probably eating more than many people who aren't trying to lose weight!
Calories: 1800-2000 cals
Meal 1: 6am - 40g porridge oats with whey protein and water.
Meal 2: 9am - 300ml milk and fruit
Meal 3: 12pm - 100g chicken, 170g sweet potato and 300g veg
Meal 4: 3pm - Whey protein and fruit
Meal 5: 6pm - 250ml cottage cheese
Meal 6: 8-9pm - Meat/fish, veg and olive oil dressing
I also drink 3 litres of water everyday as this helps my body to metabolise fat. I take a few supplements too:
Omega 3 fish oil - to aid fat burning and cognitive function
Vitamin D - to increase insulin sensitivity and boost immune system (I don't have any time for illness!)
Creatine - to aid strength and power
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) - to boost glycogen stores only when I'm doing fasted training first thing
Magnesium - to help muscle contraction and aid sleep/muscle relaxation at night
Although the food sources I eat vary from day to day, this is a fairly typical day for me right now. To keep things simple and ensure I'm sticking to the correct macronutrients, it doesn't vary too much, but I'm cool with that as I know it's just for a short period of time, so I'm not getting bored.
When you're eating 6 meals a day, food prep in advance is key and I now have a food prep day once a week where I cook all my chicken and sweet potato in one go so I can easily grab my lunch each day. I need to make sure I'm eating roughly every 3 hrs so that I'm getting a regular hit of protein, as your body cannot hold on to amino acids for too long. This means I often find I'm planning my days around my meal times, which might sound a bit obsessive, but again I know it's only for a short period of time. I just make sure I build in small feeding windows in between training my clients. I'm even able to keep up occasional socialising with meals out as you can order lean meat and veggies for pretty much anywhere.
I am feeling leaner now and my muscles are starting to show some more definition and look harder. There is also a glimmer of abs emerging which is a good sign. As they say, abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!