UPDATE - Looking to start back up again but need a LOT of help.

  • I have never entered myself in the challenge but did read the book and applied the principles around 10 years ago for a 4 month period and lost about 20 lbs back then.  I am now 6'2" and 235 lbs and all the weight went to my midsection and is just embarrassing to look at in the mirror for me even though people tell me all the time I don't look that bad, I know better.


    The problem I have today is my job.  I work third shift and can't be on my families schedule.  The shift is killing me but it is a paycheck and I do like the work.  I need to figure out how to apply the principles from the book into my new schedule.  The first problem I have is that I can't do the workouts as soon as I wake up because of scheduling conflicts and second is I can't drink all that water right before going to bed.  Trust me on that.  :)


    Here is my average day,

    Wake up at 3pm. Eat a quick breakfast, run to get the kids from high school, grade school and daycare(three different locations). That takes about an hour right there.  Get them home, start making dinner for the family (4:30-5:30 depending on the day).  Clean up the kitchen with my wifes help.  Help kids with homework and then have some wind down time before bath and bed.  Bathtime is around 6:30pm to 7pm and bedtime for the younger kids is between 8 and 9pm.  9pm is when I have to start getting ready for work and have a quick snack.  I leave for work at 10:10pm and work until 6:30am.  I get home at 6:45am, help get the kids ready for school and am in bed by 7:30am.  Rinse and repeat.

    No, my kids are not in school right now but I spend 9.5 months out of the year on this schedule so this is the one I am posting.  I generally try to do some form of exercise between 7pm and 8pm but it doesn't always work out everyday.  Generally, while at work, I eat at 1:30am and 4:30am with a veggie snack right before I go home at 6:30am.


    I need severe help in how to work this plan back into my busy schedule.

  • You need to schedule one hour per day  three days per week for the gym and about a half hour a day for a different three days per week for your cardio. Thats it.  Where will it fit best for you?   You're going to have to make it that seven pm to eight pm or maybe even after you get off your shift.  If I were you I'd talk to my wife about this. Maybe there are some changes she can make in her schedule to cover this for you.  Also if you geta  piece of home equipment like an eliptical or a treadmill or a stationary bike you can do your cardio right at home.

    As far as eating do your first eating when you wake up at 3pm then try to eat every 2.5 hours after that. If you can't eat a real meal on your shift perhaps you can squeeze in an MRP. Its totally possible. YES you have a busy schedule but I still know you can make this work if you want to.

    Good Luck!

  • Looks like your free time is between 9 and 10pm (or really between 7 and 10pm). If you have a gym membership you can shower there and then go straight to work. Just a thought.

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”


  • 7-8 is the only option that will work for me probably.  There is no way I am shortening my already short sleep schedule.  Plus, I have to use prescriptions just to get that sleep as well.  My big problem will be eating three times at work where I have no access to a kitchen because I know it is not good to do MRPs more than twice a day and that would get expensive for our budget.  I'm going to try 2 MRPs for this first month only.  Even that is more expensive than I thought though.  Are there any more reasonably priced options other than EAS products that are as good?

    The thing that made it hard for me 10 years ago was eating chicken all the time.  I burned out on it.  My picky eater family made it a pain to have variety because I didn't and really don't want to have to always make my own meals while making theirs too.

  • Also, where can I get a good list of recipes other than on this site?  I've looked at some of the recipes and found a couple that seem reasonable but I'm not very fond of the formatting used on the recipes page.  Takes too long to surf through them one at a time.  I would really like to find a good list somewhere.

  • A good non-cooking needed meal is a pouch of tuna and an apple. That's what I eat for lunch.

    I don't eat chick or beef. I did for my first challenge but had not had them for over a year before I started it.

    Fish, Eggs, Cottage cheese, and Veggie Burgers. Thats my protein list for now.

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”


  • cottage cheese mixed with yogurt is a go to meal for me.

    YES there are plenty of MRBs that comply with the 40/40/20 BLF macro guidelines. I found many at whole foods for just a dollar or two each.

  • Thanks guys.  I don't mind tuna too much so I can definitely do that.  Do you flavor it up at all or just eat it straight from the pouch?  Also, cottage cheese never sounded too appetizing to me.  Is that another thing you just eat directly from the container?

  • I did find a decent deal on Amazon for Myoplex Lite shake packets (20 pack) for $30 and Myoplex Lite MRBs (12 pack) for $15 if you use subscribe and save.  That came to $1.65 per shake and $1.41 per bar after taxes.

    Don't know that I will want to rely on those as a permanent option though.  

  • Also, has anyone found good frozen meals that come close to fitting the 40/40/20 setup?  I do like the Healthy Choice Steamers but they are more like 30/50/20.

  • I mix cottage cheese with yogurt and a little artificial sweetener and some cinnamon. Its delicious.

  • no there are no frozen meals that come close unfortuantely.

    What I do is I plan and cook ahead.

    I brown 3LBS of lean ground beef and 3LBS of ground chicken or turkey *** on sundays. I use those as my proteins for at least two of my @ work meals (I eat 3x @ work)  I then just need to add my carb in the form of yams or corn or a whole grain sprouted tortilla and I'm good to go.  You can also look for the recipe for protein muffins which are a complete carb and protein in one you can make them ahead and take them for 1 or 2 of your meals.  Protein pancakes can also be made ahead and are grab and go. There are lots of solutions besides just the myoplex.  

  • How do I figure out exactly what my Carbs/Protein/Fat count should be per meal?

  • Guru,

    The ballpark figure for women is 20-23gms protein and the same amount of carbs in each of the six meals per day.  For men, I think it is closer to 30gms.  Hopefully someone else will chime in.

    If you want to be very specific, you should figure out your lean body mass (muscle mass).  Go to the LIBRARY section of this site, and click on tools, and use the body fat calculator.  You just need some of the measurements you took when you started.  If you haven't taken measurements yet, do it now.  When you get a figure for lean body mass, that is the same number of gms of carbs and gms of protein that you need in one day.  Divide that number by six, and that is the number of gms you shoot for in each of your six meals.

    For example, I am a 5'3" woman and my lean muscle mass is about 120lbs.  So I need 120gms carbs per day, and 120gms protein per day.  Divided by six, means I aim for 20gms carbs per meal, and 20gms protein per meal.

    When I am doing palm/fist method, I don't worry about figuring out how many gms of protein are in my meat, but when I have something like cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or shakes, I use the labels and figure out exactly how much I can have, and I measure it out.  Even brown rice or oatmeal.  For me, 1/2 cup cooked is what I go with.  A man, or a larger woman will need a larger portion.  Don't go too small, or your body WILL notice, and will go into starvation mode, shutting down your metabolism.  

    Some ideas for food at work:

    Pack greek yogurt in a cooler.  Yogurt is considered a carb, but greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in carbs.  Some use plain and figure out how much to consume to get their protein/carb amounts correct.  With plain, you can usually add some berries to get carbs up.  I like the flavored single serving sizes, because I am lazy.  COSTCO sells CHOBANI - a dozen for $11.49.  Not a bad price for a meal.  I add 1TBSP of vanilla low carb protein powder (mine gives me 5gms protein and 0.5gms carbs in a TBSP) It is delicious!!  

    Definitely try the cottage cheese pancakes.  Awesome.  If you add enough stevia, cinnamon, and vanilla, you don't even need any sugar free syrup.  I pop two of them in the microwave and eat them like a sandwich.  I double the recipe and refrigerate them.  The kids love them too.  My daughter went to a sleep over at the cousins and convinced my sister in law to make them...they all enjoyed them!

    I use the recipe from the EFL book (many recipes in there may not be for "challenge results", but this recipe is fine.

    In blender: 6egg whites, 1 c. fat free cottage cheese, 1/4tsp vanilla, 1/4tsp cinnamon, (I add 1/4tsp stevia).  

    Then add 1c. whole oats (non-instant).  Blend in, but not too much or they can be runny.

    The cook like you would ordinary pancakes.  These are so awesome.  

    Hope this helps, even if it is rambling!



  • Man, based on that formula I will need nearly 40 grams of protein and carbs.  I'm going to have to find a cheaper way to get that as I didn't want to make our already high grocery bill go up on my account.  Feeding 6 is tough enough.

    What kind of cereals are out there that will fit the bill?