I'm writing to look for some support. I am on week 6 and am very disappointed with my results so far. I have only lost 5 lbs and about 1 1/2% body fat. I know it's better than nothing, but my expectations were so much higher. My husband and I are doing it together so that's been helping with some motivation, but he is seeing more results than I am.
I feel really good with the wieght routines and I know I'm improving with the cardio. Does anyone do more than 20 minutes of cardio or do you pretty much stick to the 20?
I'm most confused with my eating right now. How many grams of protein should I be eating to lose? Some say the grams should equal your body weight, but is that what I curently weigh or what I want to weigh? How important is it to get 6 meals? I only ever get 5 in. As you can see I have a lot of questions. I'm going to stick to it and probably continue another 12 weeks once I'm done with the 1st 12, but I really need some help.
I always aim for 20g of protein and 20g of carbs per meal, but I think there's a more specific formula out there in another post from today. It's VERY important to get 6 meals. I eat at 7:30, 10, 12, 3, 6, and 8 on my weight lifting days and 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, 3, 6, and 8 on my cardio days. Your body needs that evening meal to build muscle while you sleep.
For women, 8 weeks is a common time to start seeing huge results. Here's a link for more information: mikeharris.org/.../lady-success-document-as-of-3-14-10
Thanks. I know I need to get that 6th meal in there, it's just so tough. I usually go to the gym after work - around 4:30. By the time I'm home dinner is close to 7:00. Eating after that is tough! I will work on it.
Its tough to get the routine right. That's why I go in the morning, then I'm done with the workout and all I have to focus on is getting my meals in, not fitting them around my workout.
I do my cardio in the mornings before eating anything and because my schedule requires it, I lift in the late afternoon. RE: cardio: I stick to the book. It says 20 min, I do 20 min. I started my challenge thinking I was going to prove Bill Phillips wrong. Fortunately, he knew what he was talking about when he wrote it! Have faith and stick it out! My abs didn't start to show until the middle of week 12!
For protein, strive for one gram per pound of current body weight. Like someone has said before, its like draining a pool. The "deep end" or where your most accumulated body fat is will be the last to go. You can do this! My mantra through my first challenge was, "I am doing what others aren't won't do so that I can have the results that others can't have."
I also do 20 minutes by the book. If you can do more, you aren't working hard enough. :-) I'm DONE at the 20m mark, couldn't go another step if I tried. That's when you know you've put in a 20 by the book.
Regarding the amount of carbs and protein per meal. If someone is relatively fit and not far from goal weight, they can just use their weight and divide by six to know how many gms protein and carbs per meal for six meals. For those of us that started out heavy, you use lean body mass. There is a lean body mass calculator in the tools section of this site. Take your lean body mass and that is how many gms of protein and carbs you need each day. Divide that number by six to get the numbers for each of the six meals. Notice you are dividing by six, because you are supposed to be eating six meals per day. If this were easy, everyone would do it. Sounds like you are doing everything right except getting all your meals in. It could make a big difference, especially during the last few weeks, when the muscle you are building the first couple months really start to BURN more FAT!
Remember, that last meal can be right before you turn out the light! This plan is different than traditional diets. Your body NEEDS that fuel to build your muscles...while you sleep especially! Eat casein protein in the form of cottage cheese or greek yogurt right before bed to grow some muscles...so you can burn more fat!
You are doing so much right. Don't lose faith. Just stick to the program and you will see results. You can do this! Good luck.
Please please please get in your 6th meal!! What everyone says is true and I speak from my own PERSONAL experience...
I am in my 9th week now. Up to week 4 I saw minimal outer results in the photos but did feel more toned and lost about 5 lbs. By week 8, I had lost about 4 more pounds (9 total at this point) and the pictures started to show more drastic changes. But I had stayed the same weight between week 6 and week 8 and I felt I worried I was at a plateau. To continue to make progress, I re-evaluated my daily habits and where I could improve.
I re-read the original BFL book and made the following tweaks:
-Have been CONSISTENTLY fitting in 6th meal (Previously, sometimes 6 meals but usually 5 because I didn't want the calories before bed. Now sometimes I eat up to 15 minutes before bed! Usually I eat cottage cheese/fruit. I will eat a whole piece if I'm really hungry and half a piece if not too hungry. Cottage cheese and fat free yogurt or greek yogurt with berries is also good. I use the 20g protein/20 g carbs per meal, I think that is a good estimate for most women.)
-Increased my water intake to 8-10 cups daily (I was drinking that much some days but not all previously.)
-Making sure to do cardio in AM on empty stomach (previously was sometimes sleeping in most cardio days and doing it instead in afternoon around 5. I wouldn't eat 3 hrs before and 1 hr after... leaving 4 hrs without a meal... thus making more difficult to fit in 6 meals! Once I realized this fact, it was easier to get up in the AM to reach my goal to fit in 6 meals.)
-Increased my weight training intensity/weights (I hadn't really drastically increased weights that much so I started REALLY pushing my limits and varying exercises that I did.)
AND, the results are.... a week and a half later.... I have lost an additional 3 lbs. and my abs are starting to show through!! Today at work for the first time since starting the challenge, the secretary said, "Whoa, have you lost like a bunch of weight or what?! You look fantastic! What is your secret!??!"
Well there is no secret, and if there is one, it is get in that 6th meal!! I truly believe of all the changes I made (though they are all important), 6 meals is most important as your body rebuilds at night and if no fuel, you will not see the results of all your hard work and you can even have muscle loss. You've worked too hard for that to happen!!
Good luck!! Glad you have come this far and I can assure you that you will see the most results in the last few weeks... now I know this is true! :)
Add in that 6th meal and make sure to let us know how it works out for you!
Because I am up by 6 am (kids!!) and can only work out by 8 (after I drop them off) should I have a shake at 6.30 (meal1)...will I have an empty stomach by 8 am? Cos is not I am eating my first meal by 9 or 10 depending on workout days.
Jane - I truly appreciate your input. I know I need to get that 6th meal in. It's tough to break the old mentality of eating before bed! I'm going to try today.
The cardio in the morning during the week is a toughy. I am a teacher so I don't have a lot of flexibility of when to get to work. I do all my workouts around 5:00 as well. I know I'm pushing myself when doing lifting. I need to work on the reaching that higher intensity in cardio. I guess the first 12 weeks is the learning stage! Figuring out what works and what doesn't and tweaking it.
It seems most women do follow the 20 gm per meal rule. I'm having a tough time with breakfast. I ususally have a protein shake using the EAS whey. It's 23 gms a scoop. I have tried using water, but can't stomache it so I use skim milk and 1/2 a banana. That usually brings my protein to 31 for breakfast. That's not good. So, I need to come up with an alternative. What, if any, shakes do you use?
jaja- no, you will not have an empty stomach by 8 if you eat at 6:30. can you get up before the kids and workout?
I personally use the EAS Premium Protein powder (from Costco) and it blends all 3 protein types (Casein, Whey, Soy) and I also mix mine with approx. 1 cup of skim milk and ice or a half a frozen banana. Here are the nutrional facts are:
Serving Size: 2 scoops (35 g)
Amount per Serving
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 130mg 5%
Potassium 160mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 27g 54%
I also sometimes use Muscle Milk Light ready to drink (also from Costco) right after weight training workouts:
Serving Size: 8 1/2 fl oz (250.0 g)
Calories 160 Calories from Fat 45
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 210mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 20g 40%
And NO, I don't work for Costco but while I am there I pick up lots of other BFL friendly things like:
Chobani Greek Yogurt, fruit flavored (fat free and no artificial flavors, so good!!)
large boxed of Quaker old fashioned oats
Real Egg (egg whites in cartons)
I usually eat one greek yogurt for one meal every day and it has 14g protein and about 19g carbs I think (so sometimes to boost protein I will also eat a hard boiled egg white... but often use greek yogurt when I am eating again in like 1.5-2 hrs so will eat it alone.)
I used to use protein shakes sometimes before bed, but have switched to cottage cheese because I think the casein takes longer to digest and lasts longer through the night as fuel for your body... and it seems to be working!!
At work so typing quick, hope no mistakes... hope this helps!
Try the cottage cheese pancakes for breakfast. I make a double batch, since my five kids and husband eat them too. Throw them in the fridge, they keep well. Then in the morning, just throw a couple in the microwave and there is a perfectly balanced breakfast. Your kids will like them too! If you haven't tried them...you need to! They are great. Since you are pressed for time in the am, cook them some other time and refrigerate them.
I use 12 egg whites, 2 cups cottage cheese, vanilla, stevia cinnamon, blend. Then add two cups whole oats, and blend, but not too much or they are too runny. You have to experiment a little. It ends up being close to 20gms carbs and 20gms protein for two avg. size pancakes. I don't even remember the exact numbers, but I did figure it out at one point during C1. 2 pancakes of 4-5 inch diameter. You can put a little no sugar syrup on them, or if really being clean with eating, sprinkle a little stevia between two, and eat like a sandwich on the run.
Just a thought!!
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