Well its the middle of week four for me. I have followed the meals and exercise to the exact and maybe a little extra. I have seen absolutly zero results in the way I look the clothes I am wearing. I still have a large belly and have lost a minimum of weight. What gives ? When does the miracle come in to play ? I am now becoming discouraged and in my discouragment I will push myself even harder. Going to up my workouts to twice daily. One AM and one PM. Obviously the 1000+ caloric deficit and every day workouts arent cutting it.
Keep pushing 4 week is nothing and you need to finish a whole challenge before you begin to modify the program. I did the challenge 100% by the book and it worked for me (pictures of results). I did not see results till much later. I was sticking out my gut in my week 1 picture and using correct posture in my week 4 picture.
DO NOT MODIFY BFL WORKOUT! Modify your diet, water, and amount of sleep.
“"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”
Wow... I'd say first and foremost change your way of thinking. Instead of thinking of perceived negatives, let's focus on the positive. You are now moving your butt 6 days a week. You are now eating clean 6 meals per day 6 days a week and have been for 4 weeks. Those three things on their own are huge. Can you lift more than you did when you started? Are you hitting higher points on your cardio without actually feeling like it's going to kill you? Come on now...
How long did it take you to put the weight on? For me it took 2 years to gain an extra 150lbs... IT TOOK ME 10 YEARS to lose it. And that was because I was too stubborn to be consistent in my required multiple challenges. But you know what, it was worth every single day of it.
There is no miracle...there is one heck of a payoff for all of the hard work and effort that you consistently put into it. Four weeks is just the beginning. Stay the course, it's about discipline.
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford
Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory
Hang in there...it will happen. I was getting frustrated around week 4 but I kept to it. I finally started seeing results in week 6. I'm now in week 9 and I feel AMAZING and at this stage I see the results accelerating faster than any other week. I'm now motivated more than ever before. This is not a quick fix or miracle. It's a proven scientific method to transform your body by following the principles of the program. Find a way to transfer the frustration to your workouts to push yourself harder. If you give it your all, you will know it and eventually see it. Also, you have to do this not for your physical appearance, but to change the internal parts that got in the way of leading a healthy and active life. There's something inside us all that is broken, whether it's self esteem, dissatisfaction or whatever. That little broken piece holds us back - this program spells out the formula to fix us inside and then out. It teaches you discipline, dedication, organization, scheduling and pushing your own boundaries. They physical part is honestly just an added bonus reward and a nice one at that!! Good luck!!
First of all - there is no "miracle" so if you are going to tweak anything, I'd tweak your expectations! I know it is so easy to get frustrated and start to add more of everything - weights, cardio, go low-carb - but please resist that temptation. Two-a-day workouts are the fast-track to burn-out. Trust me, I've done it.
Did you take beginning measurements? Have you lost inches? If not, then yeah, you probably do need to reevaluate some things. But start with your food. Analyze your nutrition and look for ways you could clean up what you are eating. Are you eating good quality meals or just grabbing whatever pro/carb is the fastest/easiest? Fix nutrition first, then worry about everything else. Are you getting enough water? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you pushing it in every workout?
You are only 4 weeks in - you didn't gain weight in 4 weeks, you won't get a six-pack in four weeks!
I lied, there is a miracle - this program works IF you give it time!
BFL since 1999
Ok so help me analize my food plan. I eat basicly the exact same every day.
Breakfast is two servings of egg whites scrambled with some green peppers a few mushrooms some onion and a few shrimp (pan is sprayed with canola oil spray) mid morning snack is either protien shake or a greek yogurt with a fresh fruit added. Lunch is either piece of 99% fat free chicken or Fish with either sweet potatoe or brown rice and a vegtable. Mid afternoon snack is a protien bar. And dinner is either a green salad with a can of tuna added or diced chicken. I am drinking a MINUMUM or 96 oz of water every day or more. My workouts are intense. My last two sets of reps are always to exhaustion. Sometimes I can barely walk out of the Gym. I do not eat past my last meal. I have been told to many times not to eat at bedtime it will turn to fat. Someone suggested having a spoonfull of natural peanut butter on a wasabi toast before bed. As for sleep I get 7 hours daily. Its all I can do with work and being a single dad to a 15 year old girl.
So where am I going wrong ?
First of all congratulations on starting the BFL challenge. It is isn't easy but starting is one of the hardest parts.
There is a lot of great advice in the above posts, worth re-reading a few times, so I'll try not to repeat it.
Do you have the BFL book? If not I would highly recommend getting it and reading it and re-reading it. It is so clear and inspirational it is amazing! I think everyone undertaking the BFL journey should have a copy. It answers almost every question and is an invaluable guide.
As for nutrition. I will start by saying the BFL plan by the book is 6 meals per day spaced 2.5 - 3 hours apart. Each meal is roughly the same size and contains equal amounts of protien and carbs. A source of protein the size of the palm of your hand and carb the size of a clenched fist. I am sure you know this.
However, in my humble opinion you might not be eating enough. For one it is very important to eat 6 meals a day. I know from experience things didn't really get going until I added that 6th meal. My final meal of the day is a cup of cottage cheese dry curds adn 1/2 cup of yogurt. I almost always have it within an hour of going to bed.
Not all food can be measured by the palm/fist method. Egg whites for example. In your first meal you have 2 servings of egg whites. how big is a serving or do you mean 2 eggs? The egg whites I use have 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup so I have at least 1 cup and often add some cottage cheese dry curds to up the protein. I aim for 40g of protein and 40g of carbs per meal. I would also encourage you to look at your eating plan as 6 meals not as lunch, dinner,snack etc. It is a hard notion to wrap the brain around but it is well worth it and it works.
I would also stay away from protien bars and other bars execpt for emergencies. They are not the best choice as part of your daily nutritional plan.
Don't worry you will get the hang of it and figure out what works best for you. It took me a good 2 months to figure out the BFL eating plan. However, the last 4 weeks of my first challenge were amazing!!! Keep at it. You can do this!! The changes will happen just stick to the plan.
I hope this helps. Keep posting if you have more questions.
All the best
Well, first off - you are doing a lot of things right, so don't get down on yourself! Sometimes it is just a matter of adjusting a few small things (and a good amount of patience!) and results will come.
First though - is there any reason why you are eating so low in carbs? Are you run-down or tired? Besides after the workout, I mean? How hungry do you get through the day? Your carbs seem pretty low. I eat more than this, to be honest. I think you may not be eating enough. Remember, carbs are the fuel that is going to get you through your day, not to mention some very intense workouts. Let's break this down by meal:
M1: Adding veggies is awesome, but why no carb? You could try adding some whole grain toast, or even better, what about slow-cook oats as a carb? Oatmeal is one of the best carbs out there (not instant, not 1 minute oats. They say "slow cook" but it's still only 3 min. in the microwave.)
When you say "servings" of egg whites are you referring to a single egg white or a serving of a substitute? I usually eat 4-6 egg whites, depending on my goals, and I'm a girl. Depending on hunger, you could do more.
M2: Protein shake - is this a true meal replacement (ie protein AND carbs) or protein only? If just protein, again, you are short on carbs. I love greek yogurt - what kind do you use? Is it the leanest kind? Not all are created equal - go for 0% fat. (I prefer Oikos, personally) What kind of fruit? Fresh? Frozen? Stay away from canned - even the "low-sugar" varieties are pretty devoid of nutrients at that point.
M3: Lunch looks good - how are your portions? (Is the brown rice slow-cook, long-grain? It really makes a difference over the instant stuff.)
M4: This is one meal I don't agree with, even though others might. Granted, bars are convenient. But most protein bars are glorified candy bars with a little extra protein. They are great in a pinch; I always pack one with me but rarely eat it. Any chance you can do a real meal here? What about cottage cheese and an apple, or another shake. One of my favorite meals (and easiest) you can make up all at once and it will last you the week: I call it "pasta lasagne." Cook up a big batch of whole wheat pasta and store in the fridge. When you need a quick meal or are packing your meals the night before, portion out a portion of pasta, a portion of cottage cheese, and a few tablespoons of Hunt's low-sugar spaghetti sauce. At work, heat it in the microwave for a minute or two til it's super-hot and the cc melts into the pasta and you have a pasta-y, cheese-y, lasagne-y meal that took about two seconds to create!!
M5- I won't harp on you for taking out the carb here, because I will often do that when I am trying to lean out. But I really would only recommend cutting the starchy carbs out of your dinner in the last 4 weeks or so of the challenge. Again, you need carbs to fuel your body, brain, and sanity. How about some brown rice, legumes, yams, small red potato?
M6: This is one myth that seems to just hang around no matter what. Your body has no idea what time of day you are eating. The reason people say to not eat at night is the type of foods people typically eat at night tend to be the high-calorie, high-fat foods in enormous portions so of course the endd up storing a majority of it as fat. Plus if you eat more during the day you are more likely to burn it off as you are moving around. But your body repairs and rebuilds the muscle at night, and it is critical to have enough food. Try some cottage cheese as your last meal....
One of the keys of the "miracle" you mentioned is building up muscle in order to burn the fat. You have to feed the muscle first because that's how you raise your metabolism. As your metabolism gets higher, you become a fat burning machine. I like to think of the challenge in two parts - first 6 weeks = muscle build, last 6 weeks = fat loss. Maybe if you think of your challenge in this respect you won't be as discouraged at the lack of visual results. Right now you have to build up the muscle if you want to burn the fat as efficiently as possible.
A few more questions (because there aren't enough in this post already!) - what time do you workout? Do you do cardio in the AM in a fasted state? Small things can make a big difference!
Oops, didn't mean to repeat you, Orrin, but apparently I type pathetically slow!
One more thing - I wouldn't recommend the nat PB on wasabi. Too much fat at that point. I try to have a mostly protein meal as the last meal because I don't really need too many carbs for energy as I'm usually sleeping or just chilling, but the protein helps keep you full.
So it seems I am lacking in carbs. I have not noticed any tired or sluggish feelings though but will take this advice. As far as the products I use the okios greek yogurt plain flavor with a fresh fruit usually a peach or blueberries added in. The protien bar I only used because it was suggested here on the site on the suggested meal plans so I guess I will cut those out and replace with something else. I HATE Cottage cheese. Sorry but I just can not get this stuff down I tried and I vomit from it. It stinks because I know its values are awesome but I just can not do it. I work out first thing in the morning after I wake. Always in a fasted state. I dring 8 oz of black coffee before I go to gym and bring water for douring. I then eat my 1st meal 1 hour after completion.
DarrenCar: I will share what worked well for me. I'm 51, 6 ft. tall and lost 20 lbs in my transformation. You can check out my pics. I ate 30-35 grams of protein at each meal (6 meals a day). I ate starchy carbs in my first 4 meals (oatmeal....rice....pasta etc). For my last 2 meals of the day I ate fibrous carbs (veggies) along with my protein. Our bodies do not need heavy carbs at night which are more prone to be stored as fat. Darren....you have to be patient and give it time. This will work. All the best.
fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"
Ashtrash: I am glad you repeated what I said. You were much more eloquent than I.
DarrenCar: I don't know if you can buy this where you live but instead of cottage cheese I use cottage cheese dry curds. They are lower in fat and sodium and higher in protein. There is none of that liquid stuff and it is virtually tastless and odourless. I mix it with some yogurt and I am set.
Keep going!! You can do this.
Darren after looking over your meal schedule I would say your calorie intake is way to low and your body has entered starvation mode in which it retains fat and burns muscle for energy. I am 195 pounds and my daily food is something along the lines of:
M1: 6 egg whites, 2 slices of ham, 1/4 cup of fat free cheddar cheese, 1 cup of honeydew and 12 oz coffee and 1 cup of milk
M2: 3/4 cup of oatmeal and an orange
M3: 1/2 can tuna, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 pickle spear, 2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 cup cottage cheease
M4: (Preworkout) 1 banana and a glass of N.O. Xplode
(Postworkout) 2 scoops of whey protein powder
M5: 10-12 oz. of Tilapia or Basa, 1 cup of mixed greens, 1 cup of quinoa (similar to brown rice but higher in protein)
M6: (30-60 minutes prior to bed) 1 scoop of casein protein
I realize this looks like a lot of food but it is only 2300 calories worth and I am currently tweaking it to bring them up even higher. Seeing as how I burn around 400-500 calories a day from workouts with my current intake my net calories for the day are 1900 which to low. For my age, size and sex (21, 195, M) if I were to consume 2100 a day I would lose 1-1.5 pounds on average a week. Check out myfitnesspal.com you can insert all of your stats and can it will give you a generic idea of the amount of calories you need to consume each week to lose a predetermined amount of weight.
As for the cottage cheese invest in a good casein protein. I personally use Optimum Nutrition Chocolate Casein, and while a little sweet I can choke it down a lot easier than cottage cheese and they have very similar benefits.
Hope this helps some.
Well im probably more confused now than before. 2300 calories ? Thats a bit much I believe for me. I guess I will just up my carbs a little and see where it takes me. I suppose I cant get any worse off than I already was.
Thanks all anyway.
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