Hardcore eating the last four weeks?

  • I'm currently midway through Week 4 of my Challenge. I've been really good and track everything I eat and eat pretty well.

    I am curious if anyone has opinions on going "the extra mile" with clean eating in weeks 9 - 12. I'm thinking about getting a little more hardcore with food omissions during that time, to hopefully have that extra push over the cliff during those crucial final weeks. My goal is to cut my fat and sugar intake a bit more than what I am doing now. Here are some changes I am thinking about making to my diet, I'd like to know what people think about it:

    Eliminate "white" carbs: White-flesh potatoes, pasta, bread (including whole wheat). Limit my carbs to the realm of sweet potatoes, grains like quinoa or brown rice, and fruits with lower glycemic indexes suc as berries, pears, figs, and grapefruit.

    Cut peanut butter to 2Tbsp 1x per week (currently eating 2Tbsp about 3x per week)

    Eliminate egg yolks; only eat egg whites.

    Eliminate 2% cheddar. Right now I put 1/2 - 1 oz on sandwiches, or occasionally grate a little on my eggs or potatoes.

    Cut red meat down to 2x per week. Eat chicken breast, turkey breast, and fish the rest of the week.

    Cut out all ground meats. Currently I sometimes have 93/7 ground beef or ground turkey or chicken sausage.

    Up my veggie intake to 4x daily. I can definitely do this; I LOVE vegetables. My husband was vegan when we met; my palate got trained quickly.

    Cut out my beloved Nasoya spread (I use it in place of mayo).

    Has anyone done a diet change at the end before? I'm not looking for a drastic diet change, just some cutting back. I don't really have sugar cravings; the only thing I really ever want on my free day is bacon. Now that my body is (hopefully) more efficiently utilizing food as fuel, I think I can probably make this happen without a lot of withdrawals and am really hoping the cutting back, but still taking my free day, will help my body burn even more fat and make me look pretty gangbusters by the end of the Challenge.


  • hehe, "gangbusters".  

    one of my boot camp trainers has been telling me to eat like your revised way, all the time.  Especially bread.  I try to argue with him about "but I eat sprouted grain bread".  He said, 'well, that's better anyway."

    Anyway, I think that sounds like a good idea and I've been trying to cut out cheese and nuts for my entire challenge, and it's not working out so well.

    But if you look at it as 'only 4 weeks'....  this looks very doable.  I always thought 93/7 meat was pretty good to use all the time..  But I suppose if you look at a chic breast, that's more like 99/1.  Yikes, and I do eat turkey bacon on a normal basis, maybe I shouldn't.

  • What's your goal?  Is the goal to win a 12 week challenge?  Is the end of that 12 weeks the end?  If so, then really cutting out the some of the things you mentioned might make sense.  If you're trying to create a permanent lifestyle, then I don't think cutting out some of the things you're eating is necessary.  Are you going to give them up forever?  

  • Good questions actionyak; they did make me think about this a bit more.

    My goal is to end the Challenge with a bang, and to prove to myself that I can take further ownership of my eating. I'm not entered in the Challenge competition, so no my goal is not to win. I'm too competitive to compete, if that makes any sense. :)

    The end of the 12 weeks won't be the end necessarily, but I won't be doing another Challenge until the fall. My basic plan is to do the Challenge twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. So no, this diet change will not be permanent although I also won't go out and eat an entire cake on Day 85.

    Also, I have thought about trying 80/20 Paleo over the summer so this would be a potential transition point.

  • I eat totally clean all the time. I just started my 4th challenge this week (started C1 July 2011...you can look at my profile). In C1 and C2, I followed BFL to a T with some of the allowable foods you spoke about. I had good results, but my transformation was not where I wanted it to be. Starting with C3 (and now have committed to this for a lifetime b/c I am seeing and feeling all of the benefits) I followed Tosca Reno's "The Eat Clean Diet Recharged" and have seen HUGE results!!!! I eat just as you stated....tons of veggies all day, no white ANYTHING (no sugar, no white flour, etc), and get my carbs from fruit and veggies (including sweet potatoes) and whole grains such as quinoa, wheatberries, and steel cut oats. I eat about 1-2 tsp of almond butter per week. I use Ezekiel bread, but again only eat about 1 piece per week. I eat chicken, turkey, fish, and ground bison, and use Whey Isolate protein. I can't begin to tell you how good I feel and how my body has totally transformed from eating this way. I don't feel deprived in the least....I think about all of the good, wholesome foods I GET to eat....there are so many choices!  I totally believe what Tosca says in her book....that your body transformation is 80% based on your nutrition, 10% from your workouts, and 10% from genetics.

    So, if you really want to see optimal results these last 4 weeks, I say go for it!!! I think you will be amazed at the differences you will see!!! Good luck!

  • Thank you so much, Runnermom! That is great to hear and congrats on starting your fourth Challenge! I'm looking at the Eat Clean Diet website right now. Lots of good information on there.

    Week 9 begins on April 23 though I may start on April 16 if I feel like I am up for it... I am already setting up my husband and friends by telling them what I am planning and how that might affect get-togethers, lunch dates, etc. Everyone has been wonderfully supportive. I have already started cutting down on bread, to about once or twice a week (though I do miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!), as well as white potatoes and I just finished off the last of my 2% cheddar block and don't plan to buy another one. Thankfully my husband also enjoys eating clean and has been so great through this entire journey.

    Runnermom, curious on why you chose ground bison? I love bison, have been eating it since I was a kiddo... and honestly I would rather eat ground bison than steak. Maybe that would be better since I would personally get more satisfaction out of that as a red meat.

  • mwseahorse: I don't eat red meat but I do eat ground bison occasionally (about every other week or so). I actually got the idea from BDMom b/c she makes buffalo meatloaf, so I decided to give it a try and I love it! There are many benefits of bison....it is lower in fat than beef and also lower in calories. It also has a much higher protein level than beef. However, bison is high in cholesterol, so that is why I don't eat it every day or even every week. High cholesterol runs in my family so I try to not eat things that are high in cholesterol. It sounds like you are moving in the right direction to really tighten up your nutrition! I really don't have any cravings since I started eating totally clean....it is amazing how eating "unclean" foods like sugar makes you crave them even more! Once they are out of your diet, you typically don't crave them anymore. I am a peanut butter lover as well. Once a week I allow myself 1-2 tbsp of all natural PB or almond butter (which I actually prefer now) on a slice of Ezekiel bread with cinammon and sliced strawberries. It is the next best thing to PB and J!!! Also, I make my own protein bars and add almond butter to them, that way I am still getting a little taste of it pretty often!

  • I'd just say, the more you restrict during the challenge, the more likely to binge once the challenge ends.  I know everybody says they're not going to go out and eat like pigs after they finish, but to a certain extent, biology does tend to take over after long periods of caloric deficit.  If what you're doing is working for you, I'd just keep at it.  It's already a pretty intense fitness and nutrition plan as it is!

  • That's a good point to bring up... and something to think about.

    The thing is, I don't consider the nutrition plan challenging and don't feel like I am depriving myself. I have been eating in a way similar to B4L for a couple of years so the effort I have had to put into the eating has been minimal. I don't have cravings and don't even really cut loose on my Free Day. I think the only things I had on my last free day that deviated was bacon, a beer, chocolate chips and some soft goat cheese. If I was having difficulty with the eating portion this last step of further omissions wouldn't even cross my mind.

    I'm still thinking about it; each day I learn new things about myself and how the Challenge affects me. It might be too much, but I may still at least give it a try for a week and see how it goes.

  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it girl!  If you are losing weight at a reasonable pace AND you don't feel deprived?  That's great!  You don't need to push yourself to the point of feeling deprived to achieve success.  But we tend to be a culture of binaries, feast or famine, so I understand your desire to feel the "pain".  Just be careful, it can really backfire (I know from personal experience...)

  • Just crossed this thread - it caught my interest....hard core?

    You want more bang for your buck, then start bucking....

    I am not sure what menu you are eating from....I always, and will continue to eat from the original list...

    White anything - FREE DAY, so absolutely, eliminate all white bread, grains, sugars. HELLO!

    Peanut butter? (shaking head here....) Save that fantasy for FREE DAY as well.

    Fruits? High sugar right there...choose your vegys for carbs over fruits.

    Cheese? Seriously??? .... no comment.

    Egg yolks? Say goodbye. Egg whites are what you need. There is enough "fat" in your diet, you don't need the yolks.

    Protein? Eat meat with NO LEGS first and most (fish) then 2 legs (chicken) then 4 legs (bison, beef etc)

    Vegys - choose broccoli, celery, cucumber...all those that are also loaded with water.

    Watch your sodium intake. Watch your dressings....

    Time to kick it up a notch woman! Give er balls. Sounds like you know what you want and how to get it. Woo Hoo!!

  • OMG the further this thread goes the more torn I become!

    Ash, I am a big fan of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" so I wonder if maybe I should just branch out, try to work other whole grains into my diet and work it like that. I always like a good challenge when it comes to food, figuring out ways to prepare something beyond the basics while maintaining the nutrients.

    Legs, I try to follow the book above all else. I'm curious though why you consider vegetables a carb? The book doesn't classify them as such so I follow those guidelines. Same with cheese and peanut butter, they are both mentioned in the sample weekly meal plan as are fruits. So I'm not sure why those would be taboo except on Free Day?

    One thing I should mention is this is TEMPORARY. I have NO desire to permanently restrict my eating this much for various personal reasons. My goal is to get the most out of the Challenge as possible, try something different and see if I can make it work for a little while at least. I already have plans for Week 13 and Beyond (hike at least three more fourteeners, trail run or hike at least 3x per week, and keep lifting at the gym... followed by a new Challenge in the Fall). My plans also include a balanced compromise between conscientious eating as well as feeding (literally) my passion as a huge foodie.

    I am grateful for the suggestions, feedback and opinions I am getting from everyone. It helps a lot!

  • I consider vegetables as a carb because they are. :) Breads/grains are your starchy carbs. Fruits/vegys are carbs as well. I'm sorry....I have been doing BFL for a long time now, and the more you do it, the more particular and easy it gets to dial in and get results.

    I have the Original BFL book, and totally disregard the "new and improved" lists.

    Main thing to note is this....your nutrition is 80% of this challenge. Keep it clean. Measure. What you put in your mouth in private, the public gets to see. BFL works.....it is the best foundation program out there. Make some clean choices, and you will get steller results. I guarantee it.

  • Legs, I agree with everything you mentioned in your post except for the fruits. While they do contain sugar and as such, are considered a "carb",  I don't agree that they should be replaced with vegetables. Bill himself says in the original book that pairing an apple or a banana, or handful of berries with a portion of protein would constitute a well-balanced meal and made a mention of how great it is that fruits are naturally in ready-made portions for us. So please, don't give fruits a negative connotation!

  • I appreciate your response max3. No negative intended. No replacement needed either. Consider this though....6 meals with 6 fruits will give you "different" results than 6 meals with 6 vegys. (just for example and to make others aware)

    We are only the as good as the information we accept and believe and trial for our body types.

    HOKEY - I'm off of here... :) enjoy the ride peeps! It is all in your hands.

    Make it count!