Getting lean and staying healthy is a work in progress. How do we create habits that will help us on this journey? Last night I really pushed myself to get to sleep early.
Typically, I like the late evening because it is very quiet and great for reading.
But at what expense?
What time do you get to sleep?
I am usually lucky if I get to sleep by 12 or 1 or even worse 2 am and still getting up at six.
Yesterday I tried out a new idea.
The main idea was to spread out my meals so that I would have the bulk of calories earlier in the day.
The benefit of eating more meals during the day was hopefully to have less cravings at night.
More food in the day should equal less food cravings at night.
This concept of having more small meals as opposed to two or three large meals, or worse one long fiesta in the evening is not new but I have rarely tried it out long term.
Yesterday this method worked well.
As you can see below, I got five meals in over the course of the day and kept track of the basic calories, carbs, fat, protein, cholesterol and fiber breakdown.
Now just as an aside, I know that hundreds of years ago, or even just over a hundred years ago, who needed to know about calories?
Generally, I do not usually subscribe to the idea of counting calories, but I think that keeping a food and exercise journal is a good idea, especially for people who grew up on processed food.
Yes, I’m guilty, but had no clue that swanson’s tv dinners were not really food.
I thought that the carrots and peas came like that naturally, in a tin plate!
My usual dinner as a boy was a swanson’s hungry man dinner, 10 or more slices of wonder bread and a can of coke, let’s see what that looks like:
Hungry Man Dinner, Classic Fried Chicken
D+Grade 960 Calories
Serving Size 1 package (423 g)Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories from Fat 405
Total Fat 45g 69%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 210mg 70%
Sodium 2869mg 120%
Carbohydrates 90.9g 30%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Protein 52g Calcium 10%
B Grade790 Calories (10 slices)
- Serving Size 1 large (31 g)Per Serving% Daily Value*
- Calories 790
- Calories from Fat 9
- Total Fat 1g 2%
- Sodium 159mg 7%
- Carbohydrates 14.9g 5%
- Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
- Sugars 2g
- Protein2g Calcium 10%
- Classic Coke
- D+Grade 140 Calories
- Serving Size 1 Serving (100 g) Per Serving % Daily Value*
- Calories from Fat 0
- Total Fat 0g 0%
- Sodium 45mg 2%
- Carbohydrates 39g 13%
- Sugars 39g
Just those three items give a grand total of 1890 calories, not to mention whatever chips and pretzels came after.
And that was just dinner.
So if you grew up having close to 2000 calories in one meal, it is going to be a challenge initially to get used to eating smaller meals which are much more condusive to fat loss and muscle retention.
This is the reason that I think it is a good practice to keep a food and exercise journal.
As you can see, I had five meals yesterday and vegetables and/or fruit at every meal, including dinner which I forgot to put down, which was some asparagus and okra.
My review of having five meals in a day is that yesterday I was able to fall asleep before 11pm which worked out great since I got just about 8 hours of sleep, which is two to three hours more sleep than usual.
The difference that I could feel today was immediate, my body felt rested and energized to the point that even though it was in the 30s this morning, I got over to the gym and did a squat and deadlift workout.
In addition, after the squat and deadlift workout, which took under an hour, I found that I was nearly four pounds lighter than yesterday with just a small amount of that coming from lean muscle mass and the majority from fat, which is what you want, fat loss, not just weight loss.
For Squats, I started with:
- 10 air squats concentrating on best squat form possible.
- 10 squats using 45lbs
- 4 squats with 65lbs
- 3 squats with 95lbs
- 2 squats with 115lbs
- 1 squat with 130lbs
- 3 sets of 5 squats with 135lbs
- 1 set of 3 squats with 135lbs – I think I could have done another 2 reps of squats, but figured that I could save that for friday.
Immediately after the squat workout, I set up for the deadlift workout going straight to a new high of using 185lbs.
I believe that soon I can get to 200lbs for deadlifts but I will keep taking my time, going up at most 5 lbs per deadlift workout once I hit 5 deadlift reps of whatever weight is being used.
1 set of 4 deadlifts using 185lbs
The takeaway is that have five or six meals a day appears to reduce food cravings at night as well as enable you to get to sleep earlier.
Earlier sleep gives you a chance to get in seven or even eight hours of sleep.
How many hours of sleep do you get?
How many calories approximately do you think you have a meal? a day?
Are you looking to lose weight, or better to say, lose fat?
What body fat percentage do you want to get to?
I set for myself a very big goal, ten percent.
Why a big goal?
Because I just don’t feel so motivated by a small one, so I thought putting down a goal that I probably have never been at as an adult would be the most motivating.
I am sure that many of us think in terms of weight loss, but we know that we do not want to lose muscle for the sake of weight loss.
We want fat loss, not just weight loss.
My goal is to keep this journal updated at least six days a week, everyone needs at least one day off right?
I began yesterday at 23.7% body fat and today was 23.0% bf, so just another 13 % to go…gulp, can that be done at 59?
Let me know where you are at.
Never Give Up,