Tag Archives: power training

Picture of visual fat loss progress

Halfway through

Four out of eight weeks of fat loss challenge are already a thing of the past.
And, how are things going?

What I’m actually doing

(What is it all about?)
I want to make a conscious change to my body.
To do so, I am stepping out of my comfort zone.
I put myself into a conscious calorie deficiency of about 20% for a period of 8 weeks.
In addition, I am following a progressive power training programme.

The first experiences

The centimetres are disappearing, slowly but surely.
I was not overweight in the classic sense of the term, and yet I saw and felt that I was walking around with too much fat. Even in places where I would rather not see it. For me these are the legs and in the waist.

In figures there is little spectacular to report compared to those who really want to get rid of a lot of overweight or centimetres. And then: that’s the way it should be. Every body is unique. Comparing with others often marks the end of joy. So it is better to look at what’s on your own plate.
Each Monday I can take off with a lower starting weight.

Physically speaking, it was not easy at first:

  • There were days when I felt weaker and my voice sounded weaker too
  • The first weeks my sleep was significantly worse in quality
  • The higher protein intake did not feel completely OK during the first weeks. Now it does.
  • The power training sometimes felt heavy, especially in combination with eating less

Forward … march !

Mentally I feel strengthened. The challenge, together with the corresponding assignments, diagrams and tables:

  • help me to structure
  • challenge me to be more thorough
  • confront me with my inferior sides, such as laziness, procrastination, lack of consistency
  • Inspire me to clean up and get along with business in other areas of my life, just like “cleaning up” my body
  • challenge me and make me curious to learn more and understand more
  • ensure that I also make commitments in other areas of my life

Emotionally it is sometimes a bit difficult:

  • For the first few weeks I was often in a bad mood, I was walking on the tips of my toes
  • A couple of times I succumbed to the temptation of eating more than I was allowed that day, and then I was disappointed and a little angry with myself
  • Some existential doubts are still gnawing at me. Like: Why am I doing this? Isn’t this just belly-button staring?

The first benefits show up and let them feel

There is a clear visual result and from the inside it feels very different.

  • Round my waist and on my belly the underlying muscles become visible
  • I get more strength in my legs and mobility in my hip joints
  • I am more stable
  • In my yoga practice I feel the extra space and the lightness around my belly

There is, physically speaking, less ‘stuff in the way’.

The most important learning points

What I have learnt about myself going through this process:

  • The power of calorie management and monitoring the ratio of the three macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats)
  • All excess weight and fat can be traced back to “too much”. Systematically eating too much than you need in relation to your activity level
  • Even with a full stomach, just after a meal, I am still hungry for “something extra”. At that moment it is neither physical hunger nor a necessity. So what is it? What do I do with it?
  • I understand now that I generally drank too little water. Drinking more water is more beneficial than I thought

What I am not yet on good terms with

The whole protein story is still dubious. As part of these eight weeks of conscious fat loss, with the combination of calorie calculation and moderation plus the strength training, I am also expected to eat a lot of extra protein.
Is that really necessary? Or is that part of the famous protein myth? The myth that protein deficiency lurks around every corner. While the reality is, that the majority of westerners take in far too much protein … . To be continued.
I now play the game according to the rules of the challenge.

What the real challenge will be

Maintaining this beautiful result (which will only be better in 4 weeks) and to stay ahead of the seemingly random fluctuations of the past.
Counting the calories requires work and discipline. I find it very useful. It pushes you with your nose upon the facts, it’s done with guessing, fantasizing and wet fingerwork.
But maybe I won’t always be able to make time for it. So maybe I would like to evolve to a slightly more intuitive way of eating.
And still be able to maintain and master body weight and body constitution, without daily food tracking.

I realize this is about much more than just making a selfie of progress. It’s a picture of the inside as well as the outside. Changing your body equals changing your mind and vice versa.

Picture of green protein smoothie

Green protein bomb

The big issue for people considering switching to plant-based food is: will I get enough protein?
Meat, fish and eggs are “easy” sources of protein, which have a relatively high protein content.
But ethically speaking, they are very tricky.

A plant-based diet has everything to provide us with sufficient protein, and is respectful of animals, people and the planet.

Let’s cite a few good sources:

  • peas, including soya, peas, and the dozens of varieties of beans and lentils
  • nuts and seeds
  • cereals (such as wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley, millet, amaranth …)
  • pseudocereals (such as quinoa, buckwheat)
  • vegetables (yes! Every vegetable contains protein)
  • algae and cyanobacteria such as spirulina
  • vegetable protein powder (of soy, rice, hemp, pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed or combinations thereof)

Anyone who takes a balanced and sufficiently varied plant diet will under no circumstances suffer from a protein deficiency.

And what about active sports and power training ?

But if you’re a strength athlete, or like me, have stepped into a fat loss challenge, along with purebred meat eaters and omnivores ? A challenge that expects you to eat almost twice as much protein as normal ? Up to more than 150 grams a day ?
How about that ?
Can you do that?
Can you provide meals and snacks that contain much more protein and at the same time keep your fats and carbohydrates under control?

Yes, it’s possible.
Let’s be honest: you’ll also need an addition of vegetable protein powder.
But that’s the same for meat and fish eaters. They only use concentrated milk protein, also called whey.

Here is an example of a vegetable “protein bomb”, which I prepared as a separate meal. With lots of greens, so also rich in vitamins and minerals.

These are the ingredients for the smoothie:

  • 200 gr peas
  • 70 gr spinach
  • 25 gr mixed vegetable protein powder of hemp, pumpkin and sunflower
  • 3 gr spirulina (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 gr chlorella (about 1 teaspoon)
  • about a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 150 ml of unsweetened calcium-fortified soy milk

This was for the topping:

  • 70 gr fresh white or red currants
  • 100 gr soybean cottage cheese alternative (Provamel or Alpro)

Energy and macros

This one nutritious and filling meal with a total of almost 600 kcal contains no less than 49 grams of vegetable protein.
That’s a bunch!
The vegetable protein powder accounts for 14.6 grams of that. The rest comes from the other ingredients.
You could also use the same combination in smaller quantities as a nutritious “post-workout” snack.

Plant Power

I was relieved.
Yes, this kind of special diet for sports or fat loss it is also feasible with only vegetable ingredients.

It’s time we built a society on the power of plants instead of the misery of animals. Don’t you think so?