A Seven-Week Cutting Program

I’m convinced that the nemesis to all of my fitness goals is the 8:00pm snack.

I mean it. If it wasn’t for that pesky time of day I swear I would be the fittest dude on the planet.

Well, maybe not the fittest dude on the whole planet but maybe the fittest dude in my house.

Okay, perhaps not the fittest dude in my house … but I know I’d be way more fit than I am now that’s for sure.

The thing is that 8:00pm is just far enough away from dinner to be hungry but not close enough to bedtime to just go to sleep. And it’s killing my results.

I love simple carbs

If that was a slogan on a bumper sticker I’d probably buy it and put it on my car. Mostly because it’s so true. I really do love simple carbs. Give me a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos, some Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, or some Peanut Butter M&M’s and I love you.

And what does one do when it’s 8:00pm at night and you’re hungry but you aren’t quite ready to go to bed yet?

You snack. Exactly right.

My snack of choice? Simple carbs. Every time.

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Side note: Don’t hate on the Flavor Blasted Goldfish crackers. Those are legit.

So what exactly is the problem?

The problem is that you can’t outwork a bad diet.

I’m working really hard to get in shape. If you’ve read my blog at all this year you’ve probably seen that I’m in what I’m dubbing my “Health Year.” I’m working super hard to just be healthy. Eating better, exercising regularly (I mean, like I’ve never exercised before), and just generally trying to be a healthier person in many aspects of my life.

Right now I am halfway through a custom workout program that I created out of two programs created by Beachbody. I took the 8-week LIIFT4 program and the 6-week 10 Rounds program and combined them together into one massive 14-week hybrid workout plan.

I’m not expecting massive weight loss results with this program and I don’t necessarily care what the scale says. The scale is a lag measure and can sometimes be a liar when it comes to how healthy you really are. But … I do expect to see some changes in the right direction on that scale over long periods of time. You know, like when you’re 7 weeks into a 14-week program. At this point I should be seeing the scale start to tip in the downward direction.

The problem is, I’m not. It’s gone down, and it’s gone back up again. It’s locked in a what feels like a life or death see-saw battle. In fact, as of my weigh-in this past Sunday, I am heavier than I was when I started the program. That’s not really where I want to be at this point.

And I 100% fully blame the 8:00pm snack.

What are you going to do about it?

Well, for starters, I’m going to cut out that 8:00pm snack.

You see, in this program I’m doing (in fact, in a lot of Beachbody’s programs) they suggest a couple of different meal plans, one of which they call the Ultimate Portion Fix. In that meal plan you eat according to a set of little buckets that are meant to help you determine portion sizes. Based on your weight, age, activity level and the like you get so many of these buckets per day. Once you’ve eaten all your buckets, you’re supposed to be done.

The problem I’m having is that I would eat all of my buckets for the day but then I would have my snack on top of my buckets. I’m not calculating the snack into the buckets. So I’m over-feeding myself.

See how that could be a problem?

My plan

So I’ve put together a strategy as I attempt to shed as much fat and grow as much muscle as possible over the next 7 weeks. This strategy involves two phases.

Phase One

First things first, I have to dump the 8:00pm snack. 😢

Sad, yes, but I have to do it if I want to see results.

Second, I’m going to stick exactly to my buckets. Everything I eat will get counted. If I go out to eat, that gets counted. If I eat with my team at work (like I did yesterday) that gets counted. If I eat a bowl of simple carbs (which I shouldn’t) that will also get counted.

Nothing goes into my mouth that doesn’t get counted and I don’t put anything into my mouth that would take me over my bucket count.

I started this phase this week (already with one slip up 🤷‍♂️) and will continue for a total of 4 weeks.

Phase Two

The last 3 weeks will consist of a slightly tweaked meal plan that Beachbody calls Countdown to Competition. Similar to what bodybuilders and fitness competitors would use to prepare for a show, this plan has you eating off of a lower carb, higher protein meal for 2 days and then back on your regular meal plan for 1 day.

My hope by doing this meal plan is that at the end of the program I will maximize my results and see the best version of my body on the other side.

What goes in the buckets?

For those of you interested in what my meal plan will most likely look like over the coming weeks, here is how I see most of my days playing out:

  • Meal 1: 2 eggs, 1 6-inch tortilla (sort of a egg quesadilla but with 1 tortilla) and 1 orange
  • Meal 2: Rice & taco meat
  • Meal 3: Small salad with ham or ground turkey or similar protein and some lite dressing.
  • Meal 4: Same as meal 3.
  • Meal 5: Tacos-ish. 2 6-inch tortillas or rice, taco meat, and cheese. Maybe another piece of fruit.
  • Meal 6: Chocolate Shakeology with peanut butter. Creamy because who wants chunks in their peanut butter?!?! 😂

Also, every week on Friday our family celebrates Shabbat. It’s a meal we share with our family that ushers us into the weekend and rest. For this meal we typically make homemade pizzas. I will eat my entire pizza without shame … because cheat meals are a thing. 🍕

It might be cliché to say it, but at the end of the day “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” I’ve been failing in this respect and it’s time I stepped up and did the hard work (like I’m doing in other places) to get the best results I can in the time I’ve got left in this program.

What about you? Where do you see yourself struggling? Can you name what it is that’s holding you back? What can you do to step up and do something about it?