That was on the first 12-week AGR program, geared only towards losing fat. What didn't work was the diet plan. It was totally confusing, and even the "done-for-you" meal plans were strange. There was a lot of calculation left to do, and the complexity of it was a real nightmare, especially when following the weekly shopping list.
As you may know, I always try to follow a program to the letter as provided in order to give an honest review. In this case, it was impossible. The shopping list was literally compiled from the weekly servings, which meant (and I'm not joking) buying 1/6 of a grapefruit, and 5/6 of an apple. Not exactly strong planning. The argument in the forum was that it's "only a guideline." For twenty bucks, I don't expect a guideline, and I don't expect to spend time calculating substitutions on a list that was supposed to be done already.
Anyway, to make up for it, I switched to an eating plan that's sort of a cross between the Man 2.0 plan by Romaniello and Bornstein, and the 1-Day Diet by Josh Bezoni (via BioTrust). Bezoni suggests cutting calories by focusing on two liquid meals a day (read "protein shakes"), followed by a sensible dinner. This is similar to other programs, including the Visalus and Isagenix programs, as well as the Slim-Fast Plan. The major difference here is you're in control of what goes in the shakes.
In the Man 2.0 plan, the rules are straightforward as well: eat what you want (if it fits your macros), but do it within eight hours. This enables you to implement intermittent fasting by extending your overnight fast. It also does various hormonal things that amplify fat burning while controlling that dreaded insulin response. Adding to this, there's a day where I eat what I want, and one where I eat nothing.
Not sure about your macros? We took the Man 2.0 diet numbers and created a spreadsheet that does the math for you. ==>Here it is.<==
So, in the most general possible sense, my diet looks like this:
- Lunch: Smoothie + Apple (noon)
- Snack: Smoothie + Apple (mid-afternoonish)
- Supper: Meat + Veggies (suppertime-ish)
- Snack: maybe
Total daily cals = about 1200-1500 (where my maintenance is about 1800). Sounds weak, right? But I'm not lacking energy, my sugar and cholesterol numbers are awesome, and I'm losing fat and gaining muscle. Not huge muscle...that's still to come. But the muscle is building for sure (I even bought a barbell).
Now, that's for Monday through Saturday. Sunday is usually cheat day, where I eat whatever I want (including breakfast). Good news for festival and carnival season! (mmmm...Ribfest) Monday, then, is a fast day, which resets Leptin levels and burns fat. Tuesday is a regular day on the above plan, but I don't have my first meal until noon, so it's really like a 36-hour fast. It sounds awful, but it's totally doable.
So, now we're onto the next 12 weeks, and I was struggling with what to do for workouts. The solution was to just keep doing what I was doing, and move on to the next part of the same program. So for the next three months, I'm on the "Build & Burn" cycle of the Adonis Golden Ratio. Why not? The Burn program worked, so I'll just move forward with this.
I have an older copy which does recommend using some HIIT workouts. It just happens that I've found my muscles and joints have been getting stiff, so to increase mobility I'm also applying the no-intensity and low-intensity workouts from TACFIT (sort of a calisthenics and light stretching program for recovery and mobility). I'm also using Craig's 4-minute metabolic miracles to amp up the metabolism on off days, and supplementing with the Maybe Mudder workouts on Saturdays (this is right from the Tough Mudder website).
So, if you want to know, the whole plan looks like this:
- Monday: (fast day; regular day if Sunday is a fast day instead)
- Morning: Adonis Golden Ratio
- Evening: TACFIT Day 1 (low intensity, mostly joint mobility)
- Tuesday: (regular day)
- Morning: TACFIT Day 2 (low intensity, mostly stretching), 4 Minute Miracle
- Wednesday: (regular day)
- Morning: AGR
- Evening: TACFIT Day 1
- Thursday: (regular day, sometimes extra fast day)
- Morning: TACFIT Day 2, 4 Minute Miracle
- Friday: (regular day)
- Morning: AGR
- Saturday: (regular day; cheat day if something's going on)
- Morning: Maybe Mudder (do this outside!!)
- Afternoon: AGR
- Sunday: (cheat day; fast day if I decide to cheat on Saturday instead)
Got it? Good...now go break a sweat.
Here's a great smoothie, to give you an idea:
1 cup (8 oz) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 scoops vanilla BioTrust LowCarb protein powder (or whey protein of your choice)
Cal: 383.5. P: 40.75. C: 15.75. F: 16.6
You can add a handful of baby spinach if you need an extra veggie boost to your day. This stuff is low enough that I don't count it in my calorie numbers in this quantity.