My quest to reveal my abs whilst still eating protein cheesecake!

Since I posted my progress picture I have had numerous requests for what I eat, when and how I train so rather than getting back to everyone separately I thought I would blog it!

So here goes….

Whilst I do have various nutrition qualifications and nearly 7 years experience in the Sports Nutrition industry I am not claiming to have the answer to eternal fat loss I am merely sharing what works for me. Please do not be tempted to make a carbon copy of this plan and expect to see the same results in the same timescale. We are all very different, our lifestyles and activity levels vary as well as our current metabolic state even if you are a similar weight and height to me!

That said I would like to say something reasonably controversial. I eat carbs everyday… at almost every meal and I am still seeing fat loss – there I said it! The reason for mentioning this is that I am hands down what I like to call a ‘carb whore’. To give you an idea of how much I need carbs in my diet I would probably rather lose a limb than be told I can’t have my normal oats for breakfast (be that in protein porridge or protein pancake form) So it was very important to me when I set out on my quest to reveal my abs that I did it in a way that meant I could still have carbs every day. It was that or lose all my friends, my boyfriend and have my family never want to see me as I basically turn into something from Night of the living Dead without them. I also wanted to reveal them in a way that meant I could keep some sort of definition all year round. Granted they may be slightly more visible during the summer months and a little more buried during the winter but I still wanted them there – with no trick of the light! This meant something sustainable and long term! When it came to coming up with ‘The Plan’ I dug out my nutrition books, got some copies of Muscle & Fitness magazine and began to read. After at least a few hours of reading, some head scratching and lots of post it notes I basically came to the conclusion that fat loss is a flipping mine field and I was going to have to approach things different. So, I went back to basics… to create fat loss you need to consume less calories than your body uses (yes I am aware there is more to it than that but I needed to start somewhere) easy enough. Now I also wanted to keep hold of the precious muscle I had worked so hard to acquire since I started lifting weights a few years ago. This is where things got a little more difficult! From my experience I know that a steady supply of protein can help prevent muscle breakdown (I’ll keep it simple) so I needed to ensure my diet plan included good quality protein throughout the day. Protein also keeps you fuller for longer (thanks Marks & Spencer) which is always a bonus – nobody wants to be hungry all the time!

So now I had the basics I needed to consider how much I was going to eat, when and on what days! I’ll give you a brief overview of my ‘normal’ week

My stats:

5 foot 2 ½ inches ( ½ an inch is extremely important when your short!)

Current weight – 49kg

Age – 26

Monday –

6am – Fish oils, zinc, vitamin a,c,e & selenium, 1 Maxiraw turbotherm.

6.15am – On my way to the gym I drink a black coffee with 1 teaspoon coconut oil stirred in.

6.45am – 1 hour shoulder session including overhead press, Arnold press, upright row etc. I tend to work with 8-10 rep range and complete 3 sets of each exercise. This can be said for each body part I do each day. I drink 10g bcaas during my workout in 1 litre of water.

9am – 50g porridge oats (I do weigh these as I adore protein porridge and just cant be trusted to ‘guesstimate’, 30g whey protein, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, 2 cla caps. 1 mug (the size of my head) of green tea.

10.30am – another huge mug of green tea

12noon – handful of lentils (I don’t weigh them) lots of veggies including peppers, onions, mushrooms but it does differ. 1 chicken breast. 1 apple, 2 cla caps.

3pm – veggie sticks & green tea.

4pm – 2 rye crackers with 2 teaspoons nut butter or a whey protein shake

7pm – Fish Monday! My favourite meal of the week! 2 salmon fillets topped with chia seeds and soy dressing with tonnes of salad (I mean tonnes! Includes lettuce, peppers, cucumber, onion, beetroot) 2 cla caps.

7.30pm – options hot chocolate

9pm – either 1 sliver of protein cheesecake with 100g 0% fat greek yoghurt or 170g greek yoghurt topped with agave syrup and cinnamon.

Tuesday –

6.45am Bi’s and Tri’s & weighted abs – 1 hr

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – What we like to call in my house ‘surprise Tuesday’ which basically means look in the fridge/freezer and see what concoction of stuff I can come up with. This will be anything from some white fish, chicken or some sort of lean meat – horse meatballs went down a treat the other week, thanks Muscle Food! I serve this with as many veggies as I can fit on my plate.

7.30pm – same as Monday

9pm – same as Monday

Wednesday –

6.45am Hams & Glutes – 1 hr I don’t really have set exercises but I do things like stiff leg deadlifts, single leg leg-press, step ups, lunges etc.

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – Sausage Wednesday (go on you smirked didn’t you. Grow up…) chicken sausages with half a large can of low salt/sugar spaghetti with loads of green beans. Probably serve it with some low salt/sugar ketchup because if you’re going to eat like a 5 year old why the hell not!

9pm – same as Monday

Thursday –

6.45am – 30min Spin class (if you follow me on Twitter @protein_chef you will know how much I look forward to this! ie – not at all!) 15min core class followed by 30min weighted abs.

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – Prawn Thursday (ok ok I’m a creature of habit) This consists of prawns (not sure how much but half a large bag) onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms (anything thats in my fridge draw that looks like it’s not going to last the week!) served with my legendary cauliflower rice which you can find the recipe for here.

7.30pm – same as Monday

9pm – same as Monday

Friday

6.45am – Back including pull ups (assisted at the moment but I’m getting there) rows (various) 1hr

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – Takeaway night! I have a large chicken shish kebab from our local takeaway which comes with 1 large white pitta bread (they don’t do wholemeal and yes I did ask) with loads of salad and I put my own extra low fat mayo and hot sauce on it. I wash it all down with a diet coke and enjoy every mouthful.

7.30pm – same as Monday

9pm – same as Monday

Saturday

Rest Day! So I’m not going to lie I hate rest day. Whilst I’m usually sore from the week and could really do with it the mental battle of not doing anything active or picking up some weights gets to me every week but this is the day I tend to spend with my long suffering boyfriend who I also make have his rest day on a Saturday (he’s not going to the gym if I can’t) so we suffer it together and treat ourselves with a lunch out whilst shopping.

8am – protein pancakes (you can find the recipe here) I use 50g oats though.

12ish – lunch out! I will normally choose something that consists of grilled meat with salad in some form depending on where we go!

4ish – Quest bar and a green tea – normally in a cafe somewhere.

7ish – Saturday night dinner tends to be the same – grilled meat, home made hummus (recipe here) or tatziki (recipe here) with loads of salad

9ish – Protein cheesecake! I’ve normally made a new flavour so it’s normally a nice big slice (got to make sure it tastes good!)

Sunday

Whilst I normally eat post training, for legs I like to be fuelled up so it’s always a Sunday. I make protein pancakes (recipe here) with 50g oats. I will also be mindful of my carb level on this day so I ensure I have more than usual but I don’t count the amount.

Leg session – squats, leg press, leg extension, lunges, glute bridges, step ups followed by the biggest challenge of leg day, the walk from the gym floor down a flight of stairs back to the changing rooms!

Post WO shake of whey and an apple.

12ish – As with Saturday it’s never the same but it differs from rye toast with eggs and smoked salmon or my home made wraps (recipe here) filled with avocado and chicken.

4pm – depending on where I am it could be Wheyhey ice cream (love that stuff!) a Quest bar, a RTD protein drink, a whey protein shake or a sample of whatever it was I am baking that weekend (like these!)

7ish – Same as Saturday

9ish – Same as Saturday

So there you have it. It feels strange to document it as I don’t really consider myself to be on any sort of ‘plan’ I just train as heavy and hard as I can, I eat things that firstly nourish my body but secondly taste good. Some would say this is strict as I do not include a ‘cheat meal’ but personally I am quite happy to have the odd ‘naughty’ thing like canned spaghetti, white pitta bread, hot chocolate or a good chunk of my protein cheesecake or protein cake rather than stuff myself with fish and chips once per week. Neither is wrong or right it’s just the way I chose to live. I have seen steady progress since I began 1 year ago and I have had my body fat measured as I go. A steady fall in my body fat and increase or maintenance of my muscle mass encouraged me to keep going and gave me the confidence that what I was doing was working. As I said, this isn’t a claim to know the secret to fat loss but I wanted to share with you my journey so far. I am fully aware I could have probably achieved my progress much quicker but as explained above this journey was not about how quickly I could get there is was how I went about it that mattered the most. I think the key to my progress has been my consistency. And we all know that consistency is key to achieve whatever physique goal you may have.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my journey so far.

Heather (AKA Protein Chef)

Here is my progress picture… please be kind
Me-progress-shot

April 11th, 2016
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