This is the third post in a series about my experiences with weight control. In the first post, I discussed my initial weight control efforts as a teenager. In my last post, I explained how I gained 40 lbs after getting married, and then lost 60 lbs by following a strict high carbohydrate diet.
During the next few years, I slowly gained back about 10 lbs. Then I was introduced to the Zone diet, which centers on a balanced ratio of lean protein, low glycemic complex carbohydrates, and ‘good’ fats. A 30-40-30 ratio of these nutrients was to be consumed at each meal and snack to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. While continuing my same workout program, I soon dropped the 10 lbs I had gained.
This plan worked OK, but learning to prepare meals under the plan was a nightmare. The Zone folks put out a cookbook, but it was all gourmet stuff. I’m no gourmet chef, so it didn’t work for me. I had to learn nutrient amounts for all kinds of foods. I needed a calculator, a computer, and spreadsheets to prepare a meal. Where I had once enjoyed cooking, I came to detest it. But overall, the results were positive.
A few more years slipped by, and then my brother introduced me to the Body for Life program. While BFL also included a 30-40-30 diet, it seemed less rigid than in the Zone diet.
Another change for me was the exercise program, which was structured around alternating resistance (strength) and cardio workouts. All workouts were designed as a series of intervals of increasing intensity. I quickly added muscle and reduced my waist size. I found the variety offered in the workouts to be much more satisfactory than daily aerobic training. (Your own results may vary.)
BFL seemed to work great at first. But after a couple of years, I started to notice my waist size creeping up again. I wasn’t sure if this was the result of my dietary/fitness program or my advancing middle agedness. Frustrated that even strict adherence to the plan wasn’t achieving the kind of results I had previously seen, I started casting about for other options. I chanced upon the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle program.
As I had with other programs, I dove into the BFFM program. It wasn’t a huge change from the BFL program, but it did offer more details as to why to avoid certain foods while focusing on others. I achieved marginal results with the program, likely because it really wasn’t much different than what I was already doing. But it seemed to help me hold the line for a while.
Next time: Going low-carb