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Hey TR, I am turning over today’s post to my buddy David. He has been with teamRIPPED since almost the very beginning. We got to know each other through the Asylum Crazies and have been good friends ever since. He’s written here before, and he’s got some good insights again today. So let me turn it over to him!

Starting to Track Your Nutrition

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people now know that what we eat matters as much or more than how we work out. I initially got great results with P90X, the Asylum, and tracking. I was dead on with my tracking at 1600 and Fat Shredder when I started with Coach Wayne. I started at around 183 and got down to 156, low BF and finally ABS! I even did maintenance right, I slowly worked up my calories, and by the end of the Asylum Challenge, I was up eating 2500 calories, and still losing BF. I tracked for a whole year that first year – finally finding my maintenance at 2900 calories, still at 156-158.

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Now this is an old pic… agh.

That was great! I loved how I felt and looked, but truthfully it was work. Eating 2900 got hard, and I got lazy. I stopped tracking as much and just let my body normalize. I can say for sure, but I think I pretty normally eat about 2500 calories or so. Now they weren’t well balanced for macros, but my habits were now so much better. I was still feeling good.

Enter kid – and other kid – new job – craft beer… the whole story. I still worked out 6x a week, but I got softer, and tracking seemed harder and harder. I couldn’t get a streak going to save my life!

So that is where I sit today. I weigh but 175#, haven’t changed from that in years. I still fit in 31-32″ pants, but the abs have faded. Feel soft, not vibrant or full of energy. Just good enough.

Tracking All Over Again

Thankfully a friend I work with said, “Hey Dave, let’s track again. I need to lose some weight. Want to start May 1?”

It was just what I needed. So I booted up MyFitnessPal again, logged in some info and it’s now been 2 weeks. Starting over again, I wanted to share my experience and some takeaways.

  •  I started by just tracking calories. – Now I know my macros, but my only goal has been to make my calorie goal. For me, this was good mentally. I needed one thing to focus on. Since I was so out of practice, hitting 200g of protein was too much right now. Sure, Coach could send me to the Excuse Zone LOL but I just knew this was good for me.
  • Normal eating does not give you a lot of protein. – As I have looked over my days, I don’t nearly eat enough protein! For working towards my macros, I know I will need to change my shopping and eating. I can eat 100g fairly easily but more just doesn’t happen automatically. Below is a good example…

  • Having someone to partner with helps a lot! – We all know this – accountability works. I have walked to the pantry and fridge multiple times at night and knowing that my buddy Jon is also doing this, I would, look and walk away. Get a buddy to do this with! Get in a challenge group. But get some support.
  • Beer is wasted calories. – This might not be something you even think about, but if you like a good brew, then listen up! Those calories are pointless! Sure you can work them in, but the calories from alcohol take away from your total calories and give you nothing. I have made some smart choices (lower cal stout over my favorite IPA, etc) but if you are going to have a drink, track it and make sure you account for it. (I will still track some beer as I go, but as I transition into hitting my macro goals – I know it will be less and less – which is a good thing. For the waistline and budget :)
  • Go back to what you know! – If you have tracked with success before, go back to those habits. As I enter this week, I am doing all the stuff I did before: egg white omelets, chicken breast, deli ham, lean beef, protein supp, etc. I have also clued in my wife that I am now watching macros. It always changed how we ate as a family, so I need her on board as well.

All in all, I am feeling much better. After 2 weeks of only tracking calories, I am down 2.5#. I know the results will be better and better as I track macros. Thankful for Coach Wayne and so many on teamRIPPED for their example. Start today and aim at calories if it feels too much to just jump into macros, but work on hitting that protein macro.

David Jeffries

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