Game Changer 1 Month Plant Based
I'm currently 1 month into my Game Changing experiment and still holding strong. I thought it would be best to go into where I was at when I started the experiment to put some context into the results so far. I have been injured for the last 6 months and literally had only actually exercised for 5 weeks 3 months ago in the time frame. You could say I had fallen off the horse and in the 2 months leading up had been overseas and have even had a few regular drinks which usually I don't do. I was 83 kg which is 3.5 kg heavier than I have been at my heaviest in the last 8 years, and about 8 -10 kgs heavier than I usually sit which is 73-75 as seen in the table below. So it would be fair to say that any healthy diet change with exercise should give a positive response.
After the first 3 weeks I was super surprised that the scales hardly changed. You might say maybe I'm putting on muscle, but I know, if anything, I had possibly lost muscle and wasn't doing anything to actually increase muscle mass. I also really like to track my hips and waist, as for me they are better indicators than weight as they're where I seem to store most of my excess weight. This also hardly had changed, actually I had only lost around 1-1.5cm. I was totally shocked as usually, as you can see in the diagram below, in the off season when I gain a few kg and cm the first 2 - 3 weeks of training I normally have a pretty rapid drop. Since this was the worst shape I had been in, I though it would of been really easy to shed those first few cm as I was a good 10 cm bigger than I usually sit.
I started this journey without too much thought or planning and just watched the documentary listened to them say you get all the protein you need from vegetable, beans and lentils and just started eating those food thinking I will be fine. It wasn't until after 3 weeks and actually not budging the scales I started to dive a little deeper into what am I actually consuming. I noticed that most the protein I was getting was coming attached to carbs with about a 3 to 1 ratio. Also I was then adding those foods to some starch carbs like Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Bread, Brown Rice as we were just following some recipe books for ideas. It wasn't until I actually started tracking that I realised at best I was getting between 30-50g protein a day and was very heavy on the carb side, This actually totally shocked me, as yes, in the documentary they said maybe we don't need as much protein as someone eating a high protein diet but this was about 2/3 of what someone my size should be consuming and that without any training. First big lesson learnt if your going to just jump into a diet change make sure you research and track what you are actually consuming even just for a few days to get an idea of how your actually going. I can see this as being a the biggest problem especially for someone that is concentrating on doing this form of eating to save the planet or the animals. That's all good but make sure you are also doing whats best for your health. Since then, I just changed things around a bit and added a lot more lower Carb protein sources into the mix. These include Tempeh, Tofu, Sietan, Pumpkin Seeds & Hemp Seeds. I'm back in a good range of protein around 100-120 g and having a well balanced macro nutrient mix. Im really confident this is going to help with my weight and recovery only time will tell.
After 1 month, I will admit although the scale haven't shown it, I am feeling really good. My motivation and energy levels have come back. I seem to be recovering well, especially in the last week since I have changed up a bit what I'm eating, and being a bit smarter with what I consume. When I first started back, which was only my 3rd ride, we did a circuit which is in the hills not affected by wind and really and takes around 2 hours. 2 weeks later I did it again and went 18 min faster for around the same effort. I was feeling awesome my mind started going to the rope scene in the documentary, where he was saying he had unlimited energy. In reality I come home and checked strava and that 18 min faster was still the second slowest time I had ever been around that loop. So just goes to show what the placebo effect can do as well as when someone puts something in your head how you can actually start to believe. Saying that, sometimes that can be a good thing to get you motivated but the reality is, in this instance I was just super unfit and slow the first time I did the loop. Will be interesting to go back after the 8 weeks and see where I'm at then.
All in all Im actually really enjoying the food and actually except for maybe eggs, haven't really missed anything at all. The biggest problem has been it is really hard to go out anywhere to eat, as most place have vegetarian, but good plant based food is harder to find. Saying that, its been good for the budget as a lot more eating at home has been done and plants are cheaper than meat. I plan to continue to a minimum of 8 weeks and get my bloods done and see how they look and do a few, actual fitness tests.