Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle…modified!

For the last year I’ve been a big fan of Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” book and the priciples are (mostly) sound. I’ve read probably thousands of weight loss, healthy lifestyle books, articles, papers, posts, and after reading BFFM everything made sense (mostly). Tom’s philosophy of “this is what I know but I’m open to new ideas if they are proven and I’ll let you know if I find out something new” is refreshing and put me completely at ease in trusting his research and findings (moslty).

Basically, he focuses on losing fat and not losing muscle, emphasising the importance of muscle. His book also goes into great detail on mental readyness and prepardness, how to track progress, how to workout, how to include cardio, and how not to go into starvation mode.

I’ve tried following the original BFFM food plan and I just can’t eat all the eggs. Cheese, milk, sea food, red meat, white meat, uncooked meat, cooked meat…it all turns my stomach sour. I tried to substitute turkey sandwiches for the eggs in the morning and I could only last a week before the turkey became an odd/ick thing to eat. I never really ate much meat while growing up, and since I’ve been making my own meals it’s just become harder and harder. It’s not like I want to throw paint on a person wearing a fur coat, and I wear leather boots (at least at the moment), but the idea of eating animal products, well it’s like watching that show where the guy shows you how to survive on frog legs and big amazon bugs in an emergency.

Substituting artificial foods for the protein just seems wrong. I don’t think I should have to doctor food and buy from specialty organic blah blah stores just to enjoy potato chips. It all seems so fake. So I don’t want to eat real animal products and I don’t want to eat fake animal products. This lead me to research a healthy, natural way to eat, which lead me to the Low Fat Raw Vegan lifestyle (also known as the 8/1/1 diet, but I haven’t read that book yet). It just seems healthy, makes sense, seems simple enough, and looks like it would work. Only one way to find out.

This LFRV lifestyle doesn’t include anywhere near the amount of protein BFFM endorses. I think I’m OK with that until proven otherwise. The point of all the protein was to help build/repair muscle and to speed metabolism. I’ve yet to see where a LFRV diet does not speed metabolism or causes one to gain weight (unless intentional), and the muscle loss will be determined through experiment. One thing that Tom endorses is to use weekly lean body mass measurements (through body fat % measurements) to determine if the current plan you are on is working to keep lean mass and remove fat if you’re losing weight. I agree that every plan will likely need individual tweaking to end up where you want to be, much like a pilot of an airplane makes constant corrections to the actual path to follow the intended one.

My body fat is around 42% (210 lbs @ 5’6.5″, medium frame, female). I’ve always gained and kept muscle easy, but my poor diet keeps any weight from ever coming off. This encourages me that I don’t need as much protein as BFFM recommends so long as I’m not starving my body.

NUTRITIONAL GOALS: Consistently eating a clean, healthy, 95% LFRVdiet with limited refined sugar. I will crave healthy food (not sugar), and I will drink sufficient water.
BODY GOALS: 15% body fat (~140ish), possible figure competition, bikini ready, in a dress size less than a 10 (so I can shop in normal stores). I’m giving myself until 2011 for these.
FITNESS GOALS: MS150 bike ride in July 2010 (I did it last year but this year I want to be BETTER!), Austin Marathon Feb 2011, 50 real push-ups (that’s right, 50).

-BFFM book
-30BananasADay community
-Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet (and cookbook)
-Various Vegan/Vegetarian websites/cookbooks/books
-P90X (I love the strength training routines)
-Road Bike (road biking outside is my favorite cardio, but only if the weather permits)
-Running Shoes (my second favorite form of cardio)
-Body Fat Caliper, Myotape measure, “body fat” scale, Navy Method
-Excel (I’m an engineer; I breathe in Excel:lol
-Family/Friends fitness daily email check-ins
-Logging progress/setbacks/findings/feelings here


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