BULLET BLOG: CYCLE TWO OF THE BODY COACH 90 DAY PLAN
Lifestyle : Getting Lean with Hypothyroidism
Having done the old plan a few times before, I knew that Cycle Two was going to be tough for me. The only reason I dread this cycle is because the increase in carbs (which I will discuss below) doesn't really agree with me. My body is always more sluggish and my progress slows down when I eat more carbs, however I know this about myself now so I just got my head down and focused on the fact that I would be building some serious muscle.
How it works.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the 90 Day plan I will just give you a brief overview of how cycle two works.
Month Two | AKA Cycle Two
NUTRITION - During the second month you up your carbs to two meals per day on training days, and you will still be aiming to work out 4-5 days per week - but this time you include resistance training as well as HIIT. So for at least 2 days a week you will be eating low carbs all day as in Cycle One. A typical training day for me looks like this (I usually trained mornings in Cycle Two):
Breakfast - Breakfast Pizza (Post Workout Refuel)
Snack - Rice Cakes and Peanut Butter
Lunch - Almond and Honey Pancakes (Low Carb)
Snack - 25g Mixed Nuts
Dinner - Mixed Bean Chilli (Carb Refuel)
My typical rest days would look something like this:
Breakfast - Coconut and Chocolate Smoothie (Low Carb)
Snack - 25g Nuts
Lunch - Fish Pie (Low Carb)
Snack - Protein Yoghurt
Dinner - Chilli Beef Nachos
TRAINING - Cycle Two is the kind of training I like because it mixes a bit of HIIT with weights and I absolutely love improving on my strength. I always aimed for 5 days training a week so that way if there are days I am suffering with fatigue a lot more, I can let myself off for having an extra rest day.
Workouts are 30 minutes long this cycle, so the time has increased by 5 minutes from last month. You will typically do 5 rounds of weighted exercises such as squats, chest press and shoulder press and then finish with an intense HIIT session at the end.
Here are a few things from month TWO of the plan:
- I felt extremely tired and sluggish during this cycle - as I mentioned above I try to eat low carbs most of the time when I'm not doing the plan as this works better for me with my condition. A lot of people with Hypothyroidism actually go Gluten Free completely.
- I didn't see a lot of physical changes throughout the cycle which can be disheartening when you are looking for NSVs (non scale victories) to help you get through and motivate you. However, I know I am edging ever nearer to my goal and gaining muscle at this point, so I tried not to let it get to me too much and stayed focussed.
- It was Easter during the cycle so I added on some time at the end. I was completely lured in by Easter because our house was full to the brim with chocolate (that's what having children does - and I didn't want them to eat it all did I?!)
- I did get bored with this cycle very quickly, I know this is a mental battle because I wasn't seeing any results, and in fact as you'll see from my photos, it seemed as though the carb bloat actually hid the progress I'd made in cycle one. The best thing for me was to move on quickly to the next cycle with no break as demotivation can lead to lower restraint in my experience.
So here are my all important results:
Of course I saw these numbers and felt pretty disappointed. My weight went up and where my inches did drop they didn't drop by much at all. My progress is definitely slowing down the further along I get but those last pounds of fat are always going to be the most stubborn.
I've also started to accept genetics a lot more - they play a major part and are a big reason why you should never compare with someone who has always been a size 8, when you're naturally a size 12. The smallest I've ever been is a size 10 and I have reached that size now, but I'm the fittest and healthiest I've ever been in my life so that's the added bonus.
So when the numbers aren't saying much I go back to the photos. At the end of the day this is what we see in the mirror and is usually where we want to see change when it comes to confidence and wearing the clothes we like. This is a major factor for me in body confidence because I want to express myself through fashion and this just wasn't possible when I was at my biggest.
Though the changes are minor I can see that my legs are more toned, this is a big deal for me as one of my genetic traits is having big thighs and wide calves. I have a much more defined collar bone and let's just say those squats are paying off!
I have also been measuring body fat % and muscle gain on a Boditrax machine at my gym, despite the above numbers my muscle mass has increased from 48.7% to 50.2% and my body fat has decreased from 28.7% to 28.2% so something is happening beneath the surface.
If, like me, you suffer from a metabolic disorder then I urge you to take as many measurements as you possibly can along with photos and body fat %, as this will give you a much more rounded view than the scales ever can.
If you have any questions about how I keep fit with Hashimoto's then please get in touch - I love talking to other people who are just as determined about their health!