The Diet Diaries: Tyler, the 36 year old father of 2 who struggles on weekends

Welcome to the third installment of The Diet Diaries- true stories of people like you struggling to manage their food intake and get into shape. Today’s diet diary comes from Tyler, a father of two who’s in pretty average shape, and wants to slim down a bit while also putting on some muscle.

Tyler has made some good progress lately by cutting carbs, adding protein, and lifting weights. He certainly has the right idea. However, like many people, he does well during the week (extremely well actually), but often goes off the rails over the weekend. Here’s Tyler’s story, in his own words.

—————————————-

In order to give a bit of a background about myself, I am a 36 year old male and am about 5’9 to 5’10”. My weight at the start of this is 168.5 lbs. and my scale is showing me at 20.1% body fat. I don’t rely on the fat % from the scale as I don’t find it to be accurate. I have recently started working out as of July 17th by joining a local gym. Gyms are traditionally not my cup of tea, but I wanted to try something different as I was not pleased with my overall appearance.

My two kids (8 and 6 year olds) keep me busy and I have been happily married for over 10 years at this point. My job is in an office setting and I feel very fortunate to also love my work. In addition to all this, I do keep active by playing basketball, softball and soccer regularly (usually once to twice a week).

It is crazy when you begin typing everything out and you start thinking about all the items that could play a part on your health. Do I write about how I live in a smaller town because that may dictate food options or activities? Do I write about my economic status as that plays a part in your ability to afford certain items? The more I thought about it, the more I realize that to give you the full picture would take too long. Realize this is my situation and my hurdles, so you may experience things that are totally different.

My goals are to increase the amount of protein in my diet to around one gram per pound of body weight each day. I am not in bad shape, but want to gain some muscle and drop some of the fat. It appears from what I have read that trying to do both may not be possible, but here goes nothing.

Monday – 8/3

8:12 AM – The start of the week and the first log that I am making in what will be known as Food Diaries. I am enjoying some Black Cherry Greek Yogurt that I brought from home. I like this following my morning workout and am trying to increase my protein intake. I have a routine that I am able to follow during the work week and am somewhat bland in my diet. This is part of the diet and I feel the most focused on Monday when I return to work and will not be as tempted to stray.
5.3 oz. Wegman’s Organic Greek Yogurt – Black Cherry
130 Calories
13 (g) Protein

8:35 AM – Took a Centrum multi-vitamin and trying to get on track with this. I am not good about taking my vitamin each day and it is very hit or miss. I look at this as more of a nice to have and not as essential as my other nutrition. I also have had a tough time making this as habitual as might like. Just another task to remember and hoping it will help with my mid-afternoon drowsiness.
Centrum Tablet
12:22 PM – Company lunch event which I would normally enjoy, but the options are usually limited. This was not an exception as we had salad and pizza that was offered as the options. I humbly went for a very bland salad that had iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cabbage. I lightly added about two teaspoons of Italian dressing to the mix. It was either salad, cheese pizza, or some sort of cheesy bread and I made the responsible choice. This was not what I was hoping looking for the high protein / low car options. Left the meeting hungry and looking for something else to eat.
2 Cups Garden Salad
50 Calories
2 (g) Protein
1.5 Tbsp. Italian Dressing
38 Calories
0 (g) Protein

1:38 PM – I normally wait until later in the day, but I decided I was going to have my afternoon snack earlier than normal. Cottage cheese that I had brought from home was on the menu and it was quite delicious. I sprinkle some pepper on the top and it is one of those small 4 oz. containers, but is usually pretty satisfying.
4 oz. Cottage Cheese
90 Calories
10 (g) Protein

6:58 PM – Dinner was later than normal. I have two kids that both play soccer, so tonight we dined elegantly late. As mentioned, I am trying to increase my protein amounts in my diet. It had been very carb heavy and low in protein up until about 2-3 weeks ago when I began working out. In order to ramp up my protein consumption, I blend whey protein with almond milk and a little ice. On a night like tonight when I am getting home late this is something quick that I can put together and definitely eliminates any feelings of hunger that existed.

2 Cups Organic Almond Milk
180 Calories
2 (g) Protein
2 Scoops Gold Standard Vanilla Whey Protein w/ Ice
260 Calories
48 (g) Protein

7:21 PM – We had some leftover sausage patties sitting in the fridge and I needed a little something before I went to bed. They tasted great on the homemade pizza from the day before, so I went ahead and heated these up in the microwave really quick. It was a good option at this time of day as the kids were already finished eating their leftover pizza. It is tough when you have two kids who at this point can eat anything they want. As parents, my wife and I try to push them in the right direction and avoid certain items but we also recognize they are extremely healthy and in great shape. My wife is also blessed with an extremely small appetite and solid metabolism as she is in great shape. Sausage patties are definitely my treat for the day and I thoroughly enjoyed each bite.

5 Bob Evans Sausage Patties
550 Calories
25 (g) Protein

Day one is now in the books and six more diaries will be coming your way. A question that I have to ask, is my diet being impacted by keeping the journal? I think we will find out later in the week as usually my diet early in the week is pretty good and regimented. Rough totals are:

1298 Calories
100 (g) Protein

I usually will have a higher protein amount, but the lunch at work today really took some of the normal routine out of my diet. Tune in for the exciting changes to the diet on Tuesday.

Tuesday – 8/4

8:12 AM – Getting ready for my breakfast of Greek Yogurt. I told you that during the week it is going to be pretty boring, so bear with me. I am really not hungry right now, but took a spin class this morning and wanting to replenish with something. I have tried many different approaches to breakfast from not eating breakfast to having a banana. At one point, I even made my own granola bars in an attempt to maintain / lose weight. I may have missed the boat on things in the past and am now working on increasing my muscle mass. My strawberry variation is what keeps it interesting each morning.

5.3 oz. Wegman’s Organic Greek Yogurt – Strawberry
130 Calories
13 (g) Protein

8:36 AM – Hoping Centrum tablet and getting this more consistently in my system will make up for any nutrient deficiencies and increase my afternoon energy. Also, thought through some ways to make this more consistent and may end up trying a different approach. Either way, two days in a row is better than none.
Centrum Tablet
2:13 PM – Finally, lunch is served. Chicken is my normal choice for lunch and it was delayed quite a bit today because of my work. Specifically, we had a vendor coming in to propose some solutions and another vendor that was actually performing some work on the building where I work. This required more of my time than anticipated and I didn’t get to grab lunch. I was quite hungry by the time that I was able to eat and enjoyed my chicken feast. I grill it either George Foreman style or on the grill outside as it depends on the weather. I usually will grill enough for a few days at work for lunch, so guess what is coming on Wednesday if things go as planned. Added some hot sauce to the chicken to give it a little flavor, but this was not eaten with any sort of joy but a matter of strict consumption for calories.

9 oz. Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breast
330 Calories
63 (g) Protein

4:24 PM – The late lunch postponed my afternoon snack slightly. I had cottage cheese and was surprisingly hungry when I ate. In fact, I had to fight the temptation to eat this earlier or grab something else from the cafeteria at work. I enjoy the food at the cafeteria, but I try to avoid it for a couple of reasons. One is that I feel it is expensive and the other is the nutritional value associated with the food. The products in the cafeteria are not always the healthiest choice, so bringing in my lunch is important to me. I do go in waves and will avoid the cafeteria but then may fall back for convenience purposes. This is why the cottage cheese single serve options seem to work for my purposes.

4 oz. Cottage Cheese
90 Calories
10 (g) Protein

7:43 PM – Finished my softball game at 7:15 PM and ran over to Wegman’s to grab some sushi on the way home. Normally, I would have eaten with my family if they had planned anything, but they were not sure of what they were going to eat. The sushi at Wegman’s is solid and it is one of the ways that I treat myself as it is a little expensive. I enjoy all 16 pieces of the sushi while standing at the island in our kitchen. It gives me a chance to talk to my children and find out how there day went. This is probably the first food of the week that I can say I truly enjoyed.

16 pieces California Skinny Roll
240 Calories
12 (g) Protein

7:55 PM – While I was enjoying my sushi I grabbed the blender to make my weeknight drink. I sip on this for the rest of the evening and must say that I also consider this a treat. Not as much as the sushi, but it still tastes pretty good and helps me avoid some of the late night cravings for junk food. It has worked out pretty well for me and is definitely a new routine that I enjoy.

2 Cups Organic Almond Milk
180 Calories
2 (g) Protein
2 Scoops Gold Standard Vanilla Whey Protein w/ Ice
260 Calories
48 (g) Protein

9:01 PM – You know how I mentioned those late night cravings; well I decided to treat myself to some of the jerky that I purchased at the store with my sushi. I looked for a high protein jerky that was low on carbs and didn’t realize how expensive it is to eat healthy. I could have gotten two packages of cookies or some potato chips, but am really trying to find items I enjoy and change my lifestyle. The jerky was solid, but I really only ate it to get my protein and calorie count up. It was tasty and will freely admit that I went to bed pretty happy.

2 oz. Grass-fed Beef Jerky
140 Calories
20 (g) Protein

The countdown continues as day two is in the books. It was definitely a little more structured than Monday because of lunch even with the audible for dinner. Finding the way you eat satisfying is sometimes tough, but I am continually searching out alternatives and better ways of doing things. This definitely includes nutrition.

1370 Calories
167 (g) Protein

The protein amount was in line with what I am trying to accomplish and the calorie count was not astronomical. Making things part of a schedule has helped me stay focused and the diet is something where I really need to continue to push myself especially on the weekend. At least I have made it through Tuesday not looking at anything I have eaten and feeling depressed or asking why I ate it.

Wednesday 8/5

8:13 AM – They say variety is the flavor to life, but you will not be getting that from me during the week. I am eating some Greek Yogurt and this one is strawberry for the second straight day. I think having this routine helps me out and keeps me from getting to far away from a solid diet plan. I will probably change things up on the weekend, but this consistency helps me.

5.3 oz. Wegman’s Organic Greek Yogurt – Strawberry
130 Calories
13 (g) Protein

9:25 AM – I am officially trying my new vitamin taking trick for at work. I used to pack it with my food, but decided I will bring my vitamin bottle to work with me. This way it sits on my desk and is a constant reminder for me to take my vitamin after I have some breakfast. Nothing earth shattering, but am hoping this will help out with the consistency.

Centrum Tablet
11:58 AM – Chicken with a little bit of mustard is on the menu. I bring a few chicken breasts into work and then grab something to give it a little flavor and today I chose mustard. Why mustard? It is available in the cafeteria where I work, does not contain any calories and I enjoy the taste. Many people say that I have a boring approach to my food, but it works for me and is something I have no problem embracing. As you can see from previous entries, we don’t exactly have large dinners where I can bring in leftovers. Instead, I opt for heating up my food in the microwave and sitting at my desk. Oddly, writing down the items I am eating and keeping this journal has provided a sense of serenity where I am not completing work but surfing the net.
9 oz. Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breast
330 Calories
63 (g) Protein

4:02 PM – Afternoon snack time and enjoyed cottage cheese with a little bit of pepper. Passed some people in the hall who were returning from their venture to the company store where they retrieved a soda and candy. The good part about routine is being less apt to stray and this is an example of being less apt to stray. Historically, I may have seen them and went to get an ice cold Coke Zero and snag food that is not nutrient dense. The cottage cheese is still enough of a different flavor for me and keeps me in good shape until I travel home for dinner.
4 oz. Cottage Cheese
90 Calories
10 (g) Protein

5:48 PM – My wife moved Taco Tuesday to Wednesday this week and it marks the only day of the week where I don’t have something after work. I really look forward to this as it is also the time where I get to eat at the same time as my family. We all know the traditional family sit down meal has been changed over the years and my family is not immune to this. We also see all the research that shows how important this time is for a family, so I try to enjoy this whenever possible. Also, it is a meal that I didn’t have to prepare in any way which I definitely appreciate. You may say it is not really a big deal to brown some ground turkey and add a seasoning packet, but it gives me more time to spend with my family. I only eat the taco meat with a piece of Swiss cheese on top. This may sound like an odd flavor combination, but it keeps me more in line with a low carb and high protein intake. My wife also made some rice as a side dish for the kids, but something that I try to avoid unless I have additional calories I need.
4 oz. Organic Ground Turkey
173 Calories
21 (g) Protein
Swiss cheese Slice
83 Calories
6 (g) Protein

6:12 PM – Still talking with my wife and kids, but I decide it is a good idea to make my nightly protein shake. Today was grocery day, so my wife went to the store. This is only important because she picked up a new type of almond milk. That is why you will see two of them listed below as it is a healthier choice. I am really finding the “shake / malt” to be a great treat for me each evening and this is no exception. I will end up sipping on this for the next couple of hours and am still enjoying the taste.

1 Cup Organic Almond Milk
90 Calories
1 (g) Protein
1 Cup Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
40 Calories
2 Scoops Gold Standard Vanilla Whey Protein w/ Ice
260 Calories
48 (g) Protein

8:35 PM – I was craving a little late night snack and opted for some hulled sunflower seeds. It is definitely feels like a small amount, but they are nutrient rich and end up being pretty filling as long as you don’t take the entire bag with you. In fact, that is really the key to each time I eat something by making sure I eat a sensible portion. This is no exception to that and I measured out the amount and ate a few while my evening with the boys was winding down.

¼ Cup Raw Hulled Sunflower Seeds
160 Calories
6 (g) Protein

Hump Day is officially in the books and I definitely feel like keeping the journal is impacting my decisions. My kids were eating some pizza rolls and I would have loved to indulge, but didn’t want to have to log it and or look at the calories that I consumed. I also usually find this is the day where my willpower begins to drain.

1356 Calories
169 (g) Protein

Overall, it has been a pretty good week so far. The next few days though will really be where you can see variation. It begins getting more difficult on Thursday to stay focused and I definitely indulge sometimes over the weekend. As I adjust different habits it makes each day seem more natural and I am not resisting temptation, but merely making a different choice.

Thursday 8/6

8:12 AM – If you have read this straight through, you can probably guess what I am having for breakfast today. I think it might be a little bit of a surprise as I am having Greek yogurt, but am going a little crazy and changing up the flavor to blueberry. I may be criticized for leading a boring life but I am not a “foodie”. I do appreciate a good flavor or taste, but don’t get the desire at every meal or require elaborate preparation. The yogurt works for my purposes and is something else was made by a chef for me than I would gladly eat that if it met my nutritional goals.

5.3 oz. Wegman’s Organic Greek Yogurt – Blueberry
130 Calories
13 (g) Protein

8:56 AM – I have done good with my vitamins this week. I am not sure of the benefit at this point and it is more of an activity. In speaking with my wife, she felt that my iron levels may be causing the drop in energy in the afternoon. I think it is just the level of sleep that I am getting and working through changing that aspect of my life.

Centrum Tablet

11:56 AM – It is lunch time and has been a surprisingly stress free day. I do feel less full at this point and am craving other food. They had Buffalo chicken pizza in the cafeteria along with some other items that looked tasty, but I am opting for the chicken I brought in. Each week it seems around this time that I have a craving for food that is less than healthy and sometimes my willpower dwindles and I cave into the temptation. I feel oddly focused at this point in my life towards healthier choices. It also seems to stem from each piece leading into the other. What do I mean? My goal originally was how to increase my willpower and the more research I did it led to me needing more sleep and recharging my batteries. I began researching how to improve my sleep and without surprise it points to exercise and diet playing a major factor. In order to eat healthy and stay active through exercise, I need to have willpower. I think you get the idea, but it is a complete circle with each piece needing the other. Eventually, I am going to eat or drink something unhealthy. It is then a matter of how quickly I get back on track which is the other mystery to life. All this dialogue over 9 oz. of chicken and some barbecue sauce.

9 oz. Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breast
330 Calories
63 (g) Protein
0.5 oz. Barbecue Sauce
34 Calories
>1 (g) Protein

3:47 PM – Afternoon snack was a little earlier than usual, but definitely hungry for additional food. I am avoiding this as I will be going to coach my kid’s soccer practice and my wife was kind enough to make me some food. Cottage cheese was on the menu with a little bit of pepper sprinkled on the top. I definitely find myself enjoying each bite and would be all about having more food at this point, but am trying to avoid this as well.

4 oz. Cottage Cheese
90 Calories
10 (g) Protein

7:58 PM – I didn’t get a chance to eat at practice as I had originally intended. Instead, I had to wait until after we returned home from soccer practice. I am quite hungry by the time the first zip-lock bag is opened and tear into my sandwich. I feel like the greater my hunger, the more I enjoy the food even if it is something simple. The bread is soft and the lettuce is crisp. The little amount of mustard is a perfect touch to the ham and turkey that is wrapped inside. Not to mention the very tasty Swiss cheese that complimented everything. Yes, I really enjoyed this food and it was for a couple reasons: my wife put it together for me and I was pretty hungry.

Club Roll
170 Calories
7 (g) Protein
Swiss cheese Slice
83 Calories
6 (g) Protein
1.25 oz. 97% Fat Free Deli Ham
38 Calories
6 (g) Protein
34 (g) 98% Fat Free Turkey Breast
30 Calories
7 (g) Protein

8:26 PM – While I was finishing getting the kids ready for bed, I put together my shake. I added a bit too much ice and it was not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped. I thought multiple times about having some salsa and chips this evening and had to fight that urge. Not that this would have been bad, but the tortilla chips are carb heavy and I am really trying to avoid that as much as possible this week. I also know that I have a tough few days ahead of me and will be cheating.

2 Cups Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
80 Calories
2 Scoops Gold Standard Vanilla Whey Protein w/ Ice
260 Calories
48 (g) Protein

Thursday is in the books and I now have three more days of diaries. It was definitely more difficult to avoid the urges today and I know that it will get more difficult over the next few days. Reducing the temptation is very important and I am glad my family is on board and trying to assist.

1225 Calories
161 (g) Protein

I also realized the importance of what I drink regarding all of this. The weekend is coming and I am most likely going to have calorie consuming beverages. The fact that I drink water all week definitely helps and I am coming to a point where giving up a few drinks is really making sense. I know it is a random thought, but Friday and Saturday I am invited to social gatherings where food and drink will be prevalent.

Friday – 8/7

7:56 AM – This morning I am fighting off some hunger pains. I am not sure of the reason that this seems to occur each week, but towards the end of the week the cravings seem to increase. I feel as if my water consumption is the same and that everything remains the same. This could be a mental pattern that has formed over the years and will just take time to break and replace this habit. I definitely am enjoying the yogurt this morning, but may need a little more at some point today. I also know that this evening is going to create a problem, but more on that later.

5.3 oz. Wegman’s Organic Greek Yogurt – Blueberry
130 Calories
13 (g) Protein

8:58 AM – Had my vitamin.

Centrum Tablet
10:28 AM – I chose not to wait until lunch to grab another snack, but at least am making sensible choices. Cookies, crackers, and potato chips are all options. I mill around the cafeteria and find a pre-made salad after evaluating my options. It tastes surprisingly good as I was really just looking for filler and something to gnaw on before lunch. Part of me wishes I waited until lunch, but if this is the worst that happens then I am in good shape for the day. It is fine line between being diligent and holding yourself accountable versus beating yourself up too much. Right now, I am doing a good job with this and plan on enjoying things quite a bit.

Turkey Bacon Cobb Salad (Bistro Bowl)
290 Calories
13 (g) Protein

3:09 PM – I had a couple of impromptu meetings come up, so I am really glad that I ate the salad earlier. The traditional chicken lunch would have been delayed until after a couple of these meetings, so it worked out quite well. Again, it is so much easier making decisions when they are already made and the food is already planned out for that day. I devour each morsel of the chicken and it definitely hits the spot and satisfies some of the cravings for nourishment. I do get to a point where I wish I had a little more variety established while I am eating, but that feeling quickly subsides.

9 oz. Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breast
330 Calories
63 (g) Protein

4:20 PM – Even though I just ate the chicken, I grab the cottage cheese that I had packed as well. No pepper added and really doing this to tide me over until dinner. My willpower is definitely reaching a low for the week and this is very cyclical for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it and have really worked to help identify this gap. It is so nice to have everything planned out and my wife and I were tossed a couple of curveballs with our dinner plans, so maybe that has led to things. Either way, the cottage cheese is a good step.
4 oz. Cottage Cheese
90 Calories
10 (g) Protein

6:17 PM – Let the gluttony begin and I definitely ask that you don’t judge me at this point. My family and I decided to grab some food at a local festival that was held at our church. It is great to get out into the community, but these events don’t usually provide the healthiest options. I decide to get two grilled kielbasa sandwiches and this is where the downfall truly begins. I get two sandwiches because at the time I feel I need both, but in truth this shows the weakness that exists when willpower is gone. It would have been much easier to enjoy the one sandwich and still be completely satisfied. I also sneak a piece of fried dough that my wife bought. Again, she is blessed with amazing metabolism and she gets full after very sensible portions. I do enjoy the sandwich, but also feel as if I let myself down a little bit as I was eating it. I also felt this was a bad sign for things to come and when I saw the calorie amount it was even more depressing, but I did this only after I had ordered two of them.

2 Grilled Kielbasa Sandwiches
1380 Calories
54 (g) Protein
Fried Dough w/ Cinnamon
?

8:47 PM – You may have noticed the question mark on the fried dough. This was something where I quickly grabbed it and didn’t record it into any sort of tracker. I find this to be one of the other biggest mistakes that I traditionally make. I should record all items before I end up eating them, but it is something where I do this when I am in a good frame of mind and being sensible. Either way, I am now meeting up with friends for a couple of drinks and bear with me on the accuracy of recording. We are celebrating a person that accepted a promotion, so I know there will be plenty of toasts throughout the evening. I am going to group all of these together below but realize this occurred over the course of the evening and are rough approximations.

3 Shots of Fireball
324 Calories
2 Peach Fuzzy Navel (Generic)
508 Calories
1 (g) Protein
1 Long Island Bucket
414 Calories

Again, I am not sure if these totals for today will be 100% accurate, but either way it proves a very big point. The non-nutrient rich items can really hamper any benefit you may have reached through diligence the previous 4.5 days.

3366 Calories
145 (g) Protein

This calorie count puts me close to what I had eaten the previous three days combined. I didn’t put all of this in until after the fact and going through events of the evening. Earlier in the week, I had not planned on going out on Friday but didn’t want to miss out. I just need to figure out the way to break the habit and choose to drink water instead of the empty calories I consumed. It is fun to let loose, but I know the group wouldn’t think any less of me if I had chosen a different path. How do I break this habit?

Saturday – 8/8

8:47 AM – I continue the poor judgment and begin the morning with a soda. I had to come into work for a meeting on Saturday which is not normal, so I needed a little caffeine and soda was a big part of my upbringing. I drank soda from a very early age and developed some other poor habits as well. The unplanned gathering from the night before really set me back quite a bit as I also skipped my morning workout in favor of sleep. For the most part, I have been very diligent over the past month regarding my workouts and was hoping I had made more responsible choices the night before. Either way, the soda is something that I look to for comfort and a little boost of energy. Since I am at work, they don’t have any zero calorie options but they do have plenty of healthier options. It just goes to show that lack of willpower on my part and how things can snowball pretty quickly.

1.5 Bottles of Coke
360 Calories

1:17 PM – I have returned from work and avoided the temptation of pastries and bagels during the meeting, but am still at risk. I get home and ask my wife if she and the boys have eaten as we are heading out the door to visit her parents. She replies with a yes and that bursts my bubble a little bit. A bag of Fritos is lying out, so I grab a quick handful along with a few Doritos. These were left out from my two children who had finished their sandwiches and that was a little side snack. I wash this down with a Coke Zero from the fridge, but have still not replenished with any water.

Approximately 1 oz. Fritos Original Corn Chips
160 Calories
4 (g) Protein
Approximately 1 oz. Doritos Cool Rach
150 Calories
2 (g) Protein

1:40 PM – We are passing WaWa whose Italian hoagies I thoroughly enjoy. I tell my wife that I am going to stop in because I have not had any lunch as of yet. This is partially true as I munched on some of the leftover snacks, but either way I am getting some WaWa. I go for the 10” Italian w/ creamy horseradish sauce and extra meat. This is my favorite sandwich, but even as I am ordering I am questioning why I need to go for the 10” and not just enjoy the 6”. I place my order happily at the time, but now as I type it is getting more frustrating recognizing the poor decisions I have made in the past 16 hours have crushed any sort of consistency I had during the week. Do I do it because it is easy or is it because it is habit? I really don’t know the answer and am continually working to better myself and find that magical piece that is missing. Is it willpower? Or is it something beyond willpower that is driving me down this path? This is the answer that I have been searching for and really struggle to obtain.

10” Italian Hoagie
850 Calories
54 (g) Protein

3:07 PM – I am going to group my beverage consumption together again. My wife and I are attending a friend’s 27th birthday bash at his place. Yes, so much is wrong with this. A friend is celebrating his own 27th birthday is one of the big issues, but we had this planned out and were going to be having a good time for the remainder of the evening. A miscommunication issue with my wife though regarding the final plans for the evening made this a bit more confusing and it probably led to even worse decisions on my part.

3 Leinenkugel’s Summer Shanty Beer
390 Calories
4 Miller Lite Beer
384 Calories

5:45 PM – I am also going to group this portion together and these times are not accurate. This is a product of being at the party and just grabbing some food for dinner, but I think the overall impact will still display how we make decisions in social settings. I hadn’t eaten anything and really needed something in my stomach, but there was plenty of food at the party. I would describe what I did as grazing and not really eating. I hung around the table with the food and began eating various items on the table with not concern over nutritional value or anything of the sort. Caution was being tossed to the wind and food was consumed that was definitely outside my normal choices. The items below may not even be the full amount that I ate, but it definitely was more than I should have eaten or had anticipated eating. I hope I capture most of this accurately, but am not making any promises.

1.5 Chipotle Lime Chicken Sausages
90 Calories
15 (g) Protein
2 Cups Bow Tie Pasta w/ Bacon and Peas
593 Calories
21 (g) Protein
1 Cup Pasta Salad w/ Pepperoni
576 Calories
Protein Unknown

Again, I could have other items that I didn’t list above that were consumed. Completely outside the plan and the day to day is where I seem to struggle. I hope that I can figure out a better way to approach, but must say this diary has done that for me a little. It is just a matter of following the advice that I know is extremely true.
Avoid empty calories from beverages.
Track what you eat prior to eating or ordering it.
Come up with a clear game plan on what you want to accomplish.
Don’t beat yourself up, but hold yourself accountable and figure out how to correct it for next time.
Can I follow the above advice? I am not sure and can only say that I will continue to try to get to this point. You can pick up bad habits and good habits during the course of your life. Some are hard to change, but as long as you continue look to grow and improve it can get better. I believe this and am hoping this time I have taken will help out someone else realizing we have the same issues.

3553 Calories
97 (g) Protein

Another rough day and I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming from a mile away, but still need to come up with better plans to avoid. I am not sure of the answers but will continue to push for ways to change or alter the behavior.

Sunday – 8/9

9:05 AM – We stayed at in-laws last night and they wanted us to join them for some breakfast. This is again outside the normal routine, but I knew about this in advance. I still have not fully regained my willpower and am eyeballing some pretty heavy calorie items. Also, I am ordering a side order of hash browns. This could be a result of wanting to get something in my stomach but it is definitely more than what is necessary. I also must admit that I love Eggs Benedict and truly consider it a treat. It is not something that I would normally have and my wife and I don’t go out to eat that often. It all tasted good and I avoided adding ketchup to my hash browns or side order of hash browns which was a small victory for me after some poor eating choices. I also chose water over a soda which is another victory and sign that I am getting back on track.

Eggs Benedict (2 Medium Eggs)
424 Calories
27 (g) Protein
1.5 Cups Hash Browns
508 Calories
7.5 (g) Protein

1:40 PM – Remember that WaWa that we passed on Saturday. Oddly enough, we are passing it again around lunch time and I can’t resist. I didn’t miss out on another opportunity for this and will probably not have it for another month or so, but am hoping I make a better choice when it is presented. A 6” sandwich will suffice just fine and make me feel less guilty. I will admit that I do like it and really consider this a treat, so this is the last of my weekend and consider this spoiling myself. I enjoy each bite with the realization that I need to get back on track.

10” Italian Hoagie
1120 Calories
66 (g) Protein

6:17 PM – Honey glazed chicken is in the fridge, so I go ahead and grab a piece to heat up. This is the first step to getting back on track with normal eating habits and behavior. Everything else that I have done this weekend is the opposite of the discipline I had during the week. My major concern is this can sometimes lead to a more extended period of downtime. This is not something where I really need to focus and avoid sending myself into a tailspin. The traditional statement of two steps forward and one step back is what can happen and I don’t want this to end up two steps forward and two or three steps back. The chicken tastes solid and I feel as if I am least ending the week on a higher note.

9 oz. Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breast
330 Calories
63 (g) Protein

This brings my week to a conclusion. I had some great points and also hit some points where the calorie consumption could be avoided. Either way, I am still pushing myself and that feels like a very good thing. How can I take this next step in my health? What is the missing piece? I hope that I develop some answers to these questions, but the most important part is to be asking these questions. Each body is different and everyone has a different situation. You need to find out what works for you, but don’t feel that your problems or hurdles are so unique that you cannot take advice from others. We are in a fortunate part of human development in that information can quickly be shared. Here is to hoping you find what works for you and we can become more of the person we imagine.

2346 Calories
156 (g) Protein

It is time for the final numbers as of Monday morning I weigh 167.5 lbs. and am at 20.6% body fat. I lost about a pound from the previous week. This could be water weight or it could be that I didn’t eat anything late last night, but I am still in the same ballpark as the prior week. Where would I have ended up if I had made better choices over the weekend? Can I figure out a way to add muscle and drop body fat?

I would say the weekday was pretty typical and I was probably even more strict. The weekend was not typical and I was eating more than I would on a traditional weekend.

All in all, pretty average as I am definitely able to control my urges more during the week and it decreases as the weekend approaches.

This new approach of working out is only about a month old. I have watched my calorie consumption in the past, but this is the first time that I have focused more on low carb and high protein.

The problem I experience is my overall lack of nutritional knowledge. I know the basics, but my lack of protein was astounding once I dug deeper.

I have been able to increase my strength and am lifting more weight than one month ago. My wife has noticed a difference in my appearance and I am happy to say that I feel better. It is a matter of staying on this path and not straying from it.