Amanda is a rugby player that I know via Twitter (@singbo7, http://openside.amandasingh.me). Little did I know, she had read about the 3-2-1 diet plan I posted on my blog, and decided she would give it a go. As you will read, she had AMAZING success. A BIG thank you Amanda, for sharing this with us. Here is her story...
Two days before I left, I came across Mel on Twitter and read her 3-2-1 article. That very night, I wrote a nutrition plan for myself based on it and never looked back.
Firstly, I followed the plan as best I could while travelling, which wasn't too hard, 'cause I made a shopping list and planned my meals (although there was recourse to McDonalds on occasion!) I found I lost 2kg in 2 weeks, although some of this was muscle bulk because I had no gym access.
Here are the main changes I made:
· scheduled in a training session before breakfast every day (except Sunday, my rest day). This may be anything: a gym session, a tabata or other endurance session, or a skills session;
· increased the size of my breakfast (usually a small amount of cereal, some whey protein isolate and a piece of fruit);
· ditched artificial sweeteners, most specifically, Pepsi Max. For the past ten years, I'd get through two cans of diet cola a day. This was a big change for me, but I think it's been critical.
· drank a lot more water. I find water usually satisfies those hard-to-define cravings that I would normally have attempted to satisfy with a muesli bar.
· prepare snacks on Sunday for the entire week. I make up packages for morning tea each day, usually 20gms of beef jerky and an apple. Since I've already exercised, had a good breakfast and eaten a good snack by 11am, the rest of the day is a breeze. Being prepared helps me avoid less good snacks that I'm prone to eat when I'm tired.
· snack on peanuts, fruit, ham or light crackers with cottage cheese. I like to prepare a mix of sultanas and nuts so they're always handy.
· eat two pieces of 85% cocoa Lindt chocolate every night for dessert just to keep me happy!
Importantly, I now consider eating to be refuelling, and this has had some pretty amazing consequences. I will usually try to do some sort of exercise before each meal, even if it's just a set of pistol squats or one-armed pushups (in Greasing the Groove style). Nowadays, I don't even feel hungry unless I have exercised!! I was amazed to see my teammates rush for food when we got off the plane in Darwin last week - I wasn't even the slightest bit hungry!
There are two more points I ought to mention. In my third week on the 3-2-1 plan, I set myself a challenge: complete five Sufferfests in seven days. For those of you un-aquainted with the Sufferfest training videos , they're well worth checking out if you want a challenging workout for your indoor trainer and are as mentally difficult as they are physically taxing. Five in a week was a significant mountain for me to climb. And as it turned out, I added an actual mountain to that training load, with my dad asking me to run Mt Majura with him for my sixth very intense endurance session for the week.
Despite this increased training load, I performed extremely well: hitting PBs for each Sufferfest session AND two PBs in the gym! I was gobsmacked. This 3-2-1 thing was a winner in my book, especially considering my previous problems with fatigue.
The second thing I should mention is that I changed the way I perform my resistance training. Instead of going to failure each set, I now aim for the highest volume of quality work I can possibly perform. Because I did so well with the Sufferfest challenge week - where I scaled back my gym sessions a little - I am certain now that my previous train-to-failure methods were contributing to my fatigue.
I find I have much more energy in general now and recover from individual training sessions more rapidly. I feel so much better and I feel my performance is still improving, and this is due in large part, I am sure, to the 3-2-1 nutrition plan. I am now 68.5kg and leaner than I have ever been, meaning my muscle bulk is pretty near peak, too. This is a pretty good size for my rugby goals, and my performance in the recent Darwin 7s indicates I am faster and more powerful, with stamina comparable to any Wallaroo player.
A big thanks to Mel for posting her thoughts on the 3-2-1 plan!!
If you have any questions or if I should clarify any points, please let me know!
Read her blog here: http://openside.amandasingh.me/
What is the 3-2-1 diet? Find out here http://melanieryding.blogspot.com/2010/12/what-is-3-2-1-diet.html
Have you tried the 3-2-1 diet yet? How did you get on? Share your story with me and be the next guest blogger... email@example.com