The Shred – Week 3, Day 14-20 – The Lowdown on Calories

The week’s seem to be picking up pace at the moment, or is it just me? During this last week two different people used the C-word, I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for that but the reality is, it is just 140 days to Christmas. That is a double-edged sword in my life, because Christmas means parties and in the past parties have always meant alcohol and over-indulgence. So this experiment is timeous for me, in that by the time Santa is ready to begin winging his way around the world, I will have already embedded the habits I am currently developing. 30 days is all is takes to develop a new habit and I am at Day 21, so it’s looking good for this year’s silly season.

A recap of week three signalled emergency self-care for me. I had planned a few high intensity sessions, along with kickboxing and a mid-level lifting session or two, but after the antibiotics and migraines of the previous week, I was completely wiped out with a very low mood so spent most of last week refocusing on my diet, sleeping, training myself at home, having some beautiful photos taken by the very talented Lauren Fletcher, updating MFP, changing up my vitamin supplements to overcome fatigue and planning out some blog topics for the Corporate side of my venture. It came as a stark reminder to keep plugging away at that self-care regime and focusing on making myself and my health a priority.

My food diary is up to date in MFP, if you review it, you will see it is carb heavy and I can have all my favourite things, including ice cream, because they fit my macronutrients.  I am down a further 500g (or 1lb) this week so it is difficult to dispute that this works. Especially since I had one less PT session than usual this week and no HEAVY weight sessions. I also drink between 4-6 litres of water a day, depending on how active I am, this includes a maximum of 2 coffees per day. I do not drink tea, juice or sodas.

I have completed week three of no alcohol and have just begun Week 4. It is getting easier every day and I have even been to the pub and stuck to soda water with lime and I actually preferred it. More importantly, I have saved in the region of £300. YAY ME! Additionally, it seems to have a knock on effect on those I have been socialising with because those who are with me, drink slower and don’t order as many drinks as they may do if they are in a drinking crowd. There have been a few people who have stuck to one drink only, instead of their usual 3 or 4 or 10. I am taking that as a positive influence, not that I expect anyone else to give up drinking with me. Each to their own, this is MY experiment after all, I want to see the impact it has on me, my thinking and my life. While it’s only been 3 weeks, I have to say I don’t feel any different despite many people telling me I would feel fantastic and my life would be filled with epiphanies and wow moments. I beg to differ, my life has always been filled with wow moments and frankly I think the ‘epiphany’ people have all been replacing alcohol with other substances. The only difference is, I am now mega self-aware, as well as being ultra aware of my awareness of others being aware of me not drinking (I’m not sure that makes sense anymore). However, I have committed to this experiment, so I shall persevere and I shall prevail.


Just a reminder – Protein (CHON) 4 calories/ gram; Carbohydrates (CHO) 4 calories/ gram; Fat 9 calories/ gram and finally Alcohol 7 calories/ gram. Remember calories in must be lower than calories out to create a deficit so that you burn fat. If you are not eating enough calories (I.e. a deficit of more than 800 calories) to sustain your normal body function (Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR), you will not lose weight. Your body will simply start to think you are starving and will begin to panic and store energy as fat and burn your muscle tissue for energy, this can lead to metabolic damage making it more difficult to lose weight and creating that phenomenon called “Skinny Fat”. If you are eating too many calories, i.e. more than you are burning, you will put on weight. If you are eating the caloric equivalent to your BMR, you will maintain your weight – you will neither put on weight, nor lose weight. If you create a daily deficit of 500-800 calories your body has no choice but to get its energy from your fat cells. This is good news, this means your body will burn through fat and not destroy your lean muscles tissue. If you want to know more about this, get in touch and I will help you to calculate your numbers.


As usual, my home training sessions were a little bit crazy to get the calorie burn up as high as possible. Below is a breakdown, if you’re interested.
High Intensity Interval Training

60 x Mountain Climbers

60 x Toe Taps

20 x Russian Twists with 10kg weight

20 x Crunches

40 x Side Squats with Resistance Band at Knees

20 x Standing Leg Raise (L & R)

Repeat 3 times, resting for 90 seconds between sets.

3 minutes Shadowing Boxing with Resistance Cable (Black) (60 seconds each – jab, cross then uppercut (L & R) then hook (L & R))

Mid-level Weights  

10 x Bench Press (20kg) – rest 30 seconds

10 x Bicep Curls (isolation curl) L & R (10kg) – rest 30 seconds

20 x Tricep Press Down – Resistance Bands (Black) – rest 30 seconds

10 x Hamstring Curl (L & R) – Resistance Bands (Black) – rest 30 seconds

10 x Good Mornings – 20kg – rest 30 seconds

Repeat 3 times, resting for 2 minutes between sets. End with 3 minutes Shadow Boxing with Resistance Cable (Black) (60 seconds each – jab, cross then uppercut (L & R) then hook (L & R)) – rest 30 seconds


Join me next week as I combine fitness and self-care.

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