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Starting a cut on Monday; May return to a vegetarian diet

Thursday, March 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

March
10
2016

My diet over the past month has not been great. I’ve been eating over maintenance nearly daily, and my food choices have not been stellar. I’ve limited my splurge meals to one, or–at the most–two per week, but I’ve been snacking on some unhealthy choices and consuming alcohol more than I should be.

Stress eating? Sure.

Lame excuse? Absolutely.

I made a couple feeble attempts over the past two weeks to tighten things up, but I’ve been weak. Using the situation with my (former) job as an excuse to over-indulge was really stupid: my weight has slowly crept up, and only added to my already overflowing stress pool.

My scale weight is currently in the upper 170s, and my body fat is probably around 12-13% (adjusted). It’s time to put the brakes on, and throw the weight train into reverse. On Monday I’ll be starting a formal cut. Here’s the plan:

  • All meals will be logged and publicly displayed on MyFitnessPal.
  • Mild caloric deficit.
  • Clean diet, mostly consisting of all-natural whole foods.
  • No alcohol.
  • 1 “splurge” meal per week, alcohol allowed.
  • 1 “splurge” snack per week (for example, movie theater popcorn).
  • No missed workouts. Cycling 7 days per week, 1 weight training workout per week.
  • Weekly stats and evaluation posted here every Sunday.

 

During this cut I will be eating my usual foods, but once it’s over I’m strongly considering returning to a vegetarian diet.

vegetarianSome of you know that both Lisa and I were vegetarians for almost 10 years. I only began incorporating meat back into my diet early in my transformation because, at the time, I felt that I needed the protein to reach my bodybuilding goals.

Lisa and I have never been comfortable consuming animal products. The meat industry is cruel, and disgusting on pretty much every conceivable level. We’ve recently had some long talks about returning to a plant-based diet. These days it’s so much easier to go veggie, or even vegan, than it was during the decade Lisa and I didn’t eat animal products (from about 1993 through early 2003).

As for health concerns, at this point there’s no longer any dispute that a proper vegetarian or vegan diet is extremely healthy. Some of the strongest, most healthy cyclists I know are vegetarian or full-on vegan.

Lisa and I have already started collecting vegetarian recipes, and once my cut is over I’m pretty sure we’re going to make the switch.

John Stone Fitness Comments

26 Responses to “Starting a cut on Monday; May return to a vegetarian diet”
  1. Heaps of vegan body builders these days – it helps that theres tons more available to fill the protein gap! Pea protein is widely available these days too.
    Good luck John, I’m glad to hear things are slowly getting back on track!

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  2. Something my wife and I have casually discussed in the past as we share your feelings on eating meat and the practices of industrial meat industry. I’ll be paying especially close attention once you make that shift.

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  3. Will you set yourself a time-limit by which you want to be profitable/earn about as much as you did as an network admin? Or is falling back to a traditional job as network admin not an option/fall back plan?

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    • Not only is returning to a traditional job an option, it’s fairly likely that I will have to do that–at least for awhile. It takes time to nurture a new business to profitability, and I’m realistic about that. The idea is to get things moving, over the initial setup hump, and evaluate from there.

      Luckily I have some great contacts in the industry, and I’ve already got some excellent leads on potential job opportunities.

      Even now I’m doing some contract network admin work on the side, and will continue to do so as I work on the new ventures.

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  4. What will be your preferred protein sources when you make the switch to vegetarian? I’ve toyed with the idea of trying a vegetarian diet. Not for the same reasons as you, but really just to see how I felt physically doing it.

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    • I’m very rusty, particularly when it comes to vegetarian/vegan athletic performance, so I’ve got more research to do. Keep that in mind as you read my reply.

      What I do know is that most plant-based proteins are not complete (soybeans, and, I believe, quinoa are the only exceptions), but the amino acids in a varied plant-based diet will almost always provide the 9 essential aminos that our bodies can not produce.

      In other words, unlike a meat-based diet where, say, chicken breasts might form the majority of protein intake, a vegetarian does well to eat all kinds of different plant-based proteins.

      Vegetarians have it easier than vegans (who consume absolutely no animal products at all), because foods like eggs and cheese are complete proteins.

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  5. Exciting and motivating as always John! I will be following closely on this one. I am down to 165, but I am little girl weak now. Need to make some changes!

    KG

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  6. Is going Pescatarian a consideration for you? I only ask because it seems that there are quite a few sources of ethically caught seafood that seems to be sustainable. Or is it one of those things where it’s just too easy want to wrap a scallop in bacon if you’re already eating seafood?

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    • I was asked a similar question this morning on Facebook, although that question was about so-called “ethically reared” meat. I guess I see seafood as the other side of the same coin.

      Mistreatment of animals in the meat industry is definitely something I have a huge problem with; my objections run deeper than that, however. Taking a life unnecessarily is, I believe, inherently unethical. This is something I’ve struggled with ever since I returned to a meat-based diet.

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  7. As a vegetarian and long-time reader, I’m very excited and curious to see what your new diet will turn out to be. Even though I don’t even know what meat tastes like, I like the way you talk about food and sometimes click your recipes even when they’re talking about fish or something that will never enter my kitchen.

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    • That’s so cool that you’ve literally never eaten meat! I applaud that.

      When I was a vegetarian in the 90s and early 2000s, I was sedentary and ate a terrible diet. Look no further than my starting transformation photos for proof of that. :/

      This time around things are obviously going to be very different. It’s going to be very interesting to see how my athletic performance and general health changes on a healthy vegetarian diet.

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      • I don’t want to lie by omission, in my late teens/early twenties I did try some junk/fast food meat a couple of times. At this point I don’t even remember what it tasted like, but it didn’t end up holding much appeal.

        I follow your measurement and analysis process, and am really curious to see how your performance goes as well.

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