I’ve got to admit it’s taken me AGES to complete this last cycle of the plan. I started, then fell ill for a couple of weeks and wasn’t able to train properly, so I restarted and then genuinely lost track of time and couldn’t remember which week I was on. The fact that I’ve not been counting the weeks waiting to finish should tell you that Cycle 3 was my favourite cycle and the one that I can most imagine sticking to long term. After the carb fest of Cycle 2 it was back to carbs once a day post training and low carb, high protein, high fat meals at all other times. For me this is a sustainable way of eating and one that suits me well.
This cycle featured some set meals but also pick and mix so it felt really flexible. I enjoyed some of the new recipes – turkey parmesan was quickly a new favourite. I’d also found out from other people doing the plan that we could use some of the Cycle 1 recipes if we wanted to. So back came the protein pancakes and build up bagels which had been a staple of my post workout repertoire back then.
I found the range of snacks to be quite limited. No fruit at all which was a surprise and mainly nuts, cottage cheese or olives. For the first week I did find myself feeling a bit hungry since Cycle 2 had contained so many more options and I think quite a few more calories, but that soon settled down.
I didn’t stick to the plan religiously. Cycle 3 has included Easter and a Bank Holiday weekend and I ate things which were definitely not in line with the plan. My alcohol intake was also far higher than what Joe suggests (none) but I have kept it limited to the weekends.
So, the all important results. Overall I’ve lost around 8 inches off my body mainly from around my waist and belly. My weight has stayed pretty much the same. My graduation photos are in no way dramatic compared to some of those that are posted on social media. I never expected them to be. For me this was about making tweaks rather than a complete overhaul and I’ve been training for fat loss for over 2 years now. Nevertheless I’m pleased with what they show. My bikini bottoms fit better – either they’ve grown or my belly has shrunk and I can see that my face has slimmed down.
I’ll write another post summarising my reflections on the plan having completed all three cycles. I’ve submitted my results to Joe and will be interested to see what he recommends for me next. I’ve heard that he provides a macronutrient target for people to work to for continued fat loss. But for now I’m feeling happy with what I’ve achieved and glad that I signed up.