For the first few weeks in January I was taking part in both ‘Weightloss Wednesday’ and ‘Blogging to Jogging’ linkys to show how well my exercise and healthy eating was going. I lost weight in a pattern that went like this:
Starting Weight: 9st 11 lbs
- Week 1 (7th-14th January) = 5 lb LOSS
- Week 2 (15th-21st January) = 1 lb LOSS
- Week 3 (22nd-28th January) = 1/2 lb LOSS
So far so good you say.. I concur. With a small target of only wanting to lose 12 lb my goal at this stage is within easy reach, with barely little work if I’m honest.
So with a little 5 1/2 lb to go.. what happened next? Well, on week 4 I decided to embark on the Upbeat Protein Challenge 2015.
What is the Upbeat Protein Challenge?
The Upbeat Protein Challenge is a 7 day protein-inspired eating plan complimented by Upbeat dairy drinks, which themselves contain a whopping 20g of protein per 250 ml bottle. It’s aim is to bring a better understanding of the importance of protein in your diet.
What is the importance of eating protein?
According to Upbeat, a protein rich breakfast will fill you up preventing that mid morning temptation to eat unhealthy snacks. It;s not just important to eat protein in your breakfast though, unlike carbohydrates and fats, our bodies cannot store protein to call upon when required, so we must ensure we eat protein throughout the day too. Not only does protein maintain healthy muscles and bones, it also keeps your skin and hair looking healthy!
What meals did I eat?
After 3 weeks of calorie counting I was dubious to start this plan, many of the meal recipes were higher in calories that I’d be used to eating, but just because my calorie intake was low, that doesn’t mean my meals were always healthy.
Breakfast was hearty. Porridge and fruit for the days I was busy, but when I had time I would eat something more complex. My favourite was Spiced scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.
This meal contained:
Energy: 373 kcal
At lunch, I was surprised at how much food I was actually allowed on this plan. I made regular use of the tasty chicken noodles recipe!
This meal contained:
Energy: 604 kcal
Dinner time was usually something a little lighter, perhaps a salad or cous-cous based meal but being a lover of something hot I used the ingredients I’d been provided to created a turkey mince bolognese. It was delicious. (Needless to say, I wouldn’t be able to tell you it’s exact nutritional content).
How did I feel during the challenge?
To be honest, the first few days were difficult. I’d got myself into a bit of a routine were I could adapt my calories to allow for a snack or treat, especially in the evening where I’d have a cup of coffee and a Curley Wurley (only 115 calories!) so cutting out my chocolate fix was particularly difficult for me.
Did I lose weight?
No. Quite the opposite, I put on 2 lb. I felt great sticking to the Upbeat Protein Challenge, my meals were always cooked from scratched so I knew exactly what they contained and that in itself was enough to make me feel like I’d made healthier choices. I mainly blame the weight gain on my lack of exercise during the week, mostly due to my knee injury preventing me from doing the running that I usually would! In this week I walked around 20 miles but as I was working nights all week I didn’t manage to get to the gym.
Have I been converted to a protein rich diet?
Partly. I feel that a protein rich diet would work really well for me once I’m back in the gym and running again, but as my exercise is somewhat limited I think i’ll stick to the calorie counting. That said, this challenge has been a learning for me; as I’ve said before, nutrition isn’t one of my stronger points, so learning about the importance of protein has been useful. I now know that there is roughly the same amount of protein in 1 skinless chicken breast than there is in 3 eggs, and that our bone and muscle health starts to decline as early as 35 years old, so it’s essential to look after their health and regeneration.
- Week 4 (29th January – 4th February) = 2 lb GAIN
After that, I well and truly fell off the wagon and weeks 5 and 6 went like this:
- Week 5 (5th-11th February) = 1/2 lb GAIN
- Week 6 (12th-18th February) = 1 1/2 lb GAIN
Starting Weight: 9st 11lb
Target Weight: 8st 13lb
Target loss: 12lb
Total loss: 6 1/2lb
Total gain: 4lb
Current Weight: 9st 8 1/2lb.
………9 1/2lb to go……