Karl, one of our excellent call centre staff, has set himself a challenge to enter and win the PCA Mr & Ms East Coast on Sunday 1st May 2016.
We caught up with Karl for a quick Q&A to find out how his progress is going.
What’s your training regime at the minute?
Karl: I do half an hour of cardio then an hour and a half of weights. I do this six days a week. Also, four nights a week I train my abs.
That’s a lot of exercise. I imagine you need to eat a lot more to compensate. Are you having to increase your protein intake?
Karl: Yes, exactly. If you increase protein you can maintain muscle whilst reducing calories.
How do you keep costs down with the extra food you need?
Karl: Fresh is always nice but I also buy frozen because it’s cheaper. I weigh all my food to split the 300-400g of protein I need between all my meals. I have to drop all body fat by reducing calorie intake whilst keeping protein high to maintain muscle mass whilst dieting. Restricting carbohydrate intake to training times helps me do this whilst also having the energy for training.
Does that take a lot of planning?
Yes. Every night I prepare my meals for the next day. Tupperware becomes essential! After work, on an evening, I can cook and eat a meal whilst it’s warm. The main thing is thinking ahead and shopping weekly or fortnightly for food rather than wasting money buying in small portions every day.
What are the best sources of protein for you?
Karl: Lean protein is the most important part of the diet. I eat fish every day. My favourites are tuna, salmon, cod and haddock.
The more variety the better? If you’re cutting carbs how do you manage to keep your meals satisfying and flavourful?
Karl: Sauces tend to be high in calories and fat so my secret ingredient is lemon juice. Just a few drops on any fish gives it more taste. It works well with cod, haddock and tuna.
Simple too. A bit of a cruel question, but what do you miss the most?
Karl: Definitely sauces! And not having to worry about what I’m eating!
It sounds strange that you can eat more and lose weight with lean proteins but there’s a lot of research to support this. What changes are you aiming for in terms of fat loss and muscle gain?
Karl: I’ll get down to about 4% body fat and weigh 87kg. To do this I’ll lose 1 stone very slowly over the next 12 weeks whilst increasing muscle mass.
Great! What do you hope to achieve?
Karl: My goal is to win my class and be invited to the British finals!
Watch this space…