So I’m on another diet. Sorta. I’ll explain why I say sorta of a bit later.  I know I shouldn’t be on a diet I should instead make a lifestyle change, but since the word diet implies that the new eating habit will be short term then I have to say that what I’m doing is a diet, once the diet is over I should be continuing with a healthy lifestyle eating regimen, it just won’t be as restrictive as what I’m adhering to (or trying my very best to) right now.

First of all I wanted to talk to you about my reasons for wanting to start a diet to begin with.  Like most people I want to lose weight, well fat to be more specific.  My MAIN reason for wanting to shed some unwanted fat is to facilitate certain calisthenic exercises like pull-ups, pushups and dips and to help me with standing on my hands.  I have pretty fragile joints that get injured at the drop of a hat (I’ve just recovered from a three week wrist injury) so I thought that maybe being a bit lighter would ease the burden on my vulnerable joints.

But, I have to admit that lately I have a few ulterior motive for wanting to cut fat.  For one I want abs again. It’s been so long since I’ve had them.  I also want a more defined physique and I am also hoping that losing some fat will put a stop to the cellulite I am starting to see on the back of my legs.

Oh yeah and my health, I want to be healthy too I almost forgot that one.

Most people I meet think I’m jacked already and don’t understand how I could possibly want to lose any fat.  But I think their opinion of my physique is mainly in comparison to the average woman who doesn’t have traps that rival most mens.  But don’t be fooled, the fat is there.  Approximately 25% of my weight is fat, which equates to about 39 of my 152lbs. Apparently a woman needs to be at less than 17% body to see her abs.

Here is the calculator I used to determine my bodyfat, it was the one that was recommended to me in the diet program.  But when I used calipers to determine my bodyfat I’m apparently 21% so I’m not sure.  Neither method is accurate the point is to choose one method and stick to it throughout the diet, it’s more for tracking progress to make sure you’re losing and when you see those abs appear well then you have a better idea of what your bodyfat is.

If I use this scale then I’d say me being 25% body fat is more accurate than the 21%. I just have more muscle than what is on these pictures. What I don’t get is if the program says that for a woman to see abs she needs to be under 17% body fat then why does this picture at 15% not have abs. Whereas the diet says a man needs to be 10% or less bodyfat to have abs and the pictures of men does show the abs. I guess this is based on what society thinks women should look like, and that means NOT muscular.

Total Six Pack Abs Diet
A friend referred me to this diet because he had success with the program. I know the title of the diet sounds so gimmicky and like it’s for all the gym “bros” out there, but after searching online I couldn’t really find any bad reviews, even women have had success with this diet so I thought I’d give it a try.

The diet was created by Mark McManus and is apparently science based.  If you want to know a little more about who he is click here. He uses all these math formulas based on your current height, weight, and body fat to determine what your daily caloric intake should be and in what amounts you should be eating protein, fat and carbs. The program will even tell you how long it will take you to achieve your goal. If you adhere to the diet correctly one should lose between 1.5 and 2lbs of fat a week.  So based on my numbers I should reach my goal of seeing abs in 10.6 weeks if I lose the 2lbs a week or 17.6 weeks if I lose 1.5lbs a week (based on an April 1st start date).

His program also provides you with a weight lifting plan to follow and steps to use if you start to stall with your fat loss; such as the incorporation of HIT cardio and/or a fat flush (a day without fat).

My Progress So Far
Here is why I say I’m “sorta” following this diet.  From the time I started until now I’ll admit that there were days where I wasn’t exact with my prescribed daily intakes. Ill break it down for you.

Week 1
The first week I lost 2lbs.  I was really happy about that, I was hitting all my numbers for calories, fat and carbs but was always low on protein. I just couldn’t eat that much meat.  One of the reasons I’ve limited meat in the past is because I have trouble digesting it. I get bloated and I just don’t feel that great. But this diet says I have to eat a shit ton of protein so I was going to try my best. I had to buy protein powder to supplement.

Week 2
I hit all my numbers almost perfectly.  I only lost 1lb though. Even though according to the diet I was technically already stalling in my progress, I didn’t do the fat flush or start cardio.

Week 3
I went away to visit my best friend and family who are NOT on a diet for a few days, and I admit I indulged.  This is no excuse but I’m a recovering carb/sugar addict and after only a couple of weeks on the diet it was too soon for me to be putting myself into a situation where temptations abounded. I still worked out but I did go over my daily calories and carbs the entire time I was there. Hey I still lost 1lb.

Week 4
I started a new job where I do 10-12 hour shifts on my feet with only a 30 minute break. I’m quite busy throughout my shift and I found it hard to eat all of my calories.  I was still meeting my protein requirement but I was eating about 200-400 calories below my requirement.

My friend who suggested this diet to me told me to make sure I reach my daily calories or else I might not see the desired results. So I’ve been trying to make more of an effort despite my busy schedule and/or lack of hunger at times.

So, I did my weigh in yesterday for the month and guess what? I’M BACK TO MY ORIGINAL WEIGHT!!  My friend tried to reassure me by saying that it’s probably just water weight because I wouldn’t have gained back fat that fast.  But what I’m wondering is if I ever lost fat to begin with. Maybe I’m just going back and forth with water weight.

An example of my calories for the day calculated using My Fitness Pal (which you can use on your computer or as an app on your phone). As you can see I went over a little on my protein and my sugar for today, but I’m still 181 calories below my required daily caloric intake. It’s now 10:45pm and I don’t even know what to eat,I don’t even feel like eating. Anything I might like to eat despite not feeling hungry would put me over my daily fat and sugar quota. Like peanut butter and green apple for example. If I had cashews (something I can eat anytime) the amount that I’d have to eat to meet the calories I’m missing would put me WAYYY over my daily fat. I could have some chia toast but then I’d go over on carbs. Do you now understand why I personally find this diet to be a bit stressful? The only thing I don’t mind going over is my protein, but even still I don’t want to eat another piece of meat or another protein shake to make my calories. My friend who recommended this diet seems to have his diet down pat and finds it easy. I don’t. Not yet anyway. Maybe next month it will be easier.


The Plan
I’m going to stick with the TSPA diet for another month.  I am also going to try batch cooking to help me with being more prepared for my meals because it’s hard doing a 10hr shift, coming home, working out and then cooking and eating.  It makes it more difficult to get all the calories I need when I have full days like that and still have to cook.

I also have to take into consideration that I have two conditions known for making it hard to lose weight. Anemia and hypothyroidism. Actually my doctor said it’s only borderline hypothyroidism which is why she decided not to treat it. But it still may affect my ability to lose fat.

If after another month I’m not seeing the results I want I think I’ll skip this diet and go straight to the healthy lifestyle part.  Because all of this counting calories and forcing myself to eat when I don’t want to, or forcing myself to eat meat when I don’t want to, and drinking disgusting protein shakes all in the name of abs just won’t be worth it if I’m not seeing the desired results.

To say I’m discouraged is an understatement.  I’ve cut sugar cold turkey except for what is naturally occurring in whole foods and that was HARD. I was on a three donut a day diet before this (yes I know gross but I told you I was addicted), that was in addition to also eating chips and various candies on the daily. Now for the past 30 days, NADA!

I’ve also been working out 6 days a week, I’ve gone through with the tedious task of weighing my food and tracking my calories with My Fitness Pal app.  I wasn’t perfect the entire month but it was still a concerted effort and I feel based on what I’ve done I should see better results. I do look a little better now compared to the pic I took at the beginning but my weight and measurements are still the same.

I guess technically I feel I probably don’t need to be this scientific with my eating to look and feel great. I’ve seen people on Keto diets, people who do intermittent fasting as a way of life and even vegans who eat way less protein than I do that all look great and many of them have abs. I do know that TSPA is not the be all and end all of looking good so if I don’t see results soon I’m not sticking to it.

One thing I’m grateful for is that this diet has been the catalyst for me getting over a sugar addiction.  What’s funny is I kind of feel like I will always be a sugar addict.  Like being an alcoholic, and I don’t mean to be insensitive by comparing a serious illness with over eating sugar but it’s the closest comparison I could come up with. I’m actually scared that if I eat something like a muffin, or a donut or buy some candy that I risk immediately falling back into bad habits. I don’t know when I’ll be ready to eat it even in moderation again.

Good Luck To All of You Out There Striving For Better Health!



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