Posts Tagged ‘diet’

22%…

April 15, 2015

Not sure 6% is achievable without going waaaay too thin. I was at the gym today and asked if they had one of those body fat measuring gizmos. Well they did and it said I am at 22%. That means that with a body weight of 230 pounds I have around fifty pounds of fat, so to be at 6% fat I’d have to weigh around 190 lbs. Far too light for me these days. I was that weight 40 years ago when I swam a few miles every day. I was also as thin as a pencil which is great if you are a swimmer, not so much for kicking sand in people’s faces on the beach LOL! I jest but you get the idea, these days I want a bit more muscle than back then.

Basically I am trying to lose fat without losing weight which means whatever fat I lose I have to gain in muscle mass and that’s just not easy. Sure, you can gain muscle mass if you train heavy and eat, but the trick here is to walk that fine line where I eat enough to gain that muscle while creating a calorie deficit so I lose fat. Those beers at night are not helping either!

Progress so far…

April 15, 2015

Results after five months or so of dieting and weight training. Body weight this morning was 230 lb. …

BodyBuilding-4-15-15-1

BodyBuilding-4-15-15-2

Not quite where I want to be yet. Aiming for around 6% body fat which is pretty lean, but I am getting there (I keep telling myself that LOL!).

The Diet – Progress…

April 2, 2015

It’s been a little while since I wrote anything diet wise so here’s a little update on my progress so far.

I started dieting (and putting some ‘real’ effort into my weight training again) at the start of last November. At that time I was 268 lb, got tired/winded easily and had a typical overweight ‘pear’ shaped body. I don’t have a picture of myself from that time but I probably looked somewhere between these two pictures:

BodyFat

The first 30 lb actually came off pretty easily without really being hungry over the next three and a half months and by mid February I had hit my initial target of 238.

At the same time I increased my workouts from three half hour sessions (of puffing and blowing LOL) a week to a schedule of three days on, one off per week of at least 40 minutes of hard, fast and reasonably heavy workouts, increasing to around an hour workouts at week ends.

Then it started to get hard. My main target weight was 235 lb and getting those last three pounds off was really hard. It did go but it took probably two to three weeks just to get my weight to stay below 235. Since I wanted to be not more that 235 lb I was really aiming for a target weight of between 230 and 235 lb but that got really hard to achieve.

In the end I figured I’d have to change my diet to make it happen so last week I found a web site that gives you an estimate of what you need in calories per day and how many you should consume to loose weight.

Basically it said that I need 2045 Calories per day to maintain my weight and that I should drop that by 600 a day for weight loss, so 1405 calories per day. Since I want to lose fat, not muscle, and I am training pretty heavy, that means I am eating a high protein diet.

When I totaled up the calories from my diet it only came to around 1100 or so which should have been more than enough to lose weight/fat.

In the end I figured it was the beer (actually cider) that was killing me. Since I like a drink or two (or three…) at night and each one was around 200 calories, it was easy to see where the excess was coming from.

I decided that if I stopped drinking (no bad thing anyway) I could have an extra protein drink per day and still come out ahead so that’s what I did a couple of days ago and that has been enough to kick start my fat loss again.

The scales ticked over at 229 lb this morning, a 39 lb loss since I started. I’m still not where I want to be body fat percentage wise (can’t see my abs yet) but it’s getting close.

At this stage the trick will be to stop the weight loss and yet still lose the rest of the fat. The hard part with doing that is that there’s no easy way to see your progress other than looking in the mirror and losing a pound of far over your entire body does not really show as any significant change, unlike pure weight loss that you can see on the scale.

Still, I have three and a half months to go before we go on vacation and hit the beach so I just have to stay on track until then.

Not so natural after all…

February 16, 2015

I keep seeing an ad on TV for Wendy’s food that advertized ‘Natural Cut Fries” and I kept wondering what that meant exactly. A quick search revealed that these are not so ‘natural’ after all. For example, from this web site:

  • Where does the natural come in? It comes in when the potatoes are cut with their natural skins still on. That’s it.
  • The fries are sprayed with sodium acid pyrophosphate, a chemical that prevents them from turning brown from two baths in frying oil — one at the factory and the other at the store. They’re also dusted with dextrose, a sugar derived from corn, for similar purposes.
  • And just like every other large fast-food chain, Wendy’s frying oil is dosed with dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone-based chemical that helps keep the vegetable oil from getting foamy after countless rounds of frying.

Suddenly I’ve lost my appetite, at least for fast food fries (although I will admit the do taste good, dang!).

Wendys-Natural-Cut-Fries

They do have sea salt though so that MUST be good for you huh because it must be so much better than regular salt ? Or maybe not! Just what you need is more Sodium.

You are what you eat and if you eat stuff this with any regularity then the last thing you will be is regular (or thin).

Diet Busters….

February 11, 2015

You know the thing, you see the ads on TV all the time. Only 100 calories, a healthy snack, all natural ingredients, part of your ‘diet’, blah blah blah…

Here’s the thing. If you are on a diet of any sort then you are by definition ‘controlling what you eat. It’s as simple as that. Diet = control.

A snack is, in general something you eat either because you are peckish (which equals uncontrolled eating) or you eat just because you want to (which also equals uncontrolled eating). In all cases, snacking is a diet buster.

That’s not to say that you cannot eat something you might consider a ‘snack’ as part of a controlled diet. In other words, you eat it because your calorie and/or protein intake for the day ALLOWS you to eat it and you eat it as part of your normal daily intake.

What you cannot do is to eat it IN ADDITION to what your diet allows. That’s snacking and it’s a diet buster.

The Alternative Dinner…

February 3, 2015

Every once in a while, and tonight was one of them, I’ll have a curry for dinner instead of the stir fry. I will admit the sauce is from a jar and so probably contains preservatives (I can make my own but I really have to be in the mood) and the rice is while and boil-in-the-bag because I cannot find boil-in-the-bag wild rice and I suck at making rice anyway, it usually comes out as a sticky ball no matter how much I wash it.

Overall though, in the big picture of my diet, this is a small concession to pay for a little variety in my diet. Plus I do like a good curry with  poppadums and mango chutney!

7-Dinner-Curry-1

A meal for two:

7-Dinner-Curry-2

A Couple of thoughts on my diet…

February 3, 2015

I do sometime have a chicken curry and rice instead of the the stir fry for an evening meal but it’s not very often. I guess I am lucky that I like spicy food so my diet is not very bland. In fact I quite look forward to each day and the meals I will eat. Makes a change from just grabbing something “because it’s there” and now it does not bother me that there is other food in the house. I just “choose” not to eat it.

If you look at what I eat, other than the protein powder, there is virtually NO processed food amongst what it eat. Or to put it another way, nothing comes out of a box or packet. No additional sugars, no MSG or other preservatives, no food colorings or god knows what else. Just real food although I do like a beer (or cider these days) in the evening.

I will admit though that I do have the advantage of working from home so in some ways it’s a lot easier for me to follow this sort of regime as I have everything to hand. That said though, I have followed a similar diet in the past while working a ‘normal job’ and the only difference is that it tasks a little preparation time the previous night to get everything ready for the following day but you are talking about ten minutes. It’s not going to destroy your life!

As for the usual excuse of ‘no time’ to prepare proper meal. That stir fry takes me 15 minutes tops to cook and that includes defrosting the chicken.

My Diet…

February 2, 2015

This is pretty much what I have eaten every day for the last three months. I don’t snack at all, this is all I eat and don’t really get hungry. I do drink quite a lot of tea though as well, English style with milk, no sugar.

On this regime I have lost 30 pounds in those three months.

Breakfast

1-Breakfast

Breakfast at around 7:30 am is a large helping of zero fat Greek yogurt blended with some blueberries and strawberries, along with a cup of tea of course.

9:30 am

2-Nine-Thirty

A banana just to help keep the hunger pangs away.

10:30 am

3-TenThirty-1

A protein drink blended with fruit. Very filling. This usually keeps me going until mid afternoon and also gets me ready to go to the gym later.

Noon(ish)

I train at the gym for 40 minutes in the week, three days on, one day off. On the rest day I hit the sun bed because the UV helps my psoriasis. If training days fall on a weekend, I’ll up the training session to around an hour and maybe do a little boxing on the bag as well for the cardio.

2:30 pm

4-TwoThirtyPM

Only if I’m feeling hungry

3:30 pm

5-ThreeThirtyPM-1

5-ThreeThiryPM-2

Another protein drink blended with more fruit (I eat a LOT of fruit)

Dinner (around 7 pm)

6-Dinner-1

6-Dinner-2

6-Dinner-3

Chicken stir fry. This is actually a meal for two (myself and my wife), my portion is the last picture. And yes, there is a beer in there (actually a cider). The aim is to lose weight, not feel like I stopped living, you still have to enjoy life. I might also have another cider later on in the evening but that’s it.

Like I say, I don’t snack, this is what I eat, pretty much every day. If we go out for a meal I try to have fish, Salmon is my favorite, and rice say but I don’t fret too much if I a stray away from the path once in a blue moon. Like I say, the aim is to lose weight, not to stop enjoying life and so long as I stick to the plan for the bulk of the time, it works out fine.

Staying on Track…

January 23, 2015

The hard part of being on a diet is keeping to it, especially after a few weeks and/or when the hunger pains start to gnaw at you. So how do you keep yourself motivated to stick with it?

For most things in life you have to do something to achieve a goal. Effort equals reward but with diets the reverse is true,it is the NOT doing something (eating) that gets you to your goal. It’s also a really, REALLY slow process and it’s often hard to see the results at times.

For me the trick has been to turn that ‘not doing something’ into a positive thing. By ‘not’ eating that snack when I get hungry (or bored) I say to myself that ‘I’ am in control of what I eat and when. I find it also helps to think that if I don’t eat it, I won’t have to lose it either!

Of course there are setbacks. From time to time my weight will jump UP a couple of pounds from the previous day because maybe I drank a little more in the day or had a slightly bigger evening meal than before, but the trick is to accept that and so long as the general trend is a steady progression down towards my goal, I am OK with small fluctuations like that.

Ultimately a diet of any sort, be it to lose weight or even to gain weight, such as muscle mass like a body builder for example, is all about control and being in control of what you eat and when. Turn that into a positive idea and you can stay on track and reach your goals.

So what is a ‘Diet’ anyway…

January 18, 2015

I suspect that when someone, including me right now, says they are on a diet what they really mean is that they are trying to lose weight. And by weight, they mean fat because let’s face it, most of us, at least in the west, carry far too much of the stuff around with us.

But if a diet was just about weight loss then it’d be a bit of a one weight street, you could go down in weight and lose fat but the only way to gain weight by that premise would be to put it all back on again and obviously that is not what we want. Even though we might reach a target weight, we might still be carrying too much fat and in that situation you would want to replace fat with muscle. Since fat is less dense than muscle you’d actually get smaller if you maintained the same weight.

If you were to talk about the diet of say, livestock, the aim there is to put as much lean muscle mass (that nice big juicy steak you like) as possible in the shortest time so that diet is tailored to gaining muscle mass. In reality it’s a form of biological engineering.By giving the animals a carefully controlled diet we can cause the animal to gain significant amounts of lean muscle.

Now there are two things to note here:

  • We are not all that different in terms of our biology.
  • The key word is ‘control’.

So if you applied the same regime to your own diet, you’d achieve the same results as we would for livestock and that is to gain lean muscle mass and lose fat.

I suspect that what makes it difficult for many people is the sheer availability of ‘convenience’ foods, especially ‘fast foods’ and so called ‘snacks’, none of which should really be a significant part (preferably no part) of a controlled diet in my opinion. A lifetime of lousy eating habits and the availability of food makes for a hard life style to change but if you want results then, as Yoda might say, ‘change you must’!

So here’s my thinking, don’t think of a diet as something to endure and get through in order to lose weight, think of it as you being in control of what you eat. Instead of reaching for that snack or just grabbing food ‘when ever’, plan each day out in terms of what you will eat and when and learn to anticipate and enjoy each meal. Don’t treat each meal as something that is an interruption to the flow of life, think of it as being part of your life.

We all plan out so many aspects of our lives and work and yet we all, for the most part, fail to plan for this one simple thing that we do every day and that is to eat and yet, what we do out here, outside of the gym or any sport you might take part in, has a far bigger impact on your results than all that exercise.

Diets and misleading advertizing…

January 15, 2015

Well, I guess all advertizing is misleading to some extent but that’s a topic for another day perhaps. No, this relates to a pot of Greek yoghurt my wife bought. This is the item in question:

YoplaitYogourt

Notice how it says 100 Calories in BIG letters so you think, wow, only 100 calories but if you look closer you will see that underneath that it say “per 3/4 cup serving” and the same comment is under the WeightWatcher’s endorsement to the side. What is interesting though is that if you look on the back it says “Serving Size 1 cup”.

So basically, that big 100 calories claim is a load of BS since even the manufacturer is saying (on the back) that a serving is one cup, not three quarters of one cup!

Anyway, I’ve switched from the high sugar content Activia to plain nonfat, Chobani Greek yogurt. Mix in a little fruit, throw it in the blender and that’s breakfast.

Why Protein bars are bad for you…

January 3, 2015

There’s a perception, especially if you are on a diet and/or working out, that protein bars are good for you. After all, it’s protein right, that MUST be good. But let’s have a look a little closer.

I took a typical protein bar, a Met-RX Big 100 which contains 32 grams of protein and like you I thought “That’s got to be good for me as a snack if I am really hungry”.

MetRxBar

But then I took a look at the ingredients and nutritional information (from the Met-RX web site):

MetRxNutrition

Sure it’s got 32 grams of protein but it’s also got 26 grams of sugars. That’s 6 teaspoons full of the stuff including the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup.

So basically, for as much good as it’s doing you, it’s probably doing as much harm if you are trying to control your sugar intake.

There’s HOW much sugar in it…?

January 2, 2015

So, if you read my earlier post you’d know that I start my day with two cups of yogurt. It happens to be Activia:

Activia

On a whim, I decided to see how much sugar there is in it. Turns out there’s around 20 grams in a 4 oz cup. That’s 5 teaspoons and since I have two cups for breakfast that 10 teaspoons of sugar. Now  will admit that I’ve still managed to lose weight even with that much sugar per day but as soon as the current supplies are gone I’ll be looking for something a little less sugarrish. Something like natural Greek yogurt with some fruit blended in maybe!

The Diet…

December 31, 2014

OK, OK, I know, it’s New Year’s eve and everyone will be starting their new diet ‘tomorrow’ so just to be awkward, I started mine last November! All I can recall of the decision to start a diet was that it was a Wednesday early in November, my weight was around 268 pounds and I was struggling to bend over to tie my ruddy shoe laces and I though to myself (as you do) “that’s it, the diet starts NOW”.

And it did.

From that moment on I simply stopped snacking and started controlling what I ate. I was a shame really because I’d got a load of chocolate for my birthday (just a few days earlier) and I LOVE chocolate but I had to take control so I did.

This morning I’d reached my initial goal of 248 pounds and I want to get down to around 235 which should be doable by the end of February.

So, what did I do?

  • I started training at the gym again on a regular basis (instead of the go once/miss a week stuff that I had been doing) with the aim, initially at least, of just getting my general level of fitness up. Just getting to the point where I felt I could actually start to ‘really’ train was the hardest part but I started slowly with three thirty minute sessions and it’s now worked up to three days on, one off (rest day) with session of around 40 minutes in the week (in my lunch hour) and 50 minutes to an hour at week-ends. The hardest part for me has been to NOT push myself too hard because I usually end up with an injury of some sort that makes it hard to remain motivated. In fact I did tear a bicep muscle a few weeks ago but it’s mostly healed now after staying off it for a few weeks, and I’ve started to work it again but it was a timely reminder NOT to push too hard. I’ve also got back pain from who knows what that is slowing me down a bit right now but a workout actually helps reduce the pain so while it hurts at the time, it’s worth it afterwards.
  • My daily diet consists of the following:
    • 7:30 am – Two pots of fruit yogurt when I get up.
    • 9:00 am – A banana
    • 10:30 am – Protein drink. One scoop of powder and a load of fruit (banana, strawberries, kiwi fruit) blended in a nutri bullet.
    • 11:30 am – Workout at the gym on workout days
    • 3.00 pm – Banana
    • 6:00 pm (ish) – Stir fry consisting of 3 or 4 chicken tenderloins, handful of sugar snap peas, handful if mushroom and a bell pepper.
    • 8:00 pm – I usually have a beer or a cider (or two) because while I am on a diet, I don’t want to feel like I am dead. After all life is for enjoying.
  • Any time I am hungry I drink tea. English style – Hot, with milk, NO sugar.

And that’s it. On that regime I have lost around two pounds a week and increased my strength in the gym. My strength (and thus muscle mass) gains have not been massive but enough for me. After all, I am 61 years old now! I already feel a lot healthier and have more energy and if I can fix the back pain (at the doc’s next week) I should be looking forward to a good 2015.

Just look for the god like figure on the beach next summer. That’ll be me!

The diet…

January 5, 2009

Begins today…

Gosh, I’m hungry already. I suspect it’s going to be a long 12 weeks.

Gym was packed tonight as well but that’s typical for January. It’ll be back to normal by mid February if past experience is anything to go by.