Weight loss this morning was not as extreme as the past few days. I’m at 195.4 pounds and my body fat is measured at 27%. I expect that I’m going to begin a slower rate of decrease. I don’t feel ravenous, but I do feel that I’m going to have to up my calorie intake and hydration to ensure I don’t send myself into a severe deficit.
I also took time to check out the Physical Activity functions of www.MyPyramid.gov . I was impressed that it was able to approximate calories burned based on time and relative performance. Excellent, one more way to mark my progress. With this tool I determined that my 30 minutes of strength workouts expend around 110 calories. Obviously this can’t be totally accurate, but it suffices to track relatively. It also shows that aerobics activities burn calories much faster giving you more caloric bang for the same amount of time. This will come in very handy as I want to vary my work outs to avoid boredom.
It also helps you to classify what kind of physically active person you are so you can refine your Menu Planner profile.
Why does that matter? A sedentary individual is allowed a LOT less junk (solid fats, sugar and alcohol) than a more active individual. If it means I can have an extra rum & diet coke, then I’m there.
And speaking of work outs, I’ve gone over and above my normal this past five days. I can feel it in my calves around the plantar fasciitis and some in my shoulders from my last strength work out. I passed on work outs for today to avoid burnout.
The menu planner is helpful. I had a few extra helpings at dinner and hit 1413 calories today and I pushed the limit on the junk elements because of the kind of dinner I ate. I call it a baked been casserole. Basically a can of good baked beans in a 9X9 dish with corn bread mix over top cooked until the corn bread is done. Not the best for me, but OOooooh did it taste so good.
Today I started off with a Dunedin North Rotary meeting for breakfast. They are a great group of people and do a lot of charitable work. Today there was a presentation on RotoCleft that I found moving. Poor orphan children in Peru would receive free surgeries to fix cleft palates. I digress. The breakfast at Rotary is typically a buffet line and I can’t help but enjoy scrambled eggs and cheese when someone else is cooking. Only this time it was scrambled eggs, cheese, peppers, small sausage chunks and bits of ham. I caved immediately and went for two scoops. I also had a cup of orange juice and 24 oz’s of coffee with a couple half and half’s.
When I got home, I started checking out the impact of what I’ve consumed. It amounted to 670 calories in a single sitting! Now, this is truly an eye opener. I normally add in strips of bacon with possibly a muffin which would have knocked my plan out of the park for the day.
To add insult to injury the menu planner at MyPyramid shows that of those calories I consumed 328 were junk calories! And the maximum junk calorie allowed is 360. So, not only was my diet off because of calories, more than half of what I consumed was useless. AAAHHH!
I register officially into the Menu Planner of MyPyramid because I obviously need to track and learn a few things.
Ok, I do my aerobics on the TecTrix for 30 minutes and burn around 600 calories. But somehow I feel every iota of that junk causing my stomach to churn just a tad.
Okay, how can I get back on track. I know, I’ll go for a salad, that’s gotta be good right?! Ah, there we go two cups of chopped lettuce and half a chopped tomato. Some lite dressing at 50 calories.
OH NOOO! 10 of those dressing calories are junk. Well, at least the salad will hold off the hunger and help me play catch up. But I gotta find a better something to add flavor to the salad.
Search the pantry. Honey, it’s all sugar. Parmesan cheese, half junk by volume. No, the left over biscuits won’t do it. Man this wouldn’t be so hard if I could enjoy the sugars, solid fats and alcohol. Or had at least balanced them a little more through the entire day.
Eureka, salsa! No junk and less calories too. Okay, another salad for dinner.
But I got another 243 calories to go and it would be wise not to short myself too much. Start cruising the search function in the menu planner. I have to find things with little or no junk in them.
Apples, nectarines, brown rice, oatmeal, tuna, almonds, all have no junk factor and they are in my kitchen. As I browse further I’m finding a number of things I have are low on the junk factor.
With that in mind a handful of almonds, a little brown rice with a touch of salsa and I’m done for the night.
Okay, plan better. No and low junk factor foods.
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As I start the day, I should probably mention my weight progress and schedule. I weigh myself first thing every morning. It’s the time when my body is most purged and typically at it’s low for it’s daily cycle. I’ve had this habit for about a year, although I’ve never made this much of an effort to affect the outcome. Day 1 – I weighed in at 201 pounds. Day 2 – 199 pounds. Day 3 – 196.2 pounds.
I’m a little astonished. I expected fairly quick results since I’ve increased my exercise and decreased my intake significantly, but not quite this drastic. The results are 2-3 pounds a day for a total of 5 pounds in two days. I was expecting maybe a pound a day.
So let’s think about this. I’ve got several things happening at once. I’m forcing my body to jump start with consumption of the fatty tissue by forcing it to rebuild muscle tissue with accelerated workouts. That should be out pacing my calorie consumption. I’m sure that a portion of the weight loss is in body moisture since the elevated work outs will undoubtedly require me to increase my fluid intake and I might be at a deficit or slightly dehydrated.
Based on today’s morning weight I only have 5 more pounds to go before I reach the upper limit of my target range (191 pounds or less). If this rate continues it’s feasible I could be in range in the next three days. Good, but then what?
I’ll need to find my plateau for balance between calorie intake and calorie burn. Of course, I need to be careful of burn out due to lack of attitude (mental) or lack of energy (excessive calorie deprivation).
If I am capable of this much progress in this short term, maybe I really am overweight. No one ever considers me overweight. I never did.
I’ve been feeling some positive results. My pants have been fitting a little looser around the waist. But after today’s stepping session I paused by the pool and allowed myself a moment only to look down and realize that as fit as I thought I was, I still had some spare overhang. Women call it a muffin top, only mine was like a loaf. Ugh.
In another vein, everyone wishes they were “that guy”. You know that guy who takes of his shirt and people gawk at his zero body fat. Could I get to that point? Not that I ever looked overweight with clothes on. How cool would it be to even get close to reach “that guy” status.
With that in mind, I think I’ll add body fat to my items to track. Thankfully, I already have a scale that measures body fat %.
I finished this day with roughly 984 calories consumed and 528 calories in exercise. I do feel a small bit of fatigue, although this was an early rising day for me and a late night for the VP debates. This first five pounds I think is the easy part and I know more challenging time is ahead. We will see as the morning weigh ins come around how well this goes.
With a renewed sense of purpose I started this day. My goal was 300 calories or less per meal with the potential for a snack some time around 100 calories. It was also to ensure I worked out every day possible. Before dumping a load of stuff into a bowl I stopped, read the label and measured. I did the same with the milk. Funny thing is, the single serving of milk was more than my cereal needed. I could have used less and used fewer calories in my budget. Oh well, live and learn. That’s as much a part of this as anything else.
Then it was on to exercise. Up to now I’ve been working out alternating an aerobics day with a strength day. Aerobics days are 20 to 30 minutes on a TecTrix ClimbMax (its called a stepper). Strength days were a full circuit on an old BowFlex XTL.
To keep life simple and jump start my body into submission, I decided to do both strength and aerobics work outs on every day I possibly could. Timing can be an issue with work and life demands. (Work at home doesn’t mean I do nothing or have total schedule freedom). That and the fact I have a few injuries that could flare up. One of those I believe to be Plantar Fasciitis. (I’ll blog on that separately.)
Jump to the end of the day and, although I was tempted to eat more, it wasn’t maddening. I made it consuming only 515 calories which is way below my target of 1000 and stepping for an output of 400. I haven’t figured a way to calculate calorie burn of the Bowflex routine. I don’t expect to be able to keep this up for many days. But for an opening day, it gives me confidence that my goal of hitting 191 is achievable.
Today I began.
My first move was to drop my portions and document what I was eating. I picked an arbitrary goal of 1000 calories. This seemed the common sense thing. Let’s face it, many Americans consume three or four times what they really need.
I started with reading labels. I nearly went into shock
when I discovered that what I considered to be two healthy bean wraps, almost all the calories were in the shell. Each shell was 170 calories a piece. That was over a third of my target for the entire day without considering breakfast or dinner or snacks!
This day was a bust.
Then I found http://www.MyPyramid.gov which is helpful with unlabeled foods like fruits and vegetables. If you register with them and log in, you can actually enter your diet using a search field allowing you to store up to seven days based on 2400 Calories in a day. It also projects “Extras” or junk in your diet like sugars, solid fats and alcohol. The search function has some packaged stuff, but can sometimes be way off, like the large tortilla shells it had listed as 90 calories when packaging showed 170. I would have loved to have used only the Menu Tracker function, BUT this lack of accuracy and flexibility was enough to submarine the entire purpose of tracking my progress.
It’s a good reference, but certainly not the only tool for me to use for now.
So I set up a small spreadsheet. Initially I’m starting out with a Date, Intake or Output, and a Calorie column. Simplistic for now. Who knows what it will look like later.
At the end of September 2008 a mandate was passed through my branch of the military reserves that weight standards would be further tightened to match those of the Center for Disease Control’s use of the Body Mass Index.
Everyone has one year before the standards would be enforced at our annual weigh-in. What does this mean to the organization at large? A 1% decline in maximum allowable weight standards across the board. 1% seems insignificant until you realize that for a 200 pound person that is a 20 pound drop.
What’s the impact to me? My standard allowable weight was 213 pounds and I always stayed under that maximum by at least ten pounds. Now, my maximum is set at 191 pounds, which means I’m currently ten pounds over and to keep my ten pound buffer, I need to drop 20 pounds.
This thread will be an attempt to document over this next year, what I do to reach this goal.
I have to say that although I received the initial word about this with chagrin I wasn’t truly happy with my weight as it is.
So what is my long term goal: 1) Meet the standard for the new body weight requirement consistently. 2) Attempt to reach an added buffer weight of a few extra pounds below the standard.