Monday, September 30, 2013

Protein: Vital to Losing Weight

I keep hearing that protein is vital in losing weight, but I didn't really understand it until today. A person who is trying to lose weight and get fit should take in protein after a workout because protein helps repair and build new muscle. Now get this--the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. 

Now, here is the key to increasing protein---when you take in more protein, you need to watch your intake of carbs and fat carefully, or, yes, you will gain weight. I think that has been my problem since I began trying to increase protein since around August 6. Now, I think I get it. People who double the amount of protein consumed lose more fat and maintain more muscle than people who only eat the recommended daily amount.

Let's apply this to daily living. How much protein should one eat in order to lose weight? Multiply your weight by 0.36. Then double that number. A 200 pound man would need to consume 72 grams X 2 = 144 grams of protein. Let me put that in perspective for you. I only consumed 105 grams of protein today. My top three "protein busters" were salmon, chicken, and a protein shake. As you can see, I have a ways to go to hit that "144". No wonder I felt stuck at my current weight!

What do I do for exercise? I burned 977 calories today via 63 minutes on the treadmill at 15 degrees from 2.7 to 3.7 mph. Also had an Upper Body workout with 11 pieces of equipment that lasted about 45 minutes. I don't convert the workout into calories burned. I guess it could be done, but I don't have the time to do it. It is best for me to do two sessions a day---I just don't have the time to do it all at once.

So, today I consumed 1,827 calories, burned 977 calories and that equals a net calorie intake of 850. My former trainer said he consumed 3,000 calories a day and burned 3,000 calories a day! I can't relate to that, but he is 20 and I am 68. I am pleased with what I'm doing.

I want to end this by talking about balance in nutrition. Today I was 8 grams over in carbs and 11 grams over in fat. I could easily cut out 110 calories in carbs and cut 180 calories of fat for a total cut of 290 calories. Then I need to add those 39 grams of protein or about 340 calories. I would end up gaining 50 calories onto my 1,827, but my intake would be balanced. It can be all I have to do is do it!  My sodium was under by 333 mg. and my sugar was right on the button. Maybe if I can pull that off, I'll be right where I want to be.

You can do it too. I didn't know squat 90 days ago, but I am learning and I see myself as the so-called "work in progress".  Looking to get even healthier and maybe lose another 35 pounds, inches, and generally tone-up. Join me---you can do it!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Amazed By What I Don't Understand

Just when I think I am comprehending how the human body works, I realize that I am still in the starting blocks. Let me share with you the latest that I've discovered.

I increased my calorie consumption by about 300 calories. It was difficult to consume those extra calories, but I have followed that change since this past Tuesday. I gained 1.5 pounds. That did not exactly get me excited! Yet, I was told that it will take a few days for my body to "catch up" to the change. I decided to give it a chance, but did not want to gain more than 5# in order for it to adjust.

This morning I worked out for about 55 minutes. It felt really good. I ate some breakfast (would recommend that to anybody starting out) and then got cleaned up to go to work. I decided that I would put on some new jeans I bought in Mobile during our vacation in early August. They were snug when I bought them (new size), but I knew I would grow into them.

Get this--since I bought the jeans, my weight has fluctuated 2-3 pounds and I have really not lost any weight. I put on the jeans and they fit! I think it would be safe to say that I am even closer to the next lower size than I am to a perfect fit. I don't really understand that fully, but I'll give it a try. If I am wrong about my understanding, just correct me.

Muscle weighs more than fat. I think I have lost some additional fat and replaced it with muscle,, yet I am not losing 2# a week like I did before I started getting serious about this working out. I would not trade what I've accomplished at Dynamic Fitness for the weekly two pound loss! I am interested to see what will happen over the next 90 days.

If you need some extra motivation, come and join me at Dynamic Fitness. I begin every Monday-Friday at 5:25 A.M and I'm through no later than 6:30. I'll even teach you what I've learned about food. If this kind of regiment is not for you, just get out and start walking. You will be surprised and maybe even AMAZED at your results, even if you don't understand everything! Later...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Consistency and Dedication

The two words that stick out in my mind on this Wednesday afternoon are "consistency" and "dedication". As for me, that is what it takes to be on the road to healthy living.

My alarm goes off six days a week at 5:00 A.M. I am not an early morning person. Five o'clock has always been out of the question. It has never been in my realm of possibilities. But, when I took a hard right turn and joined Dynamic Fitness, I knew that for me to be successful, my journey would have to begin early in the morning. So, I am up by 5:00 and out the door by 5:15. I turn the radio on to Bill King, my favorite national sports talk show host and I am on my way to the gym.

This morning I started my warm-up at 5:25 with ten minutes on the treadmill and then proceeded to work out on 11 pieces of equipment all working my upper body. I was finished by 6:30 and headed home. I really enjoy the workout, just wish that I had started years ago. Then it is back to Bill King and home for breakfast, before I get cleaned up to go to work. Tonight, after I get through here at the church (7:45 ish) I will head home, change clothes, and head to the gym for 45 minutes on the treadmill.

I usually do an upper body workout/cardio on M-W-F, cardio on T, lower body/cardio on Th, cardio on Saturday, and rest my body on Sunday. That is where consistency and dedication come into play for me. If I take care of today, tomorrow I can do the same thing.

My physical trainer has moved to a new Dynamic Fitness gym that is opening on Post Oak, so I got a new trainer this week. He is giving me agility training that is much more difficult than doing a workout with weights or cardio on a treadmill, but I know it will pay off in the long run...if I survive. I am just kidding, but my anxiety was up going into our first meeting on Tuesday.

There is one thing that I am having to learn that seems to be a paradox. To lose I am going to have to increase my calorie count. Eat more to lose weight??? Well, I am going to try it. I started the increase yesterday from about 1,700 calories to 2,000. The additional calories seem like poison to me at this stage,but everything has been right for me so far. Besides, I believe in my new trainer.

What has happened to me over the past 90 days? I have lost 19# of fat and 5% body fat, while gaining so much muscle (can't remember that figure). My resting heart rate has dropped, my blood pressure has dropped, I look better, my pants size continues to decrease, and I continue to get healthier. I have lost about 60 pounds since I started this journey and plan to lose another 35 pounds over the next 6-12 months.

I have come to the conclusion that almost anybody can become healthy and as a result, become fit, lose weight, and take on a new lifestyle. It is making the decision to do it, taking one day at a time, and desiring to be healthy, as opposed to just losing weight.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Journey To Get Healthy

A friend at work suggested that I start blogging about my journey of getting physically fit, so here is the first of several installments that I'll be writing over the next few weeks.

Two years ago I decided to lose some weight and get healthy. At the time, I had no idea how far it would take me. I began by signing up with Weight Watchers. I was familiar with the program having used it about 30 years earlier. I signed up for the online program and got it going as part of my new life.
I immediately began to lose a few pounds.

As soon as I began eating right, I added exercise. I started out with 30 minutes a day and slowly increased it in 15 minutes increments. When I got to 90 minutes a day, I added stairs gradually until I reached 16 flights of stairs within the 90 minutes brisk walk. I dropped about 45 pounds. I was pleased with my progress.

In March of 2012, about seven months after I started this successful regiment, I went on a trip to Israel. I didn't do to badly during the twelve days I was there, but did not watch what I was eating and had to exercise when I could. Upon returning home, I lost the momentum that I had and fell off the wagon. By the end of the year, I had regained almost 30 of those pounds I had lost.

In February of 2013 I vowed to get back on my "healthy routine", so at the end of the month I began my journey back. I entered every crumb that went into my body, got my cardio back to where it has been and dropped 18 pounds in March, April, and May.

It was in May that I made the most profound discovery that I could make. I always thought my main goal was to lose weight. Then i discovered that it was really a change in my lifestyle that would remain with me throughout this life. I now wanted to not only be healthy, but fit as well. This discovery changed everything I thought was real.

It was the last week in May and I knew that my next step was to ascend to a whole new level.  I joined Dynamic Fitness, a relatively new gym about 5 minutes from our house. I checked them out closely and then visited the facility to see it. I had always felt like I didn't belong in a gym. Within the first 30 days, I knew I needed a Physical Trainer to help me know what to do and how to use the equipment. So, at the end of June I added a trainer to my life.

During the first 90 days I lost 19 pounds, 5% body fat, and gained lean muscle (can't remember how much). Needless to say, I got rid of my "big boy" clothes and continue to move into smaller sizes. I will tell you what I am doing in the next installment,

I want to end this segment by sharing what has helped me the most. First, joining Dynamic Fitness was the best thing I could have done at the time. All that I had done previously prepared me for this step. I now feel at home and love my workouts. Second, I got the My Fitness Pall app and it is great to enter what you have eaten, the exercise you've done, and the progress you're making with you weight. It is easy to use and I think has been significant to my progress. Third, the commitment to taking one day at a time. I discovered that I can't do anything about yesterday and tomorrow is not even here yet, but I can do something about today. I'll tell you what that is in the next installment.

Have a great day and if you know someone who is trying to make a change in their life, invite them to join me for Journey of A Lifetime!