Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Fitness Recap

Well, I'm pretty proud of myself for January! Mostly for the fact that I finally feel myself making a permanent change, as opposed to a temporary change. I had allotted myself a scoop of no sugar, low calorie vanilla ice cream last night as a desert - and when it came time, I found myself craving an apple instead. Totally not me - but a change that made me very excited!

I used to exercise and then I'd ruin it with snacks. Early on this time, I just kept reminding myself: You've busted your butt at the gym, you've eaten great all day - is it really worth the piece of cake to ruin all the work you've put in?" There are times I still have to ask myself that, but the times are few and far between.

So here is the breakdown for January:
  • Weight lost: 12.5
  • Minutes Exercised: 1291 (that's 21.51 hours!!)
  • Calories burned through exercise: 11549

Goal for February: 13 pounds
I want to post a few fitness related items in the next few days, which really helped me start out the journey in a healthy way. Here is the first:
To figure out how many calories you burn in a day without exercise (just by living) use this:


It was a pain in the butt for me to figure out the whole, "what is deficit of calories" thing. I thought it was just how many I burned working out – wrong. You need 3500 calorie deficit to lose a pound. So, on http://www.livestrong.com/, I said I wanted to eat 1400 calories a day. I burn about 200 with exercise, which means I eat a total of 1200 calories for that day.

So, my basal metabolic rate (or how many calories I burn a day just living) is 2079 (which I figured out from the first site listed above). I eat 1200 calories (after working out), so I subtract 2079 from 1200, which leaves -879. If I have a deficit of 879 a day, then after a week I’ve got a deficit of 6153 calories, or 1.78 pounds.

Sound confusing yet? Yeah. That’s taken me like 4 months to figure out.

So anyway, here’s next step:

This will let you track your calories in a day. Honestly, it’s very interesting. For one or two days, just track everything you eat/drink normally. See how many calories you are actually eating in a day. Mine was insanity -- 2800+ calories a day!!!!! Most of it sugar! Totally unhealthy. Then when you start tracking your food as you try and eat healthier, you’ll see correct portion sizes and stuff. It’s really neat, and very helpful for losing weight. When I used this last year, I lost 16 pounds in a little over a month. (Which sadly, I gained that and more back since then).

It’s definitely hard to cut back calories. I am having a hard time so far, it seems like I can’t stretch my food out enough and keep that low! But, it is doable. After four or five days of eating five small meals, you'll find you're not as hungry as you were. I found some snacks that are better protein, so they keep me fuller longer. Giving up my regular soda was the hardest, but I’m drinking a diet pepsi 0 per day (so 0 calories, carbs and sugar, but still a bit of caffeine that I need to not get headaches.) Here’s the important part: Eating 4-5 times per day. And you want the meals (except one) to be similar in calorie count, which keeps your metabolism fired up and going. I find it easiest to do this schedule:

  • Breakfast (something like oatmeal with some fruit in it)
  • Morning Snack
  • Lunch (bigger meal of the day)
  • Afternoon Snack
  • Dinner (not as big as lunch, unless you are going to work out right away)
  • Evening snack (this is when I have a frango mint or something sweet)
Here are some good snack ideas:
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter on celery.
  • 24 Almonds (plain, not roasted or salted
  • Apple
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • Oatmeal with raisins
After working out, an 8oz glass of skim or low fat chocolate milk is good, it helps restore muscles. Or a protein shake. There’s one at Walmart for $15 per canister. Chocolate is good, but only with a banana in it. And remember that protein shakes are high in calories (especially if using milk and a banana with it) so you have to count those in ahead of time.

Now get your rears in gears ;) If I can do it, anyone can!

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