Putting My Body On Blast
After the last post about weighing in on the Holidays it got me to thinking about two years ago when I bought my first scale as an adult. It was about three years ago and it was digital. I had no idea why I hadn't gotten a scale before that. I guess that's why I was on a slide from my younger days when I was pretty thin and I started packing in some weight.
The scale was pretty cool. It was digital and gave you your metabolism age range, calorie count to maintain whatever said weight it told you, body fat percentage and last but not least - your weight. I suppose that's something no one wants to know at this time of the year.
I finally bit the bullet and weighed myself. I have to say.. Ouch! I don't think it's just the Turkey that's stuffed. Then again, I did think I was hovering at that weight I am. Oh, you think I'm keeping it secret? Nah, I'm going to put it out there. 215.2lbs. and according to the fancy scale I have a body fat of 31%. My daily calorie count needed to keep up said weight would be 3,623... ouch.
Now, I'm not going to lie.. that sucks. But it's not something I'm going to let get me down. When I first got the scale I was 218lbs and at least 33-34% body fat. Over the course of a couple of months I went down to my lowest of 178lbs and 20% body fat.
So with the knowledge that 51% of the average person's annual weight gain occurs during the 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Years eve, I'm making it a goal to not gain a single pound, but in fact, lose several. Now I know I'm not going to get back to that 178 status fast. But I plan on cracking a couple of pounds and defying the whole Holiday pudge. I'm not going to post a photo log or a before/after. Frankly, such exposure is embarrassing and I can see no real value or reason to do it.
So how can this be done? Perhaps it's best to look at it as if you're paying off a debt. I have acquired this debt by eating to my unnatural comfort levels despite living in a society my body is not designed to live in where food is abundant, delicious, cheap, in great variet, and often socially pressed on you. Come on, it's Thanksgiving!
It's a simple matter of more calories used than calories consumed. Seems easy enough. I used to count the calories I was taking in. At the very least have a rough estimate on how much I was eating. This had me be aware of how much I was using. To add to that, I'm going to go out and do more activities. When the writers strike occurred, I was able to go hiking or running every day. This increase in activity burned a lot of calories.
Since my target weight is literally close to 30lbs, I realize this is a long haul life style change and maintaining it. Will I still indulge on the Holidays? I am guessing Yes. But with some plan to keep it to moderation. I'm pretty much going to drop the empty calories of soda. Even diet. I enjoy water and I have to save some calories for alcohol. There's really no denying one some booze. I enjoy drinking good beer. So there's no way I can live without that (my, my.. overweight AND alcoholic?)
To be honest, with the knowledge that I have to eat 3623 calories a day to maintain this weight, it is a little easier to handle. I can be perfectly happy with a 1500 daily calorie intake and still burn more calories than I consume at my weight. The first couple of pounds will actually be easy with a slight modification of my eating habits and avoiding certain items. But when I can easily have a healthy meal plan like this:
Breakfast: 1/2 pound grilled chicken breasts and banana - 330 calories
Mid-morning protein shake (optional) - 120 calories
Lunch: Whole grain sandwich with 1/2 pound of lean roast beef and spinach - 600 calories
Mid-afternoon protein shake (optional) - 120 calories
Dinner: Salmon filet and steamed veggies - 300 calories
Late night snack: Some fruit - 50-100 calories
It falls well within the daily calorie count at just 1470 calories a day. With the protein in my diet it'll kick off thermogenic processes that effectively reduces the caloric intake of my food, as well as an over/under of 200 calories for milk for that extra boost of protein. When you lose weight, a large percentage of it is muscle (20% or so) Eating a good amountof protein will decrease the muscle loss, as will resistance training.
The real trick to avoid the hunger cravings is to cut out most of the carbs in ones plan. Rice, cereal and all that are all processed grains that are monkeying with my blood sugar and my body releases insulin as a result to keep up with the intake. But the intake has stopped because I've quickly digested the grains! The insulin will be running down my blood sugar levels, so I'm stickng to veggies and fruits for less hunger.
Add in working out three days out of the week at the least and I should see a drop . Then again, I could just submit to Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet