Monday, October 07, 2013
I've seen my share of complaints about how expensive it is to "eat healthy". Having gone from a $900 a month food budget to being able to comfortably eat for less than $120 a month, I know this is pure hogwash. Eating healthy is cheap. Its eating fast, convenient, and socially that is NOT.
If you need some tips, here's a great article on the subject:
7 Ways to Eat Good on a Hood Budget
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Well, one week into the fall plan and things are going well. 4 ½ weeks until my cruise and motivation continues to be high.
So, as a recap to last week’s plan and goal post, I’ll remind you to say I started Lee Labrada’s Lean Body Trainer – it’s a 12 week plan which I intend to follow until my cruise and then I will decide whether I’ll continue that or go back to LiveFit when I return. I will say that I am LOVING the trainer program so far.
I also followed the “Belly Fat Cure” kickstart, a program by author and diet “expert” Jorge Cruise. I only intended to follow the 7 day kickstart and not continue with the BFC lifestyle. I’ll write a summary of the concept, the basic kickstart plan, how well I followed it, and the one-week results (granted, I worked by tush off at the gym as well). Lastly, I’ll summarize what I’ll be doing for the next 4 ½ weeks.
Summary of Belly Fat Cure (BFC): The Belly Fat Cure is a DIET based on limiting sugars and balancing that with carbs [S/C]. The basic formula is 15/6 , that is 15 grams of sugar (or less) per day and 6 “servings” of carbohydrates per day. A single serving is considered to be 5-20grams of carbs(that’s a maximum of 120g per day). The plan gives no regards to fat or protein or really serving sizes, in many cases. It also basically assumes you are NOT working out.
The “Kickstart”: This 7-day plan sort of seemed reasonable when I looked at the ingredients for meals; seeds, nuts, eggs, whole wheat breads, cottage cheese, chicken, turkey, salad. Other than the bacon and cheese, it seemed close-ish to my normal clean, lean and green style of eating and didn’t seem lacking in food. However, I soon realized how low-carb/low calorie it really was and was frustrated with the lack of normal veggies. With less than 120g of carbs and has no consideration for pre/post-workout nutrition, the kickstart is more extreme than even the normal BFC. I counted the sugar/carbs ratios for the kickstart and it seemed to be closer to 11/5, or 11g of sugar and 5 servings of carbs. Following the diet exactly (the same plan every day for 7 days) was under 1000 calories, only about 50g of carb, 46g of fat, and 79g of protein daily.
Still, I wanted to try to try it out, especially since I’d bought the food, but knew I probably couldn’t do it exactly. First there was a option of some alternate “every day” meals. I figured if I could trade the same S/C meal with a kickstart meal. Also, it had coffee and red wine every day, neither which I normally drink. I forced a coffee with cream the first day but did not continue. I had bought a bottle of red wine and drank a glass 3 of the nights, the other nights I opted for blackberries- the alternate ‘snack’. After the first day and a half, I caved and added a half an avocado a day. It wasn’t breaking the S/C formula and I preferred it to the mayo and butter included—however, it increased my fat intake dramatically (one day I went up to a whopping 72 grams of fat—still not breaking the S/C rule, but Ugh!). After 2 ½ days, I caved further and added my post-workout protein shake on weight training days. The carbs didn’t count towards the number of servings, but it was 3 added sugars for a 3/0. I compensated by not having the wine (2/0) OR berries(3/0) those days. My counts went from 11/5 to 11- 13grams of sugar and 5-6 servings of carbs—still under the 15/6 of the ‘standard’ BFC plan. Ultimately, I got bored- even with the alternates, it was only a total of2-3 different options per meal and I only had ingredients for a couple of the extra larger meals. I also did not enjoy the bacon- I have lost a taste for it and its far too salty. As were all the luncheon meets (even freshly sliced at the deli, they were full of sodium. And the cheese. Now, don’t get me wrong- I actually love cheese. But one string cheese or one slice of cheddar by itself is pretty darn boring.
What I *did* learn: There’s a lot of sugar in foods that I hadn’t considered. I think it was a good exercise to try to track it and I might try to continue to be aware of it and even try to limit it (15 grams actually seems doable, but some days you just have to have a banana![10g of sugar!]). I had also discovered some new carb and protein options that will work well for any lean & clean diet, so that was nice. A couple of the alternative recipes were REALLY good and I’ll keep them around to rotate into my normal meals. Also, I found a red wine that I like, which I know will be healthier than my normal cocktails. I never felt the urge to drink a second glass(which is an issue with me), but it was nice to have an option to have *something*.
The Results: I lost weight, I gained weight-TWICE. I generally do not see this behavior on my scale (the gains always seemed to be after a cheddar cheese day] I have not yet done my final weigh in, but I’m guessing I am only down 1 pound in the week, if that. Not overly dramatic, but I’m fine with a pound a week. Plus I’ve been hitting the weight training pretty hard (Labrada is 2 days WT, 1 day cardio, continued with no “off” days). So at least some of my weight is converting to muscle as evident by my body fat percentage- down to 25.9% even if I weigh the same or 1 pound down. This is the result of dramatic reduction in inches in this short week. Another inch off BOTH my hips and waist. In a week! So very interesting.
However, I still do not think BFC is for me. I do NOT enjoy eating the types of fats included- if I’m going to eat fat, I’d rather most of it be from healthier fatty foods such as olive oil, avocado, olives and nuts instead of bacon, cheese, and butter. Secondly, it was really HARD to keep track of sugar and carb ratios. Even when I added up the meals prepared from BFC recipes, I was not getting the same S/C values as the recipes had listed. I was constantly in doubt. Lastly, I *really* need fuel to support my workouts and muscle growth, including more daily calories, more daily carbs, and definitely a post-workout shake!
What’s Next: First off, I had to revise my inches goals as I already hit 5 out of 9 of my October 10th goals. So I’ll be going for ANOTHER inch and a half off both my waist and hips. Next, I definitely wanted to go back to a clean, lean & green nutrition program. I looked at Labrada’s nutrition guide for the Lean Body Trainer and feel it is too skewed in portions to men. I did print several recipes as some of them looked very good. I didn’t want to go back to LiveFit nutrition guide exactly as while I followed it previously, I was often having trouble fitting in the starchy carbs and often would not even get a minimum amount of fat in a day. Right now, I want to follow something a little more planned out, which includes more carbs on a regular basis and more healthy fats on a regular basis. So I chose to follow 2 different ‘fat loss’ nutrition programs- both clean,lean, and green- from Bodybuilding.com. They are very similar to each other but just provided more total weeks of meals planned. One is a one-week fat loss plan from Jamie Eason and the other a 2-week fat loss plan from another BB author. I will start with Jamie’s, then go to the 2 week plan, then repeat Jamie’s again until my cruise.
I’ll post final results after the next 4 weeks.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Well, I got through my initial push back to forward momentum (after the summer 'slide') and had the results I wanted.
If you missed the plan I made, here's the link:
Still, I am looking forward to a different eating plan, as the super restrictive diet (800-1200 calories/day) had me a little loopy at times.
So, results after 2 weeks were 3 pounds lost. Additionally, I lost an inch around my navel, 1/2 inch on my hips, 3/4 inch around my chesk and 1/4-1/2 inches off my arms, neck, thighs, and calves. An unexpected surprise, actually, as I had forgotten to measure a week ago.
Today, I decided I would move on to the Lee Labrada Lean Body trainer (laid out at BodyBuilding.com). Its a 12 week program and I'm not sure I'll do all 12 or if I'll move back to LiveFit- but I have an evaluation point after my cruise in October. For now it fits well, 2 days of weight training, one day of rest (cardio), repeated. 2 of the weight training days are short (25 minutes or so), so two more days of cardio are added. Hoping this helps with quicker fat loss.
Nutritionally, I am going to try the Belly Fat Cure kickstart for the next week and then move into either Lee Labrada's nutritional program or Jamie Eason's Fat Burning program (which are very similar) or a combination. I would just go with Jamie's but it seems BodyBuilding.com doesn't have the full 12 week's laid out and one week's worth of meals as examples will get boring.
I'm not sure I quite understand the Sugar/Carb calculations in order to do the Belly Fat Cure diet longer term, but the kickstart is laid out- eating exactly the same thing for a week.
Mostly, I'm just curious if it works better short term than the normal clean & lean I've been doing for so long. And since I desperately need to lose inches around the middle to fit my clothes, it also looked appealing short term.
I *do* know that I need to work harder at eating more BALANCED meals. I am doing fine eating clean and plenty of protein, but I still have a hard time fitting in complex carbs.
In fact, I bought a carb supplement to help on the days I am not cutting it on the carb counts.
After the BFC kickstart week, I'll be adding a thermogenic fat burner supplement to my traditional BFAAs and protein (and the carb supplement for days I fall short).
My goal for my cruise is to lose most of the remaining summer-added weight. Down to 128# or less. I'd also like to look okay in that bikini again since I'll be at the pool and the beach a lot. So, I'm hoping to lose at least another 1/2 - 3/4 inch off the arms, thighs, calves, forearms and neck. And at least another inch each off the hips and waist.
I leave in less than 6 weeks.
I had hoped to start everything today- and although I did complete the first day of the Lee Labrada program. Yay, I even used the free weight area of the gym for the first time. Tomorrow, I am doing the workout at home as I have all the weights needed for the sets and I don't have cardio on the schedule.
I was not exact on the diet portion today as I had to go grocery shopping for missing items (bacon, sunflower seeds, string cheese) mid-day. I tried to stick to the S/C counts of BFC but again, not sure I have that right because even when I calculated it with the example meal I had (dinner is steak, ceasar salad with croutons and parmesan), I had it figured at 2/1 instead of the 4/2 that the kickstart said it was (and what I needed). I ended up only eating about 1100 calories. Tomorrow, I'll be perfect- just using the meals exactly as defined.
If you read my previous post, you'd know that I hadn't planned on a super restrictive diet for long and that I mostly was trying to break a cycle of extreme over-indulgence. My normal weight loss intake is 1200-1700 calories, to which I have returned, which even by Spark standards is correct for my height, weight and activity level. No lectures required.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Yep, I'm back. Well, really I never totally went away, but let's just say I haven't been the best example and haven't been committed to a healthy lifestyle for the last few months.
I was doing quite well last spring- measuring only inches and body fat (I only used the scale every 2 weeks to calculate this), coming down to 25.6% body fat and the lowest I've weighed since my 20s - 126lbs - by the time I did my mud run and (mostly) completed another round of LiveFit by early May. I actually liked how I looked in a bikini at the time.
But then summer happened. And a social life. And even more friends who like to drink and more parties to drink at. Even my yoga retreat seemed to be full of HEAVY (every night) drinkers and when I thought I'd have a week of detox, what I got instead was an extra 3 pounds added to my body- mostly from drinking. Of course, I also experienced the typical healthy eating sliiiiiiide, where you think you're eating okay, but little by little you're eating more and more crap like fries. This all culminated in a gluttonous orgy of eating on my last trip- a camping trip with my sister who is grossly overweight and all we did was eat and drink. Not just eat- but I ate nearly every single craving I had. Nachos, Pizza (multiple times), burger after burger. And not just drink, but drank A LOT. As in, I gained 4 lbs in about a week and easily the calories in what I drank accounted for 3 lbs (3500 excess calories to create a pound of fat).
In fact, it didn't stop there. Even though I recognized a problem, I couldn't stop. I came back from this trip and for days after, engorged myself. Buying candy, eating full restaurant servings, drinking way to much when I drank. All told, I had gained 10 pounds since early May.
I knew I needed a plan and needed it quick. I needed goals and I couldn't stress about how far I'd fallen or where I was in May.
I decided I would kick these last 4 lbs back off before they 'stuck' around too long. I don't want to care about inches or body fat right now. I simply need to lose this weight. I need to see a RESULT quickly to keep me motivated right now. Which means going back to basics: tracking my food religiously, bringing my water intake back up, and being Scale-centric for a while.
I planned out a 2 week, nearly boot-camp level workout and eating schedule.
And that is what works for me. Having a goal and having a schedule.
I stocked my fridge with my healthy 'clean food' meals and brought out the supplements, including several boxes of meal replacement foods. I decided I would eat a combination of the small meals (4-6) that I learned in LiveFit and Nutrimed and Protidiet meal replacement products to bring my intake down very drastically-- under the minimum recommendation of Spark, but above the levels used on a Nutrimed or Protidiet plan (those are 500-800 calorie diets for Doctor-monitored programs). I planned out my snacks and meals for the first week.
I wrote down an exercise schedule. I decided to buy a punch card for a new yoga studio so I could include my beloved Yin yoga for at least a month. I am in a golf league that plays once a week until the end of the month. And I decided I would go to the ACTUAL gym and use the full-body circuit workout area to kickstart until I'm feeling more motivated to plan out my own weight training workouts. I'm alternating between weight training days and golf + yoga or yoga + cardio days.
Here's how it looked:
Sun: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 10 minute Tabata Sprints
M: 90 minutes of yin yoga (great recovery from WT), and a round of golf
T: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 10 minute Tabata Sprints
W: 90 minutes of yin yoga and 30 minutes cardio
Th: rest (but I went dancing that evening, so 90 more minutes of cardio)
F: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 10 minute Tabata Sprints
Sat: I have cardio on the schedule and luckily, I also have a friend who needs support while doing a LONG (12 hour) walk- so I will go walk 2 hours with her.
Sun: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 20 minute Tabata Sprints
I have the option to do Vinyasa yoga in the morning, so if I do that, I will skip the sprints.
M: 90 minutes of yin yoga and a round of golf
T: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 20 minute Tabata Sprints
W: I knew I couldn't make the morning yoga class, so I had physical therapy training + Cardio. I may change this to a Pilates class as I see an option at the yoga studio that night.
Th: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 20 minute Tabata Sprints
F: Physical therapy training + 40 minutes Cardio
Sat: 60 minutes Full Body Workout + 20 minute Tabata Sprints. I'm also going dancing that night.
I plan on resting fully that Sunday and coming back for a new 12-week weight training program on Monday (maybe Jamie's Fat Burning plan).
So far, this is working. I have lost a pound in less than a week and hope a couple more slide off by Labor Day. More importantly, I seem to have my mojo back. Just getting to the gym the first time made a huge difference.
I'm an all-or-none type person. I needed a specific and drastic plan to kick me into action. The food hasn't been very hard. I had one relapse in drinking on Tuesday- this day I went over my restrictive calories by about 1000. I declined drinks 2 other days this week when I was offered. My issue is, once I start, I don't always stop. All-or-none. If I drink, I will NOT make this goal, so I am trying to stay focused on that to push it away.
One more week of being highly restrictive and then I hope will be fully committed to healthy eating (using food for fuel) and a regular program. I was able to stop drinking entirely the first time I did the LiveFit program, so I'm hoping to build the willpower up to do it again. I've already set up goals leading up to my next trip (losing the rest of the summer weight), and then more leading up to Christmas (back to the body fat and inches).
If I have a plan, I'll work the plan... even if I stumble, I'll make more progress than with no plan at all.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
grrr! I said as I got on the scale this morning. Lost progress, I thought-- had been down more than 3 pounds and now it looks like I'm going back up- not all three pounds loss, but definitely the wrong direction.
Berating myself for not being perfect on food...
Then I took the tape measure out... its been about 10 days since I last measured and since I am officially starting on LiveFit again today- wanted my starting points anyway.
oh, wait-- what is that I see? an inch off my waist (2 inches since Jan 12th) and 1/2" off my hips. My biceps are hard (and arms down 3/4 inch since I measured them last).
Body fat down to 25.86% (about 1/3 of a percent since Jan 12th).
oh yeah... I forgot again. Building muscle, losing FAT- it doesn't always translate to a number on that darn SCALE.
Stupid scale, Tricks are for kids.
Plugging along and now 12 weeks to get to 21% BF. Its going to be a Fantastic February!
Get An Email Alert Each Time LOWFATFOODIE Posts