NANCYANNE55   91,647
80,000-99,999 SparkPoints
NANCYANNE55's Recent Blog Entries

It's All In The Details

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've been working with an individual who is in the middle of his weight loss journey. He has managed to lose about 40 pounds but still has at least that much to go and has hit a plateau. I asked him if he was logging everything that crossed his lips, explaining that most often eating plans don't work because the user is doing something wrong. He assured me that he was. So we bumped up his calories. Still no progress.

Than last week he called and said that he was looking at the back of his jar of olive oil and was stunned to see that it had 120 calories per Tablespoon. Turns out he had not been logging the points from his oils and condiments, thinking there were such small amounts that it wouldn't make any difference in his weight loss. I explained that these calories can add up very quickly and indeed stall well-intended weight loss efforts.

He said something that I was, quite frankly, relieved to hear. And that was; "I think that when I had more weight to lose I could get away with making mistakes like this, but now that I've lost some weight I have to be more diligent."


EVERYONE who is trying to lose weight should account for everything that crosses their lips, but it's especially important for people who have been on the weight loss journey a while. And when you get down very close to goal (within about 10 pounds or so) it is particularly important to be fastidious about logging virtually everything you eat and watch your macronutrient ratio. (I like 40% of calories from each carbs and protein and 20% from fats, as I blogged about in my "Moving Past a Weight Loss Plateau" blog a couple of months ago.)

Also, little things like the sugars in ketchup, eating bites off of your kids plates, and eating starchy snacks before bed (this can do a real number on your insulin levels, causing you to store fat instead of burning it while you sleep) can make the difference between losing weight or not.

So if the scale isn't moving-
1- Go back to the basics and re-read the ground rules of the program you are on.
2- Recommit to the plan in it's purest, un-you-if-ied form.
3- Measure everything- Portions tend to grow with time when you are eyeballing them.
4- Drink plenty of water each day. (I'm talking a gallon or more- no kidding!)
5- Most importantly, investigate the calories of EVERYTHING you eat, and log them.

Most times I am less likely to eat a handful of BBQ chips if I know I have to write it down and account for the calories and macronutrients.

It's the little things, I've found, that can make or break weight-loss success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COCOAMARIA 5/10/2011 3:11PM

    Thanks for this blog! I will continue to work on my shoulders

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEACHGIRL76 4/27/2011 3:45PM

    Great blog! BTW I love your new pics! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MESEATURTLE 4/26/2011 2:49AM

    Thanx so much for sharing!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEHONESTME 4/25/2011 8:59PM

    I'm behind in my reading -- due to work and then the holiday, I simply didn't have time! However, this was a perfect time to read this blog. I'm to within 10 pounds of where I want to be, but I haven't been totally real with my logging and my weight loss has stalled. Now I see why it's even more important for me to be diligent about logging every bite! THANK YOU!! I needed to read this and I needed to read this now!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMC120 4/25/2011 3:47PM

    I know this is my downfall.... Thanks NancyAnne, for the reminder!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BANKER-CHUCK 4/23/2011 3:31PM

    I am like your friend. I went onto a plateau at around 50 lbs loss and stayed on a plateau for 3 months. Kept playing with my calorie intake for a week or two at a time. In one of your Blogs, or statement to me on my SparkPage, made a difference that caused me to analyze how my intakes could/should be. You said if you eat at BMR you should be able to maintain. So I thought if I eat and workout within a range I should be OK. If I do not workout hard I make sure I eat at the bottom calorie range. If I workout hard I (try) to eat at the upper range. I say "try" to eat at the upper range because I feel guilty when I consume the upper range. Could be a mental issue that is causing the eating at the upper range . Sometimes I can burn 1200 in a cardio workout but still eat close to the bottom range. I need to be more consistent.
With my loosely made program I have managed to lose 19 lbs over the past 8 months. Very frustrating, as when I started losing weight16 months ago I dropped 50 lbs rather quickly within 5 months.
Thanks for your informative Blogs. They are very helpful.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NAN111 4/22/2011 8:36PM

    Great post! I needed this info & reminder. Thank you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CICI510 4/22/2011 3:31PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANMOMOF6 4/21/2011 11:37PM

    Great advice and reminders. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I definitely needed this blog! I was away from spark just long enough that I lost that habit of logging everything I ate. Lately I reverted back to being one of those people who will have "just a sip of the orange juice" or "just a couple pieces of candy" and I've learned that if I feel too guilty to log it that I shouldn't even be eating it in the first place.

Besides, eating something indulgent like a big juicy burger is just more fun when it fits into my cals and macros :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
WAVEDANCER7 4/21/2011 3:11PM

    This is so true! I almost NEVER log my oils bc i too feel that they are such small amounts, they can't possibly add up to everything. Especially when i'm working out a lot and on my feet a lot in the day. However, i bet i'd be SHOCKED to see how much oil i really do use and how that could contribute hundreds more calories. I'm going to start and see how that goes. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYINRUNNING08 4/21/2011 2:43PM

    Thank you for the reminder. I needed that kick in the tush. :)

I never thought I'd thank someone for a butt kicking. lol

Report Inappropriate Comment
TERJEGOLD 4/21/2011 1:40PM

    Great points!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HISARTIST 4/21/2011 12:32PM

    Amen!! I am so on this! Thank you for posting this...I'm really trying to tighten up things A LOT to get this last 10 off, and I am starting to really see the importance of this. Not like I haven't known this (and stated it), but I'm finally living it, and I'm seeing the difference. Thank you for stating it again!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUFIT- 4/21/2011 11:00AM

    Hidden sugars were my nemesis. Once I started searching for those and abating that problem I started losing again. Also after about 8 weeks I mixed up my cardio. I tried working in a spinning class or two a week and that knocked me off another plateau. Lifting has again provided me a another fat burn mechanism and after 12 weeks I just mixed that up by adding some plyo work. Variety is great fun and a good plateau buster.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAJORMOM68 4/21/2011 9:59AM

    Writing everything down is so important. This was really good. You're right, if we are aware of what is in our food and how much we are less likely to eat it and if we do eat it we at least know where the problem came from. Losing weight takes work. Thanks, this was good!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STEVESTARR1 4/21/2011 9:05AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
ALESHABEE 4/21/2011 8:29AM

    I couldn't agree with you more Nancy!! Having been on this journey for a while as well anytime I see that scale starting to creep in the wrong direction (lol) I ALWAYS go back to the basics you have mentioned here...logging everything, drinking tons of water and measuring my food. If I do this for 1-2 weeks the scale always goes right back to where it needs to be. I love this blog!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WEEZYB7881 4/20/2011 10:55PM

    great blog thanks for the reminder


Report Inappropriate Comment
COCOAMARIA 4/20/2011 10:54PM

    Thanks and I guess I need to buy a box of Poise if i drink all that water. LOL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
OUTSENE 4/20/2011 10:16PM

  My mother was trying to lose weight a few years ago, when the scale stopped going down, we re-evaluated what she was eating. Turns out her "sucking candy", was packing WAY more sugar then we thought!

...what a difference it made when she switched to sugar-free!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCMOM11 4/20/2011 9:18PM

    emoticonFigured that out last week and making the changes, got away with it all this time and now I'm at the end and that is exactly the problem;) Thanks for keeping it in the front of my mind;) emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIMICOTO 4/20/2011 8:44PM

    Great great blog! Thanks! Now I'm going to scour your archives for the plateau-busting blog. I am some kind of stuck, with 3-4 lbs left to go.....


Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETPOTATO60 4/20/2011 7:13PM


Thanks for the tips!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SONYALATRECE 4/20/2011 6:39PM

    So true! You told your friend exactly what they needed to hear. I have had this same experience and learned from it as well. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Ooh, thanks for the advice. Makes lots of sense. On a related issued, you mention that 20% of your calories should come from fats. How can someone go about lowering their percentage to get closer to this number?

I've gone through my last two days of menu graphs and I'm coming up high! But then again, I always seem to do that!!! Any suggestions? I cut EVOO from my diet and only use PAM now for the same reason.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARACOX 4/20/2011 6:01PM

    Thanks for this! I'm totally guilty of this sometimes. I have been tracking and weighing everything for so long that sometimes now I eye ball it because I figure I know so well.....

Report Inappropriate Comment
BREEVES3 4/20/2011 5:42PM

    Well said! The little things certainly add up (and will no matter where you are on your journey, I think)

Report Inappropriate Comment

Avoiding the Huge Post-Contest Weight Gain

Monday, April 11, 2011

A common and often disappointing issue that competitors who have just been through a cutting diet experience is gaining most, if not all, of the weight that they lost through 12-16 weeks of grueling training and restrictive eating back within a few days after their show. I did a cutting diet of my own recently and managed to keep all but 3 pounds of the weight I lost off. Want to know my secret? Here it is:

Ease back into normal eating!

Here's how:

First of all, pay attention to when you are full. Most competitors have been eating such little bits of food leading up to the competition, with portions getting smaller and smaller as they get closer to the finish date, that their appetites have shrunk considerably. If you eat past when you are comfortably full because suddenly you have access to all the food your little heart desires, you are setting yourself up for bloat and the dreaded "carb spillage". If you don't do anything else in this blog, do this!

If you dehydrated (I wouldn't recommend it: it's a practice that is becoming less and less used, but some still do), don't slam back a gallon of water as soon as you are done with your show or photo shoot or whatever it was you were leaning-in for. After the shoot/photos, just drink to satisfy thirst. No pushing water like you did pre-contest. The next day, go up to 8 cups or so. The day after that, 12. You don't want to stay dehydrated, but I've found that if I flood my body with water after dehydrating it seems to hang on to every single drop for fear it won't see water again for a while. So give it time to readjust to being hydrated.

One aside- please don't think the instructions here will have you maintaining your dehydrated weight. I'd suspect you'll be able to stay very close to where you were before you dehydrated, but to stay at your dehydrated weight right after a show is not only unrealistic, but unhealthy.

If you sodium depleted (almost everyone does), ease back into sodium, as well. This is not the time to have six pieces of pizza and movie theatre popcorn! The day before and morning of my shoot I eliminated all salt possible in my foods. After the shoot we went out to Jimmy Johns for a sandwich. I got a six-inch Baja, and I am certain the lunch meat and condiments had plenty of sodium. But the rest of the day I took it easy on sodium . I didn't avoid it, but I didn't salt my foods and tried to make choices that were relatively low in salt.

Same goes for carbs. Yeah, I know you want to grab the donuts and whatever else crap they have backstage after the shoot, but if you give your carb depleted body a ton of 'em at once it's gonna hang on to those suckers for dear life, PLUS the accompanying water (3g for every g of carbs) that comes along with it. The next morning you're going to feel like you are 4 months pregnant! Like I said, I had my Jimmy Johns sandwich, but then the rest of the day I pretty much avoided carbs, except for the ones in produce. So pick one thing that will feel special to eat higher in carbs, but then go back to fairly low carbs for the rest of the day. The next day, ease carbs into two meals, then next three, etc.

Also, don't introduce a whole bunch of foods that your body has not been used to eating all at once. The sandwich had white bread, salty processed turkey meat, mayonnaise (yeah, I got the mayo!), pickles, and sprouts. Oh, and I split a package of BBQ Chips with my daughter. My body hadn't experienced foods like this in weeks. I figured that was enough "new" for one day. The rest of the day I didn't eat the exact same foods at the same times of the day I had through the cutting diet, but I DID eat pretty much the same TYPES of foods. (Snack was peanuts and dinner was an omelet with a side of fruit.)

I know it's hard to exercise restraint when you have felt deprived (and are just plain old hungry) after weeks of limited, repetitive, low carb, and dull food choices. But likely there is nothing you are going to eat today that won't be there tomorrow. So if you want to try and keep yourself fairly lean, pick one special meal to have that day, and keep it close to the vest the rest of the day.

And if you did pig out, take heart: I read somewhere that if you go back high carb/salt eating after a big gain following leaning in it takes the body about 2-3 weeks, but you CAN get most of the water weight back off. Of course, if you got extremely lean a little weight gain afterwards is to be expected and healthy, but you don't have to stay swelled up like a dead armadillo in the Alabama heat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEFULIFE 4/23/2011 1:40AM

    You mean I shouldn't do the Lee Priest, from this
to this
fffug4.jpg ???

LOL, I know, he bulked up, pushed his stomach out for the shoot... and doesn't get that big off season anymore. But at least he can still make fun of himself by allowing pictures with KFC, even posing with the bucket:

You gotta like people who can laugh at themselves.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSFITOKSANA 4/19/2011 5:16PM

    THANK you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLYN1213 4/19/2011 3:18PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey Nancy! You are always a wealth of information!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DREMARGRL 4/16/2011 6:54AM

    Thanks for sharing that, NancyAnne. You are such a dedicated person about yourself. Nice to see such an improvement and perseverance! Great advice for my vacation-eating binge, too. lol. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHARLIESANGEL10 4/15/2011 10:18PM

    You are one amazing & smart woman! Thanks for sharing with us.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALESHABEE 4/15/2011 9:13AM

    Thanks for sharing...will definitely keep these tips in mind :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
CICI510 4/13/2011 6:52PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
AMC120 4/13/2011 11:04AM

    Another GREAT BLOG!!!! Thanks so much!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LORENVER 4/13/2011 5:00AM

    Sounds like really good advice. I can see why it worked for you!


Report Inappropriate Comment
BOBINVA 4/11/2011 8:55PM

    Great advice and great blog. I never think of those things until I am there.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOBINVA 4/11/2011 8:54PM

    Great advice and great blog. I never think of those things until I am there.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARACOX 4/11/2011 4:42PM

    Thanks for this! I'm not on such a strict cutting diet, but I am carb cycling, so I want to make sure to come off of that carefully!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GYMRAT_AT44 4/11/2011 4:24PM

    I like hearing that the dehydration is starting to become a thing of the past... still trying to determine if I will go that route. It is just not healthy.

For others that may read not only the blogs but the comments - doing the "pigging" out can cause other problems besides the bloating and weight gain. Irritable bowel syndrome for one.

Think of it as an extreme form of yo-yo dieting...I'm with Nancy on this one, slowly let the carbs back in, and the weight gains and consequences won't be there.

And as my trainer would remind me, have your white carbs before 3pm - period.

Great blog Nancy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACHEL_MAC 4/11/2011 3:51PM

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU for this, a lot of great practical advice that I totally hadn't considered. Will you please re-post this link on my wall on May 15?? :) :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

How I Worked Out During the 12-Week Challenge

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I promised another Sparker that I would post about how I exercised during the 12-week Transformation Challenge with my gym. I feel an obligation, however, to point out that my changes came mainly from how I ate, not how I worked out. As I have said a ba-zillion times before, you can put on all the beautiful muscle in the world, but if it is covered by fat, no one is going to see it. AND, I might add, if you aren't eating right you aren't going to put on muscle that is as plentiful OR as beautiful.

Before I started the Challenge I was doing three sets of 15 reps per body part, for the most part. To elicit maximum growth and change during the 12 weeks I knew changing things up was going to be key.

My program:

Before lifting I always did/do 5-10 minutes of moderate paced cardio to warm up my muscles. Often I follow these few minutes of cardio with light stretching to further warm and lube everything up.

I followed every lifting session with thorough stretching, often my 15-minute stretch routine.

The first four weeks:

- The first set for a body part was about 12-15 reps with a moderate weight, just to make sure blood was pumping to the area. Then is was time to get down to business.....

- Three exercises per body part, three sets of 8-10 per exercise, aiming to max out by the last rep of the last two sets. This is a good range for building muscle, and I was still in building phase.
----------The exception to this was light leg day, where all sets were 15 reps. I felt two heavy days was risking injury. This doesn't mean it was easy, though. After the first set I still tried to make the weights heavy enough that I maxed at 15 reps. "Light" day is a harder workout than "heavy" day, and "light" day leaves me sorer after.

PLEASE NOTE!!!!!!: I do NOT recommend that beginners start out with trying to max out their weights! You have to condition yourself into this kind of intensity.

- My split was something ike this:
Mon- Light Thighs (2 exercises multi-joint, 3 ham/glute specific, 2 quad specific, 1 inner-thigh for a physical therapy reason), Cardio
Tues- Chest (5 exercises- needed to build)), Tri's (2 exercises- already built), Abs (3 exercises)
Weds- Back (3 exercises), Bi's (3 exercises), Calves (2 exercises- they already got hit pretty good with legs), Cardio
Thurs- Abs (5 exercises- mainly weighted), Cardio
Friday- Heavy Legs (2-3 multi-joint, 2-3 each quads and hams, 1 inner thigh), Delts (4-5 exercises- can always use wider shoulders!) Didn't do cardio this day-Longer lifting day and there was nothing left in me after heavy legs!

- Short rests between sets- Just long enough to feel the muscle normalize somewhat, then on to the next set.

- For cardio I did either 25 minutes of HIIT cardio (20 minutes HIIT with a 5-minute cool down), or 40 minutes of steady-state.

Weeks 5-7:

- I went to my favorite workout style, which is modified pyramids, doing reps of 12-8-4-12, aiming to max out on all but the first set, then immediately (no rest) switch to another exercise for the same body part and crank out 12-more reps, maxed. If I chose my weight wrong and couldn't get 12 out, or could get more reps out, I rested a few seconds, adjusted the weights, and did another set of 12.

-I kept the same split, for the most part, but added an abs session at home on Saturdays, usually Kari Anderson's "Curl" DVD.

-During this time my (former) nutritionist had me doing tons of cardio (I believe I was up to about 10 hours a week) on very low carbs. Because of this, I was compromised muscularly with so little glycogen in my cells and pulled a muscle in my scapula that put me out of commission for a week at week 7. That is why I only did this split for 3 weeks instead of the intended 4. When I was ready to go back to the gym I came in with phase 3, which was......

Weeks 8-12. It was time to go into fat burning mode:

- I started getting 1 hour of cardio first thing in the morning at home on an empty stomach.

- Mondays was a whole-body boot camp class at my gym. Multiple sets with lighter weight.

- Rest of the week I did sets of 20-25, with minimal rest in-between. 2 sets per exercise, I started with 3, but I felt the volume was going to become too much on my joints after my injury, so dropped it to 3 sets. Plus it was taking me too danged long to get out of the gym.

- Minimal rest (20-25 seconds) between sets.

- Roughly the same split Tues-Sat and number of exercises per body part I'd been doing the weeks prior. Leg day was also 20-25 reps, but I added in more glute-specific exercises.

- In addition to 6x/week early AM cardio, I kept up the hour of Wednesday evening cardio and added in 1/2 hour cardio on Tuesday nights while my daughter was at dance. I would have got more cardio in yet during these last weeks, but my shoulder was still not feeling 100% and I didn't want to further injure myself, so I took it a little easier than I would normally at the end of a cut.

My final weigh-in with the gym was Sunday morning at the end of week 12. By my scale I showed an 18 1/2 pound loss, by theirs just over 16. BUT I had gained about 8 pounds in water retention right before the initial weigh-in, so really it was about a 10 pound loss overall. Which isn't bad for 12 weeks. Again, if I'd of been doing it on my own the whole time instead of with help from a nutritionist who's instructions and meal plan actually set me back the first 7 weeks, I believe I could have been down further yet.

But it is what it is. That fact is that I gave it my best effort all along and did the best I could with what was dealt me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYME47 4/10/2011 7:59PM

    Very interesting stuff! You got great results so thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEHONESTME 4/9/2011 2:42PM

    Thanks for sharing, NancyAnne! You truly are Wonder Woman!! When will you know the resuts of your competition? You're a winner in my book already! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMC120 4/8/2011 3:15PM

    Thank you for DETAILS! We love DETAILS!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TOTALFOCUS 4/8/2011 1:26PM

    Wow...thats great information!
Thanks for sharing!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1_OF_5 4/8/2011 1:08PM

    I too would like to thank you for all the detail, and inspiration!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHICKENCHASER78 4/7/2011 5:41PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Its is really nice to see the details of what other people plan in their workout programs.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TB_KITTYKAT 4/7/2011 5:20PM

    Thanks so much for such detailed blogs =) I have you bookmarked all over the place!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HANKENSTEIN 4/7/2011 5:14PM

    wow! rock on, nancy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
COCOAMARIA 4/7/2011 3:47PM

    I will save it also .


Report Inappropriate Comment

    Ooooh, Thank you so much for sharing this. It's intense for sure. I'm saving it! One day I'll grow into this routine. emoticon I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. - Veronica

Report Inappropriate Comment
EDWARDSC393 4/7/2011 12:34PM

    Wow you really had it down pat. I like pyramid sets too. I lke working the upper body, mutijoint, but I,m not crazy about working legs, but I know I have too. Muscles Have memory, so I hope to progress a little faster. I need to do more bodyshaping cardio! I have Tosca Renos Book about "Clean Eating Recharged"She also has wonderful recipes in her books. Have a good day, Cherie

Report Inappropriate Comment
BANKER-CHUCK 4/7/2011 12:24PM

    Thanks for sharing your workout schedule. You worked really hard and it shows. Hopefully you can get on your maintenance plan and relax from the pressure you have put yourself under during those 12 weeks.

Report Inappropriate Comment

My "Secret" Cutting Diet for the 12-week Challange

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Okay, here it is..... The way I ate to get my size to come down 9 pounds in 5 weeks. (Remember, the first 7 weeks no progress was made with help of a professional, so I "wung it" on my own after that.)

After a good, hard, panicked cry at being solo and a deadline to reach I started reading a lot on cutting diets. It was all pretty confusing and much of it was contradictory. Finally I had enough of the madness and just got out my book The Leanness Lifestyle by David Greenwalt. It's my fitness and nutrition bible! I turned to the section on the last few weeks before a competition and implemented his macro-nutrient suggestions along with a few things I'd learned about leaning in from my own experiences.

I will say this wasn't really a "cutting diet". It was more a weight-loss diet with moderatly low carbs.

Here's what I did:

1. I figured I wanted to eat about 1600 calories a day, This was what I thought would be enough to propel me through my workouts and still leave me at a level where I could lose fat. My BMR is about 1450, so this kept me well away from going into starvation mode, which my body had been on for the past 7 weeks.

2. I chose 150g of carbs because I had learned from my own experience AND from the studies of a good friend who is taking nutritional classes that below about 130 was putting one's body into ketosis. Since I had been below 130 for the entire 7 weeks prior (I had been misinformed by another source that ketosis didn't occur until you were down in the 20's for carbs- me thinks my source was off by about 100grams. Had I realized I was putting myself into ketosis I would never have agreed to be on low carbs for that long), I felt my internal organs needed a break and brought my carbs to 150. This would be 600 calories a day from carbs. (1g carbs=4 cals)

And for the record, I was having typical ketosis symptoms, the biggest of which was very blurry vision. This was so unusual for me that I remarked to my friend, who then had a little red light go off in her head when she read the level for ketosis along with symptoms in her textbook. I'm so glad this happened, or else I'd of kept myself on too-low carbs unwittingly.

2. I made 20% of my calories from fat (320 calories, or about 35g/day. 1g fat=9 calories.)

3. I took the remaining amount of calories (680) and divided them by four to determine my protein. (1g pro=4 cals) This came out to 170g protein, which is pretty much- on track, because cutting diets are typically higher in protein than other nutrients to preserve muscle and promote fat loss.

4. I made all of my foods clean (nothing processed) choices. Everything was as close to the way mother nature made it as possible, except for protein powders.

5. I was already off of dairy, so I kept that out of my diet for the most part. Although David says you don't have to be scared of dairy and doesn't recommend cutting it way back until the last week or so before final pics or competition.

6. I was already off of wheat products, so I kept it that way, also, although David also says that same thing about wheat that he does dairy. He says the idea of wheat increasing estrogens is false, but I didn't see any point in adding something back I was already accustomed to doing without.

7. I continued to drink, at minimum, 1 1/2 gallons (yes, that's 24 cups) of water a day. And yes, I pee a lot. Most people on a cutting diet drink anywhere from a gallon to two gallons a day.

8. I tapered my carbs down during the day. Breakfast was carb heavy- 3/4 C of dry oatmeal, cooked (that's a huuuuuuuge bowl of oatmeal, BTW), with a tablespoon of peanut butter in it, a piece of fruit, and a whole egg with 3/4 C egg whites. But trust me, I was so hungry that I was able to eat it (you'll see why when you got to what I had for dinner). This was my biggest meal of the day, and my body appreciated it after the carb depletion it had gone through for the 7 weeks prior. After my workout I had 1/2 C of natural unsweetened applesauce with a scoop of protein powder in it and two rice cakes. Lunch was typically 4 ounces chicken breast with quinoa, brown rice, beans, and queso fresco. Afternoon snack was tuna with egg white on a rice cake OR protein powder and a rice cake. Dinner was 5 ounces lean meat or fish with 1 C of steamed non-starchy veggies, a teaspoon of olive oil, and a tiny bit of grated Parmesan. And before bed I have 1 1/2 scoops casein powder. This was pretty much the food I ate, day in and day out, for four weeks. Why? I knew the macronurtients worked for me.

9. For the last week I followed David's suggestions to drop a bit more fat and reduced my calories to about 1450. I knew this was cutting it close to my BMR and I couldn't get away with it for long, but it was crunch time. Of this, I ate about 60% of calories from protein, 30% from carbs, and lowered my fats to about 10% of calories. This was the hardest part to transition, because it meant cutting out the peanut butter, egg yolk, queso with lunch, and oil. Breakfast wasn't as big because oatmeal went down to 1/2 C before cooking, and I lost the piece of fruit. No more rice cakes after workout. Lunch carbs amounts reduced slightly. Dinner couldn't change much more than it already was, except I no longer got the olive oil. I got an extra ounce of meat for both lunch and dinner. Casein powder never did change.

10. The last week I tried to get 2 gallons of water a day, except for the very last day before my final weigh-in, where I only had a single gallon, which was pretty much done by dinner. On the last day I just lightly salted my food. I didn't want to create unnecessary bloat, but I wouldn't say my sodium level was what anyone would call low that day.

The honest truth is that had I dehydrated and carb depleted the day before weigh in I probably could have come in at least 2 pounds lighter. But I was so over extreme measures after all I had been through that I just couldn't bear to do that to my body. The next morning I was thrilled to get on the scale and see a final number of 148.2.

Not bad for a gal who did it on her own, I'd say!

These are changes you can implement any/all of without destroying your health, although I would suggest that unless you are actually on a "cutting" diet or have an intolerance to dairy or wheat that you feel free to implement these foods into your macro nutrients.

I hope this benefits someone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAMOURA 5/17/2011 4:16PM

    AWESOME!! Thanks! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSFITOKSANA 4/19/2011 5:17PM

    WOW!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHYME47 4/10/2011 8:04PM

    I'm so impressed with your diligence and determination! Thanks for sharing how to do this the healthy way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TOTALFOCUS 4/8/2011 1:32PM

    You are wonderful!
This information is priceless!
Thank You! :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIRWYN 4/6/2011 2:05PM

    You look absolutely amazing! What an inspiration you have been to me over the past weeks! You're a rock star!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARACOX 4/4/2011 4:04PM

    This definitely benefited me, thanks for sharing! I've been doing carb cycling for the past 5 weeks and it's been working great, but I'm wanting to transition to something more balanced for a few weeks before my trip so I can gradually come into maintenance before we go, so I don't shock the body with the vacation eating and drinking. I like these numbers! And I'd wondered about dairy, because low fat cottage cheese and plain yogurt are such cheap, versatile, yummy sources of protein!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SARAHNICOLE__17 4/4/2011 3:42PM

    The breakdown was really helpful. Thank you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EDWARDSC393 4/4/2011 2:59PM

    I remember reading about the cutting phases of a diet, but what happens when you eat normally? I drink lactose milk, and Grain products. Great blog and learning article! Way to go! Cherie

Report Inappropriate Comment
_FITMAMA 4/2/2011 11:17AM

    Great job! Can't wait to see your photo shoot pics!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHAKENBAKE 4/2/2011 12:17AM

    SOOOO Proud of you girl. I am sorry I haven't been in touch. My beauiful, healthy mother has been sick with a cough for a couple months and we just learned she has lung cancer. :( Totally devistated. Can't wait to see you pictures. hugs, Wanda emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DVASQUEZ 3/30/2011 4:28PM

    Great job! Thanks for sharing your success secrets!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYLIDDLEDALLAS 3/30/2011 12:21PM

    Oooh, this is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your 'secrets'.

I have a question though, so would a low carb diet then be counter productive to losing fat if you lower your carb intake to less than 130g?? And is the 130 a general number or is it lower/higher based on your BMR. Also, if you do fall into ketosis is that causing the weight you do lose to come from muscle as oppose to fat? I'm confused. Can you tell??? LOL

(I'm doing phase 1 of the south beach right now and my carbs are coming in around 80-125. It's only for 2 weeks though.)

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCO1230 3/30/2011 11:30AM

    Thank you for sharing your "secrets" look fabulous, so it obviously worked out for you. Way to go on trusting your instincts!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TWALKER0475 3/30/2011 11:07AM

    Thanks so much, Nancy! I am happy to see how successful your cutting diet was with your carbs at a moderate level. When I have tried lower-carb plans in the past I feel incredibly tired in the afternoons...whereas I have found I function and feel just great if I shoot for around 150g carbs, so most days I try to hit in that ballpark. My fat tends to be higher, around 30%. The most comfortable macro breakdown for me seems to be around 30% protein/30% fat/40% carbs. I'm going to see what I can do to maybe tweak the fat down a bit without it being too painful!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMC120 3/30/2011 11:04AM

    Great advice NancyAnne!! Thanks so much for sharing!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MINENA1 3/30/2011 10:38AM

    Great job!!! Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MASONK 3/30/2011 10:27AM

    Thanks for sharing your successes with us!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHAYGETSFIT 3/30/2011 10:20AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
PINKBEANBOO 3/30/2011 10:15AM

    Congratulations! You worked hard & the results show. Thanks for spellig out everything that you did. It's very insightful.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARMSPORTS 3/29/2011 9:02PM

    Great job NancyAnne! Your attention to detail and commitment are impressive!

Report Inappropriate Comment
COCOAMARIA 3/29/2011 8:03PM

    If I could just figure out the math stuff. I have several degrees and I still on't get math. Thanks it is very encouraging. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EXCUSELESS 3/29/2011 7:47PM

    Great blog! Congrats again, on the outcome.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You are just a wealth of information!!! Awesome blog, thanks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRACEFULIFE 3/29/2011 7:39PM

    Thank you very much for posting this!

In your tracker it looked like toward the end you were doing 25-rep sets and 90-120 min of cardio every day. Did you do these the entire time, and was this a change from your normal workouts?

Comment edited on: 3/29/2011 7:39:50 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BANKER-CHUCK 3/29/2011 7:26PM

    Thank you again for such an informative Blog. Well thought out and usable for most people on a diet. Glad you increased your carbs. I saw one time where your carbs looked dangerously low based on your workouts. I think you are becoming a cutting professional from your own experience.
A friend of mine is considering going on the Atkins diet but I am steering him in a less aggressive direction. The diet wants to cut to many carbs and increase to much fat. The plan just does not seem to be well balanced. I am sending him your Blogs to help educate himself further. I want him to hear it from others besides myself.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEHONESTME 3/29/2011 7:15PM

    You're amazing, Nancy Anne!! I wish you the absolute best with the competition. I really enjoyed reading how you did your cutting diet. It was very informative and, again, you look AWESOME!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCMOM11 3/29/2011 6:33PM

    emoticon emoticonExactly what I was looking for!!!!! After looking at your meal plan this a.m., I had 1/2c of oatmeal instead of 1/4c, it was like a feast;) Have already applied a lot of this for today, LOVE IT!!!!! emoticonfor Sparkin me!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PIP103 3/29/2011 6:20PM

    Thanks so much for sharing, it is so helpful to see how you break it down like that - and more importantly why! Fingers crossed for you in the competition!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LORENVER 3/29/2011 5:59PM

    Wow, that is really good for someone that did it by herself. Way to go!


Report Inappropriate Comment

The 12 Week Transformation is Complete!!!!! Final Progress Pics!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today is the day my final pics and measurements in the 12-week challenge with my gym. While it will be a long time before I hear the results of the contest, I wanted to share my own progress pics with my Spark Friends.

When I did a 12-week cutting diet a year ago with a nutritionist, my final pictures were taken dehydrated, and sodium depleted. I felt weak and frail and like a good wind would knock me over. I am none of those in these final pictures. Yesterday I drank well over a gallon of water, got plenty of carbs (and fat and protein), and refused to compromise my health in any way for the end result.

I attempted to work the the nutritionist for the first 7 weeks of this challenge and it simply was not working- I was gaining both scale weight and size. So we parted ways and I managed the last 5 weeks on my own. So virtually all of the weight loss I showed was actually accomplished in 5 weeks, not 12. And I am really proud of what I managed to accomplish by myself!

My weight at the end of the cutting diet last year was 147.8. My weight this morning was 148.2. I have been lifting very heavy for the past year and feel I can safely make a modest assumption that I gained 4 pounds of muscle (In all reality it was probably twice that). At any rate, with four pounds extra muscle on me, it doesn't take a mathematician to be able to deduce that I am leaner this go-round than I was last. Last time I was 10.89% body fat by 7-site calliper test, and doing some quick math that would put me at about 8% body fat right now. This doesn't surprise me, since I came out at 9.93 by 7-site caliper not long ago. Of course, caliper tests can be off by as much as 3%, I think it is, so these numbers are simply a gauge, not a be-all end-all.

I took measurements this morning. My hips are down to about 39 3/4 inches, which is low for me, and my waist was 25 1/4 inches held normally, but I can suck it down to 24, which is both fascinating and weird at the same time! Especially on someone who is 5'9".

In one week I get professional photos taken with Doug Jantz. I won't be dehydrating or carb depleting for those, either. I never want to do that to my body again!

Start Front:

March 27 Front:

Start Right:

March 27 Right:

Start Rear:

March 27 Rear:

Start Left:

March 27 Left:

Start Close up:

March 27 Close-up Front (no hiding in this one!):

March 27 from a little farther away:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APRILBLESS 5/4/2011 7:16AM

    I know I'm super late on this blog, but just had to say WOW! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LORENVER 4/2/2011 8:47AM

    You are beautiful outside and inside! I'm glad you are on spark!


Report Inappropriate Comment
MINIUM 3/30/2011 3:53PM

    You looked good before but you look even better now! CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you for setting such a nice example!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AKA639 3/30/2011 9:13AM

    Awesome! You look great! Great job! Can't wait to see the pics!

I'm curious as to what you think the Nutritionist was doing wrong. You do know yourself better!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LUVYA04 3/29/2011 11:24PM

    Wowee you look awsome!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLOWER1967 3/29/2011 7:49PM

    Umm...if you're not using your old body.....can I have it ???

Report Inappropriate Comment
81WREN 3/29/2011 7:47PM


Your hard work has produced incredible results!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    WOWZERS!!!! Awesome job! And, you did it all on your own!!!!! WOOOOOFREAKINGHOOOOOO!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEGSMILEY 3/29/2011 5:15PM

    Great job! YOu look fantastic. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

    WOW NancyAnne - you did an amazing job. You did all that in just 5 weeks? I'd say YOU are your own Nutritionist.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSCLEADDICT32 3/29/2011 5:02PM

    You have such a beautiful physique!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/29/2011 5:03:37 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCMOM11 3/29/2011 4:54PM

    AWESOME, AWESOME!!!!! I'm ready for those kind of changes!!!!! I'm still going over your nutrition log, Love It!!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TWOBOYS3503 3/29/2011 4:52PM

    You look outstanding!!!!! GREAT job and thanks for posting!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOWNTOWN02 3/29/2011 4:44PM

    greeeat transformation...! wow!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAPPHIRE983 3/29/2011 4:22PM

    Great transformation! You look amazing! Way to go! Such an inspiration =)

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You look fantastic!!! Great job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARACOX 3/29/2011 4:10PM

    Your abs look great! I love the last pic where you can really see your obliques!

Report Inappropriate Comment
REDEMILY 3/29/2011 4:03PM

    You did awesome! Congrats!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANGEISBACK 3/29/2011 4:01PM

    all i can say is `wow!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACHEL_MAC 3/29/2011 3:54PM

    WOW!!!!!!!!! Amazing! Miss You-Need-A-Nutritionist-To-Prep-For
-Competition ... you are eating your words!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TIAGAYEPFA 3/29/2011 3:54PM

    Incredible Nancy! I'll be starting my transformation on 4/11 and I'm excited about it! Have one more race to do, then muscle time! Great job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KLPEFFERS 3/29/2011 1:57PM

    Absolutely fantastic! You most likely have one of the sexiest backs I have seen ever! And red is definitely great on you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KJFITNESSDUDE 3/29/2011 1:50PM

    Great job NancyAnne! I think maybe it IS time for me to cut, too!!!! BTW, I really like your writting these days.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APMAC_D 3/29/2011 11:09AM

    What a great transformation- AMAZING!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONE*BUSY*MOM 3/29/2011 2:21AM

    Wow, amazing results, Nancy Anne!


Report Inappropriate Comment
KOOZIE1 3/28/2011 8:45PM

    WOW you look absolutely fabulous! I am SO proud of you for going with your gut and gettign the results you deserve. You are showing people that listening to your own voice really DOES work! Way to go! You really should be so proud of yourself! Everyone here is :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSYGEEN 3/28/2011 5:58PM

    Great looking photos. You look so fit from the beginning. Love the arms.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_FITMAMA 3/28/2011 5:25PM

    You look fantastic! Great job!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMC120 3/28/2011 4:11PM

    WAY TO GO NANCY!!!!!!! You look INCREDIBLE!!!!!! I am so proud of you!!! I wish I lived closer and you were my trainer!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DVASQUEZ 3/28/2011 3:14PM

    You look GREAT!!! Such an inspiration! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHARLIESANGEL10 3/28/2011 3:11PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
FITCOFFEEMOM357 3/28/2011 2:21PM

    wow....and your thighs look great can see a big difference.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LORIBURKS1 3/28/2011 1:27PM

    Amazing! I can't believe how much of your inner thighs are GONE! Good job! I am thoroughly impressed.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BENJAMINSBABY 3/28/2011 12:37PM

    HECK YEAH!!!!! Nancy, you look fantastic!!! All that in 5 weeks??? You are amazing! Your tummy is so tiny! And you're slimmer and toned all over! Well done, my friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MINENA1 3/28/2011 12:24PM

    WOOOOOW!!!! Congrats!!! You look absolutely amazing!!! Fantastic job!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 3/28/2011 12:15PM

    WOW WOW WOW is basically all I can say! You are a powerhouse!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYINRUNNING08 3/28/2011 12:10PM

    SQUEEE!! Holy crap. You look so wonderful, your waist is "IMPOSSIBLY" tiny. You should be every bit proud of your progress. For real. WOWWW!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYLIDDLEDALLAS 3/27/2011 10:42PM

    Whoooo-hoooo!!! Amazing job! I can not believe all you accomplished on your own. That gives me great inspiration knowing that we can do this if we really put our minds to it! Your clients are so lucky to have you in their corner! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

P.S. I would do serious bodily injury for a waist like yours!!! So jealous!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/27/2011 10:43:34 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEHONESTME 3/27/2011 9:12PM

    Congratulations on your success and thank you for doing it "the right way". You are such an inspiration to us all!!! Good uck with the competition!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GODZDESIGN95 3/27/2011 8:43PM

    emoticonYou worked things your own way. Congrats!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEWAYALI 3/27/2011 7:56PM

    You look wonderful! And even better ... you feel great! I think that is worth even more!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIMICOTO 3/27/2011 7:51PM

    You look amazing! Great job - and congratulations on putting your health first and treating your body well! It shows!


Report Inappropriate Comment
TURBOTIF 3/27/2011 6:07PM

    great job!!! can't wait to see your professional photos :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
PIP103 3/27/2011 6:02PM

    Wowee!! Those last 5 weeks have made a massive impact! 24 inch waist!!! AMAZING and the smile says it all! You'll have to share the professional pics.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You look incredible! Your hard work definitely paid off... and it's so great that you're not going to extremes to make it happen. Your waist is tiny, and I am jealous! haha

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOBINVA 3/27/2011 4:42PM

    What a great transformation. The hard work really shows. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MALAYNASMOMMY 3/27/2011 3:38PM

    You look so amazing! congrats on completing your 12 weeks and your incredible results!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUMZY_OF_4 3/27/2011 3:21PM

    Amazing job Nancy! You look absolutely gorgeous!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHYME47 3/27/2011 2:56PM

    You looked good before and even better now - LEAN and MUSCULAR and SEXY!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SARAHNICOLE__17 3/27/2011 2:52PM

    Congrats!!! Im so happy for you. You look phenomenal.

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Last Page