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Good News, Bad News and a Poll

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This morning, I met with a personal health coach to learn more about where I am right now and what I can do to get to my goals. I did something similar back in 2011 but did not use any of the information really until 2012. I thought now would be a good time to go back in, compare my results, show off my progress and get some direction.

She measured my height, weight, body fat percentage and base metabolic rate. We talked about my goal weight and what I can do to get there.

GOOD NEWS: She agreed that 155 would be a good goal weight for me! I'm relieved because this is higher than what's recommended on the BMI chart. However, based on my body type and weight history, she felt this would be an excellent, health promoting weight for me. That's only 18.8 pounds away! She also mentioned that it might be good to go 5 pounds below that so I can maintain in a five pound range but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

GOOD NEWS: Although I've lost a lot of lean muscle mass (more on that in a second), my base metabolic rate is still around 1490. Now, my Spark BMR is stated at 1870 so that is a huge difference! But 1490 is not that bad. I can work with 1490. But 70 pounds ago, my BMR was over 2000. So, just a reminder for those of us losing a lot of weight, those numbers change dramatically!

BAD NEWS: She feels I'm eating too few calories (1200-1550). She suggests I up my calories to 2100 with all the cardio I'm doing! I really did not feel comfortable with that. But I also don't want to systematically undereat and crash my metabolism. So, I'm going to focus on getting up to 1500-1800 in the next few weeks. We'll see how that goes. I'd love to hear from some maintainers on this issue. Do you find yourself eating more or fewer calories than what's strictly recommended?

BAD NEWS: I've lost some muscle mass. Not an excessive amount but more than I would have liked. Which brings us to . . .

BAD NEWS: Due to the lost muscle mass, my body fat percentage is still too high, near 40%. She says she wants me to bring it down to 30%, losing 10% of my current body fat.

GOOD NEWS: I also need to lose about 10% of my total weight, so if I can lose 10% of body weight and 10% of my body fat I will really and truly be at goal!

Which brings us to a little poll. I obviously need to step up my ST game hugely if I want to lose the rest of this weight from fat, not muscle. Also, I don't want my metabolism crashing. If I could keep my BMR close to 1490, by replacing fat with muscle AND losing weight, that would be my ideal!

So, what's the best way for me to do that??

a. CrossFit?
B. Lifting Heavy Weights?
C. Other?

If anyone has any ideas on how I can accomplish this, I'm all ears! I'm psyched that I'm so close to my goal and I can't wait to put in the hard work needed to get me there!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It sounds like you might be a good candidate for the new spark nutrition system. Where they are linking your activity to your calories and adjusting your calorie range. Just a suggestion! I'm scared to try it but if you're being told that you should really be eating more in line with your activity level....that might be the way to go!
    1649 days ago
    emoticon NEWS. emoticon
    Losing fat mass while building muscle will increase your BMR so balance both the ST and cardio. emoticon
    1649 days ago
    Maybe your BMR is so low because you're not eating enough, so following the guidelines would bring it back up again.
    As to your question I would say a, b AND c. You know doing the same thing over and over eventually stops working (and gets really boring!) so why not do a whole bunch of muscle-building activities. I mix it up with 30 day shred, kettlebells, body weight circuits, resistance bands, and dumbbells, and it's always interesting and ALWAYS hard work!
    1649 days ago
    Other! Losing body fat is much more important than losing weight, in fact losing body fat is very desirable while losing weight is only valuable if that weight is body fat, as you have experienced.
    To do this successfully I think that your main factor is diet, not exercise.
    My own experience has been this: I reduced my body fat from about 28% to under 20% while my weight stayed the same at about 135 lbs. I achieved this not by exercising more, my exercise has stayed about the same at 90 minutes/day with a mix of cardio and strength training, but alone through a paleo/low-carb diet. My calories have also stayed about the same, moving around somewhere between 2000-300 calories/day. I have been eating this way for over a year and I'm never hungry, my energy levels is great, which makes exercise much easier and my overall health,cholesterol, blood sugar levels etc. are all in a great range now.
    1649 days ago
    Congrats on the positive meeting with the health coach! I would say to go with the heavy lifting for strength training. You can get a trainer for a few sessions and get a complicated routine or you could go with deadlifts, bench presses and rows. If you train 3x / week it works out good, doing each of the big lifts once per week (however many sets and reps you decide on) and then can do some ancillary work. I.E. calves and stiff legged deadlifts after your heavy deadlift session, triceps and shoulders after the bench press and biceps and shoulders after the rows.
    1649 days ago
    Well, I don't understand BMR at all and I need to up my ST also so I will be of no help to you. Just wanted to stop in and give you KUDOS for doing such a great job and support for whatever plan you choose emoticon
    1649 days ago
    Since heavy lifting is the most effective way to maintain and build muscle, why is anything else an option??

    Also question for the "Depending on your body type and muscle type on what type of ST will work best for you."

    There is no "type" of ST that works better for a particular body type and what is a muscle type??

    This isn't complicated. Lift heavy, lift often, make this the focal point of your fitness and it will pay big dividends. If you're serious, I'll be happy to share some programs that have worked well for me.
    1650 days ago
    I ditto the people who say lifting. Also, Ive never done crossfit, but I would recommend a bootcamp. They rock. Congrats on how far you've come so far!
    1650 days ago
    I agree that a combination of things is your best bet. I'm more likely to do some sort of muscle building than I am cardio - but I like lots of different things. Straight up weight work (dumbbells, barbells and the cable machines), body weight only workouts (pushups, squats, lunges) and I love strength type yoga workouts (Bob Harpers Inside Out Yoga is a great muscle builder). But, most important, IMHO, is that you up the intensity of what you do - use the heaviest weights you can with good form, do real pushups, work hard and make the time you spend really count. You are doing great!

    Whether or not you are eating too little or not is something to just play with. But I think your approach of just doing a slight increase is sound. It is also worth considering how well you track. In my case, I just assume that I am missing at least 100 calories a day in my tracker. But, you may be someone who meticulously weighs/measures and never misses anything.
    1650 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/17/2013 4:44:04 PM
    I think lifting (to you) heavy weights is a good place to start. I really like crossfit (not everyone does) but its really expensive (hence why I dont do it) and you really have to look around to find a good box with really good trainers. If you can afford it, I'd say go for it - its intense, but I loved it when I was doing it. But heavy weights in general really helps with changing your body composition, so its good for losing body fat and building muscle :)
    1650 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1650 days ago
  • CAALAN23
    Congratulations on your success! That's not far to go at all.

    Depending on your body type and muscle type on what type of ST will work best for you. I would not recommend CrossFit or heavy weights at first. (Unless you LOVE It, in which case go for it!) I always start back in with light weight, bands, and body weight movements such as planks and push ups and squats. Modified if you have joint issues of course. Do that for a bit and then bust up to the weights and kettlebells or crossfit.

    A trainer in that area would do you just as much good as the health coach, especially in the beginning.

    You can even turn your cardio into a mix of ST with hills and hill sprints. (I love/hate them SO much.) Steps onto nearby stairs or benches, push ups against a tree, tree sits (instead of wall). LOADS of things to just toss in there.

    Have fun with it and I can't wait to hear about it all, I think you'll love it and find so much empowerment (which I know you will transform into inspiring blogs!)
    1650 days ago
  • PRIZM96
    Lifting heavy weights by far is your best choice here!! :-)

    Great job in getting so close to GOAL & having a plan! :-)

    1650 days ago
    Lifting heavy weights. Hands down for body recomposition. And your calories are definitely too low. Also, SP's BMR is what you burn in a day, but the actual BMR is what you burn if you're comatose. My comatose BMR is around 1550 or so.

    I have some resources to help, so if you have any questions, I would be happy to point you in some directions.

    Good luck!
    1650 days ago
    CONGRATS!!! You should be psyched, and I think probably most of us could use the information you got. Did you see a dietitician?

    My 2 cents: I think undereating is a chronic problem for many of us, like me! I don't think it's unreasonable for you to up your calories for two weeks and see what happens.

    I think you definitely need to do a combination of cardio and weight training. If you do weight training a couple of times a week (I do classes since I'm too lazy to do a HARD workout by myself), you will exchange fat for muscle. So be warned, your weight may not drop a lot at first but you will be SMALLER. When I stop doing ST for a few weeks my weight doesn't change much but I "spread out" and need the next bigger size.

    You are doing GREAT! emoticon
    1650 days ago
    You are doing fantastic! I'm really impressed!
    1650 days ago
    YEEHAW! What Great Numbers! You are doing it!!! How Wonderful that you are working with a trainer and gaining all of this Wonderful Knowledge as well...I'm no expert...but I would say any fitness that you like is the best Fitness...That way you will be CONSISTENT and just Do it...I also think mixing it up is FUN too...Keeps your body guessing...I would chat with your Trainer and see what they might suggest...You have all the data...they would probably be a good resource for making a PLAN OF ACTION! Go get'chu sum a dat...You are so CLOSE to GOAL!!! More than anything I think it will take YOU just being CONSISTENT...YOU CAN DO IT!!! Great job on all of your Improvements...and for TAKING ACTION and MAKING PROGRESS HAPPEN!!!!
    1650 days ago
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