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Eating for satisfaction and energy

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm still bouncing around with health progress and setbacks. So I set this morning aside to help myself re-evaluate where I am now and where I plan to go from here.

My new motto: Eating for satisfaction and energy. I've studied lots of nutritional and exercise advice, probably went overboard, but I'm trying a new plan based on what has worked for others. I want to exercise, I don't want my weight success to rely solely on exercise, and I want to find a way of eating that will sustain my energy, stave off cravings, and allow me to lose weight at a pace that is discernable to me. Especically to wittle down my waistline.

Here is my plan. Main exercise is to row 30km a week on my stationary rower, starting at 10 km 3 times a week, and working up to 10 km 5 times a week, staying in my aerobic range. Eventually add strength training and (rowing) sprints after I work up to 50km weekly.

To sustain that level of exercise, I will need to increase my calories on the days I row by 250. My goal is to have a calorie deficit of between 500 to 100 each day for a weight loss between 1 and 2 pounds per week. As I lose sufficient weight (every 10 to 20 pounds), I will need to readjust my calorie intake for my lowered BMR. And hopefully that day will come when I will readjust my calorie intake for a maintenance diet.

To stave off cravings, I will aim for a diet of 40% carbohydrates, 40% fat, and 20% protein. I will focus on healthy food to keep my energy levels up. I will adjust these ratios if I find them too difficult to maintain. To help maintain my energy, I will eat consume dairy coffee. My added dietary fat will come primarily from olive oil, butter and nuts. I will cut back on sugar. I'm not sure how much to cut back on grains--I'll check my nutrition reports for that.

How will I do this? For diet: Keep ample fresh veggies on hand, like kale, carrots, cabbage, onions and sauerkraut. Drink clear broth as a cold-weather option to coffee. Eat lots of legumes, nuts, whole grains, tofu, eggs, chicken, and fish. Keep quick and easy options handy like frozen shrimp, canned salmon and tofu. Cut back on cheese. Keep soy or almond milk in my pantry. Focus on veggies more than fruit. Use fish oil supplements. Serve baked apples instead of apple pie, puddings instead of cake, halvah instead of cookies, yogurt parfait instead of ice cream.

For exercise: Keep my momentum up. I'm starting to feel my strength returning, so if I am steady the rowing will continue to feel easier and more energizing. When it doesn't, scale back my effort or take a day off to give my body a rest to rebuild muscle. Do stretching yoga and Pilates as a way to wind down, it feels good, it's a nice treat for my body and mind.
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