I stepped on the scale today to make sure I was moving in the right direction. Because that’s what you do right?
Here’s a picture to prove it.
Two weeks ago I was at 243, but had a set back (otherwise known as dinner at Mom’s, or occasionally known as Arroz con pollo, but also sometimes known as Coney Island Hot Dogs). So I’m back on track to 240.
Ready to start the process of losing that 50 pounds! The goal weight is 190. I don’t really have a time frame for that. I mean, 50 pounds is a lot, right? According to the Center for Disease Control (http://cdc.gov), safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. So, at that rate, if we call it 1.5 pounds on average, 33 weeks or so…
That’s not good enough though, is it? If I wait until Thanksgiving, I’ve already missed beach season and will be ready to start gaining weight again!
When does beach season start anyway? Let’s say July 1, so that’s like 7 weeks. A little over 7 pounds a week. Can it be done? Probably not.
Let’s set a stretch goal for August 1, shall we? August 1 is a special day. On that day, I’ll be celebrating the 15th anniversary of my 25th birthday! It’s hard to believe I’ve celebrated turning 25 for that long…time flies.
How to approach such a challenge?
I’ve actually already decided that. I’m kicking the carbs. There are a lot of reasons for that, but while I’ll discuss some of the reasons in later blogs, I’ll let you in on what I’m doing.
My eating plan is basically recreational ketogenic (I made that up). A ketogenic diet without knowing for certain if I’m indeed ketogenic. And the reason I’m not yet going full keto is that I needed a week of experimentation, and I’m not ready to invest in the basic measurement tools. And since you probably don’t know what the measurement tools are, here’s a snapshot of the ketogenic diet:
A ketogenic diet is basically a high fat-low carb nutrition plan. The theory is that my body converts sugar into fat relatively quickly, and by depriving myself of carbohydrates, my body will burn the fat instead of storing as much. The reason the diet is called ‘ketogenic’ is that the body begins to use ketones (fat) for energy instead of glucose (sugar). A person in the state of using ketones for energy is in ketosis. I’m not going to get into this too much for now, just letting you know what I’m doing. You can measure all of this scientifically, but I don’t have the time or funds.
Besides promoting fat-burning, one of the other advantages of the diet is that foods that are high in fat are also more filling. So it’s harder to overeat, and you don’t feel like you need to eat as often. Compare this to foods high in carbohydrate, which raise the blood sugar and prompt the desire to eat more. ‘Betcha can’t eat just one.’ Right?
Honestly you can be a critic all you want, and I know people that are, and they’ve let me know how much of a clown they think I am, in no uncertain terms, but, to each their own right? One thing I’ve learned is that each person is very different in how they process food. I’ve done my best on low-carb diets in the past, and that suggests to me that my body loves carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also inspire me to overeat. When I need to drop a couple of pounds, I usually start by avoiding the carbs.
Not that I haven’t tried other approaches…but that’s not what this post is about!
I’m also, for the first time, taking a dive into intermittent fasting. In other words, I’m going through significantly longer stretches without eating anything at all, with all eating contained in a shorter window of time. There are different approaches to this fasting concept, but I’ve chosen to eat every day over an 8-10 hour period.
It hasn’t been easy! Partially because I’ve been conditioned to eat all day, to divide larger meals into smaller meals, to graze. It’s amazing how that conditioning has made this so difficult. I’m not eating less, I’m eating the same amount over a shorter period of time. I think part of the struggle for smokers, is that they miss the process of reaching and dragging, or taking that cigarette break during a certain part of the day. It’s a part of the overall habit. In my case, that process of constantly eating from waking up to going to bed has been a difficult habit to break for certain. I’m not fully adapted, and I’ve been trying for a couple of weeks (with different dietary approaches).
Supposedly, for most of the 200,000 years or so humans have roamed around, we didn’t have all-day access to food, and on some days we didn’t have access at all. We ate what we could, when we could. In those first 199,000 years or so, humans had to do a lot more in a given day, and weren’t obese like we are today.
So, you know, all that importance of breakfast, kickstarting the metabolism and keeping that metabolism going all day stuff? Out the window. Gone. Who knows who’s right? Future blog type stuff…but this is what I’m doing right now (everything subject to change).
For the fast, it’s mostly water, but some coffee. I’m including the coffee because even though there are trace nutrients that theoretically could kick you out of fasting, most of the experts and believers in intermittent fasting seem to have experimented enough to decide it’s OKAY, and some really depend on it. Lots of coffee and water helps keep you full as well, and both coffee and water help with some digestive necessities.
The final piece is a little change to the workout. Heavier weights, and a cardio program that includes sprints instead of a constant speed. Prior to this tweak I was alternating between periods of high volume-low resistance, and low volume-high resistance, every 3-4 weeks. My plan at this point is to keep with the heavier weights and sprints for a bit, and maybe do lighter resistance one week in every four to keep my body guessing…TBD
Critically it’s important to have a schedule and load that works for you, and for me, I’m in a sustainable routine that includes getting up a little earlier, getting a 30-45 minute workout in, and then getting ready for the rest of the day. Given the correct nutrition, anything more than 45 minutes is kind of a waste. Many probably think 30 minutes isn’t enough, but for those of us who aren’t teenagers, or professional athletes, it’s probably perfect. That can’t include a bunch of walking around flirting with the women, though…
I’m doing heavy resistance on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and interval cardio on Tuesday and Thursday. Working for now. My amazing wife takes care of the 2 year old and kids while I go to the gym, come home and get ready for work.
6.30-7.15AM – Workout, plenty of water
8AM – black coffee
10AM – coffee whipped with organic, unsalted grass-fed butter, and coconut oil
12PM – cheeseburgers with bacon and avocado
4PM – steak and a hard-boiled egg
5PM – coffee with heavy whipping cream
Water throughout the day and until I go to bed.
I tend to stick with the meat that is on sale because I don’t have the funds to buy the best steaks right now. If something’s on sale I’m going to jump on it. Trying to stay between 0 and 20g of carbs a day, and as close to 0 as possible, for now. Aiming for around 180g of fat and 120g of protein. Ultimately I want zero carbs, and a higher amount of fat than protein.
No need to tell me I’m on the path to a heart attack or stroke for now. This is working for me and I have my reasons. If you stick with the blog I’ll talk about why I chose this path, and my progress. But now you know what I’m doing.