Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keeping in Shape

When I first lost weight over 10 years ago, I relied on running as my primary exercise. I was younger then, but I did still incur an overuse injury that really threw me off track. So I have worked around those limitations and come up with the following exercise tips:
  • Work out when you are running a calorie deficit, try to workout before a meal, and not after, so the body reaches deeper into the fat for an energy source.
  • Work out consistently. Try to be active everyday and workout 6 days a week. It is better to be active for 30 minutes a day over 6 days than 60 minutes every other day. This is a brain trick for me. When I work out, I eat better, my body knows it is "on the hunt" and wants to be lean, eat lean and think lean.
  • For me, the top two tips lead me to work out in the mornings before breakfast. I am on a calorie deficit and I can make the time available on most days. I just find it hard to consistently fit a workout in at any other time of day. Either work is too busy on a particular day, or I end up taking time away from my family.
  • Mix it up. Find different exercises, locations, machines, routines, courses to keep it interesting. I rotate between a 3 mile run, the elliptical, StairMaster, treadmill, P90X videos, home brewed backyard workouts, basketball, and long walks. There are a lot more things for me to try out there, but the above are all about cardio to feed the weight loss.
  • Measure your heart rate and keep it up in the aerobic/cardio range for at least 15 minutes straight, or do harder and higher heart rate intervals. The idea here is to breath hard and sweat (external signs) for enough time to trigger fat loss, and to push your body beyond the level you use in your every day life.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pack Weight / Body Weight

So this year I have been focusing more on body weight instead of pack weight. I thought I would jot down some of my diet/weight loss tips:

  • Don't eat after 10pm
  • Focus on getting filled up with salad and vegetables
  • Figure out a low calorie salad dressing solution, I use balsamic vinegar a lot, I also like cottage cheese with olive juice, but that is obviously a personal thing
  • skip the snacks, I have to get in that mode where I know I am running a calorie deficit because I am hungry and a bit lightheaded. This usually happens in the afternoon and I hold out until I have an orange to help me make it to dinner.
  • Don't eat simple carbs, and when I eat complex carbs it is always with some protien. for example, a whole wheat pita with hummus
  • Try to switch to unadorned seafood, this will help in restaurants.
  • Spread the calories out across three meals
  • Have a sweet low cal snack at night after dinner, otherwise stay away from all sweets. This is to eliminate insulin swings in the day which create distracting feelings of hunger.
  • You've got to get in the mental mode to stay on the diet. I don't starve myself, it is more a matter of avoiding overindulgence. i get in a bit of a defensive mindset that helps me stay on course
  • Write my weight, sleep, exercise and food notes in a daily journal
  • Work out in the mornings before breakfast. I have tried other times of the day, but can't be consistent, and I think that working out on a calorie deficit burns more calories
  • Find some "go to" foods and have them at the ready. Mine are fat free cottage cheese, olives, spinach, wheat pitas, oranges, tomatoes, grape nuts, skim milk, egg whites, tuna, light ranch, spicey hummus, healthy choice fudge pops. Having these items around the house lets me mix and match with other foods the family is eating. For eample, if it is cornflake chicken night, I'll ask for a "non-corn flaked" portion and throw it on top of a spinach salad.

Exercise to come...