Daily Update Nutrition/Weight Loss

Maintaining Weight Loss – Status

Maintaining Weight

So I’ve been maintaining my weight at 198lbs. This past week saw a 2lb gain for a few days, due almost surely from a night in center city Philadelphia with some friends, drinking beer and doing shots of Irish whiskey (not my choice) to the point of…let’s just say not feeling so well the next morning. The plan was to eat some junk food too while down there but that didn’t work out.

Then the next day my wife and I took our son to Arnold’s Family Fun Center, which is always fun and includes a buffet that isn’t half bad. They make this Chuck E. Cheese-like pizza but it actually tastes phenomenal. I partook in quite a bit of it, along with diet coke, something I haven’t had in quite a while and typically avoid.

It took a couple of days to ‘bounce back’ to my current weight ‘set point’ but I did with no problem. That is in addition to eating more fruit – at least one apple and one banana a day. I love fruit and due to the carbs slipping back into my diet more often I am re-developing a sweet tooth, which is concerning, but I am keeping mindful of it and want to see how this plays out. I’m *hoping* that I can eat some carbs like this, where some ‘junk’ is eaten every 2 to 3 days with no long-term gain as a result, or more importantly, not feeling like garbage. That’s a key part of eating Paleo/Primal/Low Carb – in addition to the weight loss and health benefits, you just feel great too.

This entire year has been one big experiment on myself, to test the common paradigm of calories-in/out, exercise methods, etc. So far it’s gone well, I’ve learned a ton, and feel great. I wanna keep that up. But…I want my cake and eat it too : )

Workout Routine Changing Yet Again!

This week I re-thought my workout routine (again!). I re-visited the exercise philosophy on The Primal Blueprint fitness forum and my prior approach was wrong so I am switching it up. I am one of the few people that enjoys the elliptical trainer machine at the gym. I can go 30+ minutes on it now at a medium resistance level, pushing (pedaling?) as quickly as possible and still stay at the < 150 bpm level, which it turns out is quite good if you want to avoid “chronic cardio” syndrome.

So I’m going to do that at least 3 or 4 times a week. In addition, an old squash partner has resurfaced, so that will cover my HIT day, and add to that the change from a full-body to a “high/low” weight routine and that should cover me for a month or two.

Thanksgiving’s Right Around the Corner!

So that’s the random update. One last thought: unlike most people who either want to lose weight or maintain weight loss, I’m actually looking forward to Thanksgiving. I am in particular going to eat all the turkey (with the great, healthy fatty skin!) I want, and I expect to eat well over 3000 calories just in one meal. Interested to see if any weight loss occurs that day. I doubt it, based on the pattern, but I know if I don’t overdo it on the carbs then I can eat all the calories I want and not gain. Oh, and the vegetables will be great too. I’ll be trying my hand at some type of low-carb (preferrably no-carb but doubtful) dessert, maybe a pumpkin pie!

Daily Update Nutrition/Weight Loss

Walking the Tightrope I Think…But Still Holding at 198lb

So, as previously mentioned, I have achieved my goal weight and have shifted my focus to becoming more toned and muscular. So far, that’s been a fail. I’ve been very busy with work and after-work family activities and just haven’t gotten to the gym this week. That said, I’ve been really active in a typical ‘primal’ way – lots of moving slowly, and I’ve done some sprinting here and there when playing soccer with my kids. But I haven’t done my weightlifting routine this week so I am going to do it tomorrow (I had planned on doing Mondays and Thursdays). I’m doing a full-body routine consisting of low reps and heavy weight. I find I enjoy it more and I definitely ‘feel it’ more in my muscles both right after lifting and the next day. I strive for 4 to 6 reps, 3 sets each of:

  • Leg Press (I’ll eventually get back to doing real squats though, as I know those are better)
  • Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Cable Row machine (the one that targets the back)
  • Pulldown bar machine (can you tell I don’t know these machines by name? It’s another one that targets the back)
  • Dumbbell bicep curls
  • Tricep pressdowns using the rope attachment to the cable/pulley machine
I need to incorporate crunches and shoulder presses, I know. I *hate* shoulder presses and have mostly avoided them. Amazingly my shoulders are the one part of my body that are pretty damn toned, with great definition. How that happened I don’t know, but I’ll take it.
I may try attending my gym’s squash “club night”. My gym is primarily a squash club, and one night a week the squash pros go around and pair up amateur players for friendly matches. I’m sure I’ll be the worst player there, which I don’t care about in terms of pride/ego but it is awkward because the decent/good players don’t want to waste their time playing someone like me. They’d like to break a sweat! Hopefully there will be another bad player there.
On the eating front…as I said – I’m not actively trying to lose more weight. That said, I could definitely stand to lose another 10 pounds. I carry the 198lb pretty well (I have big thighs/calves) and people are surprised when I tell them I still weigh that much. But aside from some softness in my middle I’m pretty much where I want to be in terms of body fat. But the last few days I’ve been on a slippery slope – eating more junk than usual. Today was a doozy – I ate, for the first time in probably almost a year, white rice. Some friends offered to buy me lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant. I had the Coconut Milk Chicken soup (it was awesome), a salad with peanut butter dressing (it was awesome), and my usual Green Curry with Chicken and white rice (yes, it was awesome). I could feel my blood sugar pumping after that meal!

And on Monday night, in anticipation of the Eagles game and after a long day of getting my ass kicked at work for things out of my control, I decided to wash away my sorrows that evening with a few glasses of Coconut Rum mixed with fruit juice. (Yeah, I’m a real man.)

Amazingly, so far, I’ve not gained any weight back. Holding steady at 198 all week. But I can feel like I’m on that ‘slippery slope’ where I’d better reign things back in. Especially since I am going to a happy hour on Friday after work : )

Nutrition/Weight Loss Suggested Sites

Counting Calories N=1 Test Comment on Wheat Belly

Saw this on the Wheat Belly blog. That blog is excellent and I highly recommend you check it out if you haven’t already. I think history will show Dr. Davis a key in the paradigm shift in thinking/attitudes toward health and weight. He could have gone the cheap, easy way and stuck to the “it’s just wheat” line and focused on selling books, but it’s clear he knows it is carbohydrates in general and has not hesitated to say it.

Today on his blog he posted a reader comment. The reader did some N=1 testing to see whether it is the type of calories or calories themselves that cause weight gain. It’s a simple test. I’ve done it myself. And my results are identical to his: calories don’t matter.

Day 1 I ate 5000 calories of mostly cakes and I gained 1 pound, the 2nd day 4500 calories of a similar menu and I gained almost 2 pounds, 3rd day I cut sugar to zero but I kept my calorie intake at 4500, I overate chicken, coconut & omelettes all day long and I reduced my activities to watching movies and playing video games. I had lost 2 pounds the next day at noon.

Calories in, calories . . . ooops! Where’d they go?

At the end of this guy’s comment he mentions that someone said it’s impossible to lose a pound in a single day. As he mentions – that’s clearly incorrect. I’ve lost 2 pounds in a single day. On numerous occasions. One pound equals 3500 calories? If so, then that alone is pretty compelling that the calories-in/out theory is flawed.

But…in keeping with my last post: my experience is mine. Yours may vary.

Inspiration Nutrition/Weight Loss

A Fork in the Road

From this post forward, I’m going to shift the focus of this blog. At least the perception anyways. I’m not happy with the tone of some of my writing. I don’t want to come off as a ‘know-it-all’, and unfortunately my shift in domains from to probably doesn’t help perceptions. I’ve received plenty of comments from folks (almost always personal trainers or ‘calories-in/calories-out’ proponents) that were, ahem, less than nice. That made me re-think this blog and its purpose. That and, let’s face it, I haven’t posted much the last 2 weeks. I just ran out of topics that really interested me to write about. One can only go so long on ‘it’s INSULIN, stupid!”

I’m no expert on anyone else. I don’t claim to be. But I do know how fat tissue is both stored and released in the body. There isn’t any debate on that – the science has been clear for decades. For some reason, very few people want to believe it. When I first stumbled on this information back in January, I thought I had uncovered a cure. A miracle. The SECRET. And, for me, it was and has been. I learned what foods produce an excess insulin response in my body, and I either stopped eating them altogether or I ate them in varying levels of moderation. Nothing to do with reading any fad diet book, no “Atkins” no “Zone”. Nothing to do with calories (I have never counted them and never will). And I only work out because, once I lost weight, as the science predicted – my body wanted to move more. I enjoy physical fitness now. That has been my whole point of this blog: that being lazy is a result of being fat, not the other way around. Taubes made this clear and my personal experience has proven it for me. I urge any naysayers who are obese to simply stop eating carbs for a couple of weeks and they’ll see. I urge any naysayers who are not obese to move on. Nothing here for you.

So…back to the real point of this post….going forward this blog is really all about my personal experience and opinions in maintaining my weight loss, particularly in regards to how my increased focus on fitness (which is a completely separate thing from fat loss (I just can’t stop can I? : ) ). My goal now has shifted from losing weight to achieving a higher level of physical fitness. I started focusing on this the past 2 weeks and it’s going well.

Why the shift in focus? Because I enjoy reading blogs that take all different approaches, but my favorites are those where the writing is of one’s personal experience, including the setbacks. I don’t want this to be an info blog. I want to write about my experience more. Day to day. My favorite blog the past few months has been this guy’s. He’s honest. He’s real. And he struggles. I’ve been fortunate to not struggle much. For reasons I’m trying to figure out. How does a guy who has been somewhere between way overweight and obese since the age of 9 or 10 turn it all around in one year? Why was I able to do it? I’ve just recently come to the realization that it isn’t simply knowing how to get your body to release fat cells and burn them. It’s more than that. I’ve seen folks who know the science yet still struggle. So just knowing why we get fat is not enough for many.

Tonight I went on a 30 minute walk at my local high school’s track. It was really refreshing and allowed me to clear my mind after an extremely stressful week. I was trying to think about why, when I see so many others struggling with their weight even when they know the science, why was I successful? After 15 minutes of increasing my walking pace it hit me…

I’ve been so laser-focused on weight-loss this past year because my life otherwise has been really quite shitty the past few years, and my own body has been the one thing I can completely control. I guess it’s like those angst-ridden teenage chicks that get anorexia. I like to think things aren’t that bad though, and they really aren’t. But the stressors that have hit me at this time in my life, I think, have driven me to probably have OCD when it came to weight loss, and thus fueled my success.

An example of these stressors: 2 years ago I blew ~$50k in cash and equity in the process of downgrading my primary residence, due to poor decisions, poorly chosen representatives, and poor communication. When I hit 40 years of age I thought I’d have been in a McMansion and life would be easier. Quite frankly, it hasn’t been. I’m in a house I could care less about. Can’t do anything about it. No control.

My career has gone well the past few years, with multiple promotions. And in a down economy especially, I’m extremely grateful. But the work isn’t as gratifying as it once was as we’re in the middle of trying to…I’ll leave it at that. In a nutshell, I don’t have the control I expected. Quitting isn’t an option – not because I can’t find something else. I could, easily. But because I truly believe in the end-game that we’re striving for. It’s just an awfully annoying and painful journey getting there. And I can’t control it. At least not to the level I expected.

My schedule and day to day responsibilities, beyond work, are increasingly hectic. Beyond hectic. And 90% of what I do every day is not of my own choice. And half the time I stop and say to myself, “Why?” I don’t control it. I need to, but I don’t.

Cue the violins….lol

So maybe my lack of control in all other aspects of my life are the secret to my weight loss success. Whatever works. I just know, as pessimistic as this post likely comes off….I’m happier these days than I was when I was fat.

Nutrition/Weight Loss

Dr. Lustig: Insulin shunts sugar to fat

This video corroborates Taubes’ writings and my own personal experience. Definitely worth a view.