Fitness and diet


Disclaimer:

The below was written as a reminder to me that empty calories are a bad idea and daily fitness is a good idea. I'm no expert or nutritionist. The basis for this regimen was the biggest loser diet. Statistically, most of those people gained the weight back eventually. The idea of losing a pound per day is (in hindsight) reckless. Diet is tricky and it can be a trigger for some people. Currently, I'm mostly ignoring calories but still trying to eat groceries instead of processed or restaurant food. I'm less light and more fulfilled. I'm strong due to rugby training. I would love to hear where people are at on their wellness journey. Hopefully the misguided advice below didn't lead anybody astray.



The Wellness Approach

 I managed over the last several months to find a wellness approach that works. By strictly following it, I was able to lose close to a pound per day. To be fair, I had lots of weight to lose and the losses came in fits and spurts. That being said, even now, following it half-heartedly I am still losing weight. The approach is based on the biggest loser diet plan with some tweeks from my own experiences in real life.

Don't bother going on in this tutorial without finding out your "maintenance daily calories". This number will inform your food choices and your fitness requirements. Below is a diet calculator that will tell you (based on your information) how many calories your body needs per day. This is a dynamic changing number so when you lose weight, this number needs to be recalculated and adjusted or you will plateau. Your dearest friends will constantly encourage you to ignore this number (without knowing it.) This number cannot be escaped. Stay within it every day. Every day.

Diet

Diet is essential. The reality is that the only way to lose weight is to use up more calories than you consume. You need to become a calorie expert. Guessing the calories of a certain dish leads to the inconsistent numbers so many dieters hate. Every last bite needs to have a number attached. I put a calorie checker above. You can look up anything online and find its number. Once you get this figured out, you can finally pinpoint the toxic food choices you are making. Below are some do's and don'ts that I have found.

When you are calorie wise, you will actually never be hungry. People become hungry on diets because they are choosing high calorie low nutrient foods. Generally, lots of vegetables and fruits are a good idea. They are low cal, they give your body what it needs, and they fill up your stomach which keeps your metabolism fired up. Proteins are also very important but they need to be low fat and low cal. Carbs need to be carefully watched. They briefly make you feel satisfied and then they burn quickly or become fats.

The hard stuff: You have to strictly limit your intake of: potato products, pastas, white rice, breads, desserts, alcohol, sauces, candy, and sugar. Generally if you love a food, it is no longer allowed. Sorry. Each of these high carb, high energy products will push you to your daily calories. Two servings of any of the above means that your eating day is done. These things will also briefly satisfy you and then an hour later, you will need to eat again.

The good news: Protein is cool. If you are able to choose proteins that are low fat like turkey, extra lean beef, seafood, and chicken, you will finish a meal and have energy to move on to fitness goals. Flavour does not have to suffer. Most hot-sauces, mustards, spices, herbs etc have little to no calorie count. Oils are still allowed too. Olive oil is high calorie but when diluted by a huge bowl of vegetables and ground turkey with dijon mustard, it becomes an excuse to eat good vegetables. That is good fats. Coffee is 0 calorie too if you can convert to black like my wife did. Even double double is only 60 calories and an acceptable treat. Generally, if you are using good meats and lots of vegetables and cooking them yourself with limited fatty sauces, you are on track to lose weight.

Fitness

If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. It applies to the work world and it applies to fitness. The reason people dislike working out is that they are treating it like work. If instead, you find a way to turn it into play and leisure, you are much more likely to keep it up. If you include fitness in your daily commute or morning routine, there will be less straying.

For me, it was biking. I found the Nike Plus app that tracked and celebrated my biking adventures and pushed me to beat personal records and go farther, faster harder. You might like a pedometer challenge or weightlifting with a friend or playing a certain sport. This will be enough if you can find a way to do it several times a week (ideally daily). On a day where you stay within your calories, you have not lost any weight. Weightloss comes from the extra calories you burn being active. Another piece of good news about combining fitness and diet is that if you cheat by going to a restaurant or eating processed food, you can justify it if you burn those calories off before they become fat (within 8 hours). This does not go the other way. If you skipped out on exercise, don't simply reduce your intake to lose weight. Your metabolism will respond by making you tired and conserving fat.

In short, know your required calories, choose low calorie, nutrient rich foods, find a work out you love and force it into your daily routine, lose a pound a day.

Bikini ready by summer!