“What You Do Today Can Improve All Your Tomorrows” – Ralph Marston
Can Superfoods give you super powers? Maybe Popeye was on to something when he sucked down his spinach before saving the day. While stepping into the phone booth to tie on your red cape and toss down a handful of blueberries might not give you the power to rescue Lois Lane, dining on different Superfoods may help you live a longer, more enjoyable life. How exactly? A balanced diet rich in Superfoods is associated with a reduced risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke– debilitating diseases that rank among the top killers in the United States. Continue reading
Do you know any children that are picky eaters? This isn’t exactly the same topic that most of my blog is about, but I wanted to share with you some of the things I have been working on. I worked at the Children’s Hunger Alliance in February and May and wrote this short article about growing a healthy eater. Please like it and make me famous 🙂
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Whenever you fail or mess up during your weight loss journey, keep this in mind.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Ben Franklin
One of my favorite quotes and the reason why many diets fail.
Weight Loss Step 2: Education (you may want to read this first)
Holy crap, I’ve lost a lot of weight so far. It was more than I expected, but it makes sense once I break it down later in this post. Let me back up a little bit.
In case you haven’t read part 1 or 2,
While I have the education step covered seeing as I will probably be a registered dietitian within the next five months or so, there is always more to learn and more strategies to develop for teaching others. I can also work on finding and making more healthy recipes, so there may be a couple of those in the future J For many of you out there, whether you have already started your weight loss plan or not, Education is a vital step in your weight loss journey that should always be ongoing. Research is hard to do, especially when you are a normal person without training on how to read scientific literature. It truly is confusing. Misinterpretations of science have filled the internet with hundreds of misconceptions about weight loss and healthy eating and many people are out for your money without a concern for you as a person. Basically, what I’m trying to say is to be wary when reading or listening to nutrition advice from people that aren’t dietitians because they don’t see the whole picture!
The biggest educational piece I’m currently working on for myself is a Quick Weight Loss Kickstart diet that will help people safely lose 2-4 lbs* of fat per week for several weeks, in as healthy of a way as possible, before transitioning into a more balanced weight loss approach that you can sustain long term (.5-2 lbs per week). People with obesity may be able to stay on the program for more than several weeks. My inspiration for developing a faster weight loss diet was my girlfriend who worked at a medical weight loss center that put patients on diets as low as 420 Calories per day. Although I’m not a member of the primary targeted population for this diet I’m developing, I do think this diet does have some application to the more athletic, leaner population in the right context. I will be working out the kinks to this diet for the first 2-4 weeks of my diet and documenting my progress. Then, I will demonstrate a slower, more flexible diet plan for several weeks after that.
*Total weight loss will be greater than this due to a decrease in fluid, glycogen, and intestinal content.
My results so far after one week:
Day 1 (2/24/14) Weight: 207.6 lbs
Day 8 (3/3/14) Weight: 196.2
- I’m moving towards my goal of a healthier body fat percentage.
- I look leaner.
- My squat hasn’t been affected much, if at all. I did two sets of 335lbs for 3 reps today.
- My acid reflux has improved. I had a little today before working out, but it has been way less frequent recently.
- My 32” waist jeans are fitting better.
- I’ve not been feeling bloated and lethargic when I wake up in the morning.
- Hunger hasn’t been that big of an issue despite a restrictive diet!
Talk about being motivated by progress! A large part of you exercising fiends that are really concerned with muscle loss are probably thinking that this is a ridiculous weight loss pace and I must have lost a lot of muscle. I almost didn’t put this weight in up here for that reason and because I thought it would look fake and gimmicky, but please let me explain. A huge portion of that weight loss is fluid. When switching to a lower carbohydrate diet, you lose your stored carbohydrates in the form of muscle and liver glycogen. Carbohydrates are hydrophilic, meaning that they like water and hold on to it in the body. For every gram of stored glycogen, we store about 3 grams of water. Basically, my body had a lot of stored glycogen because I went straight from eating a ton of carbohydrates (>500 g/day) to a lower carbohydrate intake. I burned a lot of my glycogen and the water had to come out with it. Most people won’t see weight loss at this fast of a rate, even on this quick weight loss plan. I probably lost about 3-3.5 lbs of fat and 7.9-8.4 lbs of fluid, glycogen, and intestinal content. I suspect minimal muscle loss at this point because:
- My strength has been surprisingly good in the gym for a much lower Carb intake.
- I don’t visibly look like I’ve lost much muscle.
- I had been gaining weight for the previous 2 years so my hormones are primed for muscle retention.
- I have only been dieting for a week so far.
According to my estimations, I have lost the weight of about 1 gallon of water (~8.3 lbs!) from glycogen, fluid, and intestinal contents in just one week!
*This weight changing phenomenon is a large part of the reason many dieters experience a large weight gain after only one or two “cheat” days. They consume more carbohydrates and sodium than usual during the “cheat” and then the body begins to hold on to more water. But I digress.*
I expect my next weight in will be about 193 lbs because I shouldn’t have much more water weight to lose. Stay tuned for my progress and more posts! Some big articles will also be coming out within the next 7-10 days, including the next part of this series and hopefully the next installment in my weight loss steps series – Weight Loss Step 3: Preparation.
Weight Loss Step 1: Motivation (please read this article before beginning)
I have said this before – motivation is the first step to weight loss. If you don’t have it, you won’t be successful for long. It’s something that needs to be addressed before anyone starts to make changes to his or her diet and I am no exception to this rule. My motivation is very high right now – about a 9 out of 10. The biggest demotivators that I addressed in the article I linked to above aren’t an issue for me. I love myself, I know I can lose this weight, and I’ve never failed at it before. However, a demotivator for me is comparing myself to other weight lifters. I don’t get too caught up in it because I don’t have body image issues, but every once in a while it can be discouraging for me to see others that are more successful than me at something that I put time and effort in to. Another thing that can be demotivating is that sometimes I don’t have the full support of others – specifically my parents and other older people. I look healthy, so therefore some people that don’t understand why or how I’m losing the weight are worried that I’m starving myself or being unhealthy. I know what I’m doing though. In reality, I’m at about 19% body fat and would be healthier in the 10-15% body fat range.
I’m also keeping a motivation “journal” as mentioned in the above article and here is what I have in it:
All the things motivating me to lose weight
- I want to be at a healthier body fat percentage.
- I want to look better and leaner – maybe even get my 6 pack to come back.
- I want to lift the same weights on the squat and deadlift that I do now at a lower weight of 180-185 lbs.
- I want my acid-reflux to go away (started once I passed 200 lbs).
- I want my jeans, dress pants, and slim-fit dress shirts to fit me comfortably again.
- I want to wake up not feeling lethargic and “full.”
I’ll be looking at this list every day for the first couple weeks to remind myself why I’m doing this.
Here is who I have told about my plan to lose weight and who I plan to keep in contact with to keep me accountable while I lose weight.
- You and my other blog followers
- Girlfriend, girlfriend’s sister, my brother, a couple other friends.
- Fitocracy (Fitness website, click to sign up so you can follow me and my workouts)
Using Progress to Motivate Me
As I notice progress, I will be blogging about it and writing it down to remind myself of the results I’m getting from following my weight loss plan. I’m also going to reward myself for meeting my weight loss goals – in fact, I made a bet that I could lose weight on dietbetter.com. I joined two “diet bet” games on this website that I could lose 4% of my bodyweight (about 8.3 lbs) in the next 28 days. I bet $60 worth of money and people that win usually make at least 1.5x of what they bet, so losing means losing at least $90 which is enough of a reward for a cheapo like me 🙂
For the scale to motivate me, I’m limiting myself to weekly weigh-ins. In fact, I’m hiding my scale where I won’t see it every day – out of sight, out of mind. Why? If I weigh myself every day, I will get discouraged on days that I don’t lose weight or even gain weight. Water weight fluctuates several pounds day to day so it’s pointless for most people to measure themselves daily anyway. If you think you have this problem too, please read my article Watching the Scale Could Be the Reason You Don’t See that Number Go Down.
Finally, I took before pictures and will take after pictures to motivate me. I won’t be posting the shirtless ones because that’s not exactly the most professional thing to do in my line of work, but I will offer some before and after pictures of the scale and pictures where I have a shirt on.