One month is up, and going “Back to Basics” is paying off. I’m down 8 pounds. Historically I am a “slow looser” (read 0.5 pound/week), so this is MONUMENTAL. Here are my observations:
Food Tracking. Yes, I know it’s tedious, but WOW, well worth the time. I am small framed, 5’2″, and have been trying to stick to about 1200 calories a day of low carb food. That’s mostly meats, eggs and veggies, occasional fruits, occasional sweet potatoes – no bread, no rice, no pasta. On the meats, I do tend towards smaller portions of the higher fat ones, i.e. chicken sausage at breakfast, and beef bacon in my afternoon salad.
Water. When I don’t drink it, a weight gain shows up within a couple of days (1-2 lbs !). Conclusions ? One must drink water to avoid water retention ! Funny how that works.
Exercise. Optimal for me seems to be one hour – I shoot for 4 or 5 days a week. Thirty minutes of weightlifting (heavy by the way), plus thirty minutes of cardio (Typically fencing, elliptical, roller blading). On fencing nights I actually get in 1.5 hours, and per mapmyrun.com, they say that’s 706 calories. I believe them – It’s an explosive/intense workout. Thankfully, for the weightlifting, I have enough space in my basement/home office to have a large bench, elliptical, and a “body works” machine (which is basically the budget version of a total gym). The machine is excellent for assisted pullups, and assisted situps, seated row, pulldowns, strengthening my weak knee, etc. See pic below !
Caffeine. If I drink too much (I am a coffee fiend), combined with not enough water, I actually gain weight. This is contrary to what happens to most folks (I think) – but I suspect most folks do not consume as much coffee as I do.
Upcoming Challenges. We are leaving for an extended camping/houseboating vacation soon, with a boat full of vegetarians. My observations of my veggie friend’s eating habits are that there is typically a TON of high carb food involved. Combined with the lack of refrigeration, I am assuming I will be off my eating plan for 10 or 11 days. The secondary challenge is that our friends all have teens coming on the trip, and they are notorious snack food people. This means lots of granola bars, cereal for breakfast, chips, crackers, etc. When living in a confined area around all that junk food (that I never buy), it will be difficult for me to avoid eating it. Wish me luck peeps !