Friday, April 8, 2011

My fat loss plan

I have being battling my weight most of my adult life now. When I was growing up I was always skinny kid. I started getting fat after college. I am 36 years old and it is only getting harder. It is a typical story; this is a fight that started when I was out of college working my first professional job. As the first few years went by my diet got worse and my exercise effort trailed off. Before working, I was actually in very good shape. In college I help organize a weight lifting club and maintain our small weight room. We would hold monthly presentations on different workouts and diet information. I have a huge library of diet and exercise books. Most of them I read but never implemented, at least long term. (The term analysis paralysis comes to mind)

You can look at the reference list of books I am taking from to see an example. These are books that I have taken some bit of knowledge from. I am not following any single book in its entirety. They all have parts that I like and don’t like. Some of them are not diet or exercise books and merely provide some useful insight.

Now I am ready and determined to get this right. My weight on my 6’ frame has peaked at 276 lbs. I have been following this morphed diet well for the 10 days. I am down 12 pounds. As I mentioned earlier, my goal for Sunday is 262, 2 pounds and 3 days to go.

Since a whole part of this is a learning experience and I am including facets from multiple sources, I figure I better get the details documented.

Problem statement: Obesity is a systematic problem (watchman’s rattle- this is an obvious point, but it needs to be repeated) and it is part of our nature and culture that is exacerbating the problem.

Principle Solution: The human body will adept to its environment and both diet and exercise are integral to healthly function. The goal is not simply weight loss, but a healthly lifestyle includes exercise, both cardio and resistance exercise, and a healthy whole food diet ( see references below).

Supplements: I am currently taking a high quality multivitamin and omega fat once a day in the morning with breakfast.

Diet principles:

1) no sugar

2) easy to prepare, repeatable meals

3) Lots of greens

4) High quality lean protein (mostly grilled chicken)

5) Plan your meals and have food ready

6) Avoid Dairy, Alcohol, Diet Soda

7) Cheat meal once per week where you eat what ever you want. (It makes following the meal plan easier the rest of the week- and better than a whole day)

8) Drink plenty of water- I shoot for four liters a day—usually don’t drink quite that much. But that is my goal.

I have seen this rule: W = M/2 + 2a + 5b where M is your weight in lbs, a is ounces of soda, diet soda, tea, alcohol and b are ounces of coffee which gives you ounces per day. I think this is way too much and you certainly should waste that much effort. Actually, the new evolution diet had the point it should be that much effort to drink adequate water- especially if it reduces your exercise ability. Avoid soda and beer and drink water.



Exercise: At the beginning I am doing whatever I can. I’ve gotten addicted to barefoot running so my exercise focus has been on running whenever I can. There is a lot of information out there that supports short variable workouts versus sustained repetitive training, but for right now I try to get out 3 miles four or more times a week.

Final principles: Set goals, short term, mid term and long term.

Leverage social support by doing something like blogging about them. Surround yourself with other people with similar goals and healthy habits. Focus not on weight, but fat loss and muscle and performance. Track your progress with measurable quantities (weight, percent body fat, 1-mile time, heart rate, etc.)

I am also using an app for my phone (endomondo.com) that using GPS to track my running performance in concert with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor.



Cold helps with weight loss. Right now in NY it is sufficient to be outside without a shirt. Not sure how I will continue with this as the weather gets warming.



References:

The Spark (The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life

Why we get fat (Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It)

The 4 hour body (The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman)

The new evolution diet (The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging)

In defense of food(In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto)

The omnivores’ dilemma (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals_

The Paleo solution (The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet)

Born to run(Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage))
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