All Beginnings are Difficult.
How long have you struggled with weight issues? I know myself how ridiculous it seems, how frustrating it is.
The other day I saw some videos of lions and tigers doing their thing in the jungle, eating their food, not worrying too much about points, calories, grams of carbohydrates.
But having said that, I am willing to accept that we humans might be better off with a different approach.
|% Body Fat||24.1 on 8/27/2014|
|Weight||201.4lbs on 8/27|
|BMI – Body Mass Index||26.1 on 8/27/2014|
|Pounds of Fat||49 on 8/27/2014|
|% Water||55.2 on 8/27/2014|
One thing I know about the jungle is that lions and gazelles can graze in the same field, even next to each other when the lions are not hungry. But as soon as they are, their instinct takes over and the gazelles or any other animals in the vicinity run for their lives. Lions only kill when they are hungry. I have thought about how different that is from us, or at least those of us who were raised in America. We eat when we are hungry and even when we are not. Eating is for socializing, celebrating, entertainment, stress reliever and not once did I mention to fuel our bodies.
I believe that we can learn alot from the natural world around us. We can learn how to be magnanimous from the sun, how to be spiritual from the wind and I think that we can also learn how to be more instinctual, nutritionally, from the animal kingdom. Now, I am not suggesting that you lurk around in some high grass waiting to pounce on a wild hog for dinner. I am saying that we can learn from the lion to focus on eating food for fuel, for strength, to improve our mood, rather than focusing on eating food for entertainment or recreation.
What is the practical difference?
Pretty significant in fact. When we eat purely for recreation or stress relief, we know the foods that we will be seeking out, those that give us a quick hit, colorful, in cleverly marketed packaging and highly processed, like ice cream, candy, fudge, muffins, pretzels, chips, you get the picture.
However, if we become aware of our body as a highly functioning machine, that we want to nourish to have the optimum nutrition possible, we will not be shopping as much on the inner aisles in grocery stores. We will keep to the outside where we can usually find the vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grain products, greek yogurt, skim milk, meats, fish and eggs that we know have a much greater likelihood of fueling our bodies than M&Ms.
Every food item that we eat is either going to feed our ability to transform our bodies into the lithe and lean people we are meant to be, or they will contribute to additional unwanted pounds and blubber in all the places that we do not want to see any. In addition, I believe that the improved nutrition will go a long way to lifting our moods when we need it and this will obviate the need for medications. Better nutrition, our minds should be feeling better too. We have it good in the United States, we have access to alot of potential nutrition, but at the same time, we also have access to more processed food than every existed in history, so we all have our favorite treat temptations.
With all of the above in mind, I have decided to do an experiment, with myself as the guinea pig, to try to be as conscious as possible as to what I am taking in every day. My goal is to find a bunch of meals that are simple for me to make and will neither underfeed or overfeed my body. The reason I say underfeed is that having grown up in New York, the style of eating that I was most accustomed to was a bagel and juice in the morning, or a muffin and orange juice, pizza in the afternoon, lasagna at night or even more frequently chicken pot pie. During the daytime, I rarely had much to eat, which I think might be par for the course for many other people as well, eat little in the day, and then when we get home at night, that is when we pack it in.
This style of light in the day and heavy at night makes little sense to me. Yet, I do it and have done it. But I am ready for a change. Instead of barely eating in the day and then going on a splurge in the evening, I want to make sure that I have a good amount of food in the day time and a reasonable dinner at night, but the night time should be less food than the day time. I believe that if we have enough nutrition in the day, we are not going to feel as hungry in the evening time. We will not be reaching for the oreos at 11pm if our bodies feel happy and satisfied. When the lions are hungry, even the zebras or any other animals around them can sense it. When we are hungry for real nutrition, I believe that we feel it and once satisfied, we will be happy campers.
So, this is the plan, figure out the meals that I like, since I am starting at 200lbs, I am going to shoot for 1 gram of carb per pound, 1.2 grams of protein per pound and .2 grams of fat per pound as well as 30+ grams of fiber per day. As you can see above, I am starting at 24% body fat and I want to see how long it will take for me to get down to 15 body fat. I believe that it is possible and I know that if I am going to have any chance of attaining this goal of 15 body fat, I will have to become much more conscious of what I am eating on a daily basis.
Here goes! I am tracking the foods, their calories, carbs, protein, fiber and fat using myfitnesspal.com, nice tool.
|Chobani Greek Yogurt – Simply 100 Strawberry, 1 cup (5.3 oz)||100||15||0||12||5||5|
|Driscoll – Fresh Blueberries, 1 container (124.3 gs ea.)||71||12||0||1||0||2|
Besides the nutrition part of this program, I will continue to include lifting weights to lift my mood and overall quality of life.
Today I did 3 sets of 5 reps using 105lbs for squats as well as one set of 4 reps.
5 sets of 5 reps of bench press using 135lbs.
4 sets of 5 reps of barbell rows using 95lbs. I could have gone for another set but had already reached an hour in the gym, that is enough!
Now, let me say that at this point in the day, I have already had a good deal more food than I usually would, and I think that is going to be a plus. How is it possible that only a select few can be 15 body fat? I am pretty sure that they must be quite conscious as well of what foods they are eating. For the rest of the day I am planning on one Isa Lean Pro meal replacement shake and then dinner where I plan to make something simple, sauteed rice with onion, spinach, mushroom and a couple of veggie burgers, flavored with light balsamic vinegar and parmesan.
The goal I am shooting for is 200 grams of carbs, 240 grams of protein and 40 grams of fat and a total calories of 2,120.
I also plan to go back to the gym for 20 to 30 minutes of elliptical, to do 2 miles.
The end of the day looked like this:
|Morningstar Farms – Garden Veggie Patties (100 Cal), 2 pattie||220||18||5||20||0||8|
|Carolina – Brown Rice Uncooked, 1/4 cup||150||32||1||3||0||1|
|Cheese – Parmesan, shredded, 1 tbsp||21||0||1||2||4||0|
|Amish Market – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon||120||0||14||0||0||0|
|Raw Onion – Slice 1/8″ Thick, 2 SLICE 1/8″ THICK||12||0||0||0||0||0|
|Spinach – Raw, 1 cup||7||1||0||1||0||1|
|Your Daily Goal||2,120||212||35||239||300||30|
Here is what is interesting. I only had a total of 1552 calories, because by evening time, I was no longer hungry. That is a good sign and supports what we were saying yesterday, that if we have sufficient nutrition during the day, most likely our bodies will be satisfied and not push us into cravings in the evening.