Hello bloggies, I am still here – don’t worry! It has been a few weeks since I updated, but I have NOT fallen off the wagon… again. I have been busy now that I am back to work at my 9-5, and I have been taking strides with my own personal project/business Safe At Home Pet Sitting. Everyone who knows me pretty much knows that I pet sit in addition to working full time at a really good clinic, Aquadale Veterinary Clinic. I started pet sitting about 6 months after I started at Aquadale, which means I have been doing both for over 11 years now. (When I commit, I COMMIT)
Recently I have been trying to turn Safe At Home into something that is less “on-the-side” and more full-time. I would love my Safe At Home income to equal or surpass my 9-5 income and still be able to do both. That is my goal anyway, so I have been busy designing the new website for Safe At Home to try and make a place for it on the web and potentially draw in some web-business. I love the design part of website design, the coding part?
Not so much.
I do use Dreamweaver, which helps considerably. But while I used to be able to code webpages strictly in HTML (back when I was 13 years old and my brain still absorbed info like a sponge), now with CSS and all the new markup crap, I just don’t have the time/ability/will/insert random excuse to learn it. I am pretty happy with the results though, which you can see here. Part of those results consisted of a marathon session that spanned over 12 hours overnight. Yes, I pulled an all-nighter – it’s amazing the links even work let alone roll-over buttons.
Being busy as I was with all that extraneous stuff, I have managed to continue trying to eat right and work out. I did have a cheat weekend last weekend that may have involved some Mac and Cheese from Panera of all places. As of today I am still at 209, but I was up a little bit from exercise, namely one big bad mothereffin’ DVD that I will talk about in a moment. When I eat crap over the weekend, then exercise hard on Monday I will have a temporary gain. I know this. I have accepted it. So in all reality I was up to about 211-213, and now have dropped those extra lbs of water weight and whatnot.
Speaking of DVD’s, I mentioned a certain Xmas gift a few posts back.. Yes. Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Which is what I did on Monday. I was going to wait until I lost more weight and got more in shape with the easy stuff, yanno like the treadmill, arc trainer etc.. well I got a crazy hair up my ass to just try the DVD. I am happy to say I got through all 30 mins of Level 1, although some major modifications of the moves did take place. Namely the cardio since it was 11pm and I couldn’t be stomping and jumping around like an elephant when people were trying to sleep above me. I took a couple breaks, but I finished. Despite not being able to do it right, and straight through – I am proud of myself for finishing it.
This post is going to be a little heavy on the information today. I figured I would lay out my personal plan in case it may help someone else. Of course if you are not me, this exact plan most likely is going to do jack shit for you. I am laying out my plan so you can see what I did and apply it to yourself. I will include the links I used so you can use the same calculators if you so wish. The guidelines I am following are just that, guidelines. In addition to this eating plan I try to exercise 3 times a week, and I drink as much water as I can, shooting for 8 glasses per day.
Tiffy’s Personal Weight-Loss Plan
This is the plan that I have put together through research, experience and magic. (ok, just kidding on the magic bit.. geez) It has 4 parts that equal the whole plan. I have laid out the guidelines below, and I go through them in detail further down throughout the post. I must warn you and protect myself here though. So read up! The following plan is what I am doing to lose weight. It may not work for you. Please talk to your doctor before implementing this or any other weight loss plan.
Ok, now that’s out of the way lets check out the guidelines.
- I will try to eat roughly 1750 calories per day, but will stay above my BMR of 1293 calories and below my TDEE of 2110 calories.
- I will exercise 3 times per week in order to burn extra calories, and because my daily calorie goal already factors in exercise, I will not eat any exercise calories back that I earn.
- On weeks that my exercise activity level changes significantly for the majority of the week I will adjust my daily calorie goal accordingly.
- As my body weight goes down, I will recalculate my daily calorie goal.
- I will eat 40% Protein, 30% Carbs and 30% Fat in my diet.
- I will limit my total carbs to no more than around 130 total grams per day.
- I will choose complex carbs over simple carbs.
- I will limit starches such as white bread, white potatoes and white rice and choose multigrain bread, sweet potatoes and brown rice whenever possible.
- I will try to eat carbs earlier in the day, and limit dinner to only protein and unlimited veggies.
- I will fill my diet with naturally occurring Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Probiotics and Vitamins. (ie: tuna fish, salmon, flaxseed, yogurt, sour kraut, and fruits and vegetables)
- I will supplement my diet with a flaxseed oil capsule, a probiotic tablet and a vitamin chew.
- I will try not to eat the same amount of calories consistently, and instead vary them slightly day to day.
- I will try not to eat the same types of food, and instead vary them slightly day to day.
Pretty easy stuff all in all though, don’t worry. Let’s dig right in.
In this section I will show you how to find out how many calories you’re supposed to be eating in a day any way, and some other fun fact like how much of your body is made up of fat! 😀
All calculations were done using the tools at http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/.
First, some glossary terms in case you are unfamiliar with what these mean (like I was).
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – This is the amount of calories your body requires at rest, for simply existing. If you go below this number, you will begin to starve!
Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) – This is the amount of calories your body typically burns per day in your average daily life. (ie: work, cooking, cleaning, watching tv etc) If you eat this number of calories, and your activity stays the same, you will maintain your current weight.
Lean Muscle Mass – The weight of all your lean muscle. This one’s pretty self explanatory.
Body Fat % – This is the % of your body that is composed of fat. Again, pretty easy to figure out.
So, what the hell do you do with all these acronyms? It’s pretty easy actually. You will need a measuring tape, but a piece of string and a tape measure will do the trick in a pinch! I will list my numbers in (pink parenthesis) so you can see what I figured.
1. Go here: Military Body Fat Calculator
2. Input your stats and measurements and click Submit.The calculator will tell you what you Body Fat % is, what your Lean Muscle Mass weighs and what your Body Fat weighs. Scary? I know.
3. Write down your Body Fat %. (57.6%)
4. Go here: Calories and Metabolic Basal Rate
5. Input all stats and measurements, including the Body Fat % you just found out from the last calculator, and click Submit.
6a. (Easy Way): Ignore everything and scroll down to the box that lists different activity levels.
6b. (Semi-Confusing Way): You can take a peek at your different BMR numbers. The Harris-Benedict Formula is a decent formula that has been around since the early 1900’s. But, it does not take lean muscle mass into account. The Katch-McArdle formula utilizes the Body Fat % you inputted for a bit of a different value. I personally go with this number, because it utilizes more data in the calculation, which I feel is better. (1293)
7. Write down the activity levels and the corresponding calories.
|Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job)||1535|
|Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)||1759|
|Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)||1982|
|Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)||2206|
|Extremely Active (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)||2430|
These calorie counts are the number of calories you are to consume in a day, period. Base it on your most current activity level and voila. That’s how much you’re supposed to eat in a day. With this set up you don’t need to eat back exercise calories, as they are factored in for you and average out over the course of a week. Why write down the whole table? Because if you usually workout 3 days per week, but you know you will have a week where you won’t workout at all, or are bumping it up to 5 times per week, then refer back to your table to see how much you should be eating that week. As you lose weight, this calculation will need to be repeated. Your body fat changes as your weight goes down, and your metabolism may become more efficient if you are building muscle and exercising regularly. I plan on retesting my BMR for every 10lbs I lose. I figure this will give me a nice gradual decline, without the risk of eating too much and stalling my weight loss.
Extra Credit: Finding out your TDEE
To find out what your body burns day to day look at the table and find the suggested calories for your activity level. Now add 20%. That is roughly how many calories you can eat to maintain your weight since your daily activities burn up what you eat and there is no surplus or deficit.
My TDEE = 2110.
Important: Keep in mind that this is just a guideline! It may take some experimentation for a few weeks to see what your ideal numbers are. For example, let’s say I am lightly active in that I exercise 2-3 times per week, based on the table I need to eat 1759 calories to create a deficit and lose weight. I know I am eating above my BMR of 1293 and not starving my body, and I am eating less than 2110 so I am creating a deficit. Let’s say I do this for a couple of weeks and I am not losing weight, or losing it too slowly. You can adjust your calories up or down by 100 calories per week until you find the right number. Just don’t go below your BMR, or above your TDEE. There are so many factors that go into your body burning fat that one magic number from an online calculator isn’t always going to work for everyone! If I work out 3 times a week but I work out like a sissy and barely burn any calories, I might have to adjust that 1759 calories down a little bit. If I work out 3 times per week but I lift heavy weights and work out generally like a bad ass, I might need to bump up my calories. Listen to your body too! If you work out like crazy and you are starving as a result… EAT. Don’t eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but having a few hundred extra calories of protein and veggies is not going to make you gain 100 lbs!
Figure it out now? Hooray and Congrats! For me it boils down to eating roughly 1750 calories per day, and trying to exercise 3 times per week. This is just the basics, my friend. Now we get into the fun stuff, such as macronutrients, supplements, and variants! Woohoo! 😀
Hmm, what the hell is a macronutrient?
“A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism’s metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy.”
You already know what they are, you just might not know they are macronutrients. Protein, fat and carbohydrates are macronutrients. They fuel your body and help rebuild muscle. If you eat them in the right balance, your body will function well, muscles will repair themselves quickly after trauma (exercise, duh), and you can maintain a healthy weight. Eat them out of balance, and you get fat, your muscles don’t recuperate well, you have little energy, and well.. you get fat.
“What is a healthy balance then genius?”
Ehm, well… gee.. uhh.. that depends on YOU. Every diet book, doctor, fitness expert and so on has their own schtick.
“Eat Carbs and go Low Fat!”
“Eat all Protein and NO CARBS – THEY’RE THE DEBIL!!”
“Eat moderate amounts of both!”
For me, the key word in this whole section is balance. I know for me personally, because I have lived a life of sugar-fueled gluttony, that my body has most likely already become insulin resistant. I also know this because my doctor told me, I just couldn’t resist using the words “sugar-fueled gluttony”, haha! So I really do lose well when I limit my simple carbohydrates. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet works well for me.
I. Just. Cant. Do it.
What I can do, however, is try to create more balance. So I can eat complex carbohydrates instead of simple ones. I can choose to limit my carbs rather than restrict them severely. I choose to go down a path that is doable and sustainable for me. You might choose another path. I am not saying my path is right for everyone, although processed, sugary food is good for no one!
So my basic guidelines for this part of my diet plans are as such:
- Limit total carbs to no more than around 130 total grams per day.
- Choose complex carbs over simple carbs.
- Limit starches such as white bread, white potatoes and white rice and choose multigrain bread, sweet potatoes and brown rice whenever possible.
- Try to eat carbs earlier in the day, and limit dinner to only protein and unlimited veggies.
Now, those don’t seem too hard or ridiculous to me. I am not saying I can’t have white potatoes, I happen to love roasted potatoes. I just shouldn’t have them for dinner 5 nights a week. Limit being the key word here. This is nothing new, I know when I eat like this (Remember the 17 Day Diet post?) I lose weigh easily, well maybe not easily, but steadily. My problem is that the 17 Day Diet is a bit too restrictive. I need to be able to enjoy whole grains (evil as they may be for you a’la gluten) and sometimes dammit I just need a fuckin’ potato, ok?? Basically this plan I am implementing is the 2nd phase of the 17 Day Diet, with some modifications and a bit of calorie counting. Again, it may not work for everyone, some people might not be so anal about the counting and the macronutrients and such, and just want to be told what to eat. That’s fine, but I am a nerd.
So what are my macronutrients?
It’s not extreme. It’s a slightly protein-heavy diet, while still getting a good amount of fat and carbs – of which I will choose to eat the complex, healthy variety.This balance can be fudged a bit too from day to day to add variance, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
No, I’m not talking Body by Vi, or Healthe Trim, or any variety of shake, pill or speed labeled as a “fat burner”. The supplements I’m talking about are again, nothing new.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Probiotics. They make a difference, people!
I will try to eat or supplement both Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Probiotics. So either I will be eating a lot of fish (blech!), or the more tolerable milled flaxseed or I will be taking a big ass horse pill of flaxseed oil on the days I don’t get enough in naturally through diet.
As for probiotics, yogurt works well for me and I happen to like the greek variety so I will try to get a good amount worked into my daily diet as often as possible but I will also be taking it in pill form. I happen to adore the little Acidophilus Pearls by Enzymatic Therapy because they are teeny tiny and very easy for this pill-phobic to swallow.
I already went over the benefits of Omega Fatty Acids and Probiotics in a previous post, so I won’t bore you with repeating it here, go check it out and learn something!
Vitamins get an honerable mention here as well, I notoriously do not eat enough veggies.. so I will be supplementing my vitamins in the form of gummy vitamins. Yes, I am a child.. I know. Again – I loathe taking pills of any form or shape, ‘specially the big huge ones liiike… vitamins. So yes, I will eat my One A Day VitaCraves Sour Gummies and love them!
The last supplement I will talk about is a protein supplement. My diet I am trying to adhere to is slightly protein-heavy. While I would prefer to eat all that protein in the form of chicken, turkey or beef (yum!), I will be the first to admit I am a lazy sonuvabitch and sometimes I don’t have chicken cooked up to eat 6 billion times per day. I am shooting for 175 or more grams of protein per day, and sometimes a girl can use some help. My help is in the form of a chocolate protein drink. I can use it in place of a meal if I am really in a bind, or it can be added to recipes such as the No Bake Breakfast Cookie to boost the protein in the foods you are eating.
Wow, this has taken a long time to type up.. someone better get some use outta this by god or I’ll….
Anyway, homestretch time.. which brings us to..
This is a pretty easy section to talk about. Basically by variance I mean shaking up your diet and not getting into a rut of eating the exact same amount of calories per day, or the exact same foods for time eternal. I want to change up my calories day to day so my body does not have time to adjust to the amount I am eating. I want to change the types of foods and macronutrient composition of the foods I eat so my body does not have time to adjust to the types of food I am eating.
Seeing a pattern here?
Our bodies are the great adapters. They will adapt to whatever environment and variants you give them after a long enough time period. Our bodies want to be at a balanced state at all times. By varying the environment (meaning the food, type and amount, yo) of your body, it doesn’t have time to adjust which results in less plateauing. Easy as that. Variance does not only happen in the food, however, exercise should be varied too. Our muscles are pretty damn good adapters as well.
How will I vary my food?
I will cycle through high calorie, medium calorie and low calorie days. It might start out like such:
Monday: high calorie
Tuesday: low calorie
Wednesday: medium calorie
Thursday: high calorie
Friday: low calorie
…and so on. But real life happens. What happens if your family goes out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse on a low calorie day? Egads, that’d be a tragedy wouldn’t it?? So it has to be flexible, which if you may have noticed is the recurring theme of this diet plan. It might go something more like high cal, high cal, medium cal, low cal, low cal, medium cal, and so on. The important this is the variance itself.
I will also vary the types of food I eat. I will do this by switching up my macronutrients. I may have a high protein day, followed by a day where I allow only complex carbs in moderation, followed by a day where I allow a simple carb treat, then go back to a few days of higher protein, etc.
If anything your life will be less boring.
So there it all is. All my diet knowledge in a nutshell.. or a blog post – whatever. I am putting this diet plan to work right now. (Well, since last Monday) I am working into everything slowly, I didn’t implement every last thing right away. In fact I still haven’t brought myself to swallowing big horse pills of flaxseed oil yet, but that’s because mine is expired sadly and I haven’t even bought any yet, lol. I started with the basics though.
Count your calories. Know what you are putting into your body.
I have lost 1.6 lbs since starting to count my calories 5 days ago. Not bad.
I have vaguely tried to limit simple carbs, but I am in the process of easing into that next. One thing at a time. One day at a time.
Once I have my carb situation under control I will work on supplements. Then I will pay closer attention to varying my diet. I pretty much do this naturally though, some days I’m just hungrier, and some days I am not as hungry – this step is easy!
Speaking of hungry though, it’s way past my lunchtime and there is some Crock Pot Taco Chicken Chili waiting for me in the fridge.. btw it’s 200 Calories and 33 Carbs with 17 grams of Protein, and it’s damn delicious – just sayin’.
Check back soon for a post about my newest obsession, kale chips! Mmmm.. kale chips.