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The fitness & diet thing

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Oct. 16th, 2008 | 08:35 pm
location: Berlin
music: Dance Around in My Bones, Tom Waits

I have been doing a diet & fitness regime for the last 12 weeks.  It has been working, and it has changed my lifestyle and not always for the best.  There was some traveling, getting married, and even a vacation in those 12 weeks.

I have lost 13.4 KG (29.5lbs) of weight [Currently 95.2KG (210lbs)].  My best guess is I have gained 2kg (4 lbs) of muscle.  I am a little more than half way to my end goal for next year.  Basically I want to get down to being over-weight according to BMI (currently in obese cat-1) and in the teens for bodyfat percentage.

This came about because I was rejected for health insurance here in Germany.  It turned out that the program I applied for was oversubscribed and was being super picky, but it frustrated me.  It made me say, I can change this, and I want to change this.

So people tend to ask what system I use.  I am using a fairly straight up calorie counter methodology.

The most useful tools I have found.

A food scale (something that is normal in European kitchens, since they don't use volumetric measurements in recipes)
And a Calorie tracking website. (I also got a mobile phone software app for while I was traveling)

The last bit that is helpful is to actually have a plan to figure out how many calories you should consume.

One of the enormous benefits I have is that I work from home, so I can make all my own meals easily and I can stagger the damage of calorie deficit more easily than most people.

I miss exploring restaurants, I also miss eating meals with my wife.  Both of these are things that came from major diet changes.  The problem with restaurants is it is too difficult to figure out how much something is.  I can plan to go out to eat, but I  need to be careful.  My current diet is 1,950Kcal per day max and 1600Kcal min.  That is not a lot of range.  If I drop below my energy really sinks and my body goes into starvation mode.  If I go above I don't stay on plan and see progress.  I eat very different food, this is what makes eating with my wife so difficult.  I often have meals that she doesn't like.  I eat way more cabbage than ever before (she hates cabbage).  I also use a lot more spice to make up for otherwise bland food.  To make matters worse she was trying a low-cholesterol diet for a while which is not as easily compatible with a direct fat loss diet.

Of course diet alone is not enough.  If you don't want to lose muscle you need to do something to make it build up as well.  So I have a resistance training program, and now I have aerobic two days a week.

That has been a more satisfying experience, I like seeing the progress.  I cannot say it has made me feel more energetic, but it does make me feel better.  Resistance day is push-ups, sit-ups, dumbbells (elastics when traveling), pull-ups.  Aerobic is jump-rope and squats.  Everything done at high-intensity (high heart rates).

I am using the highly defective social features of my calorie counter to keep my diet obsession blog. (no rss available).  And of course I have spreadsheet that keep track of even more numbers and models.

One of the things I find interesting is that after I have come up with that works for me is very similar to "the zone" diet (especially after I calculated my workout protein requirments), and my work-out fits reasonably into the ideology of crossfit.  Though neither of these were inspirations, I found them when investigating where I want to go next with my workout life.

It takes up a lot of mind space and time.  At some point I need to obsess about it less, but at the moment that is what help keeps me motivated and on track.

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Comments {5}

Robin * Slomkowski

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from: rslomkow
date: Oct. 16th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
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My goal is more to not lose muscle. I figure if I can stay muscle neutral and lose 50lbs of fat I will pretty good at the end!

If you look at some of the numbers it gets tricky.

Currently I do around 3,500 calories worth of fitness-exercise per week. This puts me in the moderately athletic category and doing resistance training. This means at roughly 1.5g-protien-per-KG-day means I need at least 142g or more of protein (or 571Kcal) or 30% of my calories right there (out of 1950 diet).

Now you add in a couple other rules like no more than 50% of your total calories should come from fat (This whole system is working on the assumption I am losing 2lbs per week, so I am burning at least 1000Kcal of fat per aka 111g) leaves me with 475Kcal or 53g of fat left for the day to work with. Then I do need some carbohydrates to keep energy levels, and brain activity up and you begin to see how tight these numbers run into each other.

It is possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. I think the simplest way to put it is.

1) Limited High intensity exercise
2) High protein (which means drink lots of water)
3) Low Glycemic-Load Carbs

or

Work-out hard, fast and short (under 1hr)
eat lean meat, and drink lots of water
stay away from the sugars and white-grains

But yeah it is tricky to do, when you have an amount of slop in your system which is one low-calorie meal or 1 work out. And if you break that you break the balance.

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