Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tis the season, for weight loss discussions

Weight loss requires you to burn more than you eat. But you need to eat enough that your body doesn’t go into starvation mode and try to hold onto every calorie you put into it. You figure that out by finding your BMR. Set it to sedentary to see what your body needs are, then subtract the extra exercise calorie burn on your own, on the days you exercise.

I think a 1000 calorie deficit between diet AND exercise, is really as much as you should try as it gives you 2 pounds per week. But more importantly, if you go beyond that, I find you are very likely to fail because of a tendency for binge day(s), as it is truly too much. Actually 1000 is probably too much and why so many plans suggest 500 as it is more easily maintained.

As to how much of Protein, Fat and Carbs...

Protein: You definitely need to make sure you are getting your daily requirement of protein, which nobody can say exactly, so here is how to figure your range. 1.2-1.7g per kg of bodyweight. If you are getting at least that much, you aren’t hurting yourself.

Carbs: This is what is going to give you enough energy to do... Well about anything. The more simple the carb in terms of Glycemic Index, the faster it’s going to give you it’s energy. So it’s important to only eat the super simple ones right before you are going into a workout, or as you are working out.
(I’m a believer of Atkins/low carb ONLY if you aren’t working out at all. If you are trying to be athletic, low carb is only going to give you weak workouts)
I’m a fan of volumetric carbs, to fill the stomach away from workouts. Low glycemic carbs. Raw veggies for example.

Fat: Personaly, fat chills out my brain. If I’m on a diet and I’m at work and I suddenly feel that my brain is really buggin’. Just BEGGING me to eat something, I find that if I have a few almonds, cashews, spoonful of peanut butter... that is enough protein and fat to turn that signal off. An apple or some strawberries or other lower calorie fruit can sometimes work as well, but for me it lasts for a shorter window of time. So depending on how far I am from my next meal, I will choose accordingly between the fats or the lower calorie fruits.

As for how much fat versus how much Carbs per day since I didn’t address that. The more you are working out, the more carbs you will need. As long as your are burning them I don’t think it’s a big deal. If you are counting calories and you know you are in a calorie deficit, they are being burned. No worries then.
Same with Fat right?... Well yes but the trouble with fat is the calorie density. You don’t get to eat as much fat in terms of volume. So if you are someone that doesn’t like to have an empty stomach. Having a higher fat calories rather than carb calories is going to be an issue.
I try to find the least amount of fat I can eat without sending my brain into fits of feeling starved.

Speaking of which, I feel there are 3 ways to feel hungry.

Empty stomach: This is where it’s growling and vocally telling you the fire will be going out soon. Easy to recognize

Brain: The brain needs energy to work. I feel if your blood chemistry is missing something, your brain starts to tell you to go and eat something. Sadly for me, it doesn’t specify what. Only by tracking my foods can I look to see my protein/fat/carb balance to see if I’m severely off track in any single one of these things. It’s important to know, because if you are off in carbs, because of a workout, and you eat some nuts... Guess what, your brain is going to tell you to keep eating because you didn’t provide it the carbs that it wanted. Likewise if you are low in fat or protein and you snack on something that  isn’t providing the proper nutrient.

Muscles depleted: You are in a calorie deficit, there is only so much you can expect from yourself if you don’t fuel properly before your activity. I do well if it’s an actual workout, but if I get into a project that is physical and I didn’t fuel for it because it wasn’t a planned "workout". I might find myself feeling tired, and feeling tired definitely makes you want to eat.

Which brings me to another point. You need to get enough sleep. As I just said above, if you are tired, you are going to search for energy to get you through your day. If you are feeling tired, figure out if it’s because of lack of sleep, or lack of food. If it’s lack of food, you should probably decrease your deficit a bit, because it’s not going to be sustainable. It’s likely you are going to cave in, in a bad way in an attempt to get calories to keep you going.

Lastly in terms of being athletic and improving, you need to fuel properly. Which is why we lose the weight now rather than during race season. This is more for when you are getting into longer workouts but I’ll include it now anyhow.

Use this as a guide for grams of carbs/hour during exercise:
low end
Body weight in lbs/2.2)x.7

high end
Body weight in lbs/2.2)x1

Then of course you’ve got to have your recovery drink/snack. I’m not going to say what is best here. I’ll just say that when I started take it seriously, I noticed a difference in terms of being able to get to my next workout feeling better. I used a powdered drink mix. Here is a link that will explain what you should consider, seeing how not all workouts are equal.

A couple of good links.

Keep in mind that if you lose a bunch of weight, you may need to put new numbers into the equations as you go.

Body type/ metabolisms are different from person to person. I'm someone that has a metabolism that seems to store fat very efficiently. To be thin requires a ton of effort. So some of my descriptions above may not make any sense at all to someone that has a very difficult time gaining weight.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Let's see what happens.

A number of weeks ago, we found out that Hines Ward is teamed up with Got Chocolate Milk and is racing the Ironman Championship in Kona HI next fall. We are from Western Pennsylvania originally, so anything Steelers related is going to catch our eye. Putting Triathlon into the mix makes it even more enticing.

To create our video submission, we gathered bunches of the race photos we've taken. Then we asked Ruth to help us out. That's when we got into full production mode.
We borrowed a bunch of great gear from friends. Ruth created a list of shots she wanted to have available and we spent a few very long days working on getting all the footage.
We hadn't used the equipment before so we had a bit of a learning curve. The first shoot of the day didn't turn out as we had hoped. Fortunately, we had time to learn from our mistakes and from that point on, things moved along quickly.
We were very busy, but it was a fun weekend. One of those "not your average weekend" situations, that create memories we won't soon forget.

Well here is the result. Genine's submission to Got Chocolate Milk? 
Now we cross our fingers and wait.
(If you have a good internet connection, click the cog and increase the video quality up to HD!!)

Here's a link to find many of the other videos that have been submitted.
This link will likely only be useful for a week or two because of how I used the filters.