An Instagram account I follow (@syattfitness) mentioned in a post not too long ago that “lifting can help burn more calories long-term”, which peaked my interest.
Using my stats, if you were to change your body composition by 8%, your body would potentially burn almost an extra 200 calories a day, without you doing anything extra! Who wouldn’t like burning an extra 200 calories by “just living”. 💾
With that being said, to get to 8% less body fat, there’s a good chance you’re also exerting more energy to lose body fat and keep the muscle, which means you’re also burning extra calories there as well.
Going out to eat can really be a hit to trying to Live Lean. But, there is a really easy way to reduce calories quickly… Split it. Julie and I have it almost down to second nature when going out to eat that we look at the menu and look for something we can split. Many times we don’t finish half of our half… Ok, ok, I almost always finish my half… But she doesn’t 😂
(American 🇺🇸) restaurant portions are entirely too large these days. Half a serving is likely a “splurge” for me as it is. There’s no way I could, or need to, eat the full portion most restaurants serve these days.
I’ve been doing this so long now that I’ve even talked friends into splitting menu items when Julie isn’t with me. No, I’m not pushy about it… But a quick offer usually results in a good response. If not, I’ll order a full menu item and simply portion out half when it hits the table and take the remainder home.
(Some) restaurants are beginning to offer smaller servings of their menu items. But, those are still far and few between. Plus, you don’t save much $$. So, if you can share with someone, there’s the cost saving aspect as well
If you’re on a fat loss journey, please know that can, at times, be different than a weight loss journey.
A body weight scale can be a dirty dirty liar. There can be many reasons your weight fluctuates while your body fat is going the opposite way.
– carbs: our bodies need water to break down carbs. Eat more carbs, retain water (weight). Eat fewer carbs, drop water (weight). You see those “lose 7 pounds in 7 days” signs? Yeah, stop eating carbs and sugar and you’ll drop (water) weight very quickly… But then you’ll level out and need to focus on actual fat loss.
– muscle: have you been exercising to lose fat? Awesome! Keep in mind, our bodies need water (weight) to repair and build muscle. And, you’re (new) muscles will add weight if their own. Bonus, your new muscles will burn calories for you!
– food: have you gone potty today? Did you weigh after eating/drinking? A bottle of water weighs (about) a pound. So, you can easily see how even just weighing before you use the rest room, or after just drinking water can make a difference.
There are more factors outside of fat loss/gain which can also effect the scale.
The scale (can be) a good way to monitor your overall weight of course. But, keep an eye on how your clothes fit, how you feel, and how you look in the mirror. Those can be true indicators of fat loss.
A few weekends ago I went on a small corn dog kick. They were in the freezer, they were quick and how much “damage” could 2 corn dogs do?
I don’t want to say 460 is “high”, if you only have 2 dogs as your meal, that’s not terrible. But, it was a slightly higher number than I like for 2 little dogs. So, I wondered if there were any lower cal alternatives out there.
Then I remembered back to a sausage patty comparison I did a few weeks ago with Morning Star and decided to see if they have corn dogs… And they do! Well, I picked a box up and have to say, they’re pretty good! Throw a little mustard/ketchup on there and you’d be hard pressed to tell a difference.
So, you’re tracking everything you consume, but you’re still not losing. There are 2 reasons this can happen.
First, and quickest, fix – you’ve lost weight to a point where what used to be a deficit is now your maintenance level. It does kind of suck, but the truth is, as we lose weight our bodies need fewer calories to operate. As a result, we have to go to an even lower deficit. Over the course of losing 100 lbs, my deficit went from 2200 calories a day to about 1600 calories a day. But hey, that means we’re healthier 👍🔥 – and, there’s a way we can bring our caloric needs back up, but in a good way… I’ll post about that in the near future.
Second, and a little harder to sometimes figure out – hidden calories. Yep, you logged what your favorite restaurant says is the calories for your favorite meal. Awesome! But guess what, the old cook quit and the new cook has been sneaking a little extra cheese and dressing on your salad and a little extra butter on your burger bun. Also, that glass of wine you have with dinner… Is a little larger than what you think it is. Those healthy eggs you have for breakfast, don’t forget the oil/butter you cook them in. Hey, you went for a run today, you freaking rock! Your app said you burned 400 calories… That’s perfect because your favorite ice cream is… 400 calories! Except, that means 1) all the exercise you just did is (at very least) pointless now because you ate it all back in 1 snack/meal. And 2) there is a good chance your exercise app is overestimating your burn. Unless you’re training for a marathon, I would never suggest eating back any more than 1/2 what you burned… IF you eat any back at all.
Basically, if you’re at a plateau, you may need to reduce your intake goal, or check for hidden calories throughout your day.
On Monday, September 12, 2016, I weighed-in at 297 lbs and was excited to start a weight loss journey (for the millionth time of course). I really didn’t expect this time to be much different than my past results. backstory – skip to next paragraph if you like – leading up to a trip we took to Disney last year, I was (1) having internal imbalances (aka, I was a freaking yeast factory). So, I found a “cleanse” pill on Amazon which was supposed to cleanse me of the yeast. Part of the instructions were that I could not (should not) have sugar or carbs in order for the cleanse to work. To be honest, I truly don’t know if the cleanse worked, or just losing 100 lbs worked. Back to my story; Also leading up to our trip, I had (2) contemplated in my mind a few times having a discussion with my 9 year old son about being the man of the house in case Daddy wasn’t around… because, apparently I accepted my overweight fate and what it (could) mean. That was a huge internal struggle for me, and a major push to also lose weight. So, we went on this trip to DW and I was already geared up to take this cleanse and start this clean(er) diet (read: temporary) when I got home. However, while on our trip, I was taking pics and posting to social media (as we do). Then, walking along I got (3) a text from my Aunt saying she saw my pictures and was concerned about my weight and asked how she could help in my journey to a healthier me. At first I was taken back – Here I am at the happiest place on earth and you’re texting about my weight, WTH?! But, as I walked more (cause’ that’s what you do there, you walk… a lot), I realized that she’s been through this struggle herself, and she’s actually asking from a place of caring, AND, she was one of the first to actually ask how she could roll up her sleeves and help. So, 3 strikes and I was out! It was time to really give it a push and make it happen.
That began a long string of texts and motivation and encouragement from my Aunt. She started me on this “diet” (read: way of life), which was very similar to what the candida cleanse needed – so, it worked out perfect. Little did I know, this way of life was Keto (click for info). At the time, I knew nothing about… anything, when it came to dieting. So, I rolled with what she was telling me and it worked AWESOME! I do know some people agree/disagree with some of these principles, but I’ll tell you what she guided me towards –
1) No bread/carbs. I didn’t know what carbs were, but I just kind of guessed at no bread, no tortillas, nothing fried, no rice, no pasta, no pastries – and nothing else I could look at and think to myself “that’s a bread thing”.
2) No sugar. Again, I didn’t have guidelines other than I knew, no candy… and, no candy. Cutting out the carbs already took out most spreads and syrups.
*3) No fruit. This is a tricky one as many people will say “but it’s a natural sugar”. I agree. However, it also starts my sweets cravings, so it was easier just to say no.
*4) Only water – lots of water. Again, many will say tea, coffee, or diet sodas are “OK”. This is true, but since I really wanted this to stick, I saw anything other than water as a “gateway drink”.
*I have re-introduced the above 2 items back into my diet (read: way of life), in small amounts
5) Cheese. Yes, but small amounts due to being a high calorie item.
6) Avacado, YES! Again though, watch the calories.
7) Veggies, yes!
8) Meat, yes.
9) Protein drinks (only caveat to water)
So, that was what I started with, and for about a month (or so), that was all I knew – and I dropped about about 30 lbs with just that. Then, I started researching and started learning about “net carbs”, which opened a whole new world of products to me (frozen dinners, protein bars). And, about a month after that I started learning about Calories In Calories Out or CICO (click for info). I now follow about 80% keto, but then also give myself about 20% CICO so I’m not as pinned down and stuck with having “no fun”. Sure, I’ll have a piece of cake at a birthday party now, but I’ll ask the host to cut a piece in half, then I’ll only have half of that half. If I go to dinner with my wife, we might share a dessert, but we’ll share half, and take the other half home. If my kids decide to make cookies, I’ll split 1 cookie with someone. Now, there are somethings I still have a hard time with, so I just don’t go there (candy bars). There’s no way I’m sharing my candy bar with any one. So, I’ll just not eat candy bars. Or, if I do, I’ll be sure it fits my CICO for the day – which is a huge chunk.
I lost my 100 lbs. But I have been absolutely stuck at this mid 190’s for a while now. So, I’m calling today my re-birthday. I reset my flair. I’m no longer that 300 lb guy. I’m now the 195 lb guy trying to lose 20 or 30 lbs. So, let’s do it! Come on KaheFan, you’ve done it before, you can do it again!
tldr: I was 300 lbs. I was a yeast factory. I was “ok” with not living. My Aunt gave me guidance to keto. I learned about CICO. I’m now starting anew at 195 lbs.
Are you new to protein drinks? My first and most important suggestion… Experiment! (If) the manufacturer has a pre-mixed version, I would always suggest trying the pre-mixed version first, since that’s (probably) going to be their best attempt at the flavor. If they don’t have a pre-mixed version, personally, I always try my shakes with water first, to give me a base to compare to. Then I’ll mix the shake with various milks until I find my favorite mix. Water or cashew milk tend to be (my) favorite mixers.
Next, although Chike is my favorite protein powder, there (are) other powders out there. I must stress, try as many as you can, until you find (at least) 1 or 2 go-to’s for you. Personally, I like whey based powders with water, but my wife doesn’t like whey based powders at all – she prefers vegetable based protein powders (Vega) with cows milk as her mixer. So, we keep both in the house.
Don’t think you must like what “everyone else” likes. You do you. Maybe you don’t like protein drinks at all – and that’s ok too.
Are protein drinks (needed) to lose weight? Nope. Not 1 bit. I lost my first 30 or so lbs without even trying my first shake. For me, protein drinks are an awesome lower calorie way to get some tummy filling protein in my diet. Plus they are super quick to drink when in a hurry.
You can’t outrun your fork. I hear that all the time and it’s so true. Sure, there might be. 000001% of people out there who work such physical jobs that they can eat “whatever they want” and not gain weight. But, for the rest of us, it’s much easier to try to make Leaner choices with our diets.
The Butterfinger Blast from Sonic used to be a favorite of mine. Several times a week. So, I wondered how it compared to my run this morning… 7 miles doesn’t even fully burn off a large! Does that mean I can’t (ever) have a blast again? No. I just have to have them less often than I used to… Far less often ☺️… And probably go with a small (still 800 calories).
Then, I was curious to see what one of Sonic’s top desserts might run… My 15 mile adventure this past Monday would (just barely) burn off a large Peanut Butter Fudge Shake.
So yes, you (can) exercise your way to weight loss, but it’s much (easier)… I say that lightly because, it’s not all that easy still… To make Leaner choices with your fork 🍽.
Before I knew about CICO (calories in calories out), I would pick items to eat that (for whatever reason) I though were “healthy”. I mean, fish is pushed and pushed as a healthy option, especially grilled fish – and it (can) be. So, when we’d go to @logansroadhouse, I would get the grilled salmon plate. Little did I know that bad boy was 1300 calories. Plus, you add to that a couple of yeast rolls, some regular soda and a handful of peanuts – all the sudden, that “healthy choice” is 1800 – 2000 calories… In 1 sitting… For 1 meal…
Now when I go to Logan’s, I get a 6 ounce filet and a grilled vegetable skewer – and I give someone at the table my potato. Plus a water, unsweet tea, or diet soda. This gives me right at 600 calories.
The salmon isn’t a “bad” choice. It’s probably fine for some people out there. But for me, that’s an entire day’s “budget”. So, I choose the steak. And hey, it’s Steak!