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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.
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!
A couple weeks ago we went to the lake and I relaxed on my intake – and I (knew) I would have an increase. But, I was ok with that. Mental breaks are needed now and then. But, I’m back in it and working my way down again now. Although I step on the scale throughout the week, I only log my Monday weigh-ins.
Let’s kick off 100 lbs lost #giveaway #2. @celsiusofficial was the first drink I found, after 6 months of drinking only water, that made me break my “water only” rule… And I’m so glad I did! #celsius is so refreshing. I love to use it after my runs for a great #refuel, or when I just need a little clean and crisp #pickmeup The winner of this contest will receive all flavors shown here. Good luck! (rules below) #CELSIUSLiveFit
1) Comment below. Don’t forget to share this with your friends!
*Contest ends 11:59 PM Saturday July 22nd
*No purchase necessary
*Void where prohibited
*Contest is valid in the 48 contiguous United States
*By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age.
Originally posted on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWVUFy-lVMg/?taken-by=ericlivinglean
As mentioned previously, to celebrate my 100 lbs lost milestone, I’m going to host a giveaway for some of my favorite products that help me to Live Lean. So, let’s get this giveaway started! Of course I’m going to kick it off with Chike since they are one of the first products I found. The Chike team is a great group of people! Super helpful when you have questions. And, their products are so tasty! I haven’t met a Chike product I haven’t liked yet. So, to get your hands on everything you see pictured…
1) Comment below for your chance to win. Of course, clicking a share button is always appreciated as well!
*Contest ends 11:59 PM Saturday July 15th
*No purchase necessary
*Void where prohibited
*Contest is valid in the 48 contiguous United States
*By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age.
One thing that has helped me during my journey so far is to forget everything I’ve learned. No, not everything I’ve learned about weight loss and getting lean – everything else I learned over the last 40 years (unknowingly) about how to GAIN weight. When I first began my journey I was absolutely lost and, honestly, didn’t know how to eat most foods without using a carb as a vessel to get food in my mouth. So, for about the first month, my main go-to meal was eggs (many different ways) with spinach and salsa. And, my 2nd go-to was salads with salsa as dressing or lemon juice as dressing. Because, after all, that’s about all you can eat without a carb vessel, right? Wrong. I’ve since learned a TON of foods I can eat in a much more lean way. I can’t really download everything I’ve learned into this post, but if you follow me on social media, I try my best to post what I eat in case it helps. Now that I’m 10 months in, I have re-taught myself how to eat and how to do so in a more lean fashion. So yeah, it’s confusing and a little scary and intimidating when you first begin, but all I can say is to open your mind back up to ANYTHING! Whatever you thought of as “meals” in the past, just forget it and explore new foods and new meals. Explore new parts of the grocery store you’re not used to visiting. Have things you used to think of as dinner, for breakfast. Have breakfast items for dinner. Explore new parts of restaurant menus that you don’t usually order from. Heck – Order (off the menu) items. Most restaurants are more than happy to customize your meal(s) to your preferences. You’ll be surprised at all the new foods you might find. I’m not going to wish you luck, because, you don’t need luck – you got this! Go and have fun re-learning your NEW favorites!
Q: Do I (have to) eat those crazy bars?
Q: Do I (have to) drink those weird shakes?
Q: Do I (have to) run?
Q: Do I (have to) work out?
A: NO to all of those!
Q: Do I have to track everything I eat?
A: YES! If not tracking what you eat isn’t currently working… you need to track what you’re consuming (food and beverage).
Over the course of my journey, I have learned that losing weight is actually much more simple than even I ever realized – I didn’t say it’s easy to lose, but it’s a “simple” concept to understand. Consume less than you burn and you’ll start to lose weight. I always thought – well, guess I gotta’ go to the gym for 4 hours a day. Or, if I want to lose weight I guess I have to eat all this bland boring stuff. And, of course, neither of those really sounded all that appealing, so I just kept moving onward… and upward. To break it down for you, a calorie is (basically) a unit of energy. And, believe it or not, you burn calories simply by living and breathing. Even if you were to sit on the couch or lay in bed all day and not do a thing, you’d probably burn somewhere in the 800 – 1200 calorie range at very minimum. Then, if you simply get up, take a shower, drive your car, go to work, maybe stop by the store – you’re somewhere in the 1200 – 1600 range. And, you haven’t lifted a single barbell or “ran” even an inch – well, you hustled a little when crossing the crosswalk, but whatever. So, In order for you to lose weight, you simply have to eat less than you burned by just living today.
Now, you can go to TDEECalculator.net (use sedentary – I don’t care how active you “think” you are, use sedentary) and figure out your actual TDEE (which is your base calories burned) and start there for a more accurate picture, or you can… dare I say… take a guess. Yep, I said it, just pick a random number out of the air, somewhere between 1600 and 2200 and STICK TO THAT NUMBER for a week or 2 and see what happens. If you use 2000 (and stick to it) for 2 weeks and you gain weight or even just plateau, then drop your calories by 100 calories to 1900 over the next week or 2. Then, evaluate and adjust each week or so. Unless you are burning crazy calories and running 5 miles a day or working out for hourS, I would also not suggest eating back any extra calories – UNLESS YOUR BODY TELLS YOU TO – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. You don’t have to download an app, you don’t have to track macros (fat, sugar, carbs…), but you do somehow need to track (at least) your calories. Apps do make it much easier these days, but even if you start with pen and paper – at least start. And track everything, EVERYTHING you put in your mouth. But Eric, do I track this? YES!! TRACK THAT TOO! Whether you use an app or pen and paper, be VERY careful to watch portion sizes. It might amaze you at what some companies call a “portion” these days. And, get a food scale. I don’t care if you’re a baker and you’ve been measuring ingredients for 40 years – GET A SCALE and weigh everything you can. You can get a very affordable scale on Amazon or any local store these days.
Now, as for those bars and shakes – You are more than welcome to eat anything you want when you’re counting calories… you heard me ANYTHING you want. Just know that, 1 chocolate chip cookie can be 240 calories, or 3 eggs and a pinch of cheese can be 240 calories – take your pick. This, for me, is where bars and shakes come in to play. I can “fill myself up” a lot quicker and with a lot less calories when I eat those weird bars and drink those funky drinks. But, this may not be the case for YOU and that is absolutely OK. But, I would strongly advise you to carefully consider what you do consume and how it effects your hunger. Think of calories as kindling and your body as a camp fire. If you put just a couple logs on at a time, your fire will burn lean and clean. But, if you pile a bunch of wood on the fire before it’s ready, the fire will probably start to slow down and burn less efficiently (aka, your energy decreases). So, you’ll have to wait until the fire (your body) catches back up and burns off the excess. So, watch what type and how much kindling you put on your bodies fire. As long as your fire is burning more logs than your putting on it, eventually your fire will be burning lean and clean.