Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

How Healthy are you Right Now?

  1. What is your ideal weight?  Try this site, which will give you several methods of finding your ideal weight.  This will give you a good general idea of a healthy weight range for you. 
  2. How does my blood pressure and my resting heart rate..well…rate?  All you need to do for this one is head down to your local Wal-mart and take 30 seconds at the blood pressure testing machine.  It isn’t spot on accurate, but it is close enough.  I recommend taking 90 seconds (i.e. 3 times) and averaging them out.
  3. Find your caloric needs.  You need this many calories just to survive and exist. 
  4. Check out your waist hip ratio
  5. How are you arteries doing?  Run this simple ten question test to see how your cholestorel level might be effecting your health.
  6. Are you healthy enough to start exercising
  7. Are you presently at risk for diabetes?
  8. How much fat is on my (your) body?  If you have access to a fat caliper click here, if not try this siteand this one too.
  9. How is your vertical jump?
  10. Male girth calculator.  It isn’t what it might sound like.  This calculator uses your wrist measurement to tell you how big the rest of your body should be.
  11. JUST FOR FUN: Enjoy this health and longevity quiz
  12. How many push-ups can you do and how does that rank?
  13. What is you frame size?

How much _________ should I _____________?

  1. How much protein should I be eating?
  2. How much fat should I be eating?
  3. How much fiber should I be eating?
  4. How many carbs should I be eating?
  5. How much (pick your favorite exercise/activity) should I do to lose one pound?  Find out here.

Now I’m Working Out, So….

  1. First things first, do you know proper weight room etiquette?
  2. Finding your ideal heart rate range for cardio.
  3. Find out how many calories are epxended by your favorite activities from standing to yardwork to softball. 
  4. JUST FOR FUN: How does your bench pressing skill rank?  Load the bar with 80lbs and see how many reps you can do.  Input your info and see how you rank.
  5. Calculators for runners.
  6. Predict your one rep max and lots of other stuff.

I hope this helps.  Best of wishes on your fitness journey.  As always, if you have questions I am glad to answer them. 

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How far can two weeks of perfect meal plans and just the right amount of exercise- given that I don’t deviate in even the slightest manner into unhealthy (but all too well charted) waters?

Why don’t I (we) find out?! This is going to be the two-week transformation to end all two weeks transformations. Here are the simple to understand (but admittedly super hard to follow) rules.

1. 6 meals a day w/ lots of protein. (Easy enough)

2. I am cutting out almost ALL non-fruit/non-veggie/ non-whole wheat carbs from all my meals EXCEPT for breakfast. This means that when I stop by Chick-fil-A I will buy the grilled chicken, ditch the bun, and eat it over a salad. That is just ONE example of MANY I no doubt will be frustrated by over the next few weeks. (Very Hard)

3. Resistance training and Cardio go together! This is similar to what I’ve been doing off and on for about a month now, but I will stick to it much more consistently this time and with a higher level of intensity. (Hard)

4. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance!

And here are three “before” pictures today. This is my starting point. Let’s see how far I can take this, together.

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Here it is, as simply as I can put it:

Indulgence days aren’t optional, they are essential!

Yeah, I know, you’ve spent the last few months (or years) carefully watching every calorie lest you eat 1 calorie too much.  And this might seem counter-intuitive, but trust me on this.  I stumbled on this by accident.

As many of you know I was stuck somewhere between 168.5 and 170.5 for about 70 days or so.  I also had no change in either muscle growth or waist shrinkage.  Both numbers remained the same for that 70 day period.

Last week, as I had company in town, I ended up taking two days off my diet for the sake of convenience.  Keep in mind I DID NOT take off time from my workouts.  On the first night I ate three VERY large slices of pizza and a few garlic knots, and on the second night I ate a delicious Checkers’ burger with small fries.  Sure, on those nights I weighed in at about 170.2, but I felt fine and my waist measurement never went up.

The next day I got back to basics and stuck with my meal plan and ran through a good resistance training workout and a short cardio session (part walk, part interval training).

The next day I rested and ate well.

On the fourth day I stepped on the scale…

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There have been several powerful and moving answers to our prayers over the last few weeks.  Expect a full post sometime next week.

There is the possibility (if I can scrape together the money) that I will be doing a review of protein bar brands.  To make this review helpful I will only review bars available at most Wal-marts and GNC stores.

An advance copy of my encyclopedia entry on slave patrols will probably be posted toward the beginning of next week.  I would value the input of any grammarians and English majors who read my blog.

Also, expect on update on fitness gains, losses, and plateaus at the halfway point in this Two Week Transformation Challenge.

You need to check out this month’s copy of Men’s Health magazine. Here are a few articles and tips from the latest copy for your enjoyment:

The TNT (Targeted Nutrition Tactics) weight loss plan by Men’s Health

An interesting diet plan that seems like a twist on Atkins. For the most part it seems like a run of the mill low carb diet except for the fact that by the fourth week you have two days a week to eat lots of carbs- and the rest of the week is low carb. It is fairly interesting, can’t say I am completely sold, but swing by and check it out.

Men’s Health has it packaged as a 12 week weight loss program. And you all know how crazy I am about challenges and programs that are numbered in weeks (Two Week Total Transformation Challenge!!). I have never been crazy about low carb diets but then again it has been a LONG time since I tried one. Plus with the cost of steak these days (thanks a lot federal subsidies to ethanol- the biggest waist of cattle feed) I am not sure I could afford a low carb diet.

A Beach Body: Bingo [A Weight Free Workout]

Four simple exercises for those without dumbbells or kitty litter containers full of rocks.

Know More, Grow More [not available online]- The most interesting and surprising part of this article was the author’s comment that “You should be able to do a chinup with as much weight as you can bench press.” The author, Micheal Boyle, notes that once your bench press exceeds your chin-up by more than 15% the risk of shoulder injuries “rise significantly.”

Boyle suggests a simple test. Grab the closest chinup bar and see how many reps you can pound out. Now go to the bench press and put your body weight on the bar (he doesn’t say whether to add the bar’s weight into the equation) and see how many reps you can do. If you can do more bench press reps with your body weight than you can do chin-ups you are at risk for shoulder injuries. See Page 118

The Traveling Man’s Eating Plan

An excellent article for those who spend a lot of time on the road or out of the home. Here are the author’s tips (check out the complete article here)

  1. Forget about the menu. Know what you are going to order before you even enter the restaurant.
  2. Consider staying at a Bed and Breakfast. These usually offer home cooked meals (more of a healthy selection and less junk).
  3. Manage temptation. Ask the hotel to stock your mini-fridge with food fit for a diabetic. “This is a frequent request, and most hotels oblige by swapping out high-sugar junk foods for milk, cheese, vegetables, diet soda, and fruit[.]”
  4. Keep your laptop on your desk.
  5. Invite a new client to dinner- Apparently when eating with strangers men ate 35% fewer calories than when eating with friends and loved ones.
  6. Be your own man- Don’t order the same nasty food as the group. Show yourself as a leader and someone who is in charge of their own body.
  7. Keep a stash of protein bars, but use caution. Aim for low calories protein bars. The author recommends Snicker’s Marathon bar.

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All three of the above foods are healthy, delicious, and well priced. Not to mention available at Wal-mart or other large grocery chains.

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This stuff tastes so good you would think it is bad for you. Check out the nutritional stats above. And as far as nutrients and vitamins go, well, I think you will be impressed.

Calcium: 20%; Vitamin E: 15%; Folic Acid: 10%; Vitamin C: 10%; Vitamin B6: 15%; Vitamin B12: 10%.

And don’t forget that CocoaVia bars contain

  1. Natural plant extracts that could reduce bad cholesterol by up to 8%
  2. CocoaVia contains high levels of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols that are good for circulation.

Find a store near your that sells CocoaVia products by clicking here.

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 Here are my updated before and after pictures.  The pictures on the left (your left) are from February 8, 2007.  The pictures on the right (your right) are from June 6th, 2007.  Almost exactly four months to the day from when I began this weight loss journey.

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The guy above (the old me) had a 42 inch waist.  Now, as of today, my waist is 34 1/2 inches.

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See all those rolls of fat on the left hand picture?  That guy weighed 206 lbs .  Think of how big my fat cell’s must have been.  Now, I weigh 169.2 lbs- less than 10 lbs from my goal weight. What a difference losing 36+ lbs of fat can make from all perspectives.

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The old me had a gut that hung over my belt.  That 42 inch waist was a miserable traveling companion.  It popped numerous button from the front of some great khaki pants.  Now, when I put on my fat clothes they hang on me like  a trash bag, and my old, old, old clothes fit perfectly.

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The guy above is a much healthier, happier, energetic man.  Praise the Lord for positive change and for the strength to endure.