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It's Friday!


And I was even able to wake up early in the morning to make it to my 6 a.m. spinning class. Bonus points because I went to bed late after last night's rapier practice and diner at the Diner with the gang.

And speaking of dinner. I am still struggling to make the caloric intake that I need to sustain my fitness program. And by this means, I am still not eating enough.

No, guys, I can assure you I am not starving. And I have not decided to go into an anorexic fit or anything like that. Au contraire, I need to eat more in order to lose more fat and build more muscle.

All in all, I am not doing too bad. However, after the last evaluation on Wednesday, Courtney (my PT) and I noticed that I was still not gaining any muscle, even though I have been trying very hard to increase my caloric intake.

Part of the problem is that if you are trying to eat stuff that is high in fiber, low in calories, low in fat, complex in carbs, and high in protein, and keep the balance between them, chances are you will have to eat huge amounts of food to get those numbers. And I simply can't eat that much.

The other problem may be the hidden sugar in things such as yogurt and peanut butter, both of which are fabulous resources to pack in the calories, carbs and protein quickly and efficiently. (I am switching to organic peanut butter, the kind that you must stir, if I must have any of that. Fat is good. Solid fat is not.) And sugar is a killer and it's hidden everywhere.

Of course, when I raise the subject, I start getting remarks of "Hey! Come share my ice-cream! You'll reach your calories in no time!"

Well, ice-cream or a taco salad will get me the calories, all right. (Have you seen how many calories a taco salad has? Scary!) However, it won't build the muscle and it will make my body pack in the fat. No good.

So here I am, still trying to find the perfect formula. We arrived to the conclusion that not only I needed to watch the sugar, but that my caloric deficiency was too high compared with my exercise level.

What do I mean by that? Let's suppose that I burn 2500 calories per day between my exercise and my lifestyle, and I consume only 1300. At that level, you run the risk of your body thinking "I'm starving! Must store that fat!" Which may explain why I am not seeing any muscle building, and I even gained a bit of fat in two weeks. Ironically, the best way to combat that is to eat more, not less.

The good news is, I still managed to shrink my waist and my butt. But it was entertaining to play detective to figure out where had all the fat gone. It turned out that it had taken residency in my chest, thighs and arms. It was barely a quarter inch, but it was fat and not muscle.

So it's back to the drawing board, but now we have a clearer picture of what I need to do.

So tomorrow I am doing my first Birkam Yoga class. It will be a new experiment on my expanding my program. I am very excited. If this works, it will be a step in attaining the flexibility I crave. I have no problem lifting weights or doing cardio. Stretches? Not so much.

Here's to hope.

In the meantime, I shall continue struggling to make those calories.

Who would have thunk that eating that much would be so hard?



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
I get "Nature's Place Organic natural Creamy Peanut Butter"
Ingredients: Organic Dry Roasted Peanuts, Sea Salt

good on carbs, fat and protein, and think it's good on sugar too (1g sugar to 8g-protein+7g-carbs.)

yes you have to stir it and yes it tastes awesome. Om nom nom.

I preach it's flavorful wonder across the land.
Mar. 13th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
Yum. Sounds delicious. Where do you find it? Health Food store?

Nom nom. Peanut butter . . .
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
food lion :P
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
A recent favorite is Chobani non-fat, plain Greek yogurt. Looking at the container, in 6 ounces it has 18 g protein, 7g carbs and 100 calories. I need to stay on the low side of calories until I get a fitness program going. It's nice and thick, and I flavor with a little Splenda and almond extract.
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Hmmm . . . sounds delish.
Mar. 14th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
yes yes! the chobani is the awesome!!!! and if you get it with the fruit in it (blueberry is best) it STILL has no sugar (other than the fruit) and the fruit is WHOLE and NOT SLIMY!!! and the yogurt is good and thick and not like cow's milk yogurt.

also, i like 1 cup non-fat yogurt with a scoop of vanilla whey, and a couple handfulls of high protein granola or cereal mixed in (bare naked has excellent granola, and kashi makes a really good high protein, high fiber cereal....something like 13g protein, 15g fiber in just the cereal) that's usually my breakfast, if i don't have an egg...
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
Just a thought from a non-nutritionist - avacados? As I recall, they are relatively high in calories (for a veggie) and good fats, such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Nutrient rich, too.
Mar. 13th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
It is very good, but I have to be mindful of the fat. It is good fat, but it's still fat. So I can eat it, but I have to control the portions. :-)
Mar. 13th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
I could only make it when I added protein shakes. At times, I did three a day. What is your percentage mix of protein, carbs and fat?
Mar. 13th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
I am still working on that percentage. Up till last Tuesday, the plan was to have 1500 cals on my "off" days, with 120 grs. protein, and no more than 30 grs. of fat. And on my "on" days, 1750 cals, with 100 grs of protein, and no more than 33 grs. of fat. The rest is carbs.

The plan now is to try to shoot for 1920 cals, with no more than 100 grs protein, but I am having a hard time meeting the cals without blowing the protein or the fat. I actually had a hard time meeting 1500 calories under those circumstances. I am wondering if I should up the protein a bit. It's easier to do, especially with shakes.

My problem right now is that the shakes make my protein go way up, but help me get the calories. Without the shakes, getting everything is hard. My hardest time is the carbs. If I go for high fiber, complex carbs, the numbers are very low and nothing adds up. Plus, I am having a hard time controlling the fat, good or bad. I end up with 50 grs.

So it's either meet the numbers with higher content of protein and fat, or get the protein and fat in check, and not meet the numbers.

Mar. 14th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
That's 20% protein and my vote is that it isn't enough protein. Not if you want to build muscle. Great galloping ghosts, I was at a 40/40/20 division when I was cutting and building and that worked for me. But that's me. I wanted to bulk and bulk big and then I wanted to stay big and lose the fat. I was adding creatine, too. She's taken you from 32% protein and 20% fat to 20% protein and 15% fat and increased your calories. My jaw hurts at contemplating this. Eating that much carbs in the form of healthy veggies? Gnaw, gnaw. I'd also be afraid of constipation with that ratio. Not enough fat to keep that much fiber moving along.

I'd go for the caloric increase to 1920, at about 30-35% protein, which would be 145 to 170 grams of protein and 20% fat, or 42 grams of fat and a COMPLETELY different diet. (Do you eat oatmeal?)

My food log was an excel spreadsheet. I just couldn't manage it any other way.
Mar. 15th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'd go for the caloric increase to 1920, at about 30-35% protein, which would be 145 to 170 grams of protein and 20% fat, or 42 grams of fat and a COMPLETELY different diet. (Do you eat oatmeal?)

That certainly sounds much more doable. I can give it a try and see what happens.

Oatmeal? As long as it is not cooked, I love it. I usually mix it with egg whites in a "pancake" or other stuff.

Mar. 13th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Good Luck
There is so much dedication and and committment involved when trying to eat the right foods and have a cap on the calorie count. I feel your pain. I have a problem with carbohydrates. Though I'm an avid runner, its still hard to committ to a number.

Good stuff, keep up with the good work. Take a Diesel Energy Stix while you're at it.
Mar. 13th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
Have fun with the yoga! If I might make another suggestion to tuck in the back of your mind for future reference, I absolutely adored my Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® classes. They're technically body awareness classes but lack of flexibility is usually due to unconscious habits of unbalanced muscle tension that will cause you to be stiff when you don't want to be. The classes are structured so the you can become aware of and let go of that tension by gradually leading you through a series of motions with very detailed attention. It's a bit hard to describe without having experienced it, though it has some similarities to (as well as quite a few differences from) yoga.

You'd be amazed at the range of motion you can achieve - painlessly! - by focusing in on the various area and "persuading" them to relax so your body works the way it was designed to. There can be a lot of difference in style from practitioner to practitioner, but the Method is the same. Obviously I'm a big fan; it has a lot in common with the way I was trained to teach voice and it also helped a whole lot with the chronic knee pain1 I have had since I was a teenager. It's been a disappointment to me that there aren't any classes near where I live, the closest are about 1 1/2 hr drive south in Sarasota. But I would suspect that your area would have quite a few given the population density there. Obviously YMMV and feel free to ignore, etc. Just another "This worked well for me" tip. :-)

(BTW, this isn't meant as any kind of disparagement on your new yoga class - I think it sounds exciting! - just that since you mentioned that flexibility is an issue for you I though I'd mention this while I was thinking about it. Because I am such a space case2 I might never remember again and I really have had a very positive experience with it and so would like to offer it to you as another avenue to explore.)

1The orthopedist back then called it "idiopathic chondromalacia of the patella", which translates to "the cartilage behind your kneecap is softened and cracking; we have no idea why, you're just like that". "It hurts when I run or jump." "So don't do that.", he told me. BIG fat help he was.
Turns out, tension in the hip area echos down the leg and eventually causes me to supinate - walk with the weight on the outside of - my feet, putting uneven pressure on the kneecap. In another one of those "We really are different" bits, my current orthopedist says that natural redheads have looser, less tightly packed collagen than other people, so it makes sense that the soft tissues would be sensitive to abuse. I used to have to use orthotics to "correct" the problem but don't need them anymore, just need to be aware of how I'm carrying my weight through my hips and adjust it when needed.

2In addition to being prone to writing run-on sentences.
Mar. 15th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info! I am still looking for the best system of movement for my flexibility. It's worth taking a look into.
Mar. 14th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
i've been having a horrid time lately counting my calories. i'm having a really hard time just figuring out where i should be..i tried 1500-1700 (days off, days on), but after about 3 or 4 days, i was eating everything in site. i tried upping it, but then i wasn't loosing any weight. my eating habits have slipped bad since i haven't been working, and i'm trying to get back on t eright track...i also haven't been keeping my food diary anymore, so i need to get back on that...

Mar. 15th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah. A food diary makes all the difference in the world.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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