Archive | Anyman Fitness

How to Eat Out and Not Blow Your Diet

boston_pizzaYou’ve been working your diet plan, eating for success and staying the course through thick and thin (hopefully more thin, lol) for a while, and now the time has come to go out for a good meal. That is where I found myself today.

Results: I had a GREAT meal and a spectacular desert and stayed within my eating plan = all is well with my diet AND my brain. (I’ll explain more on this later.)  For those wondering: Boston Pizza = great food!

This is how to do it.

      1.  Decide where to go. I would suggest if you are new to calculating macros and calories that going to a restaurant with an online menu with nutrition values would be best. (Lets call this a ‘documented’ restaurant. lol.) Maybe later, when you’ve got a good feel for macros and what sort of calories are actually in real food, going out to an ‘undocumented’ restaurant will work.
      2. Plan your food. The trick here is to decide ahead of time what you are going to eat. Shop the menu carefully and be realistic. If yer going to have Nachos to start, be honest about it. Don’t try to say to yourself, ‘I’ll just nibble or I’ll just have 1 or 2.’ You won’t. You’ll eat 10. So decide now that you are going to eat 10 … with sour cream … and cheese … and yer gonna lick your fingers when done! Remember, you are going out to enjoy yourself and your food. Any resolve you have now is going to be reduced there. Plan for it.
      3. Calculate your macros and calories and see what you’ve got. If you are blowing over your whole day worth of values, you might have to switch out a few things. (ie. go with a Ceasar Salad instead of Deep Fried Mozzarella sticks for a starter, or a meat dish instead of Pasta Primavera with Garlic Bread.) You know what I mean.
      4. Build in a buffer. This is a carry over from other calculations that I’ve done in other areas of my life recently. (I’m currently building a solar power system for my cabin … when calculating the amount of power required, a buffer is used to cover errors and unforeseen eventualities.) Ya, I know were are talking food here not power, but the principle is good. When deciding on a buffer, I had no idea what to use to make this calculation, so I just pulled a completely arbitrary amount out of thin air = 10%. I took my calories (I didn’t bother with the macros as they were already a bit out of whack) and added 10% to the total. This amount covers things like ‘just one more’, inexact portion sizes, ‘tasting’ my wifes meal, ‘helping’ kids with their meals and general finger licking. lol. All the stuff that you will do when eating out. This is being realistic.
      5. Now calculate out the rest of your day around this meal. In my case I only had a few calories left to work with, so I planned a small Brunch and then booked our reservation for an early supper. I also tried to correct my Macros with this, but in the end my Macros were slightly off for the day, but my calories were good.

Cheesecake with Grape Syrup

Desert!

For desert, we had a cheesecake at home that my wife had made from scratch and we have grape syrup that we made from our grapes harvested this year. So we planned our desert for at home. The big question was how to calculate the calories and macros.

This is how you calculate Calories and Macros for homemade food and recipes:

  1. Find a recipe calculator. You can do this by hand but it is way easier to use an on-line recipe calculator. I use this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp This makes it really easy. Just enter all the ingredients and amounts and press calculate. The longhand way of doing it is to record the calories and macros for each ingredient and adding everything up and then dividing by weight or servings. I’ve done it a couple of times to verify the Sparkpeople.com calculations and came out very close to what they say, so I’m satisfied with the accuracy of their tool.
  2. Decide on serving size. You can do this by weight or by number of servings. In the case of our cheesecake, we used a round cheesecake pan and it was easy for us to cut into 8 slices. So for our calculations, we said 8 servings.

I use my Fitbit and their online website to calculate food intake and keep a log of my foods. It’s an amazing tool that works great for keeping track of food … I’ll do a post about it sometime. So this is what my evening out ended up looking like.

Supper Calculations on Fitbit

Now THAT is a shitload of calories … but still within my daily intake so all is well and I feel really good about how this went today. I’ll do this again next month. (I’m not going to make this too regular of a ‘thing’ … the reason why I have to rebuild my body is because I was way too free eating out for years. This is one of the habits that I’m breaking.)

Feeling Good!

Earlier I mentioned how this was good for my brain. Feeling good this evening is what I’m talking about. You know the ‘morning after’ blues … where you beat up on yourself for a binge or a food breakdown? Planning your evening and eating to plan allows you to totally avoid these feelings. One of the biggest issues for those who are losing weight is keeping on top of your brain. For many of us, the brain is what got us into trouble to begin with. Learning to actually enjoy food again without using it as a crutch for other issues is an important part of breaking bad eating (or drinking) habits. I’ve often read how people refer to the ‘morning after’ feelings as guilt. It was never guilt for me … it was far worse than that. I would say a more correct description is self-hate based on not being able to trust your own word to yourself … and then giving up on yourself. When you don’t trust yourself, your brain treats you like it would treat anyone else that it does not trust. This causes all sorts of self-loathing that encourages the binging and uncontrolled eating that is a big part of the problem to begin with. Whew – OK, that was a whole lot more amateur psychology than I intended … lol. I’m not sure there is any medical evidence for any of my speculation, but that is where I ended up after a whole lot of reflection and self-analysis. Your brain might be wired different.

So that is how to safely incorporate eating out into a fairly strict diet that you don’t want to blowup. Planning each step of the way makes the process easy. No thinking, or wondering or ‘being tempted’ … just follow the plan you’ve laid out for yourself. Easy.

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Anyman Fitness – Week Three

Garden VeggiesI’m now through week 3 of my Anyman Fitness program and things are going well!  The losses continued although not nearly as great as the 1st week which was expected.  My waist measurements dropped significantly and I dropped another almost 5 lbs the 2nd week by the scale.  The first week was definitely a big blow off of water and waste … literally.  Now that I’ve been eating clean with out a single cheat morsel for 3 weeks, I know that any weight that comes off is mostly fat.  Taking measurements will confirm this for sure and I expect more losses from my wasteline when I measure again tomorrow.

Soreness

The 1st week was characterized by extreme soreness, to the point that it was waking me up at night.  By the end of the 2nd week, the extreme part of the soreness was finally gone.  I still had quivery, mushy legs after leg day, but not the bone deep ache that was haunting me the 1st week.  I love this part as I know that my workouts are still effective because I’m driving the muscles to exhaustion but without paying for it for days.  I don’t know if there is a way around this for people either starting lifting or getting back into lifting after a time off.  I tried starting ‘light’ but that is a relative term and I found it really hard to pull something light when I know I was capable of doing so much more.  Plus I’m not sure that light would allow me to gain much strength without wasting a bunch of weeks working up to strength again.  I suspect this soreness is just something to gut out with gritted teeth and Advil.

Gaining Strength

If week 1 was characterized by soreness, the 2nd and 3rd weeks would be characterized by strength gains.  I was amazing at how light the weights felt the 2nd week … and even more the 3rd week.  I ended up jumping up by double plates on a couple of lifts just to feel a bit of burn.  My workout notes for almost every lift in week 3 said, ‘go heavier next week.’  This is exciting … and VERY encouraging.  I was shocked at how weak I had allowed myself to become when I sat down to do my 1st lift.  Jason also has me doing pushups – and it has been a lot of fun to see the numbers going up each time I do a set.  I’ve almost tripled the number I’m able to do on my 1st set.  Again, I was shocked (and it was a blow to my manliness) to see how few pushups I could do my 1st week.  Thank goodness this has come along quickly, if nothing else than for my ego.  lol.

What I’m Eating = Food

Our garden harvest continues, so there is a lot of sampling.  Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans, Peas, Peppers, Corn … just to name a few.  I’ve been using these as sides in my meals and they are wonderful.  However for the main bulk of my calories and food, I’ve chosen simple packaged food – mostly dairy.  I don’t have any intestinal issues with dairy, so Cottage Cheese and Yogurt have been real staples for me.  The reason why I’ve chosen to stick with the packaged stuff is ease of calculations.  When

Apples right from the tree. Natures Supermarket.

Apples right from the tree. Natures Supermarket.

starting out, I really had no idea how much of what macro was in any food.  So food labels were essential and a source of discovery for me.  Further, calories are sneaky.  They seem to get into food and meals a lot easier than they should … like

Gremlins gumming up the system.  lol.  The other thing that makes packaged food easier is that I can often find foods that are either all of one macro (all carb or all protein) or balanced macros.  This also makes calculations and meal food choices easier.  I love Skyr Icelandic Yogurt as it is almost a perfect balance of protein and carbs (16 and 18) so it makes it really easy to do calculations.  So I’ve stuck with labeled food to make this learning and calculating easier.  As I learn, I will move back to my own homegrown food more … which will be cheaper and certainly more healthy in the long run.  Just finished processing another 12 liters of pickles … with dill and garlic from our garden.  These are going to be amazing!  Thank goodness pickles don’t count for much in my macros.

Some Hard Numbers

Down 20 lbs on the scale
2.5″ Inches off my waist
2″ Inches off my chest
1″ off my calves!
I’m shrinking overall pretty much everywhere.

All this while eating over 200 gms of carbs per day (including bread) … hmmm, some guy named Paleo said this would make me fat.  Turns out he was wrong. I wonder what else he was wrong about.

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Anyman Fitness – Week One

Garden Fresh Food - Nothing Better!

Garden Fresh Food – Nothing Better!

Week one is in the books and I’ll characterize it as a success!

My main memory for this week is muscle soreness. I mean walking funny, having problems brushing my teeth (tri’s did not want to stretch enough and certainly did not want to move back and forth,) and shoulders curled in to protect my aching pecs. This is all my fault. I knew this was coming … I even told myself to go easy and lift light, but then I discovered how weak I really was and crap, curling sissy 10 pounders was NOT something my ego could stand. So, ‘Big guy’ … suck it up buttercup!!

Here on Sunday night I’m finally beginning to loosen up and while I know I will be sore after each workout for the next several weeks, I also know that the worst is over.

As a guy who has lifted a fair amount in the past (distant past,) I have an idea in my mind what are my strength areas and what will always need work. I also have some idea of the weight I’ve lifted in the past (did I mention distant past?), so when I would grab a ‘starting weight’ that was waaaay too heavy, I simply forced myself to gut it out. It’s a mental thing … and a guy thing … all wrapped up in a big hairy, soft macho man package. (There’s an image for you to try to forget … lol.)  I’ll do better with the mental control in week 2 for sure.

Food …. mmmmmm Foooooood.

Food was not that big of a deal. I have a type 1 diabetic son, so counting macros is something we’ve done for every morsel for over a year now … I just added in counting calories as well.  The biggest change for me was the volume of food. Going from a high fat Paleo diet of mostly meat which has a relatively low volume of food to a higher volume but lower calorie diet was tricky. There were a couple of meals on Monday and Tuesday that I just could not down that much food = not a bad problem to have really. I did have a bit of hunger now and then but nothing unusual.

Building meals and plans for the day takes time for sure. I use my Fitbit software which makes it really easy to swap stuff around to get just the right blend of macros to calories. We grow a LOT of our own food and our garden is in full swing right now so there is a bit of ‘best guessing’ going on as I try to calculate the macros for our homegrown food.  I confess that I bought more packaged stuff than I planned to this past week just to make it easier to calculate. This part will take less time as I get some set meals planned out.

Sleep

I have not slept well this past week. Not sure if this is just due to soreness or if there is some mental aspects from changing the diet. I will maybe add potato starch to my diet if this issue does not clear up.  In a previous experiment I found I slept better when taking potato starch before going to bed … something about gut biome, poop and all that good stuff. Check out Richard Nikoley‘s site Free the Animal for more information on this. Oh, and I’m not cold at night … something Paleo people hate to admit but a real phenomenon in the low carb/ketosis world.

I did not have the massive mood swings that often accompanied the change from high carb to low carb dieting so my family and cats have found that a relief. Lol. All in all I feel mentally clear and stable.

Finally … I miss alcohol.  I’ll leave that at that.

Results

Results of week one:  Weight is down 12 lbs – yes I know … mostly water, but still visible after 1 week.

Rest of the numbers to come later after I measure.

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