every woman adores a fascist -- sylvia plath

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lost 20 Pounds in 6 weeks; or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Kashi Go Lean

That's right folks... 20 pounds in 6 weeks... and more to go.

What I'm doing
  • Watching what I eat -- no fast food, or greasy, fatty foods for that matter. Looking out for high sodium foods, and focusing on high protein, "good carb" foods like brown rice, multigrain pasta, BEANS BEANS BEANS, chicken (sometimes ground beef), and the aforementioned Kashi Go Lean. Non-fat Yogurt is a staple, too. It's incredible how many yummy Mexican-style meals you can make, as well. Just use a little non-fat (or soy based) sour cream and salsa, use corn tortillas, chicken, and black beans... Also, I only drink water now (and some milk). Easier than I thought to switch out the sodas. Carbonated water is included.
  • Exercise DAILY. Not too much.. about 30 - 50 minutes per day in one or two sessions. I 'm basically alternating on weight lifting and cardio every day. So, for example, on Monday I'll weight lift, Tuesday run, Wednesday weight lift, Thursday row... etc. Sunday is a rest day. For my running program, I'm using the very cool Cool Running "From Couch Potato to 5k" program. I've used it before and it TOTALLY works. In about 6 - 8 weeks, you'll be running a couple miles at a time. Which, for my body (which is FINELY tuned to TV watching), is a miracle. I just ran my first 2-mile run last night (which I did about 4 years ago), and I felt great. A little wheezy, but nothing an Odwalla and the reality of 4 screaming kids couldn't fix.
  • Bought a scale with a body fat percentage reader. Go get one. Seriously. I think Costco sells one for like $30. If you want to manage your weight loss, you gotta have something to measure. Body fat is what you want to manage, otherwise your weightloss may very well be muscle mass instead of body fat. Which is bad. I've taken off about (cough) 8% to 10% of body fat in those same 6 weeks. As long as that percentage is decreasing, I can feel good that any weight gain is just increasing muscle mass.
  • Did I mention the Kashi Go Lean? Seriously, though, last week I ran into some sideways movement in my weight loss (body fat loss), and I didn't know what was going on. Turns out (I think) I wasn't eating enough. Which is bad. This puts your body in "starvation mode" where it starts storing fat to, you know, save your life. So, I started counting calories this week, and now I'm losing weight again (and body fat) which is good. I'm a big guy, so I want to keep my calories above 1600 - 1800 per day. If it goes lower (like in the 1200s), my body turns into a mini-Donner party.
  • Get "stoked." It's pretty weird, but once I'm exercising and eating right, I can feel my body burning calories (even as I sit here and type away) regardless of what I'm doing. It feels healthy, that's for sure.