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Thursday, June 27, 2013

90% Nutrition

This is what they say. Losing weight is 90% nutrition, i.e. what you put in your hole. According to my experience with weight loss, this is totally true.

Calories matter, but it's not the only thing that matters. If you eat clean calories, everything else is affected in a positive way (mood, skin, regular poop/pee, etc.).  If you try to hit 1200 calories by drinking diet pop, unclean cereal, small portions of lasagna, Special K bar snacks, flavored yogurt snacks, and Snack Wells cookies for dessert, you are seriously not going to make it.  You are eating a chemical shit storm and you are going to constantly crave and be unsatisfied.  You might lose weight. Temporarily.  If you stick to (about) 1200 calories, then you've worked the math right, but the lifestyle change won't be effective long term. So, eat clean and work on a calorie deficit and you will lose weight.

I used to be the person who worked out and ate whatever I wanted.  In college, I probably burned so many calories that my weight never became a problem.  However, I never learned to fuel myself correctly, so outside of college I spiraled out of control within 5 years.  Side note: I really wish I could go back to college as a clean eater. I would feel so much better. My workouts would have been stronger. I used to fuel for a game with a Gatorade and a Snickers. Ridiculous.  I figured out that you can't work off a bad diet.  In the fall of 2011, Colby and I joined the YMCA for the first time here in Topeka for 3 months on a special rate.  We attended Spin/Core classes about 3 times per week.  I enjoyed it. I lost 6 pounds (166 to 160). In the spring of 2012, I was running 20-25 miles per week in training for a half marathon. I was torching some calories.  However, I only lost 9 pounds (173 to 164) and then almost immediately put it back on.  I wasn't eating right. So, that's proof right there that you can't truly work out enough to eat whatever you want.  And when I say "whatever you want," I was constantly trying to be healthy. I just didn't know what I was doing.

Enter January 2013. I get a meal plan and I'm working out 6 days per week.  I take working out very seriously. I love it. But for the first time I was pairing it with a legit diet. The weight slowly melted off. For the record, I cringe when people try to attempt weight loss with diet only for three reasons.  First, you need to create a calorie deficit. If you work out, you could burn 500 calories per hour (depending on what you are doing). Most people won't work out for an hour, but 200 calories sure does help if you are doing it every day. If you burn 1700 just by living, you are eating 1200, and you are burning 500 calories in a workout, do the math. You are torching the fat away and building muscle at the same time.  As you probably noticed from my other posts, I'm the kind of person who wants to go all in when I'm doing something. I don't want to spend a year kind of dieting and kind of working out. I want to commit for 4 months. I want to diet and NOT CHEAT and I want to work out. Get results. Move on.  The second reason I cringe when people don't work out is that you are not working on your cardiovascular health. This is your internal health. This is about living longer. The third and final reason to work out is to tone up. You can lose the weight, but your physique will not be that nice without some nice muscular structure happening underneath.  Let me tell you. It takes 20 minutes to lift weights and get a nice tone. It's not hard. You just have to do it.  You don't want to lose 30 pounds to discover that you are just "skinny fat."

Enter March 2013. I injured my knee. I was doing sumo squats and lunges barefoot in my living room because I wanted to be home to watch The Bachelor. (Make fun of me!) I think the instability of being barefoot cause some strain on my knee and I strained my MCL and had some swelling.  I know that sounds minor, but it hurt very badly. I couldn't do anything leg related during my workouts.  I felt very frustrated to not be able to do cardio. Or lunges. Or squats. I was pissed. (To be clear, I did still work out a little bit each day.) I didn't want to waste my time. My trainer assured me that if I followed my diet plan, I would be fine. She was right. While I was hurt from Week 9 to Week 13, I lost 11 pounds (in 5 weeks). This is the moment when I believed that weight loss is 90% nutrition.

What do you think?

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