Thursday, May 20, 2010

Choose fat loss over weight loss

I came across the following article in my facebook account.  I found it to be quite interesting. I hope you do as well.  It is from Women Fitness.

Life is a journey, one day one step at a time.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch:

Term "weight loss" and "fat loss" hold completely different meaning and you must know the difference if you want to lose weight or lose fat effectively and healthily.

The human body is composed of a variety of different tissue types including lean tissues (muscle, bone, and organs) that are metabolically active, and fat (adipose) tissue that is not. The sum total weight of all this constitutes body weight and decrease in percentage of muscle, fat and bone weight constitutes weight loss. Where as decrease in body fat % constitutes fat loss.

Body Weight Measurements

Standard body weight scales provide a measure of total weight, but don't determine the lean-to-fat ratio of that weight. Standing on most scales can tell you only if you weigh more than the average person, but not if that weight is fat or muscle. Based only on scale weight, a 250-pound athlete with 8% body fat may be considered "overweight" by a typical weight chart. Such charts are not a good indication of ideal body weight for general health or for athletic performance.

Ideal Body Weight and Body Fat Percent

The ideal weight and fat-lean ratio varies considerably for men and women and by age, but the minimum percent of body fat considered safe for good health is 5 percent for males and 12% for females. The average adult body fat is closer to 15 to 18% for men and 22 to 25% for women.

Athletes tend to be at low end of this scale due to their increased lean weight (muscle mass). While low levels of body fat seem to be related to improved performance, body composition alone is not a great predictor of sports success. Body fat among elite athletes vary largely by sport. There is little evidence of any benefit when men drop under 8% and women drop under 14 percent body fat.

Ways to preserve muscle while on fat loss program

To keep muscle but slowly lose fat, you have to consume plenty of protein and lower carbohydrate and fat intake. Do not eliminate carbohydrate or fat. They are both still important components to keeping healthy. It should be spread out over 6 meals (about every 3 hours). Try to consume a bigger percentage of your carbohydrate in your earlier meals and immediately after training. Do not drastically cut your calories, but reduce them. Add about 10% more protein while reducing carbohydrate by 10-15% for most of your meals. Also, choose protein sources with a lower percentage of fat, such as egg whites, turkey breast, fish. This will cause your body to start using more fat for energy instead of carbohydrate, and the extra protein will help prevent much muscle breakdown for energy.

KEEP YOURSELF WELL-HYDRATED. Always keep well-hydrated with water. The only exception to this rule is when peaking for a bodybuilding contest, where reducing water intake for a couple days prior to a contest helps in preventing water retention which blurs muscle definition. Restricting water to lose fat
is never a good idea. A good guide for daily intake is to drink 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. A 200 pound person should be drinking around 100 ounces (12.5 cups) of water in order the gain the benefits of increased energy and metabolism.

DO NOT SKIP MEALS. Consistently skipping meals will lower your metabolism and break down muscle. A good way of dieting, is to eat 4-5 smaller meals rather than 2 or 3 big ones. Why? It helps stabilize blood sugar and helps control your appetite.

CYCLE YOUR CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE. Being on a low-carbohydrate diet for prolonged periods of time will deplete your glycogen stores and slow your metabolism. At least once a week, eat a high-carbohydrate meal consisting of mainly complex carbohydrate. This will help restore your glycogen levels with very little likely to be stored as fat. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 300 grams of carbohydrate per 2000 calories (about 60% of total calories). Regardless of the type of carbs you eat, all are treated the same way in your body--they are all broken down into sugars during digestion. But, complex carbohydrate are almost always the best choice because they are naturally low in fat, high in fiber and provide tons of vitamins and minerals.

GET YOUR HEALTHY FATS. Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Fish Oils (found in fish like salmon) are considered healthy fats because they are unsaturated. They actually help promote fat loss, maintain muscle, give you energy as you are lowering your carbohydrate, and support healthy arteries. Don't completely avoid fat. About 20% of your diet should consist of fat, mainly unsaturated.

GET YOUR FIBER. Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer. Due to its greater fiber content, a single serving of whole grain bread can be more filling than two servings of white bread. Fiber also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed. Fiber (in foods such as vegetables, fruits, oatmeal) is good for you! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when adding fiber to your diet. While fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

EAT A MODERATE CARBOHYDRATE / HIGH PROTEIN MEAL IMMEDIATELY AFTER TRAINING. Your body has depleted its glycogen stores and is ready to absorb as much nutrients as it can. This is the time to take in a few more carbohydrate than usual to help in recovery.

DO CARDIO ON AN EMPTY STOMACH FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Just doing a cardiovascular (or aerobic) type of activity, such as riding a bicycle or walking on a treadmill, anytime will make a difference. Your body will burn more fat if you do it on an empty stomach. This is because your body is in more of a glycogen-depleted state, so it does not have many carbohydrate to burn first. And since it is an aerobic type of activity, not much muscle should be broken down in the process. This helps maintain your muscle mass, as long as you are consuming enough protein.

CONSUME A NO-CARBOHYDRATE OR LOW-CARBOHYDRATE PROTEIN DRINK BEFORE BED. This will keep your metabolism stoked and your muscles intact, while you're sleeping. Remember: Muscle is active. Fat is not. Muscle raises your metabolism, which is key in losing fat

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dragging my Butt

I am seriously dragging my butt today. On a bright note the wind is not howling. Actually there are quite a few bright notes... just have to focus on them instead of grubbing about.

I was up rather late last night, didn't get into bed until after 3:00 a.m. Woke up at 6:00 a.m. and went back to sleep. Three hours is a bit short on the the sleep for me. Unfortunately I slept until 9:30, which put me behind for the day. I had a 10.30 appointment for a manicure/pedicure, my mother's day treat for me, which there was simply no way I could make. I called them and canceled; no point in rescheduling unless I know for sure I can make it into town for the appointment.

I think I will just give myself a manicure, and see if I can talk my hubs into giving my peds a warm oil massage. I have some wonderful massage oil, that I think would be a treat for my feet.

I moved a refrigerator yesterday; I thought my muscles would be sore. Tee hee, they are not. This means my body is getting stronger and stronger. This puts a serious smile on my face. A couple of years ago, even one year ago I could not have done this without seriously hurting myself.

Its amazing how well our bodies can repair themselves when given the necessary exercise and nutrition. Can't forget mindset either. Our states of mind play a major factor in how well our bodies work. Amazing pieces of equipment these bodies we have; to be sure. Remarkably durable; self maintaining for the most part. Again when given adequate nutrition and exercise.

If we treated our cars or computers the way we treat our bodies we would have neither operating for any length of time.

Something to think about...

Oh yes I nearly forgot to mention it. If you can believe that. Kind of surprises me I used to be so ... hmmmm what's the word... compulsive ... about it. I lost another pound. That makes 5 down for the month of May. 296 - 5 = 291 The my calorie counter in  My Everyday Health:  is really helping me to get a handle on my nutrition. Putting a positive constructive spin on it; rather than the self destructive compulsive binging that had been going on.

Obviously it takes more than "My Calorie Counter" to get to the issues triggering the compulsive behavior. You have to do the work; dig through the mental and emotional muck and sort it out. Feels a bit like stomping through a city sewer drain barefoot at times. (Or in reference to the area I live in: a 100,000 cattle feedlot's drain pond)  It stinks, but it's gotta be dealt with. There is no getting around it. Want to be healthy; the "crap" has to be dealt with. I'm just saying.

Life is a journey, sometimes you step in it.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

I missed my before breakfast workout, fixed my hubs something to eat when he came in from working all night; and shared a bite with him. Gotta grab those moments when you can. Anyway I am getting on my elliptical and getting my 7 kilometers of hills in for today. :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sort it out, find what works for you and make it happen...

 This caught my eye, because like the rest of the human race I am always trying to "find the time".  Chris has some viable, useful suggestions.  As for me, I made the decision to work out on my elliptical before I eat.  No workout... no eat. Keep in mind I work at home.  This could be a bit more challenging for those of you that do not. 

I am planning on adding Turbo Jam and or Hip Hop Abs back into my weekly routine. I had thought of pushing play in the evening.  Unfortunately that does not seem to work for me, I am an excellent procrastinator.  Both workouts are excellent; and I have wonderful results from them. But trying to get myself to do them in the evening is an exercise in futility at this point. 

Soooooo.... I will be more than likely adding them to my morning workout.  The workout before you eat... no workout no eat time of day for  It's what's working for me now.

When I get into serious distance training for the marathon and/or century bike ride this will not be a viable technique.  I will need to eat before I  head out and take energy  and hydration with me.  Although I will probably keep up the workout before you eat for my morning workouts.  I must admit I feel sooooooo much better throughout the day when I've worked out in the mornings.

Sort it out, find what works for you and make it happen...

Life is a journey, how you travel is up to you.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Finding The Time To Be Active...

Posted by Chris Freytag at 4/28/2010 5:12 PM CDT

Time, time, time…where does it go?  Do you ever feel like you just don’t know how you are going to fit one more thing into your day, let alone a workout?  It is a common complaint!  People often ask me about time management and how I do it being the mother of three, working and staying fit. 
The answer is not only do I map out my days to include exercise breaks but I have also organized my life so I’m always ready to get up and get moving when the opportunity presents itself.  I try to manage my days and not let my day manage me (although there will always be those days where life just takes over)!
I thought I would share a few of my favorite time saving tips with you, or I should say time MAKING tips.
•    I like to teach my clients and friends to “bundle their busywork” into one convenient time of day, like the lunch hour. By doing your bills and miscellaneous paperwork at your desk while you eat lunch, you can free up 20 or 30 minutes at the end of the day for exercise.  I know that some experts have stated that you should focus on your food while eating, but if multitasking while you eat once in awhile allows you to fit in a workout that’s time well spent! 

•    Take advantage of time-saving technology like online banking, bill paying, and post office services.  A few less errands in the car is not only earth friendly but time friendly.

•    Limit your time on the internet!  How many times do you sit down to complete one email and a half hour later you are still on the computer looking at something completely off the subject?  Schedule internet and email time and limit yourself to 15 or 30 minutes.
•    Buy two pairs of workout shoes, one for the office and one for home, so you’re literally always good to go. I even keep a pair in my car, just in case I find time when I’m on the road.

•    Place a pile of clean workout clothes close to your bed so when that alarm goes off it is easy to get dressed and go.  Spending 15 minutes looking for some clean running pants and matching socks is a waste of precious time in the am and might set you back so that a workout will no longer fit in.
•    Piggyback a workout with your favorite never-miss activities like watching Dancing With The Stars or your mid-afternoon latte break.  Walk on the treadmill while you catch up on TV programs or ride your bike to the coffee store to meet a friend.

•    Have a standing appointment with a workout buddy. If it’s an always-there, can’t-miss appointment, you’ll just do it. Besides, you would never stand up a friend, but you would definitely stand up yourself.
•    Rather than sit for hours (and hours) at kids’ sports practices, fit in a workout while you wait.  I always do cardio walking during swim team practice in the summer. During my son’s hockey practices in the winter, I sneak over to the gym attached to the ice rink.

•    Save yourself from the laundry. Try to only do it 2-3 days a week.  Even with three kids…everyone in the family should have 5 shirts and 5 pairs of pants they like for the week. If there’s anything they need, they’d better throw it in the hamper realize is may be a day or two till it’s clean. This alone will save you hours.
Through such simple strategies, exercise becomes a part of the fabric of your life instead of something requiring a complete overhaul of your life plan. This is the “magic bullet” women are always asking me for!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I am Worth It!

I've been working on health issues, for some time now. I've always been a yo-yo in the weight dept. then I exploded into a jabba the hut before the remake and stayed there. I'd made some positive changes, started going down in weight, changing my body composition, working out and so on. Lost 20 some pounds.
Then I totally lost it... total overload and I triggered into compulsive eating. Blew up again... gained back what I had lost... this last time it was a 17 pound gain and an 11 inch gain...ugh.

Making changes in my life, working on the total person. I am Not eating compulsively/bingeing now. May 1st I weighed 296 lbs. Today I am at 292. No I am not starving myself. I am working out on my elliptical daily. I am at 7 kilometers on hills. I stay at the same distance for 7 workouts... then add a kilometer.

I am using the food and fitness Journal at My Everyday Health to track calories. Found that yesterday. I was amazed at how many calories my breakfast actually had in it.

I want a toned athletic form. My goal weight is 145 lbs. I want to walk a marathon later this year. Not run it... I want to be able to walk it. I turned 50 in Feb. I do not want to be carrying around the weight of 2 people by the time I turn 51.

Fat has been a hiding place for me. An emotional insulator so to speak. I would lose weight... then trigger. It's like there are land mines hidden in the fat. As I lose the fat they become exposed and explode.... and set off an eating binge. Leading to a borderline catatonic state.

So... I'm doing the work. bit by bit digging through the mental, emotional, whatever, crap... or issues... triggers... whatever you want to call it. Taking my life back from the psychological debris of yester years.

This behavior started a long time ago. I managed a moderate weight until my late 20's then I started gaining more. Even at a moderate weight, in high school and college I saw myself as fat and ugly. Not worth it.

I remember as a child, being yelled at and then going to find something to eat... being whipped then burying my self in food. What was right one day was wrong the next, and vise versa; I never knew what would set them off. The verbal abuse left deeper scars, and longer lasting side effects than the whipping did.

I remember coming home from middle school, or junior high, as they called it back in the day. Standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open and shoving food in my mouth until I couldn’t eat any more…. And didn’t feel any more.

Then I would chop wood for hours, run, walk, ride my horse... this pattern continued ... eat till you were ill and or numb... then extreme activity.
Things came to a head within myself, when my weight went over 300 lbs. I hit a major psychological crisis point. The lowest of the low. I refuse to live like this any more.

I am worth it. I can do the work; I am doing the work, because I am worth it.
I am getting healthy... Mind.. Body and Spirit...

Life is a Journey, sometimes the trail is twisty.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch