Archive for January, 2011

Maintenance vs. “Cheat Days”

Over the weekend, I had some higher calorie days, including one day of eating at maintenance.  This was REALLY tough – much more difficult than I had anticipated.  On Saturday, the maintenance day, I had done some planning and we had a delicious, healthy, and calorie dense meal early in the day with the option of leftovers later.  I was able to get within 200 calories of maintenance (I was under), but it was vastly better than my efforts yesterday.  Yesterday, I was in a small deficit, but still had to eat at a higher calorie level.  I tried to eat consistently throughout the day, but ended up still scrambling at the end of the day to get all my calories.  Because of this, my choices weren’t all nutritious foods and my protein was low.  Clearly this is poor planning on my part, and a big part of the work I need to do to meet my goal of really understanding what maintenance feels like.

 

About a year ago, I tried a nutrition plan that cycled carbs and included one cheat day every week.  On this cheat day, I had carte blanche to eat whatever I wanted, with the only restriction being that I couldn’t stuff myself.  I probably don’t have to even say this, but my results sucked because I undid my deficit on every cheat day.

 

When I went to bed last night, I felt like I had on those cheat days – bloated, sluggish, etc.  I had eaten carb-rich junk foods late in the day and I definitely paid for it.  So, how do I make the distinction?  I get full fairly quickly (a blessing on a “low” day), so it’s hard for me to eat large quantities of “healthy” food to make my calories.  Maybe I need to eat more cashews or something?  Calorie dense, but with nutritional value?

 

This is really important for me to sort out, since someday I hope to live in maintenance and not worry constantly about what I’m eating!

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First Cycle Done!

It was successful.  I only felt like I was “dieting” for two days – the rest of the time just felt like I was making healthy food choices.  Progress on goals:  (Overall Goals)

  • Lost 7.4 pounds.  Of course, some of that is water/bloat, but I’m happy nonetheless.
  • I’m better about my sleeping, but still could use more.  I was good about going to bed when I felt like I needed to, but didn’t do a great job settling and actually sleeping.
  • I’m starting to recognize times when I want to eat because I’m stressed or bored, rather than hungry.  In those moments, I’m eating a couple pieces of bell pepper and drinking a glass of water.  It seems to be helping with compliance.
  • I’m not doing great with the self-care (though I think my workouts are part of that).  I did play with our new Kinect a couple days this week which was definitely great for my mental health! 🙂

 

Did I meet my objectives?

  • Following cycling program accurately and with compliance?  YES
  • 100% compliance with training?  YES
  • Identify and prepare at least one healthy recipe and blog about it?  YES.  This is a great recipe.  Without the rice, it even fits into a lower calorie day, and has a “sticks to your ribs” quality that makes it not feel like diet food!
  • Identify one fun activity to do with Jeb this weekend?  Working on it.  Will definitely play Kinect and maybe go to the movies.  Plus, the NFL playoffs start today, so we might watch a game.  SO, I guess that is a YES!

So far, so good!  Now, onto Cycle 2!

Another good day

I won’t post specifics now, but suffice to say that I am making progress.  My workout was good, and I’m finding that the healthful choices I am making with my food are making the deficit easier.  Today was my first test of compliance, I think – I had a bunch of meetings and to teach a CPR re-cert so I wasn’t able to eat at my usual times.  I work in a quiet building, essentially alone, so I have a lot of flexibility with meals.  Today, though, I was at our main campus, where staff are offered a yummy hot lunch.  I got hungry, and the food smelled great – but I stuck to the plan. 🙂

 

Plugging along…

New Recipe

Keeping with one of my action steps for my goals, I made a new recipe last night.  It is Garlicky Chicken Satay from one of my favorite food blogs – Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.  The seasoning paste for the chicken is flavorful, but not overpowering, and the peanut sauce is a nice balance of sweet, salty, and fresh.  Plus, since most of the calories from the sauce come from unsweetened coconut milk and peanut butter, I feel like I’m getting some good nutrition for my calories.

Delicious and Nutritious!

This will definitely make it’s way into the regular rotation.  Served with Wild and Brown rice and some green beans, the meal breaks down like this (assuming 4 ounces of chicken and 1 serving of rice):

Calories:  520

Carbohydrates:  50g

Protein:  43g

Fat:  17g

The bulk of the carbs come from the rice, which I will likely cut down in future meals.  It was a good, satisfying dinner for a higher calorie day, though.

 

I did much better hitting my calories and macros over the last two days.  I think I will need to do some careful planning to be sure to hit my maintenance calories accurately, but I’m up for the challenge.  I’m really grateful that Jeb is so invested in this – it helps to not feel like I’m “cramping his style” when I make certain decisions.  He’ s also being AWESOME about going to the store and buying ingredients every.single.day.  Poor guy.  But, at least he’s eating well! 🙂

 

Workouts continue to go well – still at 100% compliance. 🙂

I Resisted!

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Boston Cream donuts are one of my favorite treats. One of my staff brought some in just when I was trying to figure out how to fit in all my calories today. I remembered, though, to keep moving toward my goals and have resisted the temptation!  I will eat something wholesome for 200 calories instead.  Food is fuel, not an outlet for a stressful day, right? (I think I can, I think I can…)

Cleans for Cardio

Today was a planned cardio day.  Since I still have a cold, and all the typical cardio equipment was being used (also, have I mentioned how much I HATE traditional cardio??), I was looking for something different.  Sifting through my Google Reader, I came across a post by Dan John that, among other things, includes his musings on the kettlebell clean.  At the end of the article is a cardio workout using the clean.  As I’ve mentioned before, I ❤ Kettlebells, so it didn’t take much for me to pick this for my cardio workout.

 

Basically, the workout goes like this (quoted from the article linked above):

Let’s start with the Left Hand:
8 Single Kettlebell Cleans
3 Single Front Squats

Swing and Switch Hands

8 Single Kettlebell Cleans
3 Single Front Squats

Swing and Switch Hands

5 Single Kettlebell Cleans
2 Single Front Squats

Swing and Switch Hands

5 Single Kettlebell Cleans
2 Single Front Squats

Swing and Switch Hands

3 Single Kettlebell Cleans
1 Single Front Squats

Swing and Switch Hands

3 Single Kettlebell Cleans
1 Single Front Squats

 

I did a solid warm up, followed by 3 rounds with the 16kg bell.  It was the perfect balance of do-able and really tough.  The beauty of this workout is the active rest (squats).  It was enough of a drastic change in activity to allow me to prepare for another round of cleans, but challenging enough to boost the cardiovascular demand.  I’m definitely going to keep this routine in the rotation – especially for days I need to do a lot of work in a short period of time.

 

In other news:

I kind of sucked at the diet yesterday, but not in the way you would think.  Yesterday was a higher calorie day, and I missed by target by almost 500 calories.  I’m not really sure what happened.  I didn’t have time to eat as much as I usually do at work, plus I cleaned up some of my food choices.  When I got home at 8:30 p.m., I realized that I needed to eat 1000 more calories!  I couldn’t see stuffing myself, but I did make a point to eat some healthy, calorie dense foods.  I’m hoping that, since it’s the first week, I will only see the benefit of the increased deficit, but definitely plan to hit my targets more accurately from here on out.

Challenge Goals

As indicated in my previous post, I am participating in a transformation challenge on the leighpeele.com membership site.  Here are my goals:

Full Challenge Goals:

  • Lose between 15 and 30 pounds.  I will be satisfied with 15, and thrilled with more.
  • Get a feel for true maintenance.  Know what my body feels like at maintenance and approximately how many calories are my maintenance (right now).
  • Improve my sleep, both in quantity and quality.  Incorporate effective strategies to help me wind down at the end of the night.
  • Become more aware of the emotional attachments I have to food (and eventually eliminate them).
  • Devote 30-45 minutes each night to self-care.

 

Objectives to Meet Goals:

  • Focus on following cycling program accurately to ensure compliance.
  • Aim for 100% compliance on training.  This will give me an emotional boost to help me – I always feel better when I train.  Plus, I will gain more confidence knowing I am sticking to the program.
  • Identify and prepare at least one new healthy recipe each week and blog about it to avoid diet boredom.
  • Identify one fun activity to do with Jeb each weekend that is NOT food related.