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Author Topic: The 201X Health Improvement Thread  (Read 16144 times)
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Isgrimnur
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« on: January 30, 2012, 07:56:56 PM »

With the support of a couple posters here, we're broadening the thread.  It will no longer focus solely on weight loss, as there are some skinny people out there that don't need that, but still want to be in better shape.

So bring in those busted New Year's Resolutions and let the group support mentality help you fix them.  We can all be better off at the end of this year.

Code:
01/27 - 251.4 (34.1)
01/20 - 253.6 (34.4)
01/13 - 250.4 (34.0)
01/06 - 251.8 (34.1)
01/02 - 253.0 (34.3)

I've not gotten off to a great start this year, and yesterday was a food fest that I need to never repeat, so the rest of this week will be damage control to try and mitigate that damage.

I want to get back into the gym, but I've managed to pull a muscle in my back that's kept me from having the desire to even go in and do the work that I can.  I aim to change that this week.  
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 10:47:31 PM by Isgrimnur » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 08:14:19 PM »

And to help anyone with motivation, a few of us still frequent Fitocracy to track our workouts, discuss programs, earn XP, complete achievements and quests, and prop each others' workouts for support.

The GT/OO group still exists (the one Grim started a while back), and Trent Steel also created a "Pain Dome" group of a few OOers that I've recently joined (met Trent and SmooveB a number of years ago and am now comparing/tracking workouts with them).

I'd say to feel free to post personal records, accomplishments, or workout achievements here along with diet milestones so that we can all celebrate living healthier lifestyles together.  Nothing beats reaching a new milestone, whether it be lifting, dieting, running, biking, etc.  And sharing our accomplishments can only help to inspire others to work harder and stick with their programs.

Today I think I might up my deadlifts a bit to try to get back to where I was before my concussion.  I also recently had a hamstring pull and am dealing with a lingering groin strain.  I hit 285 at one point some time ago, but I now seem to be struggling to get back up to 200 again.  I'd like to get to 225 in the next few weeks, so today I may jump from 185 to 190, and perhaps 195 for my last set if I feel up for it.  Squats and bench need a boost as well but elbow pain has been hindering my progress. 

Plus when I was doing the Starting Strength program I was going up in strength pretty quickly, but in part due to eating like a horse (I was gaining muscle but also too much fat for my taste).  As summer approaches I'm back to cutting body fat %, eating leaner and smaller portions to control caloric intake, so my strength gains will be minimal due to eating less than when I was on SS.  But my summer cut is still coming along pretty well.  Such are the curses of vanity and so many summer days spent at the pool or on the lake (and combating the empty beer calories consumed in high volume at both places).  Fabulous
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 08:18:17 PM »

I now have a fairly kick-ass olympic barbell set-up in my basement. I'm working out M-W-F with a circuit of barbell squats, barbell bench-press, barbell deadlifts and chin-ups. Fat loss is a big goal but my overall goal is to be around for and able to keep up with my kids as I get older. I'm an old dad (40) and my daughter is almost 2 and a half and my son will arrive in a month and a half.

I'm using Fitocracy as a log. I haven't kept up with the group status. Is our only choice a public group or is there a private option that people are using?
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 08:22:44 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on January 30, 2012, 08:14:19 PM

sharing our accomplishments can only help to inspire others to work harder and stick with their programs.

It may break my eternal bloodvow of vengeance and hatred, forged in the fire kindled by pure wrath and fury, but I think I agree with Pete.
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 08:29:16 PM »

Quote from: tiktokman on January 30, 2012, 08:18:17 PM

I now have a fairly kick-ass olympic barbell set-up in my basement. I'm working out M-W-F with a circuit of barbell squats, barbell bench-press, barbell deadlifts and chin-ups. Fat loss is a big goal but my overall goal is to be around for and able to keep up with my kids as I get older. I'm an old dad (40) and my daughter is almost 2 and a half and my son will arrive in a month and a half.

If you have any major strength goals have you looked at Starting Strength?  Since your workouts are primarily compound lifts you might benefit a great deal from the SS progression to build strength quickly and efficiently.  I did it for a while, and despite making pretty big gains, it put a lot of strain on my joints, and it also required me to eat far more than I want to keep my strength up.  Your workouts are pretty much the SS program.  It follows the same every-other-day format but alternating between an "A" workout and a "B" workout.  If one week you do ABA, then the next you'd do BAB.  If you were to mix in standing overhead shoulder presses and bent-over barbell rows you'd have a pretty complete full-body program composed entirely of compound lifts.  You should see great results and won't have to worry much at all about isolation work.  And your core will be covered so crunches are a thing of the past.

As a quick example:

A
Squat
Barbell Bench
Bent-over Barbell Row
Auxiliary Exercise (dips, skullcrushers, etc. - just pick one)

B
Squat
Standing Overhead Shoulder Press
Deadlift
Auxiliary Exercise (chin-ups, curls, shrugs, etc. - just pick one)

Do a few warm-up sets, then 3 working sets of 5 reps each.  Each week aim to increase each exercise by 10 lbs at first, then as your strength gains taper off you can move up by 5 lbs each week or even 2.5 lbs if you have micro-plates.  Lather, rinse, reap the benefits of beast mode.

Quote
I'm using Fitocracy as a log. I haven't kept up with the group status. Is our only choice a public group or is there a private option that people are using?


Grim's GT/OO group is private, and I know that OO also has a group of its own, plus Trent Steel has a private Pain Dome group.  It's up to you if you want to see workouts logged within the groups themselves or just the workouts of whoever you're following.  I follow all of the same people that are in my groups, so I just mostly stick with the main page as I get to see my friends' workouts without having to go all the way into the various groups I belong to.  Up to you how you want to view the workouts of friends.  
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 08:34:37 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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tiktokman
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 08:34:21 PM »


Yeah, I've got Starting Strength. I'm very limited in time so this is the best I have come up with. Right now I have usually about 20-25 minutes in the AM to get in my workout. Once kid #2 is here and our schedule falls in to place I *should* have more as I''ll no longer have to get my kid up and ready to go to daycare. Wife is going to be a stay-at-home mom for awhile.

I really like a good 5x5 routine and once time allows that's where I'll head.
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PeteRock
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 08:35:40 PM »

Quote from: tiktokman on January 30, 2012, 08:34:21 PM

I really like a good 5x5 routine and once time allows that's where I'll head.

I think Strong Lifts 5x5 is a pretty popular program over at Fitocracy and there's a decent about of information on their FAQs and in their forums.

I've been doing my own modified hybrid of SS with some isolation work as I didn't feel my body was developing evenly enough.  Certain areas weren't developing to my liking ("vanity" groups like biceps, triceps, calves, etc), so I've kept all of the SS compound lifts in my current program but have also incorporated a little isolation work in a Chest/Tricep, Back/Bicep, Shoulders-Traps/Legs split.  Each workout has a series of big compound lifts and I finish with some isolation work.  My strength in the isolation exercises is sapped, but those muscle groups are hit pretty hard in the compound work and the isolation work is just to get that final isolated burn. 

I've only been doing this type of split for a few weeks, but so far I like it and plan to stick with it at least for a little while, incorporating new exercises every so often to mix things up.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 08:45:24 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 08:36:05 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on January 30, 2012, 08:22:44 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on January 30, 2012, 08:14:19 PM

sharing our accomplishments can only help to inspire others to work harder and stick with their programs.

It may break my eternal bloodvow of vengeance and hatred, forged in the fire kindled by pure wrath and fury, but I think I agree with Pete.

 ninja2
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 08:55:52 PM »

I discovered the Strong Lifts 5x5 thing a few weeks ago - looks good, just wish I could afford a power rack, olympic bar, and plates.  My local rec center is sadly lacking when it comes to free weights.

I'm finally ready to get back on the wagon after the holidays and a hacking cough that kept me off the treadmill for three weeks.
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 09:23:19 PM »

41 straight pushups today (100pushup starting endurance test), immediately followed by 4 unassisted chinups, and 8 assisted (-50lbs).

Then I went for my workout.

4 sets comprised of 2 sets of 10-14 at lighter weight a heavy set, followed by an exhaustion set on the end.
I work out with a buddy who doesn't do as much weight, and isn't interested in pushing his strength much.

Push press
L/R resisted Lunges (barbell)
DB press on a ball
Front shld. raise
Deadlifts (not bad, 225 sans belt)
DB flys on a bench
standing calf raises (+300lbs)
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 10:25:11 PM »

Out of curiosity, do you guys who lift weights take any protein supplement/powders to help build muscle?

I've been crossfitting going on 4 years now and while my weightlifting technique has come a long way, I feel I should be able to lift significantly heavier than I do. Deadlifting for example, I think my max single rep is 225. Some of my other crossfit buddies can deadlift over 300 lbs.
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 11:23:20 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on January 30, 2012, 10:25:11 PM

Out of curiosity, do you guys who lift weights take any protein supplement/powders to help build muscle?

I've been crossfitting going on 4 years now and while my weightlifting technique has come a long way, I feel I should be able to lift significantly heavier than I do. Deadlifting for example, I think my max single rep is 225. Some of my other crossfit buddies can deadlift over 300 lbs.

I sometimes put together a shake with protein powder, but ultimately I don't like how it makes my stomach feel.  I instead try to make sure to incorporate protein into all of my meals in some form or another (chicken, beef, milk, etc).

Ultimately increasing your DL depends on a few key elements:  proper form, building up your central nervous system's ability to support the weight, increasing weight each session in small increments (such as in Starting Strength), and caloric intake.  To really increase your strength you're going to have to consume more calories to fuel your system.  While you'll want to consume a minimum of 1g of protein per pound of body weight, you'll want to up your caloric intake if you want to increase major compound lifts.  You'll also need LOTS of rest to recover.  Programs like Starting Strength have you only lifting every other day, with no cardio, eating a great deal of calories, and resting as much as possible so your muscles can recover.  Fuel and recovery and huge factors in strength gains.

Quote from: PeteRock on January 30, 2012, 08:14:19 PM

Today I think I might up my deadlifts a bit to try to get back to where I was before my concussion.  I also recently had a hamstring pull and am dealing with a lingering groin strain.  I hit 285 at one point some time ago, but I now seem to be struggling to get back up to 200 again.  I'd like to get to 225 in the next few weeks, so today I may jump from 185 to 190, and perhaps 195 for my last set if I feel up for it.

It looks like this thread has already had an impact on my workouts.  Today I felt pretty strong and decided to bump up my deadlift in small increments to see if I could break 200.  But once I hit 205 and still felt like I had some energy left I thought I'd go for 225 to see just where I stand.  Apparently I've been pussy-footing it lately at my perceived plateau of 185 because I intended to try only 1 rep of 225 and got to 3 before my grip started to fail.   icon_eek  I may start out at 205 next DL workout and finish at 225 or maybe even higher.

Nothing else was all that noteworthy.  But DL-ing 225 felt pretty damn good.  Perhaps I'll get back up to my 1-rep-max sooner than I think.  Now I want to see if I can get my bench and squat back up again.  At least both are more than my weight, but I've been stuck at benching 155 and squatting 165.  

For reference, I'm 5'7" and weigh 149 lbs.

And if anyone wants to try out Fitocracy I have a ton of invites so let me know either in this thread or by PM and I'll get you in.  It really is a fun site for recording, tracking, and maintaining a workout program.  It also is a fantastic resources for fitness participants of any level, from beginner all the way to advanced, including lifting programs, diet recommendations, proper form discussions, etc.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 11:33:15 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 12:38:33 AM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on January 30, 2012, 10:25:11 PM

Out of curiosity, do you guys who lift weights take any protein supplement/powders to help build muscle?

I use Isopure Low Carb.  Partly because it's low calorie and low carb, but mostly because its the first protein shake I've had that doesn't taste like I'm drinking a cup full of dirt.

I've been working out pretty regularly since last September, and have seen significant gains (in weight I can lift) as well as losses (20 lbs so far).  I like the public accountability that Trent's Fitocracy group provides, as well as the "leveling" system that makes it feel like I'm actually getting somewhere.  My main goal is to be able to bench 300 on a Smith Machine by August 31.  Currently at 270, so I don't think that'll be a huge stretch.  I wish I could do squats and deadlifts, but my massive lower back pain keeps me very careful when doing those.  High weight attempts probably wouldn't be the best idea.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 12:41:44 AM by Gratch » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 02:47:51 PM »

I saw on Fitocracy that Isgrimnur got back to the gym yesterday.

This thread is already working!   thumbsup

I was going to make a comment about wondering if he's able to get out of bed today, but delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually doesn't hit until the second day.  So instead of checking on him today perhaps tomorrow would be better.   icon_twisted

The hard part is pushing through DOMS on your next workout.  It'll suck at first, especially while warming up, but it doesn't take long for it to go away when you hit your stride in your workout. 

Another challenge is dealing with the hunger following particularly hard workouts.  Eating the purposely limited portion in front of you and not allowing yourself to scavenge for more isn't easy.  Just keep drinking more water.  Eating more protein, vegetables, and fruits while limiting processed garbage also helps.

Happy to see you back, Grim.  Now just take it one day at a time.  When you don't feel like hitting the gym on a workout day, all it takes is that first step of getting from the couch to the car.  Then from the car to the entrance of the gym.  Then you start warming up.  Next thing you know you're feeling better and glad you didn't skip your workout.  We all have those days.  The toughest part isn't the workout itself, but getting to the workout.  If you take small steps, like getting changed, then putting on your shoes, then getting in the car, etc, and you take notice of how much better you feel once you finally get to the gym, skip days will become a rarity rather than an excuse.

Sorry for the supportive ramble.  It's not easy to live a healthier lifestyle.  But having supporters really does make a difference.  I know you want it, and so I'd like to see you achieve it. 

One thing I've learned over at Fitocracy is that it's not a competition in that while others may be stronger, thinner, bigger, or more defined than you, we all celebrate one anothers' successes together.  Lokkju reached a personal record of deadlifting 470 lbs.  While I'll never reach something like that, and am somewhat envious, I'm still incredibly proud of his accomplishment.  And I don't feel it shadows my own recent PR of 225.  Or your recent return to the gym.  We're all at varying levels of fitness.  That doesn't make any one person better than another.  The key is that we're all into fitness (or at least using it as a path to healthier living), and so we're all in this together.  If one of us fails, then the group has failed to support that person's efforts.

But if I learn of a skip day your support network will be a little less Fabulous and more  drillsergeant

 ninja2
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 03:28:36 PM »

I signed up for Fitocracy (happydog invited me some time ago).

Can I get an invite into the groups ?

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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 03:44:15 PM »

Yeah, there's some soreness today.  Mainly from the chest fly work.  And yes, I fear not being able to get out of bed tomorrow.  Ad yes, I have the food hoover problem.  Last night's post workout was limited to a glass of chocolate milk, and I used a smaller glass than normal to try and mitigate even that ... after the three burrito dinner...

I appreciate the support, Pete.  I'm going to try and make it back either Wednesday or Thursday, and shoot for once over the weekend.  But I definitely want to start out slowly enough to get back in the groove and without overdoing it and risking injury.  I'd like to get to the point where I feel comfortable moving to more free weights, but that requires some strength and stability that is currently lacking.

I just spammed out a bunch of Fitocracy Invites to my group, including you, Purge.
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 03:46:16 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 31, 2012, 03:28:36 PM

Can I get an invite into the groups ?

Purge.

Any preferences?  

Isgrimnur's "The Real GamingTrend/OO Crowd" group doesn't really get any traffic anymore.

The "Octopus Overlords" group seems to be pretty active, although I'm not familiar with most of the members, probably in part because I don't frequent OO anymore (outside of reading through their fitness thread).  If you post over there then maybe some of the members will be more familiar to you.

Trent Steel's "Pain Dome" group only has a few members, but as it's his show I'd rather not just start inviting my own online friends into the mix.  But if you're interested and still post over at OO, send him a quick note if you'd like to be a part of his masochistic society.

There's another "GamingTrend" group that was initially started by me in the beginning before the private option was available, and it has inadvertently become a big group for general gamers interested in fitness.  It isn't restricted to just GT folks and has ballooned to over 400 members.  I don't really do much with it anymore and am looking to add an admin to take over for me, but so far no one there wants to take on the responsibility.

I mainly select people I want to "follow" and primarily stick to the main "home" page of my profile as all of their workouts, posts, and progress show up regardless of what groups they belong to.  I'm following some of the staff of Fitocracy along with GT folks, OO folks, and friends I know in person.  

I'll shoot you an invite for OO's group, but outside of that there aren't many others I'm a part of that see much traffic.
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 03:51:10 PM »

I honestly just watch the main feed rather than any group particular, as the Home traffic feed posts all the group stuff a la Facebook. 
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 04:03:16 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 31, 2012, 03:44:15 PM

... after the three burrito dinner...

 disgust

Next time perhaps try a two-burrito dinner, or perhaps just one.  Something to keep in mind.  When I want to lose weight I don't necessarily go on a diet per se, in that I don't live on salad, boiled chicken breast, and slim fast shakes.  I eat what I want/like, but I focus more on portion size.  If I am going to have some pizza, I eat two slices instead of the 6 I would like to.  If I crave some ice cream I'll eat two small scoops instead of a large bowl (or we go to our favorite gelato place, Gelato 64, which uses 4-8% butterfat versus the 14% regular ice cream has).  Your weight loss may be slower than if you completely overhaul your diet, but you're less likely to stick with a "diet" than with a general lifestyle change.  Small changes, such as grabbing an apple instead of a handful of chips, or drinking water instead of soda or fruit juice (fruit juice has a LOT of sugar in it), and limiting portion size to slightly less than what you'd normally hork down all combines to have inevitable positive effects.

On the chocolate milk, it's actually considered a good post-workout drink due to the protein as well as the added carbs which are thought to aid in recovery.  So the chocolate milk isn't something to worry about as much as the three burritos.  

Quote
I appreciate the support, Pete.  I'm going to try and make it back either Wednesday or Thursday, and shoot for once over the weekend.  But I definitely want to start out slowly enough to get back in the groove and without overdoing it and risking injury.  I'd like to get to the point where I feel comfortable moving to more free weights, but that requires some strength and stability that is currently lacking.

Actually, I'd recommend going to free weights sooner rather than later and just cutting back on weight.  Using machines neglects stabilizer muscles, your core, and your central nervous system (CNS), whereas free weights incorporate more muscle groups, utilize your core, and strengthen your CNS's ability to control and support more weight.  Consider the seated military press with a machine.  You're primarily isolating your deltoids.  But, if you were to try the same exercise with dumbbells, even if they have to be lighter, you start to incorporate your core, traps, multiple areas of your deltoids, upper back, etc.  And, if you were to then stand during this exercise, doing a shoulder overhead press, you also add abs, lower back, quads, and you put more resistance on your CNS, forcing it to adapt to support more weight in the future.  You'll get a more inclusive, compound impact on your muscles rather than isolating a very specific group, and your CNS will develop more efficiently than when doing isolation work with machines.

Take my real-life example of squats.  I had never done them before.  Ever.  So while doing the Starting Strength program I had to start out with 95 lbs.  And almost wobbled to my death.  But, my CNS quickly adapted after just a few sessions and then I started to see pretty rapid gains in my squat strength, going from just 95 lbs up to about 190.  I'm back down to 165 due to time away from the gym from injuries, but the strength is coming back pretty quickly.  You'll see better gains, your weight bearing ability will improve faster, and your stability will improve more rapidly by sucking it up and moving to free weights sooner rather than building perceived strength with limited range of motion.  Actually, if you go that route and then move to free weights you'll be surprised at how little it helped since your CNS hasn't developed yet.  Your isolated groups may be stronger, but without the development of your CNS's ability to support more weight you'll wind up doing more harm than good.  And despite having to start out with lighter weight, you'll still do more for your overall strength than isolation work.  Plus, a benefit of compound lifts is that you eliminate any "need" to do isolated ab work.  Crunches are bad on the back, although that can be alleviated with an exercise ball, but squats, standing overhead press, deadlifts, and even bench all force you to use your core to stabilize your system, making isolation ab work a little superfluous.  I still do isolated ab work, of course, but only as an accessory to the ab workout I get from compound lifts.

Just my $0.02 (although backed up by a fair bit of strength training research).

Still, stick with what you're comfortable with.  Starting slow is the best way to avoid burning out too quickly, and working within your comfort zone will avoid potential injury.  But in the long run making the transition to strengthening your CNS will be more beneficial than working on isolated groups with limited ROM.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 04:07:29 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 04:48:03 PM »

I made the decision to finish the leftovers before seeing how much was left, a strategic error. I really need to learn to exhibit better portion control.

I already do some free weight work like the barbell curls, dumbbell shoulder press. I tried lying dumbbell chest flys, and they worked, but my form sucked. But I suppose the only way to improve is keep at it. I'll start looking for free weight replacements to my machine work that won't risk me dropping a barbell across my throat.
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2012, 04:55:55 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 31, 2012, 04:48:03 PM

I made the decision to finish the leftovers before seeing how much was left, a strategic error. I really need to learn to exhibit better portion control.

My wife sometimes says, "If you go to bed hungry, you've won."  A difficult problem to overcome is waiting for your system to register being satiated.  There is a lag period between food consumption and feeling "full."  And we often eat faster than our body has time to register, allowing us to overeat before feeling we've eaten enough in time.  One method is to eat more slowly, but also to finish a smaller portion, drink plenty of water along with it, and see how you feel 20 minutes after you've eaten.  As I can't be there to slap your hand and yell, "No!  Bad Grim!", you'll have to judge proper portion size and limiting grazing on your own.  But each time you over-do it you can at least expect a virtual slap:   ninja2  Bad Grim!

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I already do some free weight work like the barbell curls, dumbbell shoulder press. I tried lying dumbbell chest flys, and they worked, but my form sucked. But I suppose the only way to improve is keep at it. I'll start looking for free weight replacements to my machine work that won't risk me dropping a barbell across my throat.

There is no shame in starting with just the bar.  That's how I began learning how to properly do squats.  I felt self-conscious at first, but ultimately I was doing it for me and no one else.  Plus, we all have to start somewhere.  It was a proud day when I moved up enough to be able to use "big boy" plates (45's).  My goal is to eventually be able to squat using two big boy plates on each side.  I already shrug 225 and DL 225, so eventually I'd like to do the same with squats and bench.  It'll be a while for bench, but squats are certainly achievable. 
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2012, 05:04:59 PM »

Chocolate milk generally = milk + HFCS. Not good for you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate_milk#Supplement

I find the calorie / fat comment at the bottom particularly amusing, since I'm down to the mid-to-high 240's. I was in the 280-285 range at the end of August.

I wouldn't eat burritos given the high amount of carbs found in them (beans, corn, processed sauces). I'd instead eat (as I did for dinner last night) 1.5 baked chicken breasts with fried mushrooms (in butter), as well as ~1.5 cups of asparagus and a big glass of water.

My 2c though - also, I don't go to bed hungry - I don't believe in starving my body. It knows how to regulate itself - I just need to not give it things that f*** up its ability to control itself. I eat until I've got that "full-not-stuffed" feeling, and I have no compulsion to continue eating.

Either way Grim, when it comes to pushing weights, I don't generally go "heavy" unless I have a spotter. You should see how much you can push for one, maybe two reps (with a spotter), and then drop about 20% and work on that as solo to increase your strength. Right now your gains in weight capacity will be greater than those who always work out, but you need to stick to it for it to happen.

If you do get a spotter though, it's important that they don't take your workout away from you.

In terms of bench press, go with 2 dumbbells instead - you'll get more stabilizing work due to the independent weights, and if you can manage 100lbs (2x50) then you can probably handle ~135lbs on a bar. (that's a big-boy bar @45lbs + (1)45lb "big boy plate" per side)

==|-----|==

 My max?  

=|||----|||=

I got up to the 315lbs range when I was pushing strength with a buddy of mine who was #2 in the Manitoba Strong Man competition. I had to start small though and work my way up. It wasn't quick, but it was gratifying.

Nowadays I can comfortably push 245 without a spotter and get 3-4 sets of 6. I tend to go 225 with higher reps. I intend to get up over the 300 mark in a little bit.

Today is circuit day. Hooray!

Lastly - check out slowburn revolution for a short, intense, strength-building exercise.
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2012, 06:08:33 PM »

My doc, who is a sports medicine doc and has worked for, among others, the Browns, the Cavaliers and the Indians said that for someone my size (currently up a few pounds at ~223), I should be taking in 20g of protein post-workout, and recommended protein shakes - I use EAS Myoplex Lite, and I do feel a difference in my recovery when I drink one right after a tough workout.

Isgrimnur, I periodically check into these threads... I've been where you are, and I gotta say, I don't think your approach is ever going to bring you anything but frustration and minor up/down swings.  If you don't change the way you approach food to something intelligent and sustainable, you are going to keep on that 'boom and bust' cycle.

Try and deny yourself too much and you end up on a binge because you feel deprived.
Try and control portions but continue to eat crap, and you are going to fail because you simply can't feel full on that food without eating larger amounts.
Try and half-ass the fitness and you will stop doing it because you won't see results fast enough to feel like it's worth it.

The number one most important thing you can do to lose weight and become fit (also key to my quitting smoking) is to have what I call the 'alright, asshole' moment, where you say to yourself 'Alright, asshole, you are going to do this starting right now.'

You've tried all the other bullshit and it hasn't worked.

Count every goddamned calorie you put in your mouth.  Commit to do this every.single.day.  Don't say 'Oh, I'll do it for a month/week/whatever until I get a feel for it, then I won't need to do it anymore.'  Just make it what you do.  You can stop a year from now.  Get a kitchen scale and for the first month, measure every portion of every thing you eat that isn't already in a controlled portion.  See how many tablespoons of half and half you REALLY put in your coffee.  Don't say 'oh, I think I put an ounce of cheese on that salad.' KNOW how much cheese you just put on that salad.  If you have time to post on GT periodically all day, you have time to go to livestrong and track your meals.  Set up an account, put in your weight, say your activity level is SEDENTARY (don't lie to yourself about your activity level, also, this lets you count for real) it'll tell you how much you can eat every day and lose x pounds a week.

You figure out in a hurry that if you want to feel satisfied with what you eat and stay under your calories, you are going to stop eating crap.  Pre-cook food.  I would grill a bunch of chicken breasts and throw them in the fridge when I was making dinner on Sunday.  All week I could pull them out and make a pretty bitchin' salad with chicken breast on top, and that shit has a lot of fiber, so you feel filled up for longer.  You also figure out in a hurry that as a bigger guy, the calories they say you can eat in a day are just not going to cut it, so you are going to want to eat more... so eat more.  Go over.

So now you overate... what to do!  You exercise.  Do it 6 days a week.  Do it for an hour (ok, maybe not to start with, but you can get up to an hour sustained workout remarkably quickly.)  Do it HARD.  Tip: If you do it the second you get up, in your own house, it's easy to schedule around.  If you say 'well, I'll work out at 7pm every day', it's way harder to do when your buddy calls and says 'Hey, wanna go see the new Katherine Hiegl movie tonight?'  You absolutely do not need to go to a gym to work out and lose weight - I see you saying often 'It's hard to make it to the gym'.  If you don't go, do something else.  Get some workout DVDs.  I lost 50 pounds without setting foot in a gym.  Literally the heaviest weight I had at the time weighed THREE POUNDS. (Ok, I would hold a 3 and a 2 at the same time, and I've since bought heavier handweights, but you don't need that stuff to get started.)  Do a little something extra if you can fit it in - the fastest I ever lost weight was working out in the mornings and then taking the dog on a 45 minute, 3 mile walk in the evenings - it just kept my metabolism up, and calorie wise, walking fast isn't that far off from running at all... it also helps loosen up and prevent soreness in muscles that you hammered in the morning, making it easier to get up and do it again the next day.

I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already really know... so I'll just re-iterate.  You gotta COMMIT.  You will be hungry for a while... but you will get past that, and you will start to feel energized.  You will sleep better too.

Last tips: If you can find some exercise that is something you just find really FUN, then you are getting to burn calories for free.  It's hard to drag my ass out of bed at 5:30 and do a cardio circuit for an hour and burn 800-1000 calories.  It's not hard at all to get myself go ride my mountain bike on the trails for 3 hours and burn 2 - 3000 calories.  If it's fun, you will do it.  Figure out what is fun for you.  Go ice skating, try running, join a soccer team, hell I don't know.  There must be something.

Know that once you get down to your goal weight, you can eat more.  If you are maintaining weight, you don't need the calorie deficit you needed to lose the weight.  There is a better future 6 months down the road if you can accept no excuses from yourself for those 6 months.
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2012, 07:03:31 PM »

I've got the calorie counter (LoseIt!) on my phone, I have the kitchen scale, and have modified my breakfast and lunch on work days to be a routine.  And I usually have a sandwich for dinner that I keep in reason.  But every now and then, I want to cook something, and I haven't quite mastered the portion control there, as I tend to cook only stuff I like to eat.  That doesn't mean I need to keep eating half of it per night.

When I moved to Dallas 4 years ago, I weighed 285.  As of spring last year, I was under 230 for a short period.  But I decided to rest on my laurels for a bit, which turned into a longer period, and then a long bout of illness kept me from caring about my food intake and kept me out of the gym.  I spent the entire month of August on antibiotics and feeling like crap, then October recovering from having my tonsils removed. 

But past is prologue.  I've proven to myself that I can lose the weight.  I never did a strict "diet", but did make sustainable changes.  The huge number of empty sunflower seed buckets under my work desk can attest to that.  The trick is to get back on the horse, make the rest of the changes I need to sustain it for life.  I can go off the rails on occasion, but that needs to be a rarity rather than the beginning of a pattern lapse. 
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2012, 08:15:42 PM »

I don't know about LoseIt!, but on Livestrong you can enter recipes and get the calorie counts... sometimes it's a bit tricky to figure out the portion, but you can, for instance:

Weigh a pot.
Make a pot of chili via a recipe in said pot.
Weigh the whole thing when it's done, and subtract the weight of the pot to get the weight of the entire yield.
Weigh your portion on your scale (after taring the bowl on the scale).
Do some simple math to figure out what you think a portion is... so, for instance, I now know that one two cup serving of the chili I make is 287 calories.

As for resting on laurels... yeah, part of that lifestyle change is making exercise a lifelong thing you do... that's where finding stuff that's fun that you can be passionate about is great.

Just got back from a 2.5 mile lunchtime run with my wife... which is what passes for a date these days... heh.
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2012, 08:35:08 PM »

Quote from: kratz on January 31, 2012, 08:15:42 PM


Just got back from a 2.5 mile lunchtime run with my wife... which is what passes for a nooner these days... heh.

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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2012, 08:38:21 PM »

You are hilarious.

We call the nooner the 'snack n' shack' though.
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2012, 11:50:00 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 31, 2012, 03:44:15 PM

I'm going to try and make it back either Wednesday or Thursday, and shoot for once over the weekend. 

I'm going to hold you to this.  I'm going tomorrow, Friday, and hopefully over the weekend (although the weekend may be scrapped due to playing in a softball tournament Saturday which might see me playing five to six consecutive 1-hour games - depends on how the elbow and shoulder feel), so I expect to see you hit at least two more days before Super Bowl Sunday (which is notorious for causing many to postpone diets or eating habits for an afternoon/evening).  And binge eating has to go on hold as we can probably assume our diets will take a step backward on Sunday (mine certainly will, especially due to how much I'll probably drink). 

YOU CAN DO IT!
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« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2012, 11:12:49 AM »

Some motivation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsSC2vx7zFQ
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« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2012, 01:56:53 PM »

Well, I'm back on the kick now.

I lost 60 pounds last year to get back to a weight I hadn't seen since Desert Storm.  Then I tossed out my back exercising and didn't do much for three months, which just happened to coincide with the Holiday season.  I tend to *want* to eat during the Fall (my body thinks it's going into hibernation or something), so now I weighed myself and I'm up over 20 pounds.  Most normal people couldn't gain 20+ pounds in three months if they tried, but I can do it easily.

I started working out in January again and now I'm on the "watch what I eat" kick and using MyFitnessPal to track the calories.  We'll see how I do over the next month or two.  I want to drop 25 by July as I'm hiking up half dome in mid-July and being lighter will help.

Here's the plan:

Diet -> Eat 1,800 calories per day, though I can go up to 2,300 if I work out for an hour.

February to mid-March workouts will mainly consist of 1 hour workouts using PeakFit, which is cardio and low-weight strength training.

Mid-March on will be:
M, W -> 2.5-4 mile jog & big 4 (press, bench, demi-squats and deadlift) weightlifting.
T-T -> 1/2 P90X Chest/Back and Arms/Shoulders.  Go very heavy on the arms, go for more reps on the chest/shoulders (since the heavy stuff will be on M/W)
F -> Kickboxing or Tabata
S -> Football practice or hiking or 5k runs
S -> Rest
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2012, 02:04:13 PM »

even though it seems that this thread is more gym rat than weight loss, Ill go ahead and throw my 2 cents in here.
In December I started a weight control program sponsored by my family doctor.  He started with some basic information geared to helping me adjust some bad eating habits.
  The first thing he told me was DO NOT exercise to lose weight, its self defeating.  Now he didnt say dont exercise, but not to expect exercise alone to reduce your weight significantly.  His reasoning?  Fat is the most efficient storage of calories in the human body.  A pound of fat contains around 3200 calories.  The average calorie burn during exercise is 300 calories an hour.  Simple math shows that you would need to exercise 10 hours to burn a pound of fat.  Clearly exercise alone wont cut it.
  He highly advises exercise but said too many people have the misconception that you can eat what ever you want and exercise it off.  Most who do this fail.  Instead he recommends making slow steady alterations to your dietary habits.  Most of it youve all heard before.
 Portion control is huge.  People over eat constantly.  He told me about the clock your body has when eating.  Once you start eating, your body starts processes that will make you feel full at around 15 minutes ( it varies with the individual somewhat )  After that time you will feel full regardless of whether you eat 2 slices of pizza or 5.  I can attest that this is true.  I have changed my portion sizes drastically and am always feeling full after 15 minutes.  
 There are a few tricks to help you slow down your eating speed. The easiest is to set down your shovel between bites.  Dont sit there and just constantly shovel the food down.  Take a bite, set down your fork and chew far more than you are used to, because most people under chew their food, while packing it down.   Chewing more will not only slow the process down but in fact helps the digestive process and is healthier for you.
 People eat far too much meat and far too few vegetables and fruits.   People are generally especially bad about red meat and processed red meat ie: hot dogs, bologna, salami etc.  I have adjusted so I try to eat red meat only once a week.  Its really not that hard.  I eat a lot more poultry and fish.  I avoid processed meat like the plague.
 Learning how not to snack was probably the hardest thing for me.  I literally had to throw out all the garbage snack food in my house.  Read the content on a bag of Cheetos sometime and see how small a portion actually is.  and how many calories that tiny portion contains.  Then do the math to find out the huge amount of calories you take in when you plop in front of the tv and chow down that bag of Cheetos. It will end up being a couple thousand more calories than you think.   If you have to snack, grab a small portion and leave the bag behind!  I now snack on a hand full of dried cherries.  
 The last thing Ill mention, since this has become far more wordy than I intended, is dont deprive yourself.  Instead control yourself.  Knowing how and when to stop is half the battle.  For example, I love chocolate.  I also know I dont want to be eating candy bars all the time.  I generally buy the bags of those small miniature chocolates from hershey or dove and when I have a chocolate craving, I dont ignore it.  Ill grab a miniature and only one.  It wont kill your diet efforts and it kills the craving.  Just be sure to recognize the difference between a craving and the simple desire to eat.  I generally have an actual craving once or twice a week..

Anyway, applying what my Doctor has told me I have gone from 249 down to 218 ( 31 pounds ) in 8 weeks. I have a nice steady weight loss of around 1/2 pound a day.  I dont starve myself, I control my hunger and most importantly Im controlling or eliminating some seriously bad eating habits.   My doctor, when talking about all the various fad diets and weird eating plans said you can lose weight by understanding the simplest fact.  If your caloric intake is less than what your body burns, you will lose weight.  It really is that simple.  
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« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2012, 02:25:36 PM »

Quote from: rshetts2 on February 01, 2012, 02:04:13 PM

The average calorie burn during exercise is 300 calories an hour.

I don't disagree with the rest of your post, but that's a low estimate of the calories burned during exercise.  Any vigorous exercising will burn off twice that much per hour.  A 200 pound man will burn off 318 calories or so walking at a leisurely 3 MPH pace for an hour.  The same man running at a relatively slow 5MPH pace for 30 minutes will burn off about 325-350 calories.  

Still, it doesn't matter that much in the grand scheme of things - you can't burn off what you eat if you overeat.  Hence weight loss is 75+% diet and 25-% exercise.
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« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2012, 02:42:10 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on February 01, 2012, 02:25:36 PM

Quote from: rshetts2 on February 01, 2012, 02:04:13 PM

The average calorie burn during exercise is 300 calories an hour.

I don't disagree with the rest of your post, but that's a low estimate of the calories burned during exercise.  Any vigorous exercising will burn off twice that much per hour.  A 200 pound man will burn off 318 calories or so walking at a leisurely 3 MPH pace for an hour.  The same man running at a relatively slow 5MPH pace for 30 minutes will burn off about 325-350 calories.  

Still, it doesn't matter that much in the grand scheme of things - you can't burn off what you eat if you overeat.  Hence weight loss is 75+% diet and 25-% exercise.

Yeah that is an average based on a national study and likely based more on a real hour of exercise, where people take breaks and such instead of a dream hour of 60 solid minutes of vigorous exercise. Im sure you are correct in your estimates.    Still the point was more that thinking you can gorge yourself and exercise it off is self defeating and rarely works, especially in people who need to reduce by more than a few pounds.
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« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2012, 03:49:43 PM »

I left work having consumed 920 calories through the day.

I went home for work.  I had the dregs of a can of Pringles in a container.  I tared out the container weight, and found that it was 3/4 of a serving, 112 calories.  I ate those.  I then prepped Rice a Roni with a can of chicken tossed in for the meat.  The whole prep came to 1200 calories.  I pulled out three bowls, and once it was done, split it out equally, prepped a 12 oz soda (170), and then went to sit down and eat. 

I ate my bowl of rice and chicken, drank my soda, and watched Buffalo beat the Habs.  I then went back in the kitchen, looked at the two other bowls ... put plastic wrap on them, and put them in the fridge.

Total calories yesterday: 1,602.
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« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2012, 03:51:44 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 01, 2012, 03:49:43 PM

I left work having consumed 920 calories through the day.

I went home for work.  I had the dregs of a can of Pringles in a container.  I tared out the container weight, and found that it was 3/4 of a serving, 112 calories.  I ate those.  I then prepped Rice a Roni with a can of chicken tossed in for the meat.  The whole prep came to 1200 calories.  I pulled out three bowls, and once it was done, split it out equally, prepped a 12 oz soda (170), and then went to sit down and eat. 

I ate my bowl of rice and chicken, drank my soda, and watched Buffalo beat the Habs.  I then went back in the kitchen, looked at the two other bowls ... put plastic wrap on them, and put them in the fridge.

Total calories yesterday: 1,602.

 thumbsup

Although chicken from a can creeps me out. 

And drink more water.   ninja2
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« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2012, 03:58:34 PM »

Two of my drinks during yesterday's work time were Crystal Light drinks on the go.  That's a liter of water right there (+20 calories).  And I had some water before I went to bed.  I've got to have some flavor at some point.  It's either that or my sweet tea, which has 1/2 cup of sugar in 10 cups of brewed water.
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« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2012, 04:01:51 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 01, 2012, 03:49:43 PM

I left work having consumed 920 calories through the day.

I went home for work.  I had the dregs of a can of Pringles in a container.  I tared out the container weight, and found that it was 3/4 of a serving, 112 calories.  I ate those.  I then prepped Rice a Roni with a can of chicken tossed in for the meat.  The whole prep came to 1200 calories.  I pulled out three bowls, and once it was done, split it out equally, prepped a 12 oz soda (170), and then went to sit down and eat. 

I ate my bowl of rice and chicken, drank my soda, and watched Buffalo beat the Habs.  I then went back in the kitchen, looked at the two other bowls ... put plastic wrap on them, and put them in the fridge.

Total calories yesterday: 1,602.

I hope your food during the morning/lunch included some veggies and fruits.  My diet yesterday:

Breakfast:
2 packs of Quaker instant oatmeal

Lunch:
Marinated London Broil
Salad
Apple
Small piece of chocolate cake

Dinner:
NY Strip Steak
Green Beans
Stuffing mix
Grapes

1888 calories.  Subtract 350 for the plyometrics in the morning and I netted out at 1,538.  

The great advantage of consuming water instead of soda - I get to consume calories from goodies like chocolate cake!
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« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2012, 04:05:00 PM »

Pop Tarts: "Filling made with equal to 10% fruit."

Lunch is two bags of sunflower seeds.  plenty of Vitamin E.

I had 4 oz of OJ this morning, and I'm going to start working those applesauce cups into the diet as part of dinner or snacks.
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« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2012, 04:12:40 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 01, 2012, 03:58:34 PM

Two of my drinks during yesterday's work time were Crystal Light drinks on the go.  That's a liter of water right there (+20 calories).  And I had some water before I went to bed.  I've got to have some flavor at some point.  It's either that or my sweet tea, which has 1/2 cup of sugar in 10 cups of brewed water.

Just want to make sure it makes its way into your day as your muscles will need it from exercising and caffeine (such as in soda) is a diuretic, working against your water intake.  If Crystal Light makes water more palatable for you, go with it.  I can understand needing flavor in at least some of your day's drinks.  That's why I drink beer.   icon_wink

Like Blackadar mentions, make sure to get more greens and fiber into your diet.  The fiber will help you to feel satiated and vegetables have vitamins and nutrients you need.  Meat and rice will inevitably leave you feeling undernourished.  I'm not saying it's easy, as I struggle to make sure to get vegetables into our meals as well, but my wife has been good about picking up things like asparagus, fresh spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.  That isn't to say I don't enjoy a nice bed or rice to serve my homemade chicken tikka masala over top of, but I now make sure to have something green on the side (no, not sag paneer  icon_wink).

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 01, 2012, 04:05:00 PM

Pop Tarts: "Filling made with equal to 10% fruit."

Lunch is two bags of sunflower seeds.  plenty of Vitamin E.

I had 4 oz of OJ this morning, and I'm going to start working those applesauce cups into the diet as part of dinner or snacks.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but you need to eat an actual lunch.  I'm concerned that such a limited lunch (a few bags of sunflower seeds), will eventually lead to frustration and failure.  Consider instead eating something like pre-cooked chicken breast with veggies, such as in the form of a sandwich or wrap, and perhaps some fruit like an apple or pear.  Plus, if the seeds are salted, combining that with canned chicken and rice-a-roni, your sodium levels may be reaching an unhealthy high.

Less processed, more fresh.  If needed, cook things ahead, such as picking up a package of chicken breasts, cooking them all, then eating one for dinner that night and the rest can go on sandwiches, in wraps, or just be eaten cold the next few days at work.  The Abs Diet books have a lot of great, quick, simple recipes for pre-cooked meats with veggies. 

Dieting does not have to = starving.  Your muscles will need protein, your system needs more fiber and nutrients, and with the added salt in processed foods and the sunflower seeds you might have to start worrying about sodium. 

Eating less should mean eating next to nothing.  And changing to healthier ingredients keeps you from having to eat so little.
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« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2012, 04:27:01 PM »

Honestly, the sunflower seeds has been the most sustainable part of my diet over the last couple years. Even when I was dropping the ball elsewhere, lunch was standardized.  The sodium intake for my two bags is 220 mg, 10% of the RDA.  The length of time it takes me to get through those bags helps keep me from wanting to snack on anything else throughout the day, and I don't ever feel hungry during the day with it.  My main failure point has been dinner, as the options become much more open and effort required spikes, making an easy, bad choice much easier to make.

Certainly the Rice a Roni is a sodium bomb that I need to find a way to mitigate, but taking a look at the sodium content prior to leaving work, I would have been at 750 mg, less than a third of the way to the 2,400 RDA max. 

I'm not trying to sound argumentative or anything, just trying to get across that some of these issues are things that I'm cognizant of and have already incorporated into past efforts as well as thinking about currently.



I'm hoping for a repeat of 2010 more than 2011.
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Hadron Smasher on 360; IsgrimnurTTU on PS3

I'd rather be watching hockey.
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