Tag Archives: nutrition

Final Results

I have been having computer problems for the last 3 weeks or so and I haven’t had consistent computer access so I haven’t been able to keep up with the blog. Regardless I did my last weigh in on Sept 8th and was at 211 pounds.  So I only lost 4 in my last week and didn’t reach my goal by 1 pound.  Oh well, still came very close and lost 29 pounds, and about 6% bodyfat.  I did really kick butt in the last week with my nutrition and exercise but it just wasn’t enough.  Once again, I am 100% positive that I would have easily reached my goal if not for the injuries.  I probably took approximately 14 days off from exercising because my injuries (left knee, both elbows, achilles tendon, and lower back) over the course of the program.

After the program was done, I took a full week off from exercise and wasn’t as strict with my diet.  My knee and elbow were still bothering me, and during the next two weeks I ran a couple of times, got a gym membership and lifted weights twice.  That’s about it.  My nutrition was mediocre at best and the  temptations of football season certainly didn’t help my waistline.

Now I have 4 weeks left until park and rec basketball starts and my goal is to generally kick some butt over the next 4 weeks.  When I weighed in at the beginning of this week I was at 220 pounds.  When I did my final weigh in I was definitely slightly dehydrated and had lowered my calories for the final 2 weeks of the program.  I probably, realistically, put on about 7 pounds in the last 3 weeks.

My goal is to get back below 210 pounds.  I also want to lift a lot of weights, increase my vertical, speed, quickness, and endurance.  With a gym membership, I will definitely put on muscle as long as I lift.  Lots of squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, shoulder presses, and abdominal exercises.  I won’t be doing as much distance running, and more of my cardio workouts will be focused on sprints and plyometric exercises.  I need to play basketball at least 2X per week and include various basketball drills.  Lastly, I need to do my morning warm-up exercises and do lots of stretching and icing.  About 2 weeks before the season starts, open gyms will begin and I should be able to play basketball 3-4X before the season starts.

Phase I is complete and phase II will go from October through an alumni basketball game which is the first weekend after the new year.  My goal is to be able to dunk a basketball by then and get my bodyfat under 20%.  After that I will have playoffs for the park and rec league in early February and my goal is to win the league.  Looking forward from there I have my 20 year high school reunion this summer and I want to have my bodyfat in single digits by then.  It won’t be easy but as long as I hold myself accountable to workout hard, eat right, and keep my lifestyle in check, I should be able to reach my goals.

If you need accountability and the best information on how to exercise safely and effectively, check out our website at BodyBalanceHealthyLiving.com and check out our accountability services.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

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The Home Stretch

Crunch Time, a week and a couple of days before my final weigh in where my goal is to be under 210 pounds.  I’ve got 10 days left to lose over 5 pounds, I’m currently at 215.

The last couple of weeks have been tough.   First of all it’s gotten really hot after a very  mild summer.  Overall, the heat helps with weight loss, but it’s still miserable.  I sweat buckets when I’m running which is good because sweating is the ultimate way to detoxify.  Forget about stupid, restrictive diets to detox, just sweat everyday (the more the better, within reason!) and cut the junk out of your diet.  That’s how you detoxify and it doesn’t cost you a penny!

I have really picked it up with the running and have run everyday for the last 12 days.  Unfortunately this increase in running has riled up my left knee.  It’s pretty sore everyday and it hurts every time I stand up or sit down.  The pain isn’t unbearable, but it’s definitely there.  Luckily it rarely bothers me when I’m running or sitting still.  My elbow and Achilles tendon issues are still present.  I feel the Achilles when I’m running, but not always and it seems to be getting better.  As for my elbow I still feel it when doing pull-ups (still keeping pull-ups to a minimum) and occasionally when I’m lifting something heavy away from my body.  I’ve been icing (knee, elbow, and Achilles) at least 2X per day, and have been religious about icing  after running. I’ll keep up with it, it’s summer and the ice is kinda nice sometimes.

Here’s my biggest hurdle, 5 tough pounds left to lose and I’ve ran for the last 12 days straight.  It’s no wonder my knee is ailing and I hope it doesn’t limit me the last week.  Also, I’ve cut back my calories and I think my body is in starvation mode.  It’s not actual starvation, I’ve still been eating 1500 calories or so per day.  What I mean is that my body has lowered it’s metabolism in response to a decrease in calories.  I think if I stay the course, take a day off then really kick it into high gear and grind out the last week I’ll lose the last 5 pounds.  Time will tell and there are certainly no guarantees.  Either way I’ll have lost at least 25 pounds which isn’t bad in 3 months.

If you need guidance/coaching from a professional, send us a e-mail at: ian@bodybalancehealthyliving.com, we’re here to help.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

Month 1 complete

Sorry it’s been awhile since I posted, everything is going well, just on vacation for a week and then internet problems (thanks Charter!).  Nonetheless, an update.  I didn’t reach my goal of being under 230 before vacation.  The reasons?  Mostly due to diet.  I had a slight pizza binge where we ordered pizza (veggie, no meat, but cheese) late one night (never a good idea, I had 2 large pieces, probably 700-800 calories) and then pizza again the next day unexpectedly at a family function, I couldn’t resist.  I had one piece with meat.    Additionally I’ve been trying to balance a sore right Achilles tendon and two sore elbows with keeping very active.  I’ve had to stop and skip a couple of workouts along with plenty of icing.  It’s for the best because my Achilles is feeling better so now I can resume explosive workouts (sprints and plyometrics).  As for the elbows, they’re better but are still problematic despite a vast reduction in upper body work during vacation.

On the subject of nutrition, I’ve been very good about drastically reducing my meat consumption.  Since my last post I had one piece of pizza with pepperoni and sausage, 3 bites of a buffalo burger, and a very small amount of meat in an order of baked beans.  Cheese and dairy on the other hand have been very difficult to give up.  I love cheese (I’m from Wisconsin) plus cheese and dairy are in everything (even vegetarian dishes, I have to look for vegan).  I’ll keep working on it!

As for weight loss I’m currently in the middle of week 5 and am at 229 pounds which is short of where I should be (228 or less).  That’s ok, I’ll just need to readjust.  My goal is to lose 3 pounds for my Monday weigh in and be at 226 or less.  I want to continue with a 3 pound weight loss each week.

The next thing on the horizon is a basketball tournament called the Gus Macker.  It’s a 3 on 3 tournament going on here in Rochester MN on August 10th-11th.  It’s outside and it should be hot, miserable and a blast at the same time!  My goal is to be at 217 pounds the day before the tournament.  I’ve essentially got 4 weeks to kick some butt and get myself into good basketball shape.  Time to pick up the intensity and train to be quicker, faster, and more explosive (jump higher).  I also need to work on my basketball skills (dribbling, shooting, and defense).  Finally I need to acclimate myself to the heat.  This is not fun stuff, high intensity workouts in the heat, preferably in the middle of the day.  It’s actually dangerous and I will need to be careful, keep myself hydrated, and stop workouts if necessary.

Well, that’s it for now.  The journey is going relatively well, but certainly not perfect.  The most important thing is that I keep at it and continue to be consistent with working out and eating healthier even if I’m not always reaching my goals.  Making lifestyle changes is never easy, and if you need help and guidance I highly recommend Body Balance Healthy Living’s accountability services.  Visit www.BodyBalanceHealthyLiving or shoot me an e-mail (ian@BodyBalanceHealthyLiving.com) to learn more.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

The Healthy Lifestyle Plan

Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy!  With unhealthy temptations everywhere, and few convenient healthy choices it’s no wonder we have such an obesity epidemic in this country.  In America, we are living in a very unhealthy environment.  Even someone like me who knows the requirements to keep weight off  can put on weight despite being regularly active.  Since the birth of my son, I’ve gradually put on weight, about 29 pounds in about two years.  I’ve gone from about 220 to a high of 249 pounds.  There are many culprits, late night eating, pizza (my favorite), eating out, not enough regular exercise, and generally not eating healthy enough.  Right now, I’m at 240 pounds, 30% bodyfat, 72 total pounds of fat, a BMI of 32, and a 44 inch waist, not good!

My goal is to follow The Healthy Lifestyle Plan and get under 210 pounds which is very ambitious (about 3 pounds per week).  Losing 3 pounds per week takes hard work, dedication, knowledge, discipline and a serious lifestyle change.  Most people should shoot for 20 to 25 pounds as a weight loss goal for the Healthy Lifestyle Plan.  If you are willing to work really hard, spend more time, and be very conscious of your diet, you can lose more.  The more you embrace the plan, the better your results will be.

The Healthy Lifestyle Plan is a 13 week program designed to give you the best information and a step by step comprehensive game plan on how to lead a healthier lifestyle.  You will learn everything you will need to know to make a positive, permanent lifestyle change.  If you’re ready to make a change, sign up for the Healthy Lifestyle Plan (send an e-mail to ian@BodyBalanceHealthyLiving.com if interested).  After you sign up you will receive your first set of e-mails.  In those e-mails you will be given 6 Steps to Permanently Change Your Life.  I plan to post once per week with my experiences as I go through the plan.  Thanks for reading!

BPA in Plastics

As you can tell from my previous posts, our food supply is under attack by unhealthy food additives designed to do 3 things, #1-make food taste better, #2-increase shelf life, and #3-get you addicted.  In addition to food additives, plastic containers pose a serious health threat.  This post contains more information on BPA, what it is, what it’s in, how to avoid it, and how it may effect your health.

BPA or bisphenol A is used to make plastics, and can leak into water, other beverages and foods.  It can be found in plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic food containers.  In Jan. 2010 the FDA reversed its belief that BPA is safe for humans.  The FDA is especially concerned (if the FDA is concerned, you should be too) over BPA’s effects on developing fetuses, infants, and young children.  Definitely be aware of BPA if you have infants or young children.  You’ll have to look for recycling codes on the plastic products you use.   Look for three bending arrows that form a triangle around a number (1-7).  Each number represents one of the seven classes of plastics.  Types 1, 2, 4, and 5 are unlikely to contain BPA.  Types 3, 6, and 7 are most likely made with BPA which can leak into beverages and food.  You can also look for a BPA free label which is on many water bottles.

Another interesting fact is that when a hot liquid is exposed to plastic made with BPA, the amount of BPA that is leaked into the liquid is drastically increased.   So be aware when adding hot foods and beverages to plastic containers!

In closing, you should take steps to avoid products and foods that may have BPA in them, especially if you have infants or children.  Check recycling codes, try to use products with glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, and be especially cautious with hot foods and liquids.

Other Unhealthy Stuff-food additives part #2

In part 1 we covered artificial sweeteners, HFCS, Trans-fats, and MSG.  In part #2 we will continue on through the world of unhealthy food additives.  Once again, the only way to tell if this stuff is in the foods you and your family eat is to read ingredients lists.  Unfortunately there is no way around this, and oftentimes you may not even be able to find a specific product that doesn’t have unhealthy food additives in it.  For example, you may not be able to find pickles that don’t have nasty preservatives in it in a regular grocery store.  You may need to go to a health food store or to the organics isle at your grocery store.  Here is some other unhealthy stuff to look out for.

Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite

Nitrates are used as preservatives and for meat coloring (it makes brown meat turn red).  If you’re a vegetarian, you won’t have to worry about these chemicals, but if you eat meat, watch out for them.  Nitrates were almost banned in the 70’s so they’re definitely chemicals you will want to avoid.  Look for nitrate free meats, and read ingredients lists to see if the meat in the products you buy have nitrates.

BHA and BHT

These are preservatives that are used in a variety of products such as chewing gum, potato chips and vegetable oils.  As is the norm, read the ingredients list to see if BHA and BHT are used.  These chemicals have been found to adversely affect the brain and contribute to obesity so steer clear.

Food Dyes

You’ll have to go to the ingredients list to see if a food product has Dye’s in it.  Some dye’s that are worse than others, regardless, they are usually artificial, and you should generally avoid them.  Dye’s will be listed with a color and a #, for example yellow #6 and blue #3.  Keep a look out for them in the products you buy for yourself and your family.

Sodium Benzoate

This substance is often found in soft drinks and other beverages.  It is also used as a preservative in many processed foods.   By itself sodium benzoate appears to be safe, but when vitamin c is added to the equation the mixture turns into benzene which is a carcinogen.  Be on the lookout for Sodium benzoate in the ingredients list, and then check the Vit C % at the bottom of the nutritional label.  If the product has both, definitely avoid it.

Potassium Bromate

It is found in breads and is used to increase the volume of flour.  Potassium Bromate is linked with cancer in lab animals so it should be avoided.  Look for potassium bromate in the ingredients list of any bread products you consume.

That is the vast majority of unhealthy food additives that are packed into processed foods.  There are certainly others, over 14000 actually.  The best plan of attack is to avoid processed foods whenever possible.  When you do buy processed foods, read labels, and look for products that don’t have a ton of ingredients.  No you don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (lets be realistic), but eating more whole, organic foods will greatly benefit your health and energy levels.  Stay tuned, the next post will go over BPA in plastics and what you need to do to avoid this dangerous chemical.  Remember, Body Balance Healthy Living is dedicated to helping people lead a healthier lifestyle, and if you’d like to learn more, simply contact us.  We have a variety of different services and programs to fit into your busy lifestyle.  Exercise, eat healthy, and manage stress to live a better, healthier life.  Thanks for reading and do something active today!

 

 

 

Other unhealthy stuff: food additives part #1

Food Additives

There are over 14000 chemicals that are added to the American food supply.  That’s a lot!  Additives are substances (both natural and artificial) that are added to foods to preserve flavor, increase shelf life, and enhance taste and appearance.   Food additives have been used for centuries.  Examples are pickling foods in vinegar, salting, and adding sugar.  Additives definitely have their place (safe forms of food preservation are vital to the distribution of the worlds food supply), and some forms can enhance the healthiness of foods.  Examples are fermenting as in sauerkraut, adding vitamins and minerals, adding fiber, and the recent practice of adding probiotics.  Unfortunately the dollar rules and the cheapest and most available forms of preservation and flavor enhancement are often used.  Some additives and preservatives have been banned, but dangerous ones are still on the market.  Here is a list of the food additives you should limit if not eliminate from your diet.

Artificial Sweeteners

According to the Food Matters website (I highly recommend you watch the documentary Food Matters, definitely worth your time!) artificial sweeteners are the #1 food additive to avoid.  “Aspartame (Nutrasweet and Equal) is not your friend, it’s a neurotoxin, and is carcinogenic.  It is responsible for more reports of adverse reactions than all other food additives combined”.  There is also a laundry list of diseases and ailments linked to this artificial sweetener.  These are serious concerns, so limiting, and preferably eliminating aspartame from you and your families’ diet is highly recommended.  Examples of foods with aspartame are: diet and sugar free colas, other diet or sugar free beverages, sweets, cereals, pudding, and gelatin products.  When you are reading labels keep your eye out for aspartame.  If you are a diet cola drinker make the effort try to find healthier alternatives.  Your long term health depends on it.  Recommendations are: tea (there are many, many different kinds of tea’s, the best and cheapest way to go is to brew your own, think of the $ you’ll save by not buying your favorite diet cola or beverage with aspartame!) water, coffee, mineral water, and naturally sweetened drinks (we suggest you try to find beverages that are lightly sweetened without high fructose corn syrup, which is up next!).

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) aka Corn Sugar

HFCS is in EVERYTHING!  Go ahead, take a look, read some labels, you will be astounded.  If it’s processed in any way, it’s likely to have HFCS.  It’s absolutely startling when you realize that HFCS is “the #1 source of calories in America” (Food Matters website).  These are empty calories folks, and these empty calories end up getting stored as fat.  HFCS and all added sugars are unquestionably the main culprit in our obesity epidemic.  They don’t fill you up and don’t provide any nutrients.  Furthermore, HFCS is linked with diabetes, heart disease (two of the most prevalent diseases in America), and high LDL levels.  Look for products that aren’t sweetened with HFCS and avoid products with large amounts of added sugars.

Trans-Fats

Just as HFCS and added sugars are linked, so is animal saturated fat and trans-fats.  They’re bad for your health and you should limit or eliminate your consumption of these fats.  No more than 10% of your calories should come from animal saturated fats, if you choose to consume them at all.  Trans-fats are found in fried foods, and in processed foods that use margarine and partially hydrogenated oils.  Because trans-fats are dangerous to your health, their amounts must be listed on nutritional labels under fat.  However, as long as there is less than .5 grams of Trans fat (which would equal about 4.5 calories), it can be listed as 0 grams.  You must go to the ingredients list and if you see: partially hydrogenated, it’s got Trans fats in it.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is added to foods to enhance flavor and appearance.  You’ll have to look at the ingredients list again to find out if it’s in a food.  It’s in quite a bit of stuff, such as chips, Chinese foods (ask if they use it at your favorite Chinese restaurant), soups, frozen dinners, and luncheon meats.  MSG is linked with depression, fatigue, obesity, and headaches according to the Food Matters website.

This is part #1 of a two part series on food additives.  There are more to avoid so stay tuned!