it’s dangerous business starting a new diet

samfrodo

The most important thing to prep for on your health journey is what you’ll eat. There are so many diets out there: paleo, IIFYM, Atkins, Weight Watchers, kino, etc.; it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which diet is the right one. I am persuaded that each one mentioned has merit and is effective for different individuals. To take a slight detour, when I was 10 years old, I went to my mom one day and just cried in her arms because kids were calling me fat. The truth is, I was fat. Not just fat though, I was unhealthy. My mom decided to join Weight Watchers and the both of us lost a lot of weight, but also became healthy people. It was awesome. Weight Watchers is a solid program. My mom could have just hugged me and said “Sweetie, my precious little snowflake, you’re not fat. Now go on and play.” I’m glad she didn’t. By now, if I had continue eating the same, I would be monstrously obese.

What I’ve learned is that good health is not a quick thing. There is no health switch you can move from “bad” to “good.” Reaching a health goal is a journey. A long journey comparable to Sam and Frodo’s journey to destroy the ring of power. Making a mistake is not the end of the world. There will be good days and bad days. The important thing to remember and do is to stick to your guns and keep your goals in sight. Reaching the goal is not only about the process, but also about the destination.

My nutrition goal for 2017 is pretty basic. I will be following a nutrition plan I learned about at my local Crossfit box. There they teach Macro nutrition. I am not even going to try and act like I am an expert on the subject, so please follow the link to learn more about it. Simply, macro nutrition is calculating (per your goals) how many of your calories for the day need to be fat, carbs, and protein; the rest of the nutrients take care of themselves.

Just an example of what I want my workout day to look like is below.

Meal 1 Pre workout
40g of protein
40g of carbs
20g of fat

Meal 2 Post workout
40g of protein powder40g of carbs

Meal 3
40g of protein
40g of fat

Meal 4
40g of protein
40g of fat

Meal 5
40g of protein
20g of fat

Meal 6
40g of protein
20g of fat

After you do your macro calculations in the article linked above, this meal plan will make a little more sense. My goal is to be on a lower carb diet because I am trying to cut fat from my body. However, to perform optimally in my workouts, I need a good amount of carbs for energy, which is why my workout is sandwiched in carbs, fats, and protein.

What does each Macro nutrient do? Below is a short list.

Carbohydrates

  • give you energy
  • replenishes used glycogen stores (glycogen stores transport protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. to keep your body functioning)

Fats

  • regulate hormones
  • suppress hunger

Protein

  • cornerstone of muscle growth and repair

Just from this list alone, it’s plain to see any solid diet needs the big 3 nutrients to have an overall benefit. Each nutrient plays an important role in our health. Check out the links below for good reading on macro nutrition and nutrition basics.

Check it out
Back to the Basics | Macronutrients – TMNutrition is an excellent website

What is IIFYM – article by Dailyburn, referenced above

 

 

 

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2016 – A Year in Review (Bird’s Eye)

A lot happened in 2016. So much so, I am only writing about health and fitness goals I completed in 2016. I started off the year doing beginner’s class at my local Crossfit box. My wife asked me if I would join the class with her and so I did. I was skeptical about it because nothing at that point (January 2016) had worked for me. Before that, I was working out at the local Y or in my garage doing the same old tired routine of body part splits and treadmill “cardio” most folks are resigned to; getting no where. I spent about 4 years going through different Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness programs like “Your Biggest Shoulders…Now!” or “The Curls for Girls series”and I personally did not benefit from any of it. That stuff might work for other people, but not me.

So, my wife asked me to start Crossfit with her. I had no idea what “cross fit” was. The only time I heard about Crossfit was in an article about WWE’s Cesaro and Seth Rollins. After the beginner’s classes were over, I had to start the regular classes. I remember being nervous and skeptical still, but after my first “WOD” (which involved a lot of thrusters – yikes!) I was both humbled and exhilarated and slightly nauseous. More importantly, I was hooked. After that I started going multiple times a week.

There were ups and downs throughout the year. I started off with a bang. Like I said, I was hooked because in just a few months, I had already built strength and went heavier on weight than ever before. Just an example, before Crossfit, my max on bench-press was 125.

Yeah.

By March, I was at 135. At the end of December my bench-press max was 195, which is just awesome for me. Starting off with a bang was great, but for a little while I plateaued in conditioning. The MetCons were very, very, rough on me because I have zero background in sports. In High School I didn’t participate in kind of sports. So, my conditioning was equivalent to that of a sloth. Because I didn’t do so hot in the metcons, I felt down and so, for a while, I only went to my box a couple of times a week. During the “down” period, I would get encouragement from my fellow crossfitters to “just keep on” and “you are doing great”, which is the best. My wife also encouraged me (she’s awesome!).

The community part of Crossfit is critical. I love that part of Crossfit. We all know that we don’t do Crossfit only to get stronger, faster, and leaner. Those three things are part of it, but we treat Crossfit like preventive medicine. We want to be healthy. We want to have a higher quality of life. We don’t want chronic disease. Those three wants are solved by Crossfit and a solid diet. There is an article over at Crossfit Journal that explains this in detail. Check it out.

One of my 2016 goals was to do Crossfit for a year. I did it. There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but I didn’t and I am glad I stuck with it. Another goal I had was to eat more fruits and vegetables. I met that goal, but with some qualification. I can eat fruit all day long. I have no problems with getting in 3 – 5 servings of fruit a day. However, getting in 3 – 5 servings of vegetables? Nope. Not going to happen. So, I started drinking my greens: Amazing Grass Green Superfood. Amazing Grass Green Superfood is a drink-mix product you can mix in water, smoothie, etc.   The taste is mediocre at best, but the benefit is killer. From the FAQs on their website: A serving of our Green SuperFood or Berry Green SuperFood provides approx 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. A serving is one scoop.

Sold.

Amazing Grass truly is amazing. There are different flavors and purposes. For example, through December, I used the Immunity Blend to boost up my immune system. Check out all their products at their website.

All in all, 2016 was a good year. My health goals for 2017 are to increase by 100 lbs in basically all barbell movements and to slash my carbohydrate intake. Will I do it? Maybe. Maybe not. I will try though. You only fail when you don’t try.

Check it out
Fitness, Luck, and Health article

Amazing Grass products