“Working Out Does Not Cause Weight Loss”…( I’ve heard it said)

Well, you’ve probably heard that working out will cause you to lose weight. Not necessarily. There are a few other factors at play in the chemistry of the human body that determine weight loss. Let’s look at raw calories, for example. Let’s also consider metabolic rate of burn. Is it consistent for all, or does it vary with the individual? Ask any 6 ‘ 2″ super thin guy who never seems to stop eating, who can virtually eat anything he wants, and still have a hard time staying UP to weight if metabolisms differ. But, then again, I would wager that same guy is pretty darn active…

So, in my experience, and what I have heard for a long time now, is that diet is 70% of the component involved in weight loss. On the other hand, a casual Googling of that only yielded me the usual urban legend and ‘common knowledge’ type posts from individuals who have no sources to site for the presumption. But, let’s just say that’s true, for sake of argument.¬†

I must say, I’ve lost no more than three pounds since starting my T-25 BeachBody workouts about five weeks ago, almost six. But, here’s the thing that nobody bothers to mention much. Diet alone does not do this to your body. On the top, prior to working out, with diet alone. In the purple shorts, 5 1/2 weeks later, after working out 5-6 days a week, you can seeImage much more muscle definition and tone!

ImageSo, what does this mean? Should a person just stick to diet, or could working out also be a great benefit?! I think the results are clear, and in five MORE weeks, I should be able to show even more startling results, The funny part? My actual weight has barely changed. My actual tape measurements? I’ve perhaps lost an inch off my waist. What I see in the mirror, though, seems like more than just an inch. I am seeing shadows and lines and tone I have never had before. In the before, or upper picture, I have on the same type and size of shorts, just a different color. And I didn’t get a tan, that’s just a different room with dimmer light. However, the results are clear. In the above picture, I’d been doing my usual low-carb dieting, and running routine. All that running seemed to be doing for me is a great cardio workout. And I am ok with that. I still run about once a week, and will go back to it. But what I have found, is that strengthening muscle is hard work that pays more dividends than diet alone. In addition to strengthening my muscles, lungs, and the greatest muscle, my heart, I am also converting fat stores to muscle, and don’t feel like I need to hide my body. I will always have stretch marks and chicken skin ( so to speak) in my lowest ab section from becoming very large carrying my children in utero. I can live with that!! What I cannot live without anymore, until I am too old to worry about it, is the feeling of accomplishment and strength that I now have. My lower abs have been so weak all my life, and I never knew how to isolate them and work them out properly. No matter how much I lost, I still had that pooch that I despise. So, to answer all the questions. Can you lose more weight working out AND exercising? Maybe yes, and maybe no. It depends on the person. I know folks that tend to drop weight from just walking around the lake leisurely a few times per week. That’s not me. What you will lose is fat stores, which convert neatly into muscle. By the way, muscle takes more energy to maintain, so it might be that you will lose weight because you are burning more calories not only from your workout, but from simply existing. And that’s nice. ūüôā Now, to work on that cellulite …

My name is Lee. I am a mom, writer, ¬†cashier, blogger, wedding officiant amateur wildlife advocate, voice-over artist wannabe, and a Beach Body Coach! I’ve learned a few things along my path, and I would love to help YOU reach your fitness goals! We’ve got a pretty great line up of workouts and clean-eating products and menus to get you on the right path. visit my facebook page at¬†

http://www.facebook.com/leeschallengegroup

 

Are you up for the challenge? Are you willing to trade instant fixes for hard work? Eating right 90% of the time and getting regular exercise IS the answer. Yes, I still follow low-carb, because that IS eating right! I might need more carb grams than I used to, but not many. I make sure to get plenty of protein and natural fats, water, and veggies! 

http://www.teambeachbody.com/leekirsten

You can message me or comment if you are ready to commit to being healthy. I can help!

 

 

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The Five Pound Bobber

That damned five pounds that goes up and down and leaves you elated one day and bummed three days later. It’s ridiculous. Why? It’s a five pound bobber because it’s the weight that seems to fluctuate up and down based on body rhythms and what you’ve consumed recently, and what of it you’ve eliminated- or not .

So, today it’s 134. And, I’m just about ready to not give a rat’s ass. I am staying low-carb, drinking a lot of water, diligent to drink my superfood shakeology, and I am working out five days per week. T-25 is not easy. I am also aware that my body is in repair mode a lot right now, as I continue to put micro-tears in my muscle fibers. Repair, in a biological engine like humans have, requires water. ¬†

Meanwhile…I continue to chat up my Challenge group on Facebook. I have one member, and she’s awesome. She has already lost 9 pounds. She’s in the Coast Guard and was super-fit. Having a baby kind of set her back a bit in terms of having a super hard body. She is working hard, though, and is very young. She will be in great shape in no time. It doesn’t happen through wishing and planning. Fitness requires action.¬†

Everything worth doing requires more effort than you might expect or wish to expend. I like to think in terms of lift and drag. Getting airborne takes monumental effort, but once lift overcomes drag, you’re flying. Life is like that.¬†

I’ve spent way too much of my life crying over the effort required to fly instead of actually doing to the work to get up there. That has stopped now. I will no longer be content with merely hopping up and down pretending I am moments from flight. I have to back up, make an amazing run, putting everything I have into reaching my goal, and without stopping to be afraid of the height or wondering what I will do when I get up there, race full speed ahead into it.¬†

When it comes to fitness and weight loss, I know that my way is not the only way. Certainly not. It’s just the best way for me. Lots of others, too. But we are all different in what we enjoy, what we will and will not work hard at.¬†

Not everyone is going to want to be a coach with me. I will be lucky to find people who are intrepid, adventuring sorts who won’t let a couple of hundred dollars get between them and where they could be. Not everyone has a vision. Not everyone is an entrepreneur, or can see the value of being in business for way less than the price of two Katy Perry concert tickets.¬†

Most of all, not everybody wants to work hard. It’s just that simple.¬†

I was that person once. 

Not anymore. 

I will succeed. 

Come with me.

From 136 to 132- It’s Progress!

So, it’s not a lot. But it’s a lot in a relatively short time. Two -and-a-half weeks I believe. I like that. Today started with Shakeology, into which I mixed fresh raspberries and just half a banana. Total carb count- about 16 grams. I am allowing myself 30 now, due to dramatically increased exercise. It seems to be working. Thank you for checking out my blog site, and I invite your feedback and comments!¬†

Another Pound DOWN ! Thanks Focus T-25!

So, here I am, still low-carbing it, but now I’ve added a new daily routine. It’s T-25. by Shaun T., creator of Insanity and Asylum. He’s inspirational, and a good coach. I am also a coach now, and so I am thrilled to be seeing results! My ketone strip showed moderate today, from a usual trace or low, and that’s also inspiring. My Shakeology drinks are really curbing my appetite, especially when combined with low-carb. So, actual amounts consumed now are 1100-1300 daily, with a very low amount of carbs, Those come mostly from the Shakeology itself, veggies, and fruit. I am still not eating things like couscous and quinoa, corn, rice, or any flour products, really, with the exception of the occasional low-carb tortilla. I’m trying to stay away from Atkin’s bars, but I do still use them a few times a week. I just feel like they are too lab-generated. I have developed a sensitivity or allergy to something in my life, though, and I am worried it might be something that is completely healthy and natural in my Shakeology, but that I personally might be sensitive to. I have developed strange rashes and bumps and reactions lately to I don’t-know-what. I hope it’s not the shakes, because they are full of good things. I just wonder if I am allergic to the mushrooms, or something?? But, all is well and the workout is INTENSE and amazing! Join me on my fitness quest, join my challenge, and get your own challenge pack and take your fitness to a whole new level!¬†

The Weight Loss Begins!

So, this is day four or five of the ketosis push. That involves staying at 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. That includes any time you get up in the middle of the night to sleepwalk to the fridge. I don’t do that, but I know that some people do. However, those carb grams can be counted for the next day if it’s after midnight. ūüėČ

I ran today. It was my usual plodding 10.7 minute mile, but I kept at it for a good 30 minutes, and I did intervals. 3 minutes at 5.0-5.5 mph, followed by 3 minutes at six mph, or more. Repeat that every three minute session until 30 minutes are up. I need to get faster, but my heartbeat is still hitting the target range.

Blogging. Maybe I will never be famous, and never make enough money to retire from this. I got that reality firmly into my head over this last year. I had to decide that those things were never truly the reason, and should not be the reason for blogging.

Did I share anything that people enjoyed? Did I share a good recipe? Did I inspire even one person to help meet their goals?

If so, then I truly have succeeded, whether I have 12 followers or 1200.

The weight loss: Well, generally, the first three pounds melt off seemingly overnight, and the elation flows. If one dropped the ketosis at this point, though, it would most likely be a mistake. I’ve accidentally gone over yesterday and today by 3-5 grams, and that will slow me down. Yeah, it’s that tight, that tough, that unbelievably important to keep to 20 or less. However, don’t throw in the towel. Keep it up. Keep exercising. It may feel much harder to get motivated to move during ketosis. Be sure to keep drinking a lot of water, and move anyway. Despite feelings or motivation, KEEP AT IT. Don’t cave in, and in time, more results will come.

It’s always a while for me before I can jump up to 26 grams. My weight loss stops at 25 grams, and I start to gain at around 32-35. I think the key to success this time, that I failed at before, was keeping my fats intake high in proportion to my protein. I was eating a lot of meat before, and now I am focusing more on things like sour cream, butter, and avocados.

I can’t tell you that I am going to drop these 7-10 pounds overnight. That’s not sensible, nor realistic. When I say ‘overnight”, I mean in less than a month. That’s a lot! But within three months, I feel this goal is attainable. It’s the little decisions every day that add up to a habit, and habits add up to a lifestyle. A lifestyle sets our course in life like a rudder sets the boat’s direction. Having my ‘map’, I also arm myself with positive affirmations, and recognize that my weight and my diet are just a PART of my life.

I am ready to let this new direction of health and fitness pull other aspects of health toward me. a HEALTHY MINDSET is also very important.

I AM GREAT AS I AM. I am AMAZING. I help others. I am growing. I know how to use emotional maturity. i choose to believe the best of others. I will give more of myself for the good of others. I will look for opportunities and seize them. I am worthy of love, acceptance, and a bright future. Age is just a number. I will not stop, I will not give up, and I will not go down without a fight!

These are the things I am telling myself. I am learning to be better about managing my time and resources. I am gaining friends and my career is about to take off in a positive direction! God loves me, my family loves me, and I bring joy to my work and to others.

So, that’s what I am feeding myself. In addition to salads and avocados. ūüôā

What do you tell yourself?

Fallen from Low-Carb Grace?!

I’d like to believe that I ‘got this’ when it comes to low-carb eating and living. It’s all been done, I know all the ways to stay at my weight, yada yada.

This last two weeks have been a dismal failure. Not because I didn’t stay low-carb, but not AS low as I had been. I thought for sure that at this point, I could increase my carb count. I’ve been at 30-35 for so long, what would fifty hurt? I am sure I have not exceeded 50, but that’s all it took, I guess. This week, especially, I have watched my weight climb by almost a pound a DAY. ¬†I can’t even explain to you how this has pissed me off and mystified me simultaneously. I will spend hours of thought on trying to figure out just what series of mistakes I have been making in order to cut it out. The extra meat portions? The no-holds-barred approach to salad dressing and extra large portions of salad? The extra carbs in addition to that? The old urges returning?

The thought of going back to a strict 20-gram induction has  not escaped me. The idea of the eggs/cheese/fat/meat/greens that I stayed so faithful to for so long without a break is not exactly thrilling me, though.

My low weight was 123. I decided 126-128 was fine. Two days ago I was at 129.4, yesterday it was 130, today it is 131.4 . I don’t know what gives, but I am ¬†up almost ten pounds. Still, I do feel fit and not fat, but where does this end? What am I willing to do to make it stop? What do I have to do? Do I have to go back to stage 1, induction, or stage 2, with some extra portion control? Does portion control still merit a look-see even on Atkin’s? Funny thing is, I never needed to worry about that before. Two eggs or three, more or less bacon; it didn’t seem to matter.

I do believe our bodies are pre-set to a range of ‘normal’ weight, that if we undercut through ¬†extreme measures, our bodies will slow down to conserve energy, thus making it so easy to gain, and so much harder to lose. I do believe age is also a factor. But no matter what I believe, the only person who can change this is me.

So, off the horse of “easy-peasy” I have fallen. I’m quite annoyed about it.

I wonder if my new schedule of working super early in the morning could be part of the culprit? While I try not to eat before a ‘normal’ breakfast time, many days find me eating at 5 a.m., nine a.m, after work at one o’clock, and having a normal dinner, and possibly a snack after that. Maybe it’s all too much.

Here come the maybe’s. I told you I’d be stewing.

And here’s the thing about all this physical activity ‘causing’ weight loss. It’s not enough to exercise and to burn off less than you are taking in. If this is true, calories DO still count. I guess it’s just easier to eat less when you feel satisfied, and maybe the bit of extra carbs has stoked up my appetite for more food. I think I may be on to something here.

Height: 5’4. Small frame/petite bone structure

High weight: 155: 2010

Mid-weight, end of 2010: Dieting for my wedding- watching carbs and portions but not too strictly- 135.

Three months after wedding- 142. Up to size 13 pants.

Began serious Atkin’s: January 2012

First three months: Pants looser, struggled on- no pounds lost. Fifth month- 7 pounds. Encouraged, continued to lose another 10 pounds in the next several months.

Feb-March- Maintained 123-125. Content with that.

April- The climb began at the end of this month, commensurate with increased exercise, coincidentally enough. I’ve seen this pattern before…

May: The climb plateaued, and I decided 127 was ok.

June: Maintaining until about the tenth. Then it all started to climb again, like mad. Several things changed though. I started getting lax in my counting, eating 2-3 Atkins bars at a time, ¬† whereas one was fine before, eating larger portions, trying new recipes that were lowERED carb, not necessarily low enough…

Low-Weight: 122. February, 2013.

Well, any encouragement would be nice, and thank you for reading!

Low-Carb Weight Maintenance Stats – Induction Notes

Beginning Induction Weight- ( 1/2012) 142-145

Lowest Weight ( 2/2013, approx) 123

Current Weight- 126-128

Exercise: Running about 2-3 days per week, inconsistent at times. Strength about 2 times per week, plus very active job – 8 hrs daily of speed- walking, bending, stooping, climbing, stretching. pushing a heavy cart around corners. (core work ūüôā )

So, induction was the hardest. It requires strict diligence and adherence to the plan- staying at 20 grams of carbohydrate intake per 24- hour period, and this needs to come mostly from salad and other vegetables. So, there pokes a hole in the myth that Atkin’s is all about bacon and steak. I’ll tell you that in those early days, you do eat a goodly amount of meat, eggs, and cheese, because there’s only so far salad greens will go in fueling the body. And, it’s almost free food, because you are getting almost no carb content in those items.

Somewhere around week two, you might cave-in, gorge on pizza and ice cream, and never go back.

But if you’re one of the determined few, who have decided that if you’ve committed to something, you will stick it out until you see results, by the middle of the third week, and especially if you’re new to¬†Atkins’s¬† the weight seems to just fall off. Pants are looser, your face looks thinner. True, some of it is water. Your body simply becomes more efficient and less bloated at this stage.

By now, temptation may really hit hard. You’ve been so good, you’re losing weight- how about a night off of the old diet? You could take a free day at this point, but it will either stall your weight loss, or make it just that much harder to ‘get back on the horse’, but assuming you are very strong, you could have your night, and get back on the plan, none the worse for wear. It’s just that the night off needs to be very rare. Better to keep on with the plan, slowly increasing the amount of carb content by a mere five grams of carbs; assuming you are still losing weight. My body was tough this time around! It took me three MONTHS of induction to get to the point where I had lost just seven pounds. The first time I seriously did induction, it took only ten or twelve days.

The next stage is almost as hard. You’re allowed some of the phase 1-2 bars, shakes and meals now, but there’s still a huge emphasis on eggs, cheese, meats, and salads, veggies, and just berries. All other fruit is too full of sugars- and while they are natural, they are still sugars.

At this point, at about two to three months in, a lot of people just can’t take the lack of bagels and pasta anymore. They get tired of their normal weight friends and family who are scarfing pizza and¬†bread sticks¬†and who are eating ice cream looking at them like they are crazy. “Look at me. I’m not overweight. I eat what I want. Why are you doing this?” “What, you’re not eating whole wheat bread but you eat extra bacon?? What kind of diet is this? Your heart is going to clog up and fall out!” So, you try not to roll your eyes, sigh, and try to explain the science. Their eyes glaze over as they chew the pizza crust, and smirk at you.

“Just eat less of everything, and don’t stuff yourself. You’ll be fine”. I’m sure there is a lot of truth to that. But what if sugar and carbs act like a drug to some of us? What if not overeating these kinds of foods is harder for me then giving up smoking was? What if staying away completely until I beat this ‘addiction’, both chemical and psychological, is the most effective thing for me right now? what if I told you that I eat more vegetables and fiber now than I ever did when I ate smaller portions of only what I wanted?

My previous life of ‘eat what you want, just less…maybe”

Breakfast: Leftover huge hunk of carrot cake, or huge bowl of cereal. Neither stick with you long, so I was starving way before lunch

Lunch: Big sandwich, maybe even a sub, and all that bread. Chips, diet pop- ha ha, and two big cookies, or a similar treat. Always had dessert after lunch. If not, then a one-two hour later ‘treat’, like a candy bar. Invariably. Also, if there were any other dessert type foods offered in the break room at work, I would eat that, too.

Dinner: Huge rib-eye, side salad, two crescent rolls.

Dessert- big bowl of ice cream with Hershey’s on top.

Now, no- I didn’t eat like this every day. But way too often, it was something very similar to this. Any time I would look at what I’d eaten that day, I would be disgusted with how many calories I’d racked up, and moreover, I’d be amazed at the fact that I always still felt I could eat more!

Bio chemistry, blood sugar balance, and habit:

Perhaps there is a test that could tell us that some of us are more sensitive to the effects of high glycemic foods than other people are. Perhaps there is a test already. Maybe it’s the same test used to test diabetics. How soon after subject A eats this glazed doughnut ( or icky cup of orange syrup at the doctor’s office) on an empty stomach does the blood sugar level peak? How high is that peak? How long does it last? When it comes down, how quickly and to what level does it adjust to?

I can tell you that a breakfast of coffee and doughnuts is a disaster. Maybe not for most people, but for me, yes. I suffered tremendously with low-blood sugar- hypoglycemia, any time I lived on my carrot cake or cereal breakfasts. Why? After the rise, there is always a fall. Why doesn’t that happen to everyone? I don’t know. Why do only certain people get diabetes, or Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s? Everyone is different, with a realm of expected possibilities. Parkinson’s is possible, growing a third eye, not so much.

If you find that eating a high carb diet; that is- one with a lot of refined flour product, bread, sweets, chips, french fries, battered and fried foods, sugars and syrups, and you always feel hungry, you sometimes get light headed and clammy/sweaty between meals, and you can’t seem to turn down a junky snack, you’re a junkie. You’re hooked, and your body is running on cheap, adulterated food. It’s not good for you for many reasons.

When I was a sugar junkie, I had horrible mood swings, manic highs and low lows, skin troubles, scalp issues, anger management issues, and more. Besides that, I was overweight and miserable. I couldn’t seem to figure out why I was always ready for candies, cakes, and ice cream, no matter how much I’d eaten. Turning it down was torture. If I said no to dessert, I’d scarf a quick breakfast just to feel better about eating the ice cream at ten a.m. The next morning! Does this not sound like an addiction? Insert the words “Martini” wherever I used “dessert”, “junk food” , ‘candy’ or ‘ice cream”, and you might see my point.

“But food is just food. It can’t be addiction. It’s all in your mind”. Sure, addiction is largely in the mind. This is why taking the physical chemical imbalance out of the equation is only half the battle. But, it’s very helpful and important. Drug addiction is largely¬†psychological, too, but we have to give up the drug, not just talk to our minds about it. If it helps, think of it not so much as addiction, but rather habituation. We are creatures of habit. We tend to want what we are used to . This is both a blessing and a curse, depending on what we are feeding ourselves. The physical aspect of this manifests itself, in terms of sugar and carbs, in a spike in our blood sugar levels when we eat the offending foods. We feel satisfied. It’s only a matter of time, though, before the blood sugar level crashes and we want to poke it back up to where it was. So we eat the Little Debbie snack cakes or grandma’s fudge, or a can of Pringles. We feel better, but maybe guilty, and like crap again when the crash comes, and so the cycle starts again. The body doesn’t get what it actually needs, good nutrition, and we’ve basically put sugar in our gas tanks.

I believe that people who have maintained a balanced diet over their lifetimes and who do not have a weight problem, intuitively know what their bodies need and listen to that rather than their cravings. They don’t get up in the morning and become tempted by carrot cake. They eat eggs or cereal, and they’re perfectly fine, running smoothly until lunch, which they eat in balanced fashion, probably not caring one way or another about a cookie or two, or a candy bar. I never see my husband go out of his way for a snack after lunch, nor does he usually consume cookies with it. On the other hand, he can eat a giant poppyseed muffin for breakfast and not go mad with hunger prior to lunch. I would. Why?

Insulin resistance: Here’s a great post by Suzanne Robin:http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-produce-much-insulin-2833.html

Hypogycemia? All About it: http://www.naturalways.com/sugar.htm

I am not a scientist, so best to get the facts here. Again, balance is an ideal. A great concept, and eventually able to be maintained. If you have had success with  balancing your diet and maintaining your weight without removing certain foods from your diet, why are you reading this post?

Yes, it can be done, but if you are way out of balance, you may need to take serious steps to get back into it.

Best Health and Wishes,

Lee