No Time For Exercise?

It’s interesting, I tend to hear the excuse “I don’t have time to exercise” a lot.   I realize we all have busy schedules, but this excuse doesn’t sit too well with me.  When I really start looking into people’s schedules and asking questions, I really can’t find any reason why someone couldn’t spare an hour, half-hour, or even just 15 minutes of time for their health and well-being.   Instead, some would rather choose to watch TV or surf the internet with their spare time.

I guess it all comes down to making the choice to want better health.  It’s not always easy making this choice, especially after a long day at work or running the kids around to school, sports or whatever else they’re involved in.

I know how hard it is to try and get motivated after a long day at work.  I work 10-hour days, with an hour drive each way, going to and coming back home each way.  This makes up for a 12 hour work day for me, and the long drive in rush hour traffic just wipes me out coming home each day.  I can’t find the energy to work out before I get ready for work at 4:30 am, so the only option I have is to make time when I get home sometime after 6pm.  It normally takes me at least 30 minutes to get in the door, get changed and try to get myself energized enough to start a workout.    I try and start my workout by 7pm and have it done by 8pm so I can cool down, eat dinner, and get ready for bed by 9pm.   Then I start the whole process over again the next day, until I hit the weekend.

It’s not always easy, but it’s a choice I make for myself and my fitness goals.  It takes hard work and dedication, but there’s nothing more gratifying than success with your goals, especially when it comes to your health.

Just remember, all that working out won’t do you much good if you aren’t eating towards your goals either.  Whether you want to loose weight, gain muscle, or whatever your goals are, your eating is the most important part of the equation.  The Ketogenic (keto) diet is my current choice for weight (fat) loss.  Now that I have the food plan in place the exercise has definitely complemented my goal for fat loss.  There are so many different options out there, but for me the keto has been the only plan that has targeting hard-to-loose body fat.

It’s all about making the choice to eat better, then adding exercise to complement what you are doing with your food plan.  Set your goals for both and stick to it.   Make the choice for you and your well-being long term, you’re worth it!

 

 

My Keto Journey

It’s been about six weeks or so into my keto diet and I’m happy to say that I’ve seen some good results so far.  Looking back a couple of months ago, I would have never imagined I would be eating the way I am now.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve eaten a pretty clean diet consisting of moderate to high carbohydrates, very low fat and high protein. The truth is, I never really made much progress eating this way.  I pretty much stayed the same and didn’t get any leaner.  Now that I’ve switched to a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and very high fat diet, I’m actually seeing body fat drop for the first time in years.

It wasn’t an easy switch for me to eat this way, mentally or physically at first.  I really had a hard time eating high quantities of foods like butter, whipping cream,  cheese, bacon, sausage, salami, pepperoni, coconut and MCT oils, etc.  Once I got my mind past the fear of eating this way, I started to really enjoy it and my body started feeling much better.  I noticed no more bloat after eating meals and best of all, absolutely no gas (the wife loves that the most)!  Of course there was a lot of changes that my body went through to make the “switch”.  By the switch I mean, “switching” your body from a sugar burner to become a fat burner.  Once you remove sugar from your diet, your body starts to utilize its fat stores for energy.

Ketosis is a natural state for the body, when it’s almost completely fueled by fat. This is normal during fasting, or when on a very low-carbohydrate diet.  The word keto in ketosis comes from the fact that the body produces small fuel molecules called “ketones”.  This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.  When the body produces ketones primarily for energy it’s said to be in ketosis.

I admit I was very skeptical when I starting this food plan.  The first couple of weeks experimenting with a low carbohydrate diet was frustrating and really confusing to get my head around what I was supposed to eat.  I’ve been pretty good with tracking my food with apps like MyFitnessPal for a long time, so I knew how to track my macro-nutrients (carbs, fats and proteins), but trying to plan it out to line these macros up with the correct percentages of each, then to stay under a target caloric intake was challenging.  After about the third week-in I felt pretty comfortable about what I was doing and I’ve made some decent progress so far; just over eight pounds lost and down 1.5% body fat.   I know for some people these numbers might not blow you away, but for me I haven’t been able to drop a significant amount of weight or body fat in years eating the way I was.

So far here are some of my observations with this eating plan experiment and the state of ketosis:

Pros:

  • Less hungry – the fats keep you much more full all day long so I don’t need to eat nowhere near as much as I used to.
  • No bloating – this is amazing because I was always bloated and gasy after eating my meals
  • My body just feels a lot better and lighter
  • My joints feel better
  • Good energy
  • I enjoy eating the different foods in this plan once I got my head around eating that way
  • Easy to follow once you understand how it works and pay attention to your food/drinks.
  • Finally losing stubborn body fat

Cons:

  • Decent energy, but lack of strength – some of my bigger weight lifting moves (compound movements) have suffered, not all, but some like the bench press and squat have declined.
  • Occasional stomach issues like diarrhea when I’m kicked out of ketosis by eating too many carbs or even too high of protein levels.  This has happened only when I went over too much in one or more of my macros.  I have heard reference to the transition between coming in and out of ketosis as being the “keto flu”.  I’ve had some of these flu like symptoms (diarrhea, headaches, no energy, lethargic, etc.).
  • Definitely have to plan your meals or at least understand what you are eating all the time.  Read the labels on everything you are about to partake to see if there are any carbs in the food or drinks.  Carbs are in tons of food and drinks!
  • Potential to loose muscle unless you take in the appropriate amount of calories, along with the correct macros. There are many good macro/calorie calculators available.  I like the one on Ketogains.com.
  • No Beer!   Ah, this one stinks, but it’s really impossible to have beer unless you have an occasional super low carb beer here and there.  That’s what I do when I have a craving.  I use Michelob Ultra, Bud Light or Miller Light.  You still have to really watch your carb intake though.   Beer will easily ruin your ketosis state. If you need an alcoholic beverage, use vodka, whiskey, rum or tequila.  These have no carbs, just be careful of what you mix with them!

My goal with the keto experiment is to do this eating plan for at least three months, then assess my progress.  If everything still feels good and my body fat continues to drop, then I’ll  probably stay on it indefinitely.  I guess we’ll see. Tune in for the next update soon.

 

 

 

 

Motivational Tips to Achieve Weight Loss

missing-motivationYes, even I have trouble staying motivated at times. It’s very easy to just ‘fall off the wagon’ and get back into our bad habits. It’s always easier to do nothing but sit around watching TV or to order out or make a meal from a box. It’s just easier…and that’s why we go back to it.

So what can we do to make it worth it to stay motivated? Here are some ways to help you get started or get back on track. Remember, sometimes all you need to do is take baby steps…

1. Set a goal. Just one goal. Set a deadline for that goal and when you achieve it, set another…remember, I said baby steps. By setting a goal, you know in your head what it is that you want. You should put it down on paper and read it daily and maybe even a couple times a day. Eventually it will be a part of you and all you will be able to think about is achieving that goal!

2. Set a Reward. How do you want to reward yourself when you reach that goal? A new dress? A new hairstyle or some new jewelry? Whatever it may be, make sure its something special, not something you do for yourself all the time.

3. Find a “workout buddy”. Do you have a friend that lacks motivation as well? Get together and plan times during the week to workout or help each other plan meals for the week ahead. Knowing that if you don’t meet your friend, you will let them down is a great way to stay motivated!

4. Don’t give up. If you feel your self slipping or you do slip, don’t have the ‘all or nothing’ attitude. Just because you had a piece of chocolate cake after you promised yourself you wouldn’t is no reason to eat the whole cake! Move on…promise yourself you will do better tomorrow.

5. Always be positive! If you didn’t reach your specific goal that you set, look at what other accomplishments you have made in that time period. There is always something that you can find that was positive about what you have done, so think about that and not about  what you didn’t do.

 Have some tips of your own that keep you motivated? Please share with us! 

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