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Goal Setting

I’ve read all sorts of articles saying that the most sensible way to lose weight is to lose 1-2 pounds per week.  This translates into making only minor adjustments to how and what you eat.  That’s important because just the thought of “dieting” makes me hungry and depressed. The second part of the advice is to maintain or increase weight/resistance training so that you don’t lose muscle while you’re losing weight; you should try to reduce body fat only.

My idea is to cut down on calories but not so much that my body thinks it is starving and I end up as a yo-yo dieter.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing the number of snacks.  We’ve also been hiking, playing tennis and swimming.  My husband’s lost over 20 pounds!  I haven’t done as well although I am ahead of my 1 pound a week goal.  Happily, I am also down one dress size.

Under the Tools and Calculator tab, is a section called How much should you weigh?   The link brings you to the Fat2FitRadio.com  site.  They have a goal body weight calculator  that uses your body fat percentage and your lean body mass to gauge how much you should weigh.

The Fat2FitRadio.com site has a Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator.  This calculator establishes the baseline number of calories you should eat on a daily basis AND the number of calories that you should start eating today and for the rest of your life  (http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/bmr/).  It is astonishing how many much calories they suggest you eat versus almost everyone else (including Sparkpeople.com).

BMR is the minimum number of calories your body needs to consume so that it works correctly; you also need calories/energy so that your body can perform basic activities.

Here are some basic weight exercises you can do while watching TV:

  •  Biceps –  alternating bicep curl. A bicep curl is the standard bicep workout done with hand weights. Doing an alternated curl means you switch back and forth between your arms so that you get an even workout.
    • Stand with your feet apart and flat on the ground. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let each hand hang down at your side with your palms facing in towards each other.
    • Raise your right dumbbell so that it reaches shoulder height by curling your forearm up towards your chest. The underside of your forearm should face up towards the sky.
    • While lowering the right dumbbell, begin to lift the left one up in the same manner. Avoid jerking your body backwards to help you lift the dumbbells. If you are doing this, your dumbbells are too heavy.
  • Biceps –  hammer grab.
    • Grab a dumbbell in each of your hands so that your palms face in towards your body. Hold your arms down by your sides.
    • Curl your arms and lift the dumbbells so that the tops of the dumbbells comes toward your shoulders. The inner side of your forearm should be facing side.
  • Triceps – two-arm tricep extension. This workout only uses one dumbbell. You can do this while standing or sitting.
    • Grasp one dumbbell with both of your hands and hold it behind your head. Your arms should be bent into right angles with your forearms running along the sides of your head so that the dumbbell is in the back of your head.
    • Extend your elbows and lift your forearms so that they are pointed vertically above your head with the dumbbell. Hold that position for a moment and then lower them back to the right angle position behind your head.
  • Triceps – triceps kickback.  Place your left knee and left hand on to the flat surface of either the bed or bench. Your right leg should be straight against the side of the bed or bench.
    • Hold a dumbbell with your right hand. Your upper arm should be running parallel to your body and your palm should be facing your body.
    • Extend your elbow so that the dumbbell lifts up towards your back. Hold the dumbbell up for a moment and then release it back down.
    • Switch so that your right knee and right hand are on the bed and extend your left tricep.
  • Shoulders – palms-in shoulder press.
    • Stand up, holding dumbbells in both hands. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level. Your palms should be facing each other.
    • Extend your elbows until the come close to locking. The dumbbells should get raised straight into the air–hold them in this position for a moment.
    • Slowly lower your arms so that the dumbbells are back at shoulder level.
  • Shoulders – lateral raise. You can also do these while sitting but instead of holding the dumbbells in front of you, hold them down by your sides.
    • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and hold your hands in front of your hips. Your palms should be facing each other.
    • Lift your arms out to your sides until they are almost parallel with the ground. Hold them in this position for a moment and then release them back down to your hips.
  • Back – wide row exercise.  For this exercise, keep in mind that you should breathe out when lifting the dumbbells up, and breathe in when releasing them back into resting position.
    • Get into a squatting position by flexing your hips and knees. Hold one dumbbell in each hand so that your palms are facing your body. The dumbbells should start just below your knees.
    • Lift the dumbbells straight up so that your arms form right angles. You should not alter how your knees and hips are bent.
    • Hold the dumbbells up for a moment and then let them slowly drop back down into resting position.

 

Categories
Calories Diet Fitness

Is Canned Tuna Good For You?

Looking at the problem with Ramen, I was worried that canned tuna fish – my next favorite for a quick and easy meal – may not be healthy for me either.  Happily, it looks like tuna fish is still good for you.  One article on Healthy Eating SFGate listed all sorts of happy news:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The small amount of fat present in canned light tuna is mostly the healthy unsaturated kind, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy brain and promote proper growth and development. These essential fatty acids reduce inflammation in your body, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
  • Niacin: A 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna contains 11.3 milligrams of niacin toward the 14 milligrams women need each day and the 16 milligrams that men need. Niacin is a B-vitamin that helps keep your digestive system, skin and nerves healthy.
  • Vitamin B12: You need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day, and a 3-ounce serving of canned light tuna supplies 2.5 micrograms. Vitamin B12 supports the normal function of your brain and also aids in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Mercury: You can safely eat a serving of canned light tuna every three or four days and a serving of canned albacore tuna every nine-to-14 days, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

There’s only 179 calories in a can of tuna fish so it sounds like I may be eating a lot more of it at lunch.

Just as a side note, there was a recall of Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea cannd tuna fish in 2013.  “There have been no consumer reports of illnesses attributed to these products,” Steve Mavity, Bumble Bee’s senior vice president of technical services and corporate quality assurance, said in a statement. “But because we’ve identified an issue with seal tightness, we’re voluntarily recalling products to ensure the highest margin of safety and quality.” Loose seals and seams can lead to bacterial contamination, which can cause food poisoning, according to the FDA.

Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee, two of the major tuna brands that you’re likely to see on the shelf at your local grocery store, will combine into one as the owner of Chicken of the Sea.  The merger, if approved, would probably happen in the second half of 2015.

Greenpeace has posted notes that Bumble Bee and companies like it, continue to rely on fishing practices that kill millions of marine animals every year, including sharks, turtles, rays and juvenile fish of all kinds. These practices threaten the very ecosystems that will keep our oceans healthy for generations to come.

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Calories Fitness Home New York Tools Weight

Using The Tools on This Site

I wanted to revisit all the Fitness tools and Calculators included on this site.  I had mixed results but the bottom line is that my tummy must be trimmed down. Stepping through the main page, we have the:

  • Body Fat Calculator  from http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/bf/  The formula provided will not calculate your exact body fat percentage but should give you a consistent measurement you can use as a guideline and determine if you’re losing body fat and/or muscle. Oddly, the calculation says I have body fat percentage is 27.4%.  My scale tells me it is 39%. I think I’m measuring something incorrectly.

    From http://www.fat2fitradio.com/
    Fat 2 Fit #144 – New Measurements Of Success Written on March 3, 2013 – 12:00 am | by Helana Brigman

Looking at this photo, I’m sadly inclined to believe my scale.

  •  How much should you weigh?  Inputting 39% body fat into the Fat 2 Fit Tool, the ideal weight for my age with 35% body fat is 168 pounds.  That seems doable.
  • Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) –  Fat 2 Fit Tools advocates eating like the thin, healthy person that you want to become. The calorie levels in the chart are not extreme, but  create that all important caloric deficit that is required to get you to your goal weight in a safe manner.  Based on my goal weight of 168 and assuming light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week,  the tool suggests a daily caloric intake of 2005! As I get closer to my goal weight, my weight loss will start to slow down. It is OK to eat a few hundred calories less per day (200-300) to speed up your weight loss at this point.
  • Covert Bailey Body Fat Calculation – The formulas in this body fat calculation are based on the Covert Bailey book The Ultimate Fit or Fat. The formula does not calculate your exact body fat percentage but should give you a consistent measurement you can use as a guideline and determine if you’re losing body fat and/or muscle.  Again, this weirdly gave me a body fat percentage of 27.8%.  This is not right.
  • Waist to Hip Ratio – Carrying extra weight around your middle, indicated by a high waist to hip ratio, increases health risks associated with obesity.  This tool tells me my Waist to Hip ratio is: 0.93.  Anything over 0.85 signifies a high health risk!
  • Waist to Height Ratio – The waist to height ratio is the best predictor of cardiovascular risk and mortality. My Waist to Height Ratio is 58.3%.  According to the tool, a ratio 54 to 58 means “Seriously Overweight” and a ratio over 58 means “Highly Obese“. That’s not good.
Categories
Calories Exercise Fitness Home

Adding a Hula Hoop to My Day

In the interest of trying something new and fun, I have purchased a weighted Hula Hoop.  I spent 10 minutes this morning listening to music and hooping.  It wasn’t bad although I had to learn to keep my elbows out of the way! You supposed to hula hoop in both directions. Mix it up alternating between clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.

Benefits

Hooping is a great ab workout to start with before integrating other exercises into your routine.  Because a hoop workout requires constant push-pull contractions in your core muscles (abs plus obliques, at the sides of your waist) as well as in the glutes and thighs, the added resistance created by a somewhat heavier hoop should sculpt and reshape all the right places.  For what it’s worth there are also many references to unnamed studies stating hooping is an effective way to burn visceral fat  which is deep within the abdominal cavity.  Visceral fat is also linked to metabolic disturbances and shows an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other dangerous health conditions.

Here’s some advice I found on Hula Hooping:

The Mayo Clinic reports that you need to spend at the very least 10 minutes at a timWeighted Hula Hoope exercising your abs with the Hula-Hoop in order to see concrete results. An average woman can burn about 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping, and an average man can burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping.

1.    Stabilize your torso and legs, and mobilize your midsection. Only use your abdominal muscles and hips to keep the hoop spinning.

2.    Scoop your belly in and lift your rib cage. Extend from the center of your body out. The better your posture, the easier it will be to hoop.

3.    Hold the hoop parallel to the floor as you start the spin, and give it some good momentum so it doesn’t start out wobbly.

4.    If your hoop starts to fall, lengthen your spine, push forward and back, and move faster. Imagine yourself as the axis of the orbit, not the orbit itself. If you try to move with the hoop (rotating your hips in a circle) the hoop will lose momentum and fall. Move side to side with your waist and hips or back to front with your belly. Feel the centrifugal force, but don’t try to be the circle; let the circle move around you.

5.    Stick with it. The longer you hoop, the more your body gets used to the movements

 

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Calories Diet Exercise Fitness Injuries Kickboxing New York sports Weight

Light Kickboxing and Strength Session with John Salgado

Sadly, I weighed in this morning a half pound heavier than yesterday.  Yes, I know I’ve already written that a person should not weigh herself on a daily basis but I can’t help myself.  I’m not sure why it happened but I think it may relate to under-eating again.  The Fat2FitRadio.com pod casts repeated noted that under-eating would result in the body going into starvation mode and holding on to calories.   For the second time this week, I dropped under the calorie limits suggested by the Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator.  I ate a little over 1600 calories yesterday, so I consumed at least my BMR of 1430 calories.  However, I didn’t eat enough.  🙁  According to the calculator, I should eat between 1907 calories for a Lightly Active woman (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk) to 2150 calories for a Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk).

Today’s workout with John was lighter in deference to my knee and because I am fighting off a flu.  We spent a lot of time doing kickboxing strength exercises and drills.  I was still soaked in sweat but happy.

 I found this video on how to do a Back Leg Roundhouse Kick on the ehow.com site.


Women’s Kickboxing: Back Leg Roundhouse Kick — powered by ehow.com
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Calories Diet Exercise Fitness Injuries Kickboxing sports Weight

Another Excellent Kickboxing Workout

Despite coming down with a bug, I worked out with John Salgado today and did pretty well.  Because we’re still working around my cranky knee, we started out doing some drill on the Bosu Ball: jogging on it, Dome Toe Taps [you can watch the video below but I can say she’s a lot better at it than I am LOL],  side squats [again, very small movements because of my knee], and squat thrusts.

Other exercises for today included wall squats with a stability ball and a 10 lb ball.  A new item for today was assisted dips.  We rounded out the work out with punching and kicking combinations on the bag.

Wall Squat with Stability Ball by http://www.workoutz.com

The good news on weight loss and nutrition is that I am still within my recommended calorie intake for my BMR.  I must confess that I had vanilla ice cream with blueberries last night [yes, I entered it into the SparkPeople.com Nutrition Tracker and I remain in calorie range :-)]  I’m down another half pound but that could be just water weight.

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Calories Diet Exercise Fitness New York sports Weight

Light Strength Training at Crunch Gym

It’s been raining but I still made it to Crunch to work out with Frank.  We had another light strength workout in deference to my bad knee.  My warm ups comprised running sideways back and forth.  We then did a series of modified inchworms; modified planks, leg extensions [using the wall]; and standing abductions.  As I enter my workouts into the SparkPeople.com fitness tracker, I can see how much less I do at Crunch but I don’t mind as I’m feeling really tired and it’s about as much as I want to do today.  It’s still 100 percent more than I would do without Frank. 🙂

Nutritionally, I am staying within the recommended calorie range for my BMR.  Breakfast included my favorite fruit protein shake.  Dinner included a lovely spinach and feta cheese salad.  My weight continues to creep down.  Hooray! 

 

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Calories Diet Exercise Fitness Injuries New York sports Weight

Kickboxing with John Salgado

Despite the rain, I made it to the gym this afternoon. My knee was especially creaky today so we tried some modified one-leg-squat exercises. I did the easiest variation:  John had me sit on a chair, extend one leg and arms in front and stand up on one leg.  I then sat down on the chair while standing on one leg.  I still had to support the weak knee but it’s a start to try to rebuild leg strength.

Here’s a video link demonstrating the modified one-leg-squat exercises from eHow.com:


How to Do a Chair Pistol Lower Body Exercise — powered by ehow
 
 

Other exercises with the resistance bands for today included:

You can find other Resistance Band exercise suggestions at:

We rounded out today with punching and kicking combos on the bag.

I’ve tried to continue eating healthily- breakfast included a fruit protein shake so I had a kick start with protein and fiber;  other meals included vegetables.

Categories
Calories Diet Exercise Fitness Kickboxing New York sports

Healthy Eating and Walking

So the thought for today is to eat better and continue exercising.  It’s a lovely day so I did a 3.7 mile loop of the park this afternoon.  As for healthy eating, I like the advice of: Prospect Park Preserve

  • cutting out junk food, processed foods, sugars…[including the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup]
  • eating more colorful and fresh foods
  • eating in moderation [drinking more water as I might be thirsty rather than hungry]

I found a nice web page called Healthy Eating Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet and Sticking To It from Helpguide.com that provides some common sense advice.

I had a weird diet day today.  I slept in this morning so ate fewer meals.  I’m not sure how that ranks in the BMR [Basal Metabolic Rate] calculation.  Given my 3-5 days/week of moderate exercise activity, I can eat about 2150 calories each day.  The Fat2FitRadio.com calculation is described as:

The chart shows the number of calories that you should eat on a daily basis to reach your goal weight. At Fat 2 Fit Radio we advocate eating like the thin, healthy person that you want to become. The calorie levels …create that all important caloric deficit that is required to get you to your goal weight in a safe manner. Once you reach your goal weight, you will continue eating the same number of calories for the rest of your life to maintain that weight. You’ll never be on a diet again.

Based on how much activity you do on an average day, the [calculation provides] the number of calories that you will be able to eat at your goal weight. If you start eating those calories right now (eating like the thinner you), you will eventually become that thinner person.

Given that I woke up late today, I only ate 2 meals and consumed approximately 650  calories today….. is that bad? I don’t know….

Optimum Nutrition - 100% Nat Oats & Whey ChocolateAlso,  the Helpguide.com article mentioned that we should avoid sugars in any form.  My breakfast this morning comprised a fruit shake made from frozen mangoes, Zico Coconut Water, and Optimum Nutrition – 100% Natural Oats & Whey Chocolate.  The Optimum Nutrition protein drink is very tasty.  The label says, however, that it contains 8 g of Sugars in the form of honey powder and evaporated cane juice powder.  I’m guessing that is not good news but I’m very fond of it.  The Livestrong.com site has an article titled Health Risks of High Fructose Corn Syrup that sums up many of the concerns about High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS].  Among other things, it notes that the human body process regular sugars differently than HFCS.

A couple of excerpts from the Health Risks of High Fructose Corn Syrup article:

The human body does not process HFCS the same way it processes sugar. Fructose requires a different metabolic pathway than other carbohydrates because it skips glycolysis, or normal carbohydrate metabolism. Because of this, fructose is an unregulated source of “acetyl CoA,” or the starting material for fatty acid synthesis. Furthermore, by ingesting HFCS, a vicious cycle can ensue. This is because eating HFCS can increase the feelings of hunger.

Liver Disease & Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome includes elevated insulin levels, excess body fat, abnormal cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure. The journal, “Hepatology” noted in June 2010, “The rising incidence of obesity and diabetes coincides with a marked increase in fructose consumption and is higher in individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” Furthermore, fructose consumption is a contributing environmental risk factor for increased fibrosis of the liver.

Read the entire article at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/259181-heath-risks-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/?utm_source=popslideshow&utm_medium=a1

..and, yes, I remembered to log my nutrition and exercise into SparkPeople.com site .  I’ve been less consistent about logging into the Self.com Diet Club as it’s more cumbersome.

 

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Calories Diet Exercise Fitness Kickboxing New York sports

Finishing the Week with Core Exercises and Kick Boxing

I’ve gone to the gym 5 days in a row!!! It’s been years since that’s happened [as I’ve explained to my husband, I’m much better about researching exercise than doing exercise.]

Lots of stability ball exercises today, including:

  1. Crunches with Stability Ball
  2. Bridges on Stability Ball
  3. Push Ups on the Stability Ball
  4. Back Extension with Stability Ball
  5. Pendulum with Stability Ball
  6. Crunches on Stability Ball While Tossing Medicine Ball
  7. Superman on the Stability Ball

We finished up with:

  1. Punching Drills on the Bag
  2. Stretching After Strength Training

You can find descriptions of the Stability Ball exercises on SparkPeople.com’s Fitness Pages.

So, it’s the end of a successful week. Where does that leave us?  I want to go back to basics.  The pod-casts [see my Nutrition and Weight Loss Guidance page] that I enjoy so much and SparkPeople.com agree that setting real and measurable goals is very important to losing weight.  Both advise that you write down why you want to lose weight or get fit, and why the hard work and effort to accomplish your goal is worth it. Fat2FitRadio.com especially stress coming up with realistic weight loss goals.

Here’s an excerpt from the Fat2FitRadio.com Goal Setting Page:

Here are some ballpark figures that I worked out for a weight loss of 50 lbs.

5’5″ woman, 30 years old who exercises lightly (BMR x 1.375)

175 lbs – 2165 calories per day
125 lbs – 1850 calories per day

5’10″ man, 30 years old who exercises lightly (BMR x 1.375)

225 lbs – 2950 calories per day
175 lbs – 2550 calories per day

 

It is clear that diets don’t work because as soon as people go off of a diet, they start eating like they did before the diet. The best approach is to know your goal weight and then figure out how many calories per day you will need to eat to maintain that goal weight.

Start to eat your “maintenance” calories at the start of your weight loss. If you eat like a thinner person, you become that thinner person. You will gradually lose the weight and never feel deprived along the way. It’s not a sexy weight loss plan, but it works in the long term.