Fitness

Fat to Fit: Week 5

December 14th – December 20th, 2020

We’re closing in on the zenith of the holiday season, which is a terrifying time for anyone on a weight loss journey, including myself. At this time of year, I’m normally tucking in to mince pies, drinking eggnog, and preparing my gut to eat 7000 calories in one sitting. Being British, Christmas is the big meal of the year with many traditional foods that I like to consume. However, it’s my first year living with my Jewish girlfriend, so stepping away from some of those traditions will be easier as we start to make new ones as a couple.

Week five is a chance to slim down before the festive week of Christmas, Boxing Day, Hogmanay, and New Year’s Day, all compete for the most calorific day of the year. 🙂

Starting Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225 lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 184.6 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 182.2 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.6%
Muscle Mass: 117.2 lbs.

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Monday 14th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 40/30
Move Ring: 721/500
Total steps: 11,656

I may not have done an official exercise today, but I racked up the steps and closed rings with them.  You don’t need to do intense exercise every day to burn the calories – walking throughout a day can do the job for you on “off” days. The caveat with my stats today is that they didn’t occur simultaneously; instead, I had a few spurts lasting at most 9 minutes each. It would have been far better to do a continuous 30 minutes. Still, I closed my rings, so that’s a decent enough day for me at this point of my journey.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1788/1804
Fat: 11%
Carbs: 75%
Protein: 14%

I had the traditional start to my day with a coffee and a cinnamon raisin bagel from Trader Joe’s. That has been my breakfast pretty much every day since I started my journey. It’s a substantial breakfast that is easy to make, never feels boring, and it fills me up for 257 calories.

Lunch was a combination of last night’s Mediterranean leftovers and a healthy portion of tri-color rotini. It was a large lunch of 766 calories, though! My epic feast was 2 cups of pasta, 4 tbs of hummus, 3 pieces of baked falafel, and 2/3 rds of a piece of pita. I felt very full, uncomfortably so. I doubt I am alone, but I have noticed that I don’t feel that great when I eat more than 600 calories in a single sitting. Sluggish. Definitely a change since starting on this journey.

My large lunch meant I needed a smaller dinner. I went for 2 cups of the rotini with a bit of “everything but the bagel” seasoning sprinkled on top. Yes, I ate bland pasta for dinner!

I rounded off my day with a Soylent bar and a handful of Mike and Ikes at work.

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Tuesday 15th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Yoga: 99 Avg. HR: 111
Exercise Ring: 50/30
Move Ring: 835/500
Total steps: 11,824

Fitness+ finally launched! With my first foray into the app, I selected yoga with Dustin – a 20-minute flow.  I have minimal experience with yoga, consisting mostly of Wii Fit.  Dustin’s workout was my first experience doing a flow, and I found it taxing on the muscles.  It wasn’t the yoga positions themselves that I found challenging; I was holding them for minutes at a time as I progressed through the movements. During these moments, I pushed myself, causing my HR to peak at 150 bpm on several occasions.  Yoga is hard work and a damn good workout. 

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1625/1804
Fat: 17%
Carbs: 67%
Protein: 16%

A predictable start to my daily food intake with my coffee and bagel. Lunch was a somewhat different affair, however. We got some frozen knishes from a local place here in Buffalo, called the Bloom & Rose. They have a variety of flavors, including some that are seasonal. I enjoyed a traditional knish (potato and onion) and a spinach and feta one. Although they may seem small, they are incredibly filling and low-calorie! Could not recommend these more.


For dinner, I enjoyed the wonderful culinary delights of 400 calories of rotini pasta. Yes, the same as yesterday. I sprinkled everything but the bagel seasoning on there for flavor. Oddly, it’s more satiating than it seems. However, agree that it’s not much of a meal.

I made up my calorie intake for the day with Soylent bars (still working through my stock!) and a hot chocolate with Trader Joe’s peppermint meringues.

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Wednesday 16th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Spin Cycling: 169 Avg. HR: 147
Active Calories Mindful Cooldown: 33 Avg. HR: 133
Exercise Ring: 82/30
Move Ring: 1,003/500
Total steps: 11,646

I took my first ever spin class with Apple’s Fitness+ today. I chose a 20 minute routine with Tyrell. Without a doubt, this was one of the most challenging cardio workouts I have ever done.  My lungs were burning, I was too exhausted to drink while sweat fell in large droplets from my brow. Panting, I could not increase resistance after the first two climbs (there was six total). By the fourth climb, I couldn’t raise myself off the seat. Without a doubt, spinning is some of the hardest cardio I have ever done. Tyrell is a fantastic instructor – full of genuine enthusiasm, encouragement, and he was covered in sweat by the end. It felt good to know even the fittest of the fit found this hard too.

To complete my workout, I loaded up a five-minute mindful cooldown with Dustin. I liked his vibe during yoga yesterday. These cooldowns have a little bit of stretching before lapsing into a few minutes of meditation.

The remainder of my exercise minutes came from walking around the lab. When I got home, I noticed that I was close to getting my move goal 200% badge, so I kept going until I hit 1000 move calories. Yay for gamification! Proud to get this badge.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1726/1793
Fat: 21%
Carbs: 68%
Protein: 11%

Breakfast today was a conglomerate of items. I mixed half a cup of rice with two tablespoons of mixed berry jam. I also had a medium banana and my usual cup of coffee. Good start to the day for 275 calories.

I mixed the last of the hummus (around 3 tablespoons) with a cup and half of rice for lunch. I’m not putting much effort into the food that I am eating, other than keeping it below the stated calorie limit the Lose It app suggests. If more evidence was needed, I then spent 180 calories on a Lindt white peppermint bar. I didn’t purchase this chocolate goody – it was a gist from work. For some reason, they believe empty calories are the best way to thank you for a job well done.

Rice for my third meal of the day? Yep. I’m in the habit of making four dry cups at a time and then eating it over the course of a couple of days. Yes, it’s laziness, or perhaps spending time preparing meals isn’t something I have prioritized. Regardless, I mixed a cup and half of rice with two veggie burgers, sprinkled with a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese — great comfort food for 634 calories.

For snacks, I enjoyed a chocolate Soylent bar, a hot chocolate, and a pack of my favorite 100-calorie kettle-corn.


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Thursday 17th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Indoor Walk: 235, Avg. HR: 79
Exercise Ring: 43/30
Move Ring: 821/500
Total steps: 11,957

Back to my indoor walking to rack up those exercise minutes and move calories!  For 50 minutes, I walked on the spot while watching an episode of Game of Thrones (first watch ever, nothing like being up-to-date!) My heart rate didn’t climb much, showing that this wasn’t much of a cardio effort. I did walk nearly six miles during the day, so that’s better than some previous days.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1680/1793
Fat: 24%
Carbs: 56%
Protein: 20%

I love these knish’s so much, that I had to have one for breakfast! Nothing like a warm potato and onion knish t fight off a cold winter morning. Along with my usual cup of coffee, this came in for fewer calories than my normal bagel at only 202 calories.

For lunch, I had a delicious poke bowl from a local place in Buffalo – Fresh Catch.

I had the Bubba bowl made with jasmine rice, shrimp, crab meat, green onion, cucumber, broccoli, wasabi peas, sesame seeds, with a delicious mildly spicy ginger sauce. The whole thing is only 585 calories. The portion size is generous and can easily be split into a meal and snack!

I rounded off my meal with a few more of those delicious Trader Joe’s peppermint meringues.

I upped the average dinner calories by making the same rice and veggie burger mix that I had last night for dinner. This time though, I added a half cup of parmesan cheese. It meant that my meal came in at 720 calories.

As I had such large meals, I didn’t need many snacks today. All I had was a single Soylent bar for 100 calories.

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Friday 18th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Indoor Walk: 276, Avg. HR: 78
Exercise Ring: 77/30
Move Ring: 976/500
Total steps: 14,133

I got home from work tonight at 22:30, realizing I hadn’t done any exercise, and I needed to move! So, I did a 35-minute walk before I got ready for bed, accounting for 2.21 miles. In total, I walked 7 miles today – showing that just moving and walking can really add up! I almost got another 200% movement badge today. If I had been paying attention, I would’ve kept going to crush that!

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1752/1793
Fat: 10%
Carbs: 76%
Protein: 14%

I had breakfast a little later in the morning, so it was closer to brunch than breakfast. I filled myself up on two traditional potato knish’s. Pretty great start to my food day for 370 calories. Add a coffee with soy milk on top of that.

For lunch, I had a cup and half of trio pasta. It’s a box that has three shapes of pasta mix together. To it, I added a can of condensed chicken soup (low sodium). Came in at a substantial 500 calories. I wasn’t ravenous after the large and late breakfast, so this was all I needed.

I had the same for dinner as lunch – nothing like leftovers to satisfy me! I had a few snacks a work too – a chocolate Soylent bar and a few mike and Ikes. When I got home, I had another bag of kettle corn popcorn as I was feeling a tad peckish.

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Saturday 19th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 17/30
Move Ring: 305/500
Total steps: 3,006

Eek!! I barely moved today! It’s hard to write a summary of exercise when you didn’t do any. My exercise minutes came from a short walk. It’s a shame that I didn’t close my rings, as I was on a bit of a streak.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1670/1788
Fat: 12%
Carbs: 78%
Protein: 10%

I made a brunch meal today of pasta, cream of mushroom soup, and cranberries. I know, this concoction sounds like an abomination to food. Dishes such as these are produced when the cupboards are bare, and you slap whatever you can find together. Desperate times. In all honesty, though, it wasn’t that bad. I made enough of it that I had the same for dinner. Each portion was 660 calories.

Other than that, I had a potato knish and a handful of Mike and Ikes to round off my day. I think the less said about this, the better!

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Sunday 20th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Indoor Walk: 119, Avg. HR: 106
Exercise Ring: 31/30
Move Ring: 732/500
Total steps: 9,984

It may have been another indoor walk day, but I quickened the pace. As a result, my HR peaked at 123, steadily increasing during the 22-minute effort. Since winter has set in, and I can’t go out on my bike without the risk of hypothermia, I’ve taken to doing bouts of walking throughout the apartment. That’s how I racked up the rest of these stats.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1350/1788
Fat: 25%
Carbs: 61%
Protein: 14%

I didn’t set out to have a low-calorie intake day; it just happened that way. I had my typical breakfast for once, with my go-to bagel and a cup of coffee.

Lunch was somewhat normal too! I microwaved a medium sweet potato and filled it with a can of tuna mixed with 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise. A truly delicious meal for only 403 calories.

Dinner was a classic for me – two cups of jasmine rice with three tablespoons of sweet chili sauce — filling and tasty for only 470 calories.

The only snack I had today was some milk chocolate – but I had 220 calories of it!

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Week’s Reflection

With Apple Fitness+ finally launching, I have another tool at my disposal to increase my fitness. The workouts have already helped me try out yoga and take on a spin class. It seems like a good app full of variety and excellent instructors.

My nutritional choices are lacking, not giving me the best bang for my calories. After the holidays, diversifying my meals will be a priority.

Overall, though, my regimen went well this week, dropping two lbs., and I’m feeling good.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

Well, Christmas is next week! That’s not usually a day associated with excellent calorie control. I am also starting my vacation, so I won’t be heading to work. In this strange pandemic year, it might mean quite a bit of staying at home. It will be a good chance to relax, exercise, and spend some much-needed quality time with my girlfriend.

Desires

I would like to only gain a pound next week. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about gains, but I am a realist. I will want to be lazy, and I will want to eat chocolate and some delicious food. If I can maintain my weight next week, I will think of it as a win!

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