Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 44

September 13th – September 19th, 2021

After traveling to and from Houston, I got back into the swing of things at the end of last week. My nutrition has been corrected and amplified by eating the meal replacement food Huel. On Sunday last week, I embarked on a long walk that burned some calories for once! My intention this week is to stay the course with Soylent and Huel for nutrition and do a little more exercise than marching.

To that end, I have ordered a treadmill that will arrive on Monday. I will use this to do my indoor walks and to assist with my running training. I have some ambitious exercise goals, and a treadmill will be integral to achieving them.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225 lbs.
Goal Weight: 165 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 181.2 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.5 %
Muscle Mass: 117.0 lbs.

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Monday 13th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 236 Avg. HR: 125
Exercise Ring: 45/30
Move Ring: 747/700
Total steps: 10,194

Due to my love for walking, I purchased a treadmill as an early birthday present for myself. Not only will a treadmill walk take the place of my indoor marches, but I will also use it to train for some lofty running goals that I have. Next week, I will begin the couch to 5K running program – if I had to do this outside, especially during the Buffalo winter, I give up pretty quickly.

After setting up the treadmill, I went for my first walk. I’ve been on a treadmill only a handful of times, so I’m getting used to the feeling. The break in the middle is when I paused to chat on the phone for a bit!

Immediately, I see the benefit of owning this piece of equipment. My heart rate is higher than it typically is when I march, without me having to make elaborate moves. I find it easy to put on an episode of television and walk for half an hour. I am thrilled with my purchase and the positive change it will bring to my fitness.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,450/1,556
Fat: 34%
Carbs: 43%
Protein: 23%

I had a 100% meal replacement day. I am waiting on my Huel powder order to arrive, so until then, I will be consuming more Soylent than typical.

Breakfast: Huel caffé latte shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Soylent cacao shake – 400 calories
Dinner: Tomato and herb, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Evening: Soylent cacao shake – 250 calories

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Tuesday 14th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 252 Avg. HR: 132
Exercise Ring: 42/30
Move Ring: 769/700
Total steps: 10,050

I did another walk on my treadmill today. I am starting to feel comfortable on the machine. I’ve set my walking pace to 3.1 mph, a solid clip without being close to a jog. From my heart trace, it’s evident when I switched to this pace as opposed to 2.5 mph as my warm-up and cool down. I am delighted with a sustained heart rate of 140 BPM – this is excellent low-intensity cardio. It felt like decent exercise, too, as I was sweating and needed to take on water. Perhaps I’m overly optimistic, but converting marching to treadmill walking is going to whip me into shape!


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,460/1,556
Fat: 31%
Carbs: 49%
Protein: 20%

My nutrition today was typical, focusing on meal replacements to account for most of my calories. I had a couple of snacks to quell a bit of hunger I felt.

Breakfast: Huel caffé latte shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Soylent cacao shake – 400 calories
Dinner: Yellow coconut curry, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Evening: 2x strawberry Nutri-Grain bars – 260 calories

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Wednesday 15th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 41 Avg. HR: 104
Exercise Ring: 60/30
Move Ring: 835/700
Total steps: 11,771

I gained a lot of move calories and exercise minutes today, despite not clocking in an activity. Yes, I tracked this 10-minute indoor cycle, but it hardly counts for anything! I was interested in how many calories I was burring with my Desk Cycle, so I tracked it for a few minutes as I couldn’t understand why my ring stats were as high. I know now – cycling while at my desk was doing wonders! I’ve owned my Desk Cycle for a few months now, and I can appreciate that my thighs have toned. I also feel less stiff when I rise from my desk chair after a three-hour writing session. I amassed a lot of steps today, too – so it’s fair to say it was a busy day all around.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,518/1,556
Fat: 37%
Carbs: 43%
Protein: 20%

My friend at work was back to baking again! She made these utterly delightful chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Commonly oatmeal is paired with raisins, and having them with chocolate chips instead is a revelation! She made them nice and small, so I could have two without doing any damage to my calorie intake. The rest of my day was meal replacements, so I know my nutrition was taken care of.

Breakfast: Soylent cacao shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Soylent cacao shake – 400 calories
Dinner: Sweet and sour, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Evening: Yellow coconut curry, Huel Hot and Savory – 200 calories
Snacks: 2x oatmeal cookies – 118 calories

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Thursday 16th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 283 Avg. HR: 127
Exercise Ring: 54/30
Move Ring: 722/700
Total steps: 9,919

I started my day in a typical fashion, earning around 350 moves calories from walking around the lab at work. Some days I am on my feet endlessly; others, I spend most of it at my desk and stand when my Apple watch nudges me to. I prefer the busy lab days – time passes quickly, and my rings are in better shape by home time!

Today was another walking workout on my new treadmill. I am slowly getting used to walking on it. Right now, I place a lot of mental energy with each step to ensure I don’t fall off the damn thing! That’s why I didn’t start running this week – I wanted the chance to acclimate myself before potentially misstepping and crashing into a wall. My walk today was another where my heart rate stayed above 130 BPM and crept toward 140 BPM before I slowed the pace for a cool down. The quality of this exercise excites me, as the motivation barrier to starting a walk is minimal.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,400/1,556
Fat: 32%
Carbs: 39%
Protein: 29%

My order of Huel powders arrived yesterday, so it’s time to get back on Huel with a bit of variety. I ordered all the flavors that appealed and bought in bulk to keep the cost per meal as low as possible. Regardless of anything else, I will be consuming a lot of Huel in the next few months! I tried salted caramel for lunch today, which had been hailed as one of the best flavors by Redditors. I found it pretty sweet, so I will probably mix it with the other flavors for the time being.

Breakfast: Huel caffé latte shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Huel salted caramel shake – 400 calories
Dinner: Tomato and herb, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Evening: Cacao Soylent – 200 calories

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Friday 17th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 50/30
Move Ring: 716/700
Total steps: 9,919

I didn’t get on the treadmill today as my busy day closed my rings without any additional effort! I set my move goal to 700 calories as this is double what I get on a typical workday. It forces me not to be a lazy butt on my couch all evening! However, when I have engagements at night, I can usually get pretty close without doing a workout. Today was like that. As I knew I would be busy, I walked around the lab during one of my experiments’ incubations. People thought I was strange, but I clocked 20 or so minutes of exercise when I’d otherwise be standing around!

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,460/1,556
Fat: 31%
Carbs: 48%
Protein: 21%

I tried the banana Huel today, and it is easily my favorite meal replacement shake ever. Banana-flavored items can have a fake tinge to them, but this shake tastes as if I blended in an actual banana.

We had cake at work today, and I didn’t hesitate to have some. My greedy eyes would typically have gone for a large piece with lots of frosting; instead, I chose a small center portion. Nonetheless, the cake had a jam filling, so it was high in calories.

My shakes kept me satiated throughout the day, so it wasn’t a problem in that sense.

Breakfast: Huel caffé latte shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Huel banana shake – 400 calories
Dinner: Sweet and sour, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Snack: Chocolate raspberry cake – 260 calories

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Saturday 18th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 268 Avg. HR: 112
Exercise Ring: 87/30
Move Ring: 916/700
Total steps: 15,660

Nothing like an hour’s walk on the treadmill on a Saturday night! I felt rather sluggish today and wasn’t motivated to do much. My legs felt heavy, so I set the pace to 2.8 mph as that was comfortable. The reduced speed is why my heart rate didn’t hit the 135 BPM region that it has all week. About halfway through my walk, I reduced the pace further to 2.5 mph, lowering my effort further. I see this last 30 minutes as a treadmill bonus as if I were marching on the spot, I’d have stopped. I did watch television during my walk, which makes time on the treadmill evaporate.

The rest of my stats today came from doing housework and running a few errands.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,730/1,556
Fat: 29%
Carbs: 46%
Protein: 25%

I tried something different for lunch today – mixing Huel Hot and Savory flavors to mitigate the spice level of the Mexican chili. I also added in a veggie burger to bulk it up a bit. I must say this was a fantastic meal that I enjoyed thoroughly. I tried the berry flavor shake today too. I was skeptical about this one, as the consensus is that it’s disgusting. Luckily for me, I loved it too. With all these flavors, I am going to enjoy my Huel journey.

I ate a little more today. I’m not sure if it was through hunger or a touch of weekend boredom. Either way, it was nutritionally balanced and not Chinese take-out — a remarkable improvement in my choices.

Breakfast: Huel caffé latte shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Tomato and herb mixed with Mexican chili, Huel Hot and Savory, and a Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger – 530 calories
Dinner: Huel berry shake – 400 calories
Evening: Yellow coconut curry, Huel Hot and Savory- 400 calories

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Sunday 19th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 221 Avg. HR: 108
Exercise Ring: 34/30
Move Ring: 862/700
Total steps: 15,179

I walked this morning while I watched Manchester United. I kept the pace lower so I could concentrate on the game and not my feet and keep the noise to a minimum. I have upstairs neighbors, and I wish to be respectful. Considering I usually watch these matches sitting, I’m rather chuffed that I burned 221 active calories that I would never otherwise have. The walk may not have been far or fast, but better for me than sitting on my couch.

Otherwise, I was rather busy today with household matters. It was time to finally put my Houston trip belongings away and, of course, nothing like some housework to get the heart rate up. I was reasonably active for most of the day, so there was no need for a last-minute walk to close my rings before bed.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,400/1,556
Fat: 30%
Carbs: 46%
Protein: 24%

100% meal replacements today and back under budget with calories. I think two Hot and Savory meals will be the norm at weekends as it fits into my life nicely. Shakes take a long time to drink, and they are best suited to when working or when I am writing at my computer. In contrast, Hot and Savory servings are more akin to eating a meal.

Breakfast: Huel caffé latte shake – 400 calories
Lunch: Sweet and sour, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Dinner: Yellow coconut curry, Huel Hot and Savory – 400 calories
Evening: Cacao Soylent – 200 calories

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Week’s Reflection

Using meal replacements has been crucial to a successful week. There were a few “treats” in there, so I don’t feel like I missed out on any experiences by making this lifestyle choice. I am enjoying my shakes and warm dinners, so it in no way feels like a chore. I want to iterate this, as I can imagine many people may think consuming nutrition this way is a sacrifice. Perhaps it’s the mindset that nutrition is merely fuel for the body. I feed myself the way I feed my cats. I buy the best food so they will stay healthy and have long lives. Why should it be different for a human over an animal?

Buying a treadmill has transformed my exercise regimen. Recently, I have been using walking on the spot to get move and exercise calories. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s been the easy way out. I’ll also acknowledge that walking on a treadmill is only the next step up from that. However, it is a significant step. The quality of exercise I am performing is exponentially better. While I got the treadmill for helping me train as a runner – especially with winter approaching – it will also prove valuable for my low-intensity cardio. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but I hope to keep this as part of the routine as it is so good for me.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

No issues in the upcoming week that could interfere with maintaining excellent nutrition. I have all the Huel a person could need for several months!

My body feels good and has successfully recovered from the 10-mile walk last weekend. I don’t have new sneakers for the treadmill, but I haven’t had any issues this week, so hopefully, they will do perfectly fine for these short runs that my couch to 5K app will ask of me.

Desires

I love how I am feeling physically and mentally with my meal replacement diet. All I want is to keep this up and not snack on candy to offset my nutritional progress. If the opportunity arises to eat out with friends, then I’ll take it. I don’t want to be too rigid with my meal plan. Provided I can take in most of my calories from Huel/Soylent, I will end my week happy.

I start the couch to 5K program tomorrow. I am a touch intimidated! I tried this around a decade ago and got to week seven before a bad cold ended my progress. I haven’t run since. It will be a challenge for me, but that is the point.

I would like to see myself get back into Apple fitness again. I haven’t used the app in a while, and I want to continue doing strength and yoga. I can also try some treadmill workouts (they do walking ones!). If I can do at least one this week as well as my three runs, I’ll be content.

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Cat Corner

I was chilling with Rave in the sunroom and I love her colors in the sunbeam! ᓚᘏᗢ


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