As much as I love talking about my workouts, from time to time I will talk about what I eat. These past few days I’ve been very selective with what I eat. I’ve mentioned before that I juice about 6x week. I’m shortening that to 5x week. The two days I don’t juice I try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies. (I actually shoot for that everyday, but more so when I don’t juice.) Here’s the rundown of what I’m doing:
*Juicing 5x week
*Eating min. of 5 servings of fruits/veggies per day
*Eating an apple or Asian pear once a day
*Eating plenty of fresh blueberries
*Eating Greek yogurt w/ walnuts after my workouts (both cardio and weight workouts)
*Eating fish (especially salmon) at least 3x week
*Cooking only w/ extra virgin olive oil
*Eating about 4 avocados per week
*Eating lots of green/leafy veggies along with colorful veggies (like beets)
*Drinking water only!
*Avoiding red meat / poultry / pig / eggs
*Eating lots of black beans and chick peas
*Eating broccoli (not juicing it) at least 2x week
*Looking at nutritional labels before buying food (esp looking at sodium count)
*Buying fruit/veggies that look fresh and are either local or organic
*Making sure I eat a good variety of fruits/veggies
*Hitting the steam room 6x week
One other thing I’ve done in the past year is limit the amount of hard liquor I drink. I don’t care if it’s a 20-year old whisky, I’d rather drink red wine than hard liquor. I haven’t eliminated hard liquor completely (maybe once a month I’ll have that whisky), but like I said — I’m trying to eliminate it as much as possible. Red wine I’ll have maybe once or twice a week.
I’ve been following this diet for at least 6 months and I feel really great. I wouldn’t even call it a diet, it’s more a lifestyle that I’m leading and while this is my personal/customized nutrition plan, I highly recommend one or any of these tips for your own nutritional plan. It’s not cheap (I try to keep costs down by buying seasonal produce), but it makes me feel great, and there’s no price on that feeling.
Back in July I took my fitness test at Equinox and found out my body fat was 25.9%. I was very displeased and intensified all of my cardio workouts from that day forward. Well, it paid off ’cause I took a re-evaluation test today and my body fat is now 18%. Woo-hoo! Not only that, but my blood pressure is 107/60 and I now weight 238 lbs. (I’m not that trusting of the scale though, so I’ll say I’m still at 245 lbs.)
My trainer also did the flexibility test and told me I had improved over the last time. Overall, I was in damn good shape. Next week we meet again for my free personal training session. I’m very psyched to see what kind of workout plan he’ll give me. Mind you, this is the same trainer who gave me those training pointers. So overall, I’m psyched with the news. My goal is still to attain a 9% body fat percentage.
Ok, so a new study by the New England Journal of Medicine says that caucasian men with a BMI of 30 to 34.9 have a 44% higher risk of death than those with a BMI below 30. This isn’t groundbreaking news, but this particular study is getting attention because it pooled data from 19 different studies, which allowed researchers to exclude people such as smokers, etc.
So what’s the ideal BMI? Between 20 and 24.9. (To get your BMI multiply your weight in pounds by 702, divide that answer by your height in inches, and then divide that answer again by your height in inches. Or use this calculator.)
I have a 32 BMI, which means I’m obese. (I’m 6’1″ – 6’2″ and weigh just under 245 lbs. For simplicity’s sake, I used the measurements 6’1″ and 245 lbs. in this post.) So for me to make it into that golden bracket I’d have to weigh 180 lbs. I repeat, I would have to lose 65 lbs. 6’1″ at 180 lbs. That’s insane. I weighed 180 lbs. back in college when I was full-swing into my vegan diet and that was was way too low for me. I looked anorexic. I find this study very misleading. I’ve always thrown BMI out the window because it doesn’t account for how lean a person may be. In addition, it doesn’t take into account your lifestyle, do you exercise, do you swim, do you just sit down and watch TV. In other words, it’s too formulaic for so many different body types and lifestyles. And now this study says you have to be under 24.9 to be healthy — that’s just insane.
If you hit that number, more power to you. But I would not obsess over this formula. I’d rather focus on working out as often as possible and lowering your body’s fat percentage.
Politics aside, former President Bill Clinton looks pretty damn good in this recent CNN interview. In it, he talks about his recent diet change. Apparently, after his bypass he went on an all-plant diet and has managed to hit his high school weight and has also flushed out all of the cholesterol in his system. He credits Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, which a quick Google search shows is the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. The interview is very interesting and I’m gonna try to pick up the book as well.
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t make it a point of weighing myself. I used to, but I learned to stop obsessing over it. Well, the other day I decided to step on the scale and I weighed 248 lbs. This was midday after lunch. Awesome! Prior to that, I was weighing in at 251. So hopefully this means I’m well on my way to losing body fat. So how did I lose those pounds in the last few weeks? By eating healthy. I refuse to diet. I’ve simply upped my fruits/vegetable intake (to a minimum of 5 servings a day), made sure to eat salmon at least 2x per week, snack only on blueberries and cashews/walnuts (the non-salted kind), and I’ve absolutely been killing it with my cardio workouts. One other thing, I’m making sure that the majority (if not all) of my fat intake is coming from ingredients like olive oil, avocados, and seafood, all three of which are high in good fat.
To be honest, this is the healthiest I’ve ever felt. My body feels good, my cardio workouts are strong, I’m happy overall with my health. Am I still reaching for more? Of course. I want to absolutely flatten my stomach and drop my body fat. But so far I like the results I’m yielding. I’ll try to get a blood test soon just to check in on my cholesterol levels and what not. (I believe it’s been a little over a year since my last test, in which my cholesterol was, surprisingly, 10 points high. I’m almost sure it’s down now.)
So I took my fitness test today. Good news and bad news. Goods news. My weight is down to 251. I was hovering between 252 and 255 and finally I nailed it and got down to 251 (this is my weight at the end of the day and with sneakers mind you). My blood pressure is great. 123/70. My resting heart rate is 49 bpm. Amazing! Now on to the bad part.
My body fat has jumped 3 points in 2 years to 25.9%. (My norm should be 12% to 16%.) What gets me most is that my body fat back in college was 9%. What the hell?!?! My trainer told me it was mostly around my stomach. She said the other parts of my body measured well. (She did the machine / pinch test.) So as a result, I’m waging a war with my abs. I will work them till I get my body fat as close to 10% as possible. And then some! I was really shocked upon learning how high my BF was. Not to mention, disappointed. My core is essentially off, which is also causing my balance to be off. She said my flexibility was good. Although again, if I improve my core, it could be better.
Next Thursday I have my follow up test where she’ll measure my heart rate as I walk on the treadmill. In the meantime, the ab wars have started!!
Thursday evening I have a fitness test at my gym. I’m pretty psyched about it as it’s been a long time since my last test. In fact, my last test was in October of 2008 and my body fat back then was 22%. Yuck! I really hope I’ve managed to lower it. I think I have. I have been doing cardio like a mad man and I’ve really been watching what I eat. But, you never know. Here’s hoping I ace the test!