Recently I have crossed the 2-year mark in my fitness transformation (from May 2016 to May 2018). The purpose of this slow fitness journey is not only to be in better shape but to make better decisions about dieting, my reactions to food and my health overall. My philosophy is to make gradual changes to enforce discipline and to create lasting, life changing habits.
I am tracking everything I consume through MyFitnesssPal (MFP) using the free app on my phone. I don’t go too crazy with it. I am not counting how much ketchup is on my burger for example but I make an estimated guess. If I go out to eat a burger that is made-to-order at a restaurant, I will try to find a similar size burger on MFP and try to factor in the calories of the bun and condiments to make it easier on me.
I tend to err on the side of overestimating versus underestimating so I can be confident in my results. So if a quarter pound homemade burger is listed as 200 calories, I will find the entry for a quarter pound burger that is about 550 calories and enter that to cover the condiments and the bun, etc. I wholeheartedly believe in doing things that I can keep sustainable versus aiming for something 100% perfect each time and end up doing not a damn thing. As of this post, I am on a 765 day streak on MFP tracking my food each day.
There are 2 things I learned by tracking my food daily. The first is that I can see the trends and changes in my health very easily. If I feel bloated, crappy or slightly ill the next day, I can easily review what I ate the day before and narrow down the susceptible food, vitamin, or supplement. This is how I found out my body doesn’t like blueberries and watermelon on an empty stomach at the same time. The second thing I learned is that I am much more in tune with the effect of food my weight/body fat the next day. I know what is going to be water weight, or wont matter when I weigh myself the next day. I know when I can over indulge without messing up my body weight goals. Two years of this provides an interesting view into my body.
And don’t think for one minute that I didn’t eat the things I want on a daily basis because I did. I just spread my pleasure out through out the week so I can hit my goals. But there has been days where I had an entire pizza and a milkshake and maybe a cheese steak in the same day. And with all of
DAILY WEIGH-INS & BODY FAT PERCENTAGE
Counting calories everyday wouldn’t be efficient without me being able to accurate track my body fat percentage and my weight each day. The procedure I follow is that i way myself every morning after I go to the bathroom. If I am unable to weigh myself (i.e. not being at home), I tend to use the average weight for the days I missed. Additionally, on Sundays, I weigh myself and use the scale to record my body weight measurements.
The scale has 2 modes, Normal and Athlete. I think Athlete is more accurate but what I have been doing weekly is recording the readings from both and averaging them together. For example. normal mode has me listed at 17% but athlete mode list me at 13% body fat. I try not to make things complicated so long as my AVERAGE body fat % is trending downward, I call it a win.
BODYWEIGHT EXERCISE ROUTINE
- Body Weight Fitness Recommended Routine
- Trademark Innovations Fitness Training Dip Station
- Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
For exercise, I do the Recommended Routine from Reddit. I started this routine to build discipline (by doing it 3-4 times a week) and to make sure I have no excuses since I can do it in my apartment at anytime. I only bought a few things to start the process, one of which is the Dip station and pull up bar I listed above. The Recommended Routine is a great play to get started if you need to get active without huge commitment. They even have apps to guide you through and show you the moves.
In addition to changing my eating habits and tracking calories and working out, I have been slowly adding vitamins and other supplements into my daily routine. I have been increases my sleep time at night by going to bed earlier and having a routine I stick to 4-5 days out of week. Throughout this journey, I started drinking more water, cooking my own meals for lunch and dinner (thanks to the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt)
So that being said, here are my results over 2 years so far as I become more in tune with my body:
In 2 years, I have went from weighing 200.9 pounds in 2016 down to 175.8 pounds in 2018 (a loss of 25.1 pounds). My body fat percentage went from 20.9 percent in 2016 down to 15.6 percent in 2018, which is a loss of 5.4 percent. I am not sure if you understand how significant that is if you are unfamiliar with the differences of body fat percentages.
Here is an image I found online showing off the different body fat percentages for men and women. As you can see, the difference between a body fat percentage of 15% and 20% in a male is very noticeable.
THE FUTURE STEPS
The hardest thing to do is to get started and keep the momentum going. In my case, I am on top of that.Over the next 2 years, I am getting a personal trainer and focus on building muscle and mass. In addition to all of that, I will be focus on my macros over the long run. If you are not aware, tracking macros is simply making sure I am getting the exact protein and carbs, etc my body needs on a daily basis. This is harder because eating things like Pop Tarts provide no nutritional value and doesn’t allow me to reach my goals. In regards to tracking my food/calories, I plan to continue doing it until June 2020.
UPDATE: Additionally I have been taking Vitamin & Magnesium supplements, , cold showers, trying a bit of intermittent fasting and even drinking black coffee. The results have been working and I will continue on this path.
My goal is to be somewhere mainly muscle with a 10-12% body fat. The advantage of this is the compounding effects of not only first impressions, job offers, dating, freelance, and the like. By being in better shape, there isn’t a downside. I will look good naked and dressed in the lowest of fabrics. What a life worth living.