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Next Health Phase

Ok, so back in May I joined the Y and began to work out (for the first time in awhile). It's also the first time I took working out really seriously, for real.

My plan was to try to build upper-body strength first, then, when I reached a goal or two, to switch gears and focus on cardio health and stamina. Because I was really serious for real this time, I actually studied what to do, made a plan, and set realistic goals. One thing I discovered, that pretty much everyone agrees on, is that to build muscle, you have to gain weight. Therefore, on days that I worked out, I would splurge at the only buffet in the Westside, or eat 40 chicken wings during happy hour at Hooters.

This worked quite well. I reached my first strength goal (to bench press 200 pounds), added three inches to my arms, and overall am much stronger, in about six months, while not being all that consistent. The only problem is, I put on 30 or so pounds in the process.

So now it's time to lose it. I'm shifting the workouts to more aerobic exercises, of course, but it's also time to diet. I've never been on an official diet before, although I have implemented temporary eating rules here and there. But this time I am counting calories, with the help of a nice cell-phone app.

I have utterly no hope that I'll be able to stick to counting calories for very long. However, if I stick to counting calories for at least a few weeks or months, I'll get a good feel for how many calories foods really have (which I don't have now), and will make wiser decisions from then on.

Here are the rules I have in place for at least a couple months:

  1. Limit to 2000 calories per day; absolutely no carryover. (If I find out 2000 is around what I eat normally, which I highly doubt, I'll knock it down a few hundred.)
  2. No more ordering additional side dishes when eating out. (This one might depend on me managing to eat breakfast or lunch.)
  3. No sweets. Minor exceptions:
    • up to two teaspoons honey or fruit syrup topping for yogurt
    • bran muffins
    • medium-sweetness fruits

Finally, I get a cheat card for Christmas day.


Update: December 26, 2011

Well, it's the day after Christmas and I am still counting calories faithfully. Am getting a feel for how expensive calorie-wise foods are. Pickles are nearly free, who knew? I had a glorious Christmas Day where I ate a couple small chocolate bars and some cookies, and 3500 total calories. Now back to 2000 a day max for a couple months.

Rule #2, no sides, didn't last long. I found out that I had a lot of trouble eating enough calories if I didn't order an additional side, especially when I eat late in the day.

I guess I should mention that I'm noticeably thinner in the waist. I haven't (and won't) weigh myself, though.

Tags: calories, cardio, diet, health, strength_training
Permalink: http://blog.aerojockey.com/post/moredieting
Last Edited: 6 December 2011, 12:18 AM
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