Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diet is a four letter word

As many of you know from my constant whining the last week I have sciatica in my left leg.  The pain has gotten better over the last nine days but is still fairly constant.  I plan on running tonight for the first time in about two weeks.  Since I have been sidelined I have decided to take a look at my diet and ways to improve it.  The four basic food groups I have been eating are of course the cheese, meat, fried and pasta groups.  Surprisingly I have been able to get some vegetables in to the diet - fried green beans, fried corn, fried zucchini...etc.  However, even with this balanced diet I have not noticed a lot of weight loss..and possibly even the gain of a stone or two. 

I recently read Racing Weight which describes what the optimum weight for an endurance athlete is and discusses ways of bettering your diet and hopefully obtaining the correct weight.  Apparently I will need to lose about 50lbs and my right arm to be at my racing weight by next September.   Although the book was very informative it did not provide me with any gems that would help me with weight loss that I did not already know.  It did provide a way of rating your diet on a points system with the optimum number of points being 29 for a day.  I kept a four day log of my food and averaged  9 points.  Thus there is room for improvement.  I also had to throw the log out after day four due to the pages being stuck together with velveeta cheese. 

Since it is imperative that I lose weight even before the heavy training starts..just to save my knees if nothing else. I reread all of my nutrition books and cobbled together a plan that will work.  1.  I  need to limit my calories to 1800 a day when not working out and 2000 per day when I am working out.  This should yield  a 2lb loss per week. (I have estimated that my BMR is 2147 calories per day and that my job keeps me lightly active thus I would multiply that number by 1.3 to give me approx. 2791 calories burned per day.  1800 calories would provide about 1000 calorie deficit per day or 7000 for the week.  Since the body must expend 3500 more calories then it takes in to lose 1 lb, burning 7000 extra calories during the week would equal the 2lb loss.  You can go here to estimate your BMR and daily caloric expenditure.)           2.  I have to cut out fried food and soda. I am addicted to both.  3. I have to pack my lunch everyday.  The amount of calories I ingest when I eat lunch out is enormous compared with eating what I brought. The plan is to eat a lean protein at lunch everyday along with fruit and possibly a few vegetables (tuna salad sandwich, apple, small salad) I am not going to worry about percentage of carbs, protein or fat at this point but will revisit this in a few weeks.  4. I just need to watch my portion sizes.  5. I have to log my calories everyday.  6. I have to drink plenty of water - I have a problem with dehydration in the first place so I am going to try and drink 100 oz of water a day.

Now - it is all well and good that I have a plan..but I have little to no discipline.  Thus my wife has come up with an incentive plan for me to stay the course.  As a woman she knows my needs and wants and thus has tied my very base desires to my weight loss.  Thus, she will allow me to put money aside for a new tri bike only after I reach certain weight loss goals. And if I don't reach my goals then no new bike.  The woman is heartless.  I will post my weight every week on this blog to keep me accountable.  Feel free to give me suggestions for foods to try, recipes, offer encouragement or beat me down if my weight goes up.  My official weight on Monday November 8, 2010 was 229.2 lbs.  (only 49.8lbs to go )

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