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Infographic: Ultimate guide to fitness nutrition

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I really like infographics. And I love this one by Greatist, which has some great information about fitness nutrition and what you should be eating before and after your workouts.

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“Obese Stomachs Tell Us Diets Are Doomed to Fail” – ScienceDaily

According to a new study, the nerves in the stomach that signal fullness to the brain become desensitized when a high-fat diet is consumed and significant weight is gained (obesity). Even if the diet is corrected and fat lost, the nerves won’t go back to normal.

This means more food would need to be consumed to reach the same level of fullness as someone who has always had a healthy diet. Researchers think this could be one of the main reasons why a lot of people who lose weight/fat on a diet eventually put it back on.

More information is available through ScienceDaily here.

MyFitnessPal – Setting Custom Macros (For IIFYM) – Google Chrome

Update: It seems User Scripts is no longer up and running. Here’s a link to the custom macros script, which you should be able to install once you have installed Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey – http://karoshiethos.com/js/MFP_Macro_Fix.user.js

 

Since I have been doing IIFYM, I have been using MyFitnessPal to plan and track my macros. There is a problem with the system though – custom macros work on percentages rather than grams or numeric values. I have found a fix in one of the forums, so I thought I’d go through it here just in case anyone else happens to be sick of the inaccuracies that occur when using percentages as I was.

Custom Macros - MyFitnessPal

My custom macros – calculated using iifym.com/iifym-calculator

Note: these instructions are for Google Chrome. If you are using Firefox, use Greasemonkey instead of Tampermonkey. If you are using Internet Explorer, you should upgrade to a better browser anyway.

Super special shout out to Rob Ruchte for creating this awesome script. Seriously awesome work.

Setting custom macros for MyFitnessPal

  1. Download and install Tampermonkey from the Google Chrome Store (link)
  2. Visit the MyFitnessPal Macro Fix page on UserScripts.org (link)
  3. Hit the install button at the top right.
  4. Once installed, go back into MFP > Home > Goals > Custom.
  5. There will now be options to set macros using percentages or grams.
  6. Edit and save your macros and you’re done!

The changes seem to translate perfectly over onto the iOS app (provided you don’t go try to edit them, I guess). On my phone my macros are 1 gram out, but considering the percentages had me sitting at almost 10g out for carbs, this is a definite improvement!!

I can’t believe MFP haven’t implemented this themselves yet. The forums have plenty of requests for it, and yet it’s still an issue. Oh well!

Hope this helps! x

IIFYM and September Revolution Anniversary

As I posted on the Zero Steps Back Facebook page this morning, it was on this day last year that I decided to overhaul my diet and really get stuck into transforming my life. I signed up to the gym in March 2012 but until September, I just saw it as another excuse to eat crap food with a bit less guilt. I lost a little bit of weight, but I don’t think I was really getting any healthier.

In September, I wrote a blog article about my “September Revolution“. It was a joint effort by my boyfriend and I to both overhaul all the crappy foods we were eating and make some drastic changes to better ourselves.

I started counting calories and choosing more nutritious foods. Developing willpower was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, particularly in an office full of daily chicken-and-chip-eaters (who doesn’t love the smell of hot chips!?).

12 months on, I am much healthier, lighter and active. I have definitely been sucked in to the active lifestyle approach and the health/fitness/nutrition world.

These days I mostly just choose good foods and occasionally splurge a little, though I feel my lack of structure has been letting me down. So, I’m starting IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). I’ve gathered all the data, and actually started tracking today. Here’s my targets and stats:

Stats

  • BMR: 1449 CALORIES/DAY
  • TDEE: 2119 CALORIES/DAY

Targets

  • Target Calories Per Day: 1695 (20%)
    • 6 meals per day – Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack, Pre-Gym, Post-Gym/Dinner
    • Carbs per day: 122.8g
    • Protein per day: 158.4g
    • Fat per day: 63.4g
    • Fibre per day: 32-40g

Data calculated at IIFYM.com. This is the ‘aggressive fat loss’ option. I’m going to start on this, and move onto the ‘suggested’ option.

I know it’s going to take a little getting used to, but I really like this style of ‘flexible dieting’. I always have trouble sticking to eating plans so at least this way I can have lots of variety.

I’ll try and post a weekly summary or something like that so hopefully in a years time, I can look back at this and see how far I’ve come.

Update

I’m writing this from the hairdresser with no glasses on, do you’ll have to forgive me for any typos!

This week I started Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program. I know what my body is like and just doing straight up weightlifting sessions does not help my burn fat. The STS program is like a bit HIIT session – in between every single set you do one minute of cardio. I can easily say they have been the hardest workouts I’ve ever done.

And the most effective. I can already see significant changes in the amount of muscle I have (particularly biceps and triceps) and I did a sneaky weigh in on Wednesday (3 days in) and had lost 1kg!

I have never felt as exhausted as I do after these workouts but that’s also a backhanded good thing as I know I’ve worked as hard as I could. Diet wise, I feel as though I’m constantly eating, but I think it has definitely started fixing my otherwise ruined metabolism. I’m now eating 6 or so meals a day and having casein protein before bed to keep my digestive system moving while I sleep.

I have taken ‘before’ photos, though I think I’ll post them at the end of the six weeks for a comparison.

I’m loving this program so far and highly recommend it. I love that its backed by actual science (Jim has a PhD and heavily researches everything).

If you want to check the program out, it’s free on bodybuilding.com.

Getting disheartened. Need advice.

I know I’ve asked for advice here before (usually to no avail) but right now I need it more than ever.

Today is the second weigh in day for the 12 week body transformation. I’ve worked my ass off this week, eaten clean/healthy (with the exception of Valentine’s Day, which wasn’t too unhealthy, and a piece of birthday cake on Saturday. I still have 13 kilograms until my ultimate goal weight of 55kg (the middle of the healthy range for my BMI). I started my weight loss journey at 82kg almost a year ago. So, why then is it I weighed in this morning to a loss of 100g?

I have been stuck at this weight since late last year. I have tried everything to shift it. Change in exercise, change in diet (I’ve eaten more new foods in the last week than I have since I was a baby), everything. Obviously this is getting frustrating. Seeing a 100g loss this morning actually made me cry. I’m tired of working my ass off and putting so much time/heart/effort into something and getting no results. I’m not even in the healthy BMI range yet (I know it’s not a great indicator of weight but it’s the best I’ve got)!

Where am I going wrong!?

The only things I can figure out that might me causing this are:

– lack of sleep: I work in the city and commute 4hrs a day to get there. That means I have to get up at 5am and don’t get home from the gym after work until 9pm. I try and get to bed by 10pm,  but I’m never asleep by then and even then that would only be 7hrs sleep. I work from home one day a week so I get sleep deprived 4 days a week.

– allergy/health reason: I’ve never had an allergic reaction to any foods, but perhaps I have an intolerance. I’ve also looked into PCOS online and discovered some of the (very broad) symptoms match my struggles. Reason I’ve never had it checked out? I’m afraid of doctors. Maybe I need to harden up and go.

– Genetics: I hate the idea of blaming genetics for something. People use it far too often as an excuse. If I hadn’t worked so hard, I wouldn’t mention it. My body shape is exactly like my mum’s. Short, stocky legs, wide hips, prone to having a gut. The only difference is when she was younger, my mum was a size 6 (tiny) and her body shape didn’t change until she had kids. I don’t have kids and I was born like this.

– prematurity: I was born 3 months early. I have a lack of coordination and small toes from it, but nothing too bad considering. I wonder if this could play a part in the puzzle of weight loss though?

So, where to from here?

I need to know where to turn for help. A nutritionist? A personal trainer? Doctor? I don’t have the time or budget to try every avenue. I’m going out of my mind though, so any advice would be great.

P.S. Seriously, thank you to anyone who actually reads this whole thing, let alone comments on it.

Another Week, Another Update

I really need to actually post things in between these updates….

Last week was a big week for me. My mum and sister both had their birthdays, Valentine’s Day arrived and I started the 12WBT. Maybe that’s why i’m feeling so tired this week! Last week I did no meal prep before the week began so I don’t think I got to bed on time at all. In saying that, the meals and recipes have been great. Even though I was eating relatively clean before, I can tell i’m getting a lot more nutrients and vitamins out of my food now.

Food highlights of the week:

  • Banana Brushetta – I’d never had cottage cheese until last week. I loved it with the banana.
  • Tomato & Fetta Pizza with Olives – I had this without olives, but it was amazing. Wholemeal pita makes for a great pizza base.
  • Crustless Blueberry Cheesecake – How could I not have loved this!? Who would have thought cheesecake would have made it into a diet plan (even if it was mostly greek yoghurt)!

And the lowlights:

  • Spanish Chickpeas with Spinach, Tomatoes & Grilled Fish – I’ve tried to like eating fish many times. Sometimes I do feel like it, but for the majority of the time, it’s not really my thing. I would have loved this without the fish.

I’ve tried to go in to the food side of this program with an open mind. So far it’s been great. Yesterday’s lunch was something I would never have tried and I loved it.

Exercise wise, I haven’t been following the plan too strictly. I am contemplating going up a level, but I think I still have enough weight to lose that moving onto the lean & fit or lean & strong program would be a bad idea as they are focused on a different goal. I’ve been following the program guides, but ramping it up (e.g. if it says cross trainer on level 6-8, I do minimum level 10) just to push myself so I don’t get bored. I’ve been doing this long enough to know my limits and since i’m investing money and time into this, I want it to challenge me. I don’t know if i’m just imagining it, but my legs feel/look as though they are definitely getting more muscle and less fat. Yay!

So overall, i’m enjoying having a change of pace, though it’s leaving me with little to no time. This week i’ve prepped a lot more food but it’s still very time consuming. I guess it’s worth it though. I managed to follow the majority of the plans, with the exception of Valentine’s Day, where my boyfriend made us a healthy-ish version of my all time favourite meal, chicken parmigiana. On Saturday night we also had a birthday dinner for my sister but I had chicken breast and veggies for main and definitely worked off the cake that morning with Body Pump and extra cardio.

Here’s to another week of healthy eating, exercise and challenges 🙂

Another Life Update.

The start date for the 12 Week Body Transformation is edging ever closer and it’s finally almost time to begin – only 10 days to go! I’m keen to get the fitness test underway since i’m still a little uncertain of whether I should be doing the intermediate or one of the advanced programs. I’m still trying to sort out my timing for everything as well. Work and commuting consumes 5am – 7:30pm of my weekdays which afterwards then I head to the gym, but finding time for food shopping and cooking will be hard. I don’t exactly want to spend my whole weekend cooking and food shopping. I’m 22, i’d like to keep some sort of social life!

Also on the topic of weight loss, i’ve signed up to play an online game type of thing called DietBet. Everyone in the group I am playing in has bet $10 that they can lose 4% of their body weight in 4 weeks. After the 4 weeks, the money is split evenly between anyone who passes the 4% goal. I think it’s a great idea, but I am a little worried that since it doesn’t start until late February, I may be very close to my final goal weight and not be losing much weight by then. I guess time will tell. And to be honest, i’m not too worried about losing $10. Especially if that $10 is going to someone who has worked their ass off for it.

The Color Run is only 9 days away now! I’m kind of nervous but since I injured my tailbone/coccyx area and I’ve been limited to mostly cardio, it’s given me a chance to really work on improving my fitness which will definitely help.

Other than The Color Run, February is a huge month for me. I have to be in Sydney almost every weekend (as well as every weekday since I work there) for gigs and commitments. I already feel slightly overwhelmed! Hopefully I find some quiet time so I don’t go completely crazy!

Anyway, I think my goal for February will be to be more positive and organised. Here’s hoping for an awesome month! x

Saying It Out Loud…

As part of the 12 Week Body Transformation program i’m doing, this week I have to ‘say it out loud’ and announce my goals and commitment to the world (dun dun dunnnnn).

My commitment is continue the healthier lifestyle that has led to a weight loss of just under 15 kilos over the last 9 months.

I am commiting to getting to the middle of the healthy range for my BMI (I’m 160cm so 55kg is my final goal weight) meaning I have around 12 kilos to lose. Even though i’m not a big believer in BMI, it’s the best option I have at the moment to determine where I need to get to.

I am commiting to stop emotional/bordem/bad eating habits and instead channel negative feelings into workout motivation. No more chocolate, lots more squats!

I commit to saying no to chicken parma (sorry, Hog’s Breath) and not using the excuse of “I’ll just work it off later”.

I commit to finding my self-confidence again and to stop feeling like ‘the fat one’. I will continue working my ass off (literally) and once i’m done, I commit to doing something i’ve wanted to do for years – booking a pinup photo shoot (most likely with Bexterity).

Last, but certainly not least: I commit to try and motivate my family (particularly my mum, who is doing this with me) to get healthy and get active. They are my biggest inspiration, and I want to be theirs.

So there we have it. There are plenty of smaller goals I have as well, like completing The Color Run next month and improving my running, but i’ll work on them as they come.

I’m excited to get all this underway and actually follow a plan. Up until now i’ve just used common sense and the knowledge I’ve gained by research.

Good luck to my fellow 12wbt’ers. Let’s kick some ass!

Broccoli vs French Fries

Broccoli vs French Fries

Saw this earlier this morning and knew I had to share! Click the photo for the source.

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