Cooking, Exercise

Diet and Exercise Work. Film at 11.

As some of you may remember, at the beginning of May I realized I needed to do something about my diet / exercise levels as I crossed into the “overweight” BMI. While it’s true that BMI isn’t terribly accurate as it doesn’t account for your body fat vs muscle, I think it is fair to say that most of my weight was emphatically not muscle.

I made a number of changes to my lifestyle, some of which were relatively small, and some were larger. I enrolled in Weight Watchers, picked up a copy of EA Sports Active, and got more diligent in making sure I exercise every day (even if it’s just 10 minutes). The results speak for themselves:

Wii Fit Weight Chart

Food-wise the changes I’ve made have been pretty minor. I’ve cut out the constant snacking on candy bars, and that alone is probably the bulk of the weight loss. I’ve also switched to more whole grains. I still hate whole wheat bread, and have no intentions of switching from my plain white, but whole wheat pasta is surprisingly pretty much the same as the white stuff once you cover it in sauce. And in the morning I’m too tired to notice whether my multi-grain cheerios taste any different than the normal ones. 

I’m slowly adding more veggies to my diet. Lately I’ve been cooking a lot of broccoli because it’s easy. Throw it in a bowl in the microwave with some water, set a plate  (or, a lid, if you’re classy like that) on top to keep the moisture in, microwave for a couple minutes, add a slice of fat free american cheese, and consume. Normally I’m morally opposed to fat free cheese because its disgusting, but those american cheese slices are all chemicals anyway, so I can’t tell the difference.

Exercise is a little harder. I was doing 10-15 minutes of Wii Fit (mostly the Hula Hooping), and that was getting a little tedious, so I picked up a copy of EA Sports Active. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s nice to have some variety in my exercise. EA Sports Active is also more resistance training than cardio, and I think the switch to that may be why there’s some weight bobbling in the past week or so. Cardio is better for burning calories, but building muscle raises your resting metabolsim, so you really want both. I’ve also been biking around Liberty State Park when I can. And doing little things like take the stairs on my commute (there are 4 flights down and 8 flights up on my morning trek).

I haven’t experienced a magical total body transformation, it’s only been a month and honestly I don’t have all that much to lose, but I can see some physical changes. My stomach seems to be retreating, and my arms actually have muscles in them. But mostly I’m just happy to feel like I’m in control of my weight instead of just watching the scale climb up up up.

4 thoughts on “Diet and Exercise Work. Film at 11.”

  1. That’s awesome! I’ve been trying to get on that wii balance board more – I think I’ll get the EA Sports Active and mix it up. Thanks for inspiring me to keep at it. 🙂

  2. One of the things about dieting and losing weight is that you are starving yourself. At least that’s what your body thinks. It seems you’re doing pretty good by yourself, but let me offer two suggestions.

    First is that because you’re starving yourself, you’ll feel hungry. I find that if I feel hungry and I can thwart the shove-food-in-mouth-now reflex, all I have to do is wait 20 minutes or so and I’ll feel less hungry and eat less when I do snack. I can trick my stomach sometimes with water or coffee, but it’s pretty smart and catches on quick to my ruse.

    Second is the “Hacker’s Diet” [good references and description at Wikipedia]: basically the idea is to track a rolling average of your weight to eliminate daily fluctuations then to use the change-per-day to calculate Calories. The 10-day rolling average is trivial: (today’s average) = (yesterday’s average) + (today’s weight – yesterday’s average) / 10. Calories-per-day is trivial too: ( (today’s average) – (yesterday’s average) ) * 3500 Calories / pound. If the resulting Caloric change per day is positive, that’s exactly how many Calories too many you’re eating. I find it much easier to adjust my eating if I know I need to cut 100 Calories today. If avoiding the candy bars stops working, I’d highly recommend this method.

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