Week Recap

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This week I had a great time going over dietary choices with you!  We talked about calorie control, the basal metabolic rate, eating clean, health disorders, and macro-nutrients.  I had a great time doing it too!

With all of this information, it would be silly if I didn’t walk the walk as much as I talk the talk.  As I said in my last post, it’s better to be like Jimmy(who likes eating healthy) than Carl(who eats loads of crap).  I am doing my best every day to eat as well as I say you should, and I hope we can all grow stronger together and help each other make better choices.

I also wanted to mention a few ideas that were presented to me via the comments this past week:

  1. One of you mentioned doing karate and MMA.  You told me it would be a great way to do my cardio.  Thank you for the suggestion!  I really think that sounds like a great idea and I’ve actually been considering it lately.  A few guys I know from a town about 20 minutes away attend a gym that’s very highly rated for its Mixed Martial Arts.  I know I’m not going to be like Chuck Norris in a couple of weeks, but I’d love to learn some self defense and enjoy the sport(..and learn how to kick heads…Just kidding )
  2. I was told to try a vegan diet.  I’ve also thought about that lately.  I think vegan-ism is becoming more popular because of people like Vegan Gains on YouTube.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all!  He seems to be a bit of a sociopath, but other that he gives a great message and raises awareness of animal cruelty.  The animal cruelty aspect alone is a great point for many who have forsaken animal products, but the dietary effects seem to be great also!  I can see how eating a plant-based diet would lower bad cholesterol, decrease cancer risk, and alkalize blood.  However, I honestly haven’t done a ton of research on this diet.  I am mostly stating hearsay, but I do really like what I’m hearing and you may see a post about it from me in the future!

In conclusion, I really like all of the feedback I get from you and I love having the conversations with you.  I hope to continue making progressively healthier choices, and I want to refocus my attention on Crohn’s Disease and auto-immune disorders.

I did, after all, start this blog in response to remission from my Crohn’s Disease.  I want to help others who are suffering with auto-immune disorders and raise awareness.  If you’d like to help with that, send me an email or reblog some of my posts.

All of that being said, I think Crohn’s Disease has a huge link to diet along with other auto-immune disorders.  My assumption is strengthened with personal experience.  I did the Paleo Diet and I know it is completely anti vegan but both diets are great for banishing processed foods.  Cut out the processed foods = healthier life.  Thanks for reading and feel free to join the conversation!

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

You want to get lean?

That’s great!  You are a part of a great club of people who all want to better themselves, and making the decision to start trying is the biggest step to take in your fitness journey.

If you’ve been following this blog for long, then you know that I’ve been writing up a series on health, wellness, and nutrition this week.

In my first post, I talked about how I wanted to find a Subjective Diet Format (SDF), a diet tailored for me specifically.  I factored in my weight, my current eating habits, the amount of ambition I have along with my goals, and my Crohn’s Disease(to read that post, click here).

In my second post, I talked about finding the amount of calories you should be eating by using your Basal Metabolic Rate.  I left a link to a Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator, but you could also find one with a quick Google search.  To read that post, click here.

In the last post, I talked about the obvious but oftentimes overlooked..

Eating clean!  The best first step you can make is not cutting your calories or upping the cardio, although those things are both important.  The best first step is cleaning up your eating choices so that you know, despite any extra pounds, that you have a healthier body.  To read that post, click here.

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image courtesy of SimpleReminders.com

..and today’s post naturally picks up where yesterday’s post left off.

I want to drive home a point!  Not all calories are created equal.  Let’s compare Carl to Jimmy:

Carl eats two pounds of macaroni and cheese, and a pound of boneless chicken chunks from Walmart’s deli.  This adds up to about 3,000 calories!  For an active male who works out, this is probably within his basal metabolic rate.  For the sake of this post, let’s say Carl DOES in fact work out.  Carl is possibly eating under his active Basal Metabolic Rate and will lose weight….but is he as healthy as Jimmy?

Jimmy eats five meals.  These five meals are each an eight ounce chicken breast with a serving of broccoli, a serving of green beans, a serving of carrots, and a serving of fruit.  Jimmy MAY indulge once in a while with a starchy white potato.  Overall, Jimmy may be consuming close to the same amount of calories as Carl but I would bet his left arm his diet is going to make him a LOT healthier.  Before you ask…NO, I would not bet my own left arm even if I’m guaranteed a win!  Screw that!

..but my point is this!  Carl’s meal had literally no vegetables and was full of fat and carbs.  He easily got his protein requirement but he didn’t get crap for heart health.

It is important to track protein, carbs, and fat!  However, there’s also factors that most people overlook like sodium and cholesterol.  According to the National Institute of Health, cholesterol plays a MAJOR role in heart disease.  In layman’s terms, lower your bad LDL cholestrol and increase your good HDL cholestrol.  You can do this by avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and eating more unsaturated fat through walnuts and almonds.

In conclusion to this week’s discussion on diet, I say “BE LIKE JIMMY!  AND DON’T LISTEN TO CARL’S NUTRITIONAL ADVICE!”  I would yell that on every rooftop in town if I thought….you know…people wouldn’t think I’m crazy.

While we know that Carl and Jimmy will both lose weight by eating less calories, we should all agree that Jimmy has the better strategy.  So be like Jimmy, or vegan-paleo-pescatarian Jimmy, and eat healthy.  Not only will you look great, but your body will thank you!

The Basal Metabolic Rate

This is part two of this week’s series on diet.  To read part 1, click here.

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about how finding a diet that works for you can be both objective and subjective.  Finding a diet is objective because we all have to eat the same types of macro nutrients to survive, but it’s subjective because we don’t require the same amounts and some of us have to avoid specific foods.  For the purpose of this week’s series, I focused on finding the Best Subjective Diet (BSD) for myself and left you with some ideas for finding your own BSD.

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If you read the post, then you know that I factored in several factors to find my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  Basically, by factoring in details like your height, weight, and body fat % you will find a rough estimate of your BMR.

So what is a Basal Metabolic Rate?

The Basal Metabolic Rate is how many calories your body can typically burn in a day while at rest.  While your BMR may be somewhat low, with moderate activity you can expect to have more room for calories in your diet; but keep in mind that going too far over your Basal Metabolic Rate each day will lead to fat gain.

It’s probably best to eat within 500 calories of your Basal Metabolic Rate for any situation.  If you are trying to gain weight, stick to eating about 500 calories over your BMR.  If you are trying to lose weight, stick to eating about 500 calories under your BMR.

Here is a calculator you can use to calculate your own Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):

Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

View Source…

Displays calculated BMR.

Female
Male
Weight  Inches
Height  Inches
Age  Inches
Result

Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

Since wordpress.com will not let me use my own html widgets, click here to calculate your own Basal Metabolic Rate.

Keep in mind that there is also a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) but it is a slightly less accurate number than the BMR.

To Bulk Or Cut First

Should I cut or bulk first?

Almost everyone asks this question when they are starting out and the answer is quite simple..

it’s all subjective!

Do you want to bench three plates and you don’t care about being lean?  Then go ahead and do a sloppy bulk my friend!  Lift hard and in a few years you will be insanely strong!

Do you want to be strong but you care a lot more about having a six pack?  Then cut out the hot dogs, the twinkies, and the bullcrap! 😉  You need to restrict your calories to about 500 below your basal metabolic rate(BMR) and go somewhat light when you lift weights.

Now how about all of you in the middle ground who want to be somewhat lean but also strong?

Welcome to my world.  We can do this together!  However, this is still somewhat subjective and ultimately weighs down on the body type you have already.

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I had just gotten out of the hospital and I had a little extra fat but absolutely zero muscle to cut into, so I went straight to a bulk and I am almost content!  It’s almost time for me to cut down my calories.  My strategy is to attempt about 15-20 reps of my 70% max lifts until I am done cutting.  That way I stay strong and quickly lean out.

As for you, if you have a lot of extra fat and some muscle then go ahead and cut.

If you are lean but you’re weak, go ahead and bulk.

All of us can get stronger and max out our muscles!