School and Calories

I’m baaackkk!

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since last September, shame on me.

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One of the main reasons for my blogging absenteeism is academic. Yes, I am back in school.

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You know how some youngsters take a gap year while in school, in the name of personal growth? Well, I have had about about 15 years worth of gap life (only in academics, I have been working you know). I used my GI Bill to go to school, off and on, from 1996 to about 2000, and I completed a good amount of units. I didn’t quite finish school. I just focused on being a personal trainer, and I am proud to say that I have become fairly proficient at it.

Me and my crew after they completed a Dirty Girl Mud Run. You go girls!!!

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Oh yeah, about school. One day, yes, one day, about a year ago, I was training at a now defunct personal training studio, and I looked around at all the personal trainers and I realized that none of us really had a niche. Or, at least I knew I didn’t have one, and something told me to go back to school and specialize in an area which could help me grow as a person, and help my personal training business grow too. After thinking for a bit, and then asking my wife and friends for advice, I decided to major in Gerontology and Aging Services at UMUC, because I have noticed over the years that my “older” clientele has grown, and that there is a lack of understanding in the personal training world, on how to work with and train clients over 65 years of age. Hector to the rescue!! One of my senior clients calls me Hector Protector, and she even had a T-shirt made for me with an HP logo on it for Christmas. Thanks Rhona! And sorry Hewlett Packard, HP now stands for Hector Protector.

One last thing about school. I don’t like to curse, but I will say this, I have learned a shit-load. I figure that’s better than learning a load of shit.

Wait, one more thing about school! I recently completed a research paper that focused on different types of exercise modalities for fall prevention-intervention in the elderly. Studies have looked at physical therapy, yoga, tai chi, elastic band training, balance training, and weight training for their effectiveness in reducing fall rates in seniors. To make a long story short, nothing comes close to the effect weight training has on increasing strength and balance in the elderly. Interestingly, walking is not very effective as a fall prevention measure. This is all backed by research and is not “bro-science”. What is “bro-science”? This is…

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My training business is going great! I have a coed bootcamp on Saturday mornings at 8am. It is really cool to see men and women working out together. I keep pushing them, and they keep coming back! I love it. I am very lucky to do something for a living which has such positive effects on the well-being of others, and because of the coed bootcamp I have made new friends. I am truly blessed.

Rows from the push-up plank position.

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Squat and press before walking up the hill with weights.

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Hill sprints! 5 times.

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On a personal note, my workouts are going pretty well too. I run about twice per week, anywhere from 3 to 5 miles max (or hill sprints) and I lift weights about 3 to 4 times per week, mostly at home. My weight training routine is computed and formed by a hypertrophy power-lifting template I bought from Juggernaut Training (http://store.jtsstrength.com/collections/training). At 44 years old, I knew I needed something just a bit more scientific then doing “legs” today and “chest” tomorrow. I am not a competitive power-lifter, but I think it is impressive that by following a program based on research and results, I have gotten stronger, even at my age. When I am done with my first 5 weeks of training which is what the template calls for, I will let you all know the progress I made, strength-wise.

I also recently read a book by Juggernaut called “The Renaissance Diet”. It has great information about nutrition written by extremely knowledgeable people. Here’s a bit about the authors: “Dr. Israetel, Dr. Case and Dr. Hoffman not only have PhDs and are actively serving as professors and researchers, they are also high level competitors and coaches in powerlifting, bodybuilding, rugby, and combat sports. This combination of scientific knowledge and practical experience is the best in helping you achieve your goals.” Yes, they know there stuff. Or as I like to say, they know a shit-load.

I have read some of the book, and one thing that is clear from the authors, as far as weight loss goes, is that it still boils down to calories. Too many calories for your activity levels, you will gain weight. Not enough calories for your activity levels, you will lose weight. Of course, the book is much, much, more than just that, but I thought I would let you know that calories do count, as I am sure many of you already suspected.

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Before I forget, you can follow me on your bike or skateboard if you want, or you can follow me on Instagram @healthyhomeboy, which is much more convenient.

 

Weight Loss Starts With This…

Calories, yes, calories. Weight loss is all about calorie consumption. I don’t care if you’re doing the Mediterranean Diet, the Zone Diet, the Brazilian Butt Lift Diet, the Wealthy I can buy any food I want diet, the broke as hell I get all my food from the liquor store diet, or the Paleo Diet. If you eat too many calories for your desired weight and activity levels, you will not lose weight.

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You can cry about that calorie fact, but what good would that do? Well crying does make humans feel better, that’s why babies sleep sound after a good cry. So if you must, go ahead and cry. Now back to the weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, you weigh over 200 pounds, and you are not very active, like moving 1 hour or more a day, than you probably shouldn’t consume over 2,000 calories per day. Now you’re probably thinking “How much is 2,000 calories of food anyways?” And that my dear weight loss friend is your job. It is your duty  to find out the calorie count of the different foods you consume. It is much easier to calorie count now because of all the apps that can do it for you. The unfortunate fact about the app revolution is that apps can’t exercise for you or tell you when to stop eating. Only you can do that. And no, Googling, texting, Tweeting, and Facebooking is not exercise. If it was, people would be in great shape. But if the Olympics ever adds an event that calls for extreme thumb dexterity, we have a generation of gold medal winners in training everyday. They even train while they drive.

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It is imperative that you learn to count calories and have a better than rough idea about the amount of calories you consume daily for you to succeed in the battle of the bulge. Eating a salad for lunch, drinking water, and walking 5 flights of steps at work is not enough information and activity for weight loss. You must assess your overall activity level and calorie intake necessary for your activity levels and desired weight. Paul Chek often says “If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.” And guess what people do when they guess how many calories a food has, how many calories they ate that day, or how much they moved in a week? If you guessed that they guess less on calories and guess more on movement, you are correct! Weight loss and guessing how to do it will not work.

But I do have good news for you if you weigh over 200 pounds and you’re trying to lose weight. Once you learn how much 2,000 calories looks like when it comes to food, and you do consume 2,000 calories a day or less, everyday, week after week, and month after month, you will lose weight.  What this means is that you can start to lose weight without any extra physical activity.  You can actually lose weight by not doing something. The thing not to do is eat over the calorie amount that is correct for your desired weight.

Of course the “2,000 calories for an over 200 pound person” is just a guesstimate on my part, but it’s a good one. I am sure of it. This formula works so well that I recently convinced a young woman trying to lose weight to only consume 2,000 calories a day for 1 week straight. I told her that if she didn’t lose about 3 to 5 pounds that week, I would giver her her money back for my advice and training services. Keep in mind that when it comes to money, I don’t kid. Seven days passed by. She ate 2,000 calories a day, or less, for that whole week. I will not tell you how much she lost, but I will tell you she exceeded my expectations. Because woman are clever and inquisitive, it’s a good trait to have ladies, she asked me if that meant she would lose x amount of pounds a week, every week, by consuming 2,000 calories a day. I said to her what I will also say to you if you weigh more than 200 pounds and you’re trying to lose weight. “I cannot promise nor predict how much weight you will lose by consuming no more than 2,000 calories per day. Weight loss is not linear. But what I can do is assure you that if you stay true to your 2,000 calorie a day limit, you will lose weight.”

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The Best Diet for Your New Year’s Resolution

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year. Damn, I can’t believe it’s 2014. Where does the time go. I know, time goes by and bye.

2014 is your year, correct? It is the year when you will lose weight and feel great. During December of 2013, you promised yourself that as soon as 2014 rolled around, you would move more and go on a diet. Well, we are a week into the new year. How has that diet and exercise plan gone so far? Not so good, or so so. Never fear, Healthy Homeboy is here. I will help you with your diet today. It is a simple diet that works. Are you ready?

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Yes, it’s that simple. I know, I know, you want me to tell you what you can eat. Well, I can’t do that because I don’t know your food likes and dislikes. Hell, I don’t even know if you like to cook or can cook. So how am I supposed to advise you on what to eat? You already know you should eat fruits, vegetables, clean-lean meats, drink water, and eliminate sugary drinks, alcohol, desserts, and fast food as much as possible.

Let’s talk pets. Trust me, it has to do with weight loss. I used to have Rottweiler. He was large, slept as much as he could, and was very protective of house and owner. He weighed 120 pounds, was muscular, and never aggressive. But when he barked, and I wasn’t ready for it, it scared the shit out of me! He looked something like this…

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Now I have a Jack Russel Terrier. He looks something like this…

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My Jack Russell and Rottweiler never got to meet because my Rottweiler passed away a few weeks before I got my JRT. This is what they would have probably looked like side by side.

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Notice that the JRT is about one fifth the size of the Rotty. And guess which which one of these two dudes ate much more than he other? It’s obvious, the Rotty did. Now I ask you, do you eat like a Jack Russel Terrier or a Rottweiler? Just like  a dog, you should eat for your predetermined size and appropriate weight.

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The woman on the far left who is 5ft 2 inches tall should not eat as much the woman on the far right who is 6ft 1 inch tall. These women all have to eat according to their height and activity levels to have a healthy weight/BMI. In general, the taller you are the more you can eat because your just a bigger human being. I am 5’11’, but I cannot, and should not eat like a 6’6′ basketball player. Ladies, don’t eat like a man, especially if he’s taller than you.

In summary, if you want to lose weight, you must eat less. How much less? How about 1/5 less at every meal. See how that goes for a while. Trust me, it will work. Then educate yourself on how tall you are, how much you must weigh or want to weigh, and the amount of calories needed daily to attain that weight. I will give you a hint: It isn’t much food that you need daily. I know, it sucks. The following chart is based on weight and activity levels.

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On a funny note, when I first got my Jack Russell Terrier, I noticed he was pooping too much and was gaining weight rapidly, then I realized I was feeding him too much. I was like “Damn, even dogs gain weight if you don’t feed them correct amounts”. I cut back on his food and he lost his excess weight. He now prances around at a trim 18 pounds and barks at everything. He specifically hates squirrels.

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