Let’s Talk About Losing 145 Pounds!!!

Meet Andrew.

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Yep, that’s him. That’s his before and after picture. Andrew has lost 145 pounds. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Andrew has lost 145 lbs !!! Or as one of my clients said when I told her about Andrew’s incredible body transformation. “It’s like he lost a whole human.”
Andrew is not a client of mine. I repeat, he is not a client of mine. He is just someone I know through my wife’s work. I train a group of ladies twice per week where my wife works (UCG in Gaithersburg, MD), and I had seen Andrew working out in the same facility where I train the UCG group.
First thing I noticed about Andrew is that he is a big dude. He’s not eff-ay-tee, he’s just a big dude. He’s 6’3’ and weighs in at 215 lbs, and that’s 215lbs of muscle! I am 5’11’, and 185 lbs, so he really looks big to me.

 
Andrew works out hard. He does weights, cardio conditioning, and is involved in UFC type training. Ok, he’s somewhat of a beast. What impresses me about Andrew the most is his weight loss. Because anyone can workout intensely, but if the diet’s not right, weight loss will be tough. I am so impressed with his weight loss that I asked him if I can interview him so I can share his story with anyone who reads my blog, and he obliged.

 
Andrew, what’s the most you ever weighed? “360lbs. I never weighed myself after that. I don’t think I went any higher.”

 
How old are you? “I am 31.”

 
How much weight have you lost? “145 lbs” WOW!!!

 
How were you built/shaped as a kid? “I wasn’t thin, but I wasn’t fat either. I was just a big kid. I would say I was thick.”

 
You played sports growing up? “Yep. I played basketball, wrestling, football, and soccer. Soccer was my favorite. I was really good at soccer, up until 7th grade, and then the kids started to outrun me because I got too big. So in high school I started playing football. I played tackle on both sides of the ball, and I wrestled in high school too.”

 
How much did you weigh in high school? “As a freshman I already weighed 275. I would say I was overweight, but I carried it well because I was an athlete. And I was always self-conscious about my weight. There was a big joke in my family because I was always breaking chairs. I broke so many plastic lawn chairs.” Thanks for the honesty Andrew.

 
How big were your friends compared to you? “My friends were always small guys. My best friend on the wrestling team weighed 115 lbs.” That’s funny.

 
Did you get teased about your weight? “I got teased and picked on. I even got into altercations. People tried to bully me so they could say they beat up the big guy. But me and my friends were usually pretty good in these altercations.”

 
Then you played football in college for JMU? “Yes, I played guard in college. I was a walk on. I played at around 325 lbs, and I was clocking about a 5.2 sec 40 yard dash. And I was the slowest lineman, for sure.” As a Hector side note. Most people have absolutely no idea how fast a college lineman, or an NFL lineman is. Those dudes are heavy, but they can haul ass! Literally.

 
How long did you play? “Sophomore year they found two tumors in my lower back, each the size of my fist, I had back surgery, and never played after that. And after that is when I went up to 360 lbs.”

 
So, Andrew, I have always had the belief that if someone doesn’t have a very strong reason, something they can hang on to, to lose weight, chances are they won’t lose weight. What was your reason to lose weight? “I was a very good athlete, but I knew my college football career ended abruptly, and I always regretted that. I always had that itch to compete, and I knew I wasn’t finished, and that led me to MMA (mixed martial arts). So I started to get in shape for MMA. Also, I wanted to be healthier, because being overweight is just uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be overweight anymore. It’s depressing. I had enough of being big all my life. It was either now or never.”

 
So how long ago did you start losing weight? “It’s been about a five-year process all together. I started going to the gym, and a big change for me was I started drinking only water. That was one of the first things I did.” Anyone who has trained with me, or asked my advice about weight loss knows that I strongly recommend to “drink water only”. If you’re trying to lose weight, put down the liquid calories. Andrew continued with the drinking water only topic. “Because for someone who weighs 360, to drink a can of soda is so easy. It’s not satisfying. I used to drink Gatorade, which is horrible. Once I switched to water only, just that alone was enough for me to start dropping weight.”

 
How much/many liquid calories were you drinking before your switch to water only? “Do you remember the Gatorade that used to come in the gallon jug? I would drink one of those a day when I was training  for football. Instead of drinking water, I was drinking Gatorade. I was basically replacing the calories I was burning. And I would probably drink a soda or two a day too. I wasn’t a beer drinker, but I did drink vodka. I think the college lifestyle played a part in my liquid calorie consumption.”

 
How was your diet when you were overweight? “In college I didn’t eat a lot of fast foods (fast food establishments), but I did eat subs and pasta, and way over-proportioned. A lot of cafeteria food. Burgers, fries, pizza, and cookies. Stuff like that. I would say I was easily consuming 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day.”

 
How many calories do you consume a day now, and how much do you weigh? “About 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day. And I weigh about 215, with about 11% body fat.”

 
How often do you workout? “I train about twice a day. I don’t think people need to do that to lose weight. That’s just what I do.”

 
What’s your goal weight? “I’m at the point now where I don’t look at the scale much. It’s more about how I look. I want to tighten up my core and stuff.”

 
What does your diet consist of? “I eat very similar every day. I wake up and have a protein shake. I eat a lot of egg whites. I use egg whites as snacks. I meal prep about 95% of my meals.”

 
So, 95% of the food you eat, you know exactly what you’re eating? Is that safe to say? “Yes. For sure. And If I do eat at a restaurant, it’s something like spinach and grilled fish, and I tell them specifically how to cook it.”

 
Do you eat fruit? “Yes, I eat fruit.”

 
Do you count carbs or calories? “I do more portion control than anything else. And I try to balance my macronutrients. I eat fruits and vegetables, and for my meats I do lean fish, lean turkey, and lean chicken. I eat a lot of vegetables. That’s about it.”

 
What has been the most difficult part of your diet? “I would say the meal prep. It takes a lot of planning and work. I dedicate much of my Sundays to cooking pretty much all my meals for the week, because I don’t have time during the week.” Below is his actual meal prep.

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So the meal prep is the time management part, how about the psychological aspect of the diet? “I think at first, it was a mental thing to learn to be hungry, but then when you start seeing the results, things fall into place. The hardest part was probably the first few weeks, but now I really don’t get that hungry. And sometimes, because I’m so busy, I have to remind myself to eat to keep the metabolism going.”

 
How about your self-esteem? How do you feel now compared to when you were overweight? “Believe it or not, I still have a fat-man complex (He shouldn’t, because he’s not overweight anymore and looks great), and I find myself sitting very gently in chairs sometimes. I’m still afraid I’m going to break a chair. But to have women approach me now when I’m out with friends, which never really happened before, is pretty cool (ladies, he’s single, tall, with muscles, educated, and employed!!). And physically I feel good when I run. And I tell you what else has changed. My back bothers me way less now. It may act up, but it has been night and day getting that weight off. It was the best cure ever for my back.”

 
Is there anything you would do when you plateaued during your weight loss journey to keep you going? “Yes. I remember that sometimes I would get frustrated because I had only lost 40 lbs and I had so much more to go. So I would pick up two 20 pound dumbbells and do stuff with them. Like walk up steps, or get on the treadmill, to remind myself of how much extra weight I was walking around with. It was a good visualization for me, to remember how far I had come. And for me, a lot of my weight gain was in the stomach area, so it would put direct pressure on my lower back.” Andrew continued “I just feel like a brand new person. Especially with shopping for clothes. I can shop in the regular section now. So like this shirt I am wearing, it’s just a regular Polo large. My biggest shirt ever was a 6X. That was a big and tall 6X.”

 
Do you allow yourself cheat meals? “Yes, I will have a cheat meal, like a burger or something. But I think a cheat day is too much. You have to be very careful because it can easily get out of control. And if I do have a really bad day, and eat poorly, I just get over it and get back on track.”

 
If you had someone sitting in front of you who wants to lose weight, and they have been through a lot, maybe physically and psychologically, what advice would you give them? “I would first and foremost say, start with just drinking water. I’m adamant about that. If they have been overweight their whole lives I would advise them to forgive themselves and get over it, find a reason to lose weight, and just take it day by day. Don’t look at the whole thing (weight loss goals), just take it meal by meal. Every workout, every meal, you’re progressing. Just take it a day at time.”

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That’s a great motto. What’s a motto? I don’t know. What’s a motto with you.

 

Thanks Andrew. You have officially gone from FEAST MODE, to BEAST MODE!!

How to Tone Your Midsection

I workout with weights about 3 times per week at a local gym. It is a very nice gym. It offers Spin classes, yoga classes, personal training, and there’s plenty of free weights to go around. I mostly use the free weights and cable machines for my workouts.

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There are also plenty of ab machines which I never use. And there is even an area for abs that has mats and physio-balls for people to torture their midsections. I use that area to stretch and if I’m feeling up for it, I might do some abs, mostly lower abs. I do abs maybe twice a month, if that. I get plenty of ab work, indirectly from my weight training, especially my squats from dead-lifts.

Often I will see gym members, men and woman, doing endless sets of ab work. I get to the gym, they’re doing abs. I lift weights, they’re doing abs. I stretch, their doing abs. Abs, abs, abs, week after week, month after month.

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And guess who has the flatter stomach, and I am sure more visible abs, me or the endless ab doers? Yep, you guessed correct. I have a flatter stomach than most ab-crunch addicts, and I rarely do abs. Why is that? (Because I am not feeling narcissistic enough today, I will not post a shirtless picture of myself. If you’re a bored skeptic, go through my posts and I am sure there’s a pic or two of me displaying my flat belly.) Is flat belly an oxymoron?

The reason I have a flat stomach, without doing much ab work, is because my body fat levels are low enough for my stomach to be flat and my ab muscles to show. That is it! If I continued working out exactly as much as I do now, but started drinking beer and eating pizza, burgers, and fries, nightly, I would gain belly fat, and my stomach would not be so flat anymore. If I ate too many calories for a long enough period, my muscle definition would eventually disappear. A belly with fat around it is not a result of not doing ab exercises. It is a result of too many calories consumed over an extended period of time.

Think about slim teenagers or adolescents with flat stomachs. They don’t do a ton of ab work if any. But their stomachs are flat because their body fat levels are low.

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You want a flatter stomach? Cut down on the calories, and use your ab time to lift weights or do some cardio.

Ab exercises do strengthen your abs, if done correctly, and lower back in some instances.

Still confused? How about this? If an overweight man lifts weights and gets strong, but doesn’t reduce his calorie intake, his muscles may never be visible (get toned), despite the fact that he is getting stronger. If he continues to lifts weights and cuts back on his calories for a long enough period, his muscles eventually will show.

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Oh one last thing. You know that claim that Pilates and yoga will lengthen and tone your muscles? Allow me to elaborate. If by tone they mean muscle definition, the only thing that tones muscles is reduction in body fat levels. And as far as lengthening muscles (I’m laughing so hard at this one that I am actually doing abs as I type) this is impossible. Muscles are attached to very specific points in your body. You can stretch your muscles, but you cannot alter where they are attached. The only time you lengthen your muscles is when you grow physically from toddler to adolescent, to teenager, and then to adult because your muscles do actually lengthen when you are lengthening in height. Once you’re an adult, you cannot change your muscle length anymore than you can change your height. Well, ladies who wear those big ass high heels can change their height, but only until their feet get tired, and then they shrink like by four inches. Ladies, your high heels come at a cost too.

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Yes, It’s Friday! Watchout For Those Weekend Calories.

Hello everyone and Happy Friday! Is it just me or doesn’t it seem like the sun shines a little brighter, and people are just a bit kinder on Fridays?

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And guess what Friday is in the weight-loss world? It’s the beginning of your 3 day challenge that arrives week after week, month after month, year after year, same time, same channel. Many of a good workout and diet week go out the door beginning on Friday evening, then Saturday, and finally Sunday.

It goes a little something like this: Friday evening arrives, you know you have worked hard all week, and because many bosses and some humans are allergic to giving compliments and patting someone on the back and saying “Good job”, you decide you are going to reward yourself that Friday evening for your work efforts. And how do you reward yourself? Well, you could buy a new piece of clothing you have been wanting, but have been too cheap to buy. Or, you could buy a good book in real life or for your Kindle. Or, you could go to the movies, or even watch a movie at home. Or, you could hang out with your BFF. But who wants to do that? That’s no fun. You want to have real fun! So you reward yourself  with food and drink. Adult drink, that is.

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And how easily you forget about all your disciplined weight loss efforts of Monday through Thursday. Monday you participated in a boot-camp. Tuesday you got up early, walked for a half hour, went to work, walked another half hour when you got home, and even had vegetables as part of your dinner. Wednesday you did a spin class. Thursday you did boot-camp, again! And even replaced one of your meals with a protein shake. And then Friday arrived and you started to go a little cuckoo.

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But unlike the bird above, you go cuckoo for more than just cocoa puffs. (Seriously though, aren’t cocoa-puffs da bomb, da bomb diggity, the shit, the shiznit, and effing a-m-a-z i-n-g? As you can tell, I too love me some cocoa-puffs). Your Friday cucko0-ness causes you to have a big ass blueberry muffin for breakfast, a burger for lunch, and then you don’t eat until about 6 or 7pm that evening. And when happy hour arrives Friday evening, you eat everything in sight, between drinks of course. And just like that, on a Friday, you threw away your weeks valiant efforts in the name of health and weight-loss. But it gets better, a lot better.

Remember that spin class or other workout class you were supposed to partake in Saturday morning? Well, because you feel like crap as are result of Friday evenings food and drink, you take a pass on the class, and hit snooze…again, and again, and again. The rest of the day you do this and that, Saturday evening arrives, and the words that have come out of many of an adventurer’s mouth since the beginning of time, come out of yours, “fuck it, you only live once”.

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But you know that you know better. You know that evening you shouldn’t go out and drink like a sailor again, and eat like a football player again, but you deserve it, right? You earned that food. You’re an adult, with adult money that you worked hard for, so you can do what you want. And besides, Monday will be here soon enough and you can start your weight loss routine all over again. But not before Sunday arrives, and you know what Sunday means? More food, maybe a few more drinks, and even dessert, because you deserve it. Friday we eat and drink because it’s Friday. Saturday we eat and drink because that’s what Saturdays are for, and Sundays we eat and drink because the following day is Monday, and who want’s to think about Mondays? Yuck!

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And that my friends is how easily the best of workout plans and disciplined diets are flushed down the toilet. Hey, I am not saying I don’t eat pizza, burgers, ice cream, and sip on liquids that make my esophagus burn from end to end and deletes inhibitions, but I do pick my battles, and I don’t do it every weekend.

So my advice to you is be mindful of the weekends when it comes to calorie consumption. Just like you can’t be financially frugal Monday through Thursday, blow your money Friday through Sunday, and then wake up Monday and wonder what happened to your money, you can’t expect to diet and exercise Monday through Thursday, go cuckoo Friday through Saturday with food and drink, and then wonder Monday morning why you’re not losing weight. Health is similar to money. You invest a little ever day, and in the long-term, you will see some results.

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About health and money. Many years ago, my grandfather once said to me in Spanish “Problems that revolve around money often times they can be fixed, but health problems, that’s a whole other issue.” True Dat!

Random Thoughts on Food and Exercise

Have you every woke up with a racing brain? Muy rapido. Of course you have. That’s why many of you couldn’t sleep last night, because of the racing, jumpy, thinking of this and that, for no apparent reason, brain. In honor of Monkey Brain that jumps from branch to branch and accomplishes nothing but noise, I will blog from thought to random thought, and we must KISS. No, not this KISS…

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or this kiss…

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I am talking about Keeping It Simple…Silly. Now get your head out of the gutter. Well, thinking about kissing isn’t exactly gutter thoughts, but they might be gateway thoughts to gutter thoughts.

Ok, thought numero uno.

When I exercise, and I see people walking and exercising  with a not so sugar-free energy drink like Red Bull in their hand as they exercise, or any other drink that clever advertisers have convinced us we need to re-hydrate and replace electrolytes, yeah right, it bothers me more than driving texters wearing dark sunglasses. DO NOT DRINK CALORIES WHILE YOU EXERCISE IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT. Please drink water. And do not text and drive. And if the sun has gone down, take your shades off.

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If you walk a mile and drink a super charged, neon colored, electrolyte filled, vitamin laden, energy enhancing drink that your favorite athlete is being paid millions to swear he or she drinks, and that drink has 150 calories, guess what happened during your mile walk? You simply drank the calories you were trying to burn during your walk. More water benefits below.

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Next thought. Do steroids work? Hello! McFly, of course they do. Why do you think professional athletes use them, risking careers and reputations? Average folks use them too, like exhibit A below.

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I believe I read that dude above  accomplished his body transformation in a 3 month cycle of Anabolic Steroids! The above transformation, without roids, would take about 1 year to complete, at least.

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Tony, in the picture above, definitely used something for his transformation, and so did tough guy below. By the way, I got these pictures off websites where dudes brag about what they accomplished with this and that stack. A stack, in the weight lifting world, is a combination of supplements and hormones (roids) that a person uses to gain muscles and burn fat.

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Women use steroids too.

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Yes, she’s a woman, and so is the specimen below.

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Ok, next thought. If someone asked me, well they actually do all the time, what are the best exercises for building strength? Let’s start with the upper body, and you don’t need equipment for this one. Push-ups are a great upper body builder. Below, some of my Marine Corps brothers doing Marine push-ups. Do not try this at home.

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The next exercise for building upper body strength is the pull-up, also a Marine favorite. That is Healthy Homeboy below, and a former Marine.

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Front view now, so you don’t think I just took a picture of a guy who was doing pull-ups  at a local park and just happened to be wearing sneakers, shorts, and an L.A. Dodger hat, just like mine. These two pictures of me are about a month old. I guess the saying “Once a Marine, always a Marine” is true, except for the machine guns, tanks, and blowing shit up part. I gave that up a long time ago. My great aim and perfect vision are available upon demand or request.

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Now, for the lower body. Nothing comes close to the squat for strengthening and building legs.

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Now ladies, do not be afraid of squats. Don’t worry, you won’t build incredibly muscular legs, but you might build  a butt that looks like the one on the right.

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Below is a diagram of muscles worked during squats for men and women.

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Next thought. If you are trying to lose weight, under no circumstances should you ever go to a buffet. Yes, even if you’re starving. Because guess what, you probably aren’t. Starving definitions: to die or perish from lack of food or nourishment. To be in the process of perishing or suffering severely from hunger. To suffer from extreme poverty and need.

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If after reading the definitions for “starving”, you decide that you are starving, go ahead and go to a buffet, eat as much as you can, and stuff your pockets with as much food as possible because they don’t allow take home boxes.

And for my final thought. In fairness, I will turn the looking-glass towards me. Since you read my blog, thank you, and I am always telling you what to do for fitness and weight loss, let’s look at what I eat and drink that is good and not so good.

I drink water with almost everything I eat, and I have no idea how much water I drink, so don’t ask. I drink about 1 glass of milk a day. I love chips ahoy cookies and for that reason I don’t keep them in the house. I have never used roids, and if you think I do because at 41 years of age I have a decent looking body, get a life, LOSER! I workout with weights about 3 times per week, mostly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I rarely, if ever, do ab exercises, sorry. I love bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, and ice cream, and have many times ate them all in the same day. I eat red meat about 3 times per week. I love sushi. I eat eggs everyday scrambled in butter. Don’t worry, my cholesterol levels are fine. I just had a physical. Most of my carbohydrates come from brown rice, fruits, and oatmeal. I don’t eat much flour products like pasta, bread, pizza, etc. I am 5’11’. In the Marines I weighed about 185. Today I weigh 183. So much for the slow down of my metabolism. What slows down is activity levels and the ability to recover from exercise as we age, more than anything. When I indulge in adult drinks, tequila or vodka is my preference. Beer makes me burp. When I go to those frozen yogurt establishments that seemed to have popped up EVERYWHERE, I get the small container, that looks like a large to me, and half fill it with vanilla and Oreo flavored frozen yogurt, YO! As toppings for my yogurt I use yogurt covered pretzels, chips ahoy cookies, and pound cake. I don’t have a desk job, and that helps me stay lean. I don’t count calories. The mirror tells me if I am eating too much of this or that. And remember, if you are having a difficult time getting through to someone about something that seems so simple and easy to you, but not so much for the person you are trying to enlighten, just K.I.S.S. And if you really like the person, aren’t in a serious relationship with someone else, and K.I.S.S. didn’t work, pop a Tic-Tac and give them a big ole smackaroo on the lips and tell them how much they mean to you.

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Please tell me how the kiss worked out.

Don’t Eat at Wendy’s. Instead, Do Like Wendie.

So, you want real life results? You want me to stop giving you advice, I will never stop, and show you pictures of and introduce you to real people who have achieved real life weight loss through increased movement and reduced food consumption. Ladies and gentlemen, we the jury find George Zimmerman not…

Oops, wrong thought. Let’s try that again. All please rise, the honorable Healthy Homeboy is now presiding. “I Healthy Homeboy find my home-girl, Wendie, guilty of changing her diet and exercising in order to lose weight. I find her guilty of taking charge of her life. I find her guilty of training with Healthy Homeboy 3 times per week and participating in a walking group every Saturday morning no matter how tired she feels. I find her guilty of not making excuses because she is over 40, and maybe her metabolism has slowed down and maybe her hormones have changed, but she does not focus on the inevitable and the negative. I find her guilty of working 40 hours a week, at least, and still finding time to exercise. I find her guilty of setting an example to all women who want to lose weight.” You may sit down now.

Wendie is the third one in from the left, doing squat-and-press during our Saturday morning workout at MLK Park with the rest of the crew.

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Wendie, orange stripe on shorts, on the floor doing chest press alternated with lower abs. All the other ladies are working out hard too.

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Wendie and the rest of the posse doing overhead presses.

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Wendie does not eat the chips below. At least not when I’m around…lol. On a side note, do we really need potato chips that taste like baby-back ribs? Why not just eat the ribs? What’s next, stuffing cheese in pizza’s crust and doubling the stuffing in Oreo cookies? Oh, I forgot. They do that already.

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That is Wendie below, and those are her old pantalones she’s proudly displaying. The size of her old pants was “bigger”, the new size is “smaller”. That is what matters. She is 40 pounds lighter now and is a workout maniac. I am not kidding. On Saturdays, AFTER we do our 1 hour walking and exercise group, I train her for another 45 minutes with weights. Fourth of July weekend I wasn’t here for our walking group, and she did the walking group with the other girls, good job ladies, and then Wendie stayed and did the whole routine again. Translation: On a Saturday morning when people are waiting impatiently in McDonald’s drive thru’s or in Starbuck’s lines, or simply lying in bed when they could be benefiting from exercise, she is working out, FOR TWO HOURS!

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This is my home-girl Wendie and me. (I’m suppose to write “Wendie and I”, but that looks and sounds incorrect to me, I mean I, oh, whatever…) I had to post the picture below so people don’t think I am just finding random pictures on the internet, or the cloud, of people who have lost weight and taking credit for it. Wendie deserves all the credit for her transformation. She is the one working out no matter how tired she is, how hot it is, or has something better to do. Don’t we all have better things to do than workout? She is also the one who makes the right food choices when no one is looking. You go girl!

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Above Wendie’s head it says “INSPIRATION”. I hope she does that to some of you who are trying to lose weight.

An Inexpensive and Healthy Breakfast

“It’s too expensive and time consuming” are the two most common complaints I hear when I, or any other health nut, asks someone to eat healthier. I will address both real life obstacles below. Let’s talk about breakfast.

I workout 3 times a week with weights at a local gym. I walked into the gym this morning at about 8:00 am to do my Friday workout, and I could not believe what the receptionist was having for breakfast. I assume it was breakfast because of the time. She was nibbling on a half eaten blueberry muffin, and sipping on a can of regular Red Bull. Seriously!?

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After my workout, I came home to make my typical breakfast post-workout meal before I went to go train some clients. Yes, I do workout on an empty stomach. I do not recommend it. This is one of those “Do as I say and not as I do situations”. I think my ability to workout on an empty stomach was developed in the Marines where we would run and exercise early in the morning, almost every weekday, on an empty stomach.

My typical breakfast is 3 to 4 regular eggs. 3 eggs

Depending on how hungry I am, I have either a cup, or half a cup of cooked brown rice.

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I use brown rice that takes about half an hour to cook. I make enough to last me a week so that whenever I want to eat brown rice with my eggs, or any other protein source, I don’t have to cook it. I just take the desired amount of brown rice I want to eat out of a container in the fridge, warm it up, and add it to my comida.

I first mix some eggs in a bowl and have them ready to pour in a buttered pan.

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If you have cholesterol issues, don’t like butter, or don’t eat butter for other personal reasons, that’s ok. You can use Pam or any other nonstick cooking spray to lightly coat your pan with, and it will work just fine. Butter makes my scrambled eggs tastier than other pan lubricants, so I use it.

When the butter starts to melt, I pour the brown rice into the pan to warm the rice and give it a buttery taste. It takes about 1 minute to warm.

As the brown rice warms, I  pour the eggs I mixed minutes earlier into the pan and scramble the eggs, rice, and butter all together. For those of you who cook as often as you go to the moon, like never, unless you are an astronaut who reads my blog in which case I am honored, below is what a  mixture of eggs and brown rice looks like. It was my actual breakfast. Notice the glass of water to the side.

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Let’s add up the calories of your possible breakfast: 1 egg is 70 calories. Let’s say you use 2 eggs, that is 140 calories. You should probably add 1/2 cup cooked rice to your eggs. 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice has about 110 calories and 23 grams of carbohydrates.  If you use butter, go ahead and add 100 calories for the tablespoon of butter you used to butter your pan and make the eggs taste deeeee-lish! 140+110+100(if you used butter and not Pam cooking spray)= 350 calories. I drink water with my breakfast and with almost every meal I consume, but maybe you want milk with your breakfast. 8 oz of reduced fat (2% fat) milk has about 122 calories. Now your breakfast is 472 calories total, and that is awesome! You are now the proud owner of a happy stomach that will breakdown your healthy meal and give a healthy start to your beautiful busy morning. (I purposely omitted commas from the previous sentence to get my “Earnest Hemingway” on. He often left commas out and wrote his ass off).

happy egg

The above meal takes about 10 minutes to make, tops! Remember, I precooked the brown rice earlier in the week, so it was ready to be warmed and consumed. Now for the price breakdown.

I searched on my personal Google machine for “average price of one dozen eggs in America”. My conclusion is that it is about 2 dollars. So each egg is about 17 cents. Wait! I just texted my sister to ask her about the egg prices, just to make sure. She is a mother, registered dietitian, and a coupon clipping, smart with her money person. I think she is best described as frugal. She said the average price for a dozen eggs is about $1.99, so I was right. Yahoooooooo! Arriba, Arriba! Andale, Andale! (Speedy Gonzalez anyone?)

two-2-dollar-bill

The brown rice I use costs me about 6 dollars for a 32 ounce container. It makes about 15 cups total of cooked brown rice. 6 dollars divided by 15 cups = .40 cents per cup. Half a cup of cooked brown rice is about .20 cents. I am sure there is brown rice much cheaper than the one I use. I am picky about things that go into my body, like food. Imagine that.

harris teeter rice

I also use Land-O-Lakes Butter. It costs about 5 dollars for a pack that has 4 bars of butter. So each stick is about $1.25. If I use one eighth of the stick, which is about a tablespoon, to butter my pan, that’s about (1.25 divided by 8) .15 cents per serving.

Land-O-Lakes-butter

For you milk drinkers. The average gallon of milk costs about $3.50. There are sixteen 8 ounce glasses of milk in a gallon. $3.50 divide by 16 = .22 cents per 8 ounce glass of milk! Yes, that is less than one quarter for a glass of milk.

milk

Here’s the grand total for my typical breakfast: 4 eggs at 17 cents per = .68 cents. One cup of cooked brown rice = .40 cents. A tablespoon of butter = .15 cents. That is a grand total of 123 pennies! I drink water, from the sink even. So let’s say that’s another, I don’t know, nickel for my glass of water from the sink. The grand total is now 128 pennies, or 1 dollar and .28 cents for my breakfast that contains more eggs and rice than yours should because I probably move much more than you do. It’s my job to be in shape and train others to do the same. (For those of you who are worried about my cholesterol levels because “eggs are bad for you” and I eat so many, no worries. I recently had blood work and everything is OK.)

So there it is. My breakfast, that you can have too, comes to a total of $1.28. If you decide to have milk with yours, you will increase the price by a quarter or so, but it will still be cheaper than an expensive coffee from you know where.

Frappuccino_starbucks-420x600

The above Frapa-full of empty calories-chino has about 600 calories, if it’s a Venti. That is over 100 calories more than the healthy breakfast recipe I just gave you. Let’s add a piece of Banana Walnut Bread to your Frapa-muy loco-chino from Starbucks too. Because bread goes great with anything. That’s another 490 calories! Oh what the hell, let’s round up. That’s 500 calories, for a grand total of 1,100 calories for breakfast. If you’re trying to lose weight, the Starbuck’s breakfast above is a no-no. It also costs about $7 bucks, if not more. That equals almost 3 of the brown rice and eggs breakfast I described before.

Stay tuned for other bland recipes to help keep the weight off. I say “bland” because a lady I was helping lose weight once asked me what I eat for breakfast. I said “Well I don’t have much variety…” she cut me off and said “yeah, you look like you eat pretty bland”. I took it as a compliment. Today’s motto is “Bland In The Name Of  Health”.

The Best Weight Loss Exercise is…

People have lost weight biking

BicyclingGroup

Swimming

swimmer

Running

runners

Sprinting (Male and female sprinters are buff)

Female-sprinters

Doing Zumba (I don’t do Zumba, I do the Wobble)

zumba

Walking

People-walking

and lifting weights

Weight-Lifting

All of the above activities will help anyone lose fat, inches, pounds, etc, because they all burn calories. The effect that various exercises have on the body is what differentiates the above exercises from each other.

A runner vs. a sprinter

marathon-or-sprinter

Both athletes above are Olympic Athletes, but the one on the right is much more muscular. The one on the left is a marathon runner, the one on the right is sprinter. Sprinting is many times more demanding on the body’s type 2, fast twitch muscle fibers, than running is. Usain Bolt, the dude on the right, who is currently the fastest man in the world at 100 meters, is blessed with fast twitch muscle fibers. He also trains his ass off, adding insult to injury for his opposition. The guy on the left is blessed physically too, but his blessing is in the form of type 1, slow twitch muscle fibers that are made for endurance and not explosive movements that lead to muscularity. These runners are so different physically, that neither one could ever beat the other in his respective Olympic specialty. But we aren’t training for the Olympics, so we can do both.

To feel the dissimilarities between sprinting and running, here’s an experiment you can do for yourself. First, find an open field that is 100 meters or yards long. Your local high school field will suffice.

high-school-football-field

Now, do the following: You will run, not sprint, 100 yards, rest 2 minutes, and run 100 yards again. You will repeat this until you have done it 10 times. It should take you about 1/2 hour or so to complete. Take note of what muscles are sore in the days that follow. Rest 3 days, and now comes the fun part! You will sprint.

James+Ellington+Olympics+Day+2+Team+GB+Track+wLNl9nUrDwJl

The machine pictured above is James Ellington, a British Olympic sprinter. That is what most male Olympic sprinters look like under their colorful Olympic outfits, and long distance runners look nothing like that. Now back to our experiment.

Go back to the same field and mark off 50 yards, instead of 100. Make sure you warm up and stretch before this event, with a light jog and some professional looking stretches that will impress any onlookers.

stretching cartoon

Ready? Now sprint, that means run as fast as possible for the whole 50 yards, rest 2 minutes, and repeat until you have sprinted 10 times. Take note of what muscles are sore in the following days. Let me help you in the “what muscles will be sore after sprinting” department, in case you don’t want to actually do my experimento. Your quadriceps (front of the leg), hamstrings (back of the leg), calves, glutes (butt muscle), lower back, maybe even upper back, chest, and shoulders will be sore. Sprinting works out the whole body, and running does not, sorry runners.

leg-muscles

If you notice, in the experiment above you would have sprinted for only a total of 500 yards, and the running exercise would have yielded 1,000 yards of movement. You would be more sore and tired from the set of exercises that cover less distance and took less time to complete, the sprints. Both exercises work the leg muscles, but sprinting will build and define the legs much more than running for distance and endurance. People, male or female, who can run fast have muscular legs because they can generate tremendous amounts of muscular force, to propel their bodies through the air at the fastest speeds humanly possible, in a short amount of time, like seconds. Long distance runners try to not get as tired as the next guy in order to win. Long distance runners are about out enduring their competitor.

sprinter vs runner

Can you spot the sprinter in the picture above?

The muscular demands of running vs. sprinting differ so much that some people in their 60’s and 70’s can still run, easily, but ask them to sprint as fast as they can and they will probably say “no thanks”.

So, the best exercise for losing weight is the one you enjoy doing. Just know that the exercises you choose to engage in have specific effects on your muscles. What good is it if I tell you that sprinting is a great leg building, fat shedding exercise, if you hate to sprint? Or, what good is it if I tell you that running 5 miles will burn 800 calories, if you hate to run? Find what exercises you enjoy and do them. I don’t care what you do for exercise, just M.Y.A. (Please refer to my previous M.Y.A. post for further explanation), thanks.

Again, remember that the exercises you choose to do consistently will play a large role in how your body looks. Walkers look like walkers, joggers look like joggers, runners look like runners, gymnasts look like gymnasts, and on and on it goes. For overall fitness, a little bit of everything is good. I will let you in on a secret. I hate to run for long distances, so I rarely, if ever, do it.

Now, figure out what you love to do for exercise and get to moving, regardless of your age.

older men sprinting

Even the older gentlemen above are a bit buff, in part, because they sprint.