Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Health Update 4-22-08

Time for a health update.

I have instituted two new programs into my nutrition and exercise routine. The first is the web site www.nutritiondata.com. The second is an exercise/weightlifting program from BodyFortress.com.

Nutrition Data.com

I found this site two weeks ago while looking for information on a food (I don't remember which one). I was trying to keep a food log. This site has helped me immensely. It has an extensive database of common food items which you can add to your "Pantry". They even have some fast food places. You can create a recipe from ingredients and have the site "analyze" it for nutritional value. You can also enter your own custom food entries if you have the Nutrition Facts label available. The log can keep track of all of your calories, carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. You can let the site fill your daily values based on your weight, height, age and activity levels, or you can adjust your own. It even has a fullness factor, protein quality, nutrition wheel, glycemic index and inflammation estimator. I have been able to judge and rate my diet and note the areas I need to cut back on or areas I am lacking in nutrition. I use the site several times a day to help me plan my next meal ot snacks. I have been able to stay satisfied and still keep below 2000 calories a day along with increasing my protein, reducing my fat and sugar intake.

Body Fortress.com

I found this site as I was looking for additional nutrition data for my food log. The exercise routine they suggested is great. It allows me to lift four days a week, while giving each muscle group at least 3 days recovery in between lifting days. I use the following schedule:

Week 1
  • Monday - Chest-Shoulders-Triceps
  • Tuesday- Back-Biceps-Abs
  • Thursday-Legs
  • Friday- Chest-Shoulders-Triceps-Abs
Week 2
  • Monday- Back-Biceps-Abs
  • Tuesday- Chest-Shoulders-Triceps
  • Thursday- Legs-Abs
  • Friday- Back-Biceps
Every day that I lift I first hit the stationary bike for a 15-20min warm up at moderate effort. I then stretch the muscle groups I am going to be using that day.

On the weekends I have tried to include a short and long bike ride. My short rides usually last between 5 and 7 miles. I am currently going around 10miles for my longer rides. I would like to push that up to 20miles, but I need to get a different bike for that. I am using a $99 10yr old Schwinn mountain bike. I need to move up to a hybrid or road bike to really get a 20-30mile ride in.

I will continue to give updates occasionaly.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Weight and the "gut"

I recently went to my doctor when I got the first week of Feb 2008 and had to fly for business within a few days. I was worried about having the flu and flying across the country.

During the checkout two things popped up, both of them probably being related. 1st was weight. I am 6'1''. and have always been around the 200lb mark. I had ballooned up to 249! The doctor said my blood pressure was borderline high also. This was a real wake up call for me, not that I had not noticed the spare tire i was packing! I decided that I was not going to leave my wife and kids any earlier than the good Lord wanted me to. Here what I did and the results so far.

  • I switched from Coke to Coke Zero or Coke Zero Cherry. I used to drink a 1ltr Coke before lunch, have another 20oz for lunch and then have a glass or two when I got home. Three things I cut out or way down: Sugar, Calories (800 down to zero per day), Caffeine(helps with the blood pressure). I still have to have the one Coke Zero in the morning for the wake up caffeine.
  • Sodium. I really try to watch it now. I paid no attention to it before. You would not believe how much sodium is in lunch meat or salad dressing!
  • Cereal. I started buying cereal based on the nutrition labels. I eat Special K with Strawberries, Grape Nuts, Honey Nut Cheerios, Raisin Bran etc. I cut down on portions for cereal too. If the serving size is 1cup then I try to stick to that, maybe just a little more. Healthy cereal has so many benefits. Balanced nutrition, low fat, high fiber, low calorie, etc. I also try to substitute cereal for ice cream or another "bad" snack. If I get hungry after dinner then I grab a small bowl of Raisin Bran instead of a piece of cake.
  • Salads. I try to eat at least one salad a day. I either eat them with a little meat on them(grilled chicken or steak), or I just put some bacon bits, a little shredded cheese, non-fat croutons, and low fat, low sodium dressing. I also try to mix up the salads. Dole has a good variety of mixed greens and other types of salad mixes, pre washed and bagged.
  • Water or flavored water instead of sports drinks or pop. I drink 1 or 2 32oz. Powerade Option Low Calorie Sports Drink(only 10cal per 8oz serving)
  • A little red wine (1 glass) when we are out to dinner.
  • I am not obsessive about "dieting" either. I will enjoy a "regular" meal with the family every now and then, but I just am trying to eat smarter.
  • We got bought an exercise bike almost two years ago. I never really used it. I like bike riding outside and found the stationary bike incredibly boring. Since Feb I have used the stationary bike 3-5 times a week for 30min. I use the weight loss interval program and try to stay at least 10 rpm ahead of the level they want you at for that section of the workout. I also use either my laptop on the bike with a hand made shelf and bungee system, or I use my BlackBerry to watch movies or listen to music so I don't get too bored.
  • I also make sure as soon as I finish my ride to do 3 or four sets of 10-25 sit ups, usually in a 25, 15, 10, 10 interval. I have also started to mix in some free weights.
  • We won some passes to the local gym at the KCSA auction and I plan to use that on weekends and evenings that my wife does not work.
  • I am looking forward to getting out and biking on the roads again. I want to work my way up to a 50mi ride this summer.
  • I feel great!! I have so much more energy. My back does not hurt. I do not get winded walking up stairs anymore.
  • I weighed myself recently. 232! It feels like more. I am not too worried about the number. If I can lose the belly, feel better, control the blood pressure, and strengthen my body the I will be OK with that. If I settle in at 215 or 220 with all of the above then great.
  • I also had a physical recently. Cholesterol, blood pressure, etc were all right in line.
I will post more later about my progress.

Failed again

Well, I guess I failed again. I promised to post to this blog "regularly"(still not sure what that means) Either way posting once in 6 months cannot be called regular. I will be posting a column(blog post) on mobile tech and my opinions soon. I got a BlackBerry and I have some thoughts about it and other digital world things.