Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Food and Workouts Lately

My nutritionist told me like a year ago that I should be adding some red meat to my diet.  But I never did it because I thought eating chicken and fish would keep me more healthy and lean.  But no matter how strict I was with my food, I noticed that I still had this layer of fat over my muscles so I couldn't get that really lean and toned look.  There is a big difference between losing weight and losing body fat.  I had a feeling that by restricting my food so much, my body was actually losing muscles which are the fat burners.  No wonder I wasn't losing any body fat!  My nutritionist is also a body builder, so I figured she would know better than anyone how to lose body fat.  Clearly something was not working with my food - I work out a lot and I refuse to believe that my body just won't get to that level.  It might be genetically easier for some, but I'll make up for my lack of good genes by hard work!

Well, I can't find my nutritionist anymore.  It's very weird, because she was a referral I got from someone from my gym, and she worked out of her own home so it's not like there's an office I can stop by.  Last I heard from her, she went on vacation to Costa Rica and was supposed to be back in a few weeks.  But months went by and she hasn't returned any of my numerous voicemails or emails so I guess I give up. 

In the meantime, my fiance got me Jillian Michael's Making The Cut book, cuz he knows I want to look like her!  It's targeted for people who want to lose the last 10 pounds or whatever.  So I read it and find her exercises at the end of the book pretty good but there's no way I can do her diet part - she requires that you not deviate from it at all for 30 days and a lot of her food require tons of preparation, and you'd have to go to the store like everyday and spend $$$ buying stuff like sword fish.  I just don't have that kind of time, and we have a full kitchen staff making food for us at work everyday.

Though in the beginning of her book, she talks about food and there is a metabolic test.  I've heard of metabolic tests before and have taken them - you can google it and find one easily.  But her book made me think more about it.  Basically they break people down into 3 categories - the protein types, carb types, or a mixed type.  Every test I take, I am undoubtedly a protein type, which means I need to eat more often throughout the day, and need more protein in my meals and snacks in proportion to the other two macro-nutrients (carb and fat).  I guess the ideal proportion is to have about 30% of the calories come from fat, 30-40% protein and 30-40% carb.  The best protein choices for me are actually the type of protein with more fat in them such as red meat or dark chicken meat, nuts, and regular cheese, milk, etc.  Basically no "non-fat" anything.  This really goes against anything I normally hear, but then again a lot of what we hear is propaganda from food manufacturers.  The best carb choices for me are very low GI type of carb.  Protein metabolic types really need to keep the blood sugar level from spiking in order to lose or maintain weight - more so than carb types or mixed types.  This will exclude a lot of tropical fruits from my diet which happen to be my favorites, such as mango, papaya, banana, peach, etc.  I should be eating a lot of legumes, beans, potatoes, and brown rice or pasta.

Bye bye tropical fruits...

I decided to give this thing a try and eat based on my metabolic type for a couple weeks just to see what happens.  At the same time, keep up my workouts, especially interval training where I mix cardio and weights like Jillian suggests.  I've been doing it for about 2 weeks now.  It's so different from what I've been eating the past few years.  The first couple days of doing this, I think I really threw my body a curve ball.  I felt bloated and I almost completely stopped it.  But after the 3rd day (that always seems to be the magic number for me), I really started to feel a difference.  I feel more satisfied after each meal so I don't even get any cravings for sweets or junk food.  I have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, same as before.  My food choices have opened up a lot so it makes me happy mentally, like I don't have to watch my food as closely.  All I have to worry about each meal is to get a combination of protein, carb and fat in the correct proportion.  Of course I'm still eating within my calorie allowance, which is really anywhere from 1200-1400 a day.  I got back to using my Livestrong / Dailyplate food tracker which is a great website and they also have an iPhone app.  I like that they show you the macro-nutrient breakdowns.  This is what mine looks like one day last week - apparently I should have eaten more protein and carbs and less fat - those nuts really get me on their fat %.

I also noticed that I've started to feel more hungry right around the time for my next meal, and I knew that my metabolism had started kicking up.  I don't feel bloated at all anymore.  I have also noticed that my stomach and arms look more defined already.  I'm a natural apple shape, any time I gain weight, it shows around my middle first.  So I know it is also the last place to go.  To be able to see a difference when I'm doing crunches is the best!  I now can get my belly much flatter without the unsightly rolls!

Bye bye belly rolls!  (Weird picture I know, but it was one of the first on google when you search "belly rolls")

Also since I've changed up my food, I have noticed a HUGE difference in my endurance when I work out!  It's really quite shocking actually because it's only been 2 weeks!  It is true what they say that food and exercise go hand in hand.  Last weekend I went out to the park around my house and ran about 5 miles super easily.  After I was done, I felt like I had only ran a mile to warm up!  I could have gone on forever.  That was only a week after doing the new eating thing.  When I did my interval training during the week last week, I was sprinting at 10 mph speed and holding for a minute or so, which is a definite improvement from my 8.5 - 9 mph sprint speed before.  I even did 15% incline on the treadmill and sprinted at 7 mph.

Yesterday I did an interval training and then ran about 3.5 miles on the beach.  It was so nice, gotta love southern California for this.  I finished the run in about a little over 20 minutes and was not even phased.  That includes time waiting at the intersections for lights to turn.  I'm actually starting to scare myself a little!  My new food combined with much interval training and hills training makes it much easier now for me to go fast.  I've never been one to care too much about my speed before.  In fact, a few years ago I was running with the Nike run group and was happy being in the 10 min per mile group.  Sometimes even 11 or 12!  I always thought that since I wasn't one of those people who could naturally run fast, that I shouldn't even care to try.  Well what a big difference it is now.  I'm not training towards anything in particular, but I have so much more energy and it's very encouraging knowing that I can change my body and push myself to do better and better!

My fiance took an action shot of me!  He made me jump like 10 times before he got a good shot... Those things look higher in real life  =)

Aside from running and other interval training, I'm still doing yoga and barre workouts!  Just got done with a barre class this morning actually.  They help me build different muscles and work on my balance.  My goal is to be able to jump onto one of these balls with my feet instead of just balancing on my knees!  Saw a trainer at Equinox do it, and I want to do it too!

P.S. I'm wearing my Run: Energy SL that Lululemon gave to me.  And the Run Fast Shorts.  I love these, and hope they both make a come back!


  1. I love Jillian! I have this book and I can say that i totally agree with you about sticking to the meals, it's kinda silly! But I did make a few recipes from it: chicken almondine was divine!

    I followed the 30-day workout plan for three months straight: back to back to back and I became a LOT stronger! I was doing 100lb lat pulls like it was nothing by the end of the second month, but I didn't progress much further in the third.

    The best thing it did for me was increase my speed/stamina: the incline treadmill sprints made my heart a lot stronger! (although at one point, my doctor said she hear a slight heart murmur, so I may have overdone it a tad.)

    Overall, I think this workout plan gave me the boost I needed to become what I am today: a marathon running, body pump & spin teaching freak!!!

    And I highly recommend herworkout DVDs! I haven't tried the new ones but the 30-day shred is excellent and so are the two right after that: i think one is called "banish fat boost yor metabolism" mostly all about cardio, and " more trouble zones" which uses more of a strength traniing approach.

    Doing those last two DVDs back-to-back is a hardcore workout!

    I also did her power yoga dvd which was really nice, but not very relaxing like regular yoga!

  2. Oh I also have Jillian's 30 Day Shred DVD! But I must admit I only did level 1 and 2, so I need to try out level 3. It does get your heart pumping pretty fast! I wish it had more workouts routines though.

    I like her workouts in the Making The Cut book and have done some of them, but what I don't like about it is that you have to do it at a gym. Or have a home gym equipped with the stuff. If you do it at home you have to subsitute some of the workouts. I'd love to do the treadmill part in between sets, but since I don't have a treadmill at home I have to just do jumping jacks or high knees or something. I don't think I would do the workouts at the gym either because I don't want to carry the book with me while I'm there lol. The good thing is that her workouts are very similar to what I'm already doing at the different gyms I go to.

    She is tough! I can't imagine what she puts people through... if you follow her on facebook or twitter, she sometimes writes about her own workouts and she's pretty crazy!

    Oh yeah, funny my doctor said I kind of have a heart murmur too last time I went, but wasn't anything serious. I don't know what that's all about.

  3. OMG, this sounds exactly like my problem. Have been exercising for a while now, running, weights & yoga and I do not see that muscle definition that I want. I am not overweight, I just need to lose some lower belly fat and tone up and have unable to do so. I did change my diet, more protein and I totally stopped eating bread and cut down on rice. I did see a slight change but still no signs of muscle definition. You totally sold me on this book. I secretly want to have Jillian's body too. If you have time, do post on your daily meal plans that made you see changes.

  4. Ok, I'm so going to sounds like an infomercial, but have you heard of the beachbody workouts? P90X? Insanity? Well, I had the same problem with fat on top of my muscles and then I did the Insanity 60-day challenge. OMG did it totally give me the definition I wanted. I only lost maybe 2 lbs, but I lost inches everywhere and totally toned up. It's soooooo hardcore, painful and awful, but it works. My friends and I are kind of addicted now. We still hate the workouts, but we are addicted to the results. Might want to give it a try?

  5. @Airin: if you email me, I can send you some pdf files of this diet solutions thing that I've been trying. It gives specific examples of foods you should be eating and tons of meal plans. It also has a metabolic test too. Cutting carbs isn't really the answer, it's really about avoiding certain TYPES of carb. I'm still trying to pin point to the specific foods I've been eating that made the most change but it's a little hard to do. I've been eating more fatty protein, like I mentioned in my post, such as sausages and bacon, and steak, whereas before I ate only egg whites, chicken breast and fish. So it's quite a big difference. I still eat chicken and fish but just not everyday every meal like before.

    @andrea2251: I definitely have heard of P90X. It seems a lot of my friends are trying it out and loving it. Everyone says it's a killer workout. I have thought about doing it but have not committed yet! But now you are really making me want to pull the trigger. Do they also have food advice or just work outs?

  6. I really enjoy reading your blog.
    Have you heard of the paleo diet? It's the best thing I have ever done for my body. If you are at all interested, I would recommend Robb Wolf's book The Paleo Solution or even just do a search on the internet - there's plenty of info. I feel like you would really thrive eating this way - plenty of protein and fat. I find that when I eat too many carbs, I have less energy and I have too many highs and lows throughout the day.

    I am also a crossfitter, and you may like crossfit too. Especially if you are looking to get "shredded". I never saw myself as much of an athlete, but after 6 months of crossfit and the paleo diet, I am in fact shredded, I can run and lift weights with ease, and I have so much stamina throughout the day. It's incredible.

  7. I crossfit too. I agree it is an efficient way to "buff up" and build power. But I can't deal with the restictiveness of the paleo diet - no dairy no grains - I gotta have me some greek yogurt and some oatmeal on occasion. For most people any diet that completely eliminates large food categories entirely is going to be too restrictive to "stay on" long term. Not a bad itea to try a new diet approach to see how your body reacts and then modify slightly so that you can live a "normal" life - going out to eat, going to friends' homes to eat, still ENJOY what you eat.

  8. I have tried Cross Fit too, and liked it. I've never heard of the Paleo diet, I'll google it. But don't think I can do a no dairy no grains diet either. I can cut down on them but not completely eliminate. That would be very hard. I've been trying to get most of my carbs from fruits and veggies instead of grains, but I do love my oatmeal sometimes too. I know myself, if I cut something out completely for an extended period of time, I go crazy and overload myself on that after a few weeks. Lol. It's definitely not sustainable for me. But yeah... too much carb is definitely a culprit for protein metabolic types like me! Gotta find a happy medium.

  9. Good resource for a paleo (primal blueprint) diet:

    It makes a lot of sense if you think about it! Why should we be eating any crap that we aren't programmed to be eating?! (Besides the fact that all that stuff taste so darn good!)

    p.s. I did the "Making the cut" at my (now ex) boyfriend's apartment gym! There were never more than a couple of people in there so it wasn't too embarassing doing tuck jumps and sumo squat tricep presses without getting too many weird looks. Plus, there was always an open treadmill so I could sprint! yay!

    So make friends with someone who lives in an apartment and have them do it with you??? just a though! :)

  10. I do crossfit and the gals here who commented are all telling the truth about the results. I've been doing it since April of 2010 and have adopted a zone/paleo diet...and i allow myself cheat meals. (so i eat zone/paleo about 90% of the time) Since then, i've lost no weight...however gained muscle and lost fat (that layer of fat that you are talking about over the muscles). strange...i know. And I'm so much stronger than I've ever been in my entire life. The other day, my girlfriend told me I looked ripped in this picture...when you go to crossfit boxes they usually take pics and post them on thier blogs to show people whats going on...I didn't even know that this was on the web!

    I've attached a link to an article on the zone diet that helped me get says that you get the most benefit when you weigh and measure the food. I agree.

    OH BTW...the results that I got on Gillian's 30 day cut(about 1 1/2 years ago), were more on the strength side...I thought after the program...that my core was alot stronger. I didn't lose any noticeable fat.

    Love the blog...

  11. Lisa, you do look ripped! I agree about measuring your food too. I have a food scale that I use to weigh mostly meat. Though it's having issues turning on now so I need a new one! I'm also tempted to get a food scale and keep it at work as I eat most of my meals at work anyway. I can only imagine the weird looks I'd get from my coworkers... hahaha.

  12. So I USED to like you, but now it's kind of hard. You have a great body AND you get free Lululemon?!?!?! Your life is perfect!!! LOL =)

  13. LOL thanks Anon, but I don't get free Lulu anymore. I got a few different things when I was a regular at my local Lulu's run club. I'm sure most stores do this... check it out?


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