Fitness divas . . .critique diet/fitness routine

sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
Ok . . . so I balloned up to 200 pounds after having to take steroids due to sudden hearing loss. It was especially devastating to me because I couldn't believe I got the gift of hearing loss for my 30th birthday and because I had just lost 25lbs and now had to deal with gaining it back (and then some). I couldn't really help it because my appetite on the steroids was uncontrollable (damn you prednisone)! Well recently after having been off the steroids for a while, I've started watching what I eat and exercising 5 days a week and have had a successful 7lb weight loss in doing so (it only took 2 weeks for me to lose it). I'd be happy if those of you who deem yourself knowledgable about health and fitness give me some tips as to if I'm going in the right direction or if there are some areas I could improve upon.

Here's what I've done:

I have drastically changed my eating habits. What I usually eat is either a small bowl of oatmeal or either a 1/2 cup of tuna with wheat crackers for breakfast. Yogurt or baby carrots as a snack between breakfast and lunch. Lunch is either a turkey sandwich with a mini bag of baked low fat chips and fruit or a grilled chicken salad with fruit. I'll have dried mango and nuts between lunch and dinner for a snack . . . and for dinner (which I try to make meatless) I'll eat brown rice and veggies (a mix of onions, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach is my fav) . . . sometimes I'll eat baked salmon or tilapia for dinner as well. If I have to have dessert I'll eat a skinny cow ice cream cone . . .and if I have to have a snack before bed I'll eat a snack portion of lowfat cheese. My drink of choice throughout all my meals is water.

As for exercise, I try to do 3 days of cardio and 2 days of strength training. My cardio is usually in the form of interval training on the elliptical for 45 minutes or 5 mile walks with Leslie Sansone (which last a little over an hour with warmups and stretching) or 45 minutes of cardio with Gilad (you remember him one of the late 80s early 90s fitness icons). As for strength I alternate between Jillian Michaels dvds (30 day Shred, Frontside & Backside) and Jari Love dvds.

So what do you think? I will appreciate any helpful advice you can offer!

NOTE: I am also taking fish oil supplements in the form of Schiff MegaRed Omega-3 Krill Oil (just thought I'd add that, not that it makes a huge difference)

Comments

  • ldw81ldw81 Registered Users Posts: 50
    Hiya

    Ok, well looks like you've actually got a really good program there. I have one or two small observations...

    1. Dried Mango actually have a fair bit of sugar and will spike blood sugar levels (not to mention the calories). The reason I mention this is simply because, I tried this as a sweet subsitute and found after the first couple of weeks my resolve to only eat 2 pieces or so dissolved and as I craved the sugar! I found that eating higher protein snacks worked better, such as an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (also full of calories I know but worked for me).

    2. I don't know the exercise people you refer to, I am Swiss so... BUT I have heard that its better to combine cardio and strength training.. for example 20 minutes jogging followed by 20 minutes strength training and then more cardio before cool down and stretching. On the cardio days, for fat burning I aimed at a lower heart rate but for a longer time... most effective were 1 hour brisk walks...

    3. I was told once that the best is to have 3 days training 1 day off then 2 days training and 1 day off and repeat that cycle. This allows your body to recover inbetween...

    But GOOD LUCK! and good for you! I am distinctly lacking in resolve to sort out my eating habits which are horrendously bad (exam stress... and stress)
    Current Avatar = pre CG
    About to embark on full CG once my book arrives :)
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    Thanks ldw! You are very right about the mango . . . I limit myself to half a serving size (3 pieces). I'm not a sugar addict so it isn't hard for me to do. Thanks for your suggestions! The when to do cardio vs strength training debate is one mentioned in many articles, I appreciate your take on it!
  • ldw81ldw81 Registered Users Posts: 50
    Like you I had to take steroids for 2 years and last year FINALLY was able to stop them! I ballooned and battled hard to try a bit of damage control there...

    The real kick for me was the combination, I now do about 2 a week (I know I know should do more :lol:) what we call a vitaparcour. Its a jogging track in my local forrest with uphill and downhill and every so often there are strengthening exercise spots with set exercises. THIS was my biggest boost, the change was so quick and dramatic!

    I was a professional pilates instructor up until I got sick 2.5 years ago and have started to go back to some Pilates, though really for weightloss its nor recommendable. It does however give THE most amazing ABs (IMHO).

    The one thing I noticed while working with various clients is that, like with our hair, we are all slightly different. Its best to try a few different things and find what works for you.

    If you really want to burn fat, I would also recommend getting a heart rate monitor. Made a massive difference to me. BUT I didn't do this till I more or less had my weight where I wanted it. I then just wanted my muscles to show more :lol:
    Current Avatar = pre CG
    About to embark on full CG once my book arrives :)
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    Thanks for reminding me about the heart rate monitors . . . I've read alot about them and I intend to invest in one!
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    Have you tried the Zone? you would eliminate simple carbs (breads, crackers, rice) or treat them like condiments, and add more complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. It also suggests foods with low glycemic indexes. I've tried it the strict way (exact measurements, food and times) and found it was tough to stick to, but I've modified it to include the same foods, eliminate the bad ones (carbs and sugar) but eat the portions and times I'm comfortable with, and stiill have been able to lose/maintain my weight.
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    Spider, I think the zone would be way too hard for me. I LOVE bread. I eat a lot less of it now than before I started dieting, but I can't imagine having to give it up completely. Brown rice is one of my meal staples as well. I don't think that would be the diet for me though I do realize a lot of people have had success with it. I'm glad you're strict enough to be able to handle it . . . I'm almost sure I couldn't.
  • KurlyKarenLeeKurlyKarenLee Registered Users Posts: 1,048
    The only suggestion I can make is portion control.

    I used to eat huge amounts of brown rice and stir fried veggies until I realized that I was eating almost 1,000 calories in rice!

    How many mango & nuts? Are you measuring?
    Dried fruits and nuts are very healthy & nutritious -but they also pack quite a few calories.

    Otherwise, you're diet & exercise plan looks pretty good to me.
    KurlyKarenLee

    You can say what you want about the South, but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving North.
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    @ Karen, you are soooo right about portion control. I do watch my portions. I never eat over a cup of brown rice in one day and only half of serving of dried mango (3 pieces per the label) and a handful of nuts. I make sure I don't over-do it.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Registered Users Posts: 12,391 Curl Connoisseur
    I have no advice to offer, but may I ask if your hearing has improved?
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    Thanks for asking Eilonwy . . . but sadly, no it has not. I hear nothing in my left ear but a constant ringing/hissing/buzzing (the Dr. calls it tinnitus). I've gotten used to it now though . . . at first it was driving me crazy and causing me to have migraine after migraine . . . now it's normal to me.
  • ldw81ldw81 Registered Users Posts: 50
    Sorry to hear about your tinnitus...

    But spill! Hows the new fitness regimen coming?!?
    Current Avatar = pre CG
    About to embark on full CG once my book arrives :)
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    Ldw81, I've gotten to somewhat of a stand-still but I blame myself for that. I skipped a couple of workouts and ate some things that were bad for me. However, I look at it this way . . . any time I don't GAIN any weight back, I'm doing ok. I just know that I have to stay focused and push myself a little more to start losing again.
  • ldw81ldw81 Registered Users Posts: 50
    Brilliant attitude!! Often the first few pounds are just water anyway...

    Keep at it and we're all here on this thread to keep you on track!
    Current Avatar = pre CG
    About to embark on full CG once my book arrives :)
  • buffiebuffie Registered Users Posts: 184
    Ldw81, I've gotten to somewhat of a stand-still but I blame myself for that. I skipped a couple of workouts and ate some things that were bad for me. However, I look at it this way . . . any time I don't GAIN any weight back, I'm doing ok. I just know that I have to stay focused and push myself a little more to start losing again.

    I've got to add my two cents here. Your statement about having eaten somethings that were bad for you is completely off the mark. Food is neither moral or immoral. Food in and of itself is neither good or bad. The only time you should label something as "bad for you" is if you are allergic to it or your doctor has told you to stay away from it for health reasons, ie: diabetes or high blood pressure, etc...

    That being said, all things in moderation are fine. I read that you eat a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or 1/2 cup of tuna and whole wheat crackers. That's not enough food, I can't see it keeping you full for more than 1 1/2 hours. If you get a normal amount of sleep then you need more food than that to kick your body's metabolism into gear not to mention all the other functions that slow while you sleep. Breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day.

    As an avid exerciser (I love to lift weights) and former martial artist, I know the importance of fueling my body. A normal breakfast for me is a 4 egg white omlette with chopped zucchini and mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of reduced fat shredded cheese and two slices of Weight Watchers Rye bread or W.W. bagel. And an iced coffee with 1% milk.

    Food maintains your metabolism and your metabolism will promote weight loss. And I must agree with you, I love the Skinny Cow ice cream treats.

    Your workout seems good for getting back into. Just keep challenging yourself and changing things up so that your muscles don't get use to your routine.

    And just a few more things cause now I'm getting long-winded. Don't weigh yourself more than once a week. Do it on the same day of the week, at the same time and wearing about the same clothes so that you have a control. And don't get hung up on what the scale says, go by how you feel and how your clothes fit you.

    Good luck and be proud of all that you have accomplished so far. And good luck for perservering through your hearing loss.
    "How can I control my life when I can't control my hair?" - from a t-shirt my brother gave me years ago. I loved it!

    Have discovered I cannot live without KCCC and plopping. Always knew that I was dependant on my diffuser.
  • sistahmaryisissistahmaryisis Registered Users Posts: 157
    Thanks Buffie . . . you're right about the good vs bad thing. But it actually was bad because it was against my health (having to watch my blood pressure and cholesterol). I'm having trouble with the breakfast thing. You see I'm a teacher, and I have to be up at 6 and at work by 7. I have to force myself to eat that early in the morning as my body isn't used to it. If I eat any more than that I feel nauseated:puker:. So what I do is eat the tuna or oatmeal then eat a snack about an hour or 2 later (usally yogurt). I do, however, eat bigger on the weekends because I can take in breakfast at a time my stomach can handle it. I don't know why it's like that . . . big breakfasts, early in the morning just seem to make me feel sick. After around 9 I can handle it . . . but any time before then I get queasy. May just be a psychological thing . . .lol.
  • mpgirlmpgirl Registered Users Posts: 1,163
    First, I want to honor your commitment to your health. It is no small endeavor.

    I also want to encourage you to add more protein to your breakfast and dinner. Protein is a building block for your muscles. If you don't get enough protein, you can't build muscle, If you can't build muscle, you can't increase your metabolism, if you can't increast your metabolism, you have to work harder to burn calories. Whew! Glad I got that all out!:wink:
    3b spirals, fine texture, normal porosity, dense
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    Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. -wabi-sabi

  • EilonwyEilonwy Registered Users Posts: 12,391 Curl Connoisseur
    I'm pretty sure you can't put on muscle mass while eating at a caloric deficit. You can exercise to prevent muscle loss while dieting, though.
  • mpgirlmpgirl Registered Users Posts: 1,163
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure you can't put on muscle mass while eating at a caloric deficit. You can exercise to prevent muscle loss while dieting, though.

    I agree with Eilonwy. You cannot eat at a caloric deficit forever, but you must stick to the basic principle of working off what you take in. That never changes. Building muscle is so important because it gives you the ability to burn more calories. But if you don't absorb enough protein, you can lift like a bodybuilder and not build new muscle.

    There's no doubt that this is hard work and it isn't easy, but the life-long benefits are well worth it.
    3b spirals, fine texture, normal porosity, dense
    Picasa:
    Link
    Deva Low Poo
    Suave Naturals Coconut for detangling
    Renpure Organics conditioner/leave-in
    Homemade FSG
    KCCC
    Curl Junkie Stuff
    BRHG


    Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. -wabi-sabi

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