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weight loss

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Portion Control Use This Handy Guide

We can’t always pull out a full set of measuring spoons and cups to gauge our portions, which in my humble opinion is important to do in the early stages of re-training your brain to eat correctly.  We all have our hands and they can be a “handy” guide to controlling your portions.

As you might know by now I am re-shaping my body through exercise and re-training my brain to eat correctly.  It has to be a coordinated effort in order to maintain all my hard work. Besides chosing the correct foods to eat I also have to be aware of the portions I am using.

I wasn’t aware that my 1/2 cup, eyeballed portions were generously large, until I started to measure out my food.

Portion Control Using Your Hands:
1 Cup = About a fist size
1 Teaspoon = First joint in thumb to tip
1 Tablespoon = Whole thumb from bottom joint to tip
Cupped Hand = About a half a cup
Palm of Hand = Middle section is 3 oz of meat both size and thickness

Handy Guide

The next time to are without your measuring tools, remember to use this handy guide to portion control. It will help you to visualize your portions with ease.

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Day Sixteen – Strength Training- Muscle = 5.5 & Fat = 2.0

What I’m Eating or Drinking – Coffee
Mood – Cheerful

I am pretty skeptical about people and their weight loss remedies. A personal trainer stalked me for a few weeks at my local gym last year and it make me nervous.

Finally, one day I had just about enough of his 15 minutes of hang out time by my cardio machine daily, so rather sarcastically I blurted out a whole bunch of questions. I don’t believe I even took a breath between the sentences. What pill do you or a friend of yours sell?  How much is that juicer your trying to sell me gonna cost? What does it cost for an hour of your personal training time? What is this new miracle product?

He laughed at me and said I like you.  You have guts, drive and passion. I quickly inserted I’m married and I believe you have had a chance to meet my husband?  Again he laughed and asked me if that was the reason I thought he was hanging around daily.   I asked well, why else does one stalk a married woman at the gym?  To sell them something or hit on them, right?  Please, do tell.  He turned bright red.  It certainly wasn’t one of my proudest days.


The trainer told me the reason he got into personal training was because he liked to change people’s lives, to make people feel better about themselves and help them achieve their goals.  He did charge for personal training sessions at the gym but I always came when he had floor duty.  During floor duty he was only there to encourage people in the gym to reach their goals.  Did some of the people he encouraged become his clients?  Yes.  However, that was not the reason he was hanging out at my machine.  Some people have what it takes and have the word serious written across their faces.  Those are the people he likes to give free information to and help them implement new practices into their daily lives.

Ah, ok. Now I felt like an idiot.  Even though I had just called him a stalking, pill selling juice man who likes hitting on a married woman…he thought I had guts, drive and passion and wanted to give me free information to implement into my life to help me achieve my goals.  Interesting.

The information he shared was interesting and that is the reason I am sharing it with you  today. Not all workouts are created equally.  He mentioned cardio is good for your heart and does help you burn calories and sure you will reach your goal quicker than with his way – but you will not keep the weight off as easily as HIS WAY.

Apparently, increasing muscle mass through strength / weight training was more important than hours of cardio.  At least to him.  He told me to take a look around the gym.  You see the same regulars, right?  Yes, that was true, I did.  Now find 5 males and females that you believe have the best bodies here.  I located my 10 without giving him any indication.  He said all 5 of your males and females are located in one spot of this gym, correct?  I said no.  One is not.

He bet me each of my ten people at some point would spend time in the weight section of the gym.  Funny he said that, 9 out of 10 were in the weight section and the tenth person was doing squats with kettle balls. Which are weights, right?

The trainer said strength workouts increase fat burning hormones in your body which are testosterone and growth hormone.  Increasing your muscle mass increases your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. Muscle use more oxygen and burn more energy than fat.

* One pound of muscle burns approximately 5.5 calories per day at rest.
* One pound of fat burns approximately 2 calories per day at rest.

Now with that being said, would you rather have more fat or muscle?

Some good strength training exercises:
Shoulders – overhead press, upright row, dumbbell press, shoulder press
Arms- barbell curls, tricep extensions
Back – pull-ups, barbell rows, dead-lifts
Legs – squats, leg press, stiff leg dead-lifts, lunges
Chest – bench press, dumbbell flies, pushups

I am putting together a strength training weekly work out schedule to incorperate into my 30 minutes of walking or bike riding I already do daily.

I’d like to bump my muscle weight up to burn the extra calories per day, heck it all helps.

So, is my stalking, pill selling, juice man who likes hitting on a married woman crazy?  Will this work to my advantage?  It is only a year after the fact – Let’s give it a shot.


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The Weight Loss Plan

My weight loss plan:

Weight loss is supposed to be a simple science of calories in vs. calories out.  One pound is roughly 3500 calories.  In order to lose one pound of weight you would need to create a caloric deficit of 3500 calories.

How does one go about this?
1.) Consume fewer calories than you burn each day.
2.) Burn more calories than you take in by increasing your exercise.
3.) A combination of both 1 & 2 above; consuming fewer calories and increasing your activity level.


It is supposed to be that simple! Each person has a different basal metabolic rate (BMR), it is the amount of calories your body needs to run your bodily and mental functions. It is something I didn’t want to mess around with trying to figure out.  I found a program to help me gauge a healthy goal weight and the program helps me track my individual goals.  The program I chose to use is a Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal.  Follow the blue link for a free AP in the Android Store on Amazon.  Otherwise, I know that you can also download it for free on iTunes as well. There is an internet version as a third option.  I just like to have the phone app so everything is at my fingertips.

The app has an entire food and exercise database — so you can log your food and exercise from anywhere, at any time. That solved two of thoughts on journaling.  I wanted somewhere to log both.  It was a program I used last year. Now I have it set up again, I’m back on track. If you decide to use the program please feel free to add me as a friend, my user name is MotherZebo. The program allows you to follow other users and there is a setting to allow you to see their daily activity if they choose.

For the first couple of weeks I have set small goals for myself:

1.) Eat breakfast.  I am terrible, I have skipped breakfast for most of my life.  I just never saw the need.  After I was cleared to start an excercise program after my thyroid removal, my doctor stressed the importance of eating breakfast.  The main reason you would want to eat breakfast is to jump-start your metabolism for the day.

2.) Eat Small & Often. Eating small frequent meals or snacks will keep you from binge eating and will also keep your willpower in check.

3.) Eat Protein.  Eating protein with each meal will maintain muscle mass, while reducing body fat during weight loss.

4.) Up Calcium. Studies have shown that increasing calcium strengthens your bones and can speed your weight loss by 65%.

5.) Drink Water. I have heard so many reasons to drink water when trying to lose weight over the years, I couldn’t possibly relay the information all to you.  My solution is a little different.  I will not be drinking soda and juices.  Only water and my morning coffee.

6.) Excercise. The first few weeks will be nothing more than light stretches and  walking. It has been about 6 months since I have been able to excercise in any fashion.  Now, I have the doctors ok and the Wisconsin Spring is on its way, it is time. If you can’t walk a mile yet, don’t.  Start were you are comfortable. There will always be someone ahead of you and someone behind you on your journey.

Amazon Links:
Track Your Walking Mileage With a Pedometer
Water Bottles

7.) Sleep. For me, regular patterned sleep is an extremely important part of keeping me healthy.

8.) Reduce Calories. I am reducing my calories by 500 calories per day. Again, I am tracking this in my Fitness Pal. The more weight I’d like to lose the more excercise I will have to do.  I don’t want to dip below the 500 calorie deficit because I’d like to continue a reasonable calorie goal I can relate to the rest of my life. Some days I might not eat every calorie and other days I may go over by 100.  That is ok…it is how “real” life works.

Now that you know my weight loss plan – Tomorrow, I will go grocery shopping. Which, means I need a food plan.