I’ve seen people question why they are still overweight, even though they have a labor intensive job. The thing is, you really can’t outrun or outwork your fork. If you’ve gone to TDEE Calculator.net and figured out your basic daily expenditure, you’re probably in the 1500 – 2000 calorie range (give or take). So, for the sake of this article, I’m going to go with a 2000 calorie basic daily expenditure. What that means is, simply by walking the earth and breathing, you burn 2000 calories – and you haven’t done a thing. Now, if we look at a hard pressed 1 hour run might burn 600 calories, we can imagine that someone who works manual labor doesn’t do it ALL DAY, maybe a portion here and there. So, with that, let’s say you push at work and burn 1000 calories just by working. So, you’re now at 3000 calories burned. OK. So, you woke up and had 2 breakfast tacos and a Coke from the food truck (2 x 250 + 140 = 640 calories for breakfast). Then, for lunch you had a quarter pounder with cheese, a large fry and a Coke from Mc Donalds (530 + 510 + 290 = 1330 calories for lunch). Now, you’ve had a long day and you head home to have another Coke with dinner, which is pasta with chicken and alfredo sauce, garlic bread and 2 glasses of wine (or beer) and 2 cookies. (140 + 1400 + 300 + 260 = 2100 calories for dinner). Add up 640 + 1330 + 2100 and you’ve consumed 4070 calories that day. And, this could easily be someone’s daily intake. So, you’re 1070 calories OVER your TDEE + Work Burn. This is just 1 example of how you really can’t outrun your fork – even if you have a physical job. You still have to make lean choices to live a Lean Life.
If you walk out to your car one morning and have a flat tire, you’re not going to go and slash the other 3 tires because 1 is flat. You’re going to fix the flat and get moving. If you have a “bad” day, it’s not the end of the world and it’s definitely not a reason to throw in the towel. Just get back on track and live lean. And yes, we ALL have flat tire days. Even the world’s most elite athletes have flat tire days – they just fix it and move on.
Paraphrased from a post I read on Reddit (source).
It’s not always about the wins, sometimes it’s about the failures as well. I broke down and had 2… yep, 2… candy bars this weekend. Those were the first true candy bars I’ve had since last September. You know what though, after almost 6 months of not having a candy bar – while it was good – it wasn’t as good as my mind made it out to be. So, the next time I feel I want a candy bar, I can at least remember – this won’t be as good as you might think it is, and it’s not worth the calories, so put it down and step away.
Don’t want to log calories? Don’t want to track every little thing? Don’t really even want to change what you eat? Try a simple divided diet. I would suggest getting your TDEE from https://tdeecalculator.net/ and using that number. But, even if you don’t want to do that, just make up a number. Yep, make up a number and start from there. So, we’re going to start with 2000 calories a day. Lets say your target is 2000 calories a day. Just break that up in to 3/6/9/3. When you eat breakfast, eat no more than 300 calories. When you eat lunch, eat no more than 600 calories. When you eat dinner, eat no more than 900 calories. AND, I even threw in 3 – 100 calorie snacks for you. Still want cereal for breakfast? Just make sure it’s under 300 calories. Want a burger for lunch? Make sure it’s under 600 calories… and so on. Try something like this for a week and see how your progress goes after the week. If you gain, just drop each meal by 50 calories. Still gaining next week, drop it 50 more for each meal. Me personally, I’m around 200/400/600/200 for 1400 calories. This could be a pretty easy way to simply take a look at each meal and make sure THAT meal is on target, without keeping track of everything.
No more cheat days. No more treats. We’re adults, we don’t need treats and cheats. If we look at food as something we’re “not supposed to have”, it kind of makes us want it more. You want to eat cake at a party, go for it, just make sure you log it, and make sure it fits in your CICO for the day. You want (a) cookie tonight? Go for it, just make sure you take note of what you’ve had. Now, I would say, this is where Lean Choices come in to play though. When they’re cutting the cake, ask for them to cut you half a piece, then only have 1/2 of that (or less). Trust me, eat it slowly and it will be just as satisfying as the piece you think you want. When you go to eat that cookie tonight – DON’T EAT THE SLEEVE of cookies – I can absolutely eat a sleeve of cookies. Of course, I would suggest to keep the temptations out of the house, but if they are there, just try your best to make Lean Choices and go light. You have the power!
Have a large weight loss goal? Sometimes breaking it down to more mini-goals makes it easier. If you want to lose 60 pounds, that may sound a little daunting. But, if you think of losing 10 pounds, that doesn’t sound so bad. So, look at your 60 pounds as “Losing 10 pounds 6 times”. I needed to lose 140 pounds, so far I’ve lost 10 pounds 7 times. I just need to do it 7 more times and I’ll be at my goal weight. Even if you’re just trying to shed the last 10 pounds or so, you might want to break it down to 2 pounds 5 times. Focus on the first 2, then move on to the next 2.
If you get off track one day, don’t give up! We all have bad days here and there, the key is to just get back on track. Think of it like brushing your teeth. If you forgot to brush your teeth this morning you wouldn’t say “That’s it, I’m never brushing my teeth again!”. No. You’d just get back to brushing again tomorrow. Or, you’d stop what you’re doing (put down the cookie) and start “brushing your teeth” right then.
If you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield member, you can get discounts to many local gyms. The cost is only $25 to join and $25 a month! You can use this link https://www.bcbsilforyourhealth.com/ for Blue Cross Blue Shield members. Also, I was asking the YMCA about it this morning and, while my local YMCA doesn’t participate with BCBS, they do have discounted memberships with other insurance providers. I would suggest checking your insurance website or calling a representative and asking if your plan might have gym benefits as well.
As you notice above, I push carbs and sugar out of my (personal) diet, and bring in protein. There is a diet out there call Keto. See here for a Keto support community. Keto is about getting your body into a state of ketosis, which is supposed to turn your body into a fat burning machine. There are many, MANY different views in regards to the keto diet, and you will want to consult your physician to make sure it is safe for you.
(In short) a calorie is a unit of energy and our bodies burn energy JUST TO LIVE, not even including exercise. Your body will burn quiet a few calories simply to keep you breathing and moving around throughout the day. TDEE provides an approximate number of calories it takes to keep you alive (not including excess exercise). So, really Calories In Calories Out (CICO) is the primary number you need to monitor every day. However, it’s good to figure out what keeps you full and reduces cravings in order to help reduce your CICO needs. Here’s a great support community for those who really like to follow just CICO.
I personally don’t fully follow the Keto diet, but I do find it easier to push carbs and sugars out and bring in protein simply because protein fills me up and helps me manage my CICO easier.
Tip: there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbs, 4 calories in 1 gram of protein, and 9 calories in 1 gram of fat.
Tip 2: There are 3500 calories in a pound.There are 7 days in a week. So, if you reduce your TDEE number by 500 calories daily, you should be able to lose 1 pound per week. If your TDEE is 2000/day and you consume 1500/day, you should (in theory) lose 1 pound that week.
How have you adjust your diet or lifestyle to help with your lean journey?
Don’t be afraid of the protein aisle – I used to think the protein aisle was for body builders, but I’ve learned it’s also for body slimmers.
Try to find a store with individual serving sizes so you can try multiple bars/shakes/powder before you buy in larger quantities.
Try pre-mixed drinks first. I feel the premixed drinks are the manufacturer’s best attempt at their drink. However, powders can be cheaper… much cheaper in some cases. When you try powders, try them with water, milk, soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk. Each of these will provide a different flavor and consistency.
Protein bars are NOT candy bars. They are for nutrition. If they happen to taste like a “treat” that’s just a bonus. Many protein bars dress up like a candy bar, but please don’t expect them to taste like candy bars – although some can actually come pretty darn close.
Check the nutrition on the protein items – it’s like any other part of the store. Some items will help your journey, some might not. Some protein items are made for body builders trying to bulk, so they will have many more calories, carbs and sugars than you will want.
When I’m shopping the protein aisle, I’m looking for items with 300 calories or less, 20 grams of protein or more, 3 grams of sugar or less, 20 grams (net) carbs or less.
What tips/tricks do you have for protein and getting lean?