So, that hulk in the picture above is my eldest, football playing son, Joab. Boy, was he aptly named! His goal is just a wee bit different than ours. How? He aims to eat 4,500 calories a day to bulk up for football. 4,500! That is a male concept that I will never understand. 1. I have never in my life eaten like an absolute hog (I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can down pizza like nobody’s business but I mean eating when you feel like you’re going to puke already) and 2. I would never ever be willing to gain weight for a sport. But, our family has always been comprised of very masculine men and exceptionally feminine women. There are many days where the girls and boys almost face off, giving each other that quizical, deer in the headlights look that says, “What planet are you from again?!” I gently (because I am always a total lamb), sat my boys and husband down this week and told them God made the female gender too and they needed to give the feminine needs more consideration. That conversation came about because my eldest son wrestled my youngest and was so rough he made him cry. Additionally, somehow, during the match, ketchup was squirted on the carpet. Mama Bear came out to play. I mean, HELLO?!?! My youngest was hurt and my carpet soiled! But, every one of those men looked at ME, like the blinking “Love Experts” out of Frozen and said almost in unison, “You need to calm down.” Even my wronged baby boy agreed! Note to self: they LIKE hurting each other.
Anyway, we should get on with the business of calorie counting. Ugh, but who wants to? Actually, once you get a great free app called My Fitness Pal and begin to log your daily intake and exercise, you will quickly get a feel for how to adjust your calories to the right place (I added this app to my iPhone). I don’t accept “friends” on that app yet, btw. But, I am going to start posting a couple times a week what I make for dinner for my family and my accompanying meal on Twitter. If you want to follow me, I can be found at @LaurieARolfe. Keep in mind, you can eat vibrant, living foods but if you’re eating too many of these, you still won’t lose weight. If you said to me, “I can’t be strict on the quality of my foods AND the quantity too,” then quality wins. But, you will lose faster, keeping the quantity of foods to the right amount.
I will give you some basic guidelines below to help but you really have to begin to use the app to grasp how simple it really is. I challenge you to try it for a week, even if you have days when you blow it eating wise. It will help you understand what you’re eating and how much.
- I aim for 1200 calories a day. Eating within the food guidelines I gave last time, this isn’t hard. Healthy foods have less calories, and obviously less problem calories, than unhealthy food. Tall men might need more- 1400 calories, perhaps.
- Protein: I aim to exceed the recommended protein. It recommends 83 grams a day and a good day would yield about 100 grams of protein.
- Potassium and Salt: It is best to have Potassium a good amount higher than salt. Veggies and greens add to your Potassium. By avoiding salt, this shouldn’t be hard to achieve. You will quickly notice how much salt is in pre-fab foods. A good day would be around 2100 mg of Potassium and 1225 mg of salt.
- Sugar: I keep sugars as low as humanly possible. But, you will see the sugar number reach close to the recommended daily of 52 grams, if you are eating some fruit/ carbs. My goal is to stay below 50 and all natural sugars from fruit (except maybe a handful from a protein bar or smoothy).
- Fat: Fat should be just above half the recommended amount. Aim for 25 grams or below. We need good fats (such as my beloved Coconut oil, which I use on my hair, face, skin and to cook with) to build healthy cells. But, in the weight loss stage, keep this low. Also, aim for lean fats and try to keep saturated at 5 or below.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs shouldn’t exceed 100 grams. And, make them healthy carbs. Remember, keep the idea of living foods in your mind.
- As far as logging exercise, no matter what the calories burned equals, I still aim for a total of 1200 eaten. I log running at 106 calories burned per 10 minutes that I run (11 min. miles). As far as sit ups, pull ups, push ups and low weight/ muscle toning, I log it at 48 calories per 10 min (this might be low for high intensity workouts but I tend to be slow and struggle with muscle training). Additional note: I would recommend not having friends on this new app but use it for yourself. That way you will put your honest weight, what you eat, etc, without inhibition (although I don’t think they actually could see all of that).
Play with this app, set up your calorie goals and try to follow the guidelines above. I haven’t been able to lose weight using their recommended levels, fyi. Let me know what questions you have and, keep in mind, you will figure out the right balance of nutrients after you play with it and eat the way I mentioned in my last blog.
If you’ve been eating well and working out in the new year, this is the point when you might be getting fed up. Give yourself a treat for hard work and then…. Keep going, my friends!