Well, yesterday's post was quite a success. Yay! I guess there are a lot of us in the same fat losing, muscle gaining boat. I did get some questions that I'd like to address today, and if anyone wants to start a program, I'd be happy to post one each week for you to follow. Just let me know and if I get enough interested, maybe I'll have a Saturday post dedicated to exercise and nutrition.
1. Do you use a website to count your calories? No. Sometimes I Google how many calories are in certain things, but I don't use a website. I usually just figure out how many calories are in the meal I'm eating (I usually keep it around 200-300) then I add that number to the amount of the meal before and keep the running total of the day. When I do things like casseroles I just add up the calories that are in the amount of each ingredient, then I divide it by the portion size that I'm eating (like 1/6th). So if there ends up being 1800 calories in a casserole, divide it by 6 and you have 300 calories for that serving. It is a pain but good to do if you're wanting to know exactly.
2. What about calorie restriction and breast feeding? Can you lose your milk? Yes. You can lose it, but usually because you are not doing it right. If you are breast feeding I would not have you on anything less than an 1800 calorie diet.
3. Why can't I lose weight while breast feeding or taking certain medications? Some people just don't. I don't know why. It stinks and I'm sorry.
4. Will I look like a body builder if I lift weights? Unless you are taking 'roids, there is no way you will look like a female version of Arnold Swarzennegger in the 90's. Don't worry about it. You will gain muscle, but also lose fat. It will be more toning and leaning than body building.
5. Pregnancy and dieting? You shouldn't try to lose weight while you are pregnant. That said, you shouldn't stop watching what you eat either. You've heard the phrase, "eating for two," right? Well, unless the other one in your belly is a full-sized human being, it only needs about 300 calories above what you need. That means you should at least be eating 1500 calories. Nothing less. But you don't need to eat 4000 calories either.
6. Where do I start? Okay, I'll answer that one below.
You know that it is so important to exercise. You need to be lifting weights at least twice per week. I do four and I'll tell you why. Not only is weight lifting good for your bones and your physique, but building muscle by lifting weights helps you to burn more fat, which ultimately is what you want to do. Who cares about weight? It's all about fat.
To start off with weight lifting, as your consultant I would have you lift 5 times per week, at least for forty minutes, for the first 6-ish weeks. I would have you lift heavy weights and do 3-4 sets and few reps (6-8), fatiguing your muscles on the last rep. So, Monday do chest and back. Tuesday do shoulders and core. Wednesday do legs. Take Thursday off. Friday do biceps and triceps. And Saturday do a full body lift. Take Sunday off. If you want more specifics, let me know.
While you were lifting hard, I would have you you go light on cardio, like 20-30 minute speed walks, 6 days per week.
And finally, I would have you consume around 1800-2000 calories while doing this -- all very nutritious foods, of course.
Remember, it's 15% exercise and 85% nutrition, which sucks because I like exercising much more than counting calories.
And my husband just started the last episode of season two of Downton Abbey (have you seen that show? -- I know my British friends have. Best. Show. Ever! and it's on PBS.com for free until March) so I have to go now. Again, let me know if you have questions or want me to go more in depth.