Diet and Exercise: Don’t Be Afraid To Mix It Up

Diet and Exercise: Don't Be Afraid to Mix It Up | Dr. Marctagon™

 

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”Bruce Lee

 

Typically, when it comes to diet exercise, we do a lot of searching to find the thing that “works” for us. We look for that routine that will get us where we want and that type of diet that will shed us some weight. Usually when we find them, we stick to them and keep doing the same things until we reach a plateau and wonder what happened.

 

Read the rest of my guest post over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…

 

 


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Doc’s Log #10: 2 Weeks In (Biggest Loser Challenge Update)

Doc's Log #10: 2 weeks In - Biggest Loser Challen

Greetings lovelies and gents! It’s another beautiful Tuesday morning and I’m back with another update. I meant to post last week but hey at least, I didn’t wait 3 months to update you this time (i.e. I’m getting better!).

It’s been an interesting two weeks since the Biggest Loser Challenge got started. For starters, I didn’t work out the first two weeks BUT I did find a new workout I wanted to try. I recently discovered that  Shaun T (the mind behind Insanity) has come out with another workout series he calls Focus T25. So, I checked out the trailer was immediately intrigued by 2 things. First, the workouts are only a timed 25 minutes long (excluding the cooldown, so really 30 minutes). Also, it was less intense than Insanity. Now hol’on, before you get that grin of relief on your face, I didn’t say it was easy. If you’ve ever done a Shaun T Workout (Insanity,  Hip Hop Abs) then you know it will still be difficult and T25 is no different. I liken it to Insanity the way you liken Power 90 to P90X. It sacrifices all out intensity to focus on form and conditioning which is exactly what I needed. With Insanity, I found myself fighting to keep up and when I wasn’t doing that, I was sitting down panting for breath.

Now don’t get me wrong, any workout will have me panting and huffing and puffing because I’m out of shape but if you find yourself not doing more than you’re doing in a given workout, you may have bitten off more than you can chew. I won’t break down all the differences between T25 and Insanity but I found an interesting article that does it for me.

Moving right along…

My diet has been on point for the most part which has been my saving grace. I haven’t been tallying my calories with MFP but I know my portions have been what they should be and I’ve been eating the right foods. I’ve also decided to give a different style of intermittent fasting a try. I’m adopting the 20/4 IF style, which is 20 hours of fasting on nothing but water and a 4 hour window where I can eat food. I actually started last Friday. 16 hours still takes getting used to from time to time, especially if I didn’t follow it the day before. Not eating breakfast is “normal” now so i don’t fret about that but on days when I have to get up super early, I do drink coffee which technically is a violation of my fasting because with the cream and sugar, we’re talking 200 calories in a cup. Since I’m not that big on the taste of coffee, my cup ends up being about 250-300 calories from how much I add to it. Luckily, I only drink coffee 2-3 days a week. I have recently decided I’m going to give cold water a try instead and try going to bed at a decent hour, you know, like a normal person.

But back to the Biggest Loser Challenge. I’m happy to say that two weeks in, I’m down 3.8 pounds from 294.2 lbs to 290.4 lbs., making a total of 29.2 pounds for the year.

I’m pretty much back to where I had gotten before the holidays last year. With the holidays coming up, I can’t have the 30 pound weight gain I had last year, definitely not.

I look forward to starting Focus T25 tonight and I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going! Have a great week all!


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Discipline and Why It’s Better than Motivation

Discipline and Why It's Better than Motivation

Webster defines motivation as “the condition of being eager to act or work”. Motivation is awesome! It’s that wonderful feeling that makes you want to do exactly what it is you want to do. It’s what spurs you to action. It makes you want to start eating better. It makes you go for that run or get that workout in. It makes weight loss all the more easier because your mind is in it with you. There are plenty of different types of motivations to be healthy and fit: you want to lose weight, you want to lower your blood pressure, you want to run run a race, you want to be fit, or simply you just want to improve your health. When you’re motivated, life is awesome.

 

However, there are those moments where motivation is lacking. Despite how much you way want to, you can’t bring yourself to act the way you know you should. You know you shouldn’t eat that whole cake, but you do it. You know you should get that run in today but you can’t bring yourself to do it. When you’re not motivated, life sucks.

 

There is a remedy though. Discipline.

 

Continue reading my post over at 365 Days of Health and Fitness…


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Doc’s Log #8: The Long Overdue Update

Doc's Log (Notepad)

Good afternoon, friends and fellow (weight) losers! In the words of Rakim, “it’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you.

I can’t believe this summer has flown by so quickly and that I haven’t given a progress report all summer! I’ve missed you all. Life happens and unfortunately my poor blog suffered in the process.

As always, there is a good and bad news and developments but I’m trying not to make those post too lengthy. Consider it a “Best of…” or a highlight reel of what’s been going on with me and my weight loss quest.

Here goes…

1. My blood pressure is back to normal. I took my blood pressure being high very seriously and I adjust my diet accordingly. I lowered my sodium intake, got my water intake up to a gallon a day consistently and just ate better overall. And you know what? It helped. I didn’t expect it to go down so quickly but by July, it was 120/80. Awesome!

2. I got my weight down to 293. This is great new considered I started the year at 319. Reducing my sodium helped with this as well because so much of my weight gain seemed too come from water retention. The day after a sodium packed meal or even the day after a cheat meal, sometimes I gain as much as five pounds overnight.  While 26 pounds isn’t a whole lot over the course of 8 months, even the smallest victory is a victory for me.

3. I haven’t worked out all summer. Sad to say, I haven’t run, lifted a weight, done a push up or anything along those lines all summer. My excuse? None unfortunately. It was a combination of being unmotivated and simply lazy. I have started a new job recently though that keeps me very active. Not active as far as impact and intensity but active as in I spend a lot of time on my feet and walking. I downloaded a pedometer app for my phone and on average from the start of the day to arriving at home, including my work day, I take over 22000 steps, with at least 20000 steps being taken at work. That’s the equivalent of 10 miles a day, going by the rule of thumb that walking 2000 steps is the equivalent of walking a mile.

4. My diet has been pretty much on point though. That’s pretty much what kept me from gaining weight this summer. As soon as I got a hold of my diet, things started clicking. I was far from perfect, don’t get me wrong, and a few of my cheat meals went over board but overall, I’ve been eating pretty well. I’d say about 75% of the time I eat the way I’m supposed to. Also I’ve been waiting less. My intermittent fasting plan has me eating 4 times a day but  I usually don’t eat more than three often not eclipsing 2000 calories for the day but I’m not starving myself. I just don’t feel all that hungry all the time. My cheat meals are actually beneficial in this case because they give my metabolism a jump-start to keep it from burning too slow.

5. I decided to push the 9+1 back to next year and focus on fat burning through the remainder of the year. As September has arrived, there just aren’t enough short-range options of races for me to complete the 9+1 before the year’s end so I’ m going to push it back to next year which would prepare me for guaranteed entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon. I also still want another marathon under my belt so I’m planning the Honolulu Marathon for next December. However, I will be applying through the lottery for the 2014 NYC Marathon. If I get in, then the 9+1 will be null and void and I’ll run in 2014 instead.

Other than that I’m just concentrating on getting back into the routine of working out, flexitarian living (ate too much like  carnivore this summer), and sticking to intermittent fasting and getting into the habit of blogging more regularly than every 3 months.


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But Where Do I Start? 5 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight

But Where Do I Start? 5 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight
I get it.  Losing weight is tough. It’s difficult, requires so much effort, and takes way too much time. Hell, most times just getting started is the hardest part. You deprive yourself of everything that tastes good for a bunch of health food crap. You go in and try to walk off all your pounds in the first week and then a week later you’ve already given up. It sucks, I know. I know how you feel.

 

What would you say if I told you losing weight was much simpler than you may imagine? Now, by simple I don’t mean easy. Losing weight isn’t easy. Just ask the millions of people who are giving it a shot as we speak.

 

Becoming a gym rat and a health nut will come eventually but right now, you just need to get started doing SOMETHING. Never fear, I’m here to give you a few pointers. With these, even if you do nothing else but these six in the beginning, your body will benefit, trust me.

 

Here are 5 quick ways to start losing weight right now:

 

 
 


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Doc’s Log #7: I Have a Secret to Share

Doc's Log (Notepad)

*whispers* Hey, come here. I have something I need to tell you. Can you keep a secret?

I don’t like working out.

Yes it’s true. I don’t like working out at all. It’s more like I have a love/hate relationship with working out.  I love the results but hate the work.

I envy how some of you are so excited about working out or can’t wait to get work out in. Yeah, that’s not me. That also explains my horrible consistency when it comes to working out.

I liken exercise to a job. I drag my butt to work, I do my job and it pays me in the form of health and fitness.

I love how working out makes me feel afterward and, when I keep up with it, how I look after a while but believe me if I could get by without it, I probably wouldn’t do it.

So why don’t I like working out? I guess because it feels so much like work for me. I’m generally out of shape compared to the average person so it doesn’t take much activity to make me tired. I’m usually huffing and puffing by the end of the warm up. That discomfort is what tends to discourage me and why I am often hesitant to return. My body doesn’t want to go through it again. It’s hard!

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Doc’s Log #6: Back Under 300, Progress Pictures, Hypertension Challenge

Doc's Log Notepad

 

Hey all! I hope all is well and that you’re excelling in your individual fitness endeavors. I’m going to keep this latest edition of Doc’s Log pretty brief.

As of Tuesday, I am officially back under 300 pounds at a weight of 299.8 pounds. I weighed 3 times and the scale said either 299.6 or 299.8 so I decided to just go with 299.8. I’m very pleased to be back on this side of 300 pounds and I look forward to the number going down even further. The next goal is to get under 290 by June 21st which is the first day of summer.

I also decided that as of this coming Sunday, I’ll be taking progress pictures weekly. I won’t be posting them on the blog but I’ll be keeping them in an album in my Google Photos that the menu bar above will have a link to. Feel free to visit when you want to but I won’t be drawing much attention to them except for every 3, maybe 6 months or so.

Finally, I took my BP this week and it was 163/82, meaning my systolic is at Stage II hypertension levels, while my diastolic is normal. From what I read, this is more common and normal in older patients but at my age it’s a concern if at this level for a prolonged amount of time. I wouldn’t consider it an improvement over my previous reading but it’s not worse either. It still remains that something must be done so I decided to put myself on a Hypertension Challenge.

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Doc’s Log #3: DietBet Results, Insanity, and Measurements

diet, bet, insanity, measurements, exercise, cardio,

Hey everyone!

Before we get into today’s log, I wanted to let you know about the  weight loss/fitness Facebook group that my good friend, Amoure, and I co-manage called “Losing is Winning”. It’s basically a place for us to talk about our struggles, triumphs, questions, answers, share articles, etc. So come on check it out.

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Doc’s Log #1 (Redux): DietBet, Freeze Your Ass Dash and more…

Doc's Log

Good afternoon everyone!

Here is my first official Doc’s Log of the new year…I decided to redo it as #1 because it’s a new year, first entry and I was only one log in anyway so why not start anew (hence the Redux)?

Well, the year has gotten off to a pretty good start. On Jan 7th, I started a DietBet. What is a DietBet you ask? I’ll tell you. DietBet is a website where everyone that is part of the game pays a pre determined wager to be part of the bet. In my game, it was $10. The sum total of every wagers makes the pot. You submit your weigh-in beforehand ( verified via picture with a secret word given only to you to verify your identity that you submit to the site but no one in the game sees it). Your goal is to lose 4% of your body weight. The bet lasts 28 days or 4 weeks. At the end of the time, you submit your final weigh-in. All players who have reached their goal of 4% or more weight lost split the pot at the end of the game. I chose to keep the wager small to gauge interest so it was only $10. By start day, we had a group of 21 people for a pot of $210.

I’m proud to say I’ve reached my 4%. The goal for me was 12.8 pounds and I’m officially down 13.2. Unfortunately this is all me playing catch up because I gained 27 pounds since Thanksgiving ballooning from 292-ish up to just under 320 by New Year’s Day. That’s okay though, it’s in the past and I’m working on it as we speak.

My workouts haven’t been consistent but my diet has been pretty on point. I’ve kept 90% of my cheating to #CheatMealFriday so that’s been good. I’ve only averaged about 2 workouts a week unfortunately. Winter definitely places a damper on motivation, I tell you. The reluctance to leave a warm house go out in the cold air is HIGH.

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10 Ways to Minimize Weight Gain During the Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It’s Doc coming through with a (hopefully) quick holiday post…

The holidays are coming up and let’s face it, between the actual holiday days, the holiday parties, the colder weather, the increased propensity to stay inside and lack of motivation to work out, we all have a tendency to put on a few pounds.

Well I’m here to help with that with ten ways (both physical and mental) to minimize the damage of all the holiday indulgences while still allowing you enjoy your holiday season and beyond.

1. Plan your cheating. If you know that you’re going to a holiday party or dinner where you’re be doing a lot drinking, eating, or both, make sure the rest of your day is on point. You may still remain with your given calorie range for that day, but even if not, the extra calories may be negligible. Also, do your best to get a workout in at some point on those days to counterbalance the extra calories.

2. Work out a minimum of 3 days a week, for 30 minutes. This is pretty much the bare minimum as far as the amount of exercise you can put in in a week and still improve but the spike in metabolism and the extra calorie burn from these workouts will help more than you think.

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