The idea: Lose weight and tone up/ build muscle
The plan: Maintain a regular fitness routine and eat better
Height: 5ft 4′
Starting Weight: 60kg
Weight Goal: 55kg
Fitness Level: 8/10
“Fitness level 8?” you may ask. While I haven’t been able to keep a steady workout regimen, I have been running (on and off) and trying to walk places instead of hitching a ride (I don’t have my own car yet, which actually helps with motivation). I’m probably weak if I were to take up weightlifting, but my legs and lungs are in pretty good shape, considering I’ve been a chronic video-game-playing couch potato all my life.
I’ve also been pretty bad regarding my nutrition plans. I’m dating a fellow foodie and eating right when we hang out is so so hard when living in a city like Los Angeles, that’s filled with some of the best grub the world has to offer.
And trying to convince yourself that it’s just a cheat day, when it’s actually been about 3 days in a row, tends to get old pretty fast. I actually enjoy healthy food. My body doesn’t agree too well with over processed or fatty food and I feel like crap every time I do give in to the fast food route. Unfortunately it is somewhat of a common occurrence, since I have been bunking at a friend’s house and I kind of hate using other people’s kitchens (where you’re not familiar with everything, or don’t have all the equipment you’d like) so cooking has been kept to a minimum. I’ve also found that clean eating in the USA is MUCH harder than in Ireland.
My go to snack and added protein for my salads is fat free cottage cheese. In Ireland I’d buy some for about €0.70 at my local Tesco. I’d add salt if I wanted to. Here, the fat free cottage cheese has added salt and starch (I’m assuming for texture). That spikes the sodium and carbs up which shouldn’t be there in the first place. It also costs around $3.
A plus side is here we have $0.99 frozen vegetables that come in microwaveable bags, so all you do is pop them in for a few minutes and they’re done! No fuss and, more importantly, no dirty dishes.
Right before I started writing this, I ended up installing a few apps thanks to Tendai’s suggestion so that I can track my fitness progress and my calorie intake. I’ve had good results with calorie counting in the past, and writing down what you eat usually helps you make smarter decisions about what you’re chowing down. Since I’m not exercising as often as I’d like to, calorie counting can help me not go overboard on the days I’ve just sat around the house.
Eventually I do want to join a gym since I do want to get into serious weightlifting and build up muscle, but for now I have to settle for using the world and my living room as my personal gym. It kind of helps that I can look forward to this view while running, though.
For the past few months I have been consulting with a friend who is a nutritionist and martial arts expert to help me with my personal goals. He mapped out a meal and fitness plan that I try to stick to as much as I can. For the first few months that I did follow it step by step, I managed to lose weight like never before. With moving to a new country and settling in, that all kind of got pushed aside, but at least I have guidelines to help me get back on track. I cannot stress this enough how professional help can go a long way. Using technology to help you stay on track is truly amazing, but I guarantee it will be much more help after consulting with someone who knows what they’re talking about. Each type of fitness goal requires a different type of diet and exercise routine (what I’m doing now to lose weight will NOT be the same I’ll be doing after I’ve lost the weight and want to build up muscle tone), so if you’re serious about maintaining a routine, It’s probably best to make sure it’s the right one to follow.