So it has been almost two weeks since I started my foray into getting fit. As I said in my previous post, I am not a stranger to exercise but it has not been on the forefront of my mind for the past year.
With this renewed enthusiasm I have decided to make sure that I track everything that I am doing so that I can see what is helping me make progress (if I am in fact making progress).
Weight and Measurements
I have never been bothered about weight, only waist. Before I started this program I weighed the heaviest I have ever weighed – 86.85kg I almost fell off of the scales when I saw that. However, I know that weights and measurements fluctuate and there is no point getting all obsessed on how much you weigh each day or has my body fat percentage decreased over the last few hours. If you get yourself caught up in that you end up getting discouraged, disheartened and eventually unmotivated. So I just weigh and measure myself once a week – Monday mornings before I eat or do anything. I am also taking photos every week (they are honestly nothing that I want to share at this time – yuck).
I track all my measurements in a spreadsheet so I can see how they have changed over time. Previously I have only done this with the exercises and the weights that I have lifted, so this is new territory for me. I also use an iPhone app called Body Tracker, it has a lot of features, bells and whistles but I am just using it as a secondary place to track my measurements rather than just the spreadsheet. It also works out your body fat percentage if you put your measurements in and tells you how much “fat” you have to lose to get to your target percentage.
To help me take my measurements I use an electronic scale for my weight (I track it in kilograms) and I have calipers and a measuring tape to measure skin folds and circumferences.
To help me with my food, I previously bought Meal Magic Plan. This is a fantastic spreadsheet that makes meal prep a doddle (though it is quite big and Excel sometimes throws a fit when you use it). First you put in your vital statistics and what you are working towards – maintenance, fat-loss, gain – and it will tell you how many calories you need and the macro breakdown. It then allows you to plan up to 8 different meals a day over a full week (a total of 56 different meals). You can add your favourite foods to the list and start making your meals. You may need a cookbook or some recipes to help you if you are stuck for ideas, however they do offer to sell you two different meal plan templates so that you can get started. I haven’t bought either of them.
I’m basically doing a 40:30:30 maintenance (protein, carbs, and fats in that order) consuming on average 2900 calories a day. It’s quite hard to eat so much food but I am managing it. I have five meals a day with protein and fat rich meals in the morning, and my carbs in the evening. Each meal has at least 100g of veg (broccoli, green beans, spinach etc) so that is at least a half kilo of veg a day. Definitely getting my 5-a-day there.
When I start my Masters degree in the fall it might be difficult to eat during the day, it will depend on my timetable etc. So I have sent away for a trial of Huel, which is a meal in a shake. It honestly does not sound that appetising however it is on a 30:40:30 split, not to dissimilar from mine so it would be easy to make up the losses in my other 4 meals. So I will give that a try, I may change one of meals during the day for that if I like it.
I also take whey protein and vitargo after I have been to the gym. This is combined into one shake that tastes like chocolate fruit, as my whey is chocolate and vitargo only comes in fruit flavours. I didn’t realise that when I ordered my whey. I also take some BCAAs during my workout.
Currently I weight 84.3kg, so I lost over 2.5kg in my first week. This is a little more than what I was planning but it is a great start. Hopefully it will continue, and I would be happy with losing 1kg a week. I need to lost 11.3kg of fat to reach my target of 10% body fat.
I am still continuing with the UPFitness program though I am not 100% sure about the exercises, I feel that they are overly complicated and I much prefer the simplicity of Stronglifts – I may return to that.