Once I got my French Bulldog, Rocco, my whole world went into a tailspin.
See, i'm someone who enjoys a routine. I love it. I love the stability of my life. I enjoy eating at my same places. I do try something that's new, and if I like it, will go there a lot.
Example is Taco Truck. If you haven't tried Taco Truck in Hoboken. Oh. My. God. Beyond good to a point where I really wish more entrepreneurs would open places like this. I would go there weekly for their delicious tacos, and wonderful salsas.
Suffice to say, getting Rocco was like adopting a child. He's totally dependent upon me. My routine of coming home from work and going to Club H was out the window. My routine of eating set meals and power shakes was gone. Everything went haywire. The first month wasn't so bad. The second month, October, I figured i'd head back to the gym after the World Series. Then after that, I thought I should wait until after the holidays were over.
...and here we are 12 pounds heavier.
Not terribly bad when you think about it, and being 6'3 or so, i'm not exactly "heavyset". I did a diet last summer which slimmed me down in about 6 weeks and i'm back on it again. It's fairly simple, but also very strict.
The funny thing about diets is that we all try to come up with these Jenny Craig or Weight Watcher kind of diets which have a magic bullet theory of "do this diet and lose weight". I'm sure they work. But if you really want to lose weight, i'm no doctor, but I believe this works:
No sugar. No pasta. No dairy. No alcohol. No bread. Eat non-processed foods. Drink water. Protein with every meal. Keep your metabolism steady by eating six small meals everyday, rather than three big meals. If you don't exercise, you won't lose weight.
I also don't believe in those knuckleheads who make you think that eating 2,000 calories of crap is OK. Sure, if you go on the "Twinkie Diet", eating 13 Twinkies a day, that's 2,000 calories. You may even lose weight, but you will also lose muscle. Trust me there's no magic bullet when it comes to losing weight. Just eat right and hit the treadmill.
Oh. And here's an easy method to tell if you are exercising correctly. If you can read a magazine on an elliptical or treadmill, you aren't working out. I see these people at the gym all the time. They come in for weeks and weeks and pedal away on the elliptical, reading a magazine. La-dee-da. Nothing changes. This doesn't mean you have to hit a spin class and run for 1 hour. Not at all. But you have to move. You have to sweat a bit. And be smart about it, too. Your body adapts very quickly. If you sit on a treadmill for 1 hour running at 6.0 mph, your body will start to coast. It won't burn off the same calories if you keep adjusting your speed to keep tricking your body - or using multiple machines to hit different muscle groups.
Anyhow, with that rant over, here's my diet. Also note that you need to adjust the measurements for weight. My target weight is 210....but i'm 6'3.
Meal 1: (when you wake up): Protein Shake: 50 grams of Whey Protein Isolate (I use IsoPure Chocolate), 5 grams Glutamine, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil - mix up with a shaker bottle with water and drink.
Meal 2: (3 hours later): 4 egg whites + 1 egg scrambled. If you want an omlete, you can add veggies here - no cheese. Also eat 1/3 cup of plain oatmeal, you can add spices like cinnamon or 1/2 packet of Splenda.
Meal 3: (3 hours later): 7 Oz Steak (Sirloin or top round) or 7 oz Chicken or Turkey or Fish (Flounder, Tuna, Halibut, Red Snapper) with 6 oz red potato or 6 oz sweet potato (basically 1/2 a potato, baked).
Meal 4: (3 hours later): 7 oz Chicken or Grilled Fish (Flounder, Tuna, Halibut, Red Snapper), 6 oz of green veggie (asparagus, broccoli, spinach) or 1/3 cup of brown rice.
***This is when I go to the gym***
Meal 5: (post gym-shake): Protein Shake: 50 grams of Whey Protein Isolate, 5 grams Glutamine, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil - mix up with a shaker bottle with water and drink.
Meal 6: (1 hour later): 7 oz Chicken or Grilled Fish (Flounder, Tuna, Halibut, Red Snapper), 6 oz of green veggie (asparagus, broccoli, spinach).
Cardio - Do 30-40 minutes a day and 5 times a week. Keep your heart rate above 140 for 90% of the time (140 is 140, not 180! You want to burn fat!). Cardio can be treadmill, stationary bike, stairmaster or elliptical. To alleviate boredom, you can do 10 minutes of treadmill, stairmaster and elliptical and take a 1 min break between machines. Just keep the heart rate up!! You gotta sweat! As you get stronger, you can increase time, but don't kill yourself in week 1. 30 minutes is FINE.
Right now I have been hitting my condo gym and getting back into things with light lifting and cardio. Fortunately, Rocco is at a point where I can get home from work, walk him, and leave him alone out of his crate for an hour and he won't destroy anything. Also, to me, it is just me training him to get ready for the day (in 6 months or so) when I won't have to crate him anymore and just give him the run of the condo when i'm out.
Hopefully in a few weeks i'll get back into a semblance of a shape (round is a shape), and then back to Club H. Also part of me wants to try CrossFit Hoboken. I know a few people from the Eagles club, and it's something that I think I will like. Only problem is that I hate doing something where i'm "the new guy". Like I said, I like my routines and favorite bars because I feel comfortable in places where I feel like i'm the regular. I guess I gotta get over that someday.
Anyhow, with my diet, I started it on January 4th. My game plan is to stick to it until my birthday (Feb 12) which would be 5 weeks. Feb 12th weekend i'm allowing myself a "cheat day(s)" for alcohol and food. We will see how my strength/weight are by then and adjust the diet accordingly.
I'm not planning to stick to this diet for the rest of my life. Just a diet to get things under control, then back to my routine of gym & eating things like sugar, dairy, bread, pasta - in MODERATION. It always worked for me, because when I was going to the gym 5 days a week, I was easily burning off my empty calories.
Plus, this weekend I was taking Rocco out for L-O-N-G walks. We went for a big walk along the waterfront, up to Maxwell Place, then hit the dog park there for about 30 minutes, walked back down Hudson street and hit up Energy Kitchen for my morning egg whites and Oatmeal.
Oh, if you didn't know - all of January - everything on the breakfast menu at Energy Kitchen was $3. If you haven't tried it, I recommend the 5 egg whites on a plate and their oatmeal with cinnamon. It's fantastic and only $6!