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How to keep a Food Diary (most of the time)

One of the best ways I have kept my weight off is to keep a food diary. There are a ton of websites that help you keep track of your diet. The one that I use is called FatSecret. It can be found online at http://www.FatSecret.com. It also has an app for blackberry which I use whenever I eat out. When I first lost weight.  I didn’t count calories. I used to listen to others who would meticulously discuss calories and weight watchers points. I would wonder why would you go through the trouble. It seemed like such a hassle. I basically just focused on portion control and trying to limit sugars and carbohydrates. If you ask anyone who has ever lost weight they will say the hardest thing is keeping it off. The world is filled with people who have continuously lost and gained weight many times over.  The yo-yo dieters as the media calls them.

One of my biggest secrets was FatSecret. I like the site because it has chain restaurants such as Dunkin Donuts where I often stop for my coffee and an egg sandwich. It also has popular supermarket brands that are easily search able. Of course, if you cook at home you can add individual ingredients. The site lets you create a profile and then based on your activity level it spits out a recommended caloric intake. You can choose whether you want to maintain, gain, or lose weight. As if anyone over the age of 25 wants to gain weight, it still has this feature if you want it. Then as you enter your food it can break them into proteins, carbs, fats, or whatever else that you want to track.

When you are working out your body needs carbs for fuel. When dieting I try to eat as few carbs as possible, especially unrefined carbs such as bread and pasta. There are good carbs however. Obviously fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health. In order to build muscle you should try to eat one gram of protein per two pounds of body weight. For a 200 pound man like myself I try to consume 100 grams of protein daily. I still try to limit sugar filled foods by saving desserts for special occasions only.

No matter which website you use, keeping track of your diet on a site such as FatSecret can and will help you make informed decisions about your diet.

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About me

I grew up playing sports my whole life.  I played football, basketball, and baseball in High School.  I was so busy playing that I never learned how to work out and eat properly.  I played baseball in college but without the year-round fitness that came from the other sports I started gaining weight.  When my college baseball career was over I weighed 285 lbs.  I decided to make a change.  I lost 85 pounds in two years and kept it off for three years now.   I can show you how.   I am a certified personal trainer and I helped countless people find their success stories.  My style of training comes from an athletic background added to my own personal experience of weight loss and fitness.  I am a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the NSCA.  My approach to training is through my background in athletics but I feel that I can help anyone reach their goals.  Contact me to see how we can work towards a better you.

Everything works…

but nothing works forever.  For those of us who are regular gym goers how often do we see someone do the same thing day after day, year after year.  These people will plateau mentally and physically.  In order to keep your body guessing you have to change-up your workout routines.  I recommend at least once a month to change your workout in some way.  This could mean that you go from high reps to low reps and heavier weight.  It could mean you leave the gym and take your workouts outside.  We all need rest and recovery.  When you lift weights your muscle fibers tear and this leads to growth.  Every now and then a new routine can help give those muscles time to fully recover.  Think of the options this gives you.

One of my favorite things to do on a recovery week is yoga.  When I say yoga a lot of people assume some sort of easy-going hippie workout with no real benefit.   While yoga does offer a mental clarity that lifting weights cannot, it is a serious workout.  Your muscles will burn and strengthen while they are being stretched.  Your body is designed to move in certain ways but our every day lives cause them to become tight.

Another way I like to get out of the gym and change-up my workout is by running.  I enjoy hitting the roads and going on a nice long run.  When I was heavier I did lift weights.  In fact, I could lift a lot more than I can now.  I used to be able to bench press 345 pounds.  Now I can’t even come near that but I am much more well-rounded and fit than I was before.  There is an expression “jack of all trades.  master of none”.  When it comes to working out this is completely not true.   You have to be a jack of all trades in order to continue your fitness growth.  If you try new things I promise you will always feel mentally challenged and physically challenged.   Work smarter not harder and your body will thank you for it.

Hello world!

This is my new health and fitness blog. I hope you enjoy it and can learn something from it.  I want to share my experiences with you.  Let me be the test dummy and you can reap the benefits.