Tag Archives: Health

Not caring about food

It seems like a lot of attention is paid to food.

Food is just temporary fuel for your body.

Food is temporary pleasure, but its longterm effect on your body is quite large.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
Stupid old cliche or real statement?  I think it’s pretty accurate.

For the Getting A Six Pack Experiment, in roughly 5 weeks I lost around 17 lbs total….and I wasn’t really fat to begin with. That’s a LOT of weight in NOT A LOT of time, HOORAY!

…did I also mention that I was working out LESS than I normally do that whole time?

So I was working out less, but got dramatic weight loss results FAST. Obviously something had changed, and it was my CHOICE of foods.

No no no….I didn’t STOP EATING food, that would just be silly…like not filling up your gas tank and expecting your car to run. Instead, I gave my car premium fuel instead of the shit I was previously putting in.

Eating healthy is NOT expensive….buying packaged foods that say “Healthy” on the label IS expensive. The best part is, those foods AREN’T healthy at all, so you don’t need to buy them!

Why eat them if they’re more expensive AND not healthy?

I primarily ate raw foods for this experiment, and the transition wasn’t exceedingly hard when I made up my mind not to eat any super-high calorie items that weren’t good for me (although it took some see-sawing first).

If you can’t do this yourself, you might want to checkout what Adam at MyBodyTutor offers.  I knew I couldn’t do this myself, that’s why I signed up with the service…it keeps you in check everyday, and soon it becomes a habit that ISN’T hard to keep.

Adam didn’t recommend me to eat mainly raw foods…I was already doing it before I called him (I must’ve been one of his easiest clients since I was already eating so well)!

One of the main things I’ve learned through this experiment was controlling what I ate was more mental than anything.  I’m the variety of person that DOESN’T eat when I feel emotions such as happiness or sadness (fat people tend to be the opposite)…if you have that problem, you DEFINITELY might consider Adam’s help.   However I still had the “Food as a reward” thing going on in my head.

Successes were celebrated with big meals, and special occasions usually indicated a big feast was coming.  I’m all for celebrating victories, but stuffing-myself-silly slowly and slowly seems less attractive.  Why ruin a good victory by running myself down….what’s the point?

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P.S.  I actually first recorded this post, unscripted, on audio.  I kind of like doing the audio thing now.  The audio and post don’t really talk about the same thing at all.  Here it is (click play):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The End/Continuation Of The Getting A Six-Pack Experiment

Well, one month has gone by since I started this out.

In that month I (rather easily) lost over 15 lbs simply by eating correctly.  I also worked out, but I’d say this month I actually worked out A LOT LESS than I normally do.

I did a pretty standard 30 minutes on a elliptical machine almost everyday plus the exercises I was instructed to do….but that takes only 45 minutes or so and is fairly low intensity.

So here is the result:

One day I’ll find a proper way to take these pictures…..

One thing I’m happy about is I no longer have those annoying love handles on my sides.  Overall I don’t think my current physique is that bad….but it’s not a raging six-pack either.  Son of a…..

At the start of this experiment, Adam clearly stated that I was expecting some pretty phenomenal results in a VERY short amount of time…he said two months would be more realistic….although in one month I could make a lot of progress.  I think he may have been right (this is what I get for trying to argue with a professional).

Naturally I want to continue this experiment….but for OTHER reasons than simply getting a six pack (although that too).

So far:

  • I feel a lot better
  • My six pack is starting to peer through the fat
  • I dropped a lot of extra chubbiness
  • I’m stronger and more fit

WHY ON EARTH WOULD I STOP THIS?!?

The benefits I listed above were from two things:

  1. Eating really well all the time
  2. Consistently exercising

With the benefits I listed, I can’t see any reason to simply go back to eating crap.  Actually, I tried it the other day…and it didn’t turn out so great.  I decided “Hey, I’ve eaten so well for a full month, what’s the harm in pigging out a little at a party?

I was at a party and started eating all the junk I normal do at parties, and soon I felt way too full, sluggish, and knew that everything I just put in my body was total junk and doing nothing for me.  There were literally NO positive benefits to eating all that junk.  Even the temporarily pleasing taste didn’t do anything for me.

I can’t believe I never noticed these bad effects before….probably because I’ve never NOT eaten a bunch of junk at a party….so I’d never known any different.

I suppose in my mind I figured you go to a party and come back stuffed, slow and fat.  That’s just how it was done.

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So while the OFFICIAL time constraint of this one month experiment has finished, I want to continue….and in fact I want to UP the intensity of this whole experiment. While I got away with easily melting off the excess fat in the beginning….getting even stronger and slimmer will become more difficult now.

For May I’m adding more exercises in the mix (and of course keeping up my good eating habits).

So far I’ve done something pretty intense three times:  Bikram Yoga.

It’s 90 minutes of yoga in a room heated to 105 degrees.  Within the first 5 minutes you’re sweating like a fat pig.  Literally dripping sweat like a football team dumped a bucket of Gatorade on your head.

It’s very intense, but FANTASTIC.

How will it be in the long run?  Who knows….but I’ll try it out every other day for a little while to see what happens.

I’ve been to Bikram Yoga now about 3 or 4 times and it’d definitely one of the more intense exercises.  It also stops you from eating too much before you go, and it burns a ton of calories (Between 700 and 1,000 calories each 90 minute session).  WOW.

….and I bike to and from the class each time.  I’d say I’m burning 1,000 to 1,200 calories each time I go.  Keep in mind I’m also eating less than 1,500 calories per day…so my net calorie intake is less than 500 for yoga days.  This means each time I do this I can realistically lose nearly 3/4 of a pound that day.

That sounds like some scammy diet plan, but it’s true!

That effect will probably continue to happen until my body fat is down to a very low percentage….and what happens then?  SIX PACK TIME!!!

I’m A Freak? I’ll Take That As A Compliment…

Before starting the Getting A Six-Pack Experiment I wanted some professional advice to get me in shape in one month (sounds impossible). Originally I was going to hire a personal trainer, but Adam (whom I’ve actually never met in person, just through his blog) has a quite successful business called MyBodyTutor which is sort of like a “virtual” personal trainer you can use from anywhere….this was WAY more appealing since I didn’t have to travel to a gym in a far away land every day…and it turned out to be a MUCH better choice.

Here is what Adam has said about the experience working with me so far:

Right off the bat I want you to know one thing: Nev is a freak!

And when I say freak, I mean that in a very endearing way. He is absolutely a freak of nature, an anomaly and most definitely someone who marches to the beat of his own drums.

We all know and love Nev for his crazy experiments that he is brave enough to endure while we get to sit back and watch from the comfort of our own chairs and be entertained. Except this time would be different…

Nev reached out to me, wanting to join MyBodyTutor for an upcoming experiment. Before he’d tell me his goals though, he insisted I work with him – no matter what. So without knowing what the experiment would be, and for the sake of his fascinating experiments, I nervously agreed.

When Nev told me he wanted a six-pack in 30 days I told him he was crazy. But that didn’t stop Nev.

It would take extraordinary effort to achieve extraordinary results in such a short period of time. By definition, it’s impossible to sustain extraordinary effort for more than a few months at a time.

I know why Nev made me agree to work with him first. Because he knows I’m all about realistic, sustainable and healthy diets. If it’s not, you won’t be able to stay consistent.

After all, getting the body you want is about 3 things: Eating right. Exercising. And doing those 2 things consistently. That’s it!

Unfortunately, it’s the consistency part that’s so hard. It’s just too easy to make excuses and procrastinate. It’s even easier to lie to ourselves, and rationalize poor eating and a lack of exercise.

Consistency is hard enough! Consistency with an insane diet/workout is almost impossible.

The diet Nev is following is absolutely extreme. For normal people (like me) I don’t recommend it. His calories are very low; and his physical activity is very high.

In fact, since starting MBT, and having worked with hundreds of people of all ages, sizes and shapes, I haven’t had one client like him. I say this because I can’t stand “lose 10,000 pounds in 10 days” type schemes. They make my skin crawl and I can see how someone who is just checking out NevBlog for the first time might find his results so far unbelievable.

Nev has been able to do this by changing his diet and exercise, and of course, doing that consistently. (Yes, much easier said than done!) If he had asked about fat loss supplements, etc., I wouldn’t have worked with him. But he didn’t.

He’s a great client and is willing to do the hard work in the kitchen and in the gym meal by meal, workout by workout and day by day.

That was very motivating to me, thanks Adam!  :-)

Maybe 2 years ago I thought the eating routine I’m on was crazy, but now it just seems normal.  The REASON I’m getting “so few calories” is because the stuff I’m eating has very few calories yet still fills me up….I don’t think I could POSSIBLY ingest enough of the healthy foods I eat to get me over 2,000 calories per day.

…for this reason it’s been remarkably easy to lose weight so quickly (Down to 151 lbs from 165 already).

However, like Adam said: CONSISTENCY is the big key here.  Eating well for 2 days then going nuts on day 3 won’t really do much. MyBodyTutor was definitely the thing that has kept me consistent.  The daily professional feedback on all my meals, letting me know which exercises to do and more importantly, the mental motivation to not eat crap (I didn’t realize how powerful the mental side of that actually is).

Anyways, I’d like to sincerely thank you Adam for your help on this experiment, it has definitely been a success already because of you!

Six Pack Experiment – Day 20 Update

So just 20 days into this Getting A Six Pack Experiment I’m down about 12 pounds and up in muscle (especially in the abs).

These pictures don’t do it justice, but when flexed the six-pack is definitely coming in nicely…it’s starting to poke its head out!

Not bad for 20 days!

My abs are definitely stronger and harder than they’ve ever been.  When I press against them they’re completely solid.  The top part of the abs have also developed for the first time, and I’m seeing “new” muscle I’ve previously never seen before!

Pretty cool what just a few simple exercises and STICKING with my healthy eating plan can do in just 3 weeks.

Starting Off “The Getting A Six-Pack” Experiment

For the upcoming Six-Pack Experiment I have planned for the whole month of April I’ve got one goal: Get a six-pack in roughly one month.

I’m not fat, but I’m not lean enough for abs to show through.

(I think that’s what a six pack looks like)

There will be three main things I need to do during this experiment on a level I’ve never done before:

  • Go into a calorie deficiency for several weeks to lose weight
  • Do a bunch of ab exercises
  • Consistent cardio exercises

The HARDEST part of this is eating properly, thankfully I’ve been practicing doing that for the last month or two and have been successful at it….in fact preferring it.

I workout all the time and eat (relatively) correctly, but not to the extent I should…and I feel it’s because I’m not sure what to do.

So one thing I wanted for this experiment was PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. Originally I was going to get a personal trainer here in Austin, but that alienates everyone who wants to join me in this experiment (I know a couple of you out there have asked). “Oh, he had a personal trainer…no fair.”

Well I found a workaround. A fellow blogger Adam Gilbert.  That link is his personal blog, but what I’m interested in is the successful business he runs called MyBodyTutor.

Adam runs an online business that’s kind of like a “virtual personal trainer”…..but more than just dishing out some simple advice, he actually keeps you on track to hit your goals.  I signed up for his monthly service roughly a week ago, and told him “My goal is to get an awesome six-pack.”

With that said, he went ahead and gave me certain exercises to do and tips on eating yadda yadda…BUT THE BEST THING is the daily tracking you must do.  I didn’t realize this at first, but they have a whole back end to the website that members sign into daily….THIS is why I signed up…to be held accountable for everything I eat and how much I work out.

I signed up for the service about one week ago, and have eaten the best in my life these past 7 days thanks to Adam.  I’ll explain more about the process later in the experiment.

So in addition to being accountable by posting this experiment on my blog, I’ll be getting professional help, advice and accountability from Adam (thanks man)!

Currently, this is what we’re working with:


So obviously I’m not a big lard here, but if you look closer…you can see the problem:

We’ve got to get rid of that bit of chub.

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Amidst all the semi-lame April Fool’s Jokes other bloggers will be playing on their readers today, I will be starting something that’s less funny, but more useful (To me…but hopefully others too).

This is called the Getting a Six-Pack Experiment, so I want to make it pseudo scientific….and by pseudo I mean “scientific in a sense that even a dumb guy like me can understand”.

The Scientific Method:

  • Define the question - Can I get a six pack in one month?
  • Gather information and resources (observe) - I will be basing this experiment on past experiences with losing weight, what I learned recently about calories and professional advice from MBT.
  • Form hypothesis - I believe by April 31st I will be able to see my abdominal muscles MUCH better, creating a “six-pack” on my stomach WITHOUT starving myself at all.
  • Perform experiment and collect data – Starting today I’ll be documenting everything I eat and do for exercise.
  • Analyze data - Hold on fool…I haven’t started yet!
  • Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis – Hold on…let me start first!
  • Publish results – Wait till after April.

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On that note, I definitely think others out there should TRY THIS EXPERIMENT WITH ME! …and maybe not just trying to get a six pack, but maybe to start eating “just a little” better, or get just a “little” slimmer, or workout more…

It would make it more interesting and motivating to have others follow along to some extent.

LET THE SIX-PACK EXPERIMENT BEGIN!!

The Unbelievably Over-Complicated Subject Of Calories

I’m a really dumb guy.

I need really simple and clear explanations of things or I don’t grasp them.

So in the past I tried to understand why I never lost weight even though I worked out.  The answer was later found when I started losing weight by accident.  At that time I came to the generalized conclusion that:

Bad food = stuff that comes in a box.
Good food = stuff that grows.

Is that generalized?  YES!  Is it accurate….well…I think yes!  I bet some smarter person could run rings around me proving how XYZ food doesn’t grow, yet it provides ABC benefit because it has Beta Carbonutralized Bioflavayadda yadda yadda…

Well I’m not capable of understanding this smartness.  I’m too dumb……so I’m going to try and simplify the weight loss process so even a dummy like me can understand:

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Here’s a horrible analogy that barely makes sense:

  • The day starts and your car gas tank is half full.
  • You fill up one gallon of gas at the beginning of the day.
  • During the day you only drive a few miles and use maybe a 1/2 gallon of gas.
  • Because you didn’t use up that whole gallon, your car is fatter than before!

However if you drove a lot and used several gallons of gas….
…end of the day your car has “lost weight”.

Damn that was a bad analogy!  ….but does it make sense?

TO LOSE WEIGHT:

CALORIES IN < CALORIES OUT

(For you ultra-dummies that means:  calories you eat are less than calories you use).

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The reason everyone says to cut out sodas and candy etc. for weight loss is this simple fact…THEY HAVE TONS OF CALORIES! Not only do they have lots of calories, they have EMPTY calories….meaning the nutritional value you get is nearly none, but you still get all the calories.

Enough pretending I know what I’m talking about and lets do some visual comparisons.

Let’s take a nice household candy bar such as Snickers (something I used to eat all the time):

Notice it has 220 calories…but there’s TWO “servings per container”.  That means if you eat a full Snickers (who the hell only eats half??) you get a huge 440 calories for something that has virtually zero nutritional value and doesn’t get you full.

Until I took these pictures I never realized exactly how bad these (and other candy bars) are!  Yikes!

Compared to one of my favorite fruits, clementines, the Snickers bar doesn’t really hold up.  If I eat 3 clementines at once, that’s a lot of intake and I feel satisfied…and it’s only about 100 calories (roughly 36 calories per clementine)….plus I get a lot of nutritional value from them.

I can eat TWELVE clementines instead of ONE Snickers bar, get more nutrition and still consume LESS calories!  Good god!

Starting to see why people tell you to cut out the junk?

Instead of eating that one semi-gratifying Snickers that DOES NOT fill you up, you can eat TWO clementines, ONE banana and ONE tomato…they will definitely fill you up, and they look nice too:

Yummm….and the best part is ALL OF THAT together adds up to only 153 calories and has tons of great nutritional value. I can eat that for lunch and get full!!  You can even toss a handful of baby spinach on top and make it a salad.

Also instead of that ONE Snickers bar, you can eat ONE big apple and get:

Total calories: a few more than 65 (that was a big ass apple).

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So all you’ve got to remember is:

  • Don’t eat so many calories.
  • Processed foods usually have A LOT of them.
  • Fresh stuff = Good.

That’s a list even I can remember.

What was learned here will be the basic premise of my Getting A Six-Pack Experiment which I will  be doing all through April.  I’ll replace all the bad stuff I was eating…with good stuff! What a novel concept!!

I’ll be eating very clean in April and will document a lot of stuff…hopefully something will be learned.

Upcoming “Getting a 6-Pack” Experiment

Does this blog need more pictures of my half-naked body on it?

YES. Definitely.

Before you stop reading in disgust, I’d like to ask your opinion on an upcoming experiment for the month of April 2010 where I’m attempting to get a REALLY ripped 6-pack stomach.

QUICK EXPLANATION:
Even though I was satisfied the way my body looked in that “How I Lost Weight” Experiment, I still didn’t have a PROPER 6-pack set of abs.

There was still a decent sized layer of fat between my abdominal muscles and the real world.

From everything I’ve learned, this experiment will be primarily about controlling what I eat very carefully.  Before, I didn’t have the self-control to do this, but over the last year I’ve become pretty good about controlling what I eat….so the time has come.


THE EXPERIMENT:

I want to see how hard it is to get a true 6-pack, and if it can be done within about a month (for someone like me who’s already in decent shape and physically active).

…so over the course of the experiment I will be training and eating properly for it….and documenting the steps of course.

Will this 6-Pack be sustainable? I doubt it.
So why try? One of my friends called me out on this and said, “You just want to get a picture of yourself with a 6-pack so you can show off later.”

He was absolutely right.  In case I have the urge to brag to my future kids about “how cool dad was back in the day”…at least I’ll be able to pull up the photo and say, “Check THIS out” as they roll their eyes and accuse me of Photoshopping the picture.


THE CURRENT SITUATION:
Unflexed, my abs look like:

When flexed, my ab region currently looks something like:

It’s not bad….but it’s not lean enough for a true 6-pack either.  If I pinch the fat on my stomach, you can tell there’s a definite barrier between those sweet abs and the adoring world:

By the way…I took that fat-pinch picture while writing this in the library, and one of the librarians saw me lift up my shirt, pinch myself and take several pictures!  She just whispered a comment to the librarian next to her…Hahah, I wonder what they’re thinking!

Anyways, I’m curious if anyone out there has actually done this successfully…and maybe share some of that advice?  I’m not a fitness guru by any means, just some guy who wants to shove it in his future-kids face that dad had a 6-pack!