Over the holiday, I met up with some family members I hadn’t seen in a while and they all wanted to know what I have done to lose the weight. (I mentioned that I am writing a book about this, but for now this article outlines what I have done and continue to do to maintain these results.)
First I have paid very close attention to diet. I only eat certain things at certain times, in certain amounts and combinations. I plan and prepare my meals in advance so I will be ready when it’s time to eat, rather than wondering what to do.
I emphasize natural foods. Lean protein sources such as chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, and egg whites. I also make sure the carbohydrates I consume are low-glycemic, and high fiber, not processed or refined “junk”. These come mostly from fruits and vegetables.
I also exercise on a regular basis. My goal is to make it to the gym five to six times a week, which I normally do. However, with family, work and school commitments, I sometimes only work out four days a week. When I am there, I sometimes perform cardiovascular and weight training exercises in each session. At other times I do weights and cardio on separate days.
When weight training, I choose two antagonistic muscle groups and do six sets for each. The first set is sixteen repetitions, followed by a one minute rest period. Then I raise the weight and do twelve reps. After another one minute rest period, I raise the weight again and perform eight reps. The next rest period is followed by a set of four reps with the heaviest weight I can manage. After the next rest period, I drop the weight back down and do twelve repetitions. This is the same weight I previously used for my eight rep set. One more rest period and I do another set of sixteen reps of a completely different exercise for the same muscle group using a similar weight.
Now it’s off to the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical for some high intensity interval training of the cardiovascular variety!
On the treadmill for example, I start off with a comfortable pace of 3.5 MPH and a 0 incline for one minute. The next four minutes I increase the speed to 3.6 MPH and do one minute each at incline levels 2, 4, 6, and 8 without touching the rails. The next minute I back the incline down to level 2 and do one rest period remaining at 3.5 MPH while I check my heart rate. A comfortable warm up level for me is about 154 BPM. Each minute block I incrementally raise the speed and incline until I reach my top speed of 4.0 MPH on a level 14 incline. This raises my heart rate to around 174 BPM which is about 90-95% of my max. (You can determine your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220). Finally, I back the machine down to zero for a four minute rest. Here is a chart that shows my speed and incline minute by minute:
These are just some of the major tips and strategies I’ve used to transform my health. If you have not already done so, you can also subscribe to this blog or like my Facebook page for regular ongoing updates on healthy living!