What 200 Days Of Calorie Counting Taught Me

I accomplished a major milestone on the morning of Friday, May 20th 2016. That was the day I finally reached my Countdown to 195 goal of achieving 195 pounds. Getting down to that weight was not as easy as it’s been in the past.

When it was finally achieved I felt a huge relief. As I was writing Week 27’s post , I logged into my Myfitnesspal account to copy that week’s food journal. To my surprise I saw that I had been logging for 194 days straight.

“Hmmm, I only got 6 more days until 200. Should I keep going?”

In What 100 Days Of Calorie Counting Taught Me, I talked about the pros/cons of calorie counting for 100 days straight. With 200 day so close I decided to keep logging and share the lessons I learned.

Here’s some additional lessons I learned after logging for 200 days straight:

I’m (Too) Honest

How many people do you know brag how easy it is for them to lose weight in a couple of weeks if they truly tried? How many of them actually did it and allowed you to follow them on their journey?

During my Countdown to 195 posts, I brought the readers along for my quest to drop 15 pounds of fat by the end of 2015. At that time, I naïvely expected the countdown to only last 5-6 weeks. Weight lost was easy for me in the past, so I thought this would be an ego-boosting breeze!

With the holiday season as my biggest obstacle, the countdown was going to be the perfect challenge and test for myself. I had just released Release The Beast, so it was impeccable timing to show that I backed what I wrote.

When six weeks turned into ten weeks that turned into sixteen..boy did I start to feel embarrassed. That was definitely not in my plans!

Here I was… a best-selling fitness author and online coach struggling to meet my fat loss goal in a timely fashion.

Most people I’ve seen would just stop posting the updates. I know countless weight loss journals that have been abandoned and left for dead. When asked about their progress, they would dodge around the question as if it was never asked.

“Fat loss? What are you talking about…I never said anything about me wanting to lose weight. You must have me confused with someone else.”

Well you see I’m proud of the fact that I was completely honest from the start. Every bad eating day was documented to a “t”. If I ate half a cake, you better believe I logged that into my food journal.

With 200 days of journaling, I realized very quickly that there was no place to hide. If I was going to hide, I should have not opened my mouth.

And that’s the honest truth!

Abraham Lincoln statue

Turning Cheat Meals Into Cheat Days And/Or Cheat Weeks

Looking at half a year’s worth of data reveals interesting habits when you stray from your diet. I’m a big believer of John Berardi’s philosophy of following your diet plan 90% of the time. That extra 10% leeway allows you to be human. There’s really little drop off from following your diet 100% of the time vs. 90% of the time.

You can do the calculations yourself and find that if you eat 25 meals a week you can afford to only have 2 cheat meals for the week for 90% or better compliance. Or you can simply have one cheat meal a week to keep things simple.

What you don’t want happening is turning cheat meals into a cheating binge. Looking at 200 days worth of journals, I clearly saw how I was not having just cheat meals, but cheat days and cheat weeks.

That’s a big no-no.

People who claim they are doing all they can to lose their weight fall into this trap easily when there’s no data available to them to see the truth.

After looking at my journal, it was clear to me that I did not need to do more cardio. I did not need to add an extra workout during the week.

Nope.

I just simply had to stop having cheat days & weeks.

You See Patterns

My biggest cheat days occurred during the weekends. I would notice that a late Friday cheat meal normally would extend into me eating at least one more cheat meal on Saturday. Whenever I did eat something “naughty”, I would continue to feel that I needed to finish the whole dish off that night or the following day.

That was a bad pattern.

I also saw how when having a normal day to day routine like going to work, it was easier to make healthy eating a part of that routine.

You See Your Addictions

Milk shakes, cheeseburgers, hamburgers, french fries, onion rings

I don’t’ know what it’s like to be a drug addict, but I do have an idea of what it’s like to be a food addict. There were periods where I was conscious that I was in the middle of a food binge. I knew I should stop, but I kept going.

I told myself,

“You’re better than this, don’t’ worry you’ll stop tomorrow”

Those tomorrows became increasingly embarrassing, as I had to input my data into my food journal. Looking at that information is what kicked me out of the habit.

Of course, it should have happened the instant I went overboard. But the journaling did act as a constant reminder that:

“Hey, at least you’re consistent with this one thing…documenting everything. So what will people think about you when they see this week’s entries?”

That was the thought that help me kick the bad habits.

You Need Persistence

It takes a very special something to continue to keep recording your food intake. It’s a great test of persistence. It shows that no matter what, I’m not giving up.

The recorded data is going to save my health in the log run. Whenever I need to do research on what Mike was doing from Thanksgiving 2015 through Spring 2016…these journals will be proof of what I SHOULD NOT be doing as well as WHAT I SHOULD BE doing.

There will be no more second-guessing because I have all the data I need to make informed decisions in my life.

The foods that caused me pain before were still causing me pain during the challenge. Why do I need those foods in my life? That persistence paid off to my future self and plans.

You Should Enjoy Eating

Some folks are too tied down in trying to make their macro’s fit the precise percentages. If on a 40/40/20 split, too many folks are focused only on eating exactly 40% of protein, 40% of carbs and 20% of fat.

If their fat numbers are down, they will force feed some oils into their foods to make the calorie goods happy.

Take a deep breath and…Relax!

Women eating salads and laughing at a outdoor patio restaurant. Photo is courtesy of WiseGeekWhen losing weight, it’s important to keep track of calories from time to time. But if you aren’t enjoying your meals and the process, what’s the point?

I understand that there will be times when food will be restricted but that doesn’t mean it HAS to be bland and boring. There are way too many food options on this planet. You should find ways to enjoy that meal.

Don’t just think of it as numbers (fats, carbs, protein, calories, etc.) on a restricted page.

When eating dinner, appreciate the communion that should be going on with that meal. Somebody took time out of their day to package the items in it, give thanks!

If at a dinner table, try to socialize with your family & friends!   After all, you are logging your food journal to be a better person right? That doesn’t just stop with those macros, actually interact and engage the world!

200 Days Of Food Journaling Is Too Much!

My final advice is that nobody should be attempting to log for 200 days in a row! A couple of days to maybe a few weeks are more than enough to tell you what you need.

I only recommend logging when you can’t figure out why you’re not dropping weight and/or to be accountable. If you keep doing this for too long you start to lose focus and might even fudge some of your numbers which isn’t the point.

9 (OMG) Warning Signs That You Might Be A Diet Groupie

“Oh man he’s so RIPPED!”

“Seriously, that’s all you got to do…I’m so jealous”

Men and women across the world obsess over superstars. We want to do our best to look like them. Whether it’s actors, athletes or reality stars.

The diet and fitness magazines exploit this obsession by showing readers how the superstar lost twenty pounds for a particular casting role!

“You too can get the same results! Come see their diet!”

That obsession doesn’t just pertain to superstars. Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that lost a few pounds? You look at them and become envious. In the midst of your conversation the voice in the back of your head tell you,

“I’m wasting my time with my current plan, it’s time to start doing what John is doing!”

How many times a month does that voice pop up in your head? If you constantly hear that voice and/or switch your nutrition plan, you might be a diet groupie.

Here are 9 warning signs that you might be becoming a diet groupie.

Looking For One Missing Ingredient

When seeing another diet plan you figure that it will contain that mythological magic food that will finally push you over the edge.

“Bone marrow soup…of course!”

“Coconut oil in ever meal…Why didn’t I think of that!”

“No meat at all…..Why didn’t I do this years ago!”

“Caveman didn’t have microwaves…of course!”

I hate to break it to you but there’s not one magic ingredient out there that’s going to instantly drop ten pounds of fat in five days. If you are capable of losing that amount of fat in that short amount of time, you obviously need to work on being consistently healthy first and not some magical ingredient!

Jealous Of Other’s Success

“How come Louis got to lose all that weight on his diet? I’m still struggling to lose the same pound! It’s not fair!”

If you spend more time being jealous of a friend’s weight loss success than congratulating them, you could be a diet groupie. A diet groupie is not able to see the big picture because they are only focused on themselves.

Diet groupies will always hate other’s success.

Team Paleo vs. Team Vegan

Diet groupies believe no one but themselves deserve the results because no one works harder than they do.

Develops A Crush

If ever time a new diet pops up and you get that warm feeling like you’re in high school all over again…you’re a diet groupie!

It’s just like having a crush on that new girl in school. Despite all the perfectly good looking girls you grew up with at your school, the “new thang” becomes your obsession. All of the other girls look boring now when compared to this new girl.

Diet groupies treat diets the same way!

Seriously, when evaluating a potential diet plan, check to see if the thought of going on a new diet plan gives you butterflies in your stomach.

If it does…you got some issues!

Wants Faster Results

We’re inpatient people and diet groupies want to diets that give them results NOW.

If the diet plan talks about making your eating a lifestyle change….BORING!! Who has time for that?

We want that diet plan like we want our fast food! Simple, fast and with as little effort as possible!

Miracle Cure in a bottle

 

New Years Resolution

If every year you tell the world that you’re going to lose some weight and give up on certain foods after New Years…..AND you barely make it a couple of days….You’re a diet groupie!

Resolutions are meant to be for the long haul. Like I said in the previous section, diet groupies don’t have time for that!

Groupies love to use the holiday season as an excuse to brag about a plan while gorging themselves. Once the holiday is gone, so is their motivation to follow through.

Extremes

If you feel that you need to go from eating chocolate cake every night to eating boiled chicken breast with no seasonings plus raw broccoli 5x a day……you might be a diet groupie.

There’s no good reason to be so drastic in your change of plans. Diet groupies are setting themselves up for severe failure when going from one extreme to the other. A rational person would take small steps to get their diets in order.

Lack Willpower

Diet groupies have not developed the willpower to make it for the long haul. Successful dieters had to use incredible willpower to get through tough times. Those successful dieters most likely had a couple of slip-ups, but didn’t’ let that distract them from their overall goal. That takes incredible disciple.

Boy looking at a plate of cookies showing willpowerWeak Mindset

A healthy life all starts in the mind. If you are not mentally healthy, no amount of dieting will fix it. That’s why there are eating disorders for overeating and under eating. Despite being on opposite spectrums, They both develop because of mental issues.

Diet groupies fool themselves into putting all their energy on what’s going in their plates instead of making sure that the thoughts inside the brain are healthy as well.

Looking for Trends

Just like young teenagers, if a hip magazine article says something isn’t “cool” anymore, the diet groupie will shun them as well.

How many reading this still think carbohydrates are bad for you?

Does your grocery store have a gluten free section?

Organic vs. Local….?

I rest my case!


Take a hard look at these 9 warning signs next time you even think about starting a new diet.  You may just discover that you’re a diet groupie!

 

 

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 24

Welcome to Week 24 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

Quick History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

First Six Weeks November – December 2015

 

Post Holiday/Winter Time Blues

 

Most Recent

**DISCLAIMER**:
Michael could easily lose 10+ pounds of weight in a week just by going on a unhealthy super low carb diet or dehydrating himself of water. That’s not what this countdown is about! This is about fat loss not weight loss! There is a BIG difference between those two!

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary (but way more accurate) measurement.


WEEK 24: April 22 – 28 2016

April 22nd Stats
Scale Weight: 199.0 pounds
Waist: 33.3 inches

Week 24 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 199 to 198.5 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Increase daily activity (especially during fasting period)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2556 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 224 grams Protein
        • 288 grams Carbohydrates
        • 57 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Joint Pain

I noticed that my left shoulder had been acting up. I took dips out of my workout plan this past week to see if that was causing the pain. On my chest day, I experienced that same shoulder pain while doing incline bench presses.

I conclude that I will need to do more stretches and take out upper body pressing exercises that cause pain. dips, incline presses and overhead shoulder presses seem to be the main culprits. I haven’t noticed as much pain in doing bench presses, but I will evaluate again next week.

The majority of the pain comes from my left clavicle/deltoid area. Once the left area heals and I gain mobility back, I will add strength training back to that area.

Sleeping

I slowly started a bad pattern of going to bed later each night. To make up for this later bedtime I would get up later in the morning. I’ve had too much going on in my head and been letting that keep me up.

If I’m going to meet my goal, I know I need more than 7 hours of sleep. I just got to step up and be consistent.

Eating

I overate this past week. I just was not as disciplined as I normally am. I accept it. You hate to have weeks like this, but it is what it was. I let too many cookies sneak into too many days in a row.

I know better. If I’m to make it to my final goal, I have to overcome my late night and weekend demons. You’ll see what I’m talking about in my food journal.

One of my proudest moments was making homemade protein ice cream.  I thought it was going to be a major failure but was pleasantly surprised with the taste and quality of the final product.  I’ll be sure to share the recipe next time I make it.

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 22 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 23 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 24 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 25 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 26 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 27 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 28 2016

End of Week 24 Stats: April 29th 2016

  • Scale Weight: 200.0 lbs (1 lb gained from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.8 inches (0.5 inches gained from previous week)

 

This is what happens when you go over your calories for the majority of the week. The final number of 200 makes the week look better than it was.  Due to my carb cycling I was hovering around 204 for most of the week until Thursday’s lower carb day.

I’ve spent over 24 weeks figuring out how many calories it takes for me to lose fat. All I got to do is stay below the numbers I came up.

Nothing complicated on paper. It just takes incredible discipline to pull it off. That’s what separates being average from being great!

Upcoming Week 25 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 200 to 198.5 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Increase daily activity (especially during fasting period)
  • Eat about 1676 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 138 grams Carbohydrates
      • 37 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2556 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 224 grams Protein
        • 288 grams Carbohydrates
        • 57 grams Fat

24 Weeks Down……5 Pounds to Go ….Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

April 2016 has come and gone.

I’ve been doing this countdown long enough, its time to make May 2016 the month I get to 195!

Think I can do it?

Tune in throughout May 2016 for (hopefully) the final weeks of the countdown!

Why MicVinny Is The Best Fitness Blog For Traveling Professionals

Hey You,

Yeah, you looking at the screen right now. I got a question for you. Where do you go for all your fitness advice?

Professional Bodybuilders

 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of quality bodybuilders out there giving out advice. I commend them and use them as valuable resources. What most people fail at is trying to apply a Professional Bodybuilder’s lifestyle to their life.

How does listening to someone who works out 3-5 hours every day help you with your current work life situation?

Does that person know what it is like to work a 9 – 5 job that doesn’t involve a gym?

How many times have they been stuck in an office surrounded by co-workers with no desire to live healthy lives?

What do they know about the daily grind of finding that extra motivation to go to the gym when you have to work late hours to meet a deadline?

Fitness Magazines

 

Do you get your advice from one of those fitness magazines with the perfect looking model on the cover? You know, the one’s with the digitally enhanced image of Mr. Perfect on the cover. Oh wait, you thought that was real!

Can you guess which of the following is another lie about that fitness magazine’s cover?

A.  Mr. Perfect had been on a starvation diet for over a week before they shot that picture.

B.  Mr. Perfect purposely dehydrated his body to make his muscles appear bigger and more defined than they normally are.

C.  Mr. Perfect got his body by taking that fitness magazine’s specific “muscle building fat slashing” supplements

The answer is C. The truth is that Mr. Perfect doesn’t look like that cover every day. The truth is that he did not take those supplements to get that specific body. Mr. Perfect’s body is a result of years of hard work (and/or sadly sometimes steroids), NOT the supplements they’re advertising!

These are just some of the reasons I created this blog, so readers like you can stay informed from a REAL person.

Who Needs MicVinny

This site is made for real people in the real world. MicVinny is for those people who have to travel monthly or more for their jobs. This site will deliver information to make those business trips more productive for your well-being.

This site is for professionals who want to get a grip back on their lives! They no longer want their crushing job demands to prevent them from truly being fit and happy! I want this site to be that conversational piece that jump-starts your day. My articles will enlighten your mind as well as make you laugh.

This site is for busy professionals who no longer want to hide their bodies in shame when at the beach. This site is for people to start feeling comfortable with their bodies. With the articles, services, and resources I will be providing, you will easily be able to stand out from your average co-workers.

Who Is MicVinny?

T1BLWD3WO0I’m Not A Athlete

Even though it hurts my ego, I’ll admit that I’ve never been an athlete. I did try out for a football team once (and it ended badly!). When people first see me they automatically think I actively played sports because of the way I look.

That’s the key. I LOOK like an athlete. I have developed the body of an athlete by not actually being one.

Most folks who live a hectic life, really just want to be happy, healthy and attractive. I’m here to help you achieve that. You don’t have to feel the pressure of working out like an athlete to look good. I will provide you with articles showing you that there’s lots of realistic ways to look good without being an elite athlete.

I’m Not A Liar

I don’t have supplemental companies or advertisers paying me to provide you with my information. Any product, service or resource I recommend is something I truly believe will benefit your life. I’m not a fan of supplements anymore because I know how much money I wasted on them looking for that magic pill. I don’t want you to do the same!

I’ve Traveled The World

MicVinny_TravelMy bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering has led to several cool jobs over the years. Eventually I held the title of an international business developer. That job had me traveling all over the world.

When it comes to flying on planes, staying at hotels, having after hour business meetings, I’ve been there and done that. Isn’t it time that you got your advice from someone like me instead of a guy who’s never left his home city?

I’m one of the few fitness coaches who knows all about living the road warrior lifestyle! I remember looking for traveling advice and not finding anything of substance. That’s why I have decided to share my wealth of fitness travel tips. It’s time for engineers, developers and other traveling professionals to get the truth from someone who lived the life!

I Solve Home Office Problems

Office having a catered lunch?

Did Hannah bring in her famous homemade chocolate brownies?

Do you want to order lunch with your work colleagues but don’t want them to think that you’re on a diet?

The working environment is one of the most overlooked detriments towards getting fit. I’m here to change that. No longer will you be a victim of the office. I will show you how to survive your office experience with authentic solutions.

I Am A Travel Fitness Designer

The work problems escalate even further while traveling. How many times have you been to a hotel with a crappy gym? Fear no more! I’ll be providing simple workout routines you can do on the road.

If you’re truly serious about transforming your body and life, you could always sign up for one of my 1-on-1 coaching services that you can take with you on the road!

Don’t want to spend all your travel per diem money on fast food? Well, I will have awesome articles explaining how to save money and eat better while traveling. I’ll teach you how to use grocery stores and even fast food’s dollar menus to create foods that won’t have your waist sticking out by day five of your business trip!

I Love Food

I’ve always been a foodie. I remember watching the cooking shows on PBS during the daytime hours with my grandmother. Frugal Gourmet and New Orleans Cajun with Justin Wilson were some of my favorites.

 

When trying to become healthy I would always try other recipes to learn how to be healthy. Well, I would like to help you out by sharing out the recipes I tried, as well as experimenting with some of my own for your home (or even while on the road).

It’s something I had not been doing on this blog, but with my secret passion for cooking, it’s time!


However you found this page, I hope you will consider walking with me on my journey. I’m not the smartest, I’m not the buffest, but I do know I am one of the REALEST fitness coaches you will ever find.

Besides….How many cooler nicknames than MicVinny will you find on the internet?

 

Find out more about this site at MicVinny’s About Page.

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 23

Welcome to Week 23 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

Quick History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

First Six Weeks November – December 2015

 

Post Holiday/Winter Time Blues

 

Most Recent

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Michael could easily lose 10+ pounds of weight in a week just by going on a unhealthy super low carb diet or dehydrating himself of water.  That’s not what this countdown is about!  This is about fat loss not weight loss!  There is a BIG difference between those two!

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary (but way more accurate) measurement.


WEEK 23: April 15 – 21 2016

April 15th Stats
Scale Weight: 199.8 pounds
Waist: 33.4 inches

Week 23 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • Start taking 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the third week of doing a dedicated strength style workout. As each week passes, my body has been adapting. Last week my body got use to the “new workout” soreness and I felt I had a pretty productive lifting week.

This week, I could feel the carb cycling taking its toll during my workout days. The days before I workout, I have a lower amount of carbs & calories. What happens is that on the morning of my workout my energy is slightly on empty due to being depleted of the higher amount of carbs.

When I was doing a bodybuilding based workout, I mainly relied on fruit for my pre and post workout nutrition or I just trained fasted in the early morning.  Given the heavy weight I’m lifting, I need to ensure that I have proper nutrition prior to my workout session.

In case you haven’t been following me, I do intermittent fasting. I basically skip breakfast and don’t’ have my first meal until noon. I typically fast for 16 hours straight before breaking my fast for lunch.

That’s why I’ve been supplementing with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). This allows me to stay in the fast but still have nutrition to fuel my workout. I’m not a fan of supplements but for this style of workout, bcaas are needed.

With my body shifting between high and low calories, I’m still adapting. I’m progressing in my lifts but definitely felt “weaker” this week. I’ll be sure to keep a eye on this next week.

Sleeping

I was able to average 7 hours of sleep every day this week. I would prefer to get closer to 8. This was a week in which spring finally arrived so we had the windows opened for most days. That led to high and low temp changes, which affected my sleep. The more sleep I get the better my fat loss will become.

Eating

My wife and I came up with a good meal plan that allowed us to cook all our cravings at home this past week. I had a craving for some indian food, so we just made our own homemade chicken palak. I think we will be making more of that in our future!

I satisfied my sweet tooth by eating frozen mango chunks. If you’ve never tried them, get some! It’s a great way to get that creamy texture of ice cream/sorbet but in a healthy way.

Looking back at my food journal, I forgot about Friday night. I did have a case of “falling asleep on the coach but waking up” at 1 AM. That led me to eating another small serving of jambalaya and some Oreos. The Oreos did cause me to go over my calories for that day.

I made a note to myself that the only reason I ate them was because I was tired. No big deal, I accepted my fault and didn’t desire them for the remainder of the week.

Food Journal

Here are my delicious food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 15 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 16 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 17 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 18 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 19 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 20 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 21 2016

End of Week 23 Stats: April 22nd, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 199.0 lbs (0.8 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.3 inches (0.1 inches lost from previous week)

I’m suprised that the scale read 199 pounds.  The previous night it read 202.3 pounds.  That’s why I will say this time and time again….I don’t trust the scale!  I dislike that I called this series of blog posts “Countdown to 195” because it makes it appear that the scale is the best indicator.  The mirror and my waist measurements are telling me the truth.  The scale only let’s me know when I have excess water in my body from eating carbohydrates are drinking 80+ ounces of water.

My waist has gone down for the past couple of weeks, which let me know I’m making progress.  I know I wasn’t as active as I had been in the previous week.  This was the first week I completely stopped walking up/down my household stairs.  For the previous five weeks, I had been doing a stair walking routine for my cardio.

I planned on replacing those walks with walking outside.  During Week 23, I took 3 walks.  This upcoming week, I will make more of an effort to be active during the day as well.  Cleaning, hourly shadow boxing, break dancing…who knows!  But it’ll be something simple, creative and fun.

Additionally I will slightly reduce my calories.  My non-workout days are already pretty low so I will just reduce my workout calories from 2756 to 2556.

Upcoming Week 24 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 199 to 198.5 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Increase daily activity (especially during fasting period)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2556 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 224 grams Protein
        • 288 grams Carbohydrates
        • 57 grams Fat

23 Weeks Down……4 Pounds to Go ….Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

It took two weeks, but I finally got the scale to display a solid 199.  What’s in store for me this upcoming week?  Homemade ice cream?  Protein Shakes?  Birthday cake?  Like life, the temptations and distractions are unpredictable.  But I’ll be here, will you?

Tune in next Friday for Week 24!