Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brewing : My First Beer!!

Last Saturday (4/21) I brewed my very first beer with Lee Rogan (@L_Row). We made a American Farm House Ale style beer. I am super excited to find out how it will taste.

Lee and I started with this American Ale kit and modified it a bit with a French Saison yeast.

First Step is to fill our pot with 3 gallons of water, add our specialty grains, and steeped it until it reached 170 degrees.

We used local spring water and the grains that were provided in the kit were placed in a mesh sock before going into the pot.

Lee said that the color we were seeing then would be very similar to the color our beer will end up looking like. Initially it looked like a very pale ale but slowly worked its way to a "goldish" color.

(Bravo Lee for having a metal stirrer.)

After the pot reached 170 degrees (~30mins) we removed the grains and added in 7 lbs of liquid malt extract. Lee stirred the pot as I added the malt. We then cranked up the heat to a boil and added the first set of hops; 1oz of Magnum hops. These hops were also placed in a mesh sock prior to going into the pot.

Shortly after we added a few drops of a foam controlling solution. I believe it was just two drops.

The first group of hops that went in were our bittering hops. Yes... it is the hops that is responsible for the bitterness. Later we will add the flavor hops and aroma hops.

These bittering hops will stay in for 60mins to release the hop oils. I have to admit that I was shocked to learn that the bitter hops stayed in the longest. I assumed it would be the flavor hops... I was wrong :)

The total time boiling will be based on the bitter hops; this recipe called for 60mins. Since the flavor hops only needs 10mins of boiling time, then we added it 50mins after we added the bitter hops. Pretty simple. The aroma hops were added with just 2mins remaining of the boil.

This whole timing thing with the hops is very interesting, because I am learning there are so many ways to make a beer your own. Extending or shortening the times of the hops is a easy way.

Oh, almost forgot, we added a pill (whirlfloc tablet) that helps settle the beer when there was ~5mins left of the boil.

Once the boiling timer is down we shut off the gas.

Cleanliness is always important, especially when making beer, but it is super important after the boiling process is done.

Lee carefully moved the pot from the burner to the sink.

The next step is to cool the beer down to 70 degrees. We did so by putting the pot into a sink with cold water and ice.

We also carefully removed the mesh socks with the hops at this time.

This did take a little bit of time... but I brought an assortment of tasting beers to pass the time. Lee also had a few beers to share.

Not to veer too far off... I have to say that expanding my beer pallet is f#&king awesome!!

Once it reaches 70 degrees it's cool enough to prep for fermentation. What that means is that we transfer the beer to our fermenting container.

After pouring the beer into the container we shook it up to add more oxygen. We also take this time to measure the sugars for yeast; this is called measuring the original gravity.

Now I know I have been referring to our creation as "beer" this whole time but the truth is that it isn't beer. Actually what we have created is called "wort". It is not until you add yeast that it becomes "beer". So now we add our yeast to make our beer.

What's the best thing to do once you add yeast to make beer? We corked it with a rubber bung and made it do another happy dance!! That's right... we shook it up again.

Lee said the more oxygen the better... so we took turns to shake it up.

When all the shaking was done we placed the air lock into the bung and carried it to the basement. The air lock will allow the gases that will be released by the yeast during fermentation to escape without allowing any air to enter.

Here our new creation will stay for two weeks to ferment. After that we will bottle our awesome new beer... add carbonation... and wait another two weeks before we can enjoy the new brew.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Beer... and... well... Beer...

So yesterday I was at Ashburn Wine Shop with a few buddies for a beer tasting and it was awesome. The Ashburn Wine Shop does beer tastings every Thursday hosted by the master mind of Divine Brew, Brett A. Robison. He blogs about beer among other topics, has videos, and even short comics.

Many of my friends are strict Miller Lite/Bud Light drinkers... and that has to change. That doesn't mean you need to jump into a Guinness or an IPA... what it means is that there are other beers out there that have more flavor, more alcohol, and are reasonably priced you just need to learn about them.

If you are a fan of Miller Lite and Bud Light... try a Stiegl Pils. It is light, not hoppy at all, and I think it is a great way to show people that you can actually have a great taste in a pilsner. Before you label me a snob, which I am sure you have already done... just try it.

Also... if you feel adventurous but not willing to get up from your chair... check out Brett's website: Divine Brew

DivineBrew

You can learn a lot with a beer in your hand... and some of you actually play better after a few beers, haha.

Drink responsibly and expand your beer knowledge.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My New Years Resolution : 2012

I know it's a little late into the year to talk about my New Years resolution... but I wanted to share it in more detail.

Most people's resolution is to lose weight, quit a bad habit, pick up a new hobby, etc. My resolution is broader than that... this year I am going to try and be a "better person".

But how do I do that? How do I measure "better"? Well I started off with a few ideas. I divided these ideas into a few categories:

Health
- Maintain my recent weight lose / exercise.
- Eat healthier.

Work
- Work towards getting a 100% bonus for 2012.
- Resolve large issues (backups, wireless, and printers).
- Try and be more positive.
- Attend a charity event.

Personal
- Start a blog.
- Start a website.
- Try and be more positive.

So far I have been chipping away at my list at a good pace. Bobbi and I purchased bikes to ride, she's been cooking healthy food, I've been working on projects at work, Bobbi and I volunteered at a homeless shelter, we attended a company happy hour, I've started this blog along with another blog about gaming, and I have recently resurrected FunnyRico.com.

I know it's hard to determine what "better" is... all I know is that I am not as "good" of a person as I can be... and I want to see how much better I can be.

When my wife and I got married I told everyone that we balanced each other when it came to charity... she taught me to give more... I taught her to give less. I see this year as a year I am trying to be more like my wonderful wife and give more. It's hard.

Friday, February 10, 2012

San Diego 2012 : Grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary

60 years ago my grandparents got married in Peru.


And here they are today...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weight Lost Wednesday : Healthier Side of McDonalds

We live in a crazy busy world so there is a very good chance that you will be in a situation when the easiest choice for food will be a fast food restaurant.

So if you find yourself picking McDonalds as a solution here are some healthier choices.

Breakfast Items 300 calories or Less

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without Brown Sugar = 260 Calories
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal = 290 Calories
Egg McMuffin = 300 Calories
Sausage Burrito = 300 Calories
English Muffin (160) + Hash Brown (150) = 300 Calories

**Remember that Hash Browns are 150 calories... be careful when adding it to a meal.

Lunch/Dinner Items 550 Calories or Less.

Burgers

Kids Meal : Hamburger (250) + Kids Fries (100) + Apple Slices (15) = 365 Calories
Hamburger (250) + Small Fries (230) = 480 Calories
Quarter Pounder with Cheese (no fries) = 510 Calories
Big N' Tasty with Cheese (no fries) = 510 Calories
Cheeseburger (300) + Small Fries (230) = 530 Calories
Big Mac (no fries) = 540 Calories

Chicken Sandwiches

Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich (no fries) = 350 Calories
Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich (no fries) = 380 Calories
Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich (no fries) = 460 Calories
Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap (250) + Small Fries (230) = 480 Calories
Grilled Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap (250) + Small Fries (230) = 480 Calories
Grilled Ranch Snack Wrap (270) + Small Fries (230) = 500 Calories


Nuggets

4 Piece McNuggets (190) + Small Fries (230) = 420 Calories
10 Piece McNuggets (no fries) = 470 Calories
6 Piece McNuggets (280) + Small Fries (230) = 510 Calories


Salads 500 Calories or Less WITHOUT dressing.

Side Salad = 20 Calories
Premium Caesar Salad without Chicken = 90 Calories
Premium Southwest Salad without Chicken = 140 Calories
Premium Bacon Ranch Salad without Chicken = 140 Calories
Premium Asian Salad without Chicken = 150 Calories
Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken = 190 Calories
Snack Size Fruit 7 Walnut Salad = 210 Calories
Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken = 230 Calories
Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken = 270 Calories
Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken = 290 Calories
Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken = 390 Calories
Premium Caesar Salad with Crispy Chicken = 390 Calories
Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken = 450 Calories
Premium Asian Salad with Crispy Chicken = 420 Calories

Salad Dressing under 100 Calories

Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette = 35 Calories
Newman's Own Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing = 50 Calories
Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger = 90 Calories


Fries Facts

Kids Fries = 100 Calories
Small Fries = 230 Calories
Medium Fries = 380 Calories!! Dangerous
Large Fries = 500 Calories!!!! Super Bad


Healthier Sides

Apple Slices = 15 Calories
Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait = 160 Calories

**Please remember that these calorie counts don't include a beverage. Diet sodas and water don't have any calories and are safe to add. If you are thinking about adding a regular soda, juice, or other option then please use the link at the end of this post to look up its nutrition.

Is McDonalds my first thought when eating out... Hell No... but sometimes you find yourself traveling or running around and just don't have the time to know what's a good local choice. This list may be a little long, but what I suggest is go through it and find the items that you would normally pick and just save your healthier choices to your phone. That way if you find yourself at a McDonalds, you will already know which items are healthier to eat.

Know the enemy. For more information about McDonalds Nutrition go to : McDonald's Nutrition

I hope this helps you make healthier choices in the future :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Weight Lose Wednesday : How to not gain weight (without exercising)

As we all know your weight is based on calories in and calories out. If you take in more than you burn, as most of us do, then you will gain weight; take in less means you lose weight. But what if you are happy with where you are at? What if you just got done with your diet or are one of those lucky people who didn't need a diet to be healthy but are concerned about slowly gaining weight?

No matter your reason, knowing and monitoring your daily calories is important and not very hard. Here are some tips that may help you watch your calories to prevent weight gain.

Tip #1 : Get a calorie counting application.

There a plenty of websites (www.everydayhealth.com) that will help you find out how many calories you are eating and track them. What I find to be the most convenient are smart phone applications. Myfitnesspal.com and LostIt! are two applications that are great to try out. These apps will allow you to type in or even use a barcode scan feature to automatically input how many calories you will eat.

The reason I like smartphone apps over websites is because you will most likely have your phone with you when you eat.

Tip #2 : Know what your daily caloric intake should be to maintain your weight.

Apps like Myfitnesspal.com and LoseIt! both will be able to tell you. For me, it's 2080 calories a day. This is important to know because you will want to know your boundaries.

Tip #3 : Create your own Eat This/Not That list of places that you like to eat.

Create a spreadsheet of places that you like to eat at (even fast food). Look up their nutritional values online and find out what are acceptable calories that won't jeopardize your daily allowance. For example: A medium quarter pounder cheeseburger at McDonalds 510 calories; which is a lot. On the other hand a Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich is 350 calories; much more acceptable. (FYI... the Premium Crispy Chicken Classic Sandwich is 510 calories... 160 more than it's grilled version).

Once you learn this information, you will be able to plan your meals a little better. If you decide to not stay home and cook dinner... look at your app and find out how many calories are left for the day and then check out your list of Eat This/Not That and pick something that fits.

You will quickly find yourself knowing what to order before you even get to a restaurant.

Tip #4 : Control your drinks and snacks.

There are a lot of people who do very well with their meals, but nickel and dime themselves by making poor choices with beverages and snacks. When counting your calories don't forget to include all your drinks and snacks.

Healthier choices for drinks : Water and diet sodas
Healthier choices for snacks : There are a ton of 100 calorie snacks in stores; chips, crackers, pretzels, carrots, popcorn, cookies, apple slices. Sneaking in a candy bar can really throw your diet off.

Tip #5 : Reward good behavior :)

If your target is 2000 calories a day and you hit 1800 calories instead, go ahead and add 200 calories to the next day. This will give you a little more room to perhaps eat that extra treat. If you know you will be attending an event that you will most likely go over your allowance; counter some of that by going a little lower the day before.

Be careful not starve yourself just to have a great time the next day. Eating 500 calories one day doesn't mean you can 1500 to the next day... your body still needs nutrients.

I hope these tips help you maintain your weight. How knows... if you get use to maintaining your weight then perhaps you can find the motivation and self control to lose weight if needed.

Wish you all the best :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Diet : Before and After Pictures

Well a bunch of my friends and family have asked me for pictures of my weight lose... so here you go.


Those were the pants I use to wear before my diet. Waist size = 38.


And here I am... 30 pounds lighter. New waist size = 34 :)

I do plan on posting additional after pictures, but I am washing all the new cloths I have.

Hope every had a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weight Lose Wednesday : A Diet vs A Lifestyle Change

With the end of my diet getting near I have been mentioning my excitement to my friends. Some people have mention to me that "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change."

What I would like to do is clarify the difference between "A Diet" and "A Lifestyle Change".

Diets are meant to be a change in your current eating habits to achieve a weight lose.

Example: To maintain my body weight without gaining anything, I could not eat more than ~2080 calories a day. Before my diet I was consuming probably over 3000 calories a day (hence the weight gain). My diet allowed me to eat ~1000 a day. With this diet my caloric intake dropped to the point that I was consuming less calories than I was using... bye bye fat :)

Eating ~1000 calories/day = My Diet

If I was to go back to my old ways (~3000 calories/day), I would just gain all my weight back. To make sure that doesn't happen I need to implement a lifestyle change once my diet is done. This change will mean that I will have to continue and watch what I eat and make sure I don't go over my daily caloric allowance.

Eating ~2080 calories/day = My Lifestyle Change

So you can see it like this:

Original Eating Habit > Diet (to lose) > Lifestyle Change (to maintain)

I want people to see the difference because going through a diet isn't fun or easy. If you allow yourself to think that a diet is meant to last forever, you may just not want to continue. The diet will end.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel... Even though it has been rough for me for three months eating ~1000 calories/day... once the diet is over I will be able to double my intake! Who knows... if I decide to add exercise to my daily routine, I will be able to increase my caloric intake even more!!

So if you are going through a diet or are planning to... remember... a diet is temporary... get through it and then enjoy a healthy lifestyle change :)

Hope this helps.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MW3 : Damage Glitchers Get 6 Day Ban

Yesterday Gamesta.com reported that players of Modern Warfare 3 who have glitched the game will receive an immediate six day ban.

What did they glitch? Apparently some people found a way to attach the shotgun-only Damage perk to non-shotgun weapons. For those of you who don't know, shotguns can unlock a perk which allows for more damage... a nice perk for shotguns because their bullet spray isn't consistent. That same perk is not suppose to be available for other weapons because that would allow for 1-2 shot automatic kills.

How did they do it?? Beats the hell out of me... sources won't reviel how it was done... and trust me, when you here the punishment you are not going to want to.

That's right, Infinity Ward is not only giving out six day bans; but they also found a way to stick the knife a little deeper to all those cheaters :)

"While a 6 day ban may not seem like a stiff enough punishment, the public embarrassment that comes from the hilarious manner in which Infinity Ward has elected to reset their stats may be. The users over at mw3forum.com have discovered that everyone caught using the glitch will be reset to level 1 and have all of their stats reset except losses and deaths. This means that if you had a W/L of 120-34 and a K/D of 2384/987 your new W/L ratio would be 0-34 and your new K/D would be 0 kills and 987 deaths. Even if the glitchers try and play legitimately after the reset they will always be saddled with hilariously low W/L and K/D ratios going forward." - The Boss, Gamsta.com

So it's Christmas once again for all us legit players. Not only do we have six days of none cheaters, but it also means our national ranking bumps up past all of them as well. Before these bans I was a little more than 6000 in the world in Domination; I can't wait to see my rank now.

To all the cheaters out there, have fun playing Hello Kitty Island Adventures.

To all my MW3 legit brothers, less predators = more prey... enjoy :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Diet : Quick Summary :)

I realized that my previous attempts of explaining my diet might have been a little long. So this is my attempt of explaining what I am doing in a very short way.

Facts

- My starting weight : 190 lbs
- To sustain my weight I would need to eat : 2080 calories
- I started NutriSystem; which is a diet program that provides you with meals and snacks.

NutriSystem does three things : Lower your daily caloric intake, manages your portions, and increases your metabolism... all in a healthy way. This is how...

Calories

Since it takes 2080 calories a day to maintain my weight; if I were to eat less than that, I would lose weight. Keep in mind that I was eating way more than that every day (like a typical American, haha) which is why I was gaining weight. NutriSystem gives me ~900-100 calories a day to eat; which is drastically lower than my normal amount.

Manage Portions

Smaller Portions = Less Food = Less Calories
Smaller Portions = Stomach Shrinks = Easier to get full = Less Food = Less Calories

Increase Metabolism

If you ate 1000 calories in one day over three meals, you wouldn't lose as much weight compared to eating 1000 calories in one day over six meals. Reason? Your metabolism. By eating more times in a day your metabolism will work longer which will burn more calories.

Now I am not a dietician or a doctor... but here is my advice.

Schedule : Eating every 2-3 hours will help keep your metabolism going.

Breakfast (7am) = ~150 calories
Snack (9am) = 100 calories
Lunch (11:30am) = ~250 calories
Snack (2pm) = 100 calories
Dinner (5pm) = ~350 calories
Snack (7pm) = 100 Calories

Total = ~1050 calories/day

* This plan is based on a 0 exercise diet. If you want to add exercise then you will need to increase your caloric intake.
** With this diet I lost a little over two pounds a week. Which is now ~27 pounds lost :)
*** Remember that this is a diet and not a lifestyle change. The purpose of this diet is to drop weight; you will need to increase your caloric intake after you lose the weight you wanted to sustain your new weight.

Hope this helps :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weight Lose Wednesday : Two Kinds of Motivation

I believe there are two types of motivation; External and Internal.

To me External motivation is motivation that comes from an outside source; movies, music, coaches, cheerleaders, friends, etc. This is the easiest motivation to have because it can be found anywhere.

Internal motivation is motivation that comes within yourself; your true goals and desires. Some may think that just because you "want" something, that you also are "motivated" to obtain it; which I don't believe. Anyone can "want" to lose weight, "want" to find a better job, "want" to learn a skill, but unless you find that "motivation" to obtain that "want" it will just be a "dream" or a "wish". This is the kind of motivation that really drives us to achieve our goals and is the best kind of motivation. It's the kind that will help you get through the tough times and times of doubt.

Simply put...

External = Someone saying "You can do it."
Inernal = You believing "I can do it."

The downside to external motivation is that it is very temporary. It usually doesn't last much past the point when the cheering, the song, or the video ends. A great example is having a coach push you in a practice or workout... chances are a person couldn't push them self when they are working out as much as if they had a coach or trainer with them.

But something great can happen with External motivation... it can lead to Internal motivation. If you help a friend or loved one see that they can achieve what they want... and the only thing stopping them is themselves. Then the realization may set in and the desire to achieve their goal will turn into Internal motivation.

Here is a great video. One that may create External motivation... and with any luck perhaps some Internal motivation.



Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Diet : Why NutriSystem works (Portion Control)

**Please Note : I am not a dietician or a doctor. What I am writing about is just my experiences and my opinions.**

Portion Control

So if you are counting your calories... then why be concerned with portion control? I mean isn't calorie counting a way of portion control?

By eating NutriSystem meals you will quickly see what a proper portioned diet meal should be. You will notice that your entree's are smaller than what you are use to.

I feel they do this for two reasons.

1) Lower your calories : The most obvious reason is to eat fewer calories you will inherently eat less food. So this one is a given... not much of a mystery.

2) Shrink your stomach : Everyone knows that your stomach grows or shrinks depending on your eating habits. By eating less your stomach will shrink and then you will get full easier. This is key for sustaining your weight lose.

There is a fact that you have to accept and understand. It takes ~15-20mins for food to reach your stomach. This is a big reason why people over eat. If we start shoving food into our mouths our stomachs will not be able tell our brains it is full until ~20-25 minutes... which may lead to the over consumption of calories.

Other diets teach you how to eat slowly. It's gives your stomach time to react to the food that you have eaten and allows it time to signal you when it is full before it's too late. You do eat slower with NutriSystem, but not for that reason. Since the meals are pre-portioned for you then you know that meal will fill your stomach. (You typically eat slower with NutriSystem because you want the meal to last, haha).

I have told many people that the hardest thing about NutriSystem is to stop eating even though you are still hungry; but ~20 minutes after the meal and the food hits my stomach and the hunger goes away. It's a strange concept but one you have to understand otherwise you will just convince yourself that you are not eating enough.

Now portion control doesn't mean you can never eat a full steak, sandwich, or enjoy a fulfilling meal. What it means is that you will quickly start to measure calories with your eyes. After eating smaller portions and eating slower, you will create a good perspective of how much to eat. You will find yourself ordering from kids menus because they are portioned better than adult meals.

* Make sure you always do your research before going out to eat. Look up the calories and nutritional information online before going. This way you don't get mislead or tempted by the restaurant. Example: Macaroni Grill has a "Lite" menu which has entrees under 600 calories... but if you are on a diet then 600 calories is probably still too high. Pollo Caprese is 550 calories which may be great if you are trying to sustain your wait. A better choice for dieting is the Grilled Chicken and Pasta from the kids menu which is a total of 310 calories but filling.

If your entree is filling your whole plate or in a large bowl, chances are it has too many calories and will lead to making your stomach larger. Don't make it harder on yourself... do the research. Lower calories and smaller portions go hand and hand. Give yourself a chance to fill up before ordering or eating more.

** Warning : Sometimes your eyes can be deceiving. Smaller doesn't always mean less calories, which is why research is so important. Example : an Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich from Wendys (just the sandwich) is 390 calories... a much smaller option Jr Bacon Cheeseburger actually has 400 calories. Remember that saying "Know Thy Enemy"... it truly applies with dieting. Another great example (one my wife and I love) is splitting the Margarita Grilled Chicken dish at Chili's which is 550 calories. Divide that 550 calories into two and my wife and I get a 275 calorie dinner... and the dish is huge!!

*** Create your own Eat This / Not That list : I am creating my own Excel sheet with places in Northern VA I like to eat at along with entrees that I am able to eat when dieting and entrees I am able to eat when I am ready to sustain my weight. Once I am done I will post it on this blog. I recommend you do the same. Make it easier on yourself by doing the research now... don't go into a tempting place without knowing. You will be amazed how many calories most salads have. A Market Chop Salad (with Dressing) at Macaroni Grill is 1020 calories!!!

Hope this helps :)

Next Up... Keeping your metabolism going.

My Diet : Why NutriSystem works (Calories)

**Please Note : I am not a dietician or a doctor. What I am writing about is just my experiences and my opinions.**

Lower Calories

I know you are probably thinking "Well no shit. I already knew that I have to lower my calories." Which is true... but did you realize by how much? The average calories that I consume a day while on NutriSystem is about 900-1000 calories a day.
Before you start thinking "There is no way I will be able to live off of 900 a day when I am suppose to have 2000 calories a day!" You are correct! Well, kind of... let me explain.

According to MyFitnessPal.com (a great app to download onto your Smartphone) if I wanted to just maintain my current weight, without exercise, I would need to consume 2080 calories a day. That means... eating more than 2080 = gain weight; eating less than 2080 = lose weight.

What NutriSystem does is safely lower your daily caloric intake whiles still providing you with the nutrients that you need. Your body will start to slowly start using your fat for energy and that is how you lose weight.

I saw my doctor after starting this diet to get his opinion on these types of diets and he had a positive response about it. He mentioned that weight lose isn't about exercising (even though exercising helps many other aspects of your health it is not needed for weight lose). He said it is all about calories in and calories out. Don't mistake this as advise to eat just cheese and water because that is the wrong way to lower calories. The way NutriSystem's lower calorie count work is that is does so while still providing you with daily nutrients and doesn't trigger your body into starvation. EATING TOO FEW CALORIES will put your body into starvation and you may not even lose weight.

Eating fewer calories isn't permanent. You are only suppose to stick with it until you have lost the weight you desired. Once you reach your healthy goal weight, then you increase your calories to a level that will sustain your weight. In my case it will be ~2080 calories per day. Which doubles my current calories... yum yum.

Keep in mind that you do not have to go as low as ~1000 a day to lose weight. Since I just need to eat 2080 calories a day to stay the same, then anything less than 2080 will drop my weight. The more I drop my calories, safely, the faster I will lose the weight. Eating ~1500 calories will still get me to where I want to be, it will just take me longer. NutriSystem even mentioned optional additions you can have with your meals (adding a dairy, vegetable, etc). They are just optional. You can find your comfort level and stick with it.

So in the end you are right... you do not want to live the rest of your life eating only ~1000 calories a day. Just lower your caloric intake until you lose the weight you want. If you are worried about what is a safe level, see your doctor.

* This is designed for someone who does not exercise. If you are a very active person (such as a runner) you will need to increase your daily caloric intake to make up for your exercising. Why? Because your body needs calories to burn for daily use. Having too low of a caloric intake will lead to starvation and fatigue.

** Using an app like MyFitnessPal.com is a great way to track your calories to make sure you don't go too high or too low.

Hope this helps :)

Next Up will be Portion Control.

My Diet : What is working for me.

**Please Note : I am not a dietician or a doctor. What I am writing about is just my experiences and my opinions.**

Ten weeks ago I started a diet; and since then I have I lost 25 pounds. What I would like to do is share not only the program I am on but also the idea behind it so you can create your own program that will work. Think of it as someone who purchased P90X and instead of asking you to purchase your own copy, they relayed the exercises so you can get the same results.

The program I am on is called NutriSystem. Now I am sure all of you have seen the ads along with others such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. NutriSystem provides you with a Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert . Men also get an extra dessert to use as a snack. The overall idea is eat their food and obey their rules and you shall lose your weight. Simple enough.

So what do they put in their food? Laxatives? Magic dust imported from El Salvador that fights calories?

No magic or gimmicks... it's just low calories, portion control, and keeping your metabolism going. In the posts that will follow this one, I will break down their key focuses and you may find out how it can work for you.

Enjoy :)

My Diet : Why I started...

My wife and I have tried plenty of diets from South Beach to being Vegan with very little results due to the lack of practicality of sustaining the diet. But she never gave up... nope... she was like Indiana Jones searching for some rare artifact. So like every good husband (sidekick) I joined her on her adventures... from not eating sugars to not eating meat. I did the best I could to support my adventurous and daring wife but to be honest I could have cared less about losing weight.

That was until about three and half months ago. I was having chest pains that were getting more frequent and raised a bit of concern. I thought that with the horrible history of heart disease in my family that this was the moment when my resilience starts to fade. I went to the doctors and the quick diagnoses was that I was stressed out. The stress had upset my stomach and my stomach then created chest pains due to some kind of acid reflux stuff.

Stress... why didn't I think of that? I was stressing, about everything... work, video games, life in general. Stress plus my high cholesterol was what some of my family members call "no bueno". So something had to change... but I wasn't alone. My adventurous wife now had even more (not that she needed more) motivation to find us a suitable diet that would work.

We have tried so many diets... we even did Weight Watchers... what was left? Well the only type of diet left was one that provided the food for you. Jenny Craig and NutriSystem are two programs that provide you with food to eat every day.

When my wife contacted a rep at NutriSystem she presented me all the facts. Pretty simple... we had to buy two months of food each. Each "month" equated to 28 days worth of food. For a woman it is a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert. For a man it is a breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and a snack (a snack was just another dessert.) Men get a little more because we are suppose to have more calories a day than women.

Now since our past diets didn't work, I really didn't have high hopes that this one would work either. The way my wife convinced me was... It was a fixed cost. Providing me with 28 days of food means I don't have to worry about neither my wife or I not feeling like cooking; because as we all know... not feeling like cooking = eating out = more money = more calories = over weight. Even though I wanted to lose weight and lower my cholesterol my main motivation for starting this was financial. After all paying bills (such as our wedding) was part of my stress.

So the order was placed... the food arrived... and the diet started. I ate only their food... no exercise... and after just four weeks of eating their food and obeying their rules... I lost 11 pounds. I was hooked. Now my motivation wasn't for saving money... it was to lose as much weight as this diet would allow me. Before the second month ended my wife suggested having us purchase a third month. Hell freakin' yea, let's do this thing!! At the end of my second month I lost a total of 22 pounds and I am currently on my last month.

I started at a weight of 190 pounds and my doctor said my ideal weight is 160-155 pounds. I currently weigh 165 pounds and I still have three weeks to go.

Stay tuned to find out more about the diet and life after NutriSystem.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Started...

So... How do you start a Blog? When you have something to say? Sure, but what do I have to say? I guess I won't know unless I start talking. So here is my start to something new... something that I may enjoy a lot and perhaps something that others may enjoy as well.