Weight Loss for Athletic Performance | Nutrition | OutsideOnline.com <–Click to read original Outside post
I’m actively trimming ounces of gear that lead to one less pound for my 2014 backpacking gear list. While it’s a standard target for many backpackers to lessen the load they need to haul around, up, and down- I’m even more interested in keeping 15 pounds off my now reduced to 200-pound frame.
At the end of March last year, I weighed in at 215. It was less than a month before I was to step away from the Palomas, Mexico border crossing in New Mexico and walk some 2,500 miles over the Rockies to Canada. I didn’t worry much about my weight, because I knew I’d lose lots of weight, even eating all the high calorie food I could carry. By the 60th day, somewhere in Colorado, I stepped on the scales and I was down to 184. Pretty remarkable. Thirty one pounds.
I like to visually imagine this weight thing, and default to a mental image of a pound of fat—-pound of butter, 4 sticks. Fat-butter, yes- they are pretty close in density. Four times 31 equals 124 sticks of butter being trimmed off my body. Yikes!
I’m yo-yoed through this up and down weight thing before , as have most other folks. This time I have been able to keep off those last 15 pound that I have said bye-bye to. I was able to fit into a pair or size 34 pants when I came back to Maine from this last long hike. I am really pleased to say I can still fit them, and would like to keep it that way.
Why? Because I am now fitter than I have been in previous winters, even at any age. I feel it climbing hills on my Pugsley bicycle, which I have been able to ride at least twice a week just about every week this winter. I have good endurance on longer snowshoe expeditions, and winter hikes.
How have I kept the weight off? Portion control. I have always exercised enough, but my lower metabolic rate has always worked against me. I have a new perspective- EXERCISING IS NOT ENOUGH FOR ME TO DROP WEIGHT.
One of the factors that has correlated with staying 15 pounds lighter this winter is not renewing my YMCA gym membership. I’ve been a gym rat all my life,ever since high school. No more. It’s not logical, I just felt it wasn’t right anymore to drive 15 minutes down and then 15 minutes back to work out for an hour. I stay outside and do things- walking biking, hiking. I have even vowed to cut my own firewood, and haul and split it myself.
I do have a medicine ball, a stability ball, a set of dumb bells and a program of exercises that I can do in the house if the weather is really bad and I don’t feel like going out. But it’s the last resort.
I give some credit to the Fitbit app that I have on my iPhone 5s as a contributing factor to my weight loss.
It’s free from the App store. If you own the 5s you no longer have to purchase the $100 wristband to use most of the features of the Fitbit app. Apple’s M7 chip — exclusive to the iPhone 5S (and new models of the iPads) — keeps track of a user’s movements and allows easy retrieval of that data without sacrificing battery life. Just keeping the iPhone in my pocket allows me track all the motion of my body during the day, which automatically converts to steps, and miles. The app also allows for manual data entry about how many miles biked, etc. The Fitbit app also allows me to enter everything I eat, and registers calories. It has a vast array of foods already calculated for entry. Over time, I realized that there aren’t that many varieties of meals and snacks that I eat on a monthly basis- they can be entered and saved for really quick meal/ snack entry. I like that I am prompted for consumption of a specified amount of daily water- in my case 64 oz.
Intake/ output food calorie is not new. Ever hear of Weightwatchers?
It’s new for me, and it’s working so far. Plus I’m saving money that I’d spend on getting those last few ounces off my back, by losing pounds off my stomach.