Puttin’ It Out There

Enough already with the waffling between fitness programs & nutritional vigilance. Here’s my frikkin’ FitDay journal.


You see me putting half a cheese pizza in there, or eating Slow Churned three or four times a day, call me on it. You see me NOT putting in my activities (either too lazy to input them or too lazy to even do them), then call me on it. Finally, if you have questions or want help doing this type of thing for yourself, ask. Happy to help. FitDay helped me get realistic about caloric intake and food composition, and then I was really able to change the way I thought about food.

It did more than just teach me what’s worse for me; I had a pretty good idea of what was bad & what was worse & what would ensure I’d hate myself for in the morning. What it did was show me that a handful of almonds is a decent snack but increase it to two or three handfuls, and, healthy fats aside, I might as well have eaten half a bag of Oreos. If you’re going to eat a lot of something, even a “healthier” something, it can still put a dent in your allowance. In order to eat more than a cup of something at one time is fat-free yogurt or cheese, some fruits, most vegetables, and popcorn with non-fat seasoning. Bet you didn’t know that. F you if you did, cuz you didn’t tell me before I got fat.

It also helps you keep tally on those little snacks, and on drinks/sodas/juices. A Pepsi & a small bag of pretzels is still a 425 calorie snack – 20% of what your intake should be. But spread those out, meaning a Pepsi in the morning and pretzels in the afternoon, and you probably wouldn’t even register them as things that you ate that day. That shit adds up!

But one of the most powerful things that I think this helps you to see is the TYPES of foods you’re eating when you think you’re doing yourself a favor by skipping meals. I was under the assumption that, if I just snack most of the morning and most of the afternoon, I would probably come out to about the same as if I had eaten a big cheeseburger and a small salad at Ruby Tuesday’s. Not even close to true; see the above pretzels & Pepsi example. Even a shitty Big Mac is only about a thousand calories; if you instead ate three bags of pretzels & had two Pepsis, you’re already at about 800 calories. Sure, you haven’t eaten a fat-encrusted unnatural “meat substance” dipped in “CHEESE” and special sauce, but you have consumed roughly the same amount of calories – and it was basically all sugar.

Carbohydrates are not evil, but if you’re skipping lunch because you’re too busy WORKING or just aren’t hungry, you’re not burning off whatever calories you’re taking in, and carbohydrates are short-term energy sources, but the body treats them all pretty much the same – they are quickly converted to fat, the body’s long-term storage unit, if they aren’t needed immediately. That is, if you’re not moving around and burning the 800 calories worth of pretzels & Pepsi, the sugar converts into fat because the body doesn’t need the calories yet. It’ll break down the fat when it has to, but until then it will insulate your body in case the food stops coming completely.

But you know what’s more easily broken down than fat? Protein. Also known as muscle. So you haven’t eaten a “fatty” lunch, but you’ve snacked and stayed sedentary. When you do finally run up the stairs because you’re late for a meeting or try to make it in the doors of the FedEx Kinko’s before the cute girl leaves for the day, your body will burn muscle because it’s already stored the carbs as fat, and muscle is more readily available than fat (assuming you’re not already in great shape in terms of metabolic efficiency.)

Have you done yourself a favor by skipping meals? HELL NO. Your body burns muscle instead of sugar or carbs when you finally do get active. You did eat 20% less calories, but you’ve basically just made them part of your spare tire collection & received no nutritional benefit whatsoever. (At least the “meat substance” would’ve had a solid 15 grams of protein to help protect/create muscle fibers.) And guess what? Know how you feel run-down and queasy because you didn’t eat lunch & just snacked? Yeah, that’s your body’s response to your blood sugar going through more peaks and valleys than Rosie O’Donnell, and it isn’t following the same natural wave it normally follows throughout the day. So what’s your body doing? It’s taking blood away from your head, pulling it into your stomach, and using the extra oxygen and heat to convert whatever sugar is in your system into fat for long-term storage, because you’re freaking it out and it’s going into scarcity mode.

Do this 80 times a year (every fourth or fifth day) without giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll put on 20 pounds, your libido will suffer, you won’t sleep as well, and you probably have skin problems. All because you thought having pretzels & soda instead of a Big Mac HAD to be better for you.

In general, this is still true – but only to a point. FitDay helps you find that point. That’s all I’m saying. In this huge rant, that’s all I’m trying to say. And I wish like hell I could find/be blessed with the business savvy to take their little model and blow it into a full-fledged Bob Green-endorsed accessory to 5-Factor Fitness.