Thursday, July 22, 2010


 If "tummy" didn't matter and it was all based on legs, I'd be dead sexy.  Just kidding.

35,839.  This is the amount of calories my Garmin says I have burned in the last 30 days, which I have further reduced by 30% because I don't trust my Garmin.  This doesn't include swimming or lifting, but as a point of reference I swam about 14,000 yards and spent about 4 hours in the gym in the last month.

Sounds like a lot, yeah?  Well I would think it is, except I have not lost any weight in two months.  By the way, I'm 6'0, have a big build, and currently weigh 215.  I'd like to get down to 200. 

According to the Harris-Benedict calorie formula, I need to take in 3364 calories a day to maintain my current weight based on the amount of training I do.  To be honest, I haven't been counting calories.  I didn't think I needed to, as I think (or I hope) that I eat pretty much on the right side of OK.  For example, this is what I had today -

Breakfast - 1 packet of instant oatmeal w/ 1 tablespoon of peanut butter; 8 oz orange juice; 4 strawberries.

Mid Morning Snack - 1 Clif Bar

Lunch - Turkey sandwich with 1 slice of real cheddar cheese and mustard on wheat bread; small bowl of Kashi crackers (15?)

Afternoon Snack - 1 Clif Bar

Dinner - 10 oz grilled tuna steak; 1 medium baked potato; 1 corn on the cob.

Dessert - 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Plus: sparkling water, NUUN on the bike, a serving of Fluid recovery drink, 2 cups of coffee and a diet coke.

For training, I rode my bike just over an hour at a high intensity, and did a 45 minute open water swim at a medium intensity.  It's more or less like this almost every day.

Now I'm sure every single one of you has already zeroed in on the dessert.  I wouldn't be surprised if you did and that may very well be the problem.  I hope not though, because I love ice cream.

At this point, I'm basically lean except for what's left of my love handles and a little bit on the sides of upper body under my arm pits.  

I'm not complaining, because I've come down from 290 pounds.  But I'm in for a penny, in for a pound (pun intended), and I would love to be the fittest 40 year old on the block.

Does anyone have any insight?  Feel free to berate me for the ice cream or indulge me in whatever science you've got.



Barbie said...

Sounds like you eat really healthy, and I think you should be able to indulge in an icecream. When I was trying to lose my weight I was all about counting calories cause I wanted to make sure that I was sticking to a 1500 calorie count and exercising a solid hour of hard stuff 6 days a week. But I noticed when I was doing my weight training my weightloss stagnated and then increased some. Can you decrease your calorie count by a bit? But then how does that help with your energy...not sure I helped at all :)

valen said...

I eat ice cream the night before hard sessions (TT's on the swim bike or long intervals on the run, bricks, and all that require intensity of over 85% for more than 10min) I wouldn't give it up.

I'd go to a nutritionist to get it sorted, I have not visited one and blame the old love handles on that.

good luck and let me know if you find the secret!,


Your menu looks pretty balanced and healthy, but if you want to drop a few more pounds, obviously you have to change something.

I noticed you don't eat a lot of fruit. Only a few strawberries, and OJ for breakfast. You also eat 2 cliff bars a day.

I would try switching the cliff bars for some natural and healthy snacks like some fruit and yogurt. Keep the bars for long rides. And try ditching the ice cream, or limiting it to once a week, just as a temporary measure.

Best of luck.

Jennifer said...

I am no expert, but I have had good success in weight loss, so far. I noticed too that you have little fruit, more would be good. In fact if I had to say anything, I don't think you are eating enough, sounds crazy but many people's bodies go into survival mode (metabolism's slow way down to conserve food) when calories are restricted too much, for someone your size who is doing so much your intake doesn't sound enough for me. Chris Carmichael's book "Food for Fitness" is a great lesson in feeding the hungry athlete body (you just have to get past his shameless plugs for his company) It workes for Lance Armstrong. I can send you my copy to look at, no problem.

KovasP said...

I know you disagree, but my doctor would say that the peanut butter, orange juice, cheddar cheese, wheat bread, corn on the cob, ice cream and coffee are all inflammatory foods and should go. That's for you to decide. The Diet Coke is what I don't get.

Jon said...

If Ice Cream is what makes you happy and keeps you sane, then eat some dang ice cream! This is not a job, its a hobby. You still gotta live!

Matty O said...

I agree with flatout Jim. 2 Clif bars a day is something like 500 calories man. The ice cream... I am with you on that. We started buying skinny cow or slim a bear, 100 calorie servings, after a week, you don't taste the difference :)

Another thing you should watch is your veggies and fruit. Keep those up in your meals.

I have a similar diet to you and I am maintaining 191-193. Our bodies have a natural weight that they "want to be at". You might have found yours :) Doesn't mean that busting your ass and picking up intensity in your workouts won't tell your body that your happy weight is 200lbs!

Johann said...

I find the older I get the more I have to train to get rid of weight. Gone are the days of eating what I want when I want.

Unknown said...

Overall your diet is pretty clean. Cut out the diet coke. How much water are you drinking a day? MAke sure you are drinking a ton and weight will start to go to. Coffee, I need it too, but I have cut out cream and now just add Fat free organic milk - it isn't as good as the cream but you get used to it!

Also, this is very hard for endurance athletes but if you are trying for additional weightloss then you need to cut some carbs and replace with protein. We need carbs but if you take in to many carbs your body will just burn carbs and not fat. BUT if you take in more protein (instead of carbs) your body will burn your stored fat reserves.

Try to maintain a 40% Protein/40%Carbs/20%Fat and you will lose weight. OR if you really want to shred go 60%Protein/20%Carb/20%Fat!! Hope that helps and good luck getting rid of those final lbs!

Christine Jensen said...

Are you doing speed work? Regularly mixing up your routine with speed bursts helps you over a plateau in both performance progress and weight loss

Joe said...

This certainly isn't necessary, but you're really interested in this kind of stuff I'd suggest getting your resting metabolic rate tested. Most major gyms offer it. It tells you what you burn without significant activity and gives you a baseline to use as comparison. I'm a big dude -- 6'2" and I can't get below 200 pounds even if I wanted to (I (heart) Clydesdale divisions). I got tested and found out that I burn significantly less calories at rest than the average person. If I remember right, average guy burns 2000 cals/day and I burn 1750. This would be great if I was stranded on an island somewhere (I'd last longer than average guy!) but when not on that island and when surrounded by spandex at events its not quite so awesome.

It also means -- as you suggest -- that unless my Garmin/HRM is calibrated specifically to my physiology, I actually burn less than what it tells me. Because its default math is done based on average guy. Screw average guy.

I think the test cost me $200-250 and I had my anaerobic threshold tested at the same time. The data I got from it was totally worth it.

All this said -- I agree with Matty above -- 2 Clif bars/day is a lot. They have little 100 Cal versions that I frequent.

My rule about ice cream is this -- in season I can eat it whenever I want, but I have to share it. Ice cream tastes 150% better in the company of loved ones.

J. L. said...

Another post that mimicks my own thoughts. Last summer while training for my first tri's I put on a few pounds and dropped them over the long fall months. This summer I was determined not to do that and hired a trainer. $600 and while the sessions are fantastic, her motto of counting calories has NOT worked. I log my calories onto It's free and shows a great pie chart of your carb to protein to fat ratio. And nearly every food is in that data base, but it also points out sodium and fat and cholesterol. I am nearly always at a deficit and should be at my goal weight but am not. If you're serious about wanting to lose the weight, see a dietician. It has to be more about just the calories. I've been counting for 12 weeks and am at a mental loss as to what I should do. But one good product I've found is Syntrax Nectar protein drink. 90 calories, 0 carbs and 23 grams protein. I'm only 5'1" so my daily calorie allowance isn't as generous as yours.

shel said...

i've lost 120 lbs from my highest weight and have that last 10 lb business going on too (for almost a year now..). here is something that wasn't mentioned. it was one of those hack job cobbed together articles for hire from a non-expert on yahoo yesterday. but i looked into these things.. and they may have a point... perhaps it is the answer for you? are you eating organic? are you drinking filtered water? personally i'm not into that stuff, but this was an eye opener...especially as a mom of 2 girls. we eat a ton of fruit and gulp, sometimes i don't wash it. we also eat our weight in canned tomatoes and beans each week and drink only tap water. we don't buy anything organic and come to think of it, besides our fresh fruits and veg, i can't think of a single thing in our house that doesn't come inside of a metal can or plastic. we have a veggie garden this year, but it is a small amount of our consumption.

Chris K said...

Holy Guacamole, some long a$$ posts. Seems you hit a hot button. Want to lose weight (not saying you do)? Cut back on the sugar. It's that simple. My rule of thumb is no more than 7 g of sugar per meal. Meal includes morning an aftenoon snack. Based on results, it works. Good luck in SB this weekend.

Anne said...

Thanks for the t-shirt, got it yerterday :)

Kelsey: the Blonde Bullet said...

I have absolutely no good advice, especially since I'm a binge/emotional/treat-yourself eater most of the time and therefore fail at weight loss. Although I do try.

But the only advice I can give is don't ever trust your Garmin. They are liars. I'm convinced. Liars.

...Maybe that's just me...

Glenn Jones said...

There are a number of websites out there that you can use to track both intake and output. I've tried a couple, and IMHO te best on on the web is SparkPeople ( Or if you have a smart phone you can use LoseIt! The advantage of it on your phone is you can log while eating. Both of these are priced right (free). I used SparkPeople to help power me through 40 lbs lost a couple years ago. I'm trying to get motivated to drop that last 30 these days....


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