Week 2: Mo’ water, mo’ water, mo’ water, mo’!

Photo from fan page of Black Women "Do" Work Out!

Oh the importance of water. You’ll be surprised once you are anointed with the knowledge. It makes up to 60% of the human body and is how the body moves everything along smoothly, removes waste adequately, and keeps the skin healthy.

And how about its key role in weight loss? Yes, you need water. You, NEED water.  According to a 2010 article from WebMd.com, water is key to weight loss because it helps the stomach feel fuller before a meal. The article also states that no scientific research proves why water helps with weight loss and nutritionist do not know how much water a person actually needs.

But the unconventional health knowledge from the experts I came across through Underground Wellness have broken down the science of water and weight loss pretty well.

According to what I have learned thus far, the human body has a desire to be healthy and optimal in performance. That means there are plenty of defense mechanisms and processes that take place in the human body to make sure it is healthy and running in top shape. One thing the body does to make sure it is healthy is remove waste.

I’ve heard that waste is also stored in body fat. My guess is that the more water you drink, the more the body and its cells can address the fat it has stored and the waste contained in this fat. Think about it. When you drink plenty of water and have to use the restroom in almost minutes to an hour, does water really get through the system that quick? I don’t think so, I think the body is super happy and gets to work.

It is also said that you need half your body weight, in ounces, of water a day. Is that a lot? Well it depends on how much you weight, but your body will most definitely let you know if you are not getting enough.

Which is pretty much what happened to me this week. After another week of sticking to my healthier eating habits and completing all the workouts from the Underground Workout manual, I did not lose a pound and actually put on 4 ounces. I was not completely crushed by not losing weight because I did see my arms shaping up and my dad, who had not seen me in a month, said I looked like I lost a lot of weight.

After improving my consistency in water intake, I seen a pound gone in a day so I definitely know it was the water.

Water and your body according to http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu:

  • The brain is 70% water
  • Lungs are almost 90% water
  • Lean muscle tissue is 75% water by weight
  • Body fat has 10% water
  • Bone is 22% water
  • Water helps cells “use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.”
Advertisements

Meal Prep: the busy dieter’s best friend

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks.

I’m a pretty busy person. Besides working on my own entrepreneurial venture, I am a full time student with a job and a whole bunch of stuff I have to learn. Not to mention that I live about an 1 hour and 35 minute train and BART ride away from campus and work.

So my veggies would go bad. My cage free/veg fed chicken would stay frozen. And my favorite chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s, the only chicken sausage I respect enough to eat :), would start to form a weird slime on the last four. I was waisting money!

Being that I can’t afford to live so lavishly, I devised a plan to keep me on task and living consciously as well as economically savvy. Designate days for chopping and cooking. So on Sundays, when everybody has gone to church and I have the house to myself, I put the Zap Mama Pandora station on and get to prepping for the week.

I cook chicken, wash, chop, and steam veggies, fry my plantain, and bag chopped peppers, onion, and cherry tomatoes. I have everything done before the week gets hectic.

Then I came across the Facebook fan page of Your First Figure Competition and seen that she has taken meal prep to an even more prepped mode. She separated her meals in correct portions and then put her meals into plastic containers.

Now, after the first week of trying this I can say that I did save some time. However, with my tiny fridge in my tiny place, I don’t really have room for prepackaged meals. Especially not 8 containers of lunch and dinner. So I will most likely be going back to the meal prep and one container.

Whether you are more comfortable with one container or have the room for 8, the time saved and room given by a meal prep day are extremely beneficial:

  • Saves time
  • Grab and go meals
  • Quick, healthy breakfasts
  • Makes you more conscious of what you eat
  • Assist in keeping serial cheaters on task
  • Aids in the conscious involvement, planning, and learning portion of your lifestyle change

I am a huge fan and will continue.

Five dinners of chicken and Brussels sprouts. I did not prepackage lunch because I had shrimp salad all week with homemade flaxseed oil dressing.

Chub Around the Waist: belly fat, potbelly, love handles and back fat

Muffin top, spare tire, the keg, extra cushion for the pushin’, whatever you might call that layer of fat plastered around your midsection, it seems to have no problem sticking around for the long haul. Either you’ve tried extra sit-ups or some gimmicky belly fat targeting diet to get rid of it, but there it is to greet you in the morning and spill over your pants.

Front view of the muffin top

I’ve been tucking mine away for years now. Belly fat, love handles, and back fat stack on my body when I gain weight. Yeah, I love my thick, shapely legs and blessed buttocks, but boy do I hate my midsection fat… Eww! I often wish that I were one of those thick women that are blessed with flat tummies and thick thighs like Buffy the Body and Tiara Kristine.  Many of us attempt to obtain such figures by believing all we need are grueling crunches.

Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed into believing that we can gun through 100 sit-ups a day and wake up with sexy abs after about a month or so. But I have learned that the secret to sexy abs begins way before you even think about hitting the ground for a crunch.

It begins with a healthy body and fat loss. Thanks to my mom’s keen eye for effective and wholesome fat loss routines, I learned this at a fairly early age.  As my mom watched a hefty 245-pound teenager wobble around, she realized she had to do something.

My 285 pound mother and I then started to follow the work and cleansing routine of health guru and author Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, and her Fat Flush PlanWe fell in love with the program as the pounds seemed to fall off effortlessly. Now I’m pretty sure that there were rough times, but the end result was so lovely, I don’t even remember them.

245 at 14-years-old. My mother put me on the plan when I was 17 I believe.

After Fat Flush Plan: At 160 to 170 in my early 20s

Like any well working machine there is a requirement of maintenance and we didn’t really work through that portion of the book. Within five years I put on weight until I was a little under 220 pounds.

Despite my weight gain, I found the book extremely helpful and truthful. There was a section in the book that explained the need to incorporate the different phases into my lifestyle. This is obviously what I did not do since I am here with another fitness journal dedicated to weight loss.

What’s the chub around your waist?

An Unhealthy Liver

  • The idea of the Fat Flush Plan is to support the liver, aid it in cleansing for the elimination of excess water weight, make one aware of food allergies, and regulate insulin levels.  What I need to do is cleanse my liver and eliminate excess weight in order to get rid of the cellulite and midsection fat.

Whole wheat

  • Another approach to belly fat is the elimination of wheat as explained by renowned cardiologist William Davis in his book Wheat Belly. I’ve never read the book, but have found that going without wheat has helped my digestion and helped in weight loss.
  • According to Davis, wheat can cause rashes, high blood sugar, and stomach fat. He has found that wheat is the “single largest contributor to the nationwide epidemic”. Go figure. I’m pretty sure we’ve heard plenty of times before to load up on whole-wheat products for weight loss.  You could have actually been making your weight loss journey much harder.

Read description of Wheat Belly

An Excess of stress hormones

  • I’ve also came across the work of Dr. Russel Farris and Dr. Per Marin in their book The Pot Belly Syndrome. I’ve started reading this book, but I have not finished yet. According to a product description on UndergroundWellness.com, the book explains that the potbelly is a metabolic disorder initiated by “long-term excess of the stress hormone cortisol.”
  • Potbelly Syndrome, or PBS, leads to obesity of the abdomen, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Read description of The Potbelly Syndrome 

Just Eat(ing) Real Foods (JERF) 2011 Results

Weight loss that worked for me

During 2010, I came across fitness trainer and health expert Sean Croxton and his wonderful cyber world of Underground Wellness. Deemed unconventional, Sean Croxton takes a holistic and organic approach to obtaining optimized health. He encourages his followers to break free from the old ways of weight loss. Calorie counting is discouraged, fats are promoted, and low-fat is not brought up unless it is being discredited.

Most recently, Croxton has summarized his message, and the message of other organic and holistic health experts, into one simple concept; just eat real food (JERF). That means leaving behind anything that has been heavily processed. Eating fruits, vegetables, sprouts, raw nuts, cage free/vegetarian fed meats, roots, and raw dairy is considered JERF. Any food with more than three ingredients is a no no unless it is a recipe, of course.

In 2011, I adopted this simple, yet extremely effective method of obtaining health. I lost an average of 2-5 pounds a week and did not find it hard to stick to my routine, because I was hardly ever hungry when my body was not supposed to eat. I also worked out regularly and drunk half of my weight, in ounces, of water a day.

At the beginning of 2011, I weighed 235 pounds. I tried eating primarily raw foods, then I tried being a vegetarian, and lets not forget about that incredibly intense juicing fast. Since I hate being hungry, I probably stuck to each attempt for about a couple of weeks to a month.

But with JERF, I lost weight and felt much better daily. I had energy to work out and I did not waste sleep counting calories or reading ingredients. I also found that weight did not accumulate on me excessively when I fell off of my journey. My weight did not go higher than 208, which is 10 pounds from my lowest weight in 2011, and sometimes decreased. Despite that fact that I was eating out more than 3 times a week and stopped working out completely. With other diets, I would have most likely put on all of the weight I lost in a short period of time.

Transition and Cleansing

In the past, I’ve noticed that a change in my eating habits is hardest when I am hungry. In order to fight the failure that results from feeling starved, I am going to transition into my new eating habits without jumping in head first.

Since hunger pisses me off, I’m not going with the fasting method of a liquid cleanse. I am choosing to support my body’s own desire to be clean by loading up on wholesome foods from the earth and plenty of water. And when I say plenty of water, I mean plenty of water; half of my body weight, in ounces.

Last year, prior to losing 40 pounds, I began with a cleanse. The cleanse removed toxins and increased weight loss. I also found that the cleanse made coming off of carbohydrates a lot easier. I am a carb junky that gets headaches and feels hungry without a piece of bread or something.

Intended Cleansing Schedule:

For a better view: Transition Chart Sheet1
Find under “Helpful Links” other cleansing methods.