Dail schedule: weightloss in daily life!

I really love a lot of the fitness profiles that are out there. Great looking women, amazing workouts, flashy workout clothes, great tips etc. But, many of them do this for a living, so it is not realistic to think I can do the same! I still catch myself thinking like that though, and I can imagine some of you do too! So I decided to write down how an average week looks for me. This is not to bitch about my life. I love my life! It’s just to show you that losing weight/getting fit takes time and hard work!

Monday: 

5.30 am: the alarm goes off, I jump out of bed, because if I start snoozing I’ll end up very lazy and late for work. I take a shower and have my mealprep breakfast.

6.20 am: I leave the house with my backpack, sneakers on and a hot green tea in my travelling mug in my bag. I start my walk with my headphones on, thankful it’s not raining!

7.50 am: I take the train to Utrecht and walk to my work.

8.30 am: Work starts, it has been a hectic weekend with a lot of new admissions.

12.15 pm: Weekend meeting during lunch (I eat my mealprep lunch), we discuss new admissions and curious cases.

2.00 pm: I rush to finish my things, try to type everything I’ve done, sometimes it’s really stressful because I don’t want to be late for the tutor group and lecture.

2.30 pm: Whew, I’m on time for the tutorgroup, luckily it’s in my building today so I don’t need to travel for it.

5.00 pm: Lecture has ended, I rush to the train station and eat an apple on the way. I’m determined to go to the gym, but in my head all kind of scenarios are making an appearance, seriously thinking about buying icecream and pigging out on the couch.

5.45 pm: I arrive home, grab a nakd bar, take my gymbag and get to my car to drive to the gym.

6.00 pm: I’m so happy I went to the gym, I do my lifting schedule and end up with a bit of HIIT and HIT.

8.30 pm: I arrive home, tired but happy. I eat my mealprep dinner and watch some tv.

9.30 pm: I’m tired and go to bed, ending the day with 17.965 steps, fitbit says I’ve burned 3.250 kcal and I’ve eaten 1.942 kcal.

Tuesday

5.30 am: The alarm goes off but I’m so tired, I set the alarm to 7 am.

7.00 am: Alarm again, I get up, take a shower, eat my mealprep breakfast and leave for work.

8.30 am: Work starts, it’s a busy day.

7.00 pm: Finished at work, I rush to the train station to get the 7.20 train. I make it, yay!

7.30 pm: I arrive at home, eat my mealprep dinner and watch tv.

8.30 pm: I do yoga for 1 hour, ending with some headstands which hurts my neck, ouch.

9.30 pm: I take a shower and go to bed…. Ending the day with 11.255 steps, fitbit says I burned 2.539 kcal, I ate 1.762 kcal.

Wednesday:

6.00 am: It’s my day off but the alarm goes off early to go to the gym. I eat breakfast (smoothie) and prepare for the gym.

6.50 am: I leave home, to go to the gym, it recently started to open at 7 am on monday and wednesday!

9.30 am: I’m finished! I take a shower at the gym, dress nicely and leave to my guy.

10.30 am: I arrive at my guy’s place. We relax, watch a movie, have lunch together and rearrange some stuff in the garden so the boat can go to its winter place.

2.30 pm: I leave to go home while my guy leaves to pick up his son from school.

3.00 pm: I arrive home, I go to my laptop and books immediately. I need to prepare a presentation for tomorrow and have done 0 for it. First I need to read some chapters, watch the mandatory documentary.

6.30 pm: I’m hungry and not done with the presentation. I have some quark with oats, peanutbutter and a banana for dinner and go on with the presentation.

8.00 pm: I’m finally done, there’s still some things to read and write for tomorrow but I’m tired and can’t concentrate anymore. I take an extra quest bar and I’m going to watch some tv and call with my guy because today’s meeting was so short and I miss him.

9.30 pm: I’m pooped, I go to bed but have difficulties falling asleep, finally I fall asleep around 11 pm. I’m ending the day with 12.904 steps, fitbit says I’ve burned 3.006 kcal and I’ve eaten 1.898 kcal.

Thursday:

5.30 am: The alarm goes off but I feel so tired, so I snooze till 6.30 am.

6.30 am: Really have to get up now to go to Amersfoort for tutor groups. I have a shower and eat my mealprep breakfast.

7.30 am: I take the train to Amersfoort and from there the bus to the place where we have tutor groups.

8.30 am: Tutor groups start. I have my presentation and people like it thankfully 🙂

11.00 am: Tutor groups end and I’m happy 1 of my collegues came by car, so we go to work in his car.

11.30 am: I arrive at work, have a quick meeting with the nurses and psychiatrist.

12.00 noon: We have a lunch presentation, 1 of my collegues has a presentation about drug abuse. I have my mealprep lunch while the rest eats the bread that is provided. They look at my broccoli and laugh a little, but I don’t care.

1.00 pm: We have a meeting with my fellow residents.

2.00 pm: Finally I can go to the ward. A lot of things are waiting for me since I wasn’t there this morning. I also need to do a new admission on the other ward because those doctors over there have lectures in the afternoon.

8.00 pm: I’m done and pooped…. I rush to the train station.

8.30 pm: I’m home, eat my mealprep dinner and zone out in front of the TV.

9.15 pm: I go to bed. I end my day with 10.673 steps, fitbit says I’ve burned 2.429 kcal and I ate 1.665 kcal.

Friday

5.30 am: The alarm goes off and I make myself get up because I’ve not walked a lot this week. I eat my mealprep breakfast, have a shower.

6.20 am: I leave home to walk.

7.50 am: I arrive at the train station and take the train to work, walk from the train station to work.

8.30 am: Work starts, it’s an ok day, busy but doable since I’m alone and my direct collegue has his day off today. The nurses offer me cake but I take my mealprep lunch and planned snacks.

5.30 pm: I leave work, go to trainstation to go home.

6.00 pm: I arrive home, eat my mealprep dinner and relax in front of the TV. I walk around in my house some more with my headphones on to increase todays steps.

10.00 pm: I go to bed, I had a good week! I end the day with 20.087 steps. Fitbit says I’ve burned 3.058 kcal and I ate 1.716 kcal.

Saturday

7.00 am: The alarm goes off, I have a shower and have a nice weekend smoothie.

8.15 am: I leave to go to the gym.

11.00 am: I’m finished at the gym, I go home but do some shoppings first. The supermarket is right outside my building, so that’s convenient.

12.00 noon: I make myself a nice post-workout lunch, yum!

1.00 pm: I start some chores, do 2 loads of laundry, dishwasher, clean the floors and bathroom.

3.00 pm: My mom visits, we have tea together and plan her comeback to weightloss!

4.30 pm: I do some shoppings at the supermarket for tonight and tomorrow.

5.00 pm: I start some reading for next weeks tutor group.

6.30 pm: I cook and have dinner. I watch some TV and do some more reading.

9.45 pm: I call to work, my night shift starts. My collegues tell me about how the day was. There’s nothing to do right now so I stay at home and watch TV.

10.30: I get some calls, but all can be handled through the phone, I watch some TV.

Midnight: I try to sleep, but get some calls. I end the day with 12.282 steps, fitbit says I’ve burned 3.066 kcal and I’ve eaten 1.794 kcal.

Sunday

1.30 am: I finally fall asleep

4.00 am: I get called, there’s a new admission. I get dressed, step into my car and go to work to see the patient.

7.30 am: I get home and I’m wide awake, so I decide to already start the meal prepping, making my breakfasts for the coming week.

8.30 am: I call work as my ‘on call’ ends to tell them what happened. I continue the prep and put the chicken in the oven and watch some Netflix.

10.00 am: The supermarket downstairs opens, I go and get the rest of the stuff I need for my mealprep and continue the prepping.

Noon: It was a rough night, but I decided to do a day of intermittent fasting, so I take my first meal of the day. After this I finish the prep.

2.00 pm: prep is finished and in the fridge. I clean the kitchen and put the trash outside.

3.00 pm: I crash on the couch, try to do some reading for the lectures on monday but I fall asleep.

5.00 pm: I wake up from the couch, I start cooking dinner and some other preps like my protein shakes for the workouts next week and vitamins in the week-box. I also prepare my gymbag for monday.

6.30 pm: I’ve eaten and I’m walking around my house with my headphones on to get to my 10k steps. It’s raining outside. When I reach 10k I watch some Netflix.

9.00 pm: I go to bed early to start my new week the best way I can! I end the day in 10.079 steps, fitbit says I burned 2.525 kcal and I ate 2.069 kcal.

 

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Kcal in/out & fat burn zone

I am so guilty of obsessing over my kcal burn at the gym compared to my calory intake, especially since I got my new Fitbit Charge HR. It’s funny how we perceive something to be so true and solid, while at the same time, it’s really fooling us. For example, how do you know your food contains exactly the amount of calories you’ve calculated? You actually don’t, its all an estimation, which is fine by me, but thought you might want to know before you stress out over a few of them 😉

So now something about the fat burn zone. It has been a myth for a long time, that in order to lose weight or lose fat, you need to do low intensity steady state (LISS) workouts to burn fat. The myth says your heartrate needs to be in a certain zone to maximise the amount of fat burned. There is a bit of truth behind it, but not in a way you might think. I’ll try to explain. Screenshot_2015-12-19-21-49-09-1

Your body contains a certain amount of glycogen, which is basically long chains of glucose. There’s some storage in the muscles and in the liver. It’s a fast and easy way of providing the body energy fast when it needs it. Like in emergency situations, where you have to run away fast in case of danger for example. The thing is, your body really wants to preserve this storage for these emergencies, but will use is when it’s necessary. Fat burning is slower though, it needs more processes to get to energy so it’s not efficient in emergencies. So, for example, you go for a long and sturdy walk (LISS), the body will burn some glycogen, but finds out you go slow and steady (no emergency), so it starts up the processes of burning fat. Slowly, the amount of fats used as energy will increase and the amount of glycogen used will decrease. It will never go to 0%, but because of the slow and steady pace, you’ll have a higher % of fatburn in comparison to the fast and shorter situations where you’ll get a higher % of glycogen burn.

So up to now, you’ll be like, ok, you said it’s a myth but this really sounds like LISS is the way to go for fat burn? I’ll try to get to the clue. It is ALL about energy in and energy out. If you burn more energy than you eat, you’ll lose weight and vice versa. It doesn’t really matter if you burn a higher fat %, because in the end, the body will restore the glycogen stores, using the fat stores if you don’t eat more than you burn! And guess what, the more intense the workout, the more kcal you burn, so in the end, you’ll also burn more fat with intense workouts. There’s been a lot of research about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is short bursts of high intensity training followed by short periods of lower intensity training. It happens to be that you’ll burn a lot more kcal during these workouts, but also AFTER them, making them very efficient for losing weight!

So before I conclude I’ll have to add something else. There actually are other benefits of LISS, like getting more endurance. You’ll not hear me say that you shouldn’t do LISS. It’s just that I think it’s good to know what type of exercise benefits are out there and what will fit your goal! Personally, I’ve been heavy weightlifting (which is also a bit of a HIIT workout) since the start of my journey. For the first 10 months or so, I never did any cardio. Right now, I do 20 minutes of HIIT intervals on the elliptical after weightlifting. I also try to get 10.000 steps daily, which means I go for walks almost every day, which is my LISS workout. It keeps me active and energetic!

How to get that booty, strike a pose!

IMG_20150214_164425Yes, this is a picture of me, both are me and made on the same day. It might be a bit obvious, but it’s dead simple to make a before and after picture when it’s about that booty progress! Just adjust your posture, arch your back, point your toe and make 100 pictures and select the best.

 

The whole fitness industry is getting obsessed by the booty. I´ve seen a lot of ´fitness´ profiles on Instagram, promoting (selling) a program to get a booty. They have great booty pics of themselves and women fall for their programs like it’s the new 50 shades of grey. And don’t get me started about those ‘she squats’ pictures, they annoy me to the bone as you can see from their body that most have never seen a gym on the inside, at least not the weights room. Recently someone posted a gross picture of Kim Kardashian, showing clearly that she has booty implants and how messy it really looks. It still makes me shiver thinking about it. Getting a real nice booty can be simple and hard. Why? There are 3 reasons why it can be hard, I’ll sum them up for you:

  1. Genetics: You can be born with real nice round and full booty, just losing a bit of weight and a couple of months in the gym in the weights section can give you an amazing booty. If you’re born with a not so great booty, you can still get one, but it will definitely take longer and more work!
  2. Genetics part 2: how fast do you build muscle? If you’re a fast builder, it will take you less time than a slow builder.
  3. Starting point: If you’re obese, you won’t get that perky cute butt as fast as somebody who is only a few pounds overweight, simple as that!

So many people focus on squats. Well, there is more to life than only squatting. Here are my tips on getting a killer booty (no, not in 6 weeks, maybe not even 6 months, but it sure helps getting a nicer booty!).

  1. Lose weight by eating healthy and lifting weight. Most women need to lose a bit or a lot of weight before that booty becomes really visible. You can squat till you’re dead, but really, nutrition is more important than squatting! Check out this page of mine with posts about losing weight (nutrition and weightlifting).
  2. Train the whole body! Training one particular muscle group (the glutes) is almost impossible and also not really wise. Training multiple muscles will increase the natural release of growth hormones in your body, which will also make that booty grow faster. Aim for 3 total body workouts a week, check out this post about weightlifting if you don’t know where to start. Having a great back, shoulders, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps will make your booty even look better! Having great abs will also benefit your shape, check out this post about abs.
  3. Squatting is great, but there are other exercises more booty specific. I would advise to start with compound movements (squat, deadlift, split squats, lunges, leg press, step up, glute kickback) and end with more glute specific exercises (hip thrust, single straight leg deadlift, back extention, good mornings). If you focus on that glute squeeze and push the weights from your heels in most of these exercises, you’ll train the glutes a bit more. If you don’t know these exercises, look them up on bodybuilding.com. Don’t do all these in one setting, divide them over the week and add upper body exercises too!!
  4. Use it or lose it! If you’re sitting all day at work, make sure you create some space for walking. Take a walk before work and/or in your lunch break. Go to the bathroom furthest from your place, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Sitting all day is detrimental for a nice looking booty!

So now you know, there are no secrets in getting a nice booty. It’s just hard work and time that will get you there!

Weightlifting 101

I’m not a personal trainer, seek one for professional advice. This is from own experience and research.

If you want to know why I think weightlifting is a great workout for losing weight, check out my previous post about this subject. Check also this post about changing your lifestyle and this post about changing your mindset to lose weight. Exercise is great, but nutrition is more important when you want to lose weight! This post is for the people who are like me when I first started: yeah you want to lift weight, but how do you start??

If you are not totally broke and spend every last dime in your wallet on food and rent, I highly recommend you to take a (or more) weightlifting lesson from a personal trainer. I personally did not do that, because I was stubborn and thought it was a waste of money. Looking back, I could’ve really learned stuff that I only got to know later in my journey. Most gyms also offer some kind of personal plan, which you can use to get to know lifting. Make sure you tell them you want to lift weights, because the perception that people who want to lose weight or get fit should do cardio and light weights is still widely spread. Some gyms have weightlifting classes or classes like bodypump. They’re great, but the problem is that you won’t get that personal attention to your form which is VERY important.

Even before you’re going to start, it’s very wise to do some reading about weightlifting. This post can be a nice start, but more reading is recommended! I got a lot of info from www.bodybuilding.com. Don’t get scared from their pictures though! Lol! They have a great database of weightlifting exercises including video’s of how to perform them. Be aware, almost every fitness or weightlifting website/magazine is sponsored by supplement producers, so don’t fall for all those ads, I’ll talk about those supplements later!

Food for thought… erhm musclesPower%20Shaker%20Hi%20res

When you lift weight, your goal is to gain muscles, right? So how does your muscle grow? I’ll have a more in-depth post about muscles later, but here’s a summary: muscles need strength training to get a growth impulse and they need protein as a building block to make it bigger and stronger. My advice would be to eat/drink a good protein source within 30-60 minutes after lifting. Make sure you also have protein with every meal during the day, I aim for at least 100-120 grams of protein a day. (When you have kidney disease or any other health problem, ask your doctor for advise!) You can calculate your protein needs on www.iifym.com. Make sure you don’t have a too big of a caloric deficiency! You need to fuel your body in order to build muscles, you cannot gain muscle when you eat 800 kcal a day! Don’t worry, you’ll still lose weight! Look at me, I eat 1600-2300 kcal a day! (There are also people who say you can’t build muscle without eating more than your body needs, this is not true, though it can go slower than when you’re ‘bulking’.) (Most hardcore body builders go through a ‘bulking’ fase, where they’ll eat more, gain weight which is muscle and fat, and then go through a ‘shredding’ fase where they’ll lose fat and maintain their muscles) You can check out my instagram pictures to see that I do have muscle gains without going through a bulking fase!

Form form form!

Yes, form is so important when you lift weight! Many people just want to compete with each other, try to lift heavier every week, but sacrifice their forms to be able to do it. Well ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you get injuries! It’s better to do some great form total range squats with 10 lbs than to do squats with 100 lbs with bad form. You aim for muscle fatigue, or the feeling that you almost can’t do another repetition. If you reach that with 10 lbs, fantastic! If you reach it with 100 lbs, fantastic too!

Reps and sets, what?

For the total gym newbie: reps are repetitions, they are divided into sets. So for example, when something says 4 sets of 10 reps, you do the exercise 10 times, then rest small and repeat this 3 times. There are a lot of thoughts about how many sets and reps are good for muscle strength/muscle growth/muscle endurance. The common mindset is that if you do 1-5 reps, you’re training for strength, if you do 6-15 reps you train for muscle growth and if you do more than 15 reps, you train for muscle endurance. Of course, the weight you’ll use is higher when you do low reps. Personally, I don’t think those ranges are that fixed, you do 1 more rep and boom you’re not training for strength anymore? It’s more of a percentage, so you’ll also train for strength when you do 12 reps, just less then when you do 4 reps, you get me? So how do I do it? Well, I do 4 sets of 10 reps for compound movements (I’ll tell you about that later) and 4 sets of 12-15 reps for isolations. I didn’t start like that though, I started with 4 sets of 10 reps for everything, later did 15 reps for everything and then progressed to my current schedule. I’m not saying this is how you should do it, try and see what works for you.

Total body workouts vs split schedules

When you read about weightlifting, you will definitely read a lot about split schedules. A split schedule is where you divide your body into parts, and you’ll only train that part on 1 particular day. Though training with a split schedule has its benefits for very experienced amateur lifters and professionals, I don’t see any benefits for beginners. I’ve been lifting for a little over 10 months and still only doing total body workouts and they work fine for me! The benefits are that you will train your total body a couple of times a week, you won’t get that with a split schedule. As a beginner, you won’t have a big load so your muscles will not need a whole week to recover (ok, maybe in your first week lol!).

Free weights vs machines

So when you look at the gym, there are machines, cable machines and there are free weights. All have their strengths, I prefer free weights and cables, but sometimes use a machine too. I recommend to do the same. The benefit of using free weights (dumbbells, barbells) and cables is that you’ll use your own body to stabilize yourself instead of a machine stabilizing you. This way, you’ll train those small muscles to keep you balanced, which can be very good for injury prevention! And of course you burn more! Another benefit is that you’ll train your core muscles throughout your training, so you don’t need endless ab exercises (I hate those…). There are a couple of things that can help you to use free weights. A squat rack for example. When you progress to higher weights, it’s nearly impossible to get the weight you need for squats from the floor and onto your shoulders/back, because the upper body is usually less strong than the lower body. You can put your barbell on the rack a little lower than shoulder height, put your weights on it and than go stand under it to get it on your shoulders. There’s dumbell-barbellalso the smith’s machine (look it up if you don’t know what it is). It guides the barbell up and down (some of them can also move back and forward). Though it can be very useful, I prefer to do my squats, bench presses and overhead presses without it, the same reason why I don’t use the other machines. The only reason I’ll use it, is when I want to try what my max is in a specific exercise. I add weight until I fail, so in that case, the smith’s machine can create some safety, as you can turn the bar and it won’t fall. I don’t recommend maxing out for beginners.

Kettlebell

Lately, the kettlebells have become really popular. I use them too, I actually do a kettlebell circuit once a week. I also love them for my step ups, because they fit nicely in my hands. Some gyms have kettlebell classes, so go and try them! Form is very important for kettlebell workouts too!

How many times a week?

I started with 2 total body lifting workouts a week. Take it easy in the first couple of weeks, try your exercises first with bodyweight or low weight only. You won’t be happy when you fly into your new routine and then won’t be able to walk for 3 weeks…. I would say, try to strive for 3 total body weightlifting workouts a week. Make sure you rest enough too! Everybody needs a restday, I personally have 2 full rest days a week, I only do light walking on those days. Your muscles need rest after lifting!

Cardio?

There’s nothing against cardio, so if you like it, go do it! But know it’s not necessary to lose weight! Doing it more than an hour actually can cause muscle decline. Personally, I end my workout with 10-15 minutes on the elliptical. I do 1 fasted HIIT workout a week on the elliptical too (can’t do other HIIT workouts due to hip injury caused by running/jumping). I will write something about HIIT too in the next couple of weeks.

So now you know something about weightlifting, but you still don’t know where to start. I highly recommend to start with compound movements and total body workouts only! Compound movements are those exercises where multiple joints will move and you train multiple muscles at the same time. The opposite of compound movements are isolations, where you will isolate 1 or 2 muscles. Why am I saying this?

  1. With compound movements, you will train multiple muscles so it saves time
  2. Training multiple muscles –> burning more during 1 exercise
  3. With compound movements, you will also train those muscles that keep your joints stable, which will benefit you in your fitness journey
  4. As a beginner, you have to learn your basics and get stronger in that before you go further

Lower body compound movements:

  • Squat (different types, like goblet squats, plié squats, single leg squats)
  • Lunges (different types, like walking lunges, curtsy lunges)squat-like-a-boss-1
  • Deadlift
  • Step ups
  • Leg press

Upper body compound movements:

  • Pull up (assisted on the machine when you can’t do bodyweight)
  • Dips (assisted)
  • Push up
  • Bench press
  • Military press
  • Lat pull down

There are numerous ab exercises out there. As I said before, I don’t do them too much, they’re just a muscle group that you need to train a couple of times. A great one is planking, another great one is the V-up. Try to find 2-3 that work for you and stick to them!

If you don’t know these exercises, go and look them up on www.bodybuilding.com! Click on the squat picture above to go to an article of them about squatting.

What about that booty?

A lot of women want to lift weights to get a nice and round booty. I’ll write something about that soon. The compound lower body exercises I wrote here, also target the booty. There are a couple of isolations for the booty (and other muscle groups), which you can add later into your routine.

So now start:

Choose 3 lower body exercises, choose 3 upper body (try to combine push and pulling ones) and go do them! Choose 6 different ones for your second workout day of the week and you got yourself a beginner’s schedule! Good luck! And let me know how it goes!

Example:

  • Monday: Squat, pull up, step up, military press, lunges, push ups + 2 ab exercises
  • Friday: Deadlift, bench press, leg press, dips, plié squats, lat pull down + 1 ab exercise

Oh, and if you feel like you’re too big to go lifting or you’re afraid people will look. Well… yes, people will look, but 90% of them are just really nice people! Everybody was a beginner once and had to start somewhere, remember that!

Mealprep 101

IMG_20140616_180131I always get a lot of questions about and comments on my mealpreps when I post them on Instagram. Let met start by saying: you don’t have to mealprep! I do it because it really helps me to stay on track and lose weight, but if it’s not for you, then that is totally fine!

If you scroll down on my instagram page, you can kind of see how my mealprepping started. I started with making 3 dinners on a plate, for easy and healthy eating when I come home tired. I progressed to adding breakfast and later on I also started prepping my lunches. Nowadays I prep for 4 days on Monday (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). I usually add some extra snacks (usually protein) on the days I workout.

2 Most frequently asked questions:

  1. Doesn’t it spoil? Do you freeze them?

The answer is no and no. I use airtight containers for the lunch and dinner. The breakfast goes in a bowl without a cover in the fridge. I don’t freeze them, because it alters the taste, makes is more dry and it’s not necessary. We are always so afraid of food going bad, but really, if you work hygienic, use the proper containers and have a proper working fridge, there is no problem. I even don’t cool my lunch during the morning, I just put it in my bag and eat it at noon. And everything tastes very nice 🙂

  1. Isn’t it boring to eat the same every day?IMG_20140611_194205

This is very personal. For me it’s not boring. But I can imagine you wouldn’t like it. And that’s ok! I’ve prepped different meals for every day, but it just wasn’t worth the time for me. I only do this 4 days a week, so the other days I eat something completely different. Personally, eating the same for 4 days really works well for me. It takes out the guessing and the emotional eating. I see food as a nice way to fuel your body, it’s not something to control your emotions with!

How to start:

Ok, so you want to start prepping, here are some tips and questions you need to ask yourself before you start.

  1. My first tip is don’t go overboard the first time. You’ll get overwhelmed by everything and might quit soon! Try to prep 1 course, so maybe only lunches or only dinners.
  2. Plan before prep! Think of the following:
  • Where am I going to eat my prepped meal?
  • Am I going to eat it cold or hot?
  • Do I have the possibility to heat if I want to eat it hot?
  • How many meals/which days are busy for you?
  • Do you have enough tubs?
  • Where are you going to keep them, how are you going to transport them?
  1. Every ‘boring’ meal can be made nice by herbs/spices/garlic/onion/pepper/salt/ginger etc.
  2. What does your meal has to contain? (weightwatchers: how many pp? Slimming world people: what day and how many syns? Calorie counters: how many calories? Macro counters: how many macro’s?) iifym.com is a great site to find out how many calories and how many macro’s your body needs. www.myfitnesspal.com is also a great way to track what you eat and it also has an app!
  3. When you choose your food: don’t choose food that has to stay partially raw, like rare steak. I choose food that can be heated thoroughly so germs die and don’t spoil it after a few days.
  4. When are you going to prep and what are you prepping exactly?
  5. When are you going to do the shopping? For how many days will you shop?
  6. Create a shoppinglist and a prep-plan
  7. Clean your kitchen, empty the dishwasher/sink, get the stuff you need out on the counter/table.
  8. Get started!

Hiccups:IMG_20140810_154524

So everybody has hiccups on their path. For me, I’ve realized I have to change my meals weekly, because prepping the same week after week will leave me nauseated and not feeling like eating it anymore. I learned from this. I’ve also learned that I don’t like the taste of reheated fish (I’ve tried tilapia and salmon). If I want to prep with fish again, I’ll leave it for dinner and just fry it when I want to eat, because the frying of fish doesn’t take that long. You’ll find out yourself what works for you and what doesn’t. Write it down, make a plan and change it if necessary. I’ve learned to write down the exact cooking plan. Why? Well, I had a plan in my head of what to do first and what can cook at the same time, but forgot I only had 1 big pan and 2 dishes needed the big pan lol.

What stuff do you need?

Well, this is different for everybody, the only thing I know is the stuff I use, some things are just handy and not really necessary:

  • Proper tubs (BPA free!) that can stand cooling, microwaving and the dishwasher.
  • Cooking utensils (pans, spoons etc.)
  • I use the oven frequently, but not 100% necessary
  • I use a steamcooker frequently, but again, not necessary (Mine is Tefal, Jamie Oliver edition)
  • SCALE (if you want to know how much you eat, you can’t do without!)

Portion control:

So you’re cooking in bulk, how do you calculate your exact portion? Not too difficult I must say, but I’ve got some tricks that make it very easy. If you have separate ingredients, like steamed sweet potato, steamed chicken and broccoli, it’s not really difficult to weigh the portions out in your tubs. But, I cook dishes with multiple ingredients frequently and that got me doing this method:

  1. You weigh your pan before you start cooking
  2. You write down everything you put in the pan (100 gr. Rice, 100 gr. Chicken etc.)
  3. You calculate the total amount of points/syns/calories/macro’s and devide it by how many meals you are making (so 40 pp for the whole pan, 4 meals, 10pp per meal).
  4. You weigh your pan again, but now with the finished product in it.
  5. You subtract the original pan weight from this finished product weight.
  6. Now divide this weight by how many portions you are making.
  7. Now put your tubs on the scale and weigh out your separate portions.

You could also just start scooping things in the tubs and than weigh every tub and redivide, but that is a pain in the behind, so I prefer this method (also good for oatmeal breakfast prep!).

When you have any mealprep questions, just ask!! I’m trying to upload my mealprep weekly with a shoppinglist and a plan which takes you through the process.

My weightloss journey

Well, I’ll tell you something about my weight loss. What I want PicsArt_1419334409569you to know is, that I truly believe there are so many ways to lose weight, there’s not one right way to do it. I write about my story and what works for me and my visions about it, but what works for you might be something completely different! If you don’t agree with something, just say so, or ask me about it. I have lost 75 lbs/34 kg up to today, I started my journey on march 3rd 2014. If you want to know more about me and my struggles with losing weight, go to the ‘About me’ tab. Here on the right you can see my progress. I had already lost some weight when I took the first picture though! I really recommend taking pictures (even if it’s just for yourself), it’s so motivating to see yourself shrink!

So, my method of choice is Weightwatchers. There are a couple of reasons why I love it so much, I’ll try to break it down:

  1. Weightwatchers adjusts your caloric needs to your weight/height/age/gender, so, in the beginning you can actually eat more than when you’re close to goal. That’s also reasonable, because a smaller body needs less energy.
  2. Weightwatchers gives you the flexibility to eat more on some days, but it dictates you have to eat a certain amount of food every day, so you’ll always eat enough and don’t starve yourself.
  3. Weightwatchers lets you eat fruit and vegetables for ‘free’, which I think is a very good approach to stimulate you to eat more healthy food. Yes, there are calories in fruits too and no, it doesn’t give you permission to eat 100 bananas a day, because that’s just childish and you know that it’s not what weightwatchers meant.

There are also some downsides, the biggest one I think is that they don’t discriminate in their macro’s or on how you eat your daily allowed points. That’s also their strength I guess, because you can eat everything and it doesn’t give you the guilty feeling you’ll get when you ‘cheat’, because if you track your points it’s not cheating. Personally, I pay extra attention to eating enough protein. I also try to eat ‘clean’ on a daily basis, which is not something that weightwatchers controls. I try to stay away from light products, because usually they don’t taste like the real thing and are full of crap. I definitely eat ‘unhealthy’ stuff too, just not on a daily basis and usually it’s planned. I try to track everything, so even if I have an unplanned binge (yeah, still happens sometimes), I track all the cookies, wine and whatever I take. I’ve learned not to beat myself down for it, because really, that makes everything worse! I get back on the horse right after it and try to compensate with some extra exercise. And you know what.. it works! No major gains or setbacks happened!

IMG_20140810_154524What really helped my weight loss is the planning. I started to track my points before eating them, so I plan what I eat and know the amount of points in the food. Later in the progress I started making dinners for a couple of days, to overcome my tiredness in the evenings after work and making it easier for myself when I come home after a difficult day at work. It really worked for me and it kept me on track. After this, I also started to make breakfast for the whole week, just because it’s easy and time saving. My prepping evolved to the point where I currently prep all my meals and snacks for my workdays on Mondays (I work from Tuesday to Friday, and have 1-2 extra night/weekend shifts a week). If you want to know more about the prepping, visit the tab ‘Mealprep’, it’s coming up soon! I’ll post some mealplan and mealprep advise and mealprep breakdowns.

So, you see I started with the food part, because that’s really the most important thing when you want to lose weight! Now let’s talk about exercise!

From the beginning of my journey, I started weightlifting. I IMG_20141129_130549started with 2 total body sessions a week. I also got a Fitbit (a pedometer) to track my daily activity. I try to get 10.000 steps a day, but I don’t really get it every day, because sometimes I’m just too tired, and that’s ok. Later on, I progressed to 3 weightlifting sessions a week. I consulted a Personal Trainer at my gym and one of my friends boyfriend who is a PT as well. I also started a 10 min walk or 10 min elliptical training after the lifting. At one point, I thought I should start running and jumping. I started doing box jumps, jump rope and running on the treadmill. I used to have a hip injury, caused by running and bootcamp some years ago, and after 2 weeks of my new ‘high impact’ schedule I felt my hip injury again! From that moment I put myself on a strict low impact exercise ‘diet’, so no jumping or running and no incline on the treadmill. I also started foam rolling and stretching after working out. My hip pains disappeared very quickly!

My current schedule is as follows:

IMG_20141026_213558Monday: total body weightlifting, end with 10-15 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday: rest (but try to get 10k steps)

Wednesday: I try to go bouldering with my friend (It’s wall climbing without ropes, VERY fun!)

Thursday: total body weightlifting, end with 10-15 minutes on elliptical

Friday: rest (but again try to get 10k steps)

Saturday: total body kettlebell circuit, after that a couple of weightlifting exercises, end with elliptical

Sunday: 20 min fasted HIIT on elliptical after a 30 min warm-up walk on treadmill

I end every exercise with foam rolling and stretching. I take a protein shake after each exercise, after the fasted HIIT I add 10 gr of steelcut oats and 5 gr of BCAA to my protein shake. Currently I’m trying a bit of running again. My views on running when overweight/obese will be further talked about in the section about my views on things (coming up soon!).

What you can see is that I didn’t start with this program right away. Starting exercising 5 times a week from scratch can be very hard and the chance that you quit or get an injury is very high! I’m really happy I took it ‘slow’, by slowly raising the amount of exercise and the load during the exercises. As you can see I don’t do a lot of cardio. Yeah, I hate spending hours on those cardio machines and I’m not really a long distance runner. And that’s ok, I don’t need to be. I’ll talk more about weightlifting for losing weight in the section about my views (coming up soon!). IMG_20141004_154510

I’m currently 14 kg (31 lbs) away from goal. My goal is feeling fit and great in my body, so if I feel this before I hit my goalweight, I’ll not go for the goalweight, simple as that!