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Counting Calorie Programs – MyFitnessPal.com

Counting Calorie Programs – MyFitnessPal.com

Feb 13, 2012

If you are a member of Team Dragon Fit, the one thing you are going to hear from me constantly is that 80% of the results is nutrition and 20% is the workouts.  You need both but be sure to nail down the larger piece, which is the nutrition (the 80%).  If you are using a Beachbody program, then you have the other 20% figured out already for you. I lost 22 lbs. in my first round of P90x.  Solid results, but average still.  I did not have my nutrition figured out.  I wanted extreme results so I got a coach who showed me how important it is to count calories.  I began doing that my second round of P90x and I lost a jaw dropping 55 lbs. in 90 days.  What was the difference?  Simply, I tracked, weighed and counted every calorie that went into my mouth. That may seem daunting at first, but is actually quite easy.  There are so many tools out there that can do this.  One I will highlight today is MyFitnessPal.com.  The best thing is this program is 100% free!!  I like that I can use it on my iPhone or my iPad and even use it on myfitnesspal.com and all the data is synced between the different platforms. So here is an example screenshot of the app I downloaded.  You can create a new account by clicking “Get Started”.     Once you have your profile setup and your target calories entered for a day, then you are all set to start counting calories.  I hit my personal target of getting below 10% body fat so you can see I set up 3600 calories as part of my daily “mass building” goal.   Now let’s enter some food.  I first start entering the meals for my morning by tapping “breakfast”. Then, you can start entering food.  When just starting, I highly recommend “playing” around with different scenarios the night before.  In that way, you can plan your entire day and get all your snacks prepared ahead of time so you are not stuck the next day guessing and making bad choices. Now, I enter my personal favorite meal, which...

How Much Should I Eat? (Calculating Your Daily Caloric Target)

How Much Should I Eat? (Calculating Your Daily Caloric Target)

Feb 3, 2012

So, you’re committed to exercising and gettting in shape and all set to dial in your nutrition.  You are even committing to start eating “clean” and healthy foods and leave the fatty pizza and fried foods behind.  Now, how do you figure out how much “clean” food you need to eat?  Well, you are going to need a calculator for this one, but I promise it is worth figuring out if you want REAL results. The original P90x nutrition guide had a fairly straightforward formula for calculating your daily caloric target.  On the other hand, the P90x2 guide has taken the same formula and added a few more options.  I like the P90x2 guide because it is more detailed.  So, get your calculator out and sharpen your pencil because in a few simple steps you’ll know exactly how the pros go about calculating their daily caloric targets.   STEP 1. Calculate your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) Your Body Weight  x  10  = RMR (in calories)   STEP 2. Calculate your DAB (Daily Activity Burn) Your RMR  x  20% = Daily Activity Burn (20% is moderately active, use 10% if sedentary and 30% if you are very active)   STEP 3. Calculate your DE (Daily Exercise) It depends on your program, but P90x uses an average of 600 calories per workout.  However, the P90x2 guide uses an average of 650 calories per workout.   STEP 4. Calculate Your CD (Calorie Deficit) or CS (Calorie Surplus) There are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound. If you want to lose a pound a week, subtract 500 calories a day (3,500 calories a week).  If you want to gain a pound a week, add 500 calories a day (3,500 calories a week).   STEP 5. Calculate Your DCT (Daily Caloric Target) Now put it all together. RMR  +  DAB + DE  +/- CS/CD  = DCT   Let’s use Coach Fred as an example.  Let’s make 2 scenarios with “fat” Fred and the new improved “fit” Fred. A.  “FAT” FRED SCENARIO: On day 1 of P90x, I weighed 275 lbs.  Using the DCT formula, I get: RMR  +  DAB + DE  +/- CS/CD  = DCT 2750  +  550  + 600  – 500  =  3,400 Daily Caloric Target That...

My 1900 Calorie Fat Shredder Diet

My 1900 Calorie Fat Shredder Diet

Jan 30, 2012

I have received many questions on what I ate during my “fat shredder” diet phase of P90x.  For most of us who embark on a fitness program, our first goal is to lose the unwanted fat around our bodies.  As I have said in other posts, our goal is to lose fat and not muscle.   The P90x Nutrition Guide lists a clear plan to follow so that we consume enough protein to maintain muscle, but limit our fat and carbs to help with fat loss.  P90x calls this the 50/30/20 diet plan where we get 50% of our daily nutrtion from protein (lean chicken, pork, beef, etc.), 30% from carbs (wheat bread, wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, fruits, veggies, etc.), and 20% from fat (“healthy” fats like olive oil, avocadoes, almonds, etc.).  How do you know this percentage?  You have to count calories!! If you run an approporiate calorie deficit and maintain the ratio of 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat, then this will result in rapid fat lass, but also should maintain your muscle and give enough energy to push through your workouts.  I know firsthand by losing 98 lbs. that this program works. I wish I could give you an exact timing to lose the body fat but it really depends on where you start and how much fat you have to lose.  If you are like me (I was 275 lbs. when I started P90x and 35.6% body fat), then plan on it taking a LONG time to lose all that excess body fat.  For the last year I have done an accurate 50/30/20 ratio for 3 out of the 4 rounds of P90x (on my 3rd round I did a maintenance diet).  I know because I count calories!  It took me that long to lose 98 lbs.  In the end, I went from 275 lbs. to 177 lbs. (just 2 pounds shy of 100 lbs.!!)  I ended up at 8.2% body fat at the end of Round 4.  At less than a 10% body fat percentage I was able to see definition in my abs which was my goal. All our bodies are different, so be patient.  It might take you shorter...

Lose Body Fat vs. Build Muscle

Lose Body Fat vs. Build Muscle

Jan 29, 2012

If you are beginning your fitness journey, you have so many choices to ponder.  Should I lose bodyfat?  Should I try to gain muscle?  Can I do both at the same time?   I had many similar questions when I first started.  Here is a simple guide that my coach used to help me and others figure out these questions.  He shared this with us in a recent team challenge that I got involved in (called the Misfit Challenge).   It provides a simple blueprint to follow and takes the guesswork out of designing your nutrition goals     PHASE 1: FAT SHREDDER DIET If you are MORE than 2% away from your body fat goal, you need to be on a fat shredder diet.  That means 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat.  Let’s say your goal is 8% body fat — as long as you are over 10% body fat you will stay on fat shredder (whether that takes 1 month or 6 months).  We want to shed fat fast until we get very close to our goal before switching to a balanced phase 2 diet.  You also need to be running a good deficit of calories (taking in less than you burn in a day).  As for the total number of calories, these are my recommendations:   MEN= 6′ and above = 1900-2200 cals per day. 5’6 – 5’11” = 1700-1900 cals per day. less than 5’6″ = 1500 cals per day.   WOMEN = 5’6 and above = 1200-1400 per day. less than 5’6″ = 1000-1200 per day.   Running the fat shredder at these calorie totals will results in rapid body fat loss, which is what we are after.   PHASE 2; ENERGY BOOSTER DIET If you are within 2% of your ideal body fat, you need to be on a phase 2 diet (40/40/20) that is close to your maintenance calorie level.  During this type of diet, the main goal is a slow reduction of body fat but a lot of energy for getting stronger and building muscle.  This is where you see fine tuning of your results.  My recommendations for those needing a phase 2 energy booster diet are:   MEN = 6′ and...

Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Start?

Jan 28, 2012

      Maybe you just started a fitness program and don’t know where to begin.  Or maybe you have been doing one for a while but not getting the results you want.  Then, this article is a good starting point for you.  In my case, I started P90x in December of 2010.  My first round I lost 22 lbs., but I knew I could do better.  I got a coach and really followed his advice and then lost a whopping 55lbs. in my second round. What was my secret?  What was the difference between my 2 rounds?   I’ll highlight the key differences for you as follows and keep updating the links on this page as time goes on:   1. 80% of Results is Nutrition, 20% is the Workouts: Too many people neglect the larger piece of the puzzle which is nutrition (the 80%) and spend all their time focusing on the workouts (the 20%).  I did that on my first round of P90x and my results demonstrated that.  They were only average.  For the people that show up and push play and do not follow a rigorous nutrition plan, they might get results, but they will not be the kind of extreme results that you see on TV or the kind I got for my 2nd round.  There is a reason why there is a popular saying in the fitness world that “abs are made in the kitchen”!   2. “Portion Approach” vs. Counting Calories: If you have seen any dramatic transformation videos online or on TV, I guarantee those people had their nutrition figured out.  For Round 1, I followed the “Portion Approach” as outlined in the P90x nutrition guide.  I read the book cover to cover and tried hard to follow the plan, but my results did not seem to match my effort.  The problem is that the “Portion Approach” can be misleading and you can be eating a lot more than you think.  For Round 2, I learned to count calories.  It seemed like a foreign language to me at first.  What is a carb vs. protein vs. fat?  What are grams?  Not to worry.  I have some posts on how to count calories.  If you are serious about getting above average results, then...

PB2 – peanut butter with 85% less fat calories!

PB2 – peanut butter with 85% less fat calories!

Nov 14, 2011

I know it’s hard to believe the title of this post, but luckily it’s true! As you get more involved in the fitness community you will learn a ton of information and also learn some great food alternatives that allow you to enjoy all the great flavors without all the guilt.  One of my personal favorites that my coach shared with me on my fitness journey was PB2. PB2 is a company that figured out a way to press its peanuts to produce a peanut powder that has 85% less fat calories than traditional peanut butter.  The company that produces this is called Bell Plantation and their website is http://www.bellplantation.com/. PB2 is a great addition to my chocolate flavored Shakeology that I drink every morning.  It makes it taste like a Reese’s Pieces shake after you add the PB2 to the mix.   Personally, I think it is delicious and is a shining example that eating great tasting food does not need to add to your waistline. If you like peanut butter and want a healthier alternative, be sure to check this one out.  It’s a winner!...