Thursday, January 29, 2015

Change of Direction Progress Report

Image result for weight loss pictures

I am working with my PCP office on this program.  They established an ongoing program for this purpose a few years ago.  I like the fact that they know me and my medical history.  I will update my movement disorder neurologist on my progress at my appointment later today.

The program is fairly straightforward.  A scale-like apparatus that I stand on provides body composition information including weight, BMI, fat weight, fat percentage and the distribution of fat in different parts of the body (torso, legs, and arms), predicted muscle mass, water weight, water percentage, and resting metabolism.  Based on my age and gender, they estimated the number of calories at which I would maintain my current weight.  They set a daily calorie consumption goal at 1250.  We also talked about the importance of hydration and set a goal of 80 ounces per day (yikes!).  The combination of calorie reduction, hydration and increased exercise results in weight loss.  My 12-week goal is to lose 25 pounds.

I have been able to live within the calorie intake guidelines (with a big assist from my wife, who helps me keep track of consumption).  My plan calls for 1200 calories per day, 600 of which come from shakes (vanilla, strawberry, chocolate)-one for breakfast and one for lunch.  I add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and fruit (fresh blueberries, strawberries, and/or blackberries) plus crushed ice, put in a smoothie mixer and voila!  Really quite tasty and satisfying.  I have a low calorie yogurt for a snack and lots of celery dipped in calorie free dressing.  For dinner I can have whatever I want.  The target, taking into account other calories above and beyond the basic shake consumed, is about 500 calories, which can go surprisingly far.  We bought a basic calorie counter book and a great cookbook titled Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight meals.

The exercise goal I was given was 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise six times per week.  We are using our local recreation facility to do a combination of cardio (eliptical, walking track, exercise bike, treadmill, etc.), strength training ("station" equipment-I use about ten of these with focus on abdomen, arms, back, and chest), and stretching.  I am trying to do this three times a week plus walking at home 30-60 minutes the other three days.

I had lost over 10 pounds after the first two weeks, 7 of which was fat, with minimal loss of muscle mass.  I have a ways to go but I am off to a good start. I feel good and I think my chronic fatigue is somewhat diminished.  One thing it hasn't helped so far is my memory.

We have a trip coming up to Florida which will be a good test.  However, we do have a plan that should allow me to "stick with it".  I hope I have more good news to report in the future.