"New year, New You", so hows it going for you?
The holidays have passed and the food and deserts have been consumed, if you are like me, at the New Year, your sitting pretty with pants that don’t fit and shirts that seem way to tight! It’s hard to stay strict during the holidays!
Every week I told myself I would hit it hard in the new year and here we are, 2020, the year to get back to my fighting weight. It seems so easy to pack it on, but for some reason it takes months to get it off. Diet, exercise, commitment and will power are a necessity for success.
As first responders we understand that physical fitness is part of the job but being healthy is just as important. I think the key to maintaining and improving health involves a healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine. I’m no nutritionist, nor am I a physical trainer, but my crew and I have decided to enter this arena together to get back into gear. What is the best diet? What is the routine? I think everyone is different when gauging results, however consistency will always be the best bet in my opinion.
So what is out there? There are many contributing factors but obviously if it requires expensive fancy juicers and weekly whole food bills over $250, that may not be the best diet for you. I think if your able to tailor a plan specific to your goals, that is reasonably easy to follow and maintain then you’re on the right track. No one wants to be the “yo yo” guy or gal that fluctuates all year, and no one wants to develop cardiac disease just to shed a few pounds.
Of the few plans circulating the stations I decided to begin my journey with the Keto diet (Heavy protein, heavy fats, no carbs). Having done Keto before, I know that it is very difficult to maintain this regimen for long periods of time however it is excellent for cutting weight fast. I also decided to incorporate some intermittent fasting which should work hand in hand with Keto. I am basically eating nothing for breakfast and having my first meal at lunch time, then my second meal between 6-8 pm giving me 16-18 hours of fasting between meals. During this initial period, I will be doing two visits to the gym, one early in the morning for cardio and one in the evening for weightlifting.
It's February now, and I am still working toward my goal weight, Once achieved, I plan on transitioning into a more reasonable diet that is maintainable. It is called the DASH diet which stands for Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension, because like all of us, who couldn’t use a little help in the blood pressure area. This diet is focused on lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains as well as healthy fats and proteins, but stay away from the processed stuff. I'll maintain the intermittent fasting since I am just used to that way of eating anyway. This is my plan, I believe it to be effective and I am already seeing excellent results.
I encourage you to research and find your best plan of attack but if you want to keep it simple I would say generally to stay away from the processed foods, keep sugar to as minimum as possible, cut the carbs as much as possible and cut down on the beer (if that is your thing), for me that is the hardest part. As for exercise, if you can get out and do something daily your way ahead of the game. If you’re just getting back into the routine, I wouldn’t recommend some high intensity boot camp style workout, maybe a good cardio machine and some body weight exercises.
The days of me spending 2 hours in the gym trying to look like the next off duty superhero are over. I need my joints and back pain free if I am ever going to survive this career! What I enjoy doing the most is about a half hour on the bike, stair mill, or elliptical machine in the morning while my body is just running on fat for fuel, and in the evening doing some combination of squats, lunges, push ups, dips and pull ups and trust me there are plenty of ways to switch it up to shock the system. Once the fat disappears, those muscles will pop, trust me.
Encourage the crew to join you in your plan, a crew that diets and exercises together is a crew that survives together. Don’t let shift day be your cheat day! Work hard, stay focused, and stay healthy. Let’s make it to the end healthy and fit so we can enjoy our retirement!
Be safe out there.
*Disclaimer- Blog is written as a personal point of View and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any extreme diet changes.