Dan Nied’s 100 Days is the chronicle of one man’s quest to improve his health in 100 days. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.
What I ate today
Breakfast (10 a.m.)
1 can of tuna
2 slices of whole-grain bread
2 servings of fat-free mayonnaise
Fat: 2.5 grams
Lunch (1 p.m.)
1 Subway grilled chicken breast sub with a lot of things except for mayonnaise, cheese and jalapenos
Fat: 10 grams
Snack (3:15 p.m)
1 serving of baby carrots
Fat 0 grams
Snack (5:15 p.m.)
1 plain bagel
Way too much cream cheese
Dinner: 8 p.m.
1 package of Healthy Choice smoked Sausage
Fat: 17.5 grams
44 ounces Diet Coke
40 ounces of black coffee (20 decaf)
1 liter of water
Approximate total calories: 1,925
Total fat: More than 30 grams
Don’t worry. I am not off the diet. After yesterday’s rant of pure frustration, I decided it would be best to loosen the strings a little bit today. Oddly enough, I actually ate like a semi-normal person. But more importantly, I got a chance to take a step back and examine this whole thing.
I think there were a few questions I needed to address. I started with one big one: Do I really want to continue this? The answer was an emphatic yes.
So that led to the next question: Can I really do this right if I don’t take it 100 percent seriously? The answer was no.
So, as these things tend to do, that led to another question: 3) Where can I improve?
That one took up most of my thoughts for today. Obviously, my belief is that I am half-assing the exercise. That has to change. I hate giving out plans because I am not reliable enough to guarantee their success, but my hope is that Friday, I will do at least 30-40 minutes on the elliptical machine. I want to break that up with a 15-minute warm-up and warm-down and then a 10-minute pseudo elliptical run in between lifting. My ultimate goal is to work up to 60 minutes three times per week. Since I have burned almost exactly 170 calories per 10 minutes on the elliptical machine so far, I have figured out a chart of how many calories I can burn over elongated periods of time:
10 min. = 170 calories
20 min. = 340 calories
30 min. = 510 calories
40 min. = 680 calories
50 min. = 850 calories
60 min. = 1,020 calories
My chart proves that spending 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer will be more beneficial to me than 10 minutes. I know that the calorie counts probably won’t stay constant over time, but I still have a hunch that if I go longer, I will burn more calories. Let’s hope my math isn’t off.
So I think that is the biggest change I will be going for over the next few days. I think at this point it is a better idea to worry about burning calories than toning. Don’t get me wrong, I will still be lifting at least three times a week, but for right now, my focus will be on building stamina and burning off excess fat.
I also looked into what I’ve been eating. I think it is safe to say that the bagel with the crapload of cream cheese is off the diet, at least for now. But I also have decided to stick to the basics of my program, which is lots of protein and lots of vegetables. I will, however, try to cut back on the sandwiches. A friend of mine pointed out that the bread I am using is probably processed as all hell. Now I don’t really know what that means, but I think it is bad and will probably slow down the mystery that is my metabolism. I also don’t really know what metabolism is, but I know mine is slow. I also know that I don’t need Sara Lee coming in here and making it even slower with her delicious breads. I won’t cut sandwiches out completely, but I will try not to make it the basic food group of this diet.
Now, apparently everyone knows this but me, but I guess I haven’t been eating enough on this diet. Well, I actually am all right with the average calorie intake, but I do have a problem with the long gaps in between meals. I want to set a schedule in which I eat breakfast as soon as I get up (usually 9 a.m.), have lunch as soon as I get home from work (usually 12 p.m.) then eat three hours after that, (usually, well, 3 p.m.). I will have dinner at 6 p.m. and then have another snack at 9 p.m. I am usually in bed by 1 a.m., so that seems pretty reasonable.
And that is really the whole idea, isn’t it? This diet isn’t hard. Actually, the eating has been the easiest part. I always knew this would be a work in progress, and I always knew there would be days like yesterday, when I hated the whole idea. But tonight I was walking to my car and I found myself subconsciously repeating the same line over and over again: I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail.
And that is when it hit me. Everything is really simple.
I will not fail. That is the only promise I can make.