40-Day Fat Loss Challenge (Day 14 Update)

It’s time to check in and update my progress for the 40-Day Fat Loss Challenge I entered at my gym. For my body fat percentage, I’ll use my trainer’s caliper measure since I won’t have access to the machine until the 40 days is up.  The machine measured about the same as my trainer anyway.  My goal is to lose at least 1% body fat each week so that at the end of the 40 days (nearly 6 weeks), I’ll have gone from 24% down to 17%.  I’m on track for that now, but would love to get closer to 15%.  
PROGRESS

Day 1:  24% body fat (112.4 pounds)
Day 7:  22.4% body fat (110 pounds) 
Day 14: 21% body fat (109.4 pounds) 
(These numbers reflect what I weigh when I weigh-in at the gym mid-morning.  My weight below I take first thing in the morning when I wake up, so it’s slightly lower.) 

Below is a picture of where I’m at as of Day 13.  I didn’t take a good “Day 1” picture, so the “start” is from December, but it’s a good representation of me on Day 1.  
You’re not going to notice a dramatic difference week by week, but over many weeks, and then a couple or few months, you definitely will.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s to be patient, take it one day at a time and TRUST THE PROCESS.  If you look carefully, you’ll see my arms and tummy are leaning out a little 

We measure my body fat every week (on Thursday) and I was worried that I either stayed the same or went up from the last week because my weekend wasn’t very on point.  I ate a big bowls of frozen yogurt with chocolate syrup, Zoe’s Kitchen (shrimp kabobs), and a couple pieces of my son’s cheese pizza.  I looked up the nutrition online for Zoe’s shrimp kabobs and this dish is about 510 calories.  I didn’t eat the pita bread, so that saved a few. 

MEAL PLAN 
For my meals, I’m eating about 1,500 calories (entered via My Fitness Pal) a day in 5 meals.  
Meal 1:  Protein pancake 
Meal 2:  Chicken (4 oz), 1 small potato, 1/2 cup green beans 
Meal 3:  Chicken (4 oz), 1 small potato, 1/2 cup green beans
Meal 4:  Fish or turkey meatball (4 oz), 1 small potato, 1/2 cup green beans
Meal 5:  Muscle egg (3/4 cup)
2 cups of coffee per day with 3 tablespoons vanilla caramel creamer (yes, really that much!) I actually cut it down from 3-2 last week, and am working on going down to 1 cup per day.  I just started taking a pre-workout so that replaced my first cup of coffee.  
My turkey meatball recipe is good and easy, so I plan to post that soon, along with an Asian salmon I made on Saturday night.  Delicious!  I had that with broccoli and rice.  
WORKOUTS
I workout with my trainer 3 days a week for 1 hour.  We split the workouts so that every muscle group is trained once a week.  The training style is to do 3-4 exercises in a row, one weight training, then active rest, weight training, active rest.  Each exercise is done 12-20 times and repeated for 3-4 sets.  For an example, you can visit my trainer’s Instagram page where he posts video clips of his training sessions.  
I just started using a heart-rate monitor so I could see how many calories I burned during each workout and where my heart rate was at each point.  I am amazed to see how long it takes to burn 500 calories.  It’s a major lesson for me to change my mindset about eating where before I may have thought, “I just burn those calories off at the gym” but, actually probably not.  It’s better to watch your calories on the front end, than try to lose them later through working out. 
I’m crazy about tracking things (hence these progress updates), so here’s how my workouts have looked since I got my heart rate monitor.  You can see on the first day I used my monitor, I was shocked to see I only burned 313 calories after 49 hard minutes on the stair master.  Since then, I’m playing with interval training, working my heart rate through the various zone and doing interval training.  It’s actually kind of fun and gives you something to focus on during your training.  
HEART RATE MONITOR
I use this heart rate monitor:  Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor which I like because it’s comfortable (I forget I’m wearing it) and it has bluetooth, so I can track the workouts in real-time on my phone.  
You download the app, and when you open it, you see the screen below.
Start Screen
Here’s a summary screen

Weekly Summary by Date

And History

Screenshot of a particular day, here DAY 13:
DAY 14, 2 Views but same info
                 
You can see this is perfect for people like me who love data and charting things.  So, I’m writing this on the Saturday night where my “cheats” include three more big bowls of frozen yogurt with chocolate syrup, couple scoops of natural peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Also, I had a burrito bowl at Chipotle on Friday.  
I wanted to do cardio today (Saturday) but my ankles are hurting, probably from jogging 6 miles on Monday.  I never do that much, but I went to the park to run and after the first lap (3 miles), I realized how little calories I had burned, and also I felt good enough to go again (and had time) so I did.  The next few days, I did long sessions on the treadmill and by Thursday, my ankles were hurting.  It’s not terrible pain, but enough to know that I need to give them a break, so I took today off.  
I bet I wake up heavier tomorrow (Sunday), but plan to do cardio- just the bike, which isn’t as hard on your feet.  Next week, I’m with my trainer Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, where we measure again.  I plan to update weekly from now on.  Hope y’all are having a great weekend!
__________________
keep in touch! 

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25 Comments

  1. February 8, 2015 / 8:35 pm

    Keep up the hard work! I'm working towards losing the last few inches from my stomach after two kids and to be ready for race season and hiking this spring

    Erin
    Upsideofchaos.com

  2. February 8, 2015 / 11:40 pm

    I have SO enjoyed keeping up with your blog and IG feed. Two questions for you: (1) Do you weight your chicken AFTER you grill? I use to do that and then started weighing before … I read so many articles about the "correct way" that I nearly went insane. LOL … (2) Do you aim to eat 1500 gross or net calories?

    • February 9, 2015 / 2:45 am

      Thank you Julie! I weigh my chicken after grilling. And 1500 calories is what I consume before exercising if that helps.

    • February 9, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      Megan, sorry, I am curious about this too. So you don't count the calories burned into your calories? So if I am aiming to only eat 1500 a day, but always aim to burn 400 at the gym, I really should only be eating 1500, not 1900? If so, I am doing this way wrong! Appreciate the advice!

  3. February 9, 2015 / 2:51 am

    How do you get past the afternoon cravings? I'm good all day and then I look for that treat in the late afternoon early evening.

  4. February 9, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    You look great! I love reading your blog. It keeps me motivated.

  5. May 28, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    Hi Megan, I'm actually working on bone health and train people for different exercise for reducing dowager's hump that is a part of osteoporosis therapy and advise diets also. So, looking for good diet charts over net and found yours. You blog is full of awesome info. I'm going to surf your full blog and read the posts that might help me to get some good info. What I want to say, a Thumbs up and keep it up, posting such helpful posts.

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