30 Day Health Challenge - Day 1

Last year I lost 30lbs going from 230lbs to 200lbs this was mainly due to the way I ate, exercised and coped with stress. I am still not at my ideal weight nevertheless I am happy with my achievement of how I look and feel.

I was let go from my job in February. In addition, my kids and wife are home due to the pandemic. The overall uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has made it difficult to stick to a weight loss plan. Nevertheless, I have been successful at maintaining my weight which is definitely an achievement.  

It has now been several weeks since Ontario has put stay at home policy in place. I am sure the current stay-at-home policy will be relaxed as the curve is flattened however, it will be far from what we are used to. Unfortunately, this is our new normal until a vaccine is developed.

It is therefore time to move forward. The only way to develop new habits is to commit to taking action to be consistent. Therefore, I have decided to complete a 30-day challenge for myself.

How will I monitor my metrics?

I use a RENPHO Bluetooth Body Scale to track my weight and some other metrics. Unfortunately, even at 200 lbs, I am still considered overweight and some of the other metrics which the RENPHO scale calculates are not in a desirable range. 

The RENPHO Bluetooth Body Scale is a scale I purchased from Amazon for $40.00 which is a great price compared to other scales with the same features. The nice part about the scale is the app that you can download to your smartphone which not only tells you what your metrics are it also tells you where you should be. 

Day 1 – Starting Point Metrics

 As of today (Tuesday, May 19, 2020) my current metrics are as follows: 

Weight: 

At 199.8lbs I am considered overweight based on my age and height which the scale takes into consideration. The normal range I should be at is between 125.5 lbs and 168.8lbs. I cannot even remember ever being 168.8lbs, I would assume I was 168.8lbs as a child pre-teen years. I won’t make this discourage me. One step at a time.  

BMI: 

which is Body Mass Index is a simple calculation using a person’s height and weight. At 29.6 I am considered overweight. To be considered normal, I should be between 18.5 and 25. Since I cannot increase my height the only way to improve my BMI is to reduce my weight. 

Body Fat: 

Body fat is the percentage of the total mass of fat divided by total body mass multiplied by 100. At 26.1% body fat, I am considered obese. My body fat percent should be below 25% to be considered acceptable. 

Subcutaneous Fat:

Subcutaneous fat is the jiggly fat visible under the skin. At 22.5% my subcutaneous fat is considered high. For standard individuals (same height and age) subcutaneous fat should be between 8.6% and 16.7%.  

Visceral Fat:

Visceral fat is a type of body fat that’s stored within the abdominal cavity. A high number is dangerous considering this type of fat is stored around major organs such as the liver, stomach, and intestines.  At 12 my visceral Fat is considered high. To be acceptable this value should be between 6 and 11. 

Skeletal Muscle: 

Is one of 3 major muscle types. Most skeletal muscles are attached to bones by bundles of collagen fibers known as tendons. At 47.7% my skeletal muscle is considered low and should be between 49 and 59 to be standard. 

Metabolic Age: 

is based on your basal metabolic rate (BMR) This is the amount of energy you burn in a day to keep your body functioning before you do any activity compared with the average in your age group. My metabolic age is 43 which is 4 years off of where I should be considering I am 39 years old (I will be turning 40 on July 18, 2020).

The other metrics listed are within the acceptable range so they will not be what I am targeting however it will be interesting to see what occurs to does numbers. 

What are my Goals in 30 days? 

My goal in 30days is to improve my metrics. I also want to prove it to myself that if I stick to plan and tweak it as I go I can get to the next level of my health and fitness journey. Nevertheless, just improvement in my metrics is not a concrete enough goal. I need to make it measurable. As a result, I have a goal to achieve a 8% weight loss which would put me at approximately 183.8 lbs which would be an impressive achievement.   

A goal of 8% weight loss in 30 days is a big goal. Typically the goal for weight loss should be 4% weight loss the first 30 days. However, since I will be employing several strategies over the next 30 days and as long as I stick to my plan I strongly believe 8% is achievable. Honestly, I will be happy with anything greater than 4% weight loss but my goal is 8%. 

How will I measure my results? 

I plan is to give an update every 5 days which involves stepping on my scale and getting all my metrics and comparing it to the original values listed above.

What are the main tools and strategies  I plan to focus on in the first 7 days?

  1. To Not eat any processed food (in other words no packaged food also known as the middle of the grocery store)
  2. Not eat any carbs from refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, wheat…) or starchy carbohydrates (potatoes)
  3. To Not eat any sweets (avoid sugar)
  4. Not consume any alcohol, drink only water and coffee (with cream and almond creamer). 
  5. Intermittent Fasting / Time-restricted Eating (only eat between 12 PM and 8 PM)
  6. Take 10,000 steps a day which could be walking or running
  7. Exercise for approximately 30 minutes a day at least 3 out of 7 days. This will be weight training or HIIT (High-intensity interval training)

These strategies include the 3 steps to lose weight and become healthy which I detailed in a previous blog post. Once the 7th day is up I plan to revaluate and tweak to improve my results. 

I hope you will follow me on my journey and check back to read the next blog post with my 7-day results.