Tag Archives: Calorie

Penn Jillette’s Dramatic Weight Loss is Amazing, But…

Penn Jillete lost over 105 pounds on a calorie-restricted diet.

Penn Jillette lost over 105 pounds and, while I certainly applaud his efforts to get the weight off and move away from medication, it always concerns me when I see weight-loss stories highlighted by diets that are calorie-restricted.

Honestly, when I first looked at him, I immediately thought two things (without having read the attached article): 1) my gracious he’s thin, I wonder what he cut out of his diet, and 2) has he incorporated an exercise program as well because, if he did, I hope it’s not too overwhelming.

Sufficeth to say, once I did read the article, it wasn’t hard to believe he lost the weight as quickly as he did by cutting his caloric intake down to 1,000/day (most adults need at least 2000 calories a day just to sustain healthy organ function) and cutting out a majority of proteins and carbs.

“I was on six very powerful meds to bring the blood pressure down,” Jillette, 60, tells PEOPLE. “My doctor said I needed to get my weight down, and if I brought it down 30 or 40 lbs. it would be a little easier to control. And then he said something in passing that completely blew my mind – he said, ‘If you got down to 230, you probably wouldn’t need any of the meds.’ ”

The Wizard Wars judge decided to do just that, spending December through March on an “extreme low-calorie program” in which he consumed about 1,000 calories daily and was able to lose an average of 0.9 lbs. a day.

Since reaching his goal weight on his birthday, March 5, Jillette has stopped restricting the amounts he eats, and instead follows Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian diet – this means he consumes no animal products, no processed grains, and no added sugar or salt. (People Mag)

He does exercise, but he mentions the fact that he worries he’s not able to sustain max effort. A lot of that could be due to his decision to cut the foods that provide the energy for those efforts.

Here’s the thing about the Nutritarian Diet he references, it’s a fantastic way to truly focus on a diet that is filled to the brim with whole foods. It’s especially appealing to those who are thinking about moving towards a vegan or vegetarian diet. It’s truly awesome for anyone looking to wean their body off processed eating. However, if you’re not careful, the diet’s lack of B12 will sneak up on you in a major way; it’s not a vitamin that’s meant to be neglected, but it is something that is a concern—if you’re not informed enough about ways to replace it—and that’s my biggest issue here: people sometimes jump into a lifestlye without educating themselves on the most effective way of sustaining it after the initial rewards.

Again, I applaud him for taking control of his diet and losing the weight, but I hope that he continues to educate himself going forward so that he can maintain the loss in a healthier way.

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Living Fit Mommy: You Have to Step It Up

You want to know the key to torching calories and training your body to burn long after that last set is complete? High-Intensity Interval Training.

Now, I don’t want to lose or bore you with a bunch of scientific jargon about how the inclusion of such training can improve your VO2 Max and up your overall level of performance—but if you’re interested in all of that, feel free to look here—so I’m going to keep it simple and just get straight to the point: if you want to get more from your workouts and become a more fit individual, you have to work harder.

Here’s the thing: the reason so many people have had success on programs like P90x, TurboFire and Insanity is because those programs rely heavily on the concept of giving maximum effort for  prolonged periods of time. That’s the only way to jolt your body into making the necessary adjustments it takes to keep up with the blood and oxygen flow you’re suddenly using in droves; that, in turn, leads to an increase in calories burned and a more aerobically fit body.

But, you don’t have to spend $100+ to get those results. You just need to dedicate yourself to doing more than the status quo. Challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone and truly see what your body can do; if you’re not drenched in sweat and completely breathless at the end of your routine, you aren’t doing enough—I’m just being honest.

Now, there are exceptions, of course. If you’re an Olympic lifter, you won’t necessarily take this approach, but most people aren’t incorporating heavy lifting into their regimen, they’re just trying to lose weight. If the latter sounds like you, then I recommend investing in a heart rate monitor and seeing just how much effort you’re really expending during your 30-60 minute jaunt in the gym—the results may surprise you—and go from there.

And, if you want to know your current aerobic fitness level, here’s a nifty little calculator.


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The Day My Polar Battery Went Dead

So, mid-day last Thursday I noticed my heart-rate monitor (HRM) was on the blink. It was working, but not really consistently; I still managed to log calories expended, and keep track of my intensity level, but I was completely unnerved by the inconvenience of constantly having to stop, readjust the chest strap, and make sure it was still ticking away as ncessary.

The following day it fared no better as an off-reading on Thursday turned into an altogether dead watch on Friday. I was all of 50 minutes in before I realized my battery was dead and was now kicking myself for not having ordered a new battery weeks ago when the subtle signs of watch wear first began.

Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy camper—especially since the only way I would be able to replace said battery was via online order—and my Friday was absolutely shot because the anal-retentive woman in me isn’t happy unless she can log every calorie, and every minute, of every workout. It was like an unfinished thought, or when people just set the toilet paper on top of the empty roll as opposed to changing the damn thing!

Livid was the only way to describe me at that moment—standing there, dripping with sweat, looking at a watch with a blank ass screen—and I kid you not I stopped my workout right then and there. I was so pissed, I didn’t want to go any further. What was the use?!

Now, to some of you this scenario probably sounds asinine. After all, there are tons of people who don’t use heart-rate monitors when they work out and they are perfectly fine with the not knowing of all the details; I used to be one of those people many damn moons ago. However, for me, my training sessions now take on two lives: before and after I bought my Polar. And honey, let me tell you, the life after my Polar has been the best! I adore it like nothing else because it keeps me honest and focused.

It is by far one of the most important fitness devices I have ever purchased—hands down.

That said, it was a bit childish of me to stop my routine just because my watch broke and I realized the idiocy of it all about 11:30 that night—after I was calm, a bit inebriated, and watching old episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” (trying to get familiar with Charlie Hunnam’s work prior to 50 Shades release)—at which point I could have smacked myself for being so flappable.

Listen, if there’s one thing you have to be on the road to fitness it’s flexible. Whether your issue is a broken HRM or a bad choice at dinner, you have to be able to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward. Sometimes, shit happens. How well you handle said shit will determine your success and strength as you move forward.

Never forget that, in the end, it’s about you making a decision to commit to living a healthy lifestyle. Everything else is just details.

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