12 week challenge summary:
My quote and inspiration: “Do not conform any longer to the patterns and ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind to what is actually good for your mind, and your physical body will follow.” (This is my own modification to Romans 12:2 in the New Testament). If one thinks about this world as a way of life, eating fast food daily, going out to eat at restaurants several times a week, sitting in front of the TV for hours either watching tv or playing video games, and driving to places that one could walk, these are not healthy nor good for our minds nor our bodies, and it is time for me and others to change.
Let me explain how I started this challenge. I have a friend, named Shelly, whom I told her that I was going to work my hardest to lose as much weight/fat and inches as I could to try to compete against her in a natural bodybuilding competition. She told me about BodyBuilding.com’s challenge and suggested I sign up. When I started this 12 week challenge on 1/5/13, I weighed myself on my own scale, which said I was 211.6 lbs with a bodyfat percentage of 50.2%. I thought that was high, so I went to the gym and used their gadget to calculate my bodyfat percentage there, and it said 38.0%. I used the bodyfat percentage from the gym’s gadget on the bodybuilding.com website.
Let me explain a little about me: I am a woman, who has been plagued with many health problems, and I also used my weight as a scapegoat to not feeling well. I have a history of back problems including moderate scoliosis, a history of 3 herniated disks and 3 bulging disks. I also have skin issues where my skin breaks out in various situations, such as eczema when I am stressed and hives and sores when I have an allergic reaction to something, and my skin heals very slowly. I also have sinus issues where I get sinus infections and colds very easily, and I have constant sinus related allergies. I am also a person that has a lot of migraine headaches. Now with all this said, these last 12 weeks have been a big struggle just to keep going with this challenge. In weeks 3 and 4, I had a major sinus infection that drained my energy, and in week 7 I had a major allergic reaction to something covering me in hives and sores. I have had about 7 migraines that usually last more than 24 hours. Another side note, I have also struggled with being overweight as a child and as an adult. The lightest weight I remember ever being was my Freshman year in high school (14 years old) where I weighed in at 189 lbs.
I finished this current challenge of 12 weeks at 195.2 lbs, and if I go by my home scale's bodyfat calculator, I lost 14% bodyfat. If I go by the gadget in the gym, it said I've lost 4%. I have lost many inches throughout my body, and I've stopped having a lot of daily pain in my back and body. I am starting to see muscle tones that I've not ever seen.
I have also gained a whole lot of information throughout this challenge. 1) Being in shape and healthy are two different things. A person can be one and not the other, but it is best to be both in shape and healthy. To be healthy and in shape requires the change in physical activities and to a person’s nutrition. However, the majority of Americans are neither healthy nor in shape. 2) A Bodybuilder has to be dedicated to proper nutrition, proper exercise, and a strict lifestyle, and not everyone can do it. Becoming a Bodybuilder is exactly opposite what the world says is normal human behavior. Eating out at fast food restaurants, having deserts, staying up late, drinking alcohol, drinking soda pop, smoking, having a candybar to satisfy hunger, getting less than 8 hours of sleep, and grab and go foods from a vending machine are things this world says is okay and normal, but a Bodybuilder has to refrain from activities such as these in order to become the best bodybuilder and build muscle. All of those activities and other negative ones will destroy a healthy body and some will shrink muscle. Refraining from these activities is a major sacrifice to become a Bodybuilder or even to anyone wanting to lose bodyfat. This decision is also not something that someone just wakes up one day and does. This takes many changes to even become ready to jump into “bodybuilding mode”. 3) Making dramatic changes fast to get fast results will not stay in a person’s life, and actually will create an issue where that person will end up gaining the weight right back and sometimes even more weight. Slow and steady modifications to a person’s diet and physical levels are the tickets to make a major lifestyle change that will last and help the person become healthy and in shape. Health is not a sprint. Health is a marathon. 4) Having others to encourage you in the changes to your lifestyle is awesome, but change ultimately comes down to you as the individual. A healthy and in shape body is your choice and your journey, and it is yours alone. No one can make you change except you. If you want to enjoy that piece of pizza, go ahead, but don’t expect your body to obtain any nutrients from it nor an hour on the treadmill to get rid of that garbage in your stomach. 5) No amount of exercise or training, can overcome a bad diet! Going out to eat is not a crime, but one needs to educate themselves on what is healthy and what is not. Many foods in restaurants sound healthy and ordering something that sounds healthy, may actually not be healthy. Many restaurants have hidden calories in their foods, and a person needs to watch the foods they order at a restaurant. Make it a goal to learn the foods calorie intake at your favorite restaurants and then ask for modifications if possible or find a restaurant that has better and healthier options. I found a food that I enjoy at a restaurant that said it was grilled chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Thought it was healthy, and found that it was over 950 calories. I made a similar meal at home, and made it all under 300 calories. Where did the other 650 calories come from? So, one really needs to understand foods, and American’s are not really educated on this in schools. 6) The tools and resources to help someone get in shape and healthy are available to everyone. I used an app. on my smart phone called MyFitnessPal to help keep my calories in check and help me try to keep below 1200 calories and helped me with increasing my physical activities. The cool thing is that the more I use it, the more I am able to see calories before I look them up now. Another app on my smart phone called JeFit helped me with learning new ways of strengthening specific muscle groups. Also friends that are in the gym regularly are a good resource. Bodybuilding.com also has an app on the smart phones, and there is also some good advice for fitness on there as well. Also, fun classes like Zumba and Yoga at the gym help make cardio exercises enjoyable and not boring. A person does not have to feel like they have to use every piece of equipment in the gym. One of my favorite pieces of equipment is a broomstick to do twists and work my abdominal area.
Biggest Loser is a TV show that I really enjoy. I am not 100% fond of the fact that they make such dramatic changes so fast, but it’s a show where they have to have some competition in order to keep it on the air. However, you can see that taking the weight off fast has actually put many of these contestants in a situation where in the next year or so, they gain all of that weight back. But, by losing the weight, many of their health problems went away. Things like Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, High Blood Pressure, body pains, joint pains, heart issues and many others can be helped or even reversed with changing of one’s health and activity level. This past season they encouraged people to just “get moving”, and that’s what I did through this 12 week challenge such as walking more, sitting on a stability ball instead of the couch to watch TV, and got on a stationary bike when I wanted to read a book. True that I did go to the Gym a lot too (3-6 times a week), but I did workout at home a lot too with my stationary bike, Zumba on DVD, and as well as Biggest Loser workouts on the Xbox 360 Kinect. However, by making small changes throughout, I have been able to keep them going. I know I have a long way to go, and for someone like me that has a lot of physical problems that get in the way, which makes progress slower, I have to stay motivated for even the 16.4 lbs is an awesome improvement as well as the major change in my bodyfat percentage per my home scale. Losing 14% bodyfat shows that even though I didn't lose as much weight, my body did change and that also means I added muscle. I will keep fighting to lose more and get my bodyfat down even further and someday, I will compete in a natural bodybuilding competition.
Check out my before and after pics in my progress pictures to see changes. There are definite changes in my bust and abdominal areas!
Day 33 (February 6th, 2013): Wednesday. Hump day. Emotionally, I am not doing well today. I barely got through my work day, and then went home. I did not go to the gym, and only ate leftovers, and I realized I was eating more than I should. I have to remember not to be around food when I am not emotionally or physically feeling good. Those are my triggers to eat. I have also noticed that I get colder faster now. I wonder if that is because I am shredding the fat that has kept me warm for so long.
Day 32 (February 5th, 2013): Tuesday! I went to work, but had no energy. I was in a bit of pain today after lifting yesterday. Chest and Laterals are what I worked on. However, I got through the day for it went by fast. I can’t seem to give up the caffeine today. Oh well. Went to the gym and did Zumba and burned 740 calories. I really need to get focused on my lifting. I did realize how unfair it is for women who lift as opposed to men. Women have to wear bras. Well most women have to wear bras, and I am a big woman and have to be professional with my job. I could not get my arms behind my back to latch up my bra very well. Throughout the day I was stiff, and when I had to get my sportsbra on for Zumba (mine has hooks and eyes on the back due to the size of bra I have to wear), I really struggled. Here is another thing that men will never understand what women have to go through.
Day 31 (February 4th, 2013): Not a bad day for a day after the Superbowl. I didn’t get much sleep, but got up and actually worked out this morning on the stationary bike for 60 minutes. I really want to get back into the motivation I had when I started this challenge. I did go to work as well today. This was not a typical Monday for we had a new person start in the office today, and I got to show her around. I did go to the gym after work and started lifting again and worked on my Chest and Laterals. I have to admit it is so awesome seeing the guys in the weight room react to a woman coming in. I know women like to stand around and talk in the gym, but so do men. There were about 13 men in the room, and I was trying locate a broomstick to do warm-up twists, but someone had misplaced it. Most of those men were just standing around talking and not lifting. These 13 men had weights and dumbbells scattered everywhere and it was a mess. When I located the broomstick and started my twists, all the guys that were talking dispersed to a different piece of equipment, some did squats, bench press, chest press, incline press, etc…. Then, I had never heard so many moans and groans in my life as if they were all straining to do something. I didn’t look directly at them, but with the mirrors I was able to see what they were lifting. I had to giggle at what they tried to make me perceive were difficult weights, but I paid them no attention. I was approached by an African American man much shorter than me and much smaller than me, and I think he was a training, because he never did any reps or sets on anything. I looked at him and thought, “dude, I could bench press you.” He asked if he could help me. I told him I was just deciding on what piece of equipment I wanted to use, thinking which one didn’t have so many weights around it that wasn’t picked up. I went on my way, and then went to the back extension machine. I think he got my drift, for he actually started picking up some of the mess. By the time I was done with the back extension, I found a bench press bench that was cleaned off and started with that. When I did, it became very quiet in the room except what sounds should be in the weight room (clinging weights). All the guys stopped moaning and groaning. It was hilarious how they all thought to impress me with their sound effects.
Day 30 (February 3rd, 2013): SuperBowl Sunday! 49ers versus the Ravens. We had some friends over to watch the game. The commercials sucked this year, and the halftime show was even worse. But, it was fun hanging with Bobbi and Toni. I made some healthy mini pizzas from whole wheat sandwich rounds, tomato paste and mozzarella cheese. Calculating each one was 200 calories, and they filled me up with just one. There were a lot of other foods too including a cookie in the shape of a football. Honestly the game wasn’t that eventful until the lights in New Orleans went out for about a half an hour. That was fun. Anyway, I didn’t workout today. I feel bad for not working out, but I just didn’t have time.
Day 29 (February 2nd, 2013): I got up and went to early morning Zumba. I did weigh myself and was 205.0 lbs with the scale saying 44.3% bodyfat before I left. When I got to the gym, I checked my bodyfat there on the handheld gadget, and it said 36.9%. Zumba was fun, for Saturdays are less crowded, and we get to move around a lot more. I talked to Shelly today about my lack of ability to get to the gym and what this is doing to the 12 week challenge. She told me not to worry about it, for we cannot control when we get sick. I had to go get more groceries to keep to my healthy diet today. I did stick mostly to the diet for the day. However, we did end up going to bar to do some Karaoke and hang with some friends of ours who were celebrating their birthdays. I had two drinks (Tequila Sunrise and a Mike’s Hard Lemonade). Ok, not on my diet, but it was fun to be with people I’ve not seen for a while.
Day 28 (February 1st, 2013): I weighed in today at 207.0 lbs. I am not surprised with the way that I’ve been feeling lately. I know I eat more when I don’t workout, and I’ve not been able to workout for almost a week and a half. I also think that the medications I am on create weight gain. Well, after today, I only have one more day of these meds. I do have a Migraine today and my stomach hurts. I think the stomach problem is from the medications.
Day 27 (January 31st, 2013): Thursday. The week is almost over, thank God. I feel better than yesterday, but still not back to my 100%. I am still scared to push myself in the gym. I didn’t have to worry about it. My mother-in-law had asked her daughter and daughters-in-law if they wanted a girls night out. That was fun. We went out to eat and then to a grocery store that sell Organically grown and Organically made food items. It’s a nice store, but it is expensive. I understand how being organic can be healthier, but when one is on a budget, that one cannot be choosy with some things. However, I am a bit confused on the “raw” cashews considering that raw cashews are poisonous seeds of the cashew fruit. Oh well. No one really cared what I already knew. But, I do have to ask myself, why would someone pay for Organic quick oats oatmeal at 4 times the cost of regular oatmeal to make sure there is no wheat gluten in it? Well, if someone is deathly allergic to gluten, I guess I could understand. This store is very unique as well and I probably will be coming back due to the variety of organically grown meats that they have available including Bison, which is not something you would find much in Indiana. They also have a variety of fresh fish that I cannot find in my own local grocery stores.
Day 26 (January 30th, 2013): Wednesday! Hump day for the week. I am starting to feel better, but I had to do a lot of traveling today in my car for my job and that seemed to make me tired. I went home after work and just rested again. I am sick of having absolutely no energy to workout. I am also not keeping to the diet for I seem to be hungry all the time. I am still keeping track of my calories with myfitnesspal, but unsure why I am so hungry. I’ve lost over a week of this challenge being sick. This sucks.
Day 25 (January 29th, 2013): I am still not 100% right. I got through my workday, but still have no energy to workout. I did get my voice back to about 60%, but not enough to sing. I went home after work and rested on the couch until bed time. Either the URI or the medications or my job has zapped me again today. I was hoping to go to Zumba, but I barely can keep myself standing.
Day 24 (January 28th, 2013): I went to work this morning, feeling better, but still tired. I barely got through the day. This upper respiratory infection is kicking me. I’ve not had any energy to workout since I started taking the medications. I am wondering if the URI is what’s zapping my energy or the medications. I went home after work and went right to bed.
Day 23 (January 27th, 2013): My husband and I started attending a new church today, but I still have not voice really. We went out to Texas Roadhouse with my husband’s brother’s family. I had salmon there that was actually pretty good. However, I went back to bed when we got home. I had no energy and still not feeling well.
Day 22 (January 26th, 2013): Saturday! Starting week 4 for me. I weighed in at 204.6 lbs. Awesome. I have lost a total of 7 lbs even in three weeks, but not a healthy way unfortunately. I’ve been living off of soups and broth. I still have no voice. My body hurt, so I decided not to workout today. I stayed in bed. This URI is going to throw off my motivation. I hope it doesn't last long.
Day 20 (January 24th, 2013): NO VOICE today. Well, this could be a blessing to some people, but not to me. I have to talk for my job or I can’t do my job. I decided to go to Medcheck. I found that I have an Upper Respiratory Infection. Anyway, they put me on Amox/K, which is generic for Augmentin (horse size pills) and gave me a note telling me I was cleared to go back to work on the 25th. I’ve never gotten a slip telling me I was cleared to go back to work the next day. I spent the rest of the day in bed or on the couch. I also am taking MucinexDM every 12 hours to help get my voice back.
Day 19 (January 23rd, 2013): Coughing a lot today. I am just not feeling well. I went to work, which the morning really sucked. My first appointment wasn’t until 11:30 am, but I could not whatsoever get my technology to work together. I am usually a patient person, but when my job is not able to be done because of technology issues and I am not paid to be an IT person, I get easily frustrated. However, after 2.5 hours of troubleshooting, I was finally able to get started on work. However, after work, I had to do some grocery shopping. After that, I was too exhausted to go work out. I went home and went to bed. I just wasn’t feeling good at all.
Day 18 (January 22nd, 2013): First day back from a long weekend. Feeling energized for some reason, or at least until I got out of bed. My legs were in so much pain by the time I stood up. Good news is I had no back pain or even knee pain. However, I also seem to have developed a cough today. I carried a box of tissues around with me today and tried to stay away from everyone. I went to do Zumba after work. That was fun, but it seemed to just drain me of all energy.
Day 17 (January 21st, 2013): Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a holiday for my job. This is awesome, for I was able to go into the gym, with no time restriction to how long to be there. I weighed in at 206.4 lbs, and the scale in the bathroom said bodyfat was 41.2%, but the gadget in the gym said I was 37.3%. I am thinking that neither device is right. Oh well. Anyway, I lifted today. Today was leg and tricep day, but I have to ask: “whose idea was it to have the free weights on the second floor of a gym with no elevator?” After doing the wide leg press (one of my favorite lifting exercises), I had to go downstairs to do the rest of my workout, and almost fell down the stairs due to Jelly legs. I did also do 60 minutes of elliptical today as well. Diet is a bit off since I slept in due to not feeling 100% still. I seem to be living off of Advil Cold and Sinus and very little appetite.
Day 16 (January 20th, 2013): I am still not 100% better, but I do feel better. If I am upright, I feel better. Even though I have been resting and sleeping a lot, I still feel tired. My diet has suffered, and I didn’t work out.
Day 15 (January 19th, 2013): Today I woke up sick with sinus drainage, congestion, sore throat, headache, and body aches. This is not what my husband had last weekend, but I am still sick. I weighed myself today and I was 205.0 lbs. I am a bit disappointed that I haven’t lost more this week. Oh well. However, I stayed in bed a lot today. I didn’t workout yesterday due to not feeling good, and today I feel worse and still am unable to workout. I did go to Walmart to get some medications to get better. I was bad today on my diet. I ate McDonald’s. I apparently use food as a comfort for when I do not feel well. McDonald’s is comfort food for me, but I know I can’t have it that often, for I calculated the calories and found out that I had my entire allotment of calories for the day in that one meal. That information is scary to me for I waited behind almost 10 cars in the drive through to get that meal. Thinking of how many people got the same thing I did and still consumes many other meals in that day. Wow. I see how easy it is for people in America to become overweight.
Day 14 (January 18th, 2013): I got about 9 hours of sleep, and I finally felt rested. I weighed myself today and the scale said 207.2 lbs. I was not happy. I ended up buying a Vitamin Water for Energy. With all the exercising I’ve been doing and all the calorie counting made me feel like I am not doing well at all. However, I had a hard day at work, and I needed something other than my rice and tuna for lunch. I went to taco bell, had two Doritos loco supreme tacos and a chicken cantina bowl (without guacamole and only ate a few bites of the rice). It did make me feel better. I decided not to go to the gym. My skin hurts from the tanning/burning yesterday, and I am just not feeling it today. I had some major issues with being cold. I had the shivers. I wonder if I am coming down with something.
Day 13 (January 17th, 2013): Thursday….Zumba day! However, I woke up this morning with a weird feeling today. I still cannot seem to get up and do my morning exercising. I can barely get out of bed to get ready for work. Eating breakfast and packing 4 other meals is becoming faster. I am sticking to my diet even though everyone else in the office is eating queso dip and chips. I know that has no healthy benefits in it, for its generic cheese. It made the office smell good, but now I am associating some smells with bad weight gain. So, it really didn’t smell that good. However, being so drained, someone said I might actually have a vitamin D deficiency. After that conversation, I decided I needed to go tan today thinking that the Vitamin D might make me feel better. I went back to work for the rest of the day, and had my lunch. Well, due to getting carried away with work again and working over today, I didn’t get to the gym to lift today before Zumba, but I did get to Zumba and exercised. I burned over 663 calories. My watch calculator stopped for almost 1 whole song. For dinner I had a chicken salad that I make with 1 can of chicken breast, light mayo and sweet pickle relish, and a can of mixed vegetables. I also had one tablespoon of peanut butter. I really wanted something sweet. I went to bed early.
Day 12 (January 16th, 2013): Today I woke up, not in pain, but being stiff. I was planning on working out this morning on my bike, but due to the cold weather, and the bike out in the patio, I’ve been reluctant to go out there. I tried something last night with some space heaters and let them run all night out there (only about 8 hours), and it would have been warm enough to ride it for an hour. But because I went to bed so late, I could not get out of bed with only 5 hours of sleep. Also, I weighed myself today and I was at 207.0 lbs again. I am confused on this, but I am thinking it was all the sodium that was in the turkey sub yesterday. Time to drink lots of water. I went to the gym late due to talking with my husband, and I started lifting with my Lats. When there are so many people in the gym, I had to wait for machines or find something that I could use for a specific lift. However, it got to be 6:30 and I didn’t want to have to eat really late, so I will do my biceps tomorrow. I got on the Eliptical for 40 minutes and burned 525 calories, and that wore me out. I was going to stop by Long John Silvers to get some grilled salmon, but apparently that is out of season now. I went to KFC instead, hoping to get grilled chicken breast, and they were all out. I got an original recipe chicken breast and took off the skin and the good tasting stuff with green beans and cole slaw. It was good. Went home and watched my Biggest Loser that we recorded from Monday. I love how they attack childhood obesity so much.
Day 11 (January 15th, 2013): I am starting to think something is wrong with my body. I have absolutely no energy when I woke up this morning. These workouts are killing the time I spend with my husband, and I want to spend as much time as I can with him. So, when I come home from the gym, we talk, and then we talk into the night. He is a night owl and can stay up late, even when he is sick. I cannot do that, for my body needs time to recoup. I do not know what to do at this point. However, I had to run to a different city on an errand and my work carried over into my second and third meals of today. I didn’t get a chance to eat until 2 pm, and I didn’t have a microwave to cook my rice. So, I went to Firehouse subs and ended up getting a smoked Turkey Breast 12 inch sub on wheat with no cheese and no mayo. It was a really good sandwich. However, I was feeling ill all day due to no food in my stomach. I probably shouldn’t have had the 12 inch and gone with the 8 inch instead. I did go to the Gym after work and did Zumba. I am noticing that my heart rate isn’t as high as it used to be when I first start Zumba. I guess my body is getting used to it. If I can’t burn 750 calories in an hour or even 700 calories, it may become harder to lose the weight. However, if I burn 500 calories each workout, and I work out one time a day for 7 days, that is 3500 calories and one pound. I am going to have to try harder to get more workouts in. Or find some way to burn more calories. I am still trying to lose 40 pounds in the 12 week challenge to get me down to 18 or 19% bodyfat.
Day 10 (January 14h, 2013): I woke up very tired. My husband is sick. On Friday the doctor said he had a small case of the flu and gave him meds for the flu. However, today is Monday and he hasn’t gotten better. He is going back to the doctor today. I had my normal diet today, and I start lifting today. The gym is full of “new year’s resolution” people making it difficult to get on the machines I need. I’ll just grit my teeth and bare it. I hate saying this, but I actually miss my old gym “Stay Fit 24”. That gym was small and not pool, hot tub, sauna, or workout classes, but their equipment is more up to date and easier to use. I started going to LivRite so my Husband could have punching bags to punch for cardio. He used to do that a long time ago, and that’s what he likes to do for cardio. Stay Fit 24 did not have punching bags either. I will keep plugging away. Also, the doctor today told my husband that he has Acute Bronchitis and not the flu, which explains the multiple fevers, them breaking, and then another one comes. He is not allowed back at work until Thursday per the doctor.
Day 9 (January 13th, 2013): Lazy Sunday, but I weighed myself today and was 205.6 lbs. My scale also said I was down to 43.2 % bodyfat. Today is a day of Housework and football. However, I also caught up on my favorite TV show of Biggest Loser. Yes, I am a Biggest Loser fan, but I can’t seem to watch it when it is actually on television. I just enjoy watching people change and transform their lives. I do learn from this show, but I wish there was more information that I could learn from the experts, but only so much can be put in one episode. I really do enjoy watching Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, and Dolvett Quince, and of course Alison Sweeney. The show is cool, but in reality, people like me have to work every day to pay the bills and can’t workout all day long nor have trainers, doctor, EMTs, paramedics, or specialized equipment around all the time. Actually the gym I go to has very outdated equipment and none of those fancy cardio machines that are on the show. However, it is cool that if someone could devote that much time daily to their health, they should be able to change their lives very fast. This season they are attacking child obesity, which is totally awesome. Many children have the same habits as their parents, and many pick up their bad eating habits due to their family being on food stamps, which usually isn’t enough for the family to purchase healthy type foods, but those foods that are bad for anyone to eat. Don’t get me wrong, there are many families out there that buy their own food from their own earned money, but it is still cheaper to purchase unhealthy foods than healthy foods. As for my household, both my husband and I work full time jobs, and we pay all of our bills out of earned money, but we just barely make ends meet. It still costs us a lot of money to eat healthy. I wish they would start teaching America how to budget for healthy foods for a healthy life, but they have to start somewhere and tackle what they can.
Something else I figured out today, losing weight is just a mathematical equation. More burned calories versus calories eaten, meaning if I burn more calories throughout the day than I eat, then I will lose weight. Exercise (Cardio) helps burn the calories faster due to burning more calories in the day. Also, weight lifting will build muscles making my body burn the fat instead of my muscles. So, nutrition, exercise, normal daily life, and proper rest all work together, and without doing all of them right, a person will not lose weight nor get into great shape. 3500 calories is 1 pound. If I burn 750 calories per workout (normally about 60 minutes in moderate to heavier workout) per day, I would burn 1.5 lbs extra a week if I didn’t change my diet. Without lifting, I may not just lose fat, but with lifting, I also will build muscle making the weight burned to be fat. However, adding a change in the nutrition and counting my calories, I know exactly how much I am eating. If I keep to 1200 calories, roughly a day, and stay below 1600 calories, I may actually lose more weight due to my body’s normal daily calorie burn. MyFitnesspal suggests I eat 1240 calories a day to lose 2 lbs a week with just my diet alone. Hopefully putting this all together may actually help me lose 3-5 lbs a week since I cannot always know 100% how many calories I will burn in my workouts. I think I finally understand all of this.