Rate my exercise/eating habits

I’m curious what some of the people around here would have to say about how I try to keep myself healthy. There seems to be a vast base of knowledge here and informal feedback would be great!

Mon, Wed, Fri:
Run 6.5 miles 3 days/week - 8 minute miles
Ultimate for 1.5 hours

Tues, Thur, Sat:
Gym Workout
45 minutes on exercise bike (40 minutes raised HR, 5 minutes cool down)
15 minutes weights - 1 set upper body, 1 set lower. High reps, low weight I change the weight workout monthly.

Usually a day off. Light mountain biking or a hike with the dog.

Bike to work 3 or 4 days/week (3 miles each way, but return trip is against the wind and uphill)

Softball 2 days/week
Usually a large piece of homemade bread (whole wheat flour with 7 grain cereal added)
Once a week I’ll make scrambled eggs or french toast or pancakes.

Mid Morning Snack
Apple or some saltines

2 cups of long grain brown rice with 4 ounces of beans and 4 ounces of canned chicken (white meat)

Apple or crackers. Sometimes I’ll also have pretzels. When I get home, could be cheese or some crackers and peanut butter or a banana.

Varies. Usually chicken or fish or pasta with a vegetable. Dessert is usually cottage cheese with unsweetened apple sauce. Large glass of non-fat milk is generally consumed with dinner.

I will snack on sweet stuff when it is available. I’m a sucker for M&Ms and brownies. Fortunately, those aren’t around very much.

I’m wondering if I can eliminate some of the exercise and still get as much benefit. I really like the weight I’m at right now after having lost 25 pounds a year ago. I really don’t want it back! My breakfast and lunch are my biggest concerns in my diet. I’d like to find a better breakfast during the week, but I just don’t know of anything that would be filling and relatively cheap and low in calories.

Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

Wow, that is a lot of work! I’m not sure how much help you’ll get from this board, people here seem more interested in intellectual persuits. If you can bring in a cat reference you’ll get more replies :slight_smile:

I’m not a sports coach or a nutritionist but your regimen looks pretty healthy to me***** I think most people have no idea how much exercise it takes to burn off calories, and how easy it is to eat too much.

I run (much) less than that but spend more time on the exercise bike because I don’t enjoy running much (but I do like the results). If you want to cut down on the exercise maybe just skip the odd pancake? Slice the bread thinner?

BTW how do you know you are running 8 minute mile pace? Just curious.

*****In other words it is very similar to what I do. Only you work harder at it!

I really don’t enjoy the running or bike work at all. In reality, I really hate it. Like you, I enjoy the results so I stick with it.

You asked how I know I do 8 minute miles, and the answer is that I just look at how long it takes me to run. I usually finish my run in about 50 minutes, sometimes a bit more. 8 minutes/mile for 6.5 miles would be 52 minutes.

I’d recommend more weight training and more dietary fat–too much is bad, but too little ain’t so hot either. In fact, there’s very recent research that suggest that a low fat intake is associated with high blood pressure.

IANAPT or MD, so take my advice for what it’s worth…

If you want to eliminate some cardio you probably could, especially if you’re just looking to maintain your weight now. I’ll agree w/ ultrafilter that you could add more weight training to compensate. Some high-intensity lifting or circuit training will burn calories and increase your muscle mass, which will burn calories faster. Also, varying your cardio routine will help. Instead of 45 minutes at the same HR on the bike each time, do 30 min on bike one day, 30 o treadmill one day, 30 on the elliptical one day. Vary your intensity too. Aerobics classes are really good, too. Swimming (if you have access to a pool) is great cardio excercise.

Hope this helps.

I’m impressed by the amount of exercise you do!! That is a huge time commitment. Having lost a significant amount of weight myself a couple of years ago and having maintained it, I understand your concerns and even fear of cutting back on the exercise. I would suggest that you CAN cut back on some of the exercise, especially if you incorporate the suggestions already given on the weight training.

If you cut down on the exercise, however, you will need to look at your diet. I have a long commute on the ferry, so my breakfast is a grab and go type of thing. I don’t feel like eating at 4:30am, so I take it with me and eat at my desk when I get to work. My breakfast is fairly consistent and looks like:

A piece of fruit, bunch of grapes, cherries. Get what’s in season!
A protein–either a low-fat yogurt or a hard boiled egg
Cereal–My partner and I mix 5-6 varieties of good healthy cereals (include a high-fiber one, a really crunchy one, and a sweet type variety one). Then we bag these up into 3/4-cup servings and put in an air-tight container.

I may also substitute for the protein and cereal, a slice of deli meat wrapped in a tortilla. That and a piece of fruit makes a fine morning meal. The key is get your protein–it keeps hunger at bay.

In the winter time I also make my own oatmeal mixes and prepare them in a bowl at work. I use whole oats, dried fruit, pinch of salt, cinnamon, a bit of sugar. My flavors I’ve developed are cherry/almond, cranberry/orange, and apple/raisin. YUM!! Again, bag these up into individual servings and grab and go!

The thing that struck me most about your diet was your lunch. You have a BIG lunch. Try cutting down the portion size on your rice and do EITHER the beans or the chicken. Maybe throw some veggies into the mix instead to add bulk and fill you up. Or maybe do another piece of fruit with your lunch. Two cups of rice is alot when I’ve always heard a recommended portion is 1/3 or 1/2 cup. Even if you cut it down to 1 cup, you would probably experience some benefits.

I get a sense that you want to reduce the amount of your exercise time. Cut your food portions a bit, focus your exercise efforts a little more and you should be able to maintain your accomplishment. Keep us posted.

I would try to eat a bigger breakfast and a slightly smaller lunch. I’ve found that a big breakfast really helps me through the day. In fact, if I eat a big breakfast, I usually have to force myself to eat something for lunch.

I’m also not seeing a lot of vegetables. Maybe try for more salads at lunch (with some meat for the added protein and filling) than rice.

Your diet does seem to be a little too low in fat, and I’m also seeing a lot of simple carbohydrates (pretzels, pasta, crackers, etc., unless those are also high grain). Maybe add a bit more fat (sprinkle a couple teaspoons of bacon bits and use full fat dressing on your salads, for example) and replace some of that pasta with vegetables. Almost anything you put atop pasta can be put atop a vegetable instead.

If you’re getting exercised-out, then you should be able to back off of the exercise you hate, especially if you replace some of those higher calories foods like the pasta with lower calorie vegetables.