Before officially starting my startup, one of my co-founders and I hatched a plan for optimizing our readiness. It included not just the things you might expect (market research, learning more about business organization, and culture planning, to name a few) but making sure we were physically fit and healthy, ready to pour lots of energy into what we knew would be an intense and demanding experience. We called it #FitFounder, because we’re nerds who like to apply hashtags to years of our lives.
My objective was to lose fat and build strength. For me, this broke down into two efforts: fitness and nutrition.
For fitness, I started out doing Orange Theory Fitness. I really liked this approach as it was a good combination of cardio and strength training.
Despite loving their approach, Orange Theory was costing me easily three figures a month, untenable during our bootstrapping phase. I quit and started making my own combination of cardio and weight training by running (outdoors, when possible) and doing Les Mills Bodypump classes for free* at 24 Hour Fitness. When I didn’t have time to get into the gym, I picked up a few DVDs on the cheap** and started doing short HIIT workouts at home 4-5x a week.
I learned that all calories can be broken down into the following macronutrients:
Protein = 4 calories per gram*. Awesome for building muscles, which will improve your metabolism.
Carbs = 4 calories per gram. Good source of quickly accessible energy.
Fat = 9 calories per gram. Essential for hormones.
Alcohol = 7 calories per gram. Not really good for anything, avoid as much as possible.
If you burn 3500 calories, that’s one pound of fat. But it’s much easier to just not eat it in the first place. If you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day, that’s one pound a week!
I don’t know about you, but I can eat 500 calories in about 1/100th of the time it takes to burn 500 calories.
I love, love, love tracking things. I’m using MyFitnessPal to track my calories in and keep an eye on my weight fluctuations in a line graph over time. Weigh ins happen every morning first thing using a wifi scale from Withings that automatically sends the data to MyFitnessPal for me, as well as a free app I like on Android called Libra which helps me see not just the data point but the trends in the data.
Goals and Mindset
While it’s tempting to say my goal is weight loss, it isn’t. The goal is fat loss. So, while I’m decreasing my overall calories in, I’m also increating my calories out through small more active choices and frequent, consistent excercise – mainly weight training as it builds muscles that eat even more calories later. In support of the building muscles, I’m actually increasing my protein intake.
What’s next? Good things! I will report back later.