Nutrition must be 80%+ of Weight Management.
I’m at a desk in a hotel in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, with my family, catching up on work and preparing for the week ahead. I’m also thinking about this website (innismcmahon.com), blog, company, or whatever it is after reading Fitbit’s Google Announcement. The founders of Fitbit set out with the idea “to make everyone in the world healthier.” They did so by creating wearables and scales that track physical activity, calories, and sleep. Like them, my goal is to make everyone fitter, or in other words, healthier through performance. However, I realize, after watching my brother succumb to malnutrition, fitness training is not enough. What we put into our bodies is just as significant, and I need to do better.
My brother suffered from several health complications that caused his stomach to stop functioning. He was unable to process food and nutrients to sustain life. For the article’s sake and my lack of knowledge, I’m oversimplifying the causes of his health issues, but he ultimately succumbed to malnutrition. I was fortunate enough to spend a few great days with him before his fight was over, and while I was away, I also did not eat well.
Being two thousand miles from home, staying in hotels, and the trip’s overwhelming busyness, justified poor nutrition choices–at least in my mind. I planned the trip in a rush, and our rooms did not have a kitchenette. We ended up eating at restaurants and fast food joints multiple times every day for two weeks, and I did not select the best options. Most of the time, I choose comfort food to help me through the uncomfortable situation, and I felt the impact.
It is incredible how nutrition affects training. You would think I could get away with a few days of eating horribly, but I can’t. I notice a significant decrease in performance after a single cheat meal, and eating a supposedly healthy meal from a restaurant is no different. I’m sure the amount of sodium, sugar, and preservatives restaurants use in their foods cause the difference. I have found my performance is best when I am eating whole foods prepared at home rather than when I rely on restaurants to prepare healthy meals. After eating fast food, I am always bloated and carry extra weight after, and the scale tells the story.
I am roughly 240 to 250lbs, and 50lbs (20%) of it is fat. Acceptable body composition for a male my age is between 18-24%, so I am within limits, but I am heavier than I would like. I also would like to lean down some–lose body fat. My goal is to cut my weight down to 215 – 225lbs and be around 15% body fat. It has been a long time since I have been so lean, but I know I can get there by continuing my exercise regimen and creating proper nutritional habits. Fitbit will come in handy with this effort.
When I do not track my nutritional intake, I gain weight. It is as simple as that. I eat more than I should, and it is typically low-value food such as pizza. When I weigh and log my food, I usually stay on track and eat higher quality items such as chicken and vegetables. I have been through this cycle enough times to understand the outcomes, so I do not know why it is so easy to fall away from tracking nutrition–I just know it is. Fortunately, Fitbit makes it easy to maintain a food log, so I will be utilizing their app to help me achieve my goal. Also, I have purchased a scale that measures body composition so that I can track my progress. It syncs nicely with Fitbit, so all the data I need to make informed decisions will be in one spot. I have no excuse not to succeed.
Let’s see how it turns out!
I'm a has-been high school athlete who now enjoys CrossFit, baseball, and other athletic activities. As a profession, I design software, and I create the majority of I.M.s content. I do it for the fun of it, but I hope it helps others pursue fitness.