Help! I'm losing tone.

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    Aug 22, 2011 3:31 PM GMT
    Guys, I need help. I'm seven weeks into my walk, and I'm starting to (mildly) freak out because I've lost a lot of muscle tone. I knew going into this that my body aesthetics would take a toll--even though I am obviously still quite fit in terms of health. But what is actually happening is very different from what I thought would happen.

    I thought, going into this, that I would lose a lot of weight--that's what worried me. But I figured I'd stay lean. What is happening, instead, is that my weight has remained somewhat steady, but I've lost tone. It's like my body has gone a bit into panic mode and has decided to start storing fat.

    My abs are gone, and I fear the wrath of the gay gods--they who shall smite all ye whose bfp has gone above 12! icon_lol.gif

    Seriously, though, I was wondering if any of you have thoughts on what I could do minimize the toll on my appearance.

    A trainer I worked with before leaving NYC drew up the following plan for me. Honestly, I haven't had the energy to do it in the last several weeks, but that's changing now that I've finally fallen into the rhythm of my journey, and have a better idea of what to expect. I want to incorporate a workout into my day now.

    I'll start with this plan, but I'd like to have a few variations in order to not get bored, and also because, well, we all know how important it is to change up your routine. So any thoughts you guys have will be greatly appreciated.

    A couple of caveats: I really don't need to work out my legs at all. The whole walking for 8 hours a day with a 60 lb back pack takes care of that. I'm looking exclusively for upper body exercises. Also, I don't need more cardio--the walking takes care of that, too.

    My trainer in NYC saidplank -- make sure you keep your spine long and abs and glutes tight. Hold it as long as you can.

    double crunches : simultaneously perform a crunch and a reverse crunch at the same time, squeezing
    your abs and pulling your bellybutton in. Roll your hips and rib cage together. shoot for 20-30 reps.

    lef lifts : lying down , squeeze your abs and pull your belly in. roll your hips towards your ribs and
    lift your legs high. shoot for 15-20 reps.

    push ups: keep your hands around the bottom of your chest. go for 20!

    t & v raises : rotate your hands towards the sky and pull your shoulder blades together and your
    shoulders back. squeeze for a second and hold a moment. repeat 20 reps, holding the last one for 10-
    15 seconds.

    pull row : position your hands as though performing a row. pull your elbows back and squeeze your
    shoulder blades together. hold for a second and release. go for 20 reps.

    if there's a tree around bust out 2-3 sets of pull ups, too.


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    Aug 22, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    Sounds like it's more to do with your diet than anything...especially if you're eating at restaurants in the midwest. They're notorious for being incomprehensibly unhealthy.
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    Aug 22, 2011 5:08 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidSounds like it's more to do with your diet than anything...especially if you're eating at restaurants in the midwest. They're notorious for being incomprehensibly unhealthy.
    Good point. I've always been very conscious about what I eat. But it is hard to maintain a balanced diet doing what I'm doing.

    Any thoughts on what a diet of mostly beef/turkey/buffalo jerky and trail mix (consisting of almonds, cashews and cranberries) would do to my system? These things, plus some protein bars (I've been getting cliff bars at every Trader Joe's I find) are about all I can carry in my pack. It would be easier to control my diet if I stick to eating just this, but I worry that it wouldn't be good for me to live off of only this for the next 7 months. I don't know... Feedback on this would also be very much appreciated.
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    Aug 22, 2011 6:33 PM GMT
    19c79 said
    paulflexes saidSounds like it's more to do with your diet than anything...especially if you're eating at restaurants in the midwest. They're notorious for being incomprehensibly unhealthy.
    Good point. I've always been very conscious about what I eat. But it is hard to maintain a balanced diet doing what I'm doing.

    Any thoughts on what a diet of mostly beef/turkey/buffalo jerky and trail mix (consisting of almonds, cashews and cranberries) would do to my system? These things, plus some protein bars (I've been getting cliff bars at every Trader Joe's I find) are about all I can carry in my pack. It would be easier to control my diet if I stick to eating just this, but I worry that it wouldn't be good for me to live off of only this for the next 7 months. I don't know... Feedback on this would also be very much appreciated.
    Buy nuts in individual packages, and make your own trail mix. Be sure to get unsalted.

    It sounds like you may be taing in too much sodium, which is causing your body to retain water. Beef/turkey/buffalo jerky is all packed full of sodium.
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    Aug 22, 2011 8:50 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidIt sounds like you may be taing in too much sodium, which is causing your body to retain water. Beef/turkey/buffalo jerky is all packed full of sodium.
    Yeah, that's true. I'm having trouble coming up with an affordable alternative, though. I mean, should I just give up hope and resign to the fact that I'll have to wait until I'm done to rebuild my body? Bear in mind, it's not like I'm becoming the pillsbury doughboy--with the amount of walking I'm doing that's impossible, but... well... I kind of liked being able to see my abs, and I miss them now...
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    19c79 said
    paulflexes saidIt sounds like you may be taing in too much sodium, which is causing your body to retain water. Beef/turkey/buffalo jerky is all packed full of sodium.
    Yeah, that's true. I'm having trouble coming up with an affordable alternative, though. I mean, should I just give up hope and resign to the fact that I'll have to wait until I'm done to rebuild my body? Bear in mind, it's not like I'm becoming the pillsbury doughboy--with the amount of walking I'm doing that's impossible, but... well... I kind of liked being able to see my abs, and I miss them now...
    Yeah, temporarily giving up is probably the best option. That's exactly what I did this summer because of working in a small town where my regular Paleo foods aren't available (hence the lack of noticeable progress). It'll only take a couple weeks to get back in shape...gonna starve myself (intermediate fast) when I get done in Sept. Until then, it's sodium and grease like a "real" American. icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:45 PM GMT
    I've been on the paleo diet for a couple years now to lose fat. Paleo is what hunters gathers ate for thousands of years. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, berries. I found that cheese is OK for me as well.
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:53 PM GMT
    If you are still working out, you won't lose tone.
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:53 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidI've been on the paleo diet for a couple years now to lose fat. Paleo is what hunters gathers ate for thousands of years. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, berries. I found that cheese is OK for me as well.
    Yep. Back home I can go to a regular grocery store and find all that.
    In small towns, that's next to impossible, so I've temporarily switched to about 50% paleo.
    I'm holding my physique, but barely. Once I get home I'll be able to resume normal eating.
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:54 PM GMT
    Just dance with your dog when you finish the walk, and those abs will show in no time ;)
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    Aug 22, 2011 10:56 PM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidIf you are still working out, you won't lose tone.
    Do you have ANY idea how ignorant that sounds? I'm the most ripped guy in the gym here...in fact, in the whole town.

    I've shot two models here. I'm in better shape than both of them (though one had an extremely beautiful face - his strong point).

    Working out alone will get you nowhere without proper diet.
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    Alpha13 saidI've been on the paleo diet for a couple years now to lose fat. Paleo is what hunters gathers ate for thousands of years. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, berries. I found that cheese is OK for me as well.
    I should be able to stick to this on the road, but the biggest problem is with the meat... My only option, really, is jerky. And as Paul mentioned, it's high in sodium. Does anyone know if there are long-term consequences from eating so much jerky for eight months that I should worry about?
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:57 AM GMT
    19c79 said
    Alpha13 saidI've been on the paleo diet for a couple years now to lose fat. Paleo is what hunters gathers ate for thousands of years. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, berries. I found that cheese is OK for me as well.
    I should be able to stick to this on the road, but the biggest problem is with the meat... My only option, really, is jerky. And as Paul mentioned, it's high in sodium. Does anyone know if there are long-term consequences from eating so much jerky for eight months that I should worry about?
    Heart failure.
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    Aug 23, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    19c79 said
    Alpha13 saidI've been on the paleo diet for a couple years now to lose fat. Paleo is what hunters gathers ate for thousands of years. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, berries. I found that cheese is OK for me as well.
    I should be able to stick to this on the road, but the biggest problem is with the meat... My only option, really, is jerky. And as Paul mentioned, it's high in sodium. Does anyone know if there are long-term consequences from eating so much jerky for eight months that I should worry about?
    Heart failure.

    Really? Is the sodium content that high? I'm talking about eating Maybe 1/4 pound a day...
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    Aug 23, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    19c79 said
    paulflexes said
    19c79 said
    Alpha13 saidI've been on the paleo diet for a couple years now to lose fat. Paleo is what hunters gathers ate for thousands of years. Meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, berries. I found that cheese is OK for me as well.
    I should be able to stick to this on the road, but the biggest problem is with the meat... My only option, really, is jerky. And as Paul mentioned, it's high in sodium. Does anyone know if there are long-term consequences from eating so much jerky for eight months that I should worry about?
    Heart failure.

    Really? Is the sodium content that high? I'm talking about eating Maybe 1/4 pound a day...
    That would just be the worst case scenario.
    Best case scenario would be several pounds of added water weight, which will takes weeks to get rid of.