Dan’s Journal Week Six

Sport |

This past week has been difficult in terms of my nutritional and fitness program, due to entertaining some out-of-town house guests.

A made a halfhearted effort to exercise on Sunday, but because I had too large a lunch that day, I just wasn’t able to exercise to expectations comfortably, so I backed it down a bit. My only other exercise session was on Tuesday. I tried to exercise on Thursday, but the exercise room was locked.

I actually gained a pound or two this week, most likely because of some large meals and lack of exercise. I’m not pleased with myself, but I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.

Lastly, I will be going on a much needed and deserved vacation after next week. This presents a new challenge of eating well and trying to exercise while away.

Armand, do you have any advice on vacation exercises? I doubt I will have access to a treadmill.

Self assessment:

Nutrition: C- (I’m also still not eating enough fruits and vegetables, although I’m trying. My protein intake is improving. However, due to entertaining, larger portions and lack of exercise, I gained a pound or two.)

Fitness: C- (I only got one good exercise session in this week, in addition to a halfhearted one.)

The following is for Armand:
Walking: 20 minutes at 4.1mph at a 3 percent incline
Two sets of 20 ab crunches
10 stretches
160-170 bpm
Walking: 30 minutes at 4.1mph at a 6 percent incline
2 sets of 20 ab crunches
Arm of chest exercises (25 to 50 pounds)
10 stretches
160-170 bpm

Sharon’s Reply

Dear Dan:

Having out-of-town guests really changed your eating habits! At least you get more protein when you eat out. The grilled tuna, trout, seafood gumbo, oysters and crawfish were excellent sources of lean protein.

You may have felt so full, because protein takes a little time to digest, plus the portions in restaurants are way too big. You don’t usually serve yourself such big meals at home. Also, some of those meals were higher in fat.

You often go on very little food, and then a large meal will certainly make you uncomfortable. Be careful, because a lot of large meals will stretch your stomach capacity and then that will be your normal feeling of fullness. People often have trouble cutting back meal sizes after a week of vacationing and overeating.

Be careful of the chips — the salsa is fine. Count each chip as one gram of fat. If you are ordering in the restaurant, ask if you can have a plate of celery, also — you can dip that in the salsa and save calories. At home, use the lower-fat tortilla chips, or make your own with baked tortillas. Slice tortillas into wedges, spray with non-fat cooking spray, season, put on tray in oven and bake until crisp.

Is the spinach artichoke heart dip homemade? Is it a low-fat recipe? If it is, please share it with us — if not, write it down and I’ll make it lower in fat.

I’m surprised you only gained 1 pound. Was it the influence of the company or the restaurant meals? What will be the nature of your vacation? Will you be eating at relatives’ homes, restaurants or campsites? I can give you some tips next time.


Armand’s Reply


Interruptions to your regular schedule, such as entertaining guests, definitely can impact your exercise routine. What you need to do in the future is plan ahead and figure how to fit in exercise around the interruption.

For instance, perhaps you could have exercised first thing in the morning before the guests woke up. Is it conducive for you to walk outside around your home rather than on the treadmill at your fitness center when necessary?

As far as your upcoming vacation, it is really important that you stick with your exercise plan while away. While on vacation, people typically consume more calories and exercise less. My recommendation is to get your exercise out of the way first thing in the morning before any planned activities. Doing this will make you feel better for the rest of the day.

I suggest you set a realistic goal of how many exercise sessions you want to get in during your vacation. For example, at least three sessions in one week. If you don’t have access to a gym, a sample session could be walking outside for up to 30 minutes followed by pushups, then abdominal crunches, then your stretches. Good luck!


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