Burgers don’t make you fat

Post by Mark

As I’ve posted before I am now riding to and from my gym on my bicycle. The combined distance is around 16.5KM, it takes around 30 minutes each way and I end up burning around 600-700 calories in the process. Since I go to Core three times a week that means I’m basically burning around 2000 calories a week just by riding my bike to the gym.

The way I look at it is every time I ride to the gym that’s an extra 700 calories I’m burning which means I can have a burger that’s also around 700 calories and I would even out.

What this means is I now ride to eat. If anyone is looking for a way to burn calories I highly recommend riding. Even with this hot weather it’s not bad at all, it’s actually not that hot at night. Just park your car near Corniche Club on the Gulf Road and then ride to the Kuwait Towers and back. Easy as that.

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Diet Jellab?

Post by Mark

I was having lunch at Leila when I noticed they had two new drinks on the menu and one of them was Diet Jellab. I love Jellab but haven’t been able to have it for ages since it was one of the things Fahad took off my diet along with my 5 spoons of sugar chai haleeb. But since this one is just 52 calories I’ll probably be sneaking a cup every now and then since it also tastes exactly the same as regular Jellab. Now someone needs to invent a diet quarter pounder with cheese.

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Fahad’s ultimate ice cream post

Post by Mark

Fahad just posted his extremely comprehensive ice cream post with his signature “Approved” and “Not Approved” rating system. You can check out his post [Here]

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The Run

Post by Mark

Last weekend I decided to try and walk home from work. The distance was around 12KM and took me 2 hours and 20 minutes. Today I decided to try and beat the time and try to get home in 2 hours or less. So I ran, and ran and ran. I don’t think I’ve ever ran as much or as far as I did. It wasn’t non stop running since I’m not that fit but I ran a lot more than I walked. To my surprise, I managed to cover the exact same distance but this time in 1 hour and 39 minutes! Not bad for a guy who can barely make it on a treadmill for 30 minutes. The above time is todays run while the below time is from last week.

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The Walk

Post by Mark

So Thursday after work I decided to walk home as a bit of exercise. My office is located in Kuwait City near Muthana Complex and my apartment at the beginning of Salmiya. I estimated the distance would be around 15km and I wanted to try and make the trip in 3 hours or less. Well the whole trip turned out to be 12km and took me around 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete. I thought that was disappointing because my regular walks around Salmiya are 11km long and Kuwait City to Salmiya sounded a lot longer than that. I didn’t feel tired or exhausted and it really wasn’t challenging enough. What was even more depressing was when I got home and was checking Facebook I noticed pictures of a friend of mine who had just gotten back to Kuwait after participating at the Marathon des Sables… a 6 day long 243km endurance race. I guess I’m taking baby steps? On the bright side at least it’s something I can do more often now. I took some pictures during the walk and was uploading them to twitter but in case you missed it you can see them at the bottom of this post.

On a different note I measured my body fat percentage today and it’s 13%. That means I dropped down 1.6% since the beginning of the month (I was 14.6) and I lost 1.2kg of body weight and all of it was fat, no muscle loss. So not what I was hoping for but still better off from where I was earlier in the month.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Thank you Fahad

Post by Mark

This is going to be a bit of a long post and it will sound like an advertisement but I don’t care since it’s something that’s very important to me.

I’ve never thanked Fahad for changing my lifestyle and I figured the best way to do it is by dedicating a post to him. For those of you who’ve been checking the blog from the start you might remember the amount of junk food I used to eat. Just check these old posts [Click Here] and check the dates underneath those posts. That’s basically what I used to eat on a daily basis and it wasn’t just a phase, it was my lifestyle from the day I left to college up until over a year ago when I signed up to Fahad’s gym Core Fitness.

I remember when I found out I had acid reflux the Dr told me I had to change my eating habits and start exercising I literally laughed at him. Told him no way that was going to happen since I’m just too lazy. Then one day I decided to try this exercise thing, I had a home gym which I had only used once before and figured maybe if a trainer came over to my place and trained me at home I wouldn’t be too lazy about it. I posted on the blog asking people if they knew any trainers and that’s when Fahad emailed me. I had met him previously on an offroading trip and so I kinda knew who he was, he told me he had a gym and I could sign up there. I was replying back telling him thanks but no thanks when I decided to check his website and that’s where I read “20 minutes just 2 times a week”. 20 minutes? That’s nothing, no matter how busy I am with work and my blog, fitting 20 minutes into my day just twice a week would be doable. So I signed up and ever since I’ve changed into a completely new person.

I’m so into the Core Fitness lifestyle I’ve become a traveling salesman for them. Everyone I know who tells me “Mark you’ve lost a lot of weight, you look really fit” I shift into Core Fitness sales pitch mode. Their first excuse when I tell them to sign up at the gym is “I wish I could but I don’t have time”. I hit back with “dude it’s just 20 minutes twice a week!” And that grabs their attention just like it grabbed mine the first time I heard it.

Thing is you start off twice a week for 20 minutes but after awhile you end up wanting more. I’m not going to post Fahad’s secret to how he hooks you in (yes I’ve figured out the formula!) but lets just say it works really well. I went from a junk food addict who hadn’t done any kind of exercise for over a decade into the fitness/health obsessed freak I am today. I started with 20 minute sessions twice a week and then it became three times a week and then four. Now it’s 1 hour sessions three times a week and if I could fit in more sessions into my busy life I would. I’ve been going to the gym steady for nearly a year and a half now. I don’t miss sessions and if I do it’s usually because of an emergency or I’m stuck at work. Food wise I’m eating incredibly healthy now and I don’t even find it tough anymore when Fahad assigns a new routine for me. He could tell me to eat beans and spinach three times a day for a whole month and I would do it without any issues or complaints.

Now what made me want to write this post today is the following comment a reader left under the “My Bike Ride” post:

I have 30% body fat. I smoke like a chimney. I eat whatever I want. I drink like a fish. The most exercise I get is working the gas and brake pedals. I’m so happy with my lifestyle choice, not having to do crazy things like walking home to achieve a target.

It made me realize that I don’t have to eat healthy, I don’t have to exercise, I don’t have to hit 12% body fat and I don’t have to walk home. I WANT TO do all the above. I like doing them and I want to do more and the reason for this drastic lifestyle change was Fahad. So for this reason I want to say THANK YOU FAHAD. Thank you for changing my lifestyle and I hope you manage to change a lot more people as well. And of course a huge thank to all the trainers at the gym who kept pushing me even when I was begging them to be easy on me.

Make sure you guys visit Fahad’s blog [Here]
And here is a link to the Core Fitness [Website]

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My Bike Ride

Post by Mark

So yesterday I ended up riding home from work. It was a fairly chilled out ride with the most difficult part trying to get from my office near Muthana Complex in Kuwait City to Souq Sharq. There are no bike paths and the sidewalks aren’t consistent but once I got to Souq Sharq it was pretty straight forward from there on.

It took me just over an hour to complete the journey and I was mostly cruising at a moderate pace since I didn’t know how long the journey would be and if I would run out of energy before I got back home. The weather was great and I had good music playing so it was pretty much enjoyable and I think I’m going to do this a few more times before it gets really hot. I did have some problems with my bikes gear shifting by itself and I noticed my brakes weren’t performing that well so I’m going back to Extreme Sports to get these 2 issues fixed before I go riding again.

Now tomorrow on the other hand I’m going to attempt to walk back home from work. I’m estimating it should take me around 3 hours but hopefully not more than that. I need to burn as much fat as I can before Saturday since that’s when I’m going to be checking my stats and hopefully I’ll hit my target of 12% body fat. This also means no cheat meal this Friday, it’s been pushed back till Saturday night instead.

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Kuwait Heart Foundation Mobile Station

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Heart Foundation (KHF) has mobile stations which they move around from one area to another offering to test your cholesterol and blood glucose for free (maybe other things as well). Currently they’re stationed outside the Khaldiya Co-op if anyone is interested. I tried to get more information regarding these mobile stations from the KHF website which although is fairly well designed compared to other local government websites… majority of the links don’t work. [Link]

Thanks AbdulRahman

Note: Just noticed the irony of the post coming right after the McGangbang

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Walking does the body good

Post by Mark

Last week I messed up my knee running on my treadmill and since I still wanted to do cardio I decided to walk instead. I plugged in my wireless Nike+ sensor into my sneakers, started the Nike+ app on my iPhone and started walking from the start of Salem Mubarek Street in Salmiya all the way down to Electrozan which is at the very end of it, picked up an iPod Shuffle and then walked back. I was walking at a moderately fast pace and once I got back home I ended my session on the Nike+ app and checked the results (screenshot posted above).

Now I’m not sure how accurate the Nike+ app is, I doubt it’s very accurate but it should be somewhat accurate and if it is then I burned around 600 calories walking for nearly 2 hours. I thought that was pretty cool since when I run on the treadmill at home I usually run just 30 minutes before getting bored and tired. By the end of the 30 minutes I would have burned around 200 calories if I’m lucky, most probably less than that even. Walking on the other hand I can do for much longer periods of time and without getting either tired or bored.

Since I live right on Salem Mubarek Street I’m going to start walking on my days when I don’t have gym instead of running on the treadmill. I should burn more calories that way and I prefer walking in Salmiya over running on a treadmill facing a wall. But since I’m not a fitness expert maybe if Fahad reads this post he can add more information on how accurate my Nike+ is and if walking actually burns that much calories.

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Post by Mark

I’m still working out three times a week at Core Fitness, it’s been over a year now and since summer is around the corner the only way to look ripped at the beach and showoff my abs is to shed some body fat. At my best my body fat percentage was 14% but that was before the Benihana lawsuit and since then I think I’ve gone back up to 15 or 16%. My abs are currently hidden behind a layer of fat and to get them to show I need to be under 12% so I’ve put that as a target to hit by the end of this month. I don’t know if that’s possible or not but I asked Fahad for help and he’s updated my diet to help me reach my goal.

I’ve actually been on a diet for over a year now and for the past 6 months and I’ve only been eating grilled food for lunch and dinner with Friday being an eat whatever I want day. It was hard enough but this month it’s going to be even harder. I am no longer allowed to eat taouk for example or have tabbouleh or even munch down on olives. Instead for lunch and dinner it’s now the following:

Pick 1 Carb Source:
– 1-cup of White Rice
– 1 Baked Sweet Potato (no white potatoes)

Pick 1 Protein Source:
– 10 oz Chicken Breasts (not Shish Tawook)
– 10 oz Lean grilled or raw fish (hammour, white fish, tuna, squid, shrimp, calamari)

Bowl of greens (no tabbouleh, or any dressing… just raw greens!)

Sauces Allowed
Tabasco, Red Rooster or Yellow Mustard

This month is going to be horrible. I don’t think I’m even going to cheat on Fridays since after suffering the whole week I don’t think I want to ruin it with a big fat juicy burger or a mouth watering chocolate dessert! Will see if I can hit my target or not and post another update at the end of the month.

Update: Found a lunch meal that fit into my new diet, it’s the “Only Salmon” platter from Sakura Express. According to Fahad “The meal’s loaded with omega-3 and fish oil (which are both great).”

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