Carlos Alvarado works as a project manager for a Las Vegas architectural firm, and is a husband and the father of two beautiful little boys, ages two and four. In addition to working out, he has a passion for salsa dancing and enjoys working as a DJ.
What was the catalyst, or ‘last straw’ that motivated you to change your diet and lifestyle?
Carlos: “I finally became tired of looking at my rear love handles. I had lost weight before, but never enough to get rid of them completely. I always thought that was just my body type. The other motivational factor were two of my friends who had recently begun bodybuilding. I was amazed at the results and instead of wishing I could be like them, I decided to go all out this time, exceeding the limits of my previous efforts.”
What type of exercise and workout routine has helped you to succeed?
Carlos: “This time I decided to take a different approach to weight lifting, and started by researching the most effective way to lift weights. Rather than emphasizing the amount of weight I was lifting, I concentrated more on the feel of the motion and my muscles as I lifted. I was not lifting as much weight as I had before, but my workouts became more intense and to my surprise, more enjoyable. I continued with this for 6 months. I also increased my cardio workouts (primarily the stair climber) by five extra minutes each session to burn more calories. I added cycling to my Friday routine by cycling six miles to and from work.”
What type of foods did you eat before, and what specific changes have you made to your diet?
Carlos: “Before I began this process I was eating a lot of breads, pastas, white rice, and cereals. All of these have refined flour and sugars. I omitted these completely from my diet and reduced my daily caloric intake by 500-800 calories. Now that I am at a desired weight, I still stay away from these foods but I have raised my caloric intake to maintain my current weight. I eat a lot of greens, nuts, sweet potatoes, and of course proteins from many sources such as legumes, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, and even pork. I keep everything in check by using the myfitnesspal app on my phone.”
What types of results have you experienced because of your lifestyle changes?
Carlos: “Due to the changes in my diet, and learning to maintain my weight, I do feel more energetic. It took some time for my energy levels to rise. I think it had to do with all of the refined and processed foods I was eating. Eating a clean diet has made a huge difference in the way I feel. I was surprised when I noticed that my craving for sweets had vanished.
What are some your favorite things about LVAC?
Carlos: “There are so many things I enjoy about being an LVAC member. First of all, I love all the perks and discounts we can get throughout Las Vegas from participating businesses. I love the fact that I can bring my kids and still be able to watch them from any area in the gym via the TV’s. And of course, I love that there is a great variety of equipment. This is very crucial in keeping one motivated. Last but not least, I love that LVAC cares about keeping their members happy by providing clean facilities and keeping all equipment in great working condition. I used to go to a gym where it would take weeks if not months to get something fixed. You can’t beat the LVAC staff, they are always friendly and courteous.”