Posts tagged Weight loss
In March of 2008 I weighed 265 pounds. I was fat. Obese even. And on the verge of a heart attack. Thanks to my doctor’s advice I made changes, tried lots of things and now, 30 months later, I’m at nearly 195 pounds. I’m not done yet, but losing 70 pounds means people want to know what works. So here are my tips, based on years of figuring out the lifestyle that works for me.
30 months after I started this journey, I weighed in at 197.5 pounds this morning. My body fat is under 20% (from 55%). I’m wearing 36 jeans, size Medium shirts, and I’m thinner than I’ve been since I was a teenager.
And since I’ve been putting my journey on Twitter, people have started to ask for tips and such. My responses are generally glib, but I’ve decided to post this to help a little bit, since I know when I was starting my journey that glib responses didn’t help.
My Top 10 Tips for Losing Weight
- My biggest tip: Change a habit every month, something small: small changes add up. Cut fast food one month, stop eating after 8pm another month, split portions into two meals another month, drink more water another month. Small changes matter.
- Eat early, don’t eat late: the earlier you eat, the sooner your metabolic whatever kicks in. The earlier you stop eating, the longer your body spends processing the day’s food and then your body fat during sleep.
- Sleep properly: when you sleep, you burn fat. So get that 8 hours. It’s good for you and for your weight.
- Don’t drink beer: yeah, uh, this should be pretty obvious. I do vodka, which is all sugar, but it’s less calories and carbs and all that useless crap your body doesn’t need. Also beer means consuming way too much liquid late in the evening, which is just silly in the first place.
- Have an active support system: weight loss as a private journey is bound and determined to fail. I’ve blogged, used services and used Twitter. Twitter worked for me, find out what works for you.
- Celebrate your victories: I couldn’t have lost 70 pounds if I’d set out to lose 70 pounds. Set targets that are achievable (10-20 pounds per target) and then celebrate those victories. My friends and family, via Twitter, celebrated too.
- Have multiple motivations: don’t just make it about weight loss. Track your waist size, take measurements, really track anything you can cause that number on the scale isn’t the only thing changing. Take pictures to show how stuff looks even if it isn’t changing on the scale.
- Eating better is easier than exercising more.
- Walk more. I listen to music and walk for an hour or two, checking email, making notes to myself and generally chilling. Relaxation in general is good for you, so kill two (or in my case 5) birds with one stone. Yoga might be better for you. Do something that combines relaxation with exercise without requiring a huge commitment (like 3x per week at the gym, which is hard to sustain).
- More meals, smaller meals: eat more often, but less, and stop eating when you’re full.
Ultimately losing weight is a lifestyle change. It’s not a diet (though those help sometimes). It’s not an exercise regime (though having more muscle mass means burning more calories). It’s not a number. I’ve found a lifestyle that works for me. It won’t work for you. So alot of the above is geared towards helping you find that lifestyle.
There will be plateaus. There will be weight gains. And it’s definitely a long term proposition (it’s easy to see the 70 pounds of weight loss as a big number, but it’s over thirty months… if you have more than 25 pounds to lose, half a pound a week on average allows you to have some ups and downs without stressing out).
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing: you can do it. It will be hard. But with the right support system, a flexible plan and a focus on the long term it is more than possible for you to lose any amount of weight.