I’ve lost 121 lbs in less than 45 days – and you can too! Ur.. ahem… I mean… I’ve lost 21lbs – but it has been about 45 days and I am losing weight. I’m amazed at how quickly this little online weight loss journal has grown and I figure if so many of you guys can relate to my Quest, then you may be interested in what I’m doing to lose the weight.
So far, I Quit… Again – has been a clever name but nothing more – I have not quit. And I spent sometime thinking about why that is, what has been the secret of my success (albeit a bit premature to call it success just yet). I realize that everyone is different and you are going to have to find what works you – but there are a few things I feel have made me progress in this battle of the bulge:
This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING I have done to lose weight. Trust me – its not working out or even eating the right foods. Here in America, we have lost sight of what a 2000 calorie diet actually looks like. I dreaded always having to measure food – but for the first few weeks, I did it for everything I eat. Since then, I check my portions one day a week to remind myself how small a tablespoon really is. Logging my food – every bite, everyday allows me to remain focused on what I’m putting in my mouth. Trust me when I say, once you have learned exactly how small two tablespoons of peanut butter really are, you’ll think about the 10 egg whites omelet you could have for the same calorie count! Maybe you decide the peanut butter is worth it – but no matter what, I can’t say it enough – LOG EVERY BITE, EVERYDAY! When I don’t log my food, I gain weight – PERIOD.
I’m an IT guy, so I require a technology way to do almost anything – so for me its an online food journal. I don’t think it really matters which online service you use – there are a lot of them out there – but I use My Fitness Pal (linked in the sidebar). Creating a profile was free, easy to do, and using the service to track my food intake is super easy as well. They have almost every food I have eaten since I started tracking already in their database, but when I do find one that is not already there, I can easily add the food to the database. The only complaint I have about them is that when I am looking to add food to my daily journal – I cannot sort the search results in the database to first show confirmed data (either entered by My Fitness Pal, or confirmed by other users) over unconfirmed data (added by someone but not confirmed by anyone).
I’m using the Nintendo Wii Fit to track my daily weight. Its amazing how much of a motivator the scale can be but for me its not just weighing in – but its watching the trend over time – The Wii Fit logs my daily numbers so I can know how I’m doing compared to yesterday, last week, even last month. I get instant feedback each morning on how my food and workout decisions yesterday affected me today. Every morning, the first thing I do after going to the bathroom is get on the Wii! On Saturdays, I put my weight in on My Fitness Pal – which is how you get my weight lost so far reported in my sidebar.
I recommend you have a good scale and that you weigh once daily. Once! Its tempting to weigh yourself more than once a day, but don’t. I’ve gotten on the scale and found I gained a half a pound from the day before (and realize I didn’t log every bite!) – so I try again in an hour after a run to find I’ve lost a full pound – which feels great, but the problem with doing that is that you cheat yourself from real numbers – sweating off some water weight is a short term game and you are not looking to make a weight class for a wrestling match – you are trying to lose real weight, right? If your first weigh in had you up a pound, focus on your diet for the day instead of on the scale. Still go for that run – just don’t get on the scale when you get back.
I picked up the Nike+ running system. To be honest, its a fancy pedometer – but as far as pedometers go this thing is amazing! Distance, Time, Calories burned, all given in real time as I work out. I’m motivated by numbers – I want credit for every calorie I burn. Nike+ requires the Nike+ pedometer, an IPod Nano or Touch, and Nike+ shoes (although there are options to allow you to use your own shoes). Not only does this system keep my run data – it allows me to upload them online, make online goals, join an online community of other runners and track my progress. I also workout at a local gym but because I can’t track my calories while lifting weights – I have a workout partner to keep me motivated and going. Brandon pushes me and I him.
Your diet is extremely important, but don’t loose sight of the workout. I’m not the best source of authority (…YET) on BMI, BMR, and the like – but I can tell you that just changing your diet won’t do it. You will lose weight, but eventually (sooner than later) the weight loss will stop and so will your metabolism. The human body is an amazing machine and if you stop putting fuel into it, your body will learn to get ‘better gas mileage’ (I wish my car could do that). Your body will learn to do more with less and your weight loss will stall. You have to work out. Learn to burn calories instead of relying on simply reducing them. Its better to eat 1800 calories and burn off 500 of them than to just reduce your intake to 1200 calories.
Ahh… You guys! I use this blog to help me stay focused on my weight loss goals, gain feedback from other dieters, and find encouragement when I feel like I’m going to slip back into my old habits. So far, this has been a great ride but I have a long road ahead of me – at the time of this post, I’ve lost 21lbs but I still have over 100lbs to go. Sure, I’m averaging about 3lbs a week weight loss, but I don’t actually expect that rate will keep up forever – and when it slows down or even stalls – its my support group both online and in person that will get me through. I really do mean it when I say – thank you for taking the time to read my blog, comment on my posts, and subscribe to my RSS feed. You guys really are an important part of my journey!
Speaking of comments: I’d love to hear yours – have you been losing weight? What’s working for you? What tools are you using? Do you have a weight loss blog? Don’t be shy!