Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Always talk to a physician before starting any weight loss program or exercise, etc.. Please don’t sue me because I really don’t have any money anyway and I live with two daughters with individual shoe budgets.
One of the questions that always comes up when people find out that I have lost over 100 pounds in 4 months is some variation of “what on earth are you doing?” I think it’s important to recognize that one of the first things to consider is that I have been able to lose weight more quickly than seems feasible because I started off beyond morbidly obese. My basic metabolic rate (more on this in my blog to come) is so high that I burn a tin of calories every day just because my body is working so hard to keep itself alive. This is oversimplification, but I’m sure one can get the general idea from this.
I am posting this so I have a quick place to direct people when they ask me the big question. I plan on posting more ideas, thoughts, before and afters, recipes and workout routines as I go through my journey.
The one sentence version is this: I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and nuts. For more details, read on.
So this may be very specific to me, but I started with a realization that i was addicted to crappy foods. So i kicked them the same way I stopped smoking and drinking over 10 years ago: cold turkey and without any relapse. I know people say to have cheat days or meals, but I treat my problem like an addiction (which I believe it is/was). Would anyone suggest to a recovering alcoholic to have a cheat day every week at the bar? This may seem extreme, but I truly believe I was addicted and if I were to go have Del Taco even once, I’d be off the wagon. So I’m 100% healthy food 100% of the time. And I don’t mean 99.9%, I mean 100%. I plan ahead at family gatherings. Heck, I brought a lunchbox to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I’m not on a diet, I am eating the way I plan on eating for the rest of my life.
Here is the food guide I started with that a friend with a background in fitness and nutrition threw together for me (picking one thing from each on each day).
Egg Whites and Oatmeal
Protein Shake and Granola
Greek Strain Yogurt with Berries (I pretty much do this every day with almonds and a little honey)
Cottage Cheese w Fruit
Almonds with Peanut Butter
Turkey Sandwich on Wheat, no chips
Chicken Breast w Veggies
Tuna Salad with lite mayo
Chicken Salad with lite mayo
Protein Shake with CLA
Almonds with Cottage Cheese
Celery with Peanut Butter
Open – no carbs at all!
Lean meat with veggies.
Lean meat with Sweet potato or yam is good here too either plain or just a pinch of brown sugar (I like it plain and normally only do this a couple of days a week as it is late day carbs which I prefer avoiding).
As I’ve progressed in my metabolism, knowledge and confidence, I pretty much just eat what I think will be good: nothing but fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean meats 2-3 times a day. Anything that isn’t fruits or vegetables, i measure, scrutinize and research to make sure it’s good for me. I’m consistently between 1400-1600 calories per day. The other big idea is lower carbs (not no carbs as that feels too much like a diet and not real lifestyle change), no candy/sweets, no carbs at dinner (unless after a workout and with protein).
Supplement wise, I take Fish Oil for my heart (I haven’t had any heart problems, but it is in my genes) and I take a multi vitamin.
Counting calories helps me gauge my intake and make adjustments as necessary. I use an app on my Droid X, but websites work just as well.
I workout 5-6 days a week alternating cardio and weights. When I do weights, I work in between sets (squats, crunches, jumping jacks, etc.). This turns weightlifting into cardio. Again, as I’ve gained confidence in the gym, I’m gradually spending more and more time in the free weight area as opposed to machines.
So this should serve as a beginner’s guide. Please enjoy any further writing I do here and feel free to check in from time to time for more updates and tips that hopefully will motivate you or others. I also welcome questions and I’m glad to offer advice!