I am dieting for the first time in my life and have had great success in just two weeks. I was moving into that technically OBESE BMI range and found that the belly was impeding access to my socks! I have put about 35 lbs on since 2000 and decided it was time to do something about it. I have always been able to eat anything and not put on weight, but the advancing years are changing that.
Being an engineer, I have looked at this in a scientific but practical way...
1) WEIGHT LOSS BASICS:
The most important rule: "You must use more calories than you consume". It looks like the successful dieters use at least 1300 cals more per day than they eat to get a good weight loss each week.
2) HOW TO WEIGH:
Weigh yourself the same way every day, just one time per day. Same scales (ideally electronic) on the same hard surface and at the same time, always naked and first thing in the morning after you have completed all your "bathroom" activities (you'd be surprised how much your body waste weighs!) and before eating/drinking anything. I weigh myself three times to confirm the actual weight.
I always weigh myself after
my elliptical exercise. Today I did the weigh-in before and after exercise. Before I was 1.5 lbs heavier than after. Since all my weigh-ins are after, my first reaction was - how did I put on a 1/2 lb since yesterday? I was OK after the next weigh-in when I realized how much sweating can make to your results
This shows how important it is to be consistent with your weigh-in condition.
If you like starving to death, then just reduce your food intake - ie TORTURE!. If not, then increase your calorie burn and eat sensibly - ie EXERCISE! I don't like being hungry, so I take the dog for a vigorous daily hike in the evening and hit the elliptical mid-morning. I eat the foods I like, but look to minimize the calories (without wasting money on those expensive diet products). At the same time as watching the calorie intake, I check my daily requirements for carbs, fat, fiber and protein and try to eat foods that get the right proportions of those each day. (Google will get you to a website that will give you these details)NOTE:
Fatsecret is the secret to this as I can accurately measure my intake and burn rate. "You cannot control what you don't measure" - A golden rule for Engineering and for weight control. My initial efforts to lose weight failed because I really did not know what I was eating Vs burning. Guessing didn't work.
As you progress, you will start to find that your stomach feels full after a comparatively small meal. The more I eat, the hungrier I get over time. If I have a breakfast, I feel hungrier at lunchtime. I skip breakfast and by the time I'm done on the elliptical, showering, etc, it's lunchtime. After two weeks, I rarely feel the need for snacking between meals. My Fatsecret "snacks" are at about 9pm as I hate going to bed on an empty stomach. (It's 10:30pm now and my stomach feels uncomfortably full after my bowl of Shredded Wheat and banana!)4) EXERCISE:
I just use my elliptical machine. I can't run as my old knees and arches will hurt. I find the elliptical great because it is joint-gentle and you can switch effort from your legs to your arms and vice-versa to rest your legs or arms during the workout. You also get a good upper and lower body workout for overall fitness.
I put on my headphones and watch music videos on the iTouch. I shuffle the hours and hours of music and basically "dance" to the song, using the beat as the pace of my rpm's, matching one foot to the song's beat. If a particular song has a beat that In can and want to maintain, I may repeat it a couple times (Beethoven by The Eurythmics is a good "60 rpm" song). I vary the resistance to keep the pace comfortable; lowering the resistance for a faster song and increasing the resistance for a slower song.
I set mini-goals to keep motivated as the calories take some effort to burn...
- I aim for a minimum workout time of 15 mins. The first 8 mins are the most difficult as the muscles need to loosen up.
- Once I hit 15 mins, I look at the calorie counter and aim for the next x50 or x00 point.
- Then I might see that I'm at 21 minutes, so aim at 25 mins.
- Then I might decide to go for the say the 400 calorie point.
- If a good song comes on, I just enjoy it and worry about the time or calories burned when it ends. Most songs are between 53 and 70 "elliptical rpm's" per minute. For a great but fast song, I will try and match the beat for the whole song and really work up a sweat, then I'll take the next song more slowly, often skipping to the next slower song to keep pace with that. I have some great music and love to bounce along to it (I can't dance to save my life - this is a good alternative!)
Over a few days, fitness will improve and you can extend the workout without feeling exhausted. I now find I can keep going at about 57 rpm for much longer than the 50 mins to 1 hr I am doing. I just don't want to waste any more time exercising and anyway, my calorie burn Vs food intake is OK at that point.
I am feeling much fitter now and actually want to be more active, rather than sink into the Lazyboy.5) WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS:
I have been surprised how quickly I have been able to shed those initial pounds. However, I notice the "easy weight" has gone and now the loss rate is slowing, even though my caloric burn has increased.
It can be disappointing to see you have not lost anything when you do the morning weigh-in. However, I know that it's working (it must be because I'm eating less than I use - that's simple physics) and I just accept my body is taking more time to remove the excess. Usually the next day shows a weight reduction.6) MOTIVATION:
Aim to get that 1000 + cals difference between what you eat and burn and you WILL see results. These results will motivate you. The key thing is to maintain a steady progress - AVOID the lapses in diet control as you WILL pay the price in weight gain and WILL start to lose faith.
It takes WILL POWER and absolute CONTROL of your diet and exercise. (I turned down BBQ meatballs tonight that my wife brought back from the neighbor's Superbowl party. They smelled so good, but I knew I could upset that weigh-in tomorrow or the next day and I want to see my weight go down.
Find a diet and exercise that you are comfortable with and can maintain. Don't "TORTURE" yourself trying to lose weight; it really is unnecessary. Whatever you do, don't think there's an easy answer - Info-mercials just want your money and show you highly selective results. Tribes in Africa or South America aren't fat, and neither do they have special diet foods, drugs or exercise videos. They just have a balanced diet Vs exercise routine (and not necessarily by choice!)
I hope my thoughts and experience help you in your weight loss efforts
Perception in the eye of the perceiver is reality
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!