21 January 2009

How I Lost my Weight

In my previous article on Overcoming a Weight Loss Plateau, you would have noticed that I lost a great deal of weight in only the first three months. That was not a typo, I actually lost just over 40 pounds in that amount of time. The big question is, how did I do it? Well, I will share with you what I did.

For a few months prior to going on my diet, I was in the habit of consuming just over 4,000 calories a day. Yup, that's right: 4,000; with just about 1,500 coming in the form of a Big bowl of ice cream, late at night. So, if it takes 3,500 calories to make a pound of fat, you can see that I was gaining just over a pound a day. I know, not too bright, but I didn't know any better back then. So, when I started my diet I needed to amend my eating ways, which I did in a drastic fashion. If my doctor knew what I was doing, he probably would have had a fit.

I began by exercising about 15 minutes a day and gradually increased that time to just over an hour. I drank tons of water and I also cut my caloric intake from the previous 4,000 calories a day to just under 1,000. Regarding the cut in caloric intake, I need to emphasize this: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS. This is extremely dangerous! I did this because I was desperate and did not know any better. I was lucky that I didn't end up in the hospital, or worse. When you go on a diet, you need to make sure you reduce your caloric intake, but in a safe and reasonable manner. You need to make sure that you eat less, but also eat healthy foods.

Since then, I have started eating more (about 2,000 calories a day) and I also decreased my exercise time to a more manageable 30-40 minutes a day. Since February 2008, I have only lost 25 pounds of fat, but I am doing so in a safer manner. Although that does not seem like a great deal, I have been consistently losing inches and gaining muscle mass. If it wasn't for me keeping track of my measurements, I would truly have been depressed. Thus, another good example to follow: before you begin your diet, please take baseline measurements of your legs, arms, waist, and hips. That way, even if you are not losing pounds, you can check to make sure you are losing those nasty inches.

6 comments:

  1. Great tips! It's amazing to see how many calories you are consuming when you take the time to keep track of calories. Taking measurements really helps too because you usually lose inches first!!

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

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  2. Hi :) Your post resonated with something I've just started working on myself! Although I don't really have the courage to try it and my love for eating just doesn't encourage me to really reduce my caloric intake, I'll try to increase my exercise duration and frequencies! Your post will keep me motivated for that little while longer, so thank you for the post :)

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  3. Good idea to take measurements! People should be more concerned with how they look than what number of pounds the scale says. It's true, by building muscle, you may lose inches rather than pounds.

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  4. Furkidsmom: Counting calories is not my favorite thing to do, but I was shocked to learn just how many calories are in certain foods.

    Franklin: Depending on your current intake, you could reduce it by 500 calories, to start, and see how that works for you. Also, by including strength training in your exercise routine, you will build muscle, which will burn MORE calories. Think of muscles as High Maintenance; they require more energy (thus burn more calories) to maintain them. Please check back here and let me know how you are doing and if you need any help or have any questions, please stop by and let me know. Good luck!

    Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry": Thanks. Since i am strength training, I tend to lose actual pounds slower than I normally would. If it wasn't for the actual measurements, it would be a hard road to travel.

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  5. Great tips! Journaling is an eye opener that's for sure! And, you are doing an awesome job losing weight and I think "only" 25 lbs since last February is fantastic! Some of us can only wish we lost that much.

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  6. BeadedTail: Thank you, that really means a lot:)

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