4 Simple Weight Loss Tips that I used to lose 17 lbs
When Covid-19 hit us hard and some of us were sent home for several weeks, I immediately took on the challenge to stay away from Netflix and keep busy with either some personal projects I had been postponing forever or any domestic chore to stay active.
Health & Fitness immediately became a personal priority. I questioned myself once and for all, why can't I get fit? I'm not the only guy working 40 hrs/week and who has a few drinks after work with my colleagues. I disappointedly realized that after all these years of eating reasonably well and working out regularly, despite all this, I was still carrying some bellyfat and love handles. How could I not be as thin as when I was in my late twenties, early thirties when I was remaining active, going to the gym, jogging, bicycling, walking & using a bike-sharing system to work. There must have been another strange reason that would explain somehow my failure to look like this guy above.
I then came to the conclusion that we eat 3 to 5 times a day, 7 days a week and we don't really have any understanding of the calory intake it all represents. I knew that eating fish, meat once a week and green vegetables was healthy but I had no idea whether I was consuming 1,000, 2,000 or 5,000 calories a day, do you? I knew that junk food was bad, to stay away from too much sugar but didn't understand the true impact of having a cookie, a brownie or a chip on my daily consuming. The nutrition facts we have to read on each item we buy at the grocery can certainly be misleading and complicated if you are not a dietician. And, forget about knowing what you eat at the restaurant with all of their fancy sauces, creams, cheeses, fried dishes, breads, etc. how do you figure if they just served you 400 or 900 calories in that plate?
So I decided to grab the bull by the horns. But I needed help to figure out what to eat, what to replace, what do I eliminate completely, what treats could I keep eating, what's the truth about alcool in all this because my intention has never been to go on one of those worst diets that has you eat a ''miracle'' food or eating very little food. I wanted to keep eating meat, all my regular proteins, an occasional desert and keep having my regular wine and rhum on the weekend.
So let me share with you how I lost 17 lbs in little over 2 months. I started by downloading this free APP in Google Play called MyFitnessPal by Under Armour. It's a calorie counter and diet plan that keeps track of everything you put in your mouth. It calculate your calorie intake quickly and easily. It even has a scanner so you can use your mobile device to scan over all of your food items as you cook. Second, you need to decide how many pounds you want to lose and set yourself a goal. I wanted to reach 185 lbs (I'm 6'2 and was 200 lbs). The first week or so, you eat normally and see how much calories that amounts to and then you gradually lower your daily limit to 500 calories less than your normal eating habit. Example, I was eating approx. 2,500 calories per day without tracking anything when I was 200 lbs, then, when I started using MyFitnessPal, I set my first daily intake to 1,800/day and within 3-4 days, I thought I could do better without any hardship by adjusting it to 1,500 calories/day which is where I decided to stay until today.
You'll see, once the App tells you how bad the traditional pastas are, or the fried food, the sugar, the bad fat, etc. you will quickly replace a lot of items in your grocery and will stick with them for months by saving your favorites and this is what will enable you to continue eating well by making small adjustments here and there. Like less rice, small quantities of mash potatoes, more green vegetables, less fruits that contains too much sugar, as little processed food and go fresh. Personally, I used the Keto Regime which is the closest to eating almost everything you love like proteins (red meat, poultry, fish, dairy) but reducing the carbs and the sugars (replace deserts for yogourt, whole weat crackers, dried fruits, etc.). Reaching the difficult ''state of ketosis'' where you run into a carbs deficit is not necessary to lose weight by all means, but it works faster. I still eat carbs but am aware that when you don't exercise that day, carbs are to monitor closer than if you are going to burn 500 to 1,000 calories exercising.
Once you have your weight loss goal, the App downloaded, invest in one of those Fitbit watch which is compatible with the App so it can monitor for you all the exercises and steps you cumulate in a day. This device + your Google Fit widget on your mobile will both jointly calculate your every move for you. The App then substract whatever amount you've burned from your current calorie intake for the day. So you always know at any given time how much you've eated and how many calories left you have for dinner. So if you want to have your favorite heavy meal like me in the evening (small pizza), you know you may have to hit the gym before heading straight home and push to burn over 500+ cals because the pizza is approx. 200 cals/slice.
I used the smaller FitBit Charge 4 but any other compatible smartwatch to MyFitnessPal will do. The cardio exercises are easier to calculate the burned calories than the weight lifting or the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) but I add 25% more calories to what FitBit indicate for any HIIT workout. Read more about this, especially if you push yourself hard in the gym, then it pays to know you burned 450 calories instead of the 250 monitored by your tracking device.
The food scale will be essential after a few weeks and once you start feeling some improvements to keep motivating you but I don't weigh myself daily, just weekly to make sure I'm still on track to maintain my healthy habits of eating lean while exercising.
And voilà! 17 lbs later and I have beated the odds by reaching my ideal weight of 183 lbs while eating my red meat once or twice a week, still enjoying several bottles of red wine, 1 pizza/week and unstoppable cravings for chips! But remember, it's not just about what you eat but what you burn as well. Last Saturday, I ate 2,520 calories! (way over my 1,500 threshold) but I had also burned 1,116 calories in the gym and speed walking outside. So I ended my day with a 96 calories remaining which I did not eat.
Anybody can do this, even with very little exercises. The gym will not only sculp your shape but help you burn more calories faster but if you cannot exercise and are very disciplined and stick to your daily allowed intake of calories, you will still lose weight fast because food is approx. 70% of where the results come from in my opinion.
4 Essentials Weight Loss Instruments to Help you Lose Weight
MyFitnessPal by Under Armour: Download here for free in Google Play
Digital Food Scale: $25.99 on Amazon
FitBit has several models: From $699.95 + on Amazon
FitBit Bluetooth Digital Body Weight & BMI Smart Scale: $89 on Amazon
Fitness Equipment To Help You Shave Off Weight Faster
Bike Trainer Stand: $129.99 on Amazon
Adidas Wrestling Shoe: From $28.89+ on Amazon
Iron Gym Workout Bar: From $24.32 on Amazon
Workout Gym Shorts: $16.99 on Amazon
Bowflex Home Gym: From $549 - $1,300 on Amazon
Home Gym Flooring Foam Tiles: $50 on Amazon
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