Friday, April 13, 2007

Lose Weight

Why the heck am I writing this? Simply because I promised myself I would blog about it when I had lost 50lbs. Today is that day. I was at 270lbs (123kg) 4 months ago and now I'm at 220lbs (100kg). Here's my promise to keep it off. My goal is about 195lbs. That happens to put my BMI at 25 exactly.

I contemplated making the title "Fitness for Geeks", but it only had 350 some hits on Google. "Diet and Exercise" had 1.3M, "Friday the 13th" about 2 million and "Metabolism" had 78M... I picked "Lose Weight" at 4.6M. :)

Anyway - I'm not an expert on anyone else's metabolism than my own (and probably not on that either), so what I did may not work for you, eventhough the principles should work for most people.

I had tried various ways of "cheating" (diet without exercise) and failed a few times. Then I came to the conclusion that it's really very simple, and I'm sure you've seen this many times. Simple fact of weigth loss - you have to consume less than you burn in order to lose weigth. You can do it by eating less, burning more (aka exercise) or a combination of both.

For everyone I've heard of, the biggest problem is getting started. The second biggest problem is keeping the good work up. In my case it just happened to be a really bad stomach flu that lost me 12lbs in 3 days, and I figured I could keep it off.

So, I finally decided to join the gym. Part of the package was a couple of free personal training sessions. This is where I publically thank Randy Yagi, a personal trainer with Club One here in our building. He showed me most of the machines and a starter set of things to do in the gym. Before this I was completely clueless on how to use these things or what to do, how much, how long, etc, etc.

So for me, it was really Randy that got me started. Or at least the fact that I now knew what the heck I should be doing in the gym.

So how do I keep it up? Well, it just so happens that I'm a freak when it comes to numbers. So, I started plotting my weigth in a chart. That gave me a visual to look at - with a goal to make sure it kept going down.

I also started keeping a diary of what I ate. I read somewhere that if you're reasonably active you should be consuming 14 times your own weight in pounds per day to maintain your weight. At 250lbs that would mean 3,500 calories per day.

OK, so how much should you be cutting back if you want to lose weight? They say that you can safely lose 1-2 lbs per week. 2 lbs a week of fat would be 7,000 calories less per week (one pound of body fat is roughly around 3,500 calories).

Alright, so 7,000 calories less per week is 1,000 less per day putting me at 2,500 calories per day. I decided to go for around 2,000 per day. The key (at least for me) was to write it down at least once a day. If you're forgetful, write it down every time you eat something. Then average what you eat over a week. I've been averaging around 2,000 calories per week since I started tracking 10 weeks ago. Those 10 weeks have lost me 24lbs.

How do I know how many calories are in what I eat though? Look at the labels and pay attention to how much is in one serving, and how many servings you eat. Here's a good resource - Calorie King.

Maybe I'll find some before and after pictures... :)

Good luck!

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