Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog

Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition

The Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to sports and sports fitness, general fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, weight loss, and human health. Here, you'll find everything from nutritional information and advice about healthy eating to training and exercise tips for improving your overall well-being.

Previous in Blog: Becoming "Half the Man I Used to Be" (Part 1)   Next in Blog: No More Toasted Bread For You!
Close
Close
Close
5 comments

Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 2)

Posted February 08, 2010 6:00 AM by merph

Losing weight required me to make some major changes. After 28 years of eating whatever I wanted and ignoring the consequences, those changes weren't easy. I realized that I was pretty ignorant about nutrition in general, so the first step I made was to learn; I spent many hours reading web sites on weight loss and nutrition.

I used to think that the fat content of the food you ate was the most important statistic to look it, but I was wrong. Fat has received a bad rap over the years via food products' marketing, advertising low fat alternatives as a more healthy choice. The same thing seems to be happening with carbohydrates now with the popularity of the Atkins diet. I learned that the amount of calories, not fat or carbs, in the food you eat was the most important thing for you to watch and control in order to lose weight.

The Importance of Tracking Calories

The science of losing weight is amazingly simple. You burn calories every day to fuel your body. You eat food every day, which gives you a source for that energy. If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. The opposite is also true; in order to lose weight, you eat at a restriction of 500-1000 calories.

To facilitate this, it is very helpful to keep track of what you eat. I came across multiple recommendations for a free online calorie tracker called FitDay during my quest for nutrition knowledge. Downloading and starting to track my eating was probably the one thing that made my weight loss possible. I started entering everything I ate into FitDay at the beginning of June 2009. Through tracking, I learned that many meals that I considered "healthy" were absolutely loaded with calories.

Choosing a Healthier Diet is the Key to Losing Weight

Cutting portions, while lowering my calorie intake, wasn't enough to make my weight loss possible. I had to start eating better, healthier foods. I started by setting some basic rules for myself:

1. Drink more water. I read that you should drink half your weight in ounces of water daily. (This was a LOT of water when I weighed 335 pounds!)

2. Don't drink pop, excessive amounts of milk, or other calorie-filled drinks. (I always thought skim milk was super healthy to drink because it was fat free, but when you're drinking almost a gallon a day, the sugars in it add up to a lot of calories.)

3. Skip dessert.

4. No. More. Fast. Food. This one is huge. If you eat out a lot, chances are you're eating terribly. Avoid fast food chains like the plague and try to limit the amount of meals you eat out. When you do go out for dinner, make healthier choices!

5. Eat more fruits and vegetables. If you just cut portions of calorie-rich food, you're going to end up hungry. If you eat healthier foods, such as vegetables, you can eat a lot more.

By just making these "small" changes, I began to shed weight quickly. I lost over 30 pounds through diet alone during the first two months. Although I hesitate to call what I've done a "diet" as that word typically has the connotation of being a temporary measure; if you resume your old habits, you will gain back any weight you lose. With this in mind, I prefer to think of it as a "lifestyle change." I don't ever want to be that heavy again.

All You Need is Motivation

The most difficult part of making the change to a healthier lifestyle is getting up the motivation to actually do it. For me, motivation came in the form of aches and pains, shortness of breath, and heartburn. If I had been smarter, I never would have let it get to that point.

I used to think that losing weight was an impossible task, but it's not. Eating healthier food and passing on your favorites is difficult at first, but once you begin to see the results on the scale and in the mirror, you'll have all the motivation you'll need to continue.

History

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: GlobalSpec. Albany, NY
Posts: 154
Good Answers: 4
#1

Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 2)

02/08/2010 9:01 AM

On a side note... I just hit the -100 lb milestone this morning. :D

__________________
Web Developer / Software Engineer, GlobalSpec
Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1160
Good Answers: 36
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 2)

02/08/2010 11:24 AM

Congratulations! I agree with most of what you have said. I had never heard about drinking half your weight in ounces of water before. I think that most people think that drinking a lot of water is hard, but when you swap out high(er) calorie drinks like soda and juice for water, it is a big accomplishment.

I also wanted to note that there is a free app for the ipod touch/iphone called Lose It! It tracks your food intake and exercise and you can set calorie goals. It is convenient because you usually have it around. You didn't mention that integrating exercise is a good way to boost weight loss and fitness goals. Even just stretching while watching tv is a good way to add movement to a sedentary activity.

Is there a part 3 in the works? Maybe about how you decided to exercise to boost your fitness?

Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: GlobalSpec. Albany, NY
Posts: 154
Good Answers: 4
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 2)

02/08/2010 11:32 AM

Thanks Jaxy.

Drinking a lot of water was difficult for me at least, but when I moved from a cup to a 32oz water bottle, it was a lot easier. I think it's all mental... somehow drinking fewer large containers of water feels easier than drinking many smaller cups. Also, when I started out drinking more water, I added Crystal Lite to a couple fills a day. That helped.

The app you mentioned sounds cool, hopefully someone out there can make use of it (no iPod touch/iPhone here!).

And yep, I was planning on talking about exercise in part 3. Since this is more of a "how I did it" than a plain tutorial in weight loss, I thought it was fitting to tackle diet first. I didn't start exercising more until I had already lost over 70 pounds.

__________________
Web Developer / Software Engineer, GlobalSpec
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: I am located in Mumbai,India.
Posts: 126
Good Answers: 2
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 2)

02/08/2010 11:59 PM

That's great achievement!

I started in November 1st week after consulting a dietician and have lost 9kg(20lb) in 3 months. I was told to avoid oily food(We Indiand eat lot of oily foods), avoid rice, potatos, peanuts etc and eat fruits and vegetables. Loosing 9 kg in 2.5 months was easy without any sacrifice or starving, just a little discipline that was rather easy. Now I feel much better at 81 kg and would like to aim for 75kg in next two to three months. I have now started with 4 km morning walk, I feel this would help.

Rajesh

__________________
Rajesh
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 122
Good Answers: 4
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Becoming “Half the Man I Used to Be” (Part 2)

02/09/2010 2:05 PM

Build yourself up to a marathon run. There are no fat long distance runners (or cyclists for that matter). If you like to have good strong arms and shoulders, take up canoeing. Canoe polo is fun in winter (indoors of course).

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 5 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Jaxy (1); merph (2); rsalaskar (1); Smeaton (1)

Previous in Blog: Becoming "Half the Man I Used to Be" (Part 1)   Next in Blog: No More Toasted Bread For You!
You might be interested in: Food Additives

Advertisement