Weight loss is a common hot topic these days. Looking great has been the center of American attention for a long time and weight loss is an easy place to start. Everyone has a magical cure. New drugs come out each and every week. Hyped-up commercials with convincing testimonials do there best to get you to buy some phony product. So what am I peddling? Nothing you have to buy, that’s for sure (well, okay, I am considering putting my story into eBook format eventually). If anything, I hope you embrace the simple concepts of dedication and hard work.
Really, that’s what any successful weight loss regimen should be based on. I’ve tried many times to finally shed my excess weight. I could usually stick to any program for a few weeks, but nothing worked long term. I’ve since boiled those failed efforts down to a lack of dedication and unrealistic expectations. Managing your expectations is significant. You will not lose 5 lbs every single week. Over the long term you might average what seems like a measly 1 lb a week. But hey, that’s weight loss.
To be truly dedicated to weight loss, your goals must be clear in your mind. I tried many times to lose weight for superficial reasons: being more popular, getting the good looking women, etc. What really pushed me to actually start losing weight was numerous health reasons. I began to realize how little stamina I had. Christ, I could barely walk up a hill without getting tired. I was probably moments away from diabetes, something I know I never want to deal with as I’m deathly afraid of needles. Health is a great motivator.
Once you’ve found your reason, begin developing your plan. The basics are, consume less calories than you burn in a day and you will end up with a calorie deficit. To figure out how many calories you should be eating, find a BMR calculator. Google BMR calculator, and enter your stats (height, weight, level of physical activity) and it will tell you how many calories per day you need to maintain. Cut that by 500 to lose a lb per week. Cut it by a little more, add some exercise and you can lose 2-3 lbs per week. Don’t shoot too high, you want to be able to sustain this weight loss. For most of my weight loss, I ate 1600-1900 calories and exercised 5-6 times per week.
So, what’s on the menu in terms of exercise? I believe in walking. For the first couple weeks of your weight loss, walking should be your best friend. Please remember, I am no expert and I am not trying to sell you anything. I’m just sharing what worked wonders for me because I generally think it can help anyone. Walking is great because everyone can do it. It’s low-impact and still good exercise. I would reccomend walking 3+ miles per day the first two weeks of your new diet.
Beyond that, continue walking but add in some heavier cardiovascular and even some resistance training. Jogging, running, biking, swimming, etc. Hitting the weights is important as well. Train to not put on a lot of muscle, but to get leaner. Bulking up may offset some of your weightloss and that discourages a lot of people.
Some general tips before I conclude:
- Drink a lot of water. Have a glass before every meal to make yourself feel fuller.
- Stick to the low-calorie diet, it might be painful for a while but your body and stomach will adjust in time.
- DON”T weight yourself daily. Your weight fluctuates. For consistent results, weight yourself on the same morning each week.
- Don’t go overboard. Weight loss is a journey and a lifestyle change. You didn’t get fat overnight, nor will you get skinny.
- Don’t be discouraged if you can’t see any physical changes in the mirror. Odds are, you can’t but others can. People who try really hard to lose weight often look in the mirror obsessively (I did for some time). Seeing yourself everyday in the mirror will make you less likely to see big changes, as you see them gradually. Taking pictures can help.
- Cheat days are okay, even encouraged. I have a cheat day once a week. One day where I increase my calorie intake by up to 1200 calories (usually more like 600-800). If you’ve worked hard all week, it won’t hurt you. It could even do you some good. By increasing your calorie intake for one day while the rest of the time it has been much lower, it can shock your metabolism into thinking it needs to burn food faster. Just don’t cheat right before your weigh in, I typically do it at the start of each week.
- Find a buddy, doing things together is always beneficial.
Best of luck on your quest, I’m not to the end of mine, but I can definitely see the finish line!