I am down about 20 lbs since the beginning of September. I am happy with that. I started at 275 on Sept 1 (and I had previously been 280-285 for about 2 years at least). I plan on being down close to 245 or so by Jan 1, 2008.
When I started I had simple, easy goals: 1) eat healthier, 2) count calories, and 3) exercise 3-4 times per week.
I am by no means an expert and I REALLY don’t want to come of as “preachy”, but I read this forum a lot for inspiration and I always feel bad when I read about people who are fluctuating up and down, getting frustrated, and really making it much harder on themselves than it needs to be. I’ve felt that aggravation and disappointment before. So, I want to tell you what has worked for me in hopes that it can help you too.
1) Eat healthy – I have Subway a lot. Light mayo is probably the worst thing on my sandwiches. Have the cheese on it! Avoid burger places like the plague. I started eating breakfast for the first time ever by having a PowerBar in the morning, and it has helped my metabolism. I only eat something “unhealthy” (like a Taco Del Mar burrito – love ‘em!) once a week. That is enough cheating for me. And, I drink LOTS of water. No regular pop, just diet.
2) Count Calories – the “how much I was eating” issue was the big one in my being overweight, I think. So, what I did was dedicate myself to counting calories. I really only eat at places where I can calulate how many I am eating (most restaurants have nutritional info on their web sites, and I am a master at reading the nutritional labels on things now!). I even open up Excel every once in a while to quickly add up how much I have eaten in a day.
The key is finding out how many calories your body needs per day to maintain your existing weight, then make sure you are eating 500-1000 less than that (to lose about 1 – 2 pounds per day). I used http://www.hpathy.com/healthtools/calories-need.asp to identify my caloric requirements (which was about 3000 based on my size and activity level), and now I just make sure I am eating right around 2000 calories per day. Simple!
3) Exercise – Honestly, I am a lazy dude. I really don’t like exercising at all. But if you are going to lose weight, I think you really have to do something. So, I bought a bike and ride it 3-4 times per day. When it is rainy, I have a trainer I can strap it to and ride it inside. If I push it fairly hard (14-16mph), I can burn 600 calories or so and be off the bik in 30 minutes. That means that I can subtract 600 calories off my daily calorie total! I think I actually eat about as many calories now as I did when I was sitting around doing nothing, but it is healthier stuff and I burn it off faster with the exercise.
Here is a cool site that will tell you how many calories you can burn doing all sorts of activities: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc.
That’s what I have been doing, and I have had good results. This post is ridiculously long, so I am going to stop now. Good luck everybody!