I’m not sure what the weather is like where you live, but here in Chicago, it seems that things are finally looking up (at least in a meteorological sense) and I love it.
Back in mid-January (that’s less than 6 months ago), I made a decision that I was going to lose a significant amount of weight and get myself feeling like myself again; like the guy who ran the 2003 Chicago Marathon. So I made a plan and a plan to stick with that plan and as of today I’ve dropped 41 pounds and I’m hoping for at least 10 more by the 4th of July.
The funny thing about losing 40+ pounds is that it was actually pretty easy. Sure, there are sacrifices and staying motivated (especially at first) can be difficult, but it isn’t really that hard. Think about it; losing 40 pounds in about 20 weeks works out to 2 pounds a week. That’s a healthy and well-paced weight loss.
My formula for success is also pretty simple and there are 5 things you need to do:
* 1. Eat less, but don’t starve yourself. There are a million different places on the Interweb to find out what your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is and how much you should be eating so there isn’t any excuse. Some experts say keep a food log, but you know how much is too much. Yes you do.
* 2. Cut out refined sugars and processed carbohydrates. You don’t need to go low carb crazy, but stay away from breads, pasta, etc… Do eat as many fruits and vegetables as you care to. I know I could binge eat an entire bag of Doritos, but try eating an entire bag of apples or baby carrots. I’ll bet you can’t do it.
* 3. Exercise. Don’t be afraid to start slowly and stick with it. Back in January the first time I was on the treadmill I managed to go a little over a mile while alternating between walking and slow jogging. Yesterday I ran a little over 6 miles at about 9:00 pace.
* 4. Take a day off once in awhile. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the body of a fitness pro. Also don’t be afraid to have a cheat meal once in awhile. Have a slice of pizza and a beer on Friday night, but follow that up with a spinach omelet and 3 miles on the treadmill Saturday morning.
* 5. Have fun. If you hate running, you’ll never do it. Find something that you enjoy (swimming, biking, tennis, etc…) and stick with it.
That’s about it. Just eat less bad stuff, eat more good stuff, exercise, and don’t go overboard and set unrealistic goals you can’t meet. The only supplements I’ve taken during this time have been a daily multivitamin, fish oil capsules, and about 2 cups of green tea a day. If I can do it, so can you.