- Comments: 18
- Written on: March 25th, 2011
For the first time ever I weighed more than 260 pounds and something inside me snapped. I decided that morning I was going to lose weight, I was going to lose it as quickly as possible and I was going to do whatever I needed to do to get there.
A Simple Equation
A few years ago I was a member of a local gym where I had a personal trainer. It obviously didn’t last, but there was one simple equation he gave me that has stuck in my head.
He told me that weight loss is a simple equation. Take your calories in, subtract the calories you burn and to lose weight the balance remaining needs to be less than what your body naturally burns to maintain its self.
When I was at the gym, and analysis said it took 2,100 calories a day to maintain my current weight at that time.
For me, my simple equation was that to lose weight I needed to cut my calories to at least 1,900 a day. So I did.
In the first week I had the usual 10 pound instant drop as my body adjusted to fewer carbohydrates and less food volume. Encouraging, but we all know that is not real weight loss. One big meal and you get it all back. I decided to keep going.
Increasingly Harder to Lose Weight
One of the nasty little things about losing weight is that as your body gets smaller you require fewer calories to maintain your body weight. After losing about 25 pounds I plateaued and had to cut my calories again to about 1,600 a day.
It wasn’t too tough to cut from 2,100 to 1,900. I wasn’t really hungry all the time. It was more of a willpower cut. I just had to decide not to eat the fast food, not eat in my car, and cut portions down.
Cutting from 1,900 to 1,600 is a different story altogether. My body was wise to the plan now and it responded with lower energy levels and hunger at times.
The craziest thing is that before then I couldn’t remember the last time I had been physically HUNGRY. That is a testament to the world around us, but that is another topic all together.
As the days turned into weeks I started losing weight again and soon crossed the 30-pounds lost threshold.
I could handle the hunger at times, but the energy loss was crushing to me. I am a workaholic and I move as fast as I can all the time. I stand for about half of my day working in Schrock Innovations‘ Service Centers.
One afternoon I was in a gas station getting a fountain drink and on a lark I decided to try a Five Hour Energy shooter. I was amazed at the results.
Understand that 5 Hour Energy is not a weight loss product. It is marketed as a substitute for your morning coffee. If you look at the ingredients it is loaded with tons of amino acid and b vitamins and a small amount of caffeine. Maybe it was the placebo effect, but for $3.00 a shot, it kept me moving and helped me cross the 40-pound threshold.
What Was I Eating?
Cutting calories did require me to make some dietary changes, but not as many ass you would think. In the beginning I was militant about what I ate, but as I lost the weight I experimented with the foods I previously denied myself and found that if I moderated or borrowed calories from one day to use in the next day my long-term goal was still achieved.
The biggest dietary changes included:
- No French Fries
- Ate Panera’s BBQ Chop Chicken Salad almost daily (550 calories and very filling)
- Qdoba naked burritos with salsa were good for variety (great online calorie calculator)
- 2 Packets of Quaker Oatmeal every morning for breakfast (about 300 calories)
- Daily Centrum multi-vitamin
- (2) 5-Hour Energy shooters daily (careful, not too close to bed time)
The last 10 Pounds
It took me longer than expected to drop pounds 40-50. Because I was not working out while I was cutting calories I did see some muscle loss.
In an effort to push the loss further I cut calories again to about 1,200. That was a mistake. I was tired all the time, moody, and the cravings for prohibited food were brutal.
On top of that, if I went over 1,200 one day – say a nice dinner out with my wife – making those calories up the next day means cutting below 1,000 calories.
On top of everything the increased effort and challenge was not resulting in additional weight loss. I returned to 1,500 – 1,600 calories a day and slowly – almost imperceptibly – dropped to around 210 pounds.
What is Next? Do You Want to Lose More
The funny thing about losing weight is that while you are losing it you are obsessed with the scale. Once it is gone you almost feel that “ok, now what” feeling.
I am 5′ 8″ and at 210 pounds I am still technically obese. I would like to get down to 175 – 185 pounds eventually, but additional losses are proving increasingly difficult.
One month after hitting 210 pounds I have ventured as low as 204 and weighed in today at 206. I think I may have to dust off the treadmill to get my body losing again.
What’s Your Weight Loss Story?
Do you have any hints or tips for me? Share your story below. I appreciate the tips!