The Basic Story
First let me say that there is nothing to buy at the end of this article. Second, this is just a personal experience, not a medical opinion or professional dietitian’s opinion. So be smart. 15 pounds in four weeks may not be right for you.
The basic story is I had been wanting to drop some weight for quite some time but had never really made any serious attempt to do so. At age 50, height of 5′ 10″, I weighed about 200 pounds. Once I decided to get proactive about losing some weight, it became basically a function of intake. Taking in fewer calories than are expended on a consistent basis. During the period I was physically active but had no exercise plan; and paid more attention, in general, to type and quantity of food, rather than counting calories.
Some Background Information
No matter how hard I thought about it, just thinking that losing weight would be a good thing never made it happen. In the last year, my company has made a big effort to educate employees on health issues and has even provided some “boot camp” exercise programs. I never really made time to participate. But I began to notice a few individuals at work who were making some significant weight loss improvement. Looking back, just seeing their progress was more influential than I thought it would be.
Something else I had noticed recently is that sweets, fried foods, and over eating seemed to be causing a lot of indigestion. Unfortunately, those are three of my favorites. But I had been wanting to see how much beneficial effect would come from limiting those.
Before going on the diet, it was fairly common for me to drink four to six cups of coffee per day. I was curious how that might be affecting the indigestion. Also, for the last few years, I had been noticing what seemed like an unusual amount of fatigue during the day, especially at the end of the day. I had been wondering if too much coffee or too many sweets was causing that.
Exercise in general doesn’t really burn a lot of calories compared to how quickly you can get them back with a couple of big cookies or a bag of chips. So I knew that my main strategy would have to be reducing caloric intake. A decent rule of thumb is that the number of calories you need daily to maintain your current weight is your current weight times ten. So for me, at about 200 pounds, that was 2000. Thus my plan was starting eating less that 2000 calories a day. I didn’t really count calories, but you do have to at least be somewhat aware of calories. Since my weight had kind of stabilized at 200 pounds, I figured my calorie intake was fairly stable, and that any reduction from the norm would have a weight loss effect. So I basically just started cutting out stuff that I already knew was bad (or unnecessary.)
Specifically, here’s what I did:
1. Stopped drinking any beverages other than water and tea. I thought that it would be difficult to stop drinking coffee but it really wasn’t that bad since I was still drinking tea. Unsweetened tea. At least one cup of tea per day was green tea. And I increased my overall fluid intake by drinking more water than usual.
2. Stopped eating all sweets and all fried foods. Stopped over eating by limiting lunch and dinner to smaller portions than what I normally would eat. No second helping either.
That’s basically it as far as self imposed rules. The food went something like this:
Breakfast: One banana and/or half a peanut butter sandwich. For the sandwich I used one slice of Oroweat Health-Full 10 Grain Bread and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of Smuckers Natural peanut butter. Both extremely delicious. Once during the four week period I had an early meeting at Cracker Barrel and had two regular eggs and three slices of bacon.
Mid-morning snack: One serving of Planters Trail-mix packets, or small bag of plain pretzels, or small bag of regular Lays potato chips. A few times during the period I had a banana.
Lunch: Usually a medium sized bowl of soup or a sandwich. Would have crackers or chips, but no fries. If I happened to be at a business lunch where someone else had selected the food, I would just limit myself to small servings of two or three of the items available. No seconds and no sweets.
Mid-afternoon snack: Same as mid-morning.
Evening meal: At home, we usually have a meat, a vegetable, and a starch as part of the meal. I would select a limited serving of each. No dessert.
Mind over matter?
This plan worked for me for a couple of reasons. First, I was mentally ready to live by the rules. Second, I ate just enough just often enough to keep myself from getting really hungry. The peanut butter was especially good at warding of the hunger for a few hours. Sometimes I would have that for supper. Overall, just trying to be purposeful about eating less than normal was the key. For the first two weeks, I was a little hungry at bed time, but my body eventually seemed to adjust to the new quantity of food.
I love to eat and generally eat a wide variety of things. So I was surprised by several things through the four week period. Surprised that I didn’t miss the joy of eating a lot. And surprised that I didn’t miss the coffee as much as I thought I would. I tried to mentally to start thinking about food as merely fuel rather than a pleasure.
I was also surprised by how much of a social thing eating had become for me. While I was perfectly fine eating less in the company of others, I did have some misgivings sometimes that I was not doing my part to make the meal enjoyable; sort of putting a damper on things. Especially if someone had prepared an entree or dessert for me.
The weight came of in fairly small increments. Sometimes a pound or half pound per day. Some days no loss. Some days a gain of a half pound. I know it is not right for everyone, but I weighed every morning to stay informed about how my body was responding and for motivational purposes.
Most days I would try to walk a half to a full mile around the office, not so much to burn calories but to help keep my metabolism up a bit.
I’m not sure exactly what has affected what, but the fatigue that I had been experiencing is totally gone and the indigestion is decreasing.
I plan to stay on this plan until I lose 10 to 15 more pounds and then ease up on the “rules.” A nutritionist at work suggested during week six that I add two protein shakes per day to avoid losing muscle mass going forward.
Best wishes if you give this diet plan a try.
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Author Name : Tompoteet