I'm usually pretty lazy (I'm working on it) so I wanted to come up with a way to lose weight without too much effort. My buddy Dan has a revolutionary weight loss plan he describes as "Eat Less, Exercise More". Hmmm, Sounds like the plan for me!
Eat less, exercise more is really all there is to it but it's obviously not as easy as it sounds or I wouldn't be overweight to begin with. So this post describes my thought process for losing weight and the plan I came up with to eat less and exercise more.
To begin I weighed myself and came in at 271.8 pounds. Ouch!
I then checked height and weight charts for men to see what my ideal weight would be. For a 6 foot 1 inch tall large framed man (that's me) the ideal weight would be about 189 pounds.
I have never been under 194 pounds as an adult so this would be a challenge. I was very happy at 194 pounds when I was in the military so weighing 189 pounds would be great.
So now I had some problems to solve. One issue I've had with weight loss plans in books is the specific foods they tell you to eat. Sometimes I can't find Laughing Cow cheese wedges (South Beach) or I don't want to spend a lot of money buying healthy foods that are weird or expensive. Paying over $325 per month for Nutrisystem or something similar just to feed me alone is ridiculous! I vowed only to eat foods that I could get at the local Walmart or Kroger.
Next I decided on the amount of weight I wanted to lose each week. The general consensus is that two pounds is a healthy amount. Sounds good to me.
So how long will it take to get to 189 pounds losing 2 pounds per week? That was my next question. I break out my handy-dandy spreadsheet program and run the numbers. Starting on March 3rd, 2008 it will take me about 42 weeks to lose the weight. Cool! That's less than a year! I will be 189 pounds on or about December 17th, 2008. Merry Christmas to me!
So now I had to figure out how I was going to lose the weight without some pain-in-the-butt life change. I am a type 2 diabetic so I also had to think about blood sugar control.
The "Eat Less" of "Eat Less, Exercise More" means exactly that. The first thing I had to know was how many calories I needed to maintain my weight. I searched online and found a website that will calculate this figure for you.
I punched in my weight, clicked on male and chose Sedentary for a lifestyle as I am initially not exercising (more on that later). The number of calories I need to maintain my weight is 3734.
In order to lose a pound of fat in a week, you need to take in 3500 calories less than you need for that week. That means 500 calories less than you need per day. So, If I take in 3234 calories a day for 1 week, I should lose 1 pound. Since I want to lose 2 pounds per week I need to take in 1000 calories less per day than I need. That means I can eat 3734-1000 = 2734 calories per day and lose 2 pounds per week.
As a diabetic, I'm not supposed to have big meals because it spikes my blood sugar. So I decide to have 6 meals per day spaced out 3 hours apart. I also allow myself 1 cup of milk at the end of the day (3 hours after my last meal). Here is how it divides out:
2734 - 90 calories for the cup of fat free milk = 2644 calories over 6 meals
2644 / 6 meals = about 440 calories per meal. This means I don't need to really count calories per se, I just need to make sure when I eat every 3 hours not to go over 440 calories for the meal. If I do go over, I need to make sure I eat that much less on the next meal.
Spaced 3 hours apart starting at 6:00 AM, my actual eating schedule and meals look like this:
6:00 AM - Breakfast - I eat a bowl of Kashi cereal with 1 cup of fat free milk every morning = 300 calories
9:00 AM - 2 slices of Ezekial 4:9 bread with some Smart Balance butter = 250 calories
12:00 PM - Lunch - A banquet dinner (anything around 330 - 450) calories.
3:00 PM - 1 can of Fruit Cocktail in Pear Juice - 210 Calories
6:00 PM - 1/2 Small Bag of Dole Lettuce Salad with Fat Free Catalina Dressing - 150 Calories.
1 Baked Chicken Breast, Pork Loin Chop or 2 Talapia Filets = 250 Calories
1 Medium Baked Potato with Smart Balance and Mrs Dash Seasoning = 275 Calories.
Total Calories: 675 Calories
9:00 PM - 1 cup of fat free milk - 90 Calories
Total Daily Intake: 1975 Calories
Believe me when I say that I stay satisfied when eating like this and I only am taking in about 2000 calories a day when I can have 2734. The result? Well, the first week on this diet I was down 6.4 pounds. I'm currently working on my 2nd week. Maybe I'll hit my goal in October instead of December. Happy Halloween to me!
As for the exercise part I'm currently not doing any. I intend to start at 250 pounds. There are two reasons why. One, I hurt my hip in August of 2007 and am still recovering. Two, my treadmill is rated for no more than 250 pounds. When I hit the 250 mark in about five or six weeks I'll start walking for 30 minutes every morning. This will increase my daily caloric intake needs, in other words I could eat even more calories.
Well, there it is. Not too fancy and not too difficult. I re-evaluate my caloric needs and calculate the "per meal" figures each week. I may not lose 30 pounds in one month like some fad diets promise but one thing's for sure, come mid-December I will be my ideal weight.