20 April, 2010
Loose weightComments : 5 Posted in : Weight control on by : Richard Lamse
All my life I have been on the heavy side or XXL side. In my top years I was 245lbs. In 2005 I had enough of that and decided to take a healthier life style. Currently I am around 185lbs, 6’4 tall and wear size L.
No I did not follow any specific diet, I did not take any pills and I am certainly not ill (will come to this a little later).
So how did I do it? A question many people asked me. Since I am not a qualified doctor or anything like that, I started my research on the internet. How does to body work and how does it deal with energy. I have read many papers and other publications that were available to me.
Energy and body fat.
Our body has a mechanism that stores all unused energy in to fat. This fat is a reserve that the body will use when additional energy is required by the body. Let’s assume our body needs 2000 calories (energy) to function normally throughout the day. This means if we eat 2000 calories every day, our body would be perfectly in balance. If we eat more, the addition energy is stored as fat. If we eat less, your body will use the stored energy to make up for the shortage.
This is were the principle of loosing weight start. To loose the fat, we need to burn it. We need to burn more energy than we eat throughout the day. This can be done by increasing the amount of energy we burn by doing cardio exercises or body building (transform fat to muscles). Or we can burn fat by lowering our energy intake.
One kilo of body fat is equal to about 9000 calories in energy. If our body requires 2000 calories and we only consume 1200 calories, it would take us about 10 days to loose one kilo.
I started to count the calories of everything I ate. I realized quickly that only looking at the calories is not enough. For example: a piece of chocolate can have as many or less calories than an apple. However, after eating the chocolate, you are more likely to be still hungry, while after eating the apple you are not. So besides just counting, you have to choose your calories smart. Choose products that will satisfy your hunger. Usually these a products high in fibers (fruits, vegetables, whole wheat bread etc).
Most people that are overweight have a slow metabolism. To loose weight it’s important that your metabolism is working properly. This means doing a number 2 daily! You can improve your metabolism by eating small meals (better 6 small meals than 3 large ones) throughout the day. Eat breakfast to wake up your metabolism and keep it going by eating regularly small meals (sandwich, oats, plain yogurt, fruit, etc). Take you time to eat and chew your food properly. Increasing you fiber intake will help your metabolism.
On average the body needs at least 1200 calories for the organs to function properly. The body requires direct energy for this and does not use the stored reserves. Therefore your diet should not be lower than 1200 calories.
- Don’t go shopping hungry – you end up buying more food – especially unhealthy snacks!
- Don’t keep snacks (unless fruit) around the house or office
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before sleeping – eat most of the calories during the day.
- Don’t fill up your plate to the max – take a small portion and get seconds if needed.
- Take your time to eat and chew.
- Choose healthy – take whole wheat bread!
To burn calories through exercise, duration burns more than intensive training. To include exercise in your daily routine can be easier than you think. Take the bike or walk in stead of using the car. Riding with public transportation, walk to the next stop or get one stop out before your final destination and walk the rest. Park your car further away, etc… you get the drift 😉
There are easy methods to lower your calorie intake while still enjoying food.
- If you use mayonnaise only use half and replace the other half with yogurt.
- Replace sugar for honey when drinking tea or coffee for example
- Use low-fat salad dressings (honey mustard, balsamic)
- Use fresh products, it’s easy to make your own salad dressing. Ready made products often contain a lot of salt (sodium as preservative), sugar (flavour enhancer) and other by products.
- Use olive or sunflower oil instead of butter
- If you do grave chocolate, take the 70% or higher one.
- Drink lots of water!!!
The after effect
So there you are, about 60 lbs lighter. You cleaned out your entire wardrobe as nothing would fit you anymore (except your socks!). You feel healthy, energized and good. So you would figure people complement you on your achievement. The truth is different. Many people were asking me if I was ill. Rumours were going around that I had aids. I was looking unhealthy thin, etc… By know everyone has adjusted to the new me, but be prepared that your surroundings may not be as excited as you! If it’s jealousy, I don’t know.
Thanks for this Richard. I was in the middle of eating nutella on crackers when I saw your message. I am ready……
Nothing wrong with Nutella. Together with whole wheat bread it is a good meal.
I must sa I am truly inspired by your journey. Congrats and maybe someday soo you’ll be return the compliment.
Will definitely be trying out those menus.
Just a small question Richard, how long did it take? and do you have trouble maintaining the lost weight?
My highest adult weight was 116kg, lowest 89kg and at the moment I am back above 100 and my aim is 80ish but that is a long way to go.
It took me about two years in total to get to my natural weight. And I have been at this weight for almost 4 years now. It’s fairly easy to maintain now that the metabolism is working properly.
Loosing weight is like quiting smoking. It’s just as difficult. Once you set your mind to it, I’m confident you will succeed.