Losing Weight: How I Lost 13 Pounds and Plan to Lose 20 More
1 pound equals 3,500 calories. If you want to lose a pound, you have to subtract that amount of calories from your diet. It’s simple. Weight watchers, the Atkins Diet, and South Beach are all cleverly packaged diet plans that more or less reduce your amount of total overall calories without you having to think about it. During this losing weight diet and exercise plan, I have made the effort to be as scientific about it as possible.
Count up all the calories you eat during the day. Mine were around 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day. I was interested in losing 2 pounds per week. Since cutting my intake down to 800 to 1,000 calories per day would be unhealthy, exercise needed to be a part of the equation. I was already working out 3 to 4 times a week, which left me in good enough shape to add a major segment to my routine. I figured that running about 4 miles at a brisk pace was around 600 calories. By cutting 600 calories, 6 days a week out of my intake, and by running 4 miles a day, 6 days a week, I would burn 7,200 calories per week. This would be equal to losing weight equal to 2 pounds per week.
Cutting the 600 calories of food was mostly a matter of turning my carbohydrate-heavy snacks into low-calorie fruit and vegetable snacks. I replaced a typical mid-day snack of crackers with a serving of spinach (replacing 150 calories with about 20) and I changed my lunch from a full sandwich worth of bread to a half a sandwich (replacing 160 calories with about 80). A few simple changes like that and my reduction by 600 was simple.
So far, so good. I had a minor setback this week (I gained .4 pounds, eh, not the end of the world ;)), but overall I have lost 13 pounds on my goal down to my high school weight (from 183 lbs. to 150 lbs.) in about 7 weeks. One of the best consequences of this has been an increase in productivity. I’ve been getting up at 5 AM to run my 4 miles and when I return home I stretch, shower, and get right into my freelance writing work. Some days I have finished my work before noon (oh man, how great has that felt). Another consequence (which running 24 miles per week for 2 months will do to you) is that I feel fantastic and in the best shape I’ve been in years.
Not everybody can (or wants to) go out there and run 4 miles, but it was a good solution for me. If you belong to a gym, use an elliptical runner or a stair machine. Join a class or start walking during your lunch breaks. Try cutting 300 calories and adding 300 calories of exercise per day to lose one pound a week. It is not suggested that you do this with more than 2 pounds a week as it can be unhealthy for your heart (take it from a former high school wrestler :)).
I will keep you guys up to speed about my losing weight progress. Until then, happy improved creativity through being less…portly ;).
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