The other day I bookmarked a Lifehacker post all about unconventional diet tips and it reminded me to update the blog readers on my personal achievements.
Last January I stepped on the scale to the largest number I’d ever seen there, 232 pounds. Now I’m 6’3″ so I hid it pretty well, but naked under the fluorescent lighting of the bathroom, I knew I was in trouble.
While I didn’t set out to drop the 50 pounds in 3 months that the author of the above link did, I knew a change was in order and that the number needed to get smaller. I’ll jump to the point and let you know that this past Friday I was down to my lowest weight since that time, 209 pounds.
What’d I do to become Slim Goodbody? Here are the main points of my lifestyle change. “Diet” is a loaded word that really just means “food and drink regularly provided or consumed”. No mention of weight loss or calories, a diet is simply what you eat and that’s only a portion of what I changed.
- Weekly workouts
- Whole grains
- Oral hygiene
I don’t mean that I workout once a week, but throughout the week. Usually 3 days of cardio and 3 days of weight-lifting per week, for each and every of the past 55 weeks.
And I didn’t let myself fall into the pattern of being “too tired” to go or letting myself skip workouts. Instead, I always dragged my ass to the gym. A poor, lazy workout still beats no workout at all.
In all honesty, I’ve tried to become a food pyramid junkie. This is my main “diet”: more whole grains, more fruits and veggies, less meat and less fat. Simple.
Whenever I have choices, I take the lesser of two evils. I tell myself that you don’t have to live like a monk, you just have to consciously choose wiser than you were.
Any no-calorie, no-sugar, no-fat drink will do. I like Diet Snapple but I realize the caffeine isn’t the best for me. Either way, stay hydrated without going over the edge.
I’m convinced that increased brushing and flossing, especially being better about after lunch at work and at night, has improved my health and lowered my weight.
Why? If your teeth are clean and your breath is fresh you have more incentive not to snack and screw that up.
Every time we eat out, I come home with at least 1/3 and sometimes 1/2 of my meal. Why? Portions are too large.
Sometimes I’ll even pre-save half my meal to make sure I don’t over-eat.
You’re not going to lose weight doing this (unless you’re into yoga) but you’ll feel so much better.
I try to stretch before and after bed and before and after working out, so that’s 4 times a day, if possible. I’ve even tried to incorporate mid-day stretching at my desk.
Waking up your body to movement and flexibility are amazing. You’ll feel like you can tackle anything and your workouts will be so much better.
I had the additional value of making my tendonitis feel better so I slept sounder. And a good night’s sleep is invaluable to health.
Like the author, I do own a digital scale and I weigh myself twice daily – once in the morning and once at night. Believe it or not, folks who know their weight are less likely to gain. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose.
And I realize I also mentioned water, but thirst and fluid intake are funny things. Most of us don’t recognize hunger as well as we should and a 6 or 8 ounce drink can go a long way to satisfying your bodies natural urges.
A lot of folks will tell you, much like the dairy industry, to drink more Skim Milk or eat yogurt. I’m already a Skim Milk person and I don’t eat much yogurt, but I can see the wisdom here. Again, it’s a better choice than a fattier milk and the yogurt is helpful in digestion because of the cultures.
I’m just saying this worked for me. Your mileage may definitely vary.
I thought you might want an update, though, and the loss of 23 pounds (actually dipping below 210) was a big enough deal for me.
UPDATE: I’ve added a few bullet points to clarify things. I wrote the initial entry this morning while Rae watched “kid’s TV” and Jenn slept, so forgive my pre-wakened sloppiness.
Plus, I just read this article, which got me thinking about more exactly how I did what I did.
So while most of “advice” isn’t about eating but about my lifestyle change, I still think it’s useful.
Lemme know in the comments.