Kicking off our series of posts for health and fitness for 2019, here’s one way to lose weight or lose fat. It is not that simple because it involves us having to record the amount of food we eat and their caloric content. But there is enough info here, to make you lose that elusive weight after a few weeks or months.
To help you, I am going to do the same program. No, I am not an expert, I am just a middle aged obese guy, who just happens to know a few things about weight loss and fitness.
Health and fitness have always been a passion, so while growing up, I managed to read many books on the subject. We didn’t have the internet back then so the books that I read were mostly borrowed from libraries. A few I bought which I lost along the way but I also learned a lot of from magazines especially magazines for women!
It is so easy these days to get any information you want on any subject but as we all know, it’s not how much we know, that matters. Same for training to become an expert – there are courses out there that are easily accessible and/or affordable. Those courses are great but sometimes, nothing beats experience.
There are no prerequisites for this program. Whatever state of health you are current in, that’s okay. Sure, it’s much better if you still have good health and can move around but that’s not necessary. Your health will improve immensely after undertaking any training programme.
The most important thing is to just start. Before you do, make sure you talk to your GP (doctor) first. It is very important to speak with your GP first before undertaking any intensive training program.
Today, in this post, I am going to show you how I will attempt to lose 10 kgs off my body weight over the next several weeks. I don’t really know how long it’s going to take, but I will give myself several months, starting today (10/02/2019). I plan to lose 500 grams per week, that’s about 1 kilo every 2 weeks which is about 2 kilos per month. So after 6 months, I should have lost about 10 – 12 kgs.
What? All this work just to lose 10kgs?
Yes, you may say that, but let’s think about this a bit more shall we. If it takes me 10 years to pile on this extra fat I am currently carrying, why the hell should I then expect to lose all of that in one or two months? Make sense to you? Good – doesn’t make sense to me too… ;-). Don’t forget that LIFE is still continuing for us, we are not stopping anything else, just so we can focus on losing 10 kgs as fast as possible.
Anyway, my situation is not straight forward, usually, you either focus on losing weight OR gaining weight. What I am doing is to lose weight, but at the same time, attempting to build muscles in a few body parts especially my core (abdominals). That’s not what the experts recommend but remember I am not an expert… ;-). So either I will meet my target with flying colours or I will crash. Either way, I will learn something and you can too, if you are coming along for the ride.
Just so we are completely clear on my current condition, I am not very fit at all. My cardiovascular fitness is quite bad; the last time I jogged for a couple of kilometres was more than 10 years ago. I can probably only do 10 mins of light jogging at around 8 kph and that will be my absolute limit. Strength wise, I am a little better, I can manage 15 push-ups with good form, and slow consistent reps. I can do several reps of deadlift, at just over my body weight and can bench press 6 reps at 80% of my body weight. My core is pretty bad, I have a small beer belly around my waist, even though I don’t drink alcohol (life can be unfair right?). I will probably struggle to do 30 seconds of planks and/or 20 crunches.
The reason why I am giving you all these statistics so that you can see that I am very unfit, in fact I consider myself a moderately obese individual. If I can lose weight in my condition, I can assure you,
anyone including you, can lose weight too!
This program is not a quick fix scheme, where I will lose many kilos or pounds in a matter of days. Those kinds of programs might probably exist I don’t know, but that’s not how I am going to attempt this. Here, I am going to lose weight slowly. In this situation, slow is better than fast.
Before we start, let’s go through some basics. A calorie is a unit of measurement of energy from food and from your body. Here’s video that will explain it better.
Some countries like Australia, they prefer to use the energy measurement kilojoule (kJ). To convert between the two units, simply use –
* 1kJ = 0.2 C (kCal or kilocalorie which we usually refers to as calorie).
* 1C = 4.2 kJ (kilojoule).
Don’t worry too much about calories or kilojoules – everything will become more clearer later on. This program will also require you to start reading the food content table in every food product you buy, if you haven’t done that already.
FIND A WAY TO RECORD YOUR PROGRESS
First, we will need to get a notebook, PDA or mobile phone which we will use to record everything we eat every day. We will record 3 things – the date and time you ate, the type of food and how much. Example :- 10AM – 1 sugary coffee and one small banana = 100 Cal. You can also use a mobile app if you prefer, something like MyFitnessApp or WorkoutLog.
RECORD YOUR FOOD INTAKE DAILY
Buy yourself a food scale if you haven’t got one, it will cost just a few dollars. I do have one, but I prefer the measuring spoons, cups and containers. The more accurate you are at measuring your food intake, the better your results.
GET PHYSICAL; PLAY A SPORT; GO JOGGING; WALK MORE…
Even if you do not incorporate any physical training into your program, you will still lose weight if you control the calories you consume. However, there is a lot of benefits to your health if you do include physical training. I recommend you choose at least one activity.
For me, I have already been going to the gym 3 times a week on alternative days, albeit on a causal basis so I will keep that going. The new exercises I will be doing daily will be skipping and training my core. I will start with 10 mins at moderate pace and work up to 30 or 60 minutes. Core work will include simple exercises like planks, crunches, leg lifts, v-sits and so forth.
CALCULATE YOUR DAILY FOOD REQUIREMENTS
This is an important step – do not skip it. I need you to head off to the URL below, enter your details like gender and age, and select “calculate”. That URL would give you 3 numbers :-
1) Calories to consume to Maintain Weight.
2) Calories to Lose Weight.
3) Calories to Lose Weight Fast
The URL/website we are going to, will need you to enter several parameters.
Gender, Weight (in pounds), Age, Height (feet and inches) and Level of Activity.
The Level of Activity choices are :- “sedentary”, “slightly active”, “moderately active” and “active lifestyle”. You will need to be as accurately as possible. For example, don’t put “slightly active”, if you don’t do any exercise or if you are not really active.
Slightly active = 1- 2 exercise sessions lasting 40-60 mins, Moderately means you exercise 3 or 4 times a week, Active is when you are physically active or that you train intensively at least 4-5 times weekly.
The reason why those 3 numbers are important is that they give us a a more accurate measure on how much we SHOULD BE EATING to maintain, to lose and to lose weight faster. These numbers are not 100% correct but its the best we have and they are better than flying blind.
I tend to hear people complaining about training very hard, but not losing much weight or none at all. The truth is really in the pudding, if you are not losing after following a particular routine for many weeks, you better change something – your program is not working.
This is the URL to help you calculate your 3 numbers (opens in a new window or tab) :- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day
Using the above numbers are simple, if you are eating more than the “Maintain Calories” limit, you are putting more into your body. To lose weight you need to keep yr daily consumption at lose weight calories or less. To lose weight fast, keep it less than the 3rd number.
For me, my numbers are :-
To Maintain My current Weight = 2500
To Lose Weight = 2000
To Lose Weight Fast = 1500
This means, that to maintain my current weight, I need to eat around 2500 calories daily. To lose weight, eat below 2000, to lose weight faster, keep it under or around 1500.
To help you measure the number of calories in food, I have included a couple of good websites below. One important thing I need stress and will keep stressing is, do not attempt to STARVE yourself. You can eat less but do not starve yourself. Starving yourself will not work.
Here’s is an example of what a typical daily meal for me will look like :-
Black Coffee, No Milk, No Sugar = 2 Calories
1 cup Blackberries = 60 Calories (or kCal)
TOTAL = 62 kCal or Cal.
MID MORNING BREAK
1 cup unsweetened Greek Yogurt (150grams) = 80 Cal
1 cup chopped banana = 133 Cal
TOTAL = 213 Cal
1 cup of brown rice (195g) = 200 Cal
1 cup of chopped or diced chicken = 335 Cal
1 salad = 1tbs olive oil; 1 cup tomatoes; 1 cup lettuce; 1 cup cucumbers = 200 Cal
TOTAL = 735 Cal
1 salad as above = 200 Cal
1 cup sweet potatoes = 114 Cal
200g grilled salmon = 284 Cal
TOTAL = 598 Cal
1 cup promagranade = 139 Cal
1/2 cup of unsalted cashew nuts = 393 Cal
TOTAL = 532 Cal
So my total daily calories for the above meal, is around 1800 which means, I will still be losing weight. If I keep it around 1500, I will be losing more.
We will dig deeper into these things as we progress but for today, here’s what I want you to do.
1 – Record your current weight and note it down in your PDA or notebook.
2 – Calculate your 3 Total Calories if you haven’t already. Write it in your notebook. Memorise them if you must. You can round them to the nearest 10. For me, it’s 2500, 2000, 1500. Note :- do not use my numbers, you need to calculate your own using the URL above.
3 – Start recording your food intake. You need to know how much food you are actually eating. Do this without fail. It will help you/us work out why your training is not working… in case you/we need to make changes.
4 – Start looking for activities or sports that you can start doing to burn your calories. Do you have a favourite sport or pastime? Look at weight training, walking, skipping, swimming, biking and so forth. For me, I will be skipping daily (I love skipping), walking as much as I can and I will also go to the gym 3 times a week.
5 – Start recording your training program. It is also important to note down the number of calories you are burning from your training. For example, for me – when I skip at a moderate pace for 10 mins, I will be burning at least 100 calories in that 10 mins.
6 – To work out if you meet your Total Calorie requirements in a day, simply add all the calories you ate and subtract all the calories you burned through training.
TOTAL NET CALORIES
IS EQUAL TO (=)
CALORIES CONSUMED FROM FOOD/DRINKS
CALORIES BURNED FROM TRAINING
So using my case as an example, if I want to lose weight faster, I will need to have an Effective Total Calories of around 1500. As long as I am close to that number, I know I am progressing properly. That’s basically it, in a nutshell…. Boring isn’t it? Maybe so, but we will feel so much better in a few months time!
To help you further, here are some more SIMPLE changes you can do right now to help your weight loss journey.
1 – Under no circumstances should you STARVE yourself. Bad idea.
2 – Same as dehydration. Drink water consistently throughout the day. Better to sip rather than to drink large amounts at any one time. If you become thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Avoid that at all cost.
3 – Eliminate or limit your intake of processed foods and sugary foods or drinks. This include KFC, Macdonald’s and junk food. If you can’t stay away then have it once a month or fortnight, use those dinners as a reward for good behaviour.
4 – Avoid soya products including Tofu, anything made of grass and goji berries. We’ll cover these foods in more detail later.
5 – Prioritise your rest and sleep periods. Sleep at least 8 hours per night. You are not superman or super-woman. Rest is very important if you are also doing intensive physical training.
6 – Try and eat foods that are high in protein and low in carbs. Some foods are very good for you but tend to have a very high caloric content. Example – nuts and avocados. Include these foods in your diet but don’t go overboard.
7 – Salads, water, green tea, unsweetened coffee/tea are okay to drink as much as you like, but don’t go overboard. Of course, if you are drinking 10 coffees a day, that’s just pushing it.
8 – Be careful of fruits; they may be healthy but they are also full of sugar which the body may convert to fat.
9 – Fish oils and vegetable oils are healthy but comes with lots of calories; saturated fats from animals are definitely not okay so keep those bad fats, to a minimum. If unsure, eat natural foods like butter.
For more information on how to calculate the calories in your meals, have a look at the websites below. If you have any questions please send me an email – paku [@] talaniue.com or leave a comment below.
Good luck and keep coming back for more posts on Health and Fitness and/or if you are interested in how my progress is tracking.