I kicked off my diet in late July by cutting out soda and cutting down on alcohol intake, but I knew that this probably wouldn’t be enough. I had to come up with some semblance of a plan to lose 170lbs. In fact, at this point, I didn’t even have a goal other than ‘weigh less’. All I really knew was that I weighed too much and I needed that to change.
To be honest, my plan turned out to be really simple.
- Drink less alcohol — This should be rather easy. I’m not a big drinker, so cutting out alcohol on every day except Sunday was not all that hard.
- Stop drinking soda — This would be a tough one, but I like iced tea. I figured that I could substitute tea for soda, maybe. I would also have to start drinking more water. Lots more.
- Eat less — I’ve learned that normal American portion sizes are huge. I decided to try and only eat about half of the food on my plate at restaurants and to cut down my portion sizes at home. I heard somewhere that a good portion size would be the size of your fist, so I’d shoot for that. This is probably the hardest individual part of the plan.
- Eat at home more — Restaurants add things to their food to make it taste better. This includes things like salt, sugar, MSG, etc. Eating at home gives me almost complete control over what is in the food that I eat. This is one I still could do better on, but I made a goal to only eat out lunch once a week and dinner twice a week.
- Work out — I know that working out is normally not very beneficial to weight loss, but I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to get in shape. Also, more muscle mass means more calories burned while sitting around, which is a nice trick.
This is still my plan, I’ve played with a few of the things but this original plan worked out better than most variations.
I implemented the plan in stages. I cut down on beer and cut out soda immediately. I also started to eat at home more within a couple weeks. After about 3 or 4 weeks I started noticeably cutting down portion sizes. I still have trouble leaving food on the plate at restaurants, but I can pull it off. After about a month I started working out. I get a good discount on YMCA membership through work, so I decided to go there. This also got me 4 free sessions with a personal trainer. These turned out much more helpful than I expected (more on that in a future post). I try to go to the gym every weekday after work. Some weeks this is harder than others.
As a final part of the plan I had to set a goal of loss per month. I arbitrarily picked 10 pounds a month. Some months this is a bit easier than in other months.
Next week I’ll talk about how I started tracking my weight loss progress.