Several years ago, I decided that my life had to change. I was very overweight, completely sedentary, and ashamed of what I had allowed myself to become. I had been on so many diets throughout my life and had always gained the weight back. This time it was worse than ever. 100 pounds to lose. I committed to losing the weight and making this the very last time. I lost 100 pounds and this year makes 3 years of maintaining the weight loss.
In this Instructable, I plan to give you an inside look at what it takes to lose a significant amount of weight (100+ pounds) without gimmicks or nonsense, no shakes or pills required. I also plan on telling you what it takes (mentally and physically) to maintain that weight for as long as you are willing to put forth the effort!
Take heart, friends! Stop reading diet books! There is NO secret, only science!
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have lost weight in the very healthiest or best manner possible. I ate processed food, I partook of sugar substitutes, and I indulged from time to time. This is the way that I lost weight. It worked for me and has made me into a very healthy person. I am at the correct BMI for my height and have a great body fat percentage. That’s not to say that it will be the best way for you or that it can’t be done in other ways. This is the experience of just one woman. I would also like to stress that you should be consulting your doctor before you begin any kind of new diet or exercise routine.
STEP 1: PREPARE YOURSELF MENTALLY FOR WEIGHT LOSS
There are some things you need to consider before you begin any weight loss journey that is as big as ours.
-It will not be comfortable. You spent at least the last few years being comfortable and if you want to lose weight, you’re going to have to switch up your routine. You will step WAY out of your comfort zone. You are changing your life and the way you treat your body.
-It will not be an overnight change. There is a reason that people say “weight loss JOURNEY”. This is something that takes time, like anything else that’s worth doing. It may be years before you reach your ultimate goals. You will have to remember along the way to celebrate the smaller milestones. Dropping a pants size, going up a resistance level on the elliptical, having a friend notice a difference, even just feeling better about yourself are all great reasons to celebrate.
-There will be temptation. The world will not stop because you are losing weight. Every restaurant you love is still open and the food still tastes amazing. Work is still stressful. Lounging is still easier than working out. The people you hang out with are still not making healthy choices. The only thing that’s changing is you.
-Your goal needs to be healthy and realistic. A woman who has 100 or more pounds to lose should not strive to look like their favorite celebrity. Likewise a man in the same situation should not expect to look like the guy on the cover of a muscle magazine. Your primary goal should be health. Any physical changes should be completely secondary. Make sure to make your goal weight something within the healthy BMI range. We will talk about realistic time frames in the next step.
You need to ask yourself if you’re willing to accept these facts. if you’re not, you may not be ready. You will have to go into this thing willing to make changes, withstand temptation, and accept any setbacks or mistakes.
If you are going to do this, the first thing I suggest is to make a point of mentioning it to everyone you know. Tell them what you’re doing and what your goal is so that you get asked about your progress constantly. Post it on your Facebook and Twitter. Don’t give yourself a chance to cop out. Put it into your head that this is starting and there’s no backing down.
Next up, let’s talk basics!
STEP 2: LEARN TO SET A HEALTHY GOAL
In order to lose weight, we are going to use a principle that is very simple, but tough to understand for some reason for a lot of people:
To lose weight, burn more calories than you consume.
That’s really all you need. We’ll talk more about this concept when we go into calorie counting. For right now, you need to know what constitutes a healthy goal, short and long term. Let’s go through some figures you need to know.
STEP 3: FOOD – CALORIES IN (INTRODUCTION)
There is no better way to lose weight than calorie counting. If you look at any successful weight loss program, one of its main principles is limiting calories, whether you were aware or not. Food is fuel, and without any activity the fuel is stored.
Brace yourselves, here comes a metaphor:
You now have a daily calorie intake limit. It’s a lot like the money you have in the bank. If you withdraw too much, something bad happens. In this case, you gain weight. If you don’t spend it all, something good happens. In this case, you lose weight. You are already operating at a deficit if you’ve set a goal using the calculator, so we’re doing great and “saving your funds”!
Here’s another way calories are like your money. You have complete choice of what you spend your funds on. You are capable of being responsible and making great choices, or being irresponsible and wasting those funds. For a food to be something worth spending calories on it should be nutritious. Every day you need fruits and veggies, all your vitamins, and lots of protein, just like your mom told you. Some people choose to closely monitor this. I chose not to do this, but to keep it in mind. If you wish to understand your nutritional goals in more detail, I would suggest this article .
The choices you make will shape the way you feel all day. You can feel hungry and tired by choosing to spend 300 calories on a candy bar or full and energized by choosing to spend the same calories on whole wheat pretzels and a serving of natural peanut butter. You’ve been overspending your caloric funds for years, partly because your choices don’t give you the nutrients and energy you need. We’re trying to get more efficient.