WARNING: I AM NOT A DOCTOR, I AM NOT A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL, I AM TELLING YOU WHAT WORKED FOR ME, NOTHING MORE.
I’ve seen a lot of people of late looking to lose weight and keep it off. I thought I would share how I did it (lost 14kg) without buying anything except some shoes and two phone apps.
Heres what you will need:
- Very good walking/running shoes. Consult a pro at the shoe store to get some comfy ones, don’t just buy ones that look right, get fitted, get the right gear.
- Endomondo phone app from the Google Play Store/App Store (Pro version available for money, worth the cost but don’t bother with the subscription)
- MyFitnessPal phone app from the Google Play Store/App Store
First step: Food.
You will want to install install both Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is a great tool and will allow you to build a profile of the amount of movement you do a day as well as your calorie intake and body weight. Enter all of these details honestly, as they will help you, and after all that’s who this entire process is s for, yourself and your health. This app will keep track of all the food you eat during the day, and can also help you plan your upcoming meals so that you stay within a calorie “limit” that is determined by the app.
Second step: Excercise
Once you have set up MyFitnessPal, install Endomondo and get all your settings right. This app is fantastic and will give you a simple readout of calories burned per excercise when you use it. You can then enter the calories you have burned per day into MyFitnessPal and get an idea as to how much you have burned that day.
Third step: Stick to it.
I walked a 5km route which included a very large hill and a steady incline of about 20-30 degrees, each night just before dusk. You can use the this website to work out when it will get dark each evening and plan to arrive home just before then. A 5km walk when you’re just starting out shouldn’t take you more than an hour (roughly) so leave 1 hour before sunset and you will be fine. The more you put in the more you get out.
Now, if you follow these steps, you should steadily lose weight over the coming months. I followed a simple idea, which is that I used more fuel (aka calories) than my body was getting. Eat less than it needs, and it will eat into the fat already in it. Worked for me. Don’t expect to lose 13kg in a week like the Biggest Loser, expect to lose 1/2kg a week if you’re doing well, but there is no reason you can’t lose more, just remember there is no fast weight loss. Doesn’t happen unless you’re spending all day losing the weight like they are. Some doctors have also criticized this show for the speed contestants lose weight as it can be dangerous and gives you an unrealistic expectation of how much you lose at home.
Notes or common questions:
Q: Should I get special exercise clothes?
A: Not in my experience, what difference does it make if you’re exercising in an old tshirt or something with JUST DO IT plastered across the back, doesn’t make you work harder.
Q: How do I know if I’m pushing myself hard enough while walking?
A: Walk as fast as you can without feeling any pain, you might feel silly but keep your head down and breathe. The more you walk the more fat your body eats. Remember to stretch before and after! If you’re injured you can’t lose weight! Some example stretches for walking are shown here:
Q: I’m very hungry eating under my calorie cap, what can I do?
A: Look into Cherry tomatoes as a snack, water to stave off hunger later at night and eating more fish. Also look into ‘Low GI’ foods, which make you feel fuller for longer. Beware sauces, everything you eat has calories and sauces usually involve sugar.
Q: I’ve been eating healthy food but not losing any weight, why?
A: This could either mean you need to see a doctor to discuss this, or, you’re eating healthy but very calorie filled foods. Here is 200 calories in different foods, each of these foods equals the same amount of energy but you’ll soon realise that some things really are worse than others.
Q: Can I drink Alcohol?
A: By all means as long as you’re under your calorie cap, however you have to remember that the soft-drink in premixed drinks is usually full of sugar. For example: a single Jack Daniels and Coke 375ml can (Australia) is 280 calories, meaning if you have 2 that’s 560 calories or almost a full lunch for a male. Moderation is key. Alcohol has also been shown to impede weight loss so I would put it down to a weekend thing. It also tastes all the sweeter when you have been waiting for it throughout the week.
Q: What about junk food?
A: Plenty of people say to have a ‘cheat day’ where you eat whatever you want. I think this is also fine because your cravings for certain foods won’t go away quickly. According to some people this also boosts your metabolism so go at it.
Q: I can’t find the food I’m after in MyFitnessPal
A: I found this a fair amount, but you can add foods to MFP yourself pretty easily, and you can also create a ‘meal’ which has all of your calories there. You can add foods yourself, and the general rule of thumb for converting Kilojoules to calories is to divide KJ by 4.2. Eg: 1684KJ is roughly 400 calories.