Most of my life, I fell victim to the horrors of the weight loss yo-yo. Finally, I think I got a hold of it. After continually improving my lifestyle for two years now, it looks like I figured out what that big change I needed actually was. My body was no longer a slave to rapid weight gain and fast fixes and fads. Along the way, I have made friends with a lot of guys who had the same kind of experiences. It’s crazy how we can relate to the toils of being overweight and then going through the yo-yo’s.
There are a few things that seem to stick true to all of our stories and how we conquered the back and forth lifestyle to embrace our new one. Here are a few things that I think were vital to our success.
- Be Realistic about your diet: Find something that fits you. In the end, it’s really all about portion control and strategy. I live off of a protein rich diet, much like Atkins, but I don’t cut carbs out completely. Just wain them out by the end of the day. I start the morning off with a bowl of oatmeal and a big spoonful of peanut butter, then throughout the day, decrease my carb intake to almost nothing unless it is a fruit or a bowl of vegetables.
- Socialize with people who have been successful at losing weight: Seeing success actually happen for someone lets you know that you can do it too! Hey, they’ve been there too, and they know the ups and downs you feel. Hang out with them, eat with them, and workout with them. They have a few secrets to success that they can share with you. Tap that resource and they’ll be there to encourage you. Tell them your goals, have them challenge you, and keep honesty a high priority so you can get encouragement in your failures and triumphs.
- Keep the numbers in your favor: While losing and maintaining weight, you want to make sure you keep your numbers level and never going back up. I rarely weigh myself because I lift weights so much. I could gain five pounds in a month or so and it be pure muscle. I could also lose five pounds and it be pure muscle and replace it with fat. After all, muscle weighs more than fat. Instead, I use a little device to measure my body mass index (BMI) and my total body fat percentage along once a week with a bimonthly visit to the scale. This way, I can really keep track of the important stuff and not just my weight so I can adjust my eating habits or workouts if I do gain a little fat back.
- Be active: Whenever I share my story with others who are currently overweight, they all ask me about my secret to losing. They usually have two major problems with what I tell them… They don’t want to change their diet and/or they don’t want to workout. Change takes sacrifice. Very few good things in life come easy. Giving about 45 minutes a day to be active is a great way to start your change along with a change in the way you eat. If you don’t have time at the end of the day to workout, wake up earlier. The key to staying active is consistency. Find a time during the day that works for you, and stick to it.