My New Year’s Pledge: Maintain the Gains, or should I say, Losses
You may remember one of my blogs from last year (from Obese to Fit June 7, 2013) in which I described my new diet, exercise and weight-loss plan. It had produced great results. But as with any plan, especially a diet and exercise routine, maintaining those results long-term is much harder. The first thing one should consider is that it is not a diet; it is an overall change in an approach to eating. Without doing so, the evidence suggests many regain the weight over time. Now that does not mean that you have to adhere as strictly to the same diet as you do during the weight loss phase, but long-term adjustments are required to maintain those hard earned gains. Exercise, which is a vital component of any diet plan, should be something integrated into daily life. Sure, at first it’s hard to exercise and diet, but I guarantee that if you stick to and embrace it, the rewards of overall health and the feeling of well-being are worth it.
Once you start meeting your goals, experience better endurance, better energy, and have an excuse to buy new clothes because your old ones are too big, you will have even more motivation to stick with it. In order for it to work, you need to enjoy the exercise and refocus your approach to eating- both in types of food and quantity. Certain weight loss supplements can be helpful to get started with your diet. Educate yourself and talk to your health nutrition consultant for some suggestions. (Understanding Your Weight Loss Supplement Options August 16, 2013)
So, how have I done? When I started this I was at an all-time high of around 209lbs. I did exercise fairly regularly but was limited by my bad knee in terms of how much cardio I could do. Although I thought I ate healthy, I ate too much and snacked on too many carbs (thanks in part to the Doctor’s Dining room which was stocked with food all day and night). My BMI put me on the border of obese- OUCH! I certainly did not look like I was obese, being somewhat muscular, but was definitely getting a gut. This was a wake-up call for sure.
I gave up all red meat and bread and started working out harder and more regularly. I was at the gym sometimes two times a day (occasionally three). I started counting my calories, protein, carb and fat intake. I also used both Tonalin and a Raspberry Ketone/Green Coffee supplement. Since then, I have continued to be meat and bread free (with an occasional bread cheat). I don’t count calories anymore but I know what I am eating and how many calories things have by now. I drink a lot more water and very little diet soda. I take my lunch to work and never eat in the cafeteria. I continue on the Tonalin and Raspberry Ketone. (I tried Garcinia but did not notice as much benefit). I got as low as 165 lbs but look better between 166-169. Depending on whether I am doing more cardio or more heavy weight that week my weight varies between 165 and 169. I have better definition than ever and as much muscle mass and strength as when in college. My six-pack is more like a four-pack. My cardio is close to or as good as when I ran long distances. The upside is that I have completely changed the way I eat and do not miss the high carbs or red meat at all.
Exercise can be addicting once you get to a certain level. The mental aspect is as beneficial as the physical. The only downside is that I had to buy basically a new wardrobe which was not cheap since I wear suits to work almost daily. I gave away most of my fat clothes so I have even more motivation to keep trim and stay in my new clothes. It is hard to imagine that with healthy eating, supplements, and exercise I could basically transform my physical being at age 51. If I can do it so can you!