Getting back to healthy: Week 1 Complete – 2lbs lost

by Don Smith

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Last week in “Getting back to healthy: Time to get back to the basics!“, I talked about the fact that I, like so many others, have drifted out of the healthy weight zone.

I committed to you, that I would get back to where I need to be, and that I would take you along with me on my journey back to health.

I am writing this series for two reasons. 

  1. For selfish reasons I need some accountability in this area of my life at the moment, and writing my story publicly in front of thousands of people as I go is a great motivator for me to not get off track.  
  2. I hope that my journey will help others who need to get back to healthy.

I'm happy to report that I have in fact lost weight, 2 lbs to be exact, in this first week.  I'm pretty happy with that, most experts say 2-3lbs per week is a healthy weight loss goal.

Let's take a look at what I've been doing to accomplish this.

I decided to use the 4 step formula which I created, described in my article “Losing Weight, 4 “Easy” Steps

1.  Admit there is a problem. 

Already done, however it is easy for me to minimize the extent of the problem when I am only slightly above the healthy line.  The problem with doing that is that I can quickly rationalize that it isn't that bad, and not take steps to correct my course early on.

I know that once the pounds are packed on and the problem is out of control, it is much harder to get back to healthy, so  I've got to make sure I stay in the mode of solving this problem.

2.  Show up

I've been logging my food each day into myfitnesspal.com, which has allowed me to track what I'm actually putting into my mouth.  Considering a single burger can easily pack on more calories than I can burn with an hour of running, I know that watching what I eat is critical.  Many fitness experts have stated that physique is 80% diet, and 20% exercise, and I've certainly found that to be true.

I have also been working out on my Total Gym, well OK, full disclosure, I've been playing on it for awhile each night, and I actually did the official 30 minute program once.

I was actually down 4lbs going into the holiday weekend, and then gained 2lbs back by making more than a few bad choices and not logging things Sunday and Monday.  Need to work on that consistency, particularly when eating with friends and family.

3.  Power up

Powering up is about gathering information so that you can apply it in the future to develop better habits.  I want to reflect a bit on the lessons I learned from looking at my log last week.

I started out by setting up my goals on myfitnesspal.com.  I ran through their wizard with a target of 165lbs (started the week at 181 lbs).  I then adjusted my carbs/fat/protein to 40% carbs, 25% fat, and 35% protein.

The only adjustment I made beyond the initial recommended goal was to increase the protein percentage and decrease the carbohydrate percentage because I know that for me, increasing my protein intake helps me lose weight faster.  You might have to play around with those macros to get the best burn for you.

Here are a few of my worst calorie offenders from my diet log.  These have got to go, or at least be reduced.

  1. Chester fried chicken – 2 thighs

  • 740 calories/1500 goal for the day
  • 20g carbs/164g goal for the day
  • 54g fat/46g goal for the day
  • 42g protein/143g goal for the day
  • 2100mg sodium/2300mg goal for the day 
  • Chocolate chip cookies…my nemesis

    • Most of a box, we won't talk about those stats 🙂

      Here are a few of my better choices from my diet log.  I'll keep these.

      1.   2 Salmon Fillets – Lots of lean protein

      • 238 calories/1500 goal for the day
      • 0g carbs/164g goal for the day
      • 7g fat/46g goal for the day
      • 40g protein/143g goal for the day!
      • 99mg sodium/2300mg goal for the day 
    • Veggies – fill up the healthy way without adding a lot of calories

        • Corn – 60 calories
        • Green beans – 50 calories 
        • Broccoli –  50 calories

         Ever wonder why going vegan works to lose a lot of weight really fast?  Look at your calorie counts.  You can stuff yourself with green things and barely eat any calories!

        Logging my intake also pointed out a few other issues which might explain a few things.

        My average potassium and iron intake are under 25% of the daily allowance.  Doing a little research, some of the symptoms of potassium deficiency are leg and foot cramps, troubles sleeping, and restless leg syndrome.  Check, check, and check.

        Iron deficiency can present as general fatigue.  Now certainly chasing 5 kids and working full time might also explain that, but can't hurt to get that back up to the recommended amounts.

        I'll work on getting both of those in line over the next few weeks.

        With knowledge comes power, hopefully identifying specific foods that I need to reduce and others I need to increase will help moving forward.

          4.  Step up

          This is where I take it to the next level, and I still need your help with that.

          How about helping hold me accountable?  I'll post an update each week for awhile, and email it to all my followers.  I've already had a lot of people add their names to the list from my first post, can I count on you to help keep me accountable?

          If you want to help, or perhaps want to follow along on my journey to see if you can get some ideas for your own journey, sign up for my newsletter using the form at the bottom of the page and I'll give you an update.  

          Make sure to share this article as well so that others can benefit!  

          If you are already signed up, thanks so much for the support! 
          Nothing like knowing that thousands of people are watching to make me follow through!!!

          Update:  Read the next article in this series

          Getting back to healthy: Week 2 Complete – 4lbs down

          About the Author 

          Don Smith

          Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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