Thing is. I know how to lose weight. I've lost weight on 3 separate occasions in my life. Usually, I gain weight for a few years, then I notice that I have gained too much, then I'll take active steps to lose weight for a few months, then after I've lost 10-15 kg, I'll relax and start eating again and re-gain weight over the course of a few years again and the cycle repeats. Yes. I've lost 10-15kg on 3 separate intervals in my life. It's not particularly hard. It's just a disciple problem.
You see, weight loss is really easy. There's so much fake nonsense being marketed to people on the newspapers and advertisements on how to lose weight. It's scary. The theory behind losing weight is so so simple. It's the doing it that's hard and because of this, people who cannot DO it, end up taking pills and doing all kinds of other treatments to get their weight down. Usually, it doesn't work. It doesn't have to be this way. Here's how.
Weight loss is easy. Here's the theory. Like financial independence, if you spend more than you earn, you get into a deficit. I'm talking about an average human who has no medical problems hindering his weight loss, like thyroid problems, etc. This article is just my method I used to lose weight and I think it SHOULD work for any normal overweight person.
Simple way to lose weight (Calorie counting)
An average human requires about 2000 calories to stay alive a day. (2000 calories for male, 1800 female. These are estimates.) Calories are just units of energy. I'm not talking about carbohydrates, protein or fats. Carbs, proteins, fats all provide calories. Let's just keep it simple for now. I'll go into carbs, proteins, fats later. So simply put, you can either, eat less to lose weight. Assuming my daily burn rate is 2000 to stay alive. If I eat 1500 calories worth, my body will get the remaining 500 calories from my storage. The storage could be from my muscle mass or fat mass. I'll go into that later as well. If you exercise, you will burn more energy. Maybe 300 calories more. So if I eat 2000 calories worth and exercise (another 300 calories), my body will use the storage to burn up another 300 calories more. That's all there is to losing weight. All you need to do is eat less than you use in a day. It doesn't matter what time you eat. Snacking at night doesn't make a difference if your total caloric count is less than the daily burn. Skipping breakfast doesn't do anything bad to you if you do not have gastric problems. It does not help you burn more calories. No. The act of eating itself give you MORE calories. But you may be more energetic after eating due to the additional calories/sugars you have consumed.
Carbs, Proteins, Fats
I've heard, carbs are unhealthy. They make you gain weight, etc etc. Everything is unhealthy if you eat too much of it. If you want to lose weight, eat a balanced diet with a negative calorie count. Meaning, eat a balanced diet with maybe 1500 calories in total per day. Over a long period of time, you will lose weight. Even if you eat 1500 calories worth of only potato chips. This is a fact and has been proven. However, the problem with just losing weight is that it might make your heart unhealthy if you eat only fats. If you eat only 1500 calories of fat a day, you will still be unhealthy but still lose weight. Your body also needs protein to rebuild itself and to gain muscle mass. But, eating protein does not naturally give you muscles. You have to exercise as well. So if you don't exercise and just eat protein, sorry, nothing's gonna happen. It's about the same as if you just ate carbs. Carbs are basically just energy. If you don't exercise, the protein just gets converted into energy and gets stored as fats eventually.
Losing muscle mass and fat mass
Muscle mass helps you burn more calories a day. Remember I said an average male burns about 2000 calories? Yea. If you have more muscle mass, you could potentially burn more than 2000 calories. So it's like an investment. If you invest in building muscle, the less you have to do in future. Cos your muscle is working for you in burning calories without any additional effort on your end. However, if you only diet, and do not exercise, you might be losing both muscle mass and fat mass. This means that your 2000 calorie burn might drop as you lose muscle mass. The body doesn't care where it gets calories from the storage. It just takes what it needs to stay alive.
Muscle mass burns more calories. The body knows this. So if you diet, the body notices a lack of calories so it will try to "kill off" the muscle mass so as to decrease the calorie burn per day. This is a problem.
Putting it all together
So knowing the points above. What do we do? Let's recap.
1) Daily calorie deficit reduces weight
2) Eating any time of the day doesn't change anything
3) Eating protein will also make you gain weight useless unless you exercise
4) Muscle mass burns more calories just by being around
5) You will lose muscle mass and fat mass
So when you put all these together, you get. Eat less than your daily caloric count, example total 1500 calories per day. It doesn't matter when/what you eat as long as you don't exceed the caloric count. You will lose muscle mass which is not good as muscle helps keep your daily caloric burn higher. So you need to maintain muscle or grow muscle. So you need to exercise or do some light exercise to tell the body that it needs to keep the muscle mass and burn something else instead.
Eat a balanced diet of
1) More vegetables as it is mainly water so the caloric count is low and makes you full
2) Some protein as it helps with muscle growth and healing of injuries
3) Nuts, fibers, some bread, helps for micro nutrients
4) Some healthy fats
5) Anything else you want to eat but keeping your total caloric count low
Total less than 1500 calories per day
Light muscular exercise daily
1) 20 pushups
2) 20 situps
3) 20 squats
To tell the body to maintain some core muscles and not burn them off.
It's really that simple.
Dieting is like spending money. If you only have 1500 calories to eat per day, what would you eat to keep yourself full and get the most amount of nutrition? You can't eat all rice as it will lack in nutrition, you can't eat all meat cos you might not feel full and also lack in total nutrition. Which is why you need a balanced diet.
Here's some estimates I use.
2 slices of bread - 150 calories
1 tin of sardines/tuna - 150 calories
1 bowl of rice - 300 calories
100gm chicken breast - 150 calories
1 apple - 60 calories
100 gm lettuce - 30 calories
1 roti prata - 100 calories
1 egg - 60 calories
1 pkt of hawker food, chicken rice, wonton mee, char kway teow - 500-700 calories
1 can of coke - 150 calories
1 unit of alcohol, 1 glass beer, 1 shot vodka, 1 glass wine - 150 calories
1 tablespoon of cream/oil based items, mayo, cheese, butter, etc, - 100 calories
As I said before, if you only had 1500 calories to spend per day and you want to get the most nutrition, what would you eat?
I've found success with sandwiches. 2 slices of whole grain bread + chicken breast or sardines, tuna + lettuce. No dressing. Which is about only 300-400 calories. So I can eat 3 of those per day and drink plenty of water to feel full.
Alcohol and the cream/oil based products are a total waste of calories as they provide low nutrition with high caloric count. Sugary drinks are also worthless for nutrition.
Vegetables and fruit are good as they are full of water and fiber which helps keep you full.
Eggs are a good trade off between nutrition and caloric count.
Most lean proteins are good trade offs for nutrition and caloric count but to feel full will require a lot of meat and meat/protein items are high in calories. (It's a good trade off but it's still a high caloric count per gram.)
Bread is full of air, so I like to drink water along with it to feel full. Personally, I feel rice is not worth the calories as compared to bread.
As I've said earlier, all these theories are so simple. No need to go through treatment or eat pills or anything. Personally, I don't believe you can lose something by eating something. So if someone says eating almonds will help you lose weight, that's rubbish. It may only be an indirect relationship that almonds take longer to digest and help you stay full longer and easier so you might tend to eat less in total.
I've had success multiple times using this formula the only problem I have is discipline to keep doing it. As I love my food and I like eating more than the allocated 1500 calories a day. I also don't particularly like exercising. So it's a double whammy. Love eating hate exercising... destined to be fat. Which is why I go through cycles instead. Where I eat what I want for a few years, then spend a few months getting back into shape then repeat the cycle.
This program has worked for me, I believe it will work for you. However, everyone's body is different. Each person's base metabolic rate is different so you might burn more calories per day or less per day so it really depends. The theories are still valid, just that it might need to be catered to your body. Of course if you don't feel well stop whatever you are doing and consult a doctor. Common sense is still necessary. If you feel like you're going to get gastric and feel faint, for goodness sake eat even though you have already spent your caloric allocation for the day.
If you don't believe in the theories, that's your choice.
If you believe you can't eat after dinner, that's your choice as well.
If you believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that's your choice.
Have you ever wondered what it means when people say it's the most important meal of the day? What is considered an important meal of the day? What so great about breakfast such that it is better than the other meals?
I'm ranting a bit in this post cos I've heard a lot of negativity on this weight loss program of mine. Many people tell me how bad or incorrect it is. Most of the time these people who say it are those who need this plan in the first place. Like the people whom I encounter during financial discussions, they want to lose weight by doing things their way. Without changing anything they do. Don't they realize, they are in their current situation COS they are doing things their way? Cos they aren't reading and learning from others who have succeeded? This weight loss and financial planning is very much the same. You can only help those who want to be helped. However, those who want to be helped usually don't need your help anyway as they would have found out by themselves anyway.
I'll say it again. Personally, I've had success with this weight loss plan. I've done sufficient research to believe it to be true. If you want to try this, please exercise some common sense.
Oh and the kind of results which you expect to see are.
If you have a caloric deficit of 1000 calories per day, after 1 week you will lose about 1kg.
Which will be about 12kg in 3 months. If you can maintain such a low caloric intake.
(Note : Deficit of 1000 calories. Not eat 1000 calories.)
I have personally achieved this result by eating a chicken breast sandwich for lunch and another for dinner. With no breakfast or other snacks in between.
The above is quite a drastic diet plan as I was hungry most of the day. But I wanted to get results fast so I could start eating regularly again.
Alternatively, you may want to try to have a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day, after 1 week, you will lose about 500gms. It might take longer but potentially could be most sustainable.
That's all for this post. Good luck. Hope you've enjoyed this post. I've really enjoyed typing it as it consolidates most of what I've learnt in this topic.
I'm probably going to start on this plan after Chinese New Year as it's about time for the weight loss cycle to start again.
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