Weight Loss Results
Last night saw the end of my 4 week weight loss experiment. So what’s my weight loss results? My weight this morning is 74.4kg. A loss of 5.6kg! My waist measurement is 83cm! A decrease of 6cm! My new BMI is 24.01 putting me into the ‘healthy weight’ range. Even thought I am not a big fan of using BMI as a true measure of someones healthy weight range. It does feel nice to be under 25 for the first time in a long time!
This week’s blog I have written down some questions that I have been asked in the past by clients who want to lose weight. Now that I have successfully lost weight I can answer these from a practical perspective not just theoretical. If there are any questions that you would like addressed feel free to ask.
What ‘diet’ did I follow?
I did not actually follow any particular ‘diet’. I am still eating my normal foods I eat week in, week out. I even still ate bread and potatoes too! Using the iPhone app MyFitnessPal I was able to compare my current diet against some key indicators. Some of these indicators include, protein , sugar, saturated fat, sodium, fibre, iron and vitamin C. This showed me I was good in some areas and needed improvement in others. The ones I needed to improve I looked at what foods contributed to this. Some foods like my favourite mini chocolate muffins I eliminated. Other foods like cheese and bread I reduced my quantity.
Is it easy to lose weight?
There are two answers to this question. Yes I found it easy to lose weight. Now I do not want to sound like a smarty pants here. I just used the calorie goal set by MyFitnessPal as my guideline. In the 4 weeks I think I only went over my daily allowance 8 times. Of those 8 times 2 were the first two days where I was just eating my pre weight loss experiment diet.
And the second part to that answer is no. The first two days of my food diary showed I was well exceeding my daily net calorie intake goal of 1680 calories. I have tried to lose 5kg in the past just by reducing my calorie intake. But I was unsuccessful in the past. I had to change some habits in order to achieve the weight loss results. This is not always easy when you had some habits for a number of years.
Do I need to count calories?
For me personally I would say yes! As I mentioned I had tried unsuccessfully to lose 5kg in the past. After counting my calories for the first two days, the answer as to why I was not successful was right there in black and white. It gave me a daily target but also to track my progress during the day. It also provided me with an education about food quantity and calorie intake. For example, I know on Sunday 1 September I only had 200 calories remaining for my dinner. Without counting calories I would have just had a ‘normal’ size dinner and consumed 500-600 plus calories. Instead I was able to sit down and work out something to eat that would be filling but not blow out calorie intake. The chicken breast salad I made achieved this.
What does it take to lose weight?
When I think of this question the first word that comes to mind is discipline. Some other words that come to mind are honesty and focus. I had to make a conscious effort after every meal to put all my information into the app. I had to maintain my same volume of exercise as I wanted to see what impact changing diet alone had on my weight. I had to eliminate some food ie mini chocolate muffins from my grocery list. And sometimes when I was hungry between meals I had to discipline myself to get a drink of water instead.
As I was my own client in this experiment, I had to be honest with myself. Everything I ate in the last 4 weeks has been entered into my food diary. You can see from my earlier week blogs I had included my food diary in the blog. I do not have scales to weigh everything to the gram but made a very good educated guess with some quantities of food. Making sure I was not underestimating.
Now I only wanted to lose 5kg in this experiment. It does not seem like much but I still had to focus for 4 weeks. There were times when I would ask myself is eating this going to make it harder to achieve my goal? I think using the app made focusing a little easier. Because all I really had to do was focus on my net calorie goal one day at a time. By doing this the end result was going to be a formality. If you have more than 5kg to lose then that would be my suggestion, to focus one day at a time.
What if I don’t want to change my diet?
Besides the fact that improving the quality of the food in your diet has a big impact on your health, wellness and energy levels. How much weight do you want to lose? Do you want to lose 0.5kg per week? In theory to lose this much weight your calorie output should be 3500 calories more than your input per week. So what would it take to achieve this if you do not want to change what you are eating? The following list of activities are examples of what it takes to burn 500 calories. You would need to do these or similar activities 7 days per week until you reached your goal weight.
- 1 Hour of moderate bike riding;
- One hour of Zumba;
- Jump rope for only 42 minutes;
- Walk at a moderately brisk pace of 6.4 kph for 90 minutes;
- Running at 10 kph for 42 minutes;
- 2 hours of Pilates or Yoga;
- Six hours of kissing burns 500 calories. Bring chapstick!
- 7.25 Hours of lying still and quite.
Do you want to lose 1kg per week? Then you have to do double the above everyday! From someone that’s very active, that’s a lot of exercise to maintain over a long period of time! I know myself I have easy weeks every couple of months because my body tells me that’s what I need. If you haven’t made changes to your diet when you have one of these easy weeks your likely to undo all your hard work from the preceding weeks! How is that going to effect your motivation and focus?
What am I going to change now I can eat more?
Not very much. I will make a conscious effort to maintain the reductions in portions I have made over the last 4 weeks. The only thing I am really going to change is bringing back the mini chocolate muffins. But I will not be having one everyday like I had done in the past. I will purchase the 8 pack and freeze them. Then any day I cycle or exercise for greater than 1 hour total I will defrost a muffin and eat it as a reward!