The age old problem of losing weight. It is a constant fight for most of us. The few that don’t fight it usually aren’t genetically gifted, they just have a few habits that others don’t! But as we all know some habits come easier than others.
I know how hard it is, I lost 70 lbs. It took me a good long time to do it, but it got done. I’ll tell ya what, even though it took longer to accomplish, it was a heck of a lot easier than stopping smoking! I do wish I could go back and do some of my workouts differently, but all in all, I am very happy with how my health turned out! I can chase my kids until they poop out first!
Since then, in the last two years, I have put back on 25 lbs. But very little fat. Ill touch on that in some later posts, but for now… Lets get started losing weight!
EMBRACE A SUSTAINABLE EATING PLAN
First up is a plan.
We are all our own funky chemistry experiments and not every thing will work the same with each individual. But most plans have results that can be duplicated. The hardest part is finding one that not only works for you, but that you can attach yourself enough that you will stick with it.
At the end of the day no plan matters without action. So your plan must be actionable.
I am going to lay out some ground rules and you can take a few, or all of them and add them to your own plan. But don’t kid yourself. You will not get results without a plan and that is step one.
MAKE HEALTHY EATING THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE
Part of making your plan easy on yourself is making it the best choice.
You already know it’s the best choice for your health, but that is rarely why we do anything. It needs to be the obvious choice based on availability as well.
One thing I like to do before I actual make meals is have the right stuff. The biggest help in doing that is only buying what you need. It is almost impossible unless you have some superhuman will to walk into a store and not buy extra crap you didn’t mean to! I make eating healthy part of my daily life and I still can’t! The Doritos, man!
Take advantage of a pick up service. I use the good old Wal-Mart, but Kroger and some other grocers do this too. You place your order online, and go pick it up. It is really that simple.
In addition to only buying what you need you will actually save a bunch of money not wasting it on foods that you don’t want to actually eat anyway. Most of that is stuff you wouldn’t eat if it wasn’t already in the house anyway.
You may not have much to do, or stress eat. There is numerous ways you could eat foods that are in opposition to your goals! Don’t bring them in the house! Out of sight, out of mind!
MAKE BIG CHANGES TO LOSE WEIGHT
This is counter to most of the advice you get. It seems people recommend that you make small changes. If you want to make small changes in your body that makes sense. I didn’t. I wanted big changes, and that requires big changes in your habits.
When you set out to do a thing, do the thing. Don’t half do it, telling yourself, “Maybe I’ll do the rest later…” Make the changes that you know will get you the results you desire.
When setting out to make new habits, plan and then action them into existence. Do the full plan from day one. Don’t make a tweak here and there. If you want to take 10 years to get something accomplished that might be the way to do it. But keeping the habits you are trying to form is much easier when you actually start seeing results. And you wont if you only make small changes.
You know the old adage, Go Big, Or Go Home. Don’t go home. Go Big!
HOW MANY CALORIE DO YOU NEED?
Go HERE, and enter the data. It will give you a number based on size, age, and activities. Take that number at eat 500 calories less everyday. A pound is equal to about 3500 calories. Meaning if you do absolutely nothing differently (hopefully you will though), eating 500 calories under the number shown will drop a pound a week off the scales.
That is the starting point for your plan. That number. You absolutely must track you calories. If you don’t already have one grab a FitBit (I have the Flex 2, it’s small and water proof). The FitBit app will help you track all of the important things that you will need to track in order to meet your goals, including calories. Check out our review for more info and options for buying one.
When you are losing weight and on a calorie deficit, you need the water to keep the fluids moving throughout your body. I’m not going into the science, but it should make sense. Our bodies are close to 3/4 water and it needs it to function properly and help flush the fat and junk you burning off out of your system.
Short version, drink around 2 gallons a day. Especially if you get to working out a lot. Which hopefully you will. FitBit can help with tracking that too.
OK, so people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kinda is. You make it for your kids everyday, right? They only know what their body tells them, so it comes easy for them to ask for it!
When your body wakes up it is in a catabolic state. It has been eating itself over night while rebuilding and not getting any fuel. Most of the time people would think extending that is a good idea. In this case it is not
Breakfast can fire your metabolism and get your body working properly WITH fuel. You want to to be losing weight, but you want to lose the right weight. When in a catabolic state, your body will feed from whatever it can, and muscle is the most bio available, and profitable, source behind active glucose in your blood (which has been depleted overnight).
When you wake up and do any activity you have no active blood sugars, and your body wants to store fats because you have trained it to do so by going for long periods without eating. Even if you only drink a protein shake because you are late for work, get it in!
If you skip a meal make it lunch, or just eat a snack that follows your macro nutrient needs profile.
So eat breakfast, and I’ll tell you how in just a second when we talk about macro nutrient partitioning.
MACRO’S FOR LOSING WEIGHT
Macro nutrients. I’m going to take you in a different path than what you normally hear, here, as well.
Fats are good.
Yea I said that. Unless your doctor tells you not to eat fats, they need to constitute the bulk of you caloric intake.
But not junk fats, I am talking nuts and nut butters, seeds, meats, omegas, oils (like coconut, olive, and canola), and my jam- eggs. Eggs are one of the best foods you can eat, imo. Full amino profile, no carbs, and after spicing them up, taste good.
Anyway, I mentioned breakfast a moment ago. A typical breakfast for me right now, since I am cutting for summer, would be 3 sausage links, 6-8 eggs, 2 tbps peanut butter, and one of those high fiber wraps.
If you fall short based on some of the goals set, fill the gap with protein. Shakes are not as good as real food, but they will do in this case. I use ON’s Gold Standard Whey and the same brand Casein. You can just use whey for now until you take your training to the next level. Plus having protein everywhere is kind of a pain in the neck… but its worth it. I also drink a shake before and after workouts to refuel.
Alright, since we are getting the right about of protein, and lots of fats from good sources, what has to go…. Carbs.
You still need some carbs, don’t get me wrong, but they are your enemy. I recommend keeping carbs at around .5 grams per pound of body weight. Not 5, half of one gram. For me that’s around 100 grams per day. The exception here is Fiber. Your body and your muscles need fiber. You need to get 1 gram of fiber from every 7 pounds of body weight. Again for me, that is around 30-35. But those high fiber wraps that I eat at breakfast and dinner contain 13 grams each, so it isn’t a hard goal when you buy the right materials to begin with. That’s where prepping your shopping list, and only buying what’s on that list comes back into play.
Also, carb timing is important. Do not eat carbs before your cardio and workouts. A lot of people like to “carb up”, but it is counter intuitive to losing weight. Do not do any workout fasted, but don’t do it on carbs. You do suffer in energy in some ways, but you must power through that. Luckily there is pre-workout!!!! I use ON’s Gold Standard brand just like the proteins., but most of them are pretty similar from the top brands. This one has creatine in it too. Avoid brands that load up with fillers. You don’t need a lot of b vitamins here, you need go go juice!
Anyway, when you “carb up” before a workout, you body gets a spike in blood sugar and since that is the easiest source to burn, it will deplete it before it starts in on your fat. If you are trying to gain weight, this is great, but for those of use who are losing weight, it isn’t.
And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t go near bread. There is nothing on the planet outside of a bag of sugar that will make you softer than bread.
Here are some great cook books for low carb diets, which will help you meet your .5gm / lb goal each day! Also, if you pay attention to our coupon codes page, our book store affiliate, Books-A-Million has frequent discount codes for our readers!
DROP THE IDEA OF A “CHEAT” DAY
Cheat days are something you need when you are not eating correctly. If you get some carbs, but not too many, you don’t need cheat days. That is what we are doing here. We are feeding the body what it wants, but just short of what it is asking for so that it burns the extra that we are carrying.
Cheat days are cop outs. They are a poor excuse to break your new habits. The only time you need cheats is if you are prepping for a competition of some sort, to reignite your metabolism and lipids after having no carbs at all. If you follow the guild lines we have laid out here, you wont need them and they will just set you behind and it will take you three days to make up for that cheat day. In short, don’t cheat. Nobody likes a cheater!!!
USE THE SCALE
Don’t use the scale, use the mirror. You hear that all the time right? And yea it is true. But we are setting goals and we need to track those goals, so yes get on the scale! Use a calendar and track your progress. You are serious about this and if you have a goal you must track it, otherwise what is the point in having one? If you want to lose 5 inches on your waist, would you never measure your waist?
There will come a time where you drop the scale, but that isn’t at the beginning. Track your progress and keep a log.
GET SOME SLEEP
Sleep is a very important part of the equation that is often over looked. All the work you do during the day, be it in your diet or in the gym, is breaking your body down. You burn the food, you break the muscles.
The rebuilding is done during sleep. The more you get, the more you can rebuild. Now I am not advocating for 12 hours of sleep, but as parents I know that gave you a little tingle! But you do need to get 7-8. Ideally, of course. I understand if you have a newborn that just isn’t going to happen, but do the best you can. The FitBit we mentioned will track your sleep and actually tell you how well you are sleeping. I plan in the near future to write a post on how we, as parents, can get more zzz’s, but for now just do what you can to make sure that happens.
Turn off the TV, avoid hot showers right before bed, read a book, turn off the electronics (wait finish this post first!). If your partners snoring is the issue, have them try a mouthpiece from Sleep Tight. Could give you some much needed relief!
There are plenty of great things you already know that you can incorporate into your evening to help turn yourself off at night. Build the habit!
STOP EATING STRAIGHT FROM THE BAG
This goes without saying. Since hopefully part of your plan is to buy your groceries at one time from a pre made shopping list of only what you need, this shouldn’t be an issue. But I know these things are everywhere.
If it comes in a bag and is not a nut or seed only, do not eat it. Just no. Never.
EMBRACE THE POWER OF EXERCISE
Look I know this one is going to be hard, and probably get me some eye rolls. I am a parent too. My kids come first. They need their lessons, and activities, and all kinds of stuff. ALL. DAY. LONG. I get it. But if you want to keep up with them, and heck, that schedule too, you have to get your body and mind right first. Many days I am at the gym when it opens at 5:30am because that is the only time I can fit it in. Sometimes I go after work. You just have to do what you can, without fail, and without excuse.
You have to make time for you. Even if it is just three times a week, make it to a gym. Find room in the budget to get a decent membership and a club that has daycare if you need it. My club is awesome. It’s expensive as all get out, but they have an amazing day care, and pools, pretty much all the things. That makes it much easier when trying to fit it in your schedule. Sometimes you have to pay extra for that convenience.
Now that you saved 100 dollars, or more, a month buy not buying extra junk at the grocers, you can afford a gym. A legit one. There is going to be super fit people in there. Don’t let that discourage you. I can promise they are in there working there butt off. They didn’t wake up looking like that, and when people try to talk to them they are thinking, “I hope they hurry up, I’m losing my pump!” Nobody in the gym, outside of teenagers who are more or less just talking and hanging out at social club, are paying any attention to those around them.
Either way, you have to go to meet your needs. On the few days where you cant fit it in you can do some work at home with a program like P90X or T25, but please do not make those the body of your workout. They are cardio programs.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET TO THE GYM
To start wrapping up our chat here about getting our weight loss on, here are a few tips on how to workout.
I wont draw you a whole workout plan because we haven’t actually trained together, but I can start to paint a picture for you.
The very worst thing you can do is base your workouts around stead state cardio. If you have gone to a gym, or frequented one, now or in the past, you know the people that come in there and get on a treadmill and walk or run it out the whole time. They never make any progress. All you are doing is telling your body, “Hey, I’m gonna do this same thing everyday adapt to it.” And your body will do just that, adapt. There is not better adaptation mechanism than the human body.
What you do want to do is actually workout. You want to lift weights. Start with light weight and proper form and postures. Move up in weight as you can based on your abilities and improvements to keep your body challenged. Challenging your body doesn’t always mean doing something different, as long as you are making what you are doing harder.
When you do Cardio, you want to get the most out of the fat loss and cardiovascular benefits. You do that by going hard and then taking short rests. I do not care what exercises or machines you do this on. Just go hard, 100%. Take short rests. Do it again, for rounds. Doing this for just 8-10 minutes will burn more fat than running on a treadmill for half an hour, and it will fire your metabolism harder for longer periods after you have stopped working out. Plus it takes less time, which is important for every parent! We have a full plate and I’m sure I’m late for something!
I’m not a motivational speaker. I’m not funny. I make lots of typos. I use the wrong To’s apparently too :p (My friend, and librarian, makes fun of me). What you don’t have a librarian yet? But I can tell you how to lose a few pounds, if you follow these steps.
If you have any health issues ask a doctor’s advice, but if you are otherwise healthy and just let yourself go, take this very moment to make a plan to get it back. You will be a better parent because you will have more energy and feel better about yourself. Nothing can teach our children better than them seeing us do something, and this is a biggie!
They will see that boost of energy, increase in confidence, overall well being, the habits you formed, the money you saved in groceries, and they will want those things too. If they are old enough obviously.
Either way, being a parent is a tough job, and you need a body that is ready to tackle that job and whatever might come up along the way!
Need some sweet gym shirts? Look no further than our own collection. We have several collections listed in the menu at the top of the page, but this one is just for fitness. I designed most of these myself so hold your shoulders back while wearing them! My favorite is the “Perform Better” shirt, and my wife loves the “I’m prettiest when I Sweat Shirt”.