I am not an expert but I can share the kind of changes Janet and I made to our eating habits which translated to a sustainable weight loss for me.
When I climbed on a bicycle on June 2nd, 2017 I had no idea that I was at the beginning of a positive life change. In fact, I thought I had lost my mind agreeing to ride every day while Brad and his daughter Alexis were racing across America. On the first day, after riding to the end of my street and home for a total of 2 km (1.6 miles), the muscles in my legs burned, my butt was in pain, I was sucking wind, and my heart rate was near max for a guy my age. But I had agreed and I’m not a quitter. With each additional day, I was able to go further and it wasn’t as painful. If fact, after a week I started to enjoy being out on the bike.
The exercise started a sudden drop in weight and it was clear my clothing was looser fitting. I liked where this was going so I started to do a little online research to see what else I could do to keep this trend going. I think the most important thing I learned is that the increased exercise is import but improved eating habits is more important. The consensus from most articles I read is that exercise is 20% of the solution and dietary changes are 80%. That was a powerful message to hear.
There are three components to improved diet:
- Reduce the size of meals – this was easy to do.
- Be disciplined in how frequently we eat – this was more difficult to do.
- Change the nature of what we eat – this was hands-down the most complicated to accomplish and with all the advice online and conflicting opinions, it gets challenging to decide what to follow.
Reduce the Size of Meals
In my experience, the easiest mistake anyone can make is to adopt an approach of “go big or go home.” Do not make drastic changes. What we did was simply reduce the amount on the plate. But we didn’t go from a full plate to half; instead, we went from a full plate to about 90% and we did that for a few days. We were not hungry at the end of meals. When we found ourselves satisfied at that portion size, we reduced a second time. This approach worked really well for us. I think our portion size today is about 60% of what it used to be and we’re happy with that and feel satisfied at the end of meals.
Frequency of Meals
Janet is much better than I am in terms of how often she eats daily. She sticks to breakfast, lunch and supper and rarely snacks in the evening.
… More to come