My Weight Loss Experience

Wow, it has been a long time since I wrote a blog post.  Such is life in the world of Twitter, Foursquare, etc…

I have many weight and diet stories I could share, but will focus on the last 13-14 months since in that time I have lost 30 lbs, gained 20 lbs, and as of last week, lost 11.5 lbs.
This journey started at the end of December 2009 when I finally received my fitbit.  I was weighing in around 245, the largest I have ever been and was going to get serious about loosing weight.  So started immediately on my diet by doing what I know best: Eat better and less, exercise more.  I will call this the “starve and sweat” diet.   I tracked everything I ate and every bit of exercise using the fitbit website/application

fitbit

Over the next 4-5 months, I limited myself to under 1500 calories while burning over 3000 calories.  My exercise routine went from just weights 3-4 mornings a week, to adding about 15 miles of running and 10 miles of biking a week.  During this time I lost 30 lbs. and maintained that weight loss by running and biking more until mid September 2010.  That was when I injured my Achilles tendon and running/biking became impossible.
After a couple of weeks, the Achilles was not getting any better so I finally went to the doctor and said I must get back to running ASAP.  I started rehab near the end of October

 

Another day, another week, same old therapy.  on Twitpic

and by the beginning of December was back to running - except 20 lbs heavier than I was in September.  So back to the “starve and sweat” diet.  and through the beginning of February 2011 I have lost 11 of the 20 lbs.  Then I came across and read the book by Gary Taubes “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” (was an Audible.com pick on the podcast Windows Weekly).  To summarize, he suggests that getting fat has nothing to do with calories in/calories out, but what you eat.  Today’s obesity epidemic is due to the large quantities of easily digestible and cheap carbohydrates.  He uses the science of fat cells as the basis that our fat, just like our height, is determined by genes and hormones.  For the fat cell this is insulin.  Calories, Fat and other supposed causes of excess fat have no interaction with our fat, but insulin production and sugars have direct impact.  Thus refined and easily digestible carbohydrates that turn to sugar causes triglycerides in our fat cells to get to large so that they just store fat.  Mr. Taubes shows how science proves this and that you can eat all you like and still get lean as long as you are not eating these carbohydrates.  This has been known for over 100 years scientifically but in the 1960’s obesity turned to a physiological issue that we are just lazy and eat to much.  There is so much good stuff in this book that will make you think, agree, question, etc… that I could spend 100 blog posts explaining.  My success at recent weight loss according to this book is due to my “starve” part of my diet since I am limiting these bad carbs/sugar.  Of course, no one believes me when I explain this, so I will let you read the book yourself, but will provide my experience of trying this change in food consumption on me.

So what am I doing?  Well I have changed from a calorie limited intake to a carbohydrate & sugar limited intake.  Less concerned with calorie intake or the amount of food.  Will continue the “sweat” portion of my diet. 

Before starting the carb and sugar free diet, I was averaging 1.4 lbs loss per week.

Week 1 results: Removed any potatoes, pasta, rice, high-carb cereals, and most “sugars”. Maintained lower calorie intake.  Lost 4 lbs. (wow!)

Week 2 results: Changed to eating a lot of Chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, salads & nuts.  Increased total overall calorie intake, so no more “starve” in diet. Lost 3/4 of a lb..

I will update here as I go.  Preliminary thoughts are to combine my “starve & sweat” with “no carbs/sugar & sweat” to loose the weight fast, then switch to “no carbs/sugar & sweat” to maintain.  But before doing that, I will see if I can loose the weight with the “no carbs/sugar & sweat” with the higher calorie intake.

For the “sweat” part, you can follow my progress at either fitbit.com for steps and calories burned; at dailymile.com for my running.

Diet Update (Day 105)

No video today.  Still trying out different providers to post video content.  None have risen above the rest yet.  Anyway, thought I should at least write about the status of my diet since it has been awhile.

Today was weigh in day (usually Tuesdays or Wednesdays) and so far, I have lost 25.2 lbs!  At 105 days, it feel like some type of milestone.  I am only 5lbs away from my first target and 15lbs from my stretch goal.

No magic formula for my weight loss, just eating smaller portions that are healthy and increasing excercise (see my DailyMile widget on right).  I have leveled off at about 3000 calories burned each day and 1700 calories eaten. I no longer am tracking what I eat (that was a lot of work!) as I feel I know what I can and can not eat and how much.

Stay tuned.

Diet and Fitbit

It is once again the time to lose some weight.  I do it the normal way, eat less and excercise more.  No voodoo involved.  What is different this time is the week I started, my Fitbit arrived (I ordered it 3-4 mos ago).

 

What can I say, but I LOVE this thing.  It is not perfect and I will discuss that later, but I am happy to have it and it adds a lot to dieting and excercise for a gadget lover like me.

 

When it arrived, my first thought was "it's not black and silver like the website showed!" but is black and an ugly greenish/blue color.  Supposedly this is due to cheaper manufacturing and to be the same color as the led/lcd/oled??? screen.  And of the screen, looking at the device you would have no idea it has one, but it does!  It comes with a base station that doubles as a charger and wireless receiver for the data, as well as a belt clip.

 

So what does it do?  While you wear it, it tracks you steps, calories burned, sleeping habits and other activity.

 

 

Because it is wireless, it feeds that information through its base station to an internet site which provides you with the data and graphs of your activities.  At the website you can also add your weight, what you eat and any additional activities you may do without the Fitbit.  By adding your daily food and water, it tracks your intake vs. your burn and provides goals and analysis of how you are doing.  It also compares your data with others using the Fitbit.

 

 

The difficulties with using Fitbit is the adding of what you eat to the website.  I know this is the only way, but it is frustrating especially with home made meals that do not come with the combined nutritional information.  Many grocery store dinners and restaurants are already in the database and once you create a meal on the website, you can save it as a favorite.

 

The only technical issue seems to be that it stops syncing with the base station about once a week for me.  I have to unplug and re-plug the base station to get the sync to work again.

 

So far I have gotten 3 people at work to order their own Fitbit because I believe in this product.  So I highly recommend.  And once you get yours, add me as a friend so we can see who is more active!

 

Gluten Free

My doctor has put me on a 6-week gluten free diet to see if I have Celiac Disease.  Moving to a gluten free diet is not easy.  But thank you to the internet, it is much easier than it use to be.  The documentation and information given to me by my Doctor was not enough to truly understand what is and what is not available for me to eat.  But I found a few sites and downloads that help quite a bit.

The ClanThompson site provides a database that makes it simple to look up foods by type or brand and tells you if they are gluten free.  This was a lifesaver and worth the $$ to purchase.

I have also gone to many of the websites of restaurants I frequent to see if they have gluten free menus and some do.  I have downloaded all the pdf's of these menus and emailed them to myself to access via my iPhone.

Whole Food Market has a complete downloadable list of all gluten free products (and any other special diet) they sell so you can easily make a shopping list.

As I find more, I will update this post.