Losing Weight, down 81 pounds so far


$100 site donor 2023
Feb 19, 2013
Phoenix, AZ
Lengthy post! Not posting this as giving health/nutrition advice. Everyone should eat foods that fit into their own nutrition needs according to their health problems. I'm only sharing what I've done and what has worked for me, in the hopes that maybe it'll help someone else on here to do the same if they are struggling to find something that works, or even to just get started.

Around this past New Year's I reached a new high-score on the scale, 311 pounds. I'm 27, 6'2", and carry my weight pretty well I think, no big belly, it's spread all throughout my body. But I wanted to make a change. I've never done a diet before, years back I started eating better and lost maybe 20 pounds but gained it back, I didn't know what I was doing. I'm now 230 pounds, down 81 pounds since January 1. I still have more to go as I'm aiming at around 200 pounds. Have to get around there to see how I feel and what I look like. I feel alot better. I don't waddle like a duck when walking anymore! I now weigh what I did in high-school and found a pair of jeans in my closet from high-school that are now too big. I tried putting them on a year ago just to see and it was ridiculous, I couldn't get the buttons but 3-4 inches of each other and they were skin tight. Now they're baggy and will fall down without a belt. My blood pressure was consistently around 154/90 and it's now 114/72.

So what's the secret? Calorie deficit. That's literally it. I never put much thought into it before, I always hear of different diets and programs and exercise styles and stuff but what I learned, for me at least, is it's about being in a calorie deficit. This can vary for people with other medical problems like thyroid disease & diabetes. I aim at around 1,600 calories. I was using My Fitness Pal to track my calories but not much anymore, I have a good rough mental estimate as to what I eat now that I can mentally add it up as the day goes. One method I've seen someone talk about on a video I watched was using a calorie calculator to find out what your maintenance calorie number is, and reduce it by 25%-30%. This will continue to go down as you lose weight though, otherwise your weight will eventually plateau.

I don't believe in diets/fads. In my opinion it just isn't sustainable. I feel you're setting yourself up for failure if you're forcing yourself to eat nasty (to you) but "healthy" food, because you need to be in it for the long run. This is a lifestyle change. If you go on the Jenny Craig diet and lose the weight, then what? Eat Jenny Craig food forever until you die? If you go back to your old habits you'll gain all the weight back.

My tips:
  • Intermittent fasting. This is a fancy way of saying "don't eat breakfast". I actually started doing this by accident. By reducing my portions and drinking more water, my appetite got lower. I've eaten breakfast everyday my entire life but one day in around Late February I realized I hadn't eaten breakfast and it was 11am, usually my whole life I would have been starving. I decided to push it to noon and have kept it up since. I learned this was a fancy thing people refer to as intermittent fasting, so you only eat in a 16 hour window (12pm-8pm for me). This has freed up my calories because now I'm not eating 400-500 calories in the morning. This gives me room to eat tastier foods for lunch and dinner!
  • No sugar sodas. I've always been someone to drink 1 sugar soda a day. I stopped January 1 and switched to the "Zero Sugar" sodas. I don't like the aspartame in "Diet" sodas but "Zero Sugar" ones usually have sucralose which tastes more real to me. Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar Cherry, Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar Cream Soda, and A&W Zero Sugar are my favorites. Lately I've been drinking 2 a day, would like to cut back to 1 a day again. This is debatable on whether they're better or worse for you than regular soda, but that's an argument for another time. If these help me to lose 100+ pounds by satisfying my sweet-tooth then so be it. 0 calorie is 0 calorie. I can always give it up afterwards. I do drink more water now too.
  • Portion control. I think this is why we Americans are so fat. Not necessarily just what we eat, but how much of it. This is hard. Sometimes you want to go back for seconds after dinner, but I had to learn to change those desires to my next bullet-point.
  • Having low calorie options for when you want something to indulge in. For me it's a Sugar-Free Jello. 10 calories! Helps fill me up too and is nice and sweet. After I eat one I don't have the craving anymore.
  • Not telling myself "No" to something but "Later" unless I can fit it into my calories. If I want a cookie, then I'll make room for it in my calories. Want 2? I can probably figure it out. If I can't do it then I tell myself Later and I can have it tomorrow. I feel restricting myself to something I like for an occasional temptation would set myself up for failure. Kind of a mind-game.
  • Not eating diet foods. I hate salad. If I had to force myself to eat salad everyday because it's a stereotypical "healthy" food then I'd give up. This can be different for everyone. I'm finding more and more healthier foods to incorporate that I like. And they're not perfect. And that's ok, because the alternative would be eating all the terrible crap I was eating beforehand anyways. It's an improvement.
  • Gold Standard Chocolate (or their Vanilla Ice-Cream) flavored protein powder. I tried some other brands and thought they were gross. A scoop of this mixed with 8 ounces of skim-milk and some ice blended is 200 calories. Tastes almost like a chocolate shake and is superrrrr filling. I was using this as breakfast with some fruit in the morning before I stopped breakfast. Now I have it from time to time with fruit on the side as lunch.
  • Exercise. I started out walking my dog for 20-30 minutes a couple times a week. Now it's too hot so I go to Planet Fitness 1x-2x a week and hop on the treadmill for 30 min. I've slowly built up my speed, incline, and don't need to slow it down for a break anymore. Sometimes I do use the other machines. You don't have to kill yourself in the gym running and wiping yourself out. For me, I feel I just needed to start moving. Any exercise is better than sitting on the couch. But I still do plenty of that.
I'm not an expert and I'm not educated in nutrition. Just sharing what has worked so far for me. Hope this helps someone else!
Good for you. I admire anyone that can do portion control and fasting. I weigh 212, am supposed to weigh around 170 at 5'10". I fell off the exercise train when I developed neuroma in both feet and had a torn labrum in my right shoulder, so any weight loss I may experience has to pretty much be all diet. It's hard with so much food everywhere. My hat's off to you for getting healthier
Way to go, Nick1994! Good for you. Seems to me you have a very balanced attitude and approach. Hope you will keep us informed as you continue toward your goals. Don't let any naysayers interfere.
In life,your health is the number 1 concern, I don't care what anyone else thinks otherwise.

I've been doing cardio and weight training since high school. Make it a lifestyle and it's easy. Choose like Nick and enjoy your life and the food!
I'm 27, 6'2", and carry my weight pretty well I think, I'm now 230 pounds, down 81 pounds since January 1. I still have more to go as I'm aiming at around 200 pounds.
Congrats......At your height I think you will look healthier at 230 then 200. Just look at Al Roker
Great job! Another good way to fight off cravings and overeating is hard physical labour in the heat. I never want to eat anything when it’s hot and my weight is dropping like a stone.
Great job! Another good way to fight off cravings and overeating is hard physical labour in the heat. I never want to eat anything when it’s hot and my weight is dropping like a stone.
Thats good unless you start getting dizzy etc. Sometimes if I'm out mowing in the heat (think 10 acres) I have to stop get a water and a mini snack even if im not hungry or I feel awful.
That's a great accomplishment Nick and by this time it should be a lifestyle not a temporary thing you're doing. All I can add is find a way to walk that dog every day when it's not 130 degrees out in the morning.;) Moderate exercise raises your metabolism for hours afterward, worth the effort every day. Keep it up(y)
Try a Zevia for your soda substitute...all natural and better than any Coke product.
Good tip here☝️@Nick1994. I don't eat after 7PM until lunch the next day. If I crave something after 7PM, I'll have a Zevia or sparkling water. When I get in the zone, I can do OMAD for days. Keep it up!