Stepping lighter by eating less
Category: Blog

Weight scales

As mentioned in the comment on the Flickr photo above, I apologize for subjecting everyone to a photo of my feet. I am just really proud of the fact I have lost 30 lbs in the past 12 months. Many have asked how I did it, so here’s to sharing! The first few months of the new year I was doing the method everyone recommends, exercising. I was putting in a good solid hour on the elliptical machine three to five times a week burning over a thousand calories each time. Weight came off really quickly at first, but then I plateaued and nothing I did seemed to get me to keep losing weight. As most people unfortunately do, I got discouraged, found excuses to keep me busy and subsequently there went the weight back on.

In reality, though, I wasn’t losing that much weight either for the effort I was putting in. Sure, I could have gone to a fitness coach or someone similar and probably found out what I was doing wrong, but instead I decided to try a different approach. Thinking about the many joke photos I have seen comparing Americans to Europeans and how starved I felt all the time after eating when I was in Europe last, I decided my problem was that I was eating to big of portions. This issue became embarrassingly apparent when I thought about it more, based on the fact I found myself deciding on meals at restaurants as much based on the portion size as what the item was. I had grown over the years to dislike formal dinners because I was always so hungry afterwards for that reason.

After discussing this with a close friend and coworker (Ben Halsted), he suggested I try eating what he eats for two weeks. Fortunately for me (unfortunately at the time), his diet consisted of the following:

1/2 cup of oatmeal
slice of toast
piece of fruit (usually banana as they typically are the best in URLs of the fruit)

1/2 cup of soup or chili
piece of cornbread (URLs has really good cornbread usually)
piece of fruit

Something light, typically a salad

The above has become notorious among coworkers as the “Ben Diet”, made famous by my preaching how successful I have been on it. You can of course have similar results as I did eating different foods, in fact I even break down and have craptastic food like McDonalds occasionally (only thing open on my way home from work when I work late till 3am occasionally). The point is keeping the portion size as small as possible, like a double hamburger (kids sized hamburger with two patties, aka really small) and a small fry in the McDonalds example above. Obviously eating healthier food is better though, so find what works for you.

Now on to the results! The first two weeks was torturous, for me and those around me. I was one hell of a cranky person, but the pounds were falling off quickly. I think I lost something like 5 lbs in the first week alone. Of course the pace slowed down after that first week, but still to this day I keep losing more weight even though I have added a bit more back to my diet (the initial shock was needed to train my stomach again). I’m losing about a pound ever 10 days or so at current rate and have lost about 25 lbs since I started on the diet (little over 4 months ago). A couple times I have found myself eating a bit much (still much under what I was before though) and all I had to do was go back on that initial food regimen for a week and I found myself back to smaller appetites.

So will this work for you? I have no clue. I’m an engineer who pretends to be a photographer for fun, not a nutritionist. I just know it works for me and I will be throwing one hell of a party once I break back under the 200 mark. I know it’s possible if I stay persistent!


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