Reader Tyler started 344pounds.com to document his weight loss journey. We’ve checked in with him before when he lost 32 and then 54.6 pounds. Now that he’s hit the hundred-pound-loss mark, Tyler wrote this feature for us to share his methods.
On January 15th, I weighed 344.2 pounds. As of July 8th, I weigh 243.8 pounds. I’ve lost 100.4 pounds in the last 6 months by eating moderately (portion control) and exercising. I’ve gone from a 4XLT shirt and size 48 pants to wearing XL and size 38 pants. I no longer have high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or back problems. Here’s how I did it.
You need to use more calories than you bring in to lose weight – this creates a calorie deficit. Once you have created a deficit of 3,500 calories, you’ll lose 1 pound. Most “experts” advise that you should only lose a pound or so a week, which would require you to have a daily calorie deficit of 500 pounds.
I obviously didn’t heed this advice; I thought it was more dangerous to weigh 344 pounds than to lose an extra few pounds a month, but however much weight and how quickly you’d like to lose it is up to you.
To calculate a calorie deficit, you can find out how many calories you’re consuming by reading the nutritional labels found on all food packaging. Most restaurants also post nutritional information, but please know that these figures are believed to be drastically underestimated.
It’s a little bit harder to estimate the calories you’re using in your various daily activities. To get an idea on how many calories you’re burning, take a look at one of the many “calorie calculators” available on the web. It is said that the numbers presented by these calorie calculators are skewed a little, but you should still be able to use them as a rough guide as you start your weight loss program.
I go to the gym at least 5 days a week. Not only do I go to the gym, but I also incorporate a lot of other physical activity into my life like basketball. It’s hard some days forcing myself to go to the gym, but it’s absolutely mandatory if you’re otherwise sedentary all day at an office job.
With that being said, the gym isn’t the only or even ideal option for physical activity. If you can burn calories on a daily basis by doing something that’s fun and social, like basketball, swimming, walking with the family, etc., you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
Any physical activity is good; just make sure you do it every single day. You can take days off of the gym, just don’t take days off from being active. Do something to elevate your heart rate daily.
Food & Diet
The thing I hated about past diets is that they’re all or nothing thing. Diets give you one cheat meal a week and the rest of the time it’s “no sugar” or “no carbs” or some other nonsense. I don’t want to pass up going out for pizza with the family on Friday nights for the rest of my life because of a diet. Diets are designed to restrict your life, which is why I didn’t lose 100 pounds on a diet. In fact, it was lost by eating cheeseburgers, fries, and bacon on a weekly basis – albeit in moderation. I do certainly try to eat more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, but I know that it’s fine to eat what I want when I feel like it as long as I limit the portions and make sure I’m not gluttonous. If I do really want to loosen the belt so to speak one day, I’ll make sure I play a little longer on the basketball court or stay at the gym that night a few extra minutes to burn more calories than usual.
This plan worked for me and hopefully it’ll work to some extent for you!
– Tyler, 344pounds.com