As I continue on my journey toward long term sustainable health, many people have asked what I have been doing to lose weight. My method is actually pretty simple.
Here is the basic 3 point method I’ve been using:
- Eat Better
- Move More
- Keep Track
For me, eating better started with basic calorie counting with a little bit of attention paid to cutting back on carbs. This idea of eating better also brings with it the need to drink an adequate amount of water. A good rule of thumb is to take your current body weight and divide by two. The number you get by dividing by two is the amount of ounces that you should try to drink per day. Moving forward I’m trying to pay more deliberate attention to the specific nutrient levels. Specifically speaking, I’m trying to increase my protein and dietary fiber intake while keeping carbs and saturated fats in check. Those are the basics for me at the moment.
As mentioned in my previous post, How I Lost 50 Pounds In The Last 7 Months, my initial plan was to walk out my front door for fifteen minutes and then walk back. I lost 35 pounds using this simple method. I continue to increase my running intervals keeping on track toward running a 5K in early 2015.
In an effort to start strength training I recently joined a bootcamp program at a local gym called The Bear Pit. Some friends from Vineyard Anaheim have been going for quite awhile and love the program. They mentioned that The Bear Pit was offering a Groupon for 8 weeks for $40. $5 per week… sign me up! The Bear Pit has definitely been a stretch for me but it has been exactly what I needed to the next step in my journey.
A typical hour-long workout looks something like this (although they mix it up every day):
- 5 minutes – warm up
- 15 minutes – punching bag warm up
- 10-15 minutes – ab workout
- 20-30 minutes – main workout – this changes every day
- 5 minute – cool down stretching
A quick Groupon search in my area shows numerous gym/bootcamp/crossfit/etc. offers. If you are interested in taking the next step I’d suggest checking out one of these various options. If you live in North Orange County, check out the The Bear Pit. I’ve had a great experience there.
“What’s measured improves” – Peter Drucker
This is has been the most significant part of my process. The process of keeping track helps me make better decisions all throughout my day.
Here’s a list of what I’m tracking at the moment:
- total calories per day
- steps taken per day
- exercise calories burned
- current weight
- ounces of water consumed
- blood pressure and heart rate – twice per day
- daily nutrition – mainly protein, fat, carbs, fiber
This list may seem like a lot to manage but it’s actually quite simple. I’ve been using various iOS apps to track more and more health details as I have gone further along my journey.
I started by using these two apps:
MyPlate – free
There are more than one version of this app in the App Store. I’m not sure why. I use the one with the orange logo. I automatically tracks at a more detailed level.
Argus – free
I use Argus as both my pedometer and to map my walk/run each day. Its quirky interface sets it apart from other apps and it’s easy to use.
Two new apps
MyFitnessPal – free
I recently have been trying out the MyFitnessPal app as it tracks nutritional information in more detail than MyPlate. MyPlate is easier to use, but I think I’m moving on to MyFitnessPal due the better nutrition data tracking.
I recently started using the new Apple Health app. It tracks data from my iPhone 5s such as daily step count as well as interfacing with third party apps such as the ones I mentioned above. Some data needs to be manually entered (blood pressure for example). This app will be far more interesting to me as time goes on. That said I’m currently using it quite a bit.
Next steps for me
Here are some new goals I’ve set recently.
- Get off high blood pressure medication - With my current weight loss and exercise routine I’ve already been able to cut my dosage in half.
- Run a 5K the LA New Year’s Race Resolution 5K on January 3rd, 2015.
It’s been really amazing to interact with so many of you as you move towards a healthier lifestyle! Let’s keep the conversation going!!
Question – Let me know about your current health journey. What’s been working for you?