Gosh I sound like some late night advert or web ad.
But yes, it’s true.. I did lose 6 kilograms in 2 months. Not that fantastic I guess, but good enough for me – someone who has never been on a diet or exercised before.
So how did I do it?
No, no special diet – I just counted calories.
In practice, it meant eating more fruit, drinking more water, not eating until I’m stuffed. I drank water before meals so I would eat less and if I had to munch on something, it would be something healthy and fibrous.
So I had to say good-bye to cans of Coke, hot chips and potato chips (except for a weekend treat!)
It all started with Wii Fit. Yes, it started weighing me and making me down endless hula hoops, boxing a robot and jack knifes. But after a while, I found that I wasn’t burning enough calories from Wii Fit. Maybe I need to get some weights for it.
If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that I then took up cycling, which is great, low impact and socially fun too! It’s amazing what 1-2 hours of exercise can do.
I ended up trying to cycle to work at least once a week too, and I also have been parking further away from my office which forces me to walk 20 minutes a day.
Tracking Calories and Exercise
I think this part is key and kept me going. You may think it’s fine to just eat a bit less, do a bit of exercise, but it’s not until you track how many calories you actually eat and how many calories you actually burn that you start to make progress.
The awareness of how many calories are in certain foods brings a whole new dimension to eating – it becomes “Whoa! I have to exercise XXX minutes to work off this meal.”
To tell you the truth, I didn’t track it to an extreme accuracy. I think a ball park figure is good enough to get a hang of how you’re going.
When I decided to track calories, I looked at a few ways of doing it. What I ended up using was LIVESTRONG.COM – a health and wellbeing site promoted by Lance Armstrong. It’s awesome – there’s stacks of foods already in their database, and also estimates for calories burnt from exercise.
I love how easy it is to enter information in. It remembers what you’ve eaten previously which makes it easier to choose the same food again.
And being the 21st century, there’s an iPhone application for it too, which allowed me to enter what I ate straight after a meal! My only gripe with the iPhone app is that the weight tracking is in lbs instead of kgs. Why isn’t there an option to change this?
One of the good things about the whole LiveStrong.com experience is the history and trends. You can see how you’ve gone for the week and make adjustments.. or even splurge out at the end of the week if you’ve done well keeping to the calorie budget.
The calorie tracking page has little graphs like this:
Or you can run some reports to give more detailed info like this:
I definitely recommend trying it out if you’re keen to keep fit.
Now that I’ve closer to my ideal BMI weight, I’ve actually stopped tracking food and exercise on there. I still weigh myself each day and I seem to have stabilised my weight which is good.
Now time to bulk up some muscle 🙂