115 lbs Gone With Clever Portion Control
Erbe38’s weight related health problems are now a thing of the past as he works to maintain his 115lb weight loss. Being more nutrition conscious, watching food portions, exercising, and keeping himself motivated are all new habits that have produced positive results for him.
He contacted us through our Share Your Story feature, and provided the following answers to our questionnaire.
1. What made you decide to lose weight this time?
My overall health was deteriorating, I had trouble sleeping, I was starting to feel pain in my back and was developing skin problems. I went to the doctor and had tests, which found out that I was pre-diabetic with high cholesterol. I made a visit to an endocrinologist who put me on medication and an exercise and diet program.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I went on a high protein diet in 2001 and lost 66 lbs in 9 months. I kept it off until I had a recurrence of a bone infection and also stress at work. I not only put on all the weight that I had lost, but also exploded to 297 lbs. I knew I was in trouble when I needed an extension belt when I traveled on airplanes.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
The most important thing was realizing that my health problems were only in part due to being overweight. I needed to radically change my lifestyle. I decided that regaining control of my health was my number one priority. My doctor was very supportive. He told me to avoid fad diets or an imbalanced diet, and recommended a classic Mediterranean diet with calories taken down to 1500 per day, coupled with exercise 4 times a week. Because of my back pain, I also started going to a physiotherapy gym, where special exercise program was given to me and I was monitored by a physical therapist. I got a bicycle and began using it for close by errands. I love to cook and I got creative modifying recipes to reduce fat.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Calorie Count helped me count my calories and keep track of my diet, exercise program, and weight loss progress. The public forums also provided great tips and information.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
I used to be embarrassed when I would go out with friends. Now I let my friends know I have a medical problem and they are supportive. Even when you order healthy items, restaurants serve big portions. Now I usually ask for an additional empty plate, and when my food arrives I send back a part of my meal to be wrapped up before I begin eating. In addition to going to the gym, I also keep adding new exercise activities such as swimming and walking, which helps me not to get bored with my exercise routine.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
My first results came in after 8 weeks. I had lost 10% of my weight and started to feel better. I set monthly goals thereafter.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
When I had a check up with my doctor in February (11 months into the diet). He was pleasantly surprised and told me I was ahead of the program by a few months. He changed my diet by upping my calories a bit, and he explained that maintenance was more difficult than losing. I needed to continue the program and find a new balance between maintaining my calories and exercise by doing more resistance and weight training to tone up.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I weigh in every day. If I know that I will be having a special evening out with some extra calories, I engage in additional exercise before and after. I can occasionally have a big dinner and drinks, but I will be eating "lighter" the next day or two.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I can shop in normal stores and enjoy dressing. My sex life has improved. I sleep better and don't have any back pain anymore. I enjoy what I am eating, and I find it easier to make new friends.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Weight goal should be reasonable and set in steps.
- Exercise should be fun and integrated into your life.
- Learn new recipes and new dishes that are good for you.
- Continue to monitor your weight and set a limit that you never want to exceed.
- Use zip lock bags to divide food into adequate portions before freezing.
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