Sunday, 22 July 2012

A Weight Loss Success Story

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)At 5'9" two-hundred and twenty-five pounds Tom (not his real name) thought of himself as slightly overweight but more stocky than fat. Sure he had a little beer belly, but at 58 years old, who doesn't. It wasn't like he wasn't active. He worked in the construction field and was either supervising or working on various remodels on a daily basis. As he went to see his doctor for a physical he expected a clean bill of health.
But he didn't get one. The doctor explained that he had several medical issues that he needed to address. He had high blood pressure, he had high cholesterol and his fasting glucose was dangerously elevated. He risked cardiovascular disease, a heart attack and type 2 diabetes. He would have to take high blood pressure medication, cholesterol lowering medications and he might have to take medications or even shots for diabetes. If the diabetes got worse he risked losing his vision and amputations from peripheral vascular disease. Tom asked the doctor if there was a way to avoid the medications and was told yes, lose weight.
A Weight Loss Plan
What happens next may seem obvious but it rarely happens when people are faced with potentially devastating news. He decided to do something about and he did do something about it. He didn't go on a famous diet or stick a feeding tube down his throat. He didn't take hormone shots or get an operation. He did four things. He paid attention to what he was eating and replaced higher calorie foods, such as a double cheeseburger with fries, with lower calorie alternatives such as grilled chicken without the bun and a side salad; he limited his drink calories; he reduced the size of his food portions; and on days he wasn't doing physical labor he exercised for at least thirty minutes.
Within six months he had lost 30 pounds and was within five pounds of his goal. He found that he had more energy and his joint pain had vanished. He revisited his doctor and was given a clean bill of health. He did not have to go on any medications and his fasting glucose was below pre-diabetic levels. One year later he is off of the medications and his blood tests are in the normal range.
Why did Tom succeed at Losing Weight and keeping it off?
Lots of people take the first step when receiving news of potential harm that they can avoid. They decide to do something about it. They read about it and they prepare to do something about it. They may even order the foods or log in to a weight loss site. Unfortunately, only a few people are able to successfully take the next step and follow through with their plans. Tom is one of those exceptions. But the question is why was Tom able to successfully lose weight and just as importantly keep it off when so few can?
I believe he was able to lose the weight because he kept things simple. He understood that to take off pounds he had to eat fewer calories than he burned and his four items all either lowered his calorie intake or increased his calorie burn. He reduced his calorie count by eating lower calorie foods, reducing the portions of the foods he ate, limiting his calories from drinks and exercising a little more. He did not try to become a vegetarian when he had been a meat and potatoes person for the past 58 years nor did he enter a marathon when he wasn't a runner. He stuck to items that were within his comfort zone.
And he was able to keep it off for the same reason. When he was near his weight loss goal he didn't have to make a drastic change in his eating habits. He could follow the four same steps that got him there to keep him there. If he had days that where his calorie input exceeded his calorie output, he didn't worry about it. He just made sure it didn't become a habit. In a nutshell, he became a lesser eating version of his former self.
Should you copy Tom's Weight Loss Plan?
I don't know. His success doesn't guarantee yours. But you have a better chance of losing pounds and keeping them off if your plan is easy to follow and is your weight maintenance plan is similar to your weight loss plan.
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