Thursday, May 28, 2015

Losing 35 Pounds - What I've Learned (Part 1)

Let me start by saying this.  Weight loss is very simple in concept.  We try to make it complicated, we have products galore marketed to us whether they work or not and everyone tries to cut corners.  But the formula will never change. More calories out than in equal weight loss.  More calories in than out equals weight gain. And equal calories in to equal calories out results in staying level. So the key regardless of what products or diets or exercise programs you want to try is TRACKING the caloric intake and burn (at least for a while). There will come a time after lots of practice where the tracking can taper off because you will get used to how much you can eat compared to how much you are working out.

But let me stop that line of thinking because one of the future posts will be about Accountability and the caloric tracking really belongs there.  For this first installment I simply want to prepare any of you that are looking to lose some weight for what I call the Daily Fluctuation.  Amazingly our bodies can fluctuate by several pounds during the day depending on what you have consumed.  I normally weigh the least first thing in the morning. It makes sense because we burn calories in our sleep and if you are like me, you empty your bladder at least once in the middle of the night.  Also you have not yet eaten breakfast.  Most days my fluctuation was only about two pounds from my lightest to heaviest in any given day.  But there were several times I saw a swing of three to four pounds.

The key is to not let this get you down and to understand most of the gain is due to your body still digesting and dealing with your intake.  Always use the lower number as an indicator of where your really are and let that encourage you.  As long as your lower number continues to go down on a weekly/monthly basis you are doing it right.  A close cousin of the Daily Fluctuation is the Plateau.  Expect several of these as your body adjusts to your new habits.  Since I had 35 pounds to lose I had five or six times in the five month period where I just could not drop another pound.  The week before I might have shed 5 pounds but the next week 0.  Again, don't let this bother you.  As long as you stick with it and continue to see losses when averaging the total progress, the Plateau is not only normal but temporary.

Stay tuned for part 2...and 3...and 4...

Also, please share your thoughts, tips, and success stories in the comments!