25 Health & Weight Loss Tips From A Former Fat Guy. I Need Them More Than Ever

October 25, 2011 — 8 Comments

After my last post, I was all pumped up to write the next, revealing tips and advice on how I lost a bunch of weight when I was younger, and how I have managed to maintain my good health since then.

I started the draft of the post, doing my outline and taking notes, thinking of what a great piece of writing it would be, and how it could help. On the Friday before Columbus Day, I received a mail packet from my physician with the results of a recent blood test.

Briefly, some of my test results were less than optimal. My blood glucose levels were on the high side, but that wasn’t the number that set off the alarms. I had a triglyceride reading of 472. Above 500 is something my doctor refers to as “dangerously high”.

To say I was bummed by this would be an understatement. I was shocked, frankly. I thought I was living the right kind of life, that would keep me healthy. But, I wasn’t really living it at all. I definitely got more than a little mad at myself for this. And my ambition to write the next post was a little deflated.

For those that are unfamiliar with triglycerides, just think “fatty acids in your blood”. An overabundance of them puts you at risk for heart disease. Factors like a diet excessive in carbohydrates and alcohol use can raise your triglyceride level.

Apparently, the “party all weekend” mentality has caught up with me.  :)

To lower these numbers, my doctor wanted to put me on a low dose prescription medication. I think I’m going to hold off on that for now, and try lifestyle change instead. Modifying my diet, as well as stepping it up with daily exercise.

After some consideration, I’ve decided to go through with the original post idea (it was meant to be part two of this previous post), although part of me feels that I’m obviously not the expert on living a healthy life. But, I have lost a ton of weight before, and I can keep this info in front of my face and make myself healthier by sharing with others. A win-win.

I don’t have a problem going this route now, as starting to change my eating and activity  habits seems to be working for me. Last week, I weighed in a 206.5 lbs. This week I’m at 203.

Here’s my two cents on what helped me lose weight in the past, and what will hopefully get me back to better health now:

  • Eat healthy foods that you actually enjoy eating.
  • For me, this includes fruits like apples and bananas, eggs, chicken breast, turkey, and green veggies cooked with garlic and olive oil.
  • Go for natural foods every time, not stuff in a box.
  • Just because the box has words like “lean” and “healthy” on it doesn’t make it so
  • In other words, be wary of food marketing. Educate yourself.
  • Eat only pastas that end in the letter “i”  :)
  • Exercise. Your first move: push the plate away.
  • Moderation, in all things, is the key.
  • Avoid drive-through windows like the poison center they are.
  • If you must do the drive-through, get the salad.
  • Salads don’t mean “boring eating”. You can add to them with lean proteins, nuts,  and berries to make them filling and tasty. Just no fatty dressings.
  • Track your meals for a week. You might be surprised what you put in your body.
  • Pick a “cheat day”. Mine is Sunday.
  • On that day, have yourself some pizza and ice cream.
  • Just don’t eat a whole pizza and a gallon of ice cream.
  • Use the stairs. Leave the elevators for the elderly and the handicapped.
  • Exercise. Try walking. You have all the equipment you need.
  • Eat sweet potatoes instead of white.
  • By the way, have I mentioned fruits and veggies?
  • I’ve cut just about all sugar out of my diet. You can reduce it too.
  • I’ve eliminated white flour. This is poison too. Whole grains only.
  • Ask yourself: Would a caveman have eaten this?
  • Cavemen ate meat they killed and plants that grew on trees or in the ground. They didn’t have Pringles and Doritos back then.
  • Consume alcohol moderately, or not at all. Red wine is a good choice if you must.
  • Exercise. My doctor’s letter practically screamed the word “aerobic” at me. I’m running now. For my life.

Bonus Tip: Exercise some more. Make it fun! Since I’ve gotten those test results, I’ve walked, jogged, sprinted with my dog, played touch football with my son and his friend, did jumping jacks, and calisthenics. I jumped rope last night for the first time in years. Wanna sweat? Try jumping rope for 15 or 20 minutes. I had a blast!

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments, I can use all the help I can get!

8 responses to 25 Health & Weight Loss Tips From A Former Fat Guy. I Need Them More Than Ever

  1. 

    My biggest problem bar none is diet. I exercise daily but my diet sucks and I am guilty of eating in front of the computer.

    I had this idea years ago that paid off but I just don’t have the time anymore. Exercise more and eat what I want. I probably should add that nature changed a little bit too- I can exercise as long as I used to but the results aren’t the same.

    My plan is to start by eliminating eating at the computer and then modify from there.

  2. 

    I also was a fat guy in the past and i follow for almost 2 years a way of healthy eating. This way i was able to get in better shape without starving or get dangerous pills.
    What i want to add in the discussion is that health eatings the first step. Of course you have to retain this way of eating after you loose some weight but the most important is to exercise. Even if never eat “bad foods” in your life without exercise finally you will get fat.
    A point to start is, as Joe suggest, to use the stairs. I’m also a lucky guy since i can walk from and to my work every day (almost 2 km every round).

  3. 

    Water water water. If you do eat carbs, make sure they have fiber. Double veg @ dinner NO CARBS! Oh yeah, lay off the alcohol. Beer and wine have carbs, spirits (unflavored) don’t. Good stuff Joe!

    • 

      Good suggestions there, Coach. I’m doing just about all of this, having my red wine with a meal on Sundays only (I have a connection with this). :)

  4. 

    I went from about 215 last July (I know:)) to about 185 right now. I had a serious weakness for junk food. Mainly chips, peanuts, crackers, you name it. I also liked to eat a lot of bread and pasta, and had a bad habit of eating at night too. I really cut back on the bread and pasta — not sure if you can do this Joe :)

    No more eating at night. I basically cut out the processed crap. I really cut back on the pasta, rice and bread, but I still have pizza (mainly weekends), beer, and red wine (I’m not crazy).
    I think what’s helped more than anything is
    to eat good protein (chicken, salmon, etc.)
    plenty of greens
    really cut back on the starch / grains. That’s the stuff that makes you fat, really.
    and eat more than three meals a day, but make them small.

    I don’t exercise any more than I used to believe it or not. (I try and run at least 15 miles a week) It’s the diet that did it :)

    • 

      Craig, I had some of the same issues, especially with the pasta. Growing up, it was a staple of my diet 3-4 times a week, but I had to cut back on it now. I allow myself one day a week (Sunday) to eat anything I want, but during the week, I mostly stick to lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, with lots of salad. (I could turn into a rabbit)

      The exercise, aerobic in nature, is designed to raise my “good” cholesterol, which needs a boost as well. Thanks for reading!

  5. 

    Joe,

    Thanks for sharing your weight loss tips. As I shared, I have a passion for health and fitness so I particularly appreciate reading other people’s ideas on this subject.

    One thing I’d like to add to the list is:

    Plan ahead. Planing meals in advance helps stay on track. I not only make my lunch every morning before leaving home, but I also include some healthy snacks that I’ll eat throughout the day (which keeps me from inserting coins and pressing D6 for a Snickers in the vending machine). For some, this is boring…but developing the discipline to eat in this fashion helps lower the potential of having to rush and choose a less healthy option.

    Great stuff Joe!

    • 

      JK, my nickname at the office is “Joey Leftovers” because that’s pretty much all I’ll eat. Stuff from home that my wife or I have made, and that we know is good. My wife looks out for me, and packs me healthy lunches.

      I’m kind of boring with the snacks too…mainly apples and bananas. I eat lots of bananas lately. And if I crave something sweet, I look no further than my blender and whip up a chocolate protein shake with banana and maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter. But the PB contains a lot of sugar as well, so I watch my intake of that.

      On another note, my office took out the vending machine that had all the treat-type snacks. That helps!
      How about some health and fitness content on your blog? I’m sure it would be a great read!

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