We get bombarded with so many articles telling us that we can lose our muffin tops in seven days or burn 500 calories in just ten minutes. It's really not surprising that many people abandon their weight-loss journey when they don't see instant results.
Losing weight requires a lifelong commitment. Even if you take your time losing however many pounds you want to lose, you'll gain it all back and then some if you slip into bad, unhealthy habits: being too sedentary and eating the wrong things.
It takes time to lose weight the healthy way; it also requires you to be patient and realistic. Ask Brian Back. He knew it was time to make a change in late 2011. Instead of being drastic and putting pressure on himself, however, he made small adjustments and eased into a weight-loss routine that has allowed him to drop nearly 150 pounds.
Brian's two-pronged strategy involves eating a healthier diet as well as exercising. While he doesn't deprive himself, he makes smarter food choices. Has it made a difference? Well, he was able to take a break from working out most of the summer without suffering a huge setback. Check out how his success story can help you stay on track with your fitness goals. You can do it.
How much weight have you lost and how long has it taken you?
I've lost a total of 142 pounds since starting out on Christmas 2011.
What have you done to lose the extra weight? How did you get started?
I started small, by getting MyFitnessPal and logging my normal diet. Once I figured out just how badly I was eating, I began making small changes. First was to eliminate liquid calories, second was obtaining a gym membership and walking three times a week for about an hour.
How does your original routine (diet and/or exercise) compare with what you do now?
In the beginning, I was really gung-ho about working out and going to the gym daily. I walked a lot. I still do, really. I haven't been able to work up the nerve to start lifting seriously. Honestly, you've caught me at the tail-end of a backsliding period. I took most of the summer off from working out. My diet has always been centered around calorie-counting, though, so I haven't suffered much.
Are there foods you avoid now
The initial rush of enthusiasm made most changes pretty easily. Some of those changes have been relatively easy to maintain. Others have been more difficult.
Did you make changes to your diet? If so, what were they?
Honestly, no. As long as I can fit it into my calorie count for the day, I can eat whatever I feel like eating.
After especially intense workouts, do you find that you are hungrier than usual? How do you deal with it?
Sometimes. I've gone with the philosophy that if I'm hungry, I should probably eat. I'll usually have a piece of fruit or a handful of mixed nuts.
What's your go-to snack?
Carrots and hummus. Delicious, flavorful and absolutely not going to kill my calorie count.
Do you keep a diary or use a fitness app, step counter or anything of the sort to track calories/activity?
MyFitnessPal and Fitbit, for the most part. I've been looking for a good weightlifting app, though. I'm about to start a lifting program.
How do you juggle your weight-loss/maintenance goals against a busy work schedule?
I keep them realistic. I know I'm not going to become an Adonis overnight, or even in a year. When things get hectic with life, I try to scale my goals back so that I'm not actively damaging myself in the process.