Throughout my life I have been an athlete. As a child, I was always running around outside and playing all different kinds of sports: basketball, baseball, and football preferably. In high school, the same was true although I started lifting weights and deliberately exercising in order to get better at sports. Simply put, I lived a very active lifestyle–but my diet was, well, quite horrible. Just like most young kids, my diet consisted of fast food whenever I wanted it, pizza, sodas, etc. It didn’t matter what I ate, because it wouldn’t be noticeable since I was very active.
By the time I entered college, my diet began to haunt me; I found that, since I wasn’t very active anymore, I couldn’t eat the same things anymore. After reaching around 225 pounds, I needed to do something to change my diet and shed the pounds. So for about three months, I followed a very loose low-carb diet.
1) I educated myself
I had to learn more about healthy eating and exercise in order to be successful. Doing things without some sort of plan and guidance results in an inevitable failure. So I wanted good guidance along the way. For myself, I decided to subscribe to Men’s Fitness magazine; it’s full of creative workouts, healthy food tips, and often has a feature of a actor/celebrity and what they do to work out. More often than not, I found their articles helpful and fun to read. Although I did not follow everything in the magazine, it helped give me motivation and some direction when needed.
2) I ditched the majority of my carbs
The majority of carbohydrates I consumed were found in foods like bread, pasta, and cereals. As painful as it was, I had to say goodbye to pasta, pizza, bagels, many different kinds of chips, and anything else that was not a necessity for me. For the most part, I didn’t even substitute white bread for wheat; I ditched the bread altogether.
3) I ate smaller meals throughout the day
Instead of loading up on 2-3 meals a day, I spaced my eating through 4-6 smaller meals. This was very important to me because carbs typically filled me up for awhile, so when I ditched them I needed to make sure I was satisfying my hunger so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat things that would deter me from my goal. My breakfast often consisted of: egg whites, some type of fruit, and on special occasions I would have one piece of wheat bread (although I did not do this frequently. For a drink, I would stick with water. The rest of my day consisted of foods like fruit, lean meats (such as turkey), vegetables, and brown rice.
4) I exercised regularly
I made sure that I was going to the gym, consistently, at least 4 times a week. At first, this was very difficult for me; I was pretty out of shape and discouraged–so the gym was pretty miserable. But, it got a lot easier (and more fun) over time. The low carb diet definitely helped; I was now eating healthier, so I felt healthier, too!
5) I was active
Apart from going to the gym, I made sure I was active throughout my day. Instead of taking an elevator, I would take the stairs, and instead o finding the closest parking spots I would deliberately choose the ones further away. Moreover, I joined a flag football league, went on hikes, and bicycled on nice days. Overall, my life started being very active which, in turn, helped supplement my diet.
For myself, my low carb diet consisted of being aware of the amount of carbs I was consuming. When I saw what I could cut from my diet (the breads and pastas), weight started coming off pretty quickly. I started around 225 pounds and ended up (after about 3 months) around 195-200 pounds.
I have confidence that if you watch the amount of carbs you eat and exercise, you too can lose the weight you want. Summer is approaching quickly, so don’t wait to shed the pounds and begin a healthier lifestyle; I know I will be continuing with my diet throughout this spring to keep cutting at my weight and get healthier.