Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Ok... so after making my first goal of 200 pounds (15 more to go). I thought I would share a few of the things that have really helped me along the way.
The following list not in order of importance.
1. Tracking Calories
I can’t imagine a more important aspect of weight loss than keeping track of calories eaten. I tracked my own calories before I found Spark People by writing everything down on a piece of paper. The Spark People tools make this so easy to do.
Being able to consistently eat within my calorie range and exercise has really helped me get by my sticking points (I was really stuck at about 220 lbs. for a long time). Just a couple of weeks meeting my fitness and nutrition goals paid off in huge results. Anybody looking for motivation should just “stick to the plan” for two to four weeks. The results you see should provide plenty of further motivation.
3. Heart rate monitor
Being able to see whether I am working out hard enough (or too hard) has proved to be invaluable. Getting an accurate count of how many calories I am actually burning is a great tool (Spark People uses the calories burned in a week to calculate your nutrition goals). I use a Polar RS100, which allows me to put in personal information (height, weight, age, etc.) to calculate calories burned.
4. Gym Membership
All that exercise equipment just sitting there ready to be used, set up in an appropriate environment, is just asking me to go work out. I belong to 24 Hour Fitness and they have gyms located close to home and work. I can (and do) get a good workout from home. I also do cardio outside. But, for strength training, and a varied consistent cardio workout, I don’t think the gym can be beat. I realize that gym memberships are expensive, but so is being overweight. The membership I have works out to about $13.00 a month (about the same as a few trips a fast food restaurant).
5. Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises
I have read many exercise books and this one is by far, the best. It gives a huge assortment of exercises with simple and easy to follow directions. It also does a very good job of explaining the principals and science behind the exercises. There are nutrition guidelines and a host of workouts designed for just about any goal. It is also available as the Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises.
6. Spark People
This was going to be a “Top 5 List” but I couldn’t leave this one out. The tools that Spark People provides (for free!) are incredible. I just plug in my personal information and get; a customized nutrition range, meal plans, workout generator, advice from knowledgeable coaches, and a support group. While I don’t use every option available, the tools Spark People provides makes it very easy to stay on track with my weight loss.
There you have it… the list of things that have helped me.
One more thing I would like to add is a big “Thank You” to all the people who have offered help, advice and support.