Saturday, January 26, 2013

How I lose 12 kg in 4 months

First of all, my BIG thanks to the research program I signed up as a test subject, and to all who gave me support during the period - my bosses, my colleagues, and especially my wife :) 

I have been trying to reduce my weight for years, but I have not made much progress towards my goal. I once thought it is difficult for me because somehow I digest food very fast and when I need energy, my body cannot convert fat to energy efficiently. After this program, I realized I was all wrong... I now know that I cannot reduce my weight because I ate too much, and exercise too little :P

There is no secret in losing weight. Basically, you have to ensure your calories intake is less than your output. In my case,  

1) I take 500 less calories than my usual intake amount of 2000 to 2200. Which means, I take 1500 - 1700 calories per day during the weight loss phase. 

 How to control the intake precisely is the tricky part. Either you can measure the calories of the food you eat one by one, or you can take some meal replacement like me (as required by my program). There are plenty of brands out there and I will not mention any specific ones because I am not advertising here. 

I take meal replacement for 2 meals, 5 days a week. For the rest of the meals I eat my normal amount (which should not be over-sized - just moderate amount). In between my meals, I take 2 times snacks, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Each snack should be less than 100 calories and should be something difficult to digest (e.g. no soft drinks :P). I will sometimes take max 2 servings of fruits per day. Again, choose difficult to digest fruits. 

 If you have issue with getting hungry too soon, you can try meal replacements with protein powders. In my case the meal replacement worked pretty well in hunger control. 

Of course it is not a hard and fast rule that you must reduce 500 calories intake per day. The basic idea is to eat less for main meals, and fill the gap with snacks. Overall you should eat a few hundred calories less than what you ought to (again usually it is 2000-2200 for male adults. Not sure about ladies...) 

2) I do gym exercises to burn fats 3 times a week. Each session burns 500 calories. So that's a total of 1500 calories per week. 

What I usually do for the gym sessions is fast walking (around 14 incline, 5.5 km/h) on treadmill, which takes me about 40 to 50 minutes to burn 500 calories. Other exercises like cross trainer are equally fine, as long as you don't do something too intense. The key thing here in my opinion is sustainability - you have to ensure your body can take it and won't get pain or too tired after the session. 

Again, it is not a rule that one must consume 500 calories per session, and must do 3 sessions per week. However, the total amount burnt cannot be too little, I guess. 

 3) This is important, you must be disciplined to do 1) and 2). Do not skip them unless you are really sick... In my case, I found it not difficult (not easy either, of course) to do all those for 4 months. 

The result - I lost 12 kg and 5.3 inches of waist. I must say it is pretty awesome :P 

That's all - no magical pills, no slimming sessions on expensive equipment. No adverse side effects (except that I felt a bit hungry sometimes). It is a natural and effective way of losing weight. Hope it helps for those who are in a similar situation like me.