Six months ago I weighed 93 kilograms (204 pounds). Today I weigh 83 (182 pounds). In just six months I have dropped a solid 10 kilograms and feel healthier than I have since high school. So how much exercise did I do to achieve that goal? Almost none.
In this post I am going to share with you how I lost the weight and why I am convinced that weight loss has very little to do with the exercise that you do. If you have your own weight loss experiences I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Why my teeth helped me lose weight
So here is the confession. About six months ago I got a new form of orthodontics called Invisalign. Invisalign is basically a series of invisible plates that you wear all day that move your teeth one by one. Every two weeks you change to the next plate and at the end of the series your teeth have gone from crooked to perfectly straight. Which I badly needed.
Anyway, the real kicker is that you can’t eat with them in. You take them out to eat (and drink) and you can only have them out for around 20 minutes at a time. Say goodbye to snacking, sugary drinks in between meals and, of course, say goodbye to second helpings after dinner.
These changes that have been “forced” upon me are the reason I lost 10 kilos so quickly. The secret to lasting and healthy weight loss is not exercise, it is the amount of food you are taking in.
Why exercise is not the answer
Prior to getting these plates I spent a lot of time exercising trying to lose weight. I didn’t have much luck. I would lose one or two kilos but the weight would always come back on as soon as I stopped the intense work outs. Why? Because I was still taking in way too many calories.
Let me show you some maths that I have been thinking about:
One can of Coke has around 155 calories in it.
Running on a treadmill for 20 minutes burns around 150 calories.
That means that after 20 minutes of exercise you have burned off one sugar drink and hardly any fat stores.
As you can see by this simple bit of maths, exercise is not the best way to lose weight. Diet is. It is your diet that will make or break your progress. It is simply too hard to burn off all the calories you need by exercise alone.
Why portion sizes will help you lose weight forever
I am now a firm believer that your portion sizes are one of the most important things when it comes to losing weight. And to prove this we can use a simple example and a bit of maths again.
Let’s say you use an extra large bowl for your dinner every night and fill it up so that you get 100 more calories than if you used a smaller bowl. Now, over a year that is 36,500 extra calories that you wouldn’t have had if you used a smaller bowl. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat so in one year you have added around 10 pounds of fat. And that is just from dinner.
It is really important to control your portion sizes and think of it as extra calories that add up over a year or over ten years. By just making your dinner smaller you will essentially save 10 pounds of fat in a year. It is very powerful.
Why you have to keep exercising
After all this diet stuff is said and done it is still vital that you keep exercising on a regular basis. The exercise helps to increase your metabolism and thus will assist your weight loss progress. It isn’t the main thing, but it will make a massive difference to the way you look and feel. This is especially true if you want to add a bit of muscle or tone – diet can’t do that. Exercise also helps you to feel better about yourself due to the large amount of endorphins that are released. These feel good chemicals go a long way to keeping you healthy.
Does anyone have any weight loss stories to share? I would like to know what has/hasn’t worked for you.