How to Lose Weight – Week Three

Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian or doctor. I did not go to school to get a degree in Nutrition. Please see your doctor before starting your weight loss journey.

You can read Week One and Week Two to catch up.

Great job! You’re ready to start making the changes that you need to do in order to lose weight. Week Three will be hard but it’s totally worth it.

Each week you should be weighing in, measuring your body and recording it in your journal. Pick a day that will be your Weigh In Day. One suggestion is Monday morning: it will prevent you (hopefully) from overindulging on the weekends. Or Sunday morning if Monday would be to hectic.

Last week you stopped drinking regular soda. Try to limit the diet sodas you drink to one a day.  Be sure to be drinking a LOT of water. It will help cleanse the body and curb hunger pains.


Step One – Exercise

You’ve already made the list of activities you enjoy. Now it’s time to do them. If there was one that stood out as the most enjoyable, do that one. For me it was swimming.

I went to the nearby community pool and bought a punch-card. I wasn’t sure how committed I would be yet so I bought the cheapest, smallest amount I could purchase. I think it was a 10-time punch card. I bought the swim gear I knew I needed – goggles, swimming cap and nose-plugs.  I already had a swim suit (not the type I should have had, but I wasn’t investing any money into it yet).

I went to the pool at a time of day I didn’t think anyone would really be there. I got in the pool and did the breast stroke to the other end of the pool. I had to rest on the other side for several minutes. Then I swam back. I did this a few times for 20 minutes or so. I was really slow. My heart was racing. I thought I was going to die. 🙂 But I stuck with it! Each time I did it I could do a few more laps than before. Then it got to the point where I could swim a little faster, than I could swim a little farther and finally I could swim without resting.

Some Exercise Ideas:


Start small. Now that you’ve chosen your exercise, schedule it this week for 2 days. This exercise should be vigorous. Warm up before you start and be sure to stretch afterward. Whatever sport/activity you choose it should get your heart rate up.



If you’ve joined a gym I suggest you ask someone that works there to show you how to use the machines. Starting an exercise program after being sedentary for a long time can be difficult. Don’t push yourself too far (again, make sure your doctor okays activity) but you should break a sweat when you’re doing it.

If you’re the type of person that needs encouragement–or a Drill Sargent–I encourage trying a personal trainer. Just make sure you pick the right one!

You’ll find that the more you exercise the hungrier you’ll be, too. So make sure you pick the right kind of snacks and food to fuel your workouts. A good post-workout snack is low-fat (non-fat) milk and chocolate syrup (not much).


Step Two – Ask For Support

The most crucial part of the weight loss equation is a support system. This is probably one of the reasons Weight Watchers is so successful. Having a meeting to go to each week to talk with people who understand what you’re going through is very helpful.

Another reason to have a support system is for even more Accountability. You’re being accountable to yourself by logging your food/calories/exercise/measurements in your journal. Take it a step forward. Some ideas:

  • Post on Facebook/Twitter that you’re trying to lose weight and ask for support from friends and family.
  • Find a buddy that wants to lose weight too. Use each other as motivation and inspiration to keep with it.
  • Tell your friends and family members what you are doing and ask them for help.
  • Join Weight Watchers, or Weight Watchers Online, SparkPeople, MyFitnessPal, etc.

You’ll be surprised at how positive and supportive people are (especially within weight loss communities). Take advantage of that.


Step Three – Really Make a Commitment

To yourself. To your health. I can’t lose the weight for you. You can’t just read my blog and the weight will magically melt off your body. Trust me–I wanted the easy way, I wanted to do the minimum work required, I wanted to be able to do NOTHING and lose the weight. Unfortunately there is no magic pill. It takes hard work, determination and the drive to want to change your lifestyle. This is not a quick fix or a short term fix: this is a lifestyle change!

Don’t just put the clothes on–do the work too!


Check out this great article with some tips.

QUESTION: How are you doing with the steps? Are they harder than you thought? Easier?

Email Q and A

Yesterday, someone brought cake to work.

I did not eat any! I really wanted a piece…even just a bite to see how it tasted…but I decided to be good. I planned on weighing in this week for my monthly check-in and I wanted to see a good number on that scale.

Monday during lunch I ran the Esplanade loop. It was supposed to be the only decent day this week. It was a nice run! There was no rain and I actually got a bit warm and had to take my jacket off half way through.

Monday’s Stats:

Time: 33:33

Calories: 462

Nike+ Pace: 9’30

I made sure to stretch a LOT when I was done. I did not wear my new shoes. My plan is to bring them to work this week and try them out in the gym on the treadmill. That way, I can return them if I don’t like them.

I got an email from a reader and thought it was a great question. (I edited it to take out specific details.)

I started last month eating around 2000 calories per day and I’ve been staying 1700- 2000. I usually eat more when I’ve exercised a lot. How do I know when it’s time to lower my calories? My doctor wants me to eat 1,200 a day.”

First, I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor. So anyone starting a weight loss program should see their regular doctor and discuss a plan with them. I can only give my opinion of how my weight loss journey worked for me.

I think 1,200 calories a day is unhealthy. Eating that few calories, how will you have the energy to work out? For me, I ate 1800-2,000 calories a day with moderate exercise 5 times a week. Eating 1800 calories to lose weight, I didn’t feel starving. I didn’t have hunger pains. My body adjusted to eating lower calories but I didn’t feel deprived.

Another point I want to make is about plateaus. During my weight loss I had many, many plateaus. In order to remedy that, my personal trainer and doctor both said to A) change my workout and B) reduce my calories a little. My body got used to eating 1800-2,000 calories a day and it got used to the routine I did at the gym.

To get over my plateau, I reduced my calories by about 100 calories a day for awhile. I began incorporating weights into my routine at the gym. I started losing weight again. Then when I hit another plateau, I reduced my calories a little bit more and I started a running program. All these things played a factor in to the equation of weigh loss. If I were only eating 1200 calories a day, I couldn’t reduce my calories anymore without starving myself.

My suggestion to anyone wanting to lose weight is to cut out processed food. Stop eating out at restaurants/fast food joints. Start doing an exercise program. Count your calories/points/keep a food journal. These simple changes make all the difference.

QUESTION: Do you think 1200 calories is unhealthy?