20 Pounds in 2 Months, Part I: Developing a Plan of Attack
April 10, 2012 3 Comments
Let’s be honest, there is a great many of us that would like to lose some weight, be it a little or a lot, and what better time to do it then right in time for summer. I am embarking on a personal mission to lose 20 pounds, my goal is to reach that milestone by the end of May. At slightly over 2 pounds per week, I feel like this is certainly an attainable goal with the right mindset and a determined outlook.
While we all wish there was a “quick fix” solution to weight loss, when you think about it 2 months is barely a drop in the bucket on the journey to a better overall life (for an 80 year old person, 2 months is only .21% of their lifetime!) So I invite you to follow me (and join me!) as we set out to ensure a fantastic and fulfilling 99.79% of our lives.
Setting a Baseline
Our bodies burn a certain number of calories every day, no matter our level of activity. The first key to losing weight is going to be figuring out how many calories our bodies are burning, you can do this by using a calorie calculator (I’ll include the one I used at the bottom of the page). I found that my body burns approximately 2600 calories per day without the addition of any extra exercise or the alteration of my diet. This is my baseline, I now know that in order to lose weight I must create a calorie deficit by either increasing physical activity, consuming less calories daily, or both. Through research I’ve learned that a deficiency of 500 calories per day will yield weight loss at a rate of 1 pound per week. Based on the information I’ve gathered, I now know that my goal is to create a deficiency of approximately 1000 calories per day through a combination of diet and exercise.
Diet is the key to successful weight loss and I’ve already got a plan of attack. For starters, I will not be limiting my carbohydrate intake. Studies have shown that our bodies burn carbohydrates, fats, and then proteins, in that order. Based on that hierarchy of digestion it can be assumed that by cutting out carbohydrates our body would then move on to burning its excess fat stores, PERFECT! Next, I will be eating protein and fiber rich meals. Protein and fiber rich foods are not only generally the healthiest foods for you, but they also take the longest to digest and lead us to feel fuller for long. This cuts down on snacking and cravings between meals. Finally, when those craving to snack to arise, and they will, I’ll be reaching for things such as fruits and nuts. While being rich in fantastic vitamins and minerals, fruits and nuts are also very fiber rich; eating fruits and nuts as snacks will help to stave off hunger pangs, cravings, and the always detrimental binge eating.
Cardiovascular exercise is an essential part of weight loss as it is the only truly effective way to try an work off that stubborn spare tire. To be an optimum area, a person should take part in 45 minutes to 1 hour of cardiovascular activity 4-5 days per week. Now I know that for many people (myself included) simply running or walking for an hour straight can be a monotonous and down right boring; that’s why I try to find other activities, such as basketball, that take your mind off of the running itself. If you don’t like to run, try to find yourself another activity that incorporates cardiovascular work.
This bring me back to that whole notion of a quick fix, there are NO weight loss drugs/supplements that I feel are worth wasting your hard earned money or potentially even your well being on. That being said, I DO believe that nature has thrown us some interesting weight loss aids provided you know what to look for. Through some research, I have decided to enlist the help of Green Tea Extract and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) on my weight loss journey.
EGCG, a naturally occurring compound in green tea, has been shown in many studies to aid in weight loss. Along with the natural caffeine found in green tea, EGCG creates a thermogenic response in our bodies. Thermogenesis is the process by which heat is created throughout the body and in turn naturally cranks up our metabolism. This added “power source” to one’s metabolism can be a great tool in maximizing weight loss efforts. In addition to its potential weight loss properties, EGCG is a magnificent anti-oxidant and will make a body much healthier simply by helping to clear away potentially carcinogenic free-radicals. I will be taking 500 mg per day.
For additional information about green tea extract, click here.
CLA is fatty acid naturally found in dairy and beef products. The funny thing about CLA is that it does not seem to have any real effect on a person’s overall weight. However, research has show that taking a CLA supplement can actually work to change your body’s overall composition! In multiple CLA studies, it was found that stomach and body fat were actually “converted” into lean muscle. Participants in the studies did not see a significant change in their weight. In my eyes, taking CLA in addition to staying on this whole plan can only be helpful; after all lean muscle mass is fats greatest enemy. I will be taking 3000 mg of CLA daily.
For more information on CLA, click here.
Well I hope everything I have laid out above has at least peaked your interest in creating a healthier you and , if nothing else, has opened your eyes to the just how attainable it can be if you just take the time to create a realistic plan. I’ll be checking in periodically to update my progress and I hope you’ll share your stories with us in the comments section.
Good luck and cheers to a healthier, happier us!