A year ago I gained 25 pounds in a short amount of time. I’m normally active and eat semi-healthy, but I had started a new sedentary job and slid into a lazy diet. I had my wakeup call when I couldn’t fit into my jeans, and decided to do something about it.
I joined r/cico and r/loseit, downloaded MyFitnessPal, and created a workout plan. I set the MFP goal to “lose 1 lb a week.” It told me my TDEE was 2,400, so I ate 1,900 calories a day. I started out at 200 lbs, 5’10”. My goal weight was 175.
I weighed myself once a week.
Mar 4: 200 (start)
Mar 11: 198 (-2)
Mar 18: 196 (-2)
Mar 25: 194 (-2) — March total (-6lbs)
Apr 1: 193 (-1)
Apr 8: 192 (-1)
Apr 15: 190 (-2)
Apr 22: 189 (-1)
Apr 29: 187 (-2) — April total (-7lbs)
May 6: 186 (-1)
May 13: 185 (-1)
May 20: 183 (-2)
May 27: 181 (-2) — May total (-6lbs)
Jun 3: 180 (-1)
Jun 10: 178 (-2)
Jun 17: 177 (-1)
Jun 24: 175 (-2) — June total (-6lbs)
I drink over a gallon of water every day which helped minimize fluctuations, and is also a great way to reduce cravings.
I think meal-prep is the most underrated and underutilized skill to eat healthy! You won’t have to summon daily motivation to cook and eat healthy – it’s right there waiting for you, just heat it up. I make big meals on the weekends then eat it the rest of the week. I literally don’t know how I would lose weight if I didn’t do this.
These are each 100-500 calories per serving. Some go well together, like Tabbouleh and Kafta combine to 500 calories. Mix and match however you want. Many of these I double or triple what the recipe says to get more servings out of it. I’ve included links for each recipe.
Fattoush (350 calories)
Tabbouleh (100 calories)
Kafta (400 calories)
Hummus (100 calories)
Grape Leaves (350 calories)
Baba Ganoush (150 calories)
Fatayer (280 calories)
Mujadara (200 calories)
Kousa (450 calories)
Shawarma (300 calories)
Kibbeh Nayeh (250 calories)
Halloumi Fries (130 calories)
Tahini Cookies (140 calories)
Collard Greens (225 calories)
Corn Bread (275 calories)
Shrimp & Grits (500 calories)
Elvis Pancakes (500 calories)
Slaw Dogs (500 calories)
Jerk Chicken (300 calories)
Jamaican Rice & Peas (200 calories)
Ackee & Saltfish (300 calories)
Snacks were Quest bars, pistachios, and nice cream. These foods were all my comfort foods, but also had plenty of leafy greens and lean protein. Find what works for you!
The yoga and Pilates days are active recovery. They made me sweat a bit, but they are zero impact and I didn’t feel worn out. The resistance bands allow me to workout at home, during lunch break, or at a park. Sprinting HIIT is much higher intensity, and at the track. I try to exercise every other day, so going through this 4-day routine takes about a week.
Grateful: I live in Austin Texas where the weather is nice year-round. There’s fitness parks and trails everywhere. Being home a lot gave me extra time to focus on meal prep. My wife supported me in this journey and would run with me.
NSV’s: I had a secondary goal of getting faster in the 400m dash, to compete in USATF Masters division. I started at 1:15, by the end I was going 1:03.
Maintenance: getting in shape sucks… but being in shape is awesome! Thanks to new muscle mass and not needing to be at a deficit anymore, I was able to increase my daily calories from 1,900 to 2,600. Workouts are much easier after doing them for months, and I take more days off. This is 100% sustainable for me.
Biggest success: I started with small daily goals and kept small daily goals all the way through. This means I never starved myself, and never exercised too hard if I was tired.
Bonus pic of both dogs
TL;DR Downloaded MyFitnessPal, meal-prepped food I like, was honest counting calories, exercised, lost 25 pounds.