I’ve had a few friends of mine ask me for tips, tricks, strategies, or serious step-by-step advice on how I effectively lost weight, and how they could do the same. So many friends, in fact, that I thought putting together a blog article about it might be a good idea.
Before you start reading, be open to what I present. If you want to lose weight, but it’s not happening, it’s possible that your misconceptions and prejudices about weight-loss and medicine are hampering your efforts. Wanting to lose the weight “the way you want” rather than “a way that works” says that you’re more interested about being in control rather than actually losing the weight.
So first, the primary weight-loss advice; “how are you losing the weight?”. I went to a medical (non-surgical!!) weight-loss specialist, Dr. Sue Decotiis. Dr. Decotiis and I agreed on realistic goals and timelines, agreed on an approach, and agreed on the support she could give me. Since I had specific problems with emotional eating and portion control, she prescribed me 37.5mg/day of phentermine, along with 25mg/day of topiramate for additional support. I was also prescribed a guideline nutritional plan, along with a number of calories of exercise per day in any way that I chose to do them. Those two drugs are, as far as I’m concerned, THE MAGIC in the calorie equation.
I do a weight-training session “once a week”, in quotes because sometimes my trainer cancels right as I’m walking in the gym and I do mild weights and some cardio by myself. I also do about 30 minutes of cardio a day, with a fairly long walk to the subway station every morning. I do notice, however, that this walk is becoming easier as I lose weight, so maybe it’s time to do a loop or something.
And now, some secondary weight-loss advice; more notional than specific, but all useful and every bit can contribute to weight-loss success.
The first piece of advice that I give, is that you need to be mentally prepared for a battle. It’s going to be a difficult, emotionally draining, spiritually defeating, uphill battle, every metaphorical/logistical/literal step of the way. If you’ve not prepared yourself, steeled yourself, for the upcoming battle then you will have lost before you started.
My second piece of advice is that you have a well-developed support network in place to help coach you through the difficulties, the tough choices, the hypoglycemic bouts of nihilist angst, and ESPECIALLY any back-sliding that might happen. This person should be briefed to be empathetic and supportive, but not critical or judgmental of your efforts – you don’t need to be told what you’ve done wrong when you’re already feeling shitty.
My third piece of advice is that you get a step monitor and/or a heart-rate monitor. These help keep you honest with “passive” calorie burn, as well as information-driven decisions about workout types and durations. If you’ve only done 1000 steps today, maybe you hit the treadmill an extra 10-minutes today, you know?
The last piece of advice is to BE PATIENT. Weigh-loss is a process that takes months and months. You have to be okay with that timeline before you start, and the goal weight has to be open-ended for anything over 20 pounds, because of individual variabilities in how different people lose weight.