There’s a gigantic amount of information (and misinformation) out there about what things one should do and not do to achieve successful weight loss. In this experiment I am trying to integrate a whole lot of the things that have either been traditionally held as Good Ideas with some ideas that are newer and perhaps less universally accepted. Rather than this just being about “diet” and “exercise” – or as I call them, the D word and the E word – this experiment considers all these things as being important to successful weight loss:
Sleep On It
Recent studies suggest getting enough regular sleep is vital to successful weight loss. I have tended to be a “Seven Hour Sleeper” so I’m using that as my SleepNumber. I will try to get a good seven hours nightly but in any case I will be recording how much I am getting on a worksheet and may be able to corollate that with observed gains or loses.
One article I read said that sleep is when you actually lose the weight – that’s the time when your body “does the math” – and either makes an addition to or a withdrawal from your Fat Bank – my words, not theirs. Of course, I can’t find the link to it now. If anyone has run across it or anything like it, please share in the comments below.
Except for a few among us, most people could stand to drink more water daily, and the worksheet helps me remember to do it. This is one of the easiest things to do.
You probably intuitively know this, but that fat in you has only a couple of ways of getting out, and peeing and pooping are pretty much it. Keep a good reservoir of water in you to hydrate your cells, and the excess will carry all the residual ex-fatty bits right down to Bladdertown after a stop at Kidneyville.
Energy In: Nutrition & Metabolism
Rather than call it The D Word, I’m going to be thinking of my food intake in terms of its energy content, and its nutritional content. My food choices for this experiment are going to be roughly following an Atkins Diet model. Very briefly it is a model that counts carbs instead of calories as the way to achieve successful weight loss.
I urge readers to get any book actually written by Dr. Atkins such as the one I read “The New Atkins Revolution”, which explains and breaks down the whole process of why “carb starving” the body is more efficient for getting the body to burn its already stored fat for the energy it needs rather than “calorie starving”.
In addition to the energy content of what we eat, when we eat, and how often we eat are also important to consider if we are trying to raise this mysterious thing called the Metabolism, which when raised simply means you are burning more energy sitting there breathing than doing the same with a lower metabolism. Who doesn’t want that? So the worksheet includes eating very shortly after waking up as a good strategy to promote weight loss.
Energy Out: Fitness & Metabolism
Energy Out has to exceed Energy In to result in our bodies using our fat stores as an energy source. Plenty of people say you can lose weight by diet alone and I believe them, I however know that will never work for me. I will want to eat popcorn again. And potatoes. And macaroni & cheese. Often. And dozens of other things I am not eating now at this initial stage of my weight loss plan. Like eating, what we do to increase our physical activity level, and when we do it also has an affect on raising that old Metabolism, hence the 5-minute workout within 45 minutes of waking up on the worksheet. The E Word is also not the end-all, be-all of physical fitness. Fitness includes flexibility and strength as well as endurance. I even think I can count my saxophone playing as a “Fitness Activity”!
If you are wanting to Megamorph, you have to make any planned changes in food intake and exercise schedule work for you. It takes planning and organization and that in turn does take an extra effort and extra time. My motivation to spend that time is that I now view weight loss as being just as much a part of my job as practicing my instruments and working on my website. I view losing weight as just as important to my getting a job as updating my resume and looking for job opportunities.
Doing whatever you have to do to make making these changes easier is also something that will help keep you motivated.
I am designing all kinds of spreadsheets and worksheets to help with the planning, all of which will be shared after I tweek them in to something that I feel will be fairly universally useful for anyone starting their own Megamorphic Journey. I am still working on the one to track calorie and carbs and selected other things from food and drink intake. But I think I have a good, fairly generic Daily Health Schedule Worksheet:
Almost Full Disclosure: Tomorrow starts Week Three of the experiment, and I have not lost the weight I thought I would have. However, I also reviewed my worksheets and found I had not done what was on the list, in the order or at the time I needed to do it, very often if at all. In other words, I wasn’t really following the plan, so it’s way too early for me to chuck it in and declare it doesn’t work.
So tomorrow I start again, refreshed and renewed with a new worksheet to follow!