For the first time in weeks I’ve made a lot of progress towards my health goal. This week, under the challenge I’m in, I’ve lost over 5 pounds (6 in fact) in the first week. What is also encouraging is this has put me below a weight that I’ve been stuck on time and again: 215.5.

With this progress being made, I’d like to discuss some of the changes that I’ve had. These changes I think contributed a lot to this massive change in my life.

But before we get to it I want to be clear that this week is certainly an outlier. On average, a person will typically lose 1-2 pounds per week if they have an active lifestyle. Furthermore, when people shift diets they tend to drop 3-5 per week in the first few weeks. But with the specific meal plan I have on top of the fact I’m technically obese I feel that instances like this can happen.

That’s not to say what I have to say won’t be applicable for you. I think what I learned so far is helpful.

But for those looking for a quick fix, this isn’t for you. Furthermore if you think it’s normal to drop over 5 pounds per week, that’s not always the case.

I just happen to have a massive weight problem and doing this challenge has given me this result in the first week of six. And from that experience, here is what I think contributed towards that weight loss.

With that said, let’s begin.

How I Lost Over 5 Pounds In One Week

Being more mobile

Exercise goes without saying in losing weight. If you want to be healthy you’ll need to be exercising as well as eating the proper foods. It’s for this reason why the program encourages us to be going to the gym at least three times per week. Furthermore, over the course of the 42 days, we are to go to the gym at least 18 times (which falls under the 3 visits per week).

But considering how much weight I need to be dropping, it’s important for me to be far more mobile than before. While the exercises thus far are challenging for me and pushing me to do better, it’s also worth looking at our overall lifestyles too.

For the vast majority of us, we are working at a sedentary job. In fact, 90% of jobs these days are sedentary. Meaning that we spend long hours sitting or doing a repetitive motion for extended periods of times. This leads to various joint problems and for many others, it can contribute to weight gain. It’s for this reason why many hacks for staying healthy is to be regularly moving or buying a treadmill desk.

“It’s important for me to be far more mobile than before.”

It also explains why researchers are looking into Blue Zones which house the healthiest people in the world. Those individuals don’t go to a gym, but make a practice of moving around on a regular basis. They do things like gardening, walking or biking to their destinations and more.

I’m not at the point where I’m gardening or constantly moving around, however, I am going out of my way to go for some long walks. These are prominent during my recovery days. On top of that, I make a habit of actually walking or biking to the gym and back on days that I am working out. Those activities often take me one hour to do in total.

So in short, on workout days I spend a good 2 hours or so moving about on top of regular bathroom breaks and cooking meals. On recovery days it’s 1 hour and a bit.

Assess food relationship

The second aspect of living a healthy lifestyle is the food that you are eating. Of course, everyone knows that higher calories contribute to weight gain, but not everyone applies that methodology. I know for myself I’ve spent years struggling to lose weight and a lot of that was contributed to how much I was eating.

My relationship with food has always been eating a lot and eating quickly. This is regardless of what exactly I was eating, which I would say was a relatively healthy diet. It’s for this reason why I think it’s important for all of us to be looking at our relationship with food, cravings, and more.

The reason I say this is because the meal plan that’s been presented to me has been a huge contributor. Of course, there have been some items that I’ve had to limit the portions. But outside of a few items what’s being offered is reasonable.

In terms of portions, it’s not like the program is starving you. Every meal I’ve had to this point has been filling. However I know I’d find myself overeating in some areas if I followed the directions specifically.

For example, the meal plan recommends that I eat 320 grams of greek yogurt as a protein. If you want to know how many cups that is that’s 2 and 1/8 cups. I settled for half of that and found the dish to be very filling.

“My relationship with food has always been eating a lot and eating quickly.”

Another situation was the recommended amount of egg whites I should have. The meal plan suggests 6 egg whites which hovers around 2 cups. This is another protein in which I settled for about 2-3 egg whites and found the meal satisfying.

The reason I’m cutting these proteins is that I’m looking at the relationship that I have with food. For me specifically, I have an overeating problem. Even if I’m eating foods that are great for me, I’ve been struggling for years to lose weight. This can only mean one thing for me.

Smaller portions

Breakfast on Saturday Nov 10th

Ever since I’ve started to cut back on foods I’ve noticed this massive shift in my weight. I believe the cut back is the major contributor to my loss of over 5 pounds. Whether I’m going to pay for not following the guide specifically or not, I’m not sure.

However going back to what I said above and the fact that these “conservative” meals are filling for me, it’s fair to say I won’t be punished. After all, I’m only now starting to listen to my body. And I’d say I know my body pretty well by this point despite my mistreatment of it.

The program’s not at fault for this though. This is bound to happen when you have a generic meal plan that you need to offer to hundreds of people. But to their credit, they at least break this up a little bit depending on gender, BMI, and whether you are vegan/vegetarian or not.

This leaves it up to us as contestants to determine what sort of portions we should go for and what foods will work within our budget. This is good because every person is different. Some people may follow the meal plan to a T and get better results. Others may need to modify a little in order to see changes like myself.

What’s important though is so long as those changes make you feel good and satisfied in the end.

When to eat carbs and fats

Lunch on Wednesday November 7th

The final thing of note that I think has helped me lose over 5 pounds was determining when to be eating carbs and fats. At the orientation meeting on Monday, we were told to only eat fats during supper and carbs only in lunch and breakfast. Why?

Carbs are a strong source of energy. They are our fuel to get through the day. It’s a fuel that needs to be burnt up or else our body stores it as fat.

Fat, on the other hand, is the oil. It can cause us to burn through more fuel when used at the right time.

With this logic, it makes sense that so many gain weight. We often have carbs all day and with excess energy, it gets turned to fat. This suggestion also makes sense because even on days where you’re not working out, you can still lose weight (or maintain it) since you’re burning the excess energy through that dose of fat on your last meal.

But the tricky thing is how do you avoid using fats for breakfast and lunch? Especially since I have to cook meats.

The reason is simple. I’m finding alternatives to cook food.

I’m either baking, boiling, or serving food raw. For meat, it’s obviously baking or boiling. This is different for me, but also exciting as I get to be more creative with my meals even though these are basic dishes.

It’s also allowed me to cherish specific things. For example, I’ve started to see my desserts as a simple add-on to my meal. I’ve opted for peanut butter on celery sticks which is far healthier than what most people typically have.

Over 5 Pounds Lost!

So far I’ve been feeling good with the meals that I’ve decided to follow. Furthermore, due to the nature of my exercises, I’m sure I’d notice something dangerously wrong if I wasn’t eating properly. This suggests that my workouts are challenging and good with where they are at right now.

As a result, I’ve almost lost 10 pounds over a course of this week. I realize that this is an exception and only time will tell what’ll happen in the next five weeks of this challenge. Either way, I’m excited for what’ll happen next.

To your growth!

Eric S Burdon

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