Let me be clear on the front end - my health aspirations are pretty moderate at best. I’m not training for any ultra-triathlons or looking to land any modeling gigs. I just want to wake up with energy for the day, like the way I look in the mirror, and live a long, fulfilling life. You know, like most people.
The only problem is, I really like tasty things. Like, a lot. To put that statement in perspective, I go out to eat probably ten times a week and treat myself to dessert at least twice a day. But the best part about it is, I lose weight doing it - over 20 pounds, so far - and you can too.
I really do love dessert, and I’m not talking gimmicky dessert like fruit or something. As a child, I would trade anything in my lunch box to get my hands on another dessert. One Christmas, I was even given a pound of sugar as a gift (clearly I have the best parents ever). Apparently they meant it as a joke, but within seconds I was opening the bag, licking my hand, and digging away.
So, when I found out that I could meet my health goals without sacrificing delicious foods, my eyes widened a bit.
I also love going out to eat. It’s a great way to socialize, it’s convenient to skip the cooking and cleaning, and it’s just fun :). Part of the reason I go out so often is because I legitimately save money by doing so (a topic for a different day), but it’s also very much because I’m able to keep losing weight in the midst of it. By the way - if you don’t believe me, you'll see the difference 20 pounds makes on me in the photos at the bottom of this post!
So, how do I do it?
The answer is not exercise - I worked out three times every week for 5 months and gained 6 pounds of fat while I was at it. The answer is not activity - I walked over 15,000 steps a day for three months while living in 110 degree weather and still gained 3 pounds of fat in that time period. And no, it’s not even nutrition that leads to weight loss. I’ve had plenty of days eating the most whole and healthy foods only to watch the scale move in the wrong direction.
Don’t get me wrong, I think all those things are extremely important for your overall health (and therefore quality of life). They matter in my life personally, and I’d encourage you to prioritize them as well. But the fact is: they aren’t the ticket to losing weight.
Thankfully, losing weight is simple and easy compared to these things.
At the end of the day, it comes down to calories in and calories out. How many calories are you eating a day, and how many is your body using? If you consistently eat fewer calories than you use, you will lose weight. Guaranteed. Likewise, when we eat more than we need, we will undoubtedly add to the storage of fat our bodies keep on hand - even if all those calories came from Whole Foods groceries. Truthfully, weight loss is a game of portion control, not of eliminating all the things you love to eat.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that losing weight is by no means synonymous with health. You'd be starving yourself of important nutrients your body needs if you only ate dessert, and you'd be literally starving yourself if you ate too few calories every day. But that said, it still remains that for the vast majority of us, we’d certainly be healthier if we dropped a few pounds.
So, if you want to lose weight, here’s what you can do, plain and simple:
That's it. Calories in, calories out. And dessert whenever you want.
Yes, very easy. And awesome.
See the difference yourself. Here’s me at 161 pounds, feeling good about myself and thinking I was in pretty good shape:
And here’s me a year later at 140, putting my old self to shame:
Not bad, huh? .. And the best part of it is, I've never even tried to lose weight! Weight loss has simply been the result of taking my portion sizes more seriously. So join the club! :)
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