Have you ever wished that you could just have fun and lose weight at the same time?
Are you sick of gyms telling you that you have to pay their ridiculous membership fees to be able to get into shape? Are you sick of the television commercials telling you that you have to take their pills that may or may not kill you? Or are you just sick of confusing diet plans that no one working a real job could ever have time to keep up with?
If you answered yes to these questions then you and I have something in common already. I don’t have the determination or drive to work out like a professional athlete. I can’t afford to pay the gym hundreds of dollars to provide me with the machines and trainers to get me healthy. I am pretty sure that the pills that they are selling on television will shorten your life dramatically and I can’t afford to have a chef in my kitchen designing my food for me so that I am eating the right amount of all of the right things. I am even happier to be the one to tell you that it isn’t necessary to do any of those things. You don’t have to be a slave to media or weight gain anymore.
I was never the skinny guy but after I quit smoking I found myself about 87 pounds heavier. Even though I am 6’1” and have a medium size frame 322 pounds is still a lot of weight to carry around every day.
I have had inherited high blood pressure all of my life and the weight wasn’t doing it any good either. So I was taking more and more medicine to keep it under control.
However the real kick that got me motivated was when the doctor told me that I may be a diabetic and then the following A1C test confirmed that I was. I knew that I had to do something so I decided that I needed to change my eating habits and decided to start cycling. Of course I made all of these decisions along with the doctor’s blessings. It is important that you know how healthy you are before you start riding.
Cycling along with a healthy eating plan is a great way to lose weight and to keep it off. I myself lost over 75 pounds. Was it always easy? No. Were there set-backs along the way? Absolutely. Everything you try to accomplish in life has its ups and downs but those are the very things that are worth fighting for because they can change our lives and often the lives around us. Following is my method for losing weight through eating healthy and cycling.
I Never Starve Myself
Starving yourself to lose weight is a myth told by the devil himself. Starving yourself is the best way to gain weight not lose it. You should eat at least four small meals a day. It is ok to eat some starchy foods but they should be kept in small portions. Your meals should consists of more protein and veggies than anything. I try to stay away from bread altogether but you don’t have to but if you are going to eat bread then I would at least eat whole wheat and still very sparingly. Try to have lean caught fish at least twice a week. Farm raised fish is not bad for you but caught is much better. Chicken and unprocessed turkey are also good staples for eating health as they both can be prepared in many different ways that will help to keep from getting tired of them.
Drink primarily water throughout the day. No sodas and less diet sodas. Sorry for this one but the sugar has to go. There is no time that sugar is good for you.
It’s not Exercise, its Recreation
It really doesn’t take as much exercise as you might think to lose weight. You can burn between six and eight hundred calories by cycling for twenty to thirty minutes. Although you can find many charts on the Web that claim to tell you how many calories you burn per ride its actually impossible to say exactly how many calories you burn per ride because there are so many variables to take into consideration. Such as: How much you weigh, how fast you ride, how far you ride, how many hills you climb, and what kind of condition you are in.
I find that it is easier to determine how long you should ride by how tired you get. When you start to get tired then go just a little farther then turn around and head home. It isn’t necessary to train like “Rocky Balboa” to lose weight. It is much more important to enjoy yourself while you ride. That’s what keeps you riding. That’s the secret that kids have that makes them so active. That and they have no bills.
Getting Started Riding
If you don’t already have a bike I would recommend that you find a nice 200 dollar bike at Wal-Mart that is made of aluminum rather than opting to buy one of the cheaper metal bikes or one of the very expensive aluminum or carbon fiber bikes. With the two hundred dollar bike you haven’t blown a lot of money if for whatever reason you decide that riding isn’t for you and if you get one of the cheap metal bikes you will not enjoy yourself because the bikes are just too heavy to peddle up hills.
Be prepared to get a little saddle sore from the bicycle seat. Unfortunately there is no easy way around it you will get sore. The further you ride the more you will start to notice that the seat will make you sore and/or numb in your hind quarters. About the only thing that you can do about it is to invest in some good riding shorts that have cushion in them but even with them you will still have to get used to the seat before the pain will go away. But it will. I assure you it will. I don’t recommend you getting a bigger or fluffier seat as they will only tend to make you sore in different places.
It is also a good idea to plan to get a computer for your bike. No. Not a laptop but a small computer that sets on your handle bars that tells you how far and fast you ride. They help to motivate you to do a little more than before as you start to see patters in your riding habits.
Food Cravings are not a Sign of Weakness
After about a week of eating small meals and exercising be prepared for your body to start to want a little more to eat. This is a perfectly natural thing so prepare yourself for it. Don’t let it catch you off guard. You are not feeling this because you are weak or because or have poor self-discipline. You are feeling this for two reasons; (1) is because you are simply used to eating more and (2) is because your body is starting to burn more energy. So you should be happy to fill that void with a piece of fruit but not too close to your next eating time or you will be eating on top of it. However, before you eat that piece of fruit take a moment to decide if you are truly hungry or if you are just eating out of boredom. If you are truly hungry then have that fruit and enjoy.
Visualize Your Sugar Graph
One way of understanding why eating like I do works is by visualizing your sugar graph. Eating small portions of food per meal with smaller amounts of carbohydrates allows your sugar levels to remain constant. If you eat too much you will spike your sugar levels which causes two things: (1) Your body will be unable to burn the sugar that it has created meaning that all of the extra sugar is turned to fat and (2) you will become hungry soon after; creating a never ending cycle of eating. If you want to lose the weight then you have to break that cycle.
Don’t be Afraid of Flavor
Sometimes we seem to think that healthy food has to be bland. Having so little taste that most dogs wouldn’t care for it. This is simply not true. I have read time after time and proven it with my own experience that food that taste good is more satisfying. Food that taste good also keeps you satisfied longer. So don’t be afraid to eat a little Salt, Pepper, and Spices on your food. Another added effect of having a little spiciness in your food is that it tends to raise your metabolism therefore burning more calories.
Weighing Yourself Could be Dangerous
Weigh yourself in the morning but not every morning like some would suggest. You don’t want to develop an addiction to weight loss. Not all people are susceptible to this but it is better not to test it to find out. It will drive you crazy stressing over your weight being up or down a pound or so every day when your body will normally go up or down water loss and water gain. I recommend that you weigh in on Mon. and Thur. to keep you motivation positive and focused. If you stick to it you will lose weight so don’t stress over the scale.
The Two Number One Keys to Success
(1)Do not beat yourself up over bad days. Just reset yourself and get a fresh start the next day. Most times you will not even see a gain or loss from one day of bad eating.
(2)Take time both in the morning and in the evening to set somewhere comfortable and relax, not sleep, relax and clear your mind. Throughout the day slip back to the memory of that restful mindset so that you are able to keep your stress levels in check. Low stress levels help to keep your body working at peak performance. It is widely know now that stress is one of the triggers that causes your body to make hormones that lead to weight gain along with a host of other ailments.
That’s all for now. See you on the road.