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How I went from obese to normal weight by changing my behavior to lose 20kg (44 pounds)

I was fat, and I was getting fatter every day. On the day that I found out that I was literally obese, I decided to change my behavior so that I could live with a normal weight.
Being the nerd that I am, I started searching for scientific articles that I could use to lose weight and change my behavior. One of the best and simple suggestions that I found about which type of food I should be eating was the healthy eating plate, and since it comes from a respectable source, I decided to test it. Here is the result after basing my food intake on that advice.

Success!. I got into the normal weight range by losing 20kg (44 pounds), and I continue losing weight. By looking at the graph, you may notice that my weight actually increased around May, September, and November. I was traveling abroad those days. That means that it was harder to weigh myself as well as controlling what I was eating. The result of those two things combined?, weight increase. When I got back home, I could weigh myself every day, and control what I was eating, which instantly made me start decreasing my weight again.

After researching on these topics, applying the concepts and actually getting to my goal, I think that these are some of the most important ideas that I learned:

Keep your goal on focus to motivate yourself

It has been reported that focusing on a specific goal gives you better results compared to focusing on accomplishments or not having a goal at all.
Your goal should be something that you can measure, like losing X kg, or staying inside the normal weight BMI range, etc. It is important that your goal can be measured so that every time you weigh yourself you know how close or far away you are from your goal. Also, it allows you to test how good or bad specific behavior changes are for your goal. For example, you could quit drinking alcohol, eat more vegetables, or do more exercises, and see how they affect your specific goal. That way, you will be more motivated to keep the positive behavior changes, and discard the negative ones because you can actually see how they affect your goal.

Weigh yourself everyday, roughly at the same time

You should not be afraid to look at the numbers the scale is showing to you. Those numbers help you to reach your goal, so make sure that you weigh yourself every day and keep a log of it. You can use pen and paper, or a worksheet, or Google Docs, or anything else that you prefer, but make it as simple as possible because otherwise you will not use it.
Your weight changes constantly through the day, so it is best to always measure it at the same time every day. To keep you motivated, I recommend you to weigh yourself in the mornings because that is when you are the lightest. If you are wondering why, take a look at this cool video by Derek from veritasium.

You can eat whatever you like, as long as it is an exception

You should only feed yourself with healthy food on a daily basis. That’s the key. If you have that lifestyle, you can also eat anything you want on certain special occasions, as long as you keep those occasions as exceptions and not as your main food source. Think about it, it doesn’t really matter if you eat a couple slices of pizza and soda once or twice a month, but if you eat it almost every day, you will get fat. Simple. Just keep your daily food intake healthy, and you can eat anything you want on certain occasions. Some examples of this idea are the “cheat day” from the slow-carb diet of Tim Ferris, as well as the concept behind the BBC documentary Eat, fast, & live longer where they suggest very low calorie intake days followed by days where you can eat whatever you want. Remember to check your weight data log to see how those special days affect your goal, so that you can set their frequency correctly.

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2 Responses

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  1. Meth says

    You must be VERY tall for normal weight range to extend to 89kg…. VERY tall… or different nations have different “normals”. I need to get taller!!! ;-) A 20kg weight loss is very impressive though.. well done/

  2. samontab says

    Thanks Meth!

    Normal weight is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) ranging from 18.5 to 25.
    BMI is defined as mass (kg) divided by height (m) squared:

    BMI = \frac{mass(kg)}{height(m)^2}

    As you can see in the sub title of the graph, my height is 1.88 m. So, we have:

    \frac{x}{1.88^2} = 25

    Solving for x gives you 88.36kg.

    And you are right, as you can see on the BMI formula, it is better to get taller since it is squared :)

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