Success Story: Malcolm
|Start Weight||13st 4lbs|
|Current Weight||11st 4lbs|
|Working to Rate of Loss||1½lbs per week|
Weight Loss History
E-diets, Atkins, and Slimfast.
Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?
During my 20s I had a very active life – I regularly went to Cannons gym in London and took part in their strenuous exercise classes including circuit training and spinning.
In addition I would cycle everywhere and went swimming at the weekends.
"I was never more than 11 and a half stone and never gave my weight any thought and ate what I liked."
But as soon as I hit 30 I became less active and stopped doing so much exercise. I also moved further away from work so decided to stop cycling.
My weight quickly went up to the point where someone I met in a nightclub who I’d known during my early 20s asked me whether I was pregnant!
Over the years I’ve lost weight using various diets. I’ve tried ediets, Slimfast and Atkins but put it all back on and some more.
With ediets I lost the most weight. However, once I stopped using their food plans I gained the weight again.
"I hadn’t made the connection between calorie counting and weight loss."
The SlimFast diet lasted all of 24 hours before I become bored and the Atkins diet made me feel ill.
Last April was the heaviest I’ve been at 13st 4lb and after seeing pictures of myself looking big, uncomfortable and sweaty at my sister’s wedding I decided I had to do something.
How being overweight has affected you…
It wasn’t until I saw some pictures from my sister’s wedding when I really took notice of my weight and thought I should take action.
I began to notice that all my trousers were becoming uncomfortable at the waist and my belly started to develop a life of its own.
Motivation to Lose Weight
At the moment, I’m seeing results each week and am losing between 1.5 and 2 lbs. It’s a great feeling to lose weight and still be able to eat a balanced, healthy food with treats fitted in to my calorie quota.
Also, my waist size has gone down from 36 to 31 inches and I’ve lost that horrible beer belly.
"I'm going to have to buy new jeans as the old ones don't fit."
I also have cheekbones now and don’t get out of breath all the time. It's good to welcome back the skinny guy.
"My friends have all noticed and complimented me on the weight loss."
Plus I feel great and I love the fact that I understand the importance of calorie counting and feel more in control of my weight and the food I eat.
Discovering Weight Loss Resources
I did a search on the internet using the words calorie counting.
How Weight Loss Resources Helps
I like being able to log in everything I eat. It gives me a picture of what I am eating and drinking and gives me a good idea of where my calories are coming from.
"I now know the calorific value of most of the food I’m eating. From there I’ve made changes to my diet."
The most important being to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables I eat each day. I’ve also cut down on things like bread and, most importantly, alcohol.
I was drinking something like two cans of Grolsch each evening while I was surfing the web! At over 220 calories a can it was no wonder I was piling on the pounds.
Being able to see the calorific value of various foods has encouraged me to make changes and substitutions.
So, instead of having a breakfast of sugary cereal and four rounds of toast with butter and jam I have something different every day – poached egg on toast, fruit salad or porridge.
I still eat a small amount of bread but I’ve stopped eating huge quantities and substituted it with lower fat versions.
Also, now I rarely have butter or margarine and jams and spreads – I just don’t find them filling or satisfying enough.
The site has given me the information I need to break down my daily calorie quota into chunks so I can allocate a certain number to each meal.
I tend to have 300-350 calories for breakfast, 400 for lunch and use the rest for a couple of snacks (usually fruit or seeds or nuts) during the day and I’ll have a more substantial dinner with plenty of vegetables in the evening.
If I’m still hungry later on in the evening I’ll have a bowl of high fibre cereal with skimmed milk or a yoghurt.
The other major change I’ve made is to incorporate some form of daily exercise into my life.
"So, I’ve hauled the bicycle out of storage and now cycle the five miles from home to work."
At lunchtimes I’ll go for a swim or will walk round the block. At weekends I’ll either go for a bike ride or jog round the park.
What’s great about WLR is that the site will tell you how many calories you can earn by doing some exercise.
This was very helpful in the first few weeks when I was on quite a low quota (1200-odd calories).
"It also means that if there’s something I’m really craving, like a glass of wine, then I can fit it into my calorie quota and I can have it."
I’ve found that the boards are very helpful for advice and support and it’s heartening to read other people’s tips and their successes.
Also, when you have a question about something there’s always someone with a ready answer.
The Best of Weight Loss Resources
I use the food and exercise diary the most. I have tried many of the WLR recipes as well as ideas from the members food bit.
I also create my own recipes some being things I have quite often, like fruit salad, so I can input them quickly and others from my own recipe books.
"I also love looking at my Goals and Results with all the graphs, it’s great to see how far I’ve come in the last three months."
More generally, I enjoy reading the various reviews that WLR team write, I particularly enjoyed their verdicts on the various fitness magazines and I also liked the ‘taste’ reviews of such things as low fat crisps and sandwiches.
I think there should be more of those because they’re interesting and helpful.
I also like to see the breakdown of what I’ve eaten each week and the history report. It’s useful to see how much fruit and vegetables you are eating each week.
The nutrition profiles are also very helpful although I’ve yet to match WLR’s targets.
Malcolm's Calorie Counting Tips
Filling out your food diary honestly and comprehensively is crucial.
Make sure you fill it out EVERY day and don’t forget to put in any alcohol you drink. It’s really important to see what you are eating.
"Yes, you can lie and accidentally forget to put in the Twix you had that afternoon but while you can fool the computer you can’t fool your body."
If you do this with your diary after a few days you’ll start to see a pattern emerging and you can get a clear idea of where most of your calories are coming from.
Buy accurate kitchen scales and weigh all your food. It's the only way to be certain you're consuming the correct portion sizes.
When I started doing this I was shocked by how much I was over-eating purely because my portion sizes were too big.
"Substitute high calorie foods for low calorie versions: my saviour at lunchtimes has been the calorie counted range from a well-known supermarket."
Making small changes to what you eat can make a big difference over the weeks.
Introduce as much variety into your diet as possible. Try to have different fruit and vegetables every day.
Have something different for each and every meal including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating the same things creates boredom.
Try different foods, stuff that you’ve never had before. For me that has meant trying fish and couscous and I’m now a big fan of both.
"Use the recipes on the WLR site, they’re all calorie counted for you and many of them are delicious. My favourite is the chicken curry recipe."
I’ve discovered that it isn't just junk food such as burgers that contain lots of calories, but also other less obvious items.
Shop-bought sandwiches, for instance, can be hugely calorific. I avoid them and buy the low fat versions.
Try to steer clear of ready-meals, processed food, burgers and pizzas. I allow myself these things maybe once a month but I've had to accept that there aren't enough hours in the day to work off their calorific content.
They’re also not very healthy and don’t do your body much good.
Don’t avoid family events or nights out with friends; I know I’m going to be drinking and eating things which are not low calorie but life is there to be enjoyed and I’m not going to let calorie counting get in the way of having a good time. Just get back on track the next day.
"Have patience, the weight took a long time to put on, it will take time to come off."
I never thought I’d be under 12 stone let alone my current weight but while I have succeeded it has taken three months.
Sometimes you have bad days or fancy a treat. I ask myself whether I really want it, if the answer is yes, then I have it and try not to worry.
What I say to myself is that I’m in this for the long term so a bit of weight gain every now and then or a night out drinking with friends is no reason to stop watching the calories the next day.
"Since using this site I have gained invaluable information about the food I used to eat each day and take for granted."
I never realised that my portions were way out of whack and that getting it under control was going to be one of the most important factors in successful weight loss.
Don’t worry about what you ate yesterday just think carefully about what you’re going to eat today.
You can use the tools and resources of the site to find out the calorific value of the food you are eating. Try it free for 24 hours
* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.