If you’re serious about wanting to lose some weight I highly recommend this simple technique. Forget all those trendy fads or expensive pay-monthly schemes. You can do this yourself and it doesn’t have to cost anything. In fact, you’ll save money because you’ll be eating less!
I subscribe to the view that weight loss is a simple equation of physics.
If you can’t lose weight, it’s because you eat too much (or don’t do enough physical activity). Probably both.
Geez, I knew I should have been a rocket scientist.
So, if you agree with me (and the basic laws of physics) there’s something very obvious about the need to quantify input and output. How much energy are you taking in, from your food and drink? How much energy are you using up, by being alive and moving about?
I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for 10 days. What have I noticed?
Let’s get straight to the hard evidence. When I started this experiment I weighed just under 74kg.
10 days later, I weigh less than 72kg. That’s a reduction of over 4 pounds, if you can forgive the mixed units.
This is a faster rate of loss than I had planned, but most days I was deliberately coming in UNDER the daily allowance.
Clearly if I’d chosen to eat extra snacks or was incapable on resisting the hunger pangs or just plain old greedy habits, my rate of loss may have been slower.
The crux of this, and the reason why the weight loss industry is worth billions, is that some people (or most people?) really struggle to stick to the daily allowance.
Here’s some random observations from my experience of using MyFitnessPal to lose weight
- It’s really important to log everything. Don’t kid yourself that the donut won’t count. Do you want to lose weight or not?
- By syncing my MyFitnessPal account to Strava, the app was able to use data from my rides to earn back calories that I could eat.
- This made me ride my bike more.
- I’ll say that one again. Some days, I rode my bike more because I knew it was the only way to be able to eat what I wanted to eat. Yes, you could just eat whatever you wanted anyway, but do you want to lose weight or not?
- I’ve noticed a difference already on the bike in terms of how easy the hills feel.
- It’s a bit of a pain remembering to log everything, but the fact that the app remembers what you’ve had, makes it quicker to re-enter the same items again next time you eat it.
- You quickly learn which foods are loaded with calories, and this helps you make better choices.
- … which means you end up choosing fewer processed, sugary foods.
- … which means you’re not spiking your blood sugar levels half as often.
- … which means you don’t actually feel as hungry all the time.
OMG, you mean eating sugary crap makes you want to eat more sugary crap?
Ha, yes. How about that for an evil little self perpetatuating cycle of doom?
A bit like exercise itself, this is a positive feedback loop. Once you get it going, you feel the benefits, and are motivated to keep going and do more.
As always, the hard part is getting started.
How to get started
Just start. What are you waiting for?
This is where the ideas of quantifying and recording everything really support the process. I’d be hopeless if I had to remember everything in my head. I’d lose track of it all, and my motivation would just fizzle out.
Pass the donuts…
MyFitnessPal is FREE. Get it now
Incidentally, if you’re looking for a specific resource about getting lean for cycling, the book “Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance” comes highly recommended.