Originally Posted by Gem
That's very interesting. The calorie restriction looks very severe, but I think it is suitable for someone heading toward 300 lbs, and losing 1% of body weight per week like a safe line, so the initial rate of 2lbs off 290 is well within range. Your maintenance calories must have been dropping as the weight came off, so but I'm not seeing that in the graph curve. I expect rapid loss at the beginning and then a tapering off toward the end. The curve looks like a constant rate, faster toward the end if anything. Incredible loss of 100lbs in a year, which is like 45 kilos - an average of 875 grams a week over the long haul. This seems like a reasonable but aggressive weight cut to me... and your tracking was amazeballs - with, like, graphs and everything! I like the math (because body composition comes down to math), and you're rockin' calculus level.
My approach is to start with becoming conscious of everything eaten, like use the apps I suggest, or in your case, write it down - but know every morsel, so to me, that's how you started out on the right foot.
You managed hunger in a way that worked for you - whereas someone else might thrive on another strategy... but the thing is, you had a hunger regulation strategy, so another part of the success.
I also believe in weighing in every day first thing in the morning, not so you know your weight every day, but so you get a good weekly average and mitigate water weight fluctuations. Your graph shows a trend line, so same effect.
Doing exercise activity is also a good point. I lean toward resistance training more than you do, and less toward cardio, because I consider preserving muscle mass important, but you did some resistance with cardio, which is the optimum combination.
The best thing of all is, you somehow altered your long term eating habits, so you retained a reasonable body composition for the very long term, which will be life long (and developed an amicable relationship with exercise). How did you actually transform your relationship with food from disfunctional to harmonious?
Answering your questions ...
Daily dumbbells and walking were / are a significant factor in my calorie spending, and that is the reason that my body weight didn't factor that much in the calorie balance over the weight loss period. When I started the weight loss my break even calorie level was about 2,400. Today, 17 years older, and ~135 lb lighter, is about $2,300, while having pretty much the same activity type.
I don't do that much weight training, but I do it every single day, so it adds up, and I rotate weekly through all the muscle groups.
Much of my life I tried all kind of diets and gimmicks, occasionally, for short periods of time, successful (Atkins), but I always bounced back up, often higher. When I approached 300 lb, my wife got worried and pushed me to see a doctor, who found high blood pressure and high cholesterol, wrote me prescriptions, and sent me to a dietitian. The dietitian didn't help at all.
Coincidentally, around that time, I found on the internet the free e-book "The Hacker Diet
" written by John Walker, that explained clearly the calorie balance principle.
Then, about the same time I found Jorge Cruise's book "8 Minutes in the Morning
", its 1st edition, while browsing at Costco, which similarly relied on calorie balancing, and gave me a simple, easy to follow, method of counting calories, and a simple, easy to follow, exercise regimen. I still do those exercise daily (it is about the 260th time I go through the book's 24 day cycle).
Doing daily weighing, I noticed that the salt amount in the food is immediately reflected in the body's water holding; a couple of pounds after a Chinese dinner, that are lost over 2-3 days of normal salt intake.
I also noticed that around the break-even calorie level, if I take in a little more, the next day my weight may jump up more than the calorie difference could justify (half to one pound). Same if after a period of slight overeating I have a day of under eating, my weight falls down more that the calorie difference justifies. I guess this happens because of my body's inertia in changing its operating mode, function of the calorie equilibrium.
By the way, after a few months of weight loss I got off both medications, blood pressure and cholesterol, and never went back. My doctor was amazed, and asked me to write down what I did, to share it with other patients.