In sickness and in (better) health
December 20, 2013 11:09 AM   Subscribe

My wedding is coming up in a few months and I want to find some small things I can do to reduce my spare tire before I walk down the aisle.

I’m a male in my early 30s, six feet tall and about 200lbs. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a bit…soft in the middle. My wedding is coming up in about five months and I’d like to shed a few pounds and look a little better before the big day arrives.

My goal is to find easy changes I can make in my day-to-day life that will hopefully add up to show results.

- I go to Starbucks almost every day on my lunch break and cutting that out seems like the way to go. We also have the tendency to eat out more often than not and I want to break that habit for health and financial reasons. Are there any other simple things I can do for my diet? I do not want to track everything I eat or go crazy counting calories.
- I tend to drink a decent amount of beer when I go out and I’m sure cutting back would be immensely helpful. Would switching to a mixed drink be even better?
- I walk about two miles a day but that’s the extent of my exercise. I’d like to come up with some type of workout routine I can do after I get home that lasts between 30-60 minutes. Running is out and I do not want to join a gym. I bought a chin up bar but we have no real space for any equipment.

Any other tips would be great. Thanks!
posted by SeparateAccountForWeddingQuestions to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I lost weight pretty quickly by dropping my simple carb intake. I quit the daily beer(s) and went to straight liquor - mixers are club soda, or a squeeze of lime, not cola or juice. I also stopped relying on carbs as an easy-meal thing, so, no more mac and cheese for dinner, and if I have a burger for lunch, I skip the bun and/or the fries. I eat a lot more greens and protein and good fats and the weight has stayed off.

(Oh, and I still drink beer, but it's a "sometimes" thing and not a "oftentimes" thing.)
posted by rtha at 11:16 AM on December 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Drink more water and less everything else.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:18 AM on December 20, 2013


I decided to give up soda (save $, rid myself of caffeine addiction, try to ween off artificial sweeteners) and as a result I've been drinking a HUGE amount of water. I squeeze some lemon juice in and drink up and I've been way, way less hungry all day. It's amazing how much less I graze at my desk job.

I downloaded an app called Gymrat that has a ton of bodyweight exercises (as well as machines). You can create a routine or use one of their pre-designed ones to track what you do. I found it a bit of a pain to learn to use but once I finally got my routines set up, I really liked it. It's not a cheap app but one I found worth paying for.

Also, there are tons of askmefi q's on healthy cooking at home. Husband and I regularly whip up and then freeze chilli and turkey meatloaf muffins (there are recipes for them in an askmefi question somewhere). Saves us money, high in protein/low carb, and delish.

Enjoy this time in your life. I'm sure you'll look stunning in your tux even with a little extra to love behind the buttons.
posted by adorap0621 at 11:24 AM on December 20, 2013


My goal is to find easy changes I can make in my day-to-day life that will hopefully add up to show results.

This sounds like you want "easy changes" so that things "just happen" and the weight drops off. That generally isn't how it works. Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less energy than you expend. That is very hard to do without tracking what you eat because people tend to under-report their food intake.

- In addition to cutting out Starbucks, keep your diet based on lean protein and green vegetables. I tend to use skinless chicken breast because it is cheap and versatile. But, you still need to track what you are eating.

- Alcohol, in general, is not conducive to weight loss. A mixed drink could be a better choice than beer if the mixer is zero calories, like club soda or diet soda. However, keep in mind that an ounce of distilled 80 proof spirits is 70 calories. So, a two-ounce pour is about breaking even with a 12-ounce bottle of beer.

- For a bodyweight routine, I like Convict Conditioning. You can ignore all the mumbo-jumbo about life in the "big house", but I think the progressive exercises are quite good. People also seem to like Your Body Is Your Own Gym but I have never used it so I don't know. Just bear in mind that weight loss is much more about cutting your energy intake than upping your exercise level.

The good news is that are your height and current weight, you can easily get to good shape. I don't know your build, but you could easily get to 170 lbs in the next five months and that would probably look very good on you.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:25 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you have a smartphone, get the MyFitnessPal app. If no smartphone, then use their website. You can enter a goal and then track your calories and your exercise. It's super easy.

(Personal testimonial: I've lost almost 30 pounds in 2 months.)
posted by The Deej at 11:28 AM on December 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I basically do what rtha describes and avoid simple carbs. So yes, cut out the Starbucks (or drink black coffee or plain tea), ditch the beer for non-sweet mixed drinks like vodka & soda, eat a lot of protein and non-starchy veg and make an effort to move more. I've lost 80 pounds over the past 17 months doing that, and the only exercise I've done is walking and sometimes cycling. I do also use an app to track my food intake and a Nike FuelBand to track my activity, but there are lots of other tools for that.
posted by bedhead at 11:33 AM on December 20, 2013


Eat and drink half as much of everything with calories in it. You can have as much (black) coffee, water, and vegetables as you want.

Seriously, it's simple, but it'll work if you can stick to it. Weight loss isn't as complicated as everyone says. Eat less.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:34 AM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


yes,(seconding) myfitnesspal. It is really easy. in essence you can do 1 of 2 things with it:

1. try to eat better, exercise, less fats and simple carbs diet blah blah which all sounds a bit much

or

2. use it to generally eat better total portions and total food consumed throughout the day. that's it... overall eat less = weight loss. neat huh?

i too have lost some serious weight with it (around 20lbs thus far) and it's all about letting the app be your conscience.... a week or 2 with it is all it takes to start rethinking what to order at dinner (i basically never get appetizers any more and i avoid crazy "deep fried pot roast gravy bacon surprise" type options but other than that no serious diet effort) and the end result is it gradually walks your caloric intake down to a point where you burn more than you consume. if you burn more (Exercise etc) than you can CONSUME more or have better weight loss on that day, choice is yours.


to reiterate i hate dieting, the app is simple, the results are real!!
posted by chasles at 11:44 AM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Congrats! Most of this is math (for most people with normal metabolisms) so you can either count the number (I am a huge MyFitnessPal advocate and lost 25 lbs with it), or shortcut it. Either will work. Counting is more exact. So, to your specific questions here is me doing some of the math so you don't have to.

- calories burned walking vary a lot depending on how fast you go. So a one hour walk for someone my size (I am small) at 3 mph uses 184 calories and at 4 mph uses 279 calories. So doing that walk faster matters (you can get a free app called MapMyFitness - not related to MFP) which can help you track your pace
- beer vs non-beer 12 oz of Bud Light is 110 cal. a pint of Smutty Nose IPA is 239 cal. 20 oz of Guinness is about 200 calories. A bacardi rum and diet coke is about 65 calories. 2 oz of Dewars on the rocks is about 140 calories. So it might be worth finding something you like to drink that is low cal whether it's light beer or a low-cal cocktail and have that be your mainstay drink moving forward. Otherwise I'd try to change all drinks to coffee, tea and water, no extra-cal sweeteners (and esp no fruity Starbucks drinks with all manner of creamer/milk/sugar/etc)
- While there is no such thing as spot reduction, having better posture and core muscle development can help you appear more together. You might consider one of those 200 situps training programs that will help you work on your abs (and also burn calories) One of the things I like about exercise is that it's actually time I don't spend idly snacking

Otherwise, just eat less of everything, don't eat while bored, fill up on veggies, get on the scale and see if what you're doing is working. There is a nice app called the Line Diet where you just try to do the right things and weigh yourself and see if it's working. Best of luck.
posted by jessamyn at 11:50 AM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


This sounds like you want "easy changes" so that things "just happen" and the weight drops off. That generally isn't how it works. Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less energy than you expend. That is very hard to do without tracking what you eat because people tend to under-report their food intake.

Not only that, but if you cut out something (like your daily Starbucks) and you're not tracking your calories, you'll have a tendency to (even unconsciously) eat more at other times.

I too endorse MyFitnessPal.com. Using it I've lost more than 60 pounds since May.
posted by Jahaza at 12:05 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stop eating breakfast. Seriously! Intermittent fasting is a thing, and it's also an easy way to cut calories.
posted by baby beluga at 12:13 PM on December 20, 2013


I've been doing the Fresh 20 for the past two weeks. It's really easy meal planning, so it will help you break the cycle of eating out. They also include nutritional information, so the calorie counting is done for you.
posted by avocado_of_merriment at 12:42 PM on December 20, 2013


For a counter-opinion from a beer snob: light beer isn't worth the calorie difference, especially since some studies show that alcoholic calories, for reasons unclear, don't seem to contribute to weight gain.
posted by jeffjon at 1:04 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stop eating breakfast. Seriously! Intermittent fasting is a thing, and it's also an easy way to cut calories.
posted by baby beluga


Not really disagreeing with baby beluga, because obviously it works for some people, but I only lost weight once I started eating breakfast. It basically changed my world. Now I can't imagine not eating breakfast, I eat much better the rest of the day, and I've lost 35 pounds. And again, the key for me was to eat breakfast every day. It all flowed from there.
posted by ratherbethedevil at 7:05 PM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


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