How I Did It

I lost almost 150 pounds in two years by following some simple steps. I’m sharing them here. I hope you can use the same steps to reach your weight loss and health goals.

Bill’s Famous Diet EMAIL

Judy-Bill
Here’s my sister Judy and her boyfriend Bill with another great before and after shot. They did it, too!

I used to receive so many comments from 2012-2014 asking how I lost the weight, I decided to create an email I could send to folks. That led to this site. We’ll do more on it, but for now, here is the email with links to the sites that helped me go from 340 to 192 so far (although my continual experiments have me hovering between 205-215 these days).

I read about the concept of finding out exactly how many calories I was burning each day and then I started eating fewer than that each day — on AVERAGE.

I weighed 340 pounds on January 1, 2012. I decided that I would try to lose weight by taking breakfasts and lunches in to work instead of eating out. This worked out OK, and by June 2012, I had lost 15 pounds.

But that was nothing. My my world was about to be rocked. I read an article in the NY Times that finally turned on the light bulb in my head. The subject of the article, Dr. Carson Chow, noted that it takes the body a long time to adjust to calorie change and that most folks give up way too soon. He created an online calculator that would tell you exactly how many calories you needed to eat daily in order to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time. I thought, OK, let’s give it a try. It was June 26, 2012. I told the tool that I wanted to lose 100 pounds by June 26, 2013.

Using Dr. Chow’s online Body Weight Simulator, I started out at 325 pounds. It told me that my body was using 3600 calories per day to maintain that weight and that I would need to eat 1685 calories per day to lose 100 pounds in a year.

OK, got that part down, but how do I track those calories? I did a quick Google search and found FatSecret.com. It is a great online tool and community that will let you track every calorie that you eat. There are similar tools (sister Judy and her boyfriend Bill use MyFitnessPal to much success).

I began eating my calorie target and in eight months, I lost 70 lbs. Then I readjusted my intake to 1500 per day because I had lost so much weight that my body was no longer using 3600 calories per day… it was only using about 2500 calories per day.

Sadly, I did not make my goal of 100 pounds in one year. My other sister Nancy came to visit in late June 2013 and we went crazy eating out every day, enjoying the local wineries, etc. BUT… ONE WEEK LATER, on July 4, 2013, I weighed in at 225 pounds! By the end of 2013, I had hit 208 twice, although the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays featured so much fun overeating that it took me a week to ten days after each of those to get back to the 208-210 range.

On my second anniversary, I finally dipped below 200 lbs. and I made it to 196. I then hit 192 a year later and 199 in early 2017 (after a bit of hospital time). I’m completely in maintenance mode but experimenting all the time. Currently, I’m at 210-215 and trying to figure out an optimal maintenance strategy.

The beauty of this way of eating is that you can enjoy yourself but RECORD EVERYTHING and just adjust your intake later to make up for it. Here’s how:

The KEY thing I discovered by reading the Carson Chow article (and that I then proved through experience) is the concept of CALORIE AVERAGING. That is, although there is a calorie total per day, you can do it as a long term average. This allows you to LIVE YOUR LIFE, by going out for a happy hour, attending a wedding or a birthday party, etc., and having a little extra to eat on those days. You just make it up by eating less than your daily calorie total at other times. So you can go out and eat extra every weekend if you want, so long as you eat less during the week to average it out. This gives you so much flexibility. You don’t have to worry about falling off the wagon… just record what you ate and then ADJUST your calories lower during the rest of the week or month!

I will provide more details as I build out the website, but let’s get started with the links that got me moving in the right direction.

Here are four websites. The first one is the article on Dr. Carson Chow, the MIT mathematician who came up with the weight loss calculations.

New York Times Article on Dr. Carson Chow

The second link goes to his online calorie calculator. (The calculator requires JavaScript, so it may not run on Apple devices or in places where web downloads are restricted. Most home PCs are fine). (UPDATE! This app is now available for free on the app store for iPhone! It says iPhone only but will also download and work on an iPad. It’s called Body Weight Simulator.)

Dr. Carson Chow Body Weight Simulator

The third link is a different calorie calculator that is somewhat more generous than the BW Simulator, but it works. Other tools there are great, too.

CalorieCount Alternate Body Weight Tool

The fourth link is to FatSecret.com, the site I am using to track my calories. All the links were life changing.

FatSecret.com Calorie Tracker and More

On the FatSecret site, look up the diet called MIT Carson Chow. I put that up there to provide tips and tricks…

ALSO, FatSecret.com member KingKeld offered this fascinating idea — his Indulgence plan. It is his long-term maintenance strategy, but you may find it something you want to try.

Keld’s Blog and Indulgence Plan

Again, the best trick is, you can eat whatever you want and cheat on certain days, but just even that out by eating lower calories for as many days at it takes to get back to your target calorie AVERAGE for the month

I love carbohydrates but those are what make your body hungry, so watch out for them…GOOD LUCK and feel free to reach out to me with any questions and comments.

All the best! — Bill Pratt

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