I lost 30 pounds 2018-2021 through exercise, and 30 more pounds over the last 6 months, and talked with too many people who think I did some crazy diet regiment, so I’m documenting here what I ate over the first 4-months of the diet.
Out of high school, I was about 5’10″/178cm and 170lb/78kg. Then I started gaining weight through my twenties and thirties. I’m not sure what the rate of it was as I wasn’t weighing myself. When going to health checkups they would tell me, but the numbers didn’t really stay with me. I wonder if these medical records are somewhere out there to look them up now?
In 2017, one of my colleagues noticed I was falling asleep too often at work meetings and recommended a sleep apnea study. The doctor ordered a CPAP machine and recommended losing weight, as it was likely caused by the weight (specifically my tongue blocking something while lying down).
I started using the CPAP machine which made a huge impact in my energy levels and alertness. The effect kind of waned over the years, however. I then started going to the gym in November 2018. I wasn’t measuring myself back either but I guess I lost 30 lbs because when I measured in May 2021, when I started the diet, I was at 210lb already. After Covid, I cancelled my 24hr Fitness membership online (yes! take that greedy bastards!) and relied on the Ring Fit videogame to keep some level of exercise going.
I was thinking of doing the Calories In, Calories Out method of diet which just sets one simple goal: to eat less calories than what the body consumes each week. And keeping it slow and manageable, at a rate of 500 caloric deficit per day, which results in about 1lb loss per week. I heard multiple people mention this method before – on Reddit apparently it’s huge, and I also recall a YouTuber (CGP) mention this, and a friend at church.
My breathing problems got worse during 2020, and in April 2021, I hit bottom with being able to breathe while sleeping. I would go to bed at 12am, and wake up around 3am, slightly asfixiated and a congested nose. Then I would stay up 2-3 hours, terrified of the possibility of falling asleep and waking up with an even more congested nose. I have this remote memory from like 15 years ago when I woke up and both my nose and neck breathing duct were clogged and I was trying to breathe but I couldn’t clear it either, as clearing it required inhaling enough air to expel. I don’t think I ever had this happen in April 2021, but the thought that this was possible scared me. I spent weeks sleeping less than 4 hours a day. My primary doctor had no idea how to handle this. I’m abbreviating the problem’s description here a lot because I just wanted to post the screenshots, not describe my health problems.
That’s when I decided to try diet to lose more weight, hoping this would get better.
I saw someone share the screenshot of a calorie counting app in May 2021, got it and started counting that day. The below images are screenshots of the app showing records from May 27 (day 1) until September 17. Some days I just ate a lot of chocolate or icecream, but managed the food intake on other meals to keep the day or week still progressing towards goal.
Over the years I heard so many horror stories of people struggling to lose weight and getting obsessed with weight, trying out unhealthy or questionable techniques, that I’m still shocked in disbelief in how relatively easy this has turned out to be. I think everything kind of came together to make the diet easier:
- I had already been working out… at a.. minimal level? Like 3 hours/week on a good week, and 30 minutes/week on busier ones.
- I don’t drive and walk everywhere, so there’s probably some baseline metabolism going on there
- in 2019, I started learning to cook more sophisticated dishes by relying on meal kits. That was fun, and super yummy. By 2020 I was eating almost exclusively meal kit food, which is pretty expensive, but it was the one manual thing I was doing regularly and a nice daily ritual. An unexpected bonus of this is than when I started my diet, I realized that every meal kit had its calories already counted and for famous brands like Blue Apron, I didn’t even have to enter the data as someone else had entered it in the calorie counting app.
I reached 175 lbs now, which is back to high school weight levels, and barely crossing out of the overweight range for my height. Although I should probably do an inbody checkup as well. I went from wearing 48″ pants to 34″ now. Since this has been so effortless so far, I’m thinking of going for another 20 lbs loss, or however long I can keep doing this before it becomes burdensome. I’ll probably slowly gain weight with my age over the years, so pre-losing them in advance would maybe would be a way continue to stay out of the overweight range for as long as I can.
I’m not sure the breathing problem has visibly improved. I think I managed to get it on a tolerable level before I lost significant weight.
For some reason the screenshots below come out blurred, so if you actually want to look at each food’s name, it will be inconvenient to have to click on each to zoom in and then move to the next image. Here is a link to a Microsoft PowerPoint file on Dropbox, which makes it easier to scroll through the screenshots. You can view the powerpoint in “Preview” mode but probably downloading the file from Dropbox and viewing it locally will achieve the highest resolution. I’m not trying to pass along any viruses I promise. –;