When I met my wife in 2003, I was a steady 175 lbs. I was working hard aboard my assigned ship. In my free time I was working weekends doing landscape work for cash. Since moving out of my parents home in 1992, I had never been a person to cook. Because of that, I never really consistently enjoyed eating. In early 2003 I met my new wife and she cooked all the time. In Oct 2004 my weight had ballooned to 192 lbs when I completed the Big Sur Half Marathon. Since then, my weight topped out at 215 lbs in Sep 2007. When I started my new job in Sep 2008, my weight was consistently in a range of 200 to 205 lbs. Now, I'm fed up and am cutting the weight. One month after going on a diet, I'm now at about 195 lbs. This represents a 4.8% drop in my weight (from 205 lbs). My goal is to cut down to a range of 184 to 189 lbs and consistently maintain it.
I started my weight loss by reducing my caloric intake by about 75-80% for a two day period which was close to a fast. During this time frame, I would basically eat things like yogurt, bananas, apples and string cheese. Once I got through the two day reduced caloric period my stomach shrank/tightened up to the point where it was easier for me to get full on less food.
During the last month I was challenged on a few occasions. At work we had a number of people transferring or reenlisting. With each occurrence there is typically a luncheon. Sometimes the luncheons are combined. Regardless, I found myself in restaurants a number of times. In each of these occurrences I never restricted my menu choices, but I would always restrict my meals immediately before or after. For instance, at breakfast I would either eat a meal replacement bar or simply a small bowl of my favorite kashi cereal. At supper, I might only eat a small amount of left overs vice a full meal.
It seems that my weight loss has slowed from about 2.5 lbs per week to about 1 lb every 10 days or so. We'll see how it goes. Here's a summary of the things I found that helped me:
(1.) I replaced my weekday morning coffee with diet soda or diet green tea.
(2.) On weekends, I would typically sleep in and avoid coffee or diet soda altogether
(3.) For the first two days of a diet I found success in drastically reducing calorie intake, allowing my stomach to shrink/tighten. This allowed me to get full on less food.
(4.) Be careful with diet sodas, they tend to give you a sweet tooth. Think of the Diet Dr. Pepper ads. It's true.
(5.) Exercise more. If not interested in weights or heavy cardiovascular exercise, simply walk. If the weather is bad, consider walking at the mall.
(6.) Eat more salad, yogurt and fruit.
(7.) Keep snack foods out of arms reach. When not in use, make sure they are put back up in the pantry. Best that they are there vice on your coffee table next time you get bored in front of the T.V.
(8.) If you're hungry and are having a problem sticking with your diet, consider taking a nap or going to sleep early that night. I found that I am able to go to sleep early at night. Others might have a hard time going to sleep hungry.
(9.) Eat until you're no longer hungry, vice eating until content or full.
(10.) Serve yourself. If your spouse typically serves you, he/she may provide you more food than you really need.
(11.) Think of the money you're saving when you stop eating junk / convenience food.