What worked for me - dropped over 65 lbs.

codyadams

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From about the time I started college, I began to put on a lot of weight. I'm 5'11" and got up to about 250, and went from 235-250 for about 10 years. I want to go into what worked for me so I can hopefully help someone else, because now, I feel so much better, and can do so much more!

Well, back in mid February I had a life change, and realized I needed to get in shape. I wasn't sure how I was going to do it, but just knew I needed to. I was at 247 lbs the day I started. I began by just looking at a healthy, balanced diet, nothing special or any designer diet. I used an app on my phone to begin to monitor my intake, and after spending a couple days logging every bit of food I ate, I quickly realized my problem. Actually seeing my macros of fat, carbs and protein, as well as my calories, really opened my eyes. Like I do when comparing different bullets at different velocities on my ballistics apps, I started looking at what kinds of food contained what kinds of calories, and seeing how I could manage to get the most food, with the best macro balance, with the least amount of calories, so I could stay within my parameters, but not feel hungry all the time.

I cut out a ton of things......butter was gone, replaced with SMALL amounts of olive oil, pretty much only used when cooking wild game. Almost no bread or tortillas, pretty much no cheese except low fat mozzarella in very small amounts, no sweets, and cut out all soda at first, even diet. My macro goals were ratioed out to 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat, and was aiming for 2,200 max calories a day to start. Lean protein shakes, TONS of egg whites (like 6-8 as part of my breakfast every morning), brown rice, low fat cottage cheese, turkey bacon, fat free milk if any at all, spaghetti squash, garbanzo beans, lima beans, vegetables, salads with low or fat free dressing, often a vinegrett, and throw wild game meat of some sort into pretty much every meal I ate seemed to be the ticket. Most of my carbs were in the a.m. so I could burn them off, so I would make 6-8 scrambled egg whites with some fat free milk, season them aggressively, throw in jalapeños, some sliced up steak or ground deer/elk/antelope, mix in aggressively seasoned brown rice, have a side of turkey bacon, and that would be very low fat, high protein, and surprisingly low calorie breakfast.

It helped to stay busy during the day, down time meant time to think about food. I would get a protein shake, I preferred a chocolate peanut butter, mixed with cold brew coffee and ice, which would be about 30 oz in an insulated mug, and a small bag of jerky, and snack on that and sip on the shake throughout the day for my "lunch".

By dinner, I could eat a big fat steak, or a big elk burger wrapped in lettuce in place of a bun, or one of my favorites, a big plate of spaghetti squash spaghetti, with lean elk burger and a natural tomato sauce topped with a small amount of mozzarella. This last one would only be like 600-800 calories for as much as I could stand to eat, and this would still keep my daily intake at or under 2000 calories.

After committing to this for a couple weeks, weight was coming off fast. This motivated me to keep going, and be more active. I started looking at different recipes, and getting more control over cravings. I changed the entire way I thought about food, it was no longer looked at as an enjoyment, it was fuel for my body. I still enjoyed it, but if I looked at it as fuel, then when it tasted good, it made it that much better, because it didn't always taste good eating my turkey bacon while my kids were eating a donut in front of me ha ha. But I had committed to it, and it was working, so I wasn't going to stop.

After I dropped 20 lbs, I adjusted my intake and dropped it some more, down to 1900 calories at max. It was easy at this point, I knew what foods had what in them. So I knew what would be easy to lower on portions, or just not have in a day. Again, one of the most important things was keeping myself busy, even if that meant just playing with the kids or talking to my 9 year old son about his rifle build. SOMETHING to occupy the mind. Pretty quick I was down to 210 lbs, but was hitting a wall. I was used to seeing loses every 2-4 days, even if they were minor. I went a month without loosing a single lb.

I don't know if this was the right thing to do, and I would say be careful with this and maintain your self control, because it can make you fall back into bad habits, but I decided to try to shock my system. I had a donut and glass of vitamin D milk for breakfast, went to a burger shack, and grabbed the biggest double bacon cheese burger they had for lunch, and ate REAL pasta for dinner. I felt like garbage that night....but that was the point. The next 3 days, I dropped my intake down to 1500 or less calories a day....and BAM! Almost immediately down another 4 lbs.

Went back to my general diet, and continued to consistently loose weight, though it was slower than before. I was good with this though, because I was seeing consistent improvement. Finally seeing the digital scale number begin with a 1 was an incredible morning.....first time being under 200 lbs in 14 years. And it only took 5 months.....I felt like a fool looking back. All those years of my life struggling up the mountain, falling behind, not going places that I knew would hold big deer because I didn't think I could make it, 14 years.....and it only took my 5 months to fix it, with nothing more than self control and a little self motivated education.

I kept going, and by mid September, was at my goal weight of 180 lbs. At this point, I decided I wanted to start lifting weights and working out more, as I looked like a string bean now ha ha.

Went from a 40" waist, to a 32" now, xl shirts to mediums. I feel amazing, at 32 years old I am in better shape than I was in high school. Most of my workouts I do now involve doing high numbers of pushups, situps, crunches, squats, lunges, planks, leg lifts, running, and other similar things, and a bit of weight lifting, but all things that can be done at home with a treadmill and a standard small weight set. I try to work out 3-4x a week for 30-45 minutes each time, and it actually feels good now. At this point I don't log my food, after 8 months of logging my food, I have a good grasp of what I can eat, and working out more I can eat more (still healthy balanced food), and I don't really want to loose weight, but instead gain muscle mass, which will burn some fat in doing so. So far, I have got more toned, and got up to 185, but with a lower fat percentage than I was when I first hit 180.

If your wondering if you can do it, yes you can. Look at the top of that mountain, and tell yourself you will be able to get there one day. Make your mind up and stick to it. Change your entire outlook of food as a source of enjoyment, to fuel for your body. Don't wait until tomorrow, do it now. It is, by far, the best thing you will ever do for yourself!!!


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Diverjeff

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Congrats Cody,amazing accomplishment!Time for me to get busy myself,as my weight has crept up to 277 lbs. and I feel like crap(retired in April and have gained 12 lbs.,mostly due to inactivity).Have always stayed in the 210-220 lb.(which at 6'2" wasn't bad)range until about 10 years ago when I started picking up an extra 5 lbs. a year and the older I get(I'm 69 now)the easier it is to put it on.You're an inspiration brother,thanks for posting!
 

Yoteklr

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I lost 120 lb of unwanted weight 4 years ago...

I dumped her.
 

SierraJoe

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Well done! Consistency with appropriate diet and exercise will always be key to fitness. There is no magic pill or quick fix. I like how you “listened” to your body and adjusted as needed. Everyone is different and should tailor these principles to their body type and personal goals.

I cut out soda decades ago after I saw pictures of myself from my brother’s wedding and I had what I affectionately call my “thesis pudge.” Haha! Vanity got the better of me. Since then it’s been a journey of diet and exercise changes. Age and nagging injuries are becoming the new challenges. Such is life.
 

Spreedizzle

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Great stuff here, and congrats.
I'm a pretty active guy, and reasonably built from collegiate ice hockey.....but like most people, for a long time didn't adjust my eating habits from when I was on the ice 30 hours a week, to when my competitive days were behind me. The simple moderation, or counting as you detailed above, was incredible to transform my body back into a similar shape to my playing days. We lust after the best rifles, the lightest packs, best binos......and then accept an extra 30lbs on ourselves and look for the gains in equipment.
I like you got as high as 245.....much happier, a better husband, better father, and better hunter.....at 210. ;)
 

Livetohunt

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Cool to see ya workin hard at it Cody!

I’m the other way around. I’ve been eating well and lifting weights all year. Made it up to 200 lbs. hunting season hit, and in about 2 months I dropped 20 lbs from a poor diet again and the hiking cardio.
 

Jud96

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This is awesome and inspiring! I’ve always been a big guy naturally and have always carried some extra chub since I was a little kid and I have always struggled with food. I love food. However, after reading this and talking to a friend who’s a big guy losing weight, I’ve made up my mind to begin eating healthier and smaller proportions. I’d love to lose 50lbs or so in a year! I am currently 6’ 2” and 290lbs and would realistically love to be in the 220-230lb range. I’ve never looked into healthy eating other than the obvious salads, veggies, and lean meat. So this will be a learning curve for me but I’m excited. Thanks for sharing and helping me make the same choice for my health.
 

codyadams

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This is awesome and inspiring! I’ve always been a big guy naturally and have always carried some extra chub since I was a little kid and I have always struggled with food. I love food. However, after reading this and talking to a friend who’s a big guy losing weight, I’ve made up my mind to begin eating healthier and smaller proportions. I’d love to lose 50lbs or so in a year! I am currently 6’ 2” and 290lbs and would realistically love to be in the 220-230lb range. I’ve never looked into healthy eating other than the obvious salads, veggies, and lean meat. So this will be a learning curve for me but I’m excited. Thanks for sharing and helping me make the same choice for my health.
Another thing that helped me was support from my amazing wife. She was there for me and helped a ton. Another important thing was doing research often, educating myself, and finding foods that fit the balance good. You would think nuts are good, right? Nope.....PACKED with fat and calories, and not that filling. Avocados are raved about being healthy.....again, tons of fat. They may be "healthy" fats, but they are still fats. Rice in moderation, as it is strait carbs. Lean meat is where it is at, skinless chicken, any wild game, lean beef, trimmed pork loin is awesome as well, I eat a TON of pork loin. Seafood is packed with protein, just watch how it is prepared, it often has a bunch of fat and carbs added to it. Cook your own fish and you will be good. Cut out butter in cooking, spray olive oil is better, lower fat and you use less. If you get stuck having to eat fast food, one type of food I found was decent is Hawaiian/Polynesian style grills. Skinless, grilled chicken, brown rice, and a salad is an option at most of them, is delicious, filling, and healthy. Stay away from breading and most sweet or buttery sauces, and pasta.

Something else that helped, was I love to cook. So I would look up recipes all the time, and build off what I knew. It's hard to be strong at times and not give in, it is so much easier to just hit the drive through on the way home from the grocery store, than wait to get home, unload groceries, wrangle kids, then make time to cook.....but when you overcome that craving, and your standing there in front of the stove cooking healthy food, it gives you a huge feeling of pride to know that you were stronger than your cravings. For me, it was a big thing to educate my kids about healthy eating too. I know my habits, good or bad, will be transferred to them. So, I owe it to them to teach them how to be healthy, and I owe it to them to stay in shape, so I can be alive with them longer. But in the end, for it to work, you have to do it for yourself. It is no different than a drug addiction honestly.

Saying that it is the right thing to do, and pointing out all the benefits, is easy. Doing it was damn hard, I won't lie about it. There were so many times I picked up something I knew I shouldn't eat, and literally yelled outloud at myself "No!" And put it back down and walked away, and forced myself to find something to do. I was in line at a fast food drive up by myself, pulled up to order, looked at the food on the menu, and for a brief second felt guilty after all my hard work, got my self control back and drove off before even saying anything. It sucked, and was hard, for at least the first 4-5 months. But if you just make your mind up, you will get there. It did get easier over time, as good habits overtook bad cravings. And when you get there, it's all worthwhile.
 

Jud96

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Another thing that helped me was support from my amazing wife. She was there for me and helped a ton. Another important thing was doing research often, educating myself, and finding foods that fit the balance good. You would think nuts are good, right? Nope.....PACKED with fat and calories, and not that filling. Avocados are raved about being healthy.....again, tons of fat. They may be "healthy" fats, but they are still fats. Rice in moderation, as it is strait carbs. Lean meat is where it is at, skinless chicken, any wild game, lean beef, trimmed pork loin is awesome as well, I eat a TON of pork loin. Seafood is packed with protein, just watch how it is prepared, it often has a bunch of fat and carbs added to it. Cook your own fish and you will be good. Cut out butter in cooking, spray olive oil is better, lower fat and you use less. If you get stuck having to eat fast food, one type of food I found was decent is Hawaiian/Polynesian style grills. Skinless, grilled chicken, brown rice, and a salad is an option at most of them, is delicious, filling, and healthy. Stay away from breading and most sweet or buttery sauces, and pasta.

Something else that helped, was I love to cook. So I would look up recipes all the time, and build off what I knew. It's hard to be strong at times and not give in, it is so much easier to just hit the drive through on the way home from the grocery store, than wait to get home, unload groceries, wrangle kids, then make time to cook.....but when you overcome that craving, and your standing there in front of the stove cooking healthy food, it gives you a huge feeling of pride to know that you were stronger than your cravings. For me, it was a big thing to educate my kids about healthy eating too. I know my habits, good or bad, will be transferred to them. So, I owe it to them to teach them how to be healthy, and I owe it to them to stay in shape, so I can be alive with them longer. But in the end, for it to work, you have to do it for yourself. It is no different than a drug addiction honestly.

Saying that it is the right thing to do, and pointing out all the benefits, is easy. Doing it was damn hard, I won't lie about it. There were so many times I picked up something I knew I shouldn't eat, and literally yelled outloud at myself "No!" And put it back down and walked away, and forced myself to find something to do. I was in line at a fast food drive up by myself, pulled up to order, looked at the food on the menu, and for a brief second felt guilty after all my hard work, got my self control back and drove off before even saying anything. It sucked, and was hard, for at least the first 4-5 months. But if you just make your mind up, you will get there. It did get easier over time, as good habits overtook bad cravings. And when you get there, it's all worthwhile.
Thank you! This is very helpful. I downloaded an app yesterday and I’m actually surprised how much healthy food I can eat and still stay around 2000 calories. Like veggies, lean meat, beans, etc. The proportions are much more than I would have thought and still only around 600 calories per meal. I’m definitely stealing your idea with the egg whites, steak or ground venison, with some brown rice for breakfast. That sounds filling and good to me! I already boiled some chicken, made some rice, chick peas (garbanzo beans), and cut up some raw bell peppers for some meals this week.
 

codyadams

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Thank you! This is very helpful. I downloaded an app yesterday and I’m actually surprised how much healthy food I can eat and still stay around 2000 calories. Like veggies, lean meat, beans, etc. The proportions are much more than I would have thought and still only around 600 calories per meal. I’m definitely stealing your idea with the egg whites, steak or ground venison, with some brown rice for breakfast. That sounds filling and good to me! I already boiled some chicken, made some rice, chick peas (garbanzo beans), and cut up some raw bell peppers for some meals this week.
Heck ya man!! That will do it for ya. Keep it going!
 

Diverjeff

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This is awesome and inspiring! I’ve always been a big guy naturally and have always carried some extra chub since I was a little kid and I have always struggled with food. I love food. However, after reading this and talking to a friend who’s a big guy losing weight, I’ve made up my mind to begin eating healthier and smaller proportions. I’d love to lose 50lbs or so in a year! I am currently 6’ 2” and 290lbs and would realistically love to be in the 220-230lb range. I’ve never looked into healthy eating other than the obvious salads, veggies, and lean meat. So this will be a learning curve for me but I’m excited. Thanks for sharing and helping me make the same choice for my health.
I'm right behind you Jud96 at 6'2"/277lbs. and Cody's lit a fire under my azz!I retired in April and without paying attention put on 10lbs. but I'm over it,hoping for 230lbs. by summer myself. (y)
 

Jud96

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I'm right behind you Jud96 at 6'2"/277lbs. and Cody's lit a fire under my azz!I retired in April and without paying attention put on 10lbs. but I'm over it,hoping for 230lbs. by summer myself. (y)
I just turned 26 last week and I want to get my health under control so I am healthier in general, but also so I can hunt harder, walk further, work harder and all the physical benefits of being in better shape. I also want to try and live life doing what I want to the best of my abilities for as long as possible. My fiancée and I plan to have kids in the future and I want to be able to better keep up with them and be able to do a lot with them without being out of breath.
 

codyadams

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@codyadams, can you share which app you used? I'm curious to know which app helped you on your journey.
I used "my fitness pal" app, here are the visuals of a few of my days, they weren't always perfect, but having goals helped to make my decisions on what to eat throughout the day. If I had a low fat and carb morning, I can have a little more for lunch or dinner, or if I was low on protein I know I need to have lean meat for lunch and/or dinner. Or if I had a bad day where I had a lot of fat, the next day I aim for low fat. At first I looked at it like how I did each individual day, but noticed better results when I tried to balance my food intake by the week. If I went over on calories one day, I go lower the next, try to get my weekly average as close to my goals as possible.

Screenshot_20221115-100106_MyFitnessPal.jpg Screenshot_20221115-100119_MyFitnessPal.jpg Screenshot_20221115-100124_MyFitnessPal.jpg Screenshot_20221115-100129_MyFitnessPal.jpg
 

Spreedizzle

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I just turned 26 last week and I want to get my health under control so I am healthier in general, but also so I can hunt harder, walk further, work harder and all the physical benefits of being in better shape. I also want to try and live life doing what I want to the best of my abilities for as long as possible. My fiancée and I plan to have kids in the future and I want to be able to better keep up with them and be able to do a lot with them without being out of breath.
Best to get into a routine/culture with you and the fiance' of health and fitness before you have the kiddos. Set the tone now, stick to it together, and you'll be good post kiddos.
Wifey and I get up together at 4:30 every morning to get our workouts in. Great to keep each other accountable to our goals.
 

OSOK - Crash

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I used "my fitness pal" app, here are the visuals of a few of my days, they weren't always perfect, but having goals helped to make my decisions on what to eat throughout the day. If I had a low fat and carb morning, I can have a little more for lunch or dinner, or if I was low on protein I know I need to have lean meat for lunch and/or dinner. Or if I had a bad day where I had a lot of fat, the next day I aim for low fat. At first I looked at it like how I did each individual day, but noticed better results when I tried to balance my food intake by the week. If I went over on calories one day, I go lower the next, try to get my weekly average as close to my goals as possible.

View attachment 13143 View attachment 13144 View attachment 13145 View attachment 13146
I've used fitness pal in the past. Looks like they updated it from when I used it last. They didn't have the macros that you show pictured. To be honest, I gave up on "counting calories" and just said I'm going to pound the pavement and burn it off. It worked up to a certain point. Then I fell into the trap of "I run, so I can eat". That's fine if you are putting in the miles every day. Which I was. But once the running season/marathon ended, those bad habits followed.

I think I need a whole new change to be honest. I still work out and run. But I need to change my outlook on food like youve done. I love to eat.

Thanks for sharing!
 

Gord0

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While starting at a weight under you guys (5'8" 185#) I used a lot of the same methods, along with a good amount of running. I dropped to a lean 170 over the summer. Only took a couple of months, but kept losing inches in the waist and adding muscle so the weight remained the same. I can tell you I feel pretty crappy when I get over 180, and at my absolute heaviest a few years ago I was at 195. It's amazing how much better your body feels just dropping 10-20#!
 

OSOK - Crash

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While starting at a weight under you guys (5'8" 185#) I used a lot of the same methods, along with a good amount of running. I dropped to a lean 170 over the summer. Only took a couple of months, but kept losing inches in the waist and adding muscle so the weight remained the same. I can tell you I feel pretty crappy when I get over 180, and at my absolute heaviest a few years ago I was at 195. It's amazing how much better your body feels just dropping 10-20#!
Your stats and experiences have matched mine to a T. I was right at 195. Maybe a little over. I got down to just over 170 last year while running and working out. You are absolutely right. I'm between 185-190 now. I can definitely feel it. Plus I hate when I get winded easy. Something inside me gets angry. I wrestled when I was younger and prided myself on being able to GO for all 3 rounds. Need to get back at it. It's so easy to get "get too busy" and let life excuses to creep in. No excuse for my eating habits though.

Oh and must put out there. Beer will add a TON of calories quick.
 

Gord0

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Your stats and experiences have matched mine to a T. I was right at 195. Maybe a little over. I got down to just over 170 last year while running and working out. You are absolutely right. I'm between 185-190 now. I can definitely feel it. Plus I hate when I get winded easy. Something inside me gets angry. I wrestled when I was younger and prided myself on being able to GO for all 3 rounds. Need to get back at it. It's so easy to get "get too busy" and let life excuses to creep in. No excuse for my eating habits though.

Oh and must put out there. Beer will add a TON of calories quick.
I wrestled too. There's being in good shape, then there's being in wrestling shape. It's just a whole nother level. Even my wife is getting into fitness now. Not that she needed to lose any weight 5'4" 115#. She just wants to be stronger. I better watch myself 🤣
 

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