How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off – What Worked For Me

178.5 lbs. - down from 200 lbs.1
This pic was taken after 2 months of using my program. I started out at 200 lbs. but never thought of taking pictures of the scale until I hit this mark.

So you want to know how to lose weight and keep it off. You’re not alone. In fact, that’s probably the single biggest question people ask, aside from just asking or trying to figure out how to lose weight to begin with.

The weight loss roller coaster isn’t fun. People lose weight, and then they put it right back on. And many times they end up gaining back more than they had on in the beginning, so they end up weighing more than they ever did before.

Can you say “frustrating”?

And not only is it frustrating, but it’s also not healthy. Putting your body through the extreme ups and downs of the weight loss roller coaster can wreak havoc with your body’s physical health. And it can also wreck you emotionally.

Well, the good news is that you can take the weight off and keep it off! And it doesn’t require any strange kind of pills, weird workout routines or any expensive equipment, supplements or anything else expensive.

We all know that people can lose weight and keep it off. We might know someone who has accomplished this or we might have read stories about it. But when it comes to our own weight loss battles, we just can’t seem to grasp the reality of it for ourselves.

It shouldn’t matter who you are, how old you are or how much weight you have to lose. You can lose the weight and you can keep it off, if you lose the weight correctly.

Healthy Snacks!
Healthy snacks help you lose weight and will help to keep you from gaining the weight back once you lose it.

Losing weight using fad diets or gimmicky, extreme dieting methods will not keep the weight off. Losing weight based solely on exercise will not keep the weight off. Losing weight using any kind of quirky “program” that promises to help you lose enormous amounts of weight in a short time will not keep the weight off.

I am going to tell you what it takes. But be forewarned that I don’t sugar coat anything (no pun intended) and I don’t pull any punches when I talk about this. I can’t. Because if I do, I am not telling you the truth.

And if you’re truly going to be successful with losing weight and you’re going to be successful at never gaining weight again, I need to be brutally honest. It’s the only way anyone will learn and the only way anyone will be able to reach their goals.

Alright, so here’s the so-called “secret” to losing weight and keeping the weight off: Lifestyle Change.

There. I said it. And you read it. Did it hurt so much? It might have made you flinch a little bit. And there’s a reason for that. It takes work and perseverance!

That’s right. It does take work and dedication, but you’re worth every minute of that work and that persevering.

My Weight as of August 17, 2012
I used to weigh 200 lbs.!!

If you are truly serious about dropping unwanted pounds and keeping those pounds off for the rest of your life, you need to make changes to your diet and your exercise habits. You need to change your lifestyle with regard to what you eat, how much you eat and how much exercise you get. Period.

There are no shortcuts. There are no magic machines you can buy on TV that will give you a slender waist and ripped abs while you sit and watch TV or while you sleep. Keep your hard-earned money and leave the gimmicks behind.

Instead, focus your efforts on realistic methods and goals and then make it happen. Oh, it will take some time and it will take some work, but it can be done and you can do it. You just have to want it badly enough to go after it and not quit until you reach your goals.

How long it will take for you to reach your weightloss goal will depend on a few different things:

  1. How much weight you need to lose
  2. How much effort you put into losing the weight
  3. How persistent you are with sticking to it

That is it in a nutshell. That’s the big secret that too many people are afraid to tell you.

Why? Because they’d rather sell you something. They’d rather string you along, hoping you’ll buy their video or buy their book or buy their gimmicky little machine that’s supposed to give you the body of a model in just 7 minutes per day.

Exercise helps burn calories and strengthen your heart and lungs.
Healthy weight loss requires some form of exercise to help burn calories and keep your metabolism high. It’s also good for your heart and lungs.

So now that you know the truth, what will you do with it? Will you continue to jump from one wonder diet to the next, hoping the excess pounds will just peel themselves off, or will you get serious about your health (not just your weight), take charge and do something about it?

Seriously, losing weight the right way is really your only good choice. And if you’re concerned even the least little bit about your overall health, it’s your only choice. It’s the only way to lose the weight, lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, lower your blood sugar and take care of a whole lot of other related health problems in the process.

Let me share a little motivational info with you, based on my own weight loss victory!

I was overweight. My doctor told me to lose weight.  I had let myself get fat.

I didn’t used to be fat. I grew up slender and lean, always active, playing neighborhood sports, riding my bike, splitting wood, mowing lawns. Whatever it took to have fun, make money, etc. And I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The joys and benefits of being young and active.

And then I “grew up”. I became an adult and my priorities changed. They had to. I was now no longer in school. I had to get a JOB. And this meant that I was no longer in charge of my time. I now had to spend at least 8 hours a day at work.

Needless to say, my activity levels dropped. I still played street hockey now and then, or baseball, or football, but nowhere near as much as I did when I was “free”, as a kid.

And then I got married, settled down and became even less active. And I changed jobs a couple of times. Oh, but I still pretty much ate what I wanted, when I wanted. Therein lies the problem.

Sitting made me feel tired sluggish
Sitting at a desk caused me to become less active and caused my metabolism to drop big time!

As my lifestyle changed, my eating habits didn’t really change. Why not? I just didn’t think about it. I never put 2 + 2 together and realized that if I was doing less, then I should be eating less.

Fast forward 10 years and I am no longer wearing the same size pants that I was wearing when I graduated high school. Fast forward another 10 years and I have upped the size of my pants yet again. So now I’ve increased my pants size at least twice!

Now, you might not think that sounds so bad, but when I compared it to what I use to be, it’s a step in the wrong direction. I was gaining weight. But I just chalked it up to “getting older”. You know the myth: You get heavier as you get older.

Well, I bought that lie. And so I kept on eating what I wanted, when I wanted. And my waist size went up another inch. I was now wearing pants 3 or 4 sizes bigger shirts that were at least two sizes bigger.

Well, I no longer pretended that I didn’t know I was gaining weight. I knew it. And I was started to become ashamed of how I looked, even if I didn’t let on that I was ashamed. I just wore baggy t-shirts and tried to hide it.

But the shower told the tale.

You can’t hide from yourself when you’re in the shower. You not only see every inch of yourself, but you also feel the reality of where you’ve gained weight as you wash yourself. You know… the rolls that the clothes help to hide. Well, you can’t deny them when you’re soaping up and your hand hits every one of them.

So I wrestled with this for a while. And I was actually getting close to needing to jump up another size in my pants. Yep. I was almost there 🙁

I needed to lose weight
The doctor told me I needed to lose weight!

And then came the doctor visit for my annual checkup. He told me to lose some weight; a bare minimum of 15 lbs. That would put me back into the bracket I needed to be in for my height. But I would be near the top of that bracket. Still better than the 200 lbs. I was carrying, but not ideal.

And then came the phone call, 2 weeks later, with my lab test results. My cholesterol was getting too high. I needed to bring that down too. Oh, and did I mention the acid reflux that I was now having a lot of trouble with? I was eating Tums like candy.

So it was time. Time do do something about it. This was my wakeup call. This was my moment of truth. What would I do with it?

Well, I started trying to eat less. And I made sure I was out taking walks several times each week. And guess what. It worked. Well, sort of. I didn’t gain any more weight. But I didn’t lose any either. And my acid reflux didn’t get any better.

So I needed to do something more drastic, more effective.

I knew I needed to lose weight and decided to do something about it.
Enough was enough. I knew I needed to lose weight and I decided to do something about it!

That’s when I decided enough was enough. I was sitting in my recliner one evening, somewhere between 8:30 and 9 PM. My wife walked out to the kitchen and asked me what I wanted for a snack. I shocked her. I told her “nothing”.

She popped her head around the corner and just kind of looked at me and said “are you sure?”. I said yes and then told her that I was no longer going to be eating anything after 8 PM. Late night snacks were no longer an option.

And that was what started my weight loss journey. First, I cut out the snacks after 8 PM, and then I moved it more toward 7 PM.

And then I cut my meal portions in half and reduced the number of sweet snacks I was eating each day. I still ate snacks, but less of them, in smaller portions, and less of the sweet stuff.

And do you know what happened? I started to see results. Before I knew it, I started to like eating less. I started to feel better. And even better than that, I started losing weight! I was doing it and I didn’t need some textbook methodology to do it. I just needed good, old-fashioned common sense.

So I pushed forward and kept doing what was working, and the weight kept coming off. The more I lost, the more excited I got and the better I felt. Seriously. I actually started feeling healthier as I lost weight.

I lost weight and kept the weight off.
I reached my goal!

Fast forward 8 months. I had reached my goal of getting back to my high school graduation weight! I actually did it 🙂

Now what? Now that I had reached my goal, how was I going to stop losing weight and then keep the weight off?

Well, not wanting to lose any more weight meant having to slowly increase what I ate each day. I wanted to make sure I was taking in enough calories to maintain my weight, but not enough to start gaining again.

At first I wasn’t sure how to go about that, but I figured it out and I have been at that same weight for 1 year now! So I met my weight loss goal and then kept the weight off for more than a year.

And if I can do it, you can do it too. Seriously. You Can Do This!

You just need to use common sense. You need to make up your mind once and for all that you’re going to lose the weight and keep the weight off. It’s not as complicated as some people might make it seem.

It is hard work. I won’t try to fool you. But it’s only hard in the beginning. Once you get rolling and start to see the pounds coming off, it won’t seem so hard. Seeing results will give you the emotional boost you need to encourage you to keep going.

That doesn’t mean you won’t go through some struggles once in a while. But it does mean that you will be losing the weight and will have what it takes to reach your goal and then maintain that weight.

So how did I do it? How did I lose the weight and then keep it off? I changed my lifestyle. And that’s what it takes to lose weight successfully and then keep the weight off.

I kept the weight off
Here I am out enjoying an afternoon fishing, almost 1 year after hitting my weight goal. Because I changed my lifestyle, instead of just “going on a diet”, I kept the weight off. You can too!

Don’t just “go on a diet”. Change your diet. Change your eating habits. Change what you eat and how much you eat. Change your exercise habits.

Once you make those changes a part of your everyday life, you won’t have to worry about ever gaining the weight back again.

You now have “the secret”. It’s up to you to do something with it.

If you’d like to read the basic structure of my No Nonsense Weight Loss System, click here.

Keep it lean.


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How to Get Started With Your Weight Loss Plan

So you’ve made a decision to lose weight. Good for you 🙂

But how do you get started? Figuring out how to make this all happen can be pretty intimidating, to say the very least. What foods do you eat? Which foods do you not eat? What should you do for exercises? And so on.

Well, I’ll be honest with you. When I first embarked on my weight loss adventure, I had no clue what I was going to do. I just knew I needed to do something!

So I started out with the most obvious thing that I felt was causing me to gain weight… late night snacks.

But before I get too deep into that, let me backtrack a bit, if you don’t mind. I want to let you know that for a little more than a year before I actually started to lose weight, I had been trying to get started with my weight loss efforts. Unfortunately, they weren’t really working.

I was able to stop gaining, but I could never quite get to where I was losing, so I was stuck at 200 lbs. I wasn’t obese, by any means, but I had rolls on my sides, on my back and on my belly. They were small rolls, mind you, but rolls nonetheless!

So I had managed to maintain my weight by making sure I was getting exercise fairly regularly. My wife and I had gotten into the habit of taking walks 5 or 6 times per week. We would walk roughly 3 miles each time at a brisk pace (mild power walk).

This was good for our heart and lungs, but like I said, it wasn’t enough to help me drop those unwanted pounds and those pesky rolls of fat.

So let’s get back to what I did to actually start losing those pounds.. late night snacks.

You see, I love snacks. I like to pick and grab a bite here and there. Worst of all, I had a tendency to reach for sweet snacks, like Dove chocolates, M&Ms, cookies, etc. Not good!

And at night, I would eat dinner and then have dessert. And of course I would always have something else later on, like cookies and milk, chocolate cake, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, etc.

And sometimes I’d have another snack right before I went to bed! That’s right.. a second evening snack. Sometimes it might be chips and salsa or even a half of a sandwich. Either way, I was taking in calories that would never get burned because I was going to bed immediately after eating them.

So as I thought about my dilemma, I decided that the night-time snacks would have to be the first to go. It was an obvious step, and I need to start somewhere. So one evening when my wife asked me what I wanted for a snack, I told her “nothing. I’m not having a snack because it’s after 8 PM”.

At first she looked at me kinda funny, but then she realized what I was doing and understood fully. From that night on, I made a decision not to eat anything after 8 PM. In fact, I also decided that I wouldn’t drink anything with calories after 8 PM, so no juice, no chocolate milk… nothing. ZERO calories after 8 PM.

And that’s how I got started! I know that might seem very simplistic, but that’s why I call this “No Nonsense Weight Loss”, because it’s simple and straight forward, with no gimmicks or hype.

So there you have a starting point for your weight loss efforts. Cut out those evening and late night snacks. It might be tough at first, but remember why you’re doing this… for your health.

Don’t get tricked into thinking that it doesn’t matter, because it does matter. YOU matter. And every little thing that you do to take better care of yourself matters and has a lasting effect on your life, your heart, your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels, your lungs, your longevity.

Keep it lean.


p.s. If you enjoyed this blog post or know someone else who might enjoy it, or could benefit from it, please be sure to share it, using the buttons below. Thanks!