How I lost 10 percent of my weight and a year later did not regain it...

I did not realize thald do. After all, I walked a couple of kilometers every day and ran 7km once a week, played soccer or tennis once a week and cycled around three hours on weekends. My diet was balanced, although I ate heavy meals at dinner and never left the table unless I was full.  Despite my exercise regime, I had a bit of a belly —though I felt good. I thought I looked good.

My cycle buddies all weighed much less than me. They would shoot up the hill and I was always lagging behind. They all said I weighed too much and that was why I had a hard time going uphill.  The wife’s comments about my love handles did not help. It was at that moment that I realised I needed to do something.

If you want to feel good, then whatever exercise you can do is fine. But if you want to lose some weight, even if you are not overweight, then what you are already doing is not enough. You need to change your diet and increase your exercise (burn more calories).

What I decided to do was not radical.  I did not stop eating or drinking anything in particular.  I did not take up a strange sport or start some activity I never did before. All I did was eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise more.  I increased my cycling to two times a week from one time a week and made the weekend ride longer. I started eating more vegetables and drinking less beer, although I did drink one whenever I felt like it. Same with alcohol in general – glass of wine and sometimes a bit of hard liquor.  I increased my walking during the week to about three kilometers a day by walking to and from work and increased my cycling on weekends to over three hours. I didn’t see this as a burden.

Losing weight felt good. I needed another hole on my belt to hold my pants up on a skinny waist – my clothes all felt baggy and looked baggy on a slimmer frame.  I am more energetic and feel better – a spring in my step

This is the key to success. You can either exercise a lot more or eat a lot less or strike a balance between the two which is what I did.  But it needs to be done over time and worked into your daily routine to be sustainable over the long term or you risk going back to your original weight.

The key was to stuff myself with vegetables – salad with olive oil and mixed with all kinds of vegetables to make it taste better– and soups, hummus. Meat and steaks will not make you fat or grow a belly, so that is fine.  Drink a lot of water to feel full.

I increased my walking during the week to about five kilometers a day by walking to and from work and increased my cycling.  Tennis and soccer will not make a big difference in weight. A glass of wine a day will not make a difference either. Cycling is great since you can take a 3 hour ride and burn around 800 calories per hour going at a good pace, so that in three hours you can burn around 2400 calories which is around 3 pounds. But then stick to the raw vegetable/ fruit / meat diet so that you don’t regain all the weight.