Okay, okay, I am not obese in any real sense of the word, but I was adding on the extra pounds. This was evident by having a harder and harder time getting my pants buttoned or zipped, slipping a notch in my belt, etc. I would guess I was about 20 lbs overweight, and it all seemed to be right around my waist. Does this sound like you? You should consult your doctor before beginning any weight loss program, especially if you have more than 20 lbs to lose. So have no fear as I present the D.E.W. method of weight loss. There is nothing magically here and no incredible claims of outrageous weight loss, just simple facts of life. So let’s get to it.

1. Diet

I started out with the D word, can you believe it? Of course, you can, as any weight loss program has to take this into consideration. Here is the simple fact you can not eat 5000 calories a day (or a meal for some of us) and expect to maintain or even lose weight. A couple of common sense items is all for this area. You need to control the number of calories you take into your body. There are plenty of diet books and websites that will help you decide what is right for you, but somewhere around 2000/day seems to be the norm. Here is the key – whatever you decide is right for you to spread them out over the day. If you try to diet and eat little or nothing for breakfast and lunch and then eat all your calories at dinner (followed by a late-night snack – come on I do it too so let’s be honest). This pattern causes your body to go into survival mode due to the starvation of the first half of the day and store most of the calories as fat when it finally does get feed to get it through the next morning. So find a way to spread your calories out over the day, small amounts every couple of hours to keep the hunger away and feed your body as it needs it, not all at once. So I packed my desk at work with low-calorie items (pretzels, granola, almonds, etc.), and between meals (10 am & 2 pm) I would snack a little to keep my metabolism up. And I had a snack again at night, it is important if you do this you give your body time to process those calories. Right before bed, not the time, try to make your final snack 2 – 3 hours before going to bed.

2. Exercise

I am going for the throat here, can you believe after the D-word I was so bold as to suggest the E word. Again this shouldn’t be news; you need to burn more calories than you take in if you want to shed the pounds. The trick is to find something you enjoy doing and then don’t overdo it. DO NOT START a new exercise program without first consulting your doctor. There is an old story about a man who lifted a calf each morning and then finally one day he lifted a cow (hint: the calf grew into a cow). Basically, he did it in small increments each time until he built up the strength to lift the cow. For me, it was walking, so I started just going around the block I lived on. I added an extra block every couple of days or once a week. Before long I was walking a little over 3 miles around my neighborhood. So don’t try to run a marathon your first time out. Start small and build, consistency is the key.

3. Water

Not sure if this will be a shocker to anyone or not. Basically, our bodies are % water. Like with the exercise we need to start small and build. Again, there are plenty of books and websites to give you an idea of what might be ideal for you, but working up to about a gallon a day (or X.X liters for non-US folks). I used the water to help curb the hunger pains between meals and snacks. I started by using a small 12-ounce bottle and drinking 2 a day (1 in the morning, the other in the afternoon). Then every week I would add another 12 ounces until I built up to my desired amount. I found if you can work out a pattern or time schedule (must drink 12 ounces before noon, etc), then a habit is formed. Were there a lot of times I was chugging 10 ounces at 11:58 am, yes, but I drank my 12 ounces by noon? By cutting down on calories and burning more from exercise, your body will create more waste as it converts fat into energy and protein into muscle. If it has added water to work with it will do a better job of flushing the toxins and excess fat from your body. Yes drinking this much water will mean more trips to the bathroom, but just think of it as an additional exercise.

So what have we learned, you need to control your diet and spread the calories out over the day providing them as your body needs them not all at once. Exercise will burn more calories than you eat, so start small and build. More water = less fat, again start small and build. So let’s all get out there and do what we know we need to do.

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