How to Lose Weight Well: Dieters discover weight loss
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After 30 years of failed New Year’s resolutions in which he pledged to lose weight, 53-year-old Paul knew he had to take real action. He told Express.co.uk how he completely transformed his body and in turn, his life, through diet and exercise – whilst still enjoying the occasional biscuit.
Paul credited his weight loss to Noom, a programme which prioritises the psychology behind our relationships with food.
He began: “A big thing for me was that, with Noom, you can eat what you want. But whilst making these decisions and recording what you eat on a calorie counter, you soon realise just how bad some of the high-calorie ‘red foods’ are for you.
“You also choose the speed at which you want to lose weight. For me, I wanted to see results and I wanted to see them quite quickly, because that’s what keeps me motivated.”
One crucial lesson that Paul learnt was that a lot of the time when he thought he was hungry, his body was actually thirsty and crying out for water: “That was a huge eye-opener for me.”
He disclosed: “Boredom eating was another biggie.”
Paul admitted that despite being “skeptical” about the programme, Noom completely altered his perception of food and his own food habits.
Along the way, Noom’s Whatapp support network was a great source of motivation for Paul, with people of all ages, genders and walks of life using it to “encourage” each other on both the good and bad days.
“People provided tips, recipes, and substitutes for certain foods. It’s almost like a community, where everyone’s on that same journey.”
While the help was there, Paul revealed: “I found it remarkably easy. I look back and I can’t actually believe how easy I found it, but to be honest, a lot of that came from me seeing results.”
Weighing himself every day so he could see the pounds drop off also kept him on track to smash his goals.
Exercise wise, Paul was “making a point of going for a walk for at least an hour every day”, no matter what the forecast read.
“Even when it rained I went out, because at the end of the day, you’re only getting wet.”
Rather than slow, leisurely walks, Paul picked up the pace to maximise calorie burning: “I want to feel like I’m actually exercising, so I walk as fast as other people jog.”
Paul stated: “I’m not a runner, but I always wanted to be able to run 10k in less than an hour. When I did it, I posted on social media saying, ‘This is the last time you’ll ever see a post from me about running,’ because now I’ve done it, I’m not doing it again.”
But his passion for golf also helped him shed the excess weight; according to The Golf News Net, “walking a round of golf is like taking a four to five mile hike while backpacking”.
Paul knew he was really making progress when his friends on the golf course started commenting on his new, slim physique.
“They always knew me as the big guy. At first, when I lost weight, they thought I might be sick, as it was dropping off me so quickly, but when I told them what I was doing they couldn’t believe how well it was going.”
Compliments and words of encouragement from his loved ones was a big motivator, which in turn meant he was “scared of failing”.
“I don’t want to be seen as the guy who yo-yoed.”
Noom was extremely effective for Paul, but at one point he felt that he had lost too much weight.
In the short space of just nine months, Paul’s weight plummeted from 19 stone to 14 stone, and as a naturally broad guy towering at six foot, he actually decided to bring his weight up to 15 stone.
“My wife says I’m a perfect weight now. She says I look healthy, happy and not too skinny.”
Four years ago, a doctor told Paul he was a “walking heart attack”, but Paul’s weight loss meant he was able to reduce his blood pressure tablets to just one third of his original prescription.
While he still enjoys himself, and loves socialising over a few beers, he knows when it’s time to swap to low calorie gin, and that going out means he should make healthy, mindful choices in the days leading up to it.
He also changed his snacking habits; previously, Paul would instinctively reach for a packet of biscuits when enjoying a coffee and watching TV.
“Now I think to myself, ‘Do I really need the biscuit?’ and grab some grapes instead.
“I have a chocolate biscuit with my coffee maybe once a week, and I really enjoy it because it’s a treat, whereas before it was the norm.”
His advice to others embarking on their own weight loss journey: “Focus on the long goal, and remember why you’re doing it.”
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