Monday, June 25, 2007

Weight Loss Journey – 45 Pounds in Less Than 2 Months?

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I have a client (Jeff) who is 42 years old and feels he has a weight problem. When he first came to me he complained he had gained extra pounds and found it very difficult to return to his previous weight. First, we looked at his diet. Jeff was consuming about 2000-2300 calories per day. He weighed 220 pounds. His goal was to reach 175 pounds in 3 months – He wanted to lose 45 pounds so he could look good in a bathing suit. Jeff was planning a trip to the Greek Islands in 3 months time. His diet didn’t really look that bad except maybe for his choice in alcoholic beverages. He was drinking 2-3 light beers a day. I advised him to substitute them with 2-3 glasses of dry white or red wine.

Beer can be very fattening especially for people with slow metabolisms. The real problem, however, did not lie with the diet. It was the exercise component that needed work. He wasn’t getting enough physical activity. Jeff had a sedentary office job which confined him to his computer desk all day long. His workouts consisted of 45 minute brisk walks 3-4 times per week.

After talking to him I learned that Jeff was once a jogger but had given it up 5 years ago. I then designed a new exercise program with increases in intensity levels, frequency and duration. Following clearance from his doctor he started the training program. The target intensity level was to train at 75-80% of the maximum heart rate (MHR) – staring first at a lower intensity and gradually increasing it over time, until the target was reached.

I gave him a 5 day training program. Day 1, 3 and 5 involved 40 minutes of weight training immediately followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer (also with an intensity goal of 80% of MHR). Days 2 and 4 consisted of a walking and jogging combination. The goal here was eventually to advance to 30 minutes of continuous jogging.

Five weeks into the program, Jeff has lost 18 pounds and has not yet reached the goal of continuous jogging. Now, however, he can see the light at the end of the tunnel and is confident he will reach his target weight at the 2-month point. I’ll keep you posted on his progress.
By: John Tiniakos

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