I am a professor of engineering and scientist working with the air-force. Having a (mostly) desk job since a long time, transformed me from a trim figure (170 lb) 15 years ago to a very unfit me (220 lb) over the time. Not only was I obese for many years, but some health complications had come to set in. These included very heavy breathing, snoring at night, shortness of breath, heartburn and pre-diabetes. The photo attached shows me at probably my worst form. My wife had been worried sick of my health, especially since my latest research job with the air-force was mostly among colleagues who are very fit. I did some research and installed a few apps on the phone. I used MyFitnessPal to log food intakes initially, which helped me become cautious of the food I consume. On 22 July, 2019 I ran my first half mile on a treadmill, and was out of breath in about five minutes. Not giving up, I increased my mileage every week. Basically, I went from couch to 5km in about 2 months, losing 25 lb. My BMI dropped from 33.5 to 29.7, so officially I am not obese anymore. Well, there is a lot to cover still, as I aim to shed a further 10 kg to reach a sub-25 BMI. Turning 39 this week, I am glad I took a few steps in the right direction.
I was asked for tips in private messages. So here goes:
1. Don't aim to lose more than 3 lb (1.5 kg) a week. Even if you weigh 200 kg, dont be tempted by "lose 50 lb in a month" advertisements. This means using an energy balance. Calculate how much calories you should intake and how much you should expend every day. Many online tools available. My favorite is #MyFitnessPal app.
2. Use apps on your phone or a health band (invest upwards of $50, don't fall for cheap M3 brand) to monitor your activities. My favorite is #GoogleFit , you can integrate it with other apps like #Runtastic, which is the best for running tracking.
3. Make a goal of 10-12 thousand steps a day at least. Running one km means 1200 steps roughly.
3. Start #running. There is a very good program developed for beginners by NHS doctors called #C25K (couch to 5km in two months). It will take you from 0 to 5km progrssively. Keep your social media accounts posted. It keeps you motivated and committed.
4. Log all your meals through #MyFitnessPal app. It will keep your calorie count. It us obvious that all sugars and refined foods should be off the table. Honey and fruits are fine in moderation. Drink coffees and teas without sugar. Drink water only as required by thirst.
5. Do not attempt any sports while you are still overweight (> 30 BMI). Do that once you are lighter, otherwise you will damage your joints.
6. Listen to your body. If there is pain in the knees or ankles, immediately stop running and switch to walking. It will go away and you will start stronger. However, common shin splints are teething problems and best to ignore. They can be remedied by better running shoes.
7. Run outside in the open. Treadmills are useless. There is no air resistance or irregular ground. Try also not to run on a track, you will get stuck in a rut. Go and enjoy the view, change trails.
8. Choose good running shoes, which are over-sized by at least half an inch. Your feet will swell.
9. Add a bit of strength training, but it is more useful to do freeletics, aerobics, cardio and HIIT, without weights. Many free apps for it like #Fitify family of video tutorial programs.
10. Your biggest motivation should be to be fit. It's never too late whether you weight 300kg or are 50 years old. There is always a day to start. And that is now.
[edited by MFP mods]