The Epic Autistic’s Guide to Weight Loss

As the New Year kicks off, many people are making New Years Resolutions with the most common one being to shed a couple pounds. Now last year I managed to shed 35 pounds over the course of six months feel it’s time to pass on my knowledge and tips. All too often there are a plethora of meds and fad diets/workouts that people buy into out of desperation
or sheer laziness. Now I should note that not everything works for everyone and
before you plan to lose a large amount of weight (25 pounds or more) then you
should definitely consult a doctor or a nutritionist. I present you, weight lost tips from yours truly.

1. Weight loss should mostly be for the sake of your health and not solely for
changing your appearance. I never cared how I looked at 185 pounds but health
issues forced me to have to drop the weight. Before you go to lose weight look
in the mirror and make sure you love yourself because if appearance/size issues
are the only reason your going to lose weight it’ll come back to bite you later.
You can shed off the pounds but all the exercise in the world won’t burn off the
sadness.

2. Water is your best friend!!!!! The first and probably hardest step you will
take in this process is the elimination of juice and soda from your diet. People
will tell you that you can have it in moderation and all that wonderful stuff
but if you plan on losing a lot of weight then the early stages and preferably
til the end and beyond should be void of soda. Beer is okay once a week as well
as wine but mixed drinks and hard Liquor are a no no as they are loaded with
sugar. Your water intake should be at least 2 liters (6-8 cups) a day. Water
will speed up your metabolism and the elimination of soda and juice will shave
off extra calories which makes it easier to to take in less calories and burn
off what you eat. People who know me will notice that recently I started walking
around with a 1 liter Nalgene bottle everywhere I go. This makes it easy for me
to keep track of the water I intake and its a better option when it comes to
refils (refilling plastic store bought bottles for long periods of time is also
a no no due to chemicals from the plastic. If you’re gonna drink juice make sure
it’s 100% and ALWAYS READ YOUR LABELS! Any added sugars can be a blow to your
diet. Another important reason we need water is because when you don’t have
enough of it your body mistakes thirst for hunger and this leads to us over
eating.

3. When you embark on this journey to health you will take a major hit to your
wallet. Part of being unemployed for as long as I have meant going for whatever
food was cheaper at the time in order to save the little money I got here and
there. 90% of the time this meant eating at fast food joints while I was out
since I got more bang for my buck. Unfortunately you get what you pay for,
sometimes in the worse way possible. From the moment you start to change your
ways you’ll quickly realize why so many Americans are overweight. Your healthier
options wound up being far more expensive than that burger from McDonald’s or
those fries or that nice tall chillzone drink from 7-11 or Cumberland Farms that
only costs 75 cents. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, Fast Food chains
are kind of in a state of decline due to classier chains like Panera Bread
becoming so popular and the fact that people finally woke up and realized the
crap that people are putting in their stomachs. People are all about getting the
most amounts of food for their buck which results in outrageous specials and
dollar menu options at these chains. The people who have money to burn won’t
step anywhere near these places with a ten foot pole but the ones who are broke
will always come back because as badly as they want to eat right, it just isn’t
within their price range. The money issue can be alleviated by cooking at home.
Canned and frozen veggies are cheaper than their whole counter parts yet they
contain all the same nutrients. Buying in bulk at BJs or Coscos can also save
you a lot of money in the long run. Also this is where carrying around a one
liter bottle will come in handy. At certain chains you’ll notice that water only
comes in a bottle and at times it can be more expensive than soda. Carrying that
bottle around makes it so that you never have to purchase water. Be careful with
your water intake, though water is healthy too much of it in your body at once
will dilute you blood and you can die but it is really hard to take in the
amount of water necessary for that to happen.

4. Will power and discipline are of the utmost importance in this process. Your
body will at some point start to crave what you’re depriving it of so if your
sweet tooth got you to the weight you’re at it’ll definitely bring you back if
you don’t resist these urges. You can treat yourself at major mile stones and if
you plan to a a cheat day then prepare to work extra hard on those cheat days (I
helped myself to two white chocolate mochas at Starbucks and paid for it by
walking a good two to three miles (for those who know Boston I walked Harvard St
from Coolidge Corner to Harvard Square (a three mile walk) and then played an hour of Dance Central right when I got home, I was hurting all over but it was totally worth it).

5. Due to evolutionary traits your body will work against you when you drop tons
of weight. Our ancestors were hunters and when they made that big kill they had
to eat as much as possible and keep that fat stored as energy so they could hunt
again due to the scarcity of food. By evolutionary design our body is dependent
on the storage of fat for survival and when you body loses that fat it’ll want
it back and will do everything in the book to get it back and this means slowing
down your metabolism when you don’t eat enough. It is imperative that you never
skip meals or you’ll pay the price. Your cravings will increase tenfold and you
will eat more than you should. Make sure you have evenly dispersed meals through
out the day while staying within an appropriate caloric intake. Also make sure
you’re getting fiber in your diet, that mixed with a good water intake will make
you feel bloated an full which means the elimination of cravings.

6. Don’t give in to fad diets like ever. There are tons of diets out there to
exploit the desperation of those wanting to lose weight and most of them are for
the sucking your bank account dry such as diets where you can eat your favorite
foods or diets where all you have to do are eat cookies or pills that will burn
fat and take off five pounds a week. All of these are bogus and the only way you
will lose weight is through hard work and dedication as well as tons of
discipline.

7. Eating while watching TV is also a big no no. I’ll admit I’m still guilty of this 35 pounds later but if you plan on cutting calories then eating a bag of chips while watching the football game or a movie is also a no no. When you’re heavily preoccupied with something as focus intensive as watching something, eating becomes so instantaneous and sub conscious that you lose track of how much you eat. Even to this day I can consume an entire bag of tortilla chips during a football game without realizing it (around 2000 calories in one sitting which is pretty much the equivalent of a daily intake). Luckily I can counter act this through working out and a boosted metabolism from drinking mostly water but for those just starting off or ever, this isn’t recommended. You should always keep track of how much you eat in one sitting and avoid having an open bag/box in front of you while watching TV or a movie.

8. Portioning is key and this means looking at a nutrition label but there are some tricks that you need to learn while getting your information.

nutritional_oatmeal_chocolate_chip1

This is a sample label for a package of nine oatmeal cookies. Upon the initial scan, the common misconception is that the entire package is only 110 calories but be warned, you’re getting more than what you bargained for.

highlighted

The three listings you need to check for as marked in red at the very top are “Serving Size”, “Servings Per Container”, and “Amount per serving. The amount per serving is 100 calories but on the top the “Serving Size” is ONE COOKIE with there being a total of nine servings or NINE COOKIES so in reality you’re consuming 900 CALORIES instead of the perceived 100. It gets worse though, that bottle of coke you just bought from the store….

FDA

The label on the left is what people think they’re consuming without reading the rest of the label while the one on the right as proposed by the FDA shows what’s actually in that bottle. We’ll never know why these labels are so cryptic and misleading but is important to read them carefully as we tend to consume more than we’d like to without realizing it.

9. It should be noted that not all calories are good calories. 500 calories from a well balanced meal consisting of well portioned lean meats, cooked vegetables, and other carbs can go further than that Big Mac from McDonald’s or that bag of chips. The Big Mac and Chips are what we call “empty calories”, calories that offer no nutritional value what so ever and will make you feel crappy later. It is important to watch what you eat and make sure that what ever you’re putting in your stomach offers enough nutritional value to keep you going through the day.

10. Speaking of portioning, you want to make sure that your three meals of the day don’t exceed 500/600 calories. Eating Breakfast at home and making your own lunch and dinner instead of eating out can go a long way when it comes to shaving off calories. A lot of restaurants still don’t list their calories on their food which makes it impossible to control what you put in your stomach. If a restaurant chain such as Cheesecake Factory offers a “low calorie” menu then definitely consider those options as they never exceed 500 calories. Most of the regular meals can be as large as 1000+ calories due to the ridiculous portions for the sake of getting people more bang for their buck and that doesn’t even include the free refills on fountain drinks or the occasional bottomless sides at some chains and lets not forget dessert, you could end up putting down over 3000 calories on one meal without realizing it. Restaurants should only be a once in a while thing and even in those occasions, good judgement is key. Cooking and prepping your own meals will not only shave off calories but will save you money in the long run.

11. Last but most importantly, the number you see on the scale is never a judge of character. It’ll never tell you how awesome or beautiful you are. Losing weight isn’t a cake walk and you will face many hardships in the process. It is important that you be good to yourself and not to be hard on yourself when you don’t meet certain milestones at the pace you hope to. We’re all different and therefore lose weight differently. For some of us, the weight will fall off and for others it’ll be really stubborn. Even if you look on the scale and realize you only lost one pound in the previous week, be happy with that one pound because it means that you’re doing something right. This isn’t The Biggest Loser and you shouldn’t expect your self to shed 9-12 pounds a week. This isn’t a race and you should take your time and enjoy the journey.

I hope all of this helps and if I didn’t touch upon anything then don’t hesitate
to ask by sending an email using the contact form in the “Contact” section. Happy New Year everyone and I hope this year brings happiness to all. Stay classy.

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