Manage your calories like you manage your money and lose weight without dieting!

Planning her time in gym. Handsome young male instructor standing close to beautiful woman and showing something at his clipboard while people running on treadmill in the background

I would love to start this article by telling you that for years I struggled with losing weight.  The problem is that would be a bold face lie. The truth is I have been over weight for years, but I never struggled to lose it, because I never tried.

I would say things like “big is in” and “round is a shape and so technically I am in shape.” I would avoid the stairs as much as possible. If I dropped something, I would ask my five-year old daughter to pick it up.

One day she said to me, “Why do I always have to pick stuff up for you?” I replied with what I would have considered a genius response. I said, “Because you are closer to the ground then I am.” It sounded like a good answer to me, but her response blew me away.

She said, “What are you, too fat to bend over and pick it up yourself?” I couldn’t get mad at her, she was spot on. Of course, we did talk about how we should be respectful and not so rude.

About a month later, I went to a conference that required me to stay overnight in a hotel. I got up early before the conference and took a shower. When I got out of the shower, I realized there were way too many mirrors in the bathroom. I could see it all from every angle and it wasn’t pretty.

I wasn’t fat, I was obese. I decided I needed to lose weight. The problem was I can’t or should I say I wouldn’t diet. I hated to work out, I love food and I was drinking a two-liter of Pepsi a day. Without a serious change in my behavior, I was doomed.

I needed a plan

I gave up my two liter of Pepsi. That was 900 calories a day right there. I tried working out after work, but I found it was way too easy to come up with an excuse. I was too tired, I was hungry, or I had to work late. I was really good at coming up with excuses, but I was not losing weight.

I listened to a couple episodes of Michael Hyatt’s This is Your Life podcast and he talked about a morning routine. I really did not have one of those, because I have always considered myself to be a night owl and definitely not a morning person.

I started working out in the morning. In the beginning it sucked, I was tired. After about a week, I got into a routine and it is energizing. Now I would not change it, I love being a morning person.

Can you work out at night? Sure, but nothing can take the place of getting oxygen and endorphins to the brain. Plus, when my 3 kids start arguing over breakfast, it’s no big deal because I am awake and energized.

 

I started thinking about calories like money

I decided to apply the same principles I teach to people about money to my weight loss. This means that I had to budget and spend my calories like I would money.

I use a free app called Lose It to budget and track my calories. Once I entered some basic information, the App told me how many calories I could consume each day to maintain my current weight. To lose weight, I just have to consume fewer calories than my budgeted amount.

I don’t burn calories, I earn them

When you earn extra money it makes you feel good and sometimes you get to spend it on things you enjoy, right? The same is true when you earn extra calories. You get to spend them eating the foods you enjoy.

In my case, my current daily calorie amount is 2,148. If this was money, I would have $2,148 to pay my bills and put some away for a rainy day. I would have to spend less than what I had earned for the month, or I have to earn more that is just how it is.

Let’s say I earn 1,200 calories working out. If I add it to my daily allowance of 2,148, I would have 3,348 calories to spend on food for that day. If I know I am going to eat a big meal, I simply have to earn extra calories that day.

Most days, I try to bank all 2,148 calories. This means my food intake can’t exceed what I earned in my workout. The more I earn the more I can eat. No diet required.

My work out is mostly cardio and I typically earn about 1,200 calories a day; I work out six days a week. Three of those days, I also work out using a variety of machines. I only count the calories I earn from my cardio portion of my work out.

I do eat a lot of salad and lettuce wraps, but I also eat steak, tacos, mashed potatoes, pizza, pasta, ice cream, etc. Basically whatever I want as long as I don’t exceed my calories for the day. Some days, I bank more than others, but by the end of the week my goal is to bank 9,000 calories. When I started this I weighed 336.7. Today, I weighed in at 279.4. That is 57.3 LBS. in just over 4 months without dieting.

If you found this information valuable, please join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment below.

If you know someone who could benefit from this information, please consider sharing it. If you have questions, you can always email me at Tom@askTomSwan.com.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, fitness trainer or exercise guru. I am just a guy sharing something that worked for me. The advice posted here is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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