How I lost 23 pounds in a year—down­ing burg­ers

Worth the Weight

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - The Golf Life - —RON KASPRISKE

he first ques­tion from my doc­tor was, “Did you do this on pur­pose?” She went on to say that if my an­swer was “no,” she im­me­di­ately wanted to run tests to see if I had can­cer. My an­swer was “yes.” From the time of my an­nual phys­i­cal in 2016 to this year’s phys­i­cal nearly 13 months later, I lost 23 pounds. Dur­ing that pe­riod, I ate and drank any­thing I wanted: steaks, fries, chips, pizza (lots of pizza), choco­late, ice cream, beer, bour­bon (lots of bour­bon). The list of ques­tion­able food and drink choices is long.

Turns out, those choices didn’t mat­ter all that much. For all the at­ten­tion var­i­ous food-spe­cific di­ets get, for all the praise heaped on group ex­er­cise pro­grams, I had to fo­cus on only one thing to lose weight: con­sum­ing fewer calo­ries than nec­es­sary to main­tain my cur­rent weight. And I used a com­mon method of scor­ing in golf to stick with the plan.

My first step was to mon­i­tor what I ate and drank each day, and the things I did that would fall un­der my def­i­ni­tion of phys­i­cal ex­er­tion. To keep track, I down­loaded an app to my phone that served as a jour­nal. I used a free one from Un­der Ar­mour called MyFit­nessPal. It knows how many calo­ries are in most foods and drinks and how many calo­ries are ex­pended in a va­ri­ety of stren­u­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

I then set a daily calo­rie limit. An av­er­age man can con­sume 2,500 calo­ries a day and not gain or lose any sig­nif­i­cant weight. I chose an ag­gres­sive limit of 1,650 per day. On many days I went well above that limit. That’s where golf scor­ing was use­ful. I knew I could make up for go­ing above my calo­rie limit sim­ply by ex­er­cis­ing.

Every calo­rie burned was a calo­rie I could add to my limit. If I swam for 30 min­utes and ex­pended 400 calo­ries, I could eat 2,050 that day and still lose weight. It’s like the dif­fer­ence be­tween gross and net scor­ing in golf. You might have shot a gross 80, but with a course hand­i­cap of 8, your net score is 72. There were days when I would ex­er­cise just so I could eat a cheese­burger. There also were days when I stuck to 1,650 calo­ries. Those were the tough days.

The next step was to move more. Even on days I couldn’t ex­er­cise or didn’t feel like it, sim­ply walk­ing helped keep me un­der my net goal. The Un­der Ar­mour app syncs with my phone’s health app and tracks my steps. My cur­rent an­nual

Tav­er­age is 11,369 a day. That’s 5.3 miles of walk­ing and/or run­ning a day. That might sound like a lot, but the ma­jor­ity of my wak­ing hours are in a seated po­si­tion. I don’t do much writ­ing stand­ing up. The rea­son you’re read­ing about this in Golf Di­gest, in­stead of Shape or Men’s Fit­ness, is be­cause play­ing golf had a big part in my strat­egy. With­out golf, I prob­a­bly would’ve been eat­ing a lot more bun­less turkey burg­ers and car­rot sticks. When I play golf, I al­most al­ways walk and carry my bag. Do that over four hours, and you’ve burned 1,500 calo­ries. That means on days I play, my calo­rie limit goes from 1,650 to 3,150—and I still lose weight. If I ate a light break­fast and lunch, I could pig out at din­ner and never come close to reach­ing my limit. That’s the for­mula I used—and still use—for weight loss. I eat and drink healthy most of the time but will go for the fun stuff when I can. If you’re won­der­ing, I’m a shade un­der 6-foot-2, and I went from 209 pounds to 186. If you’re con­sid­er­ing try­ing this plan, the box be­low con­tains some lessons I learned that might help en­sure your suc­cess. ▶

If you run for 22 min­utes at six miles per hour, you can eat a slice of pep­per­oni pizza. at least every other thing you drink should be wa­ter. It keeps you feel­ing full. Booze, soda and

fruit juice are calo­rie bombs.

any type of phys­i­cal ex­er­tion helps your calo­rie count. Sim­ply push­ing a lawn mower for 20 min­utes burns off four chicken wings.

weigh your­self daily when you wake up. Don’t get dis­cour­aged if you’re stick­ing to the plan but the pounds aren’t com­ing off. As a mech­a­nism for sur­vival, the body tends to fight back against dra­matic weight loss. Even­tu­ally it will ac­qui­esce. Trust me.

▶ ▶ golfdi­gest­malaysia

oc­to­ber 2017

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