Tag Archives: Calories

Strategy and Tactics – How it applies to weight loss.

One of my personal hobbies is my affinity for the game of Chess. It is a game that qualifies under the “Easy to learn, Hard to master” mantra. It is a game that has been played for hundreds of years by royalty and commoners alike. In fact, the game in it’s original state is over one thousand years old, dating back to the 5th century.

What about the game is so appealing then? If it is so old, hasn’t every possible variation of the game been played out? Not really. There are billions and billions of possibilities out there and the maximum number of gamesĀ  can’t even be calculated specifically. What keeps so many people interested in Chess is the infinite number of strategies and tactics available to the players. Before I continue this discussion, let me define the two because contrary to the belief of many… they are different.

  • Strategy – Your global goal or your overall plan. It isn’t specific moves or advances, it is simply what you wish to accomplish.
  • Tactics – Your individual moves or actions that work together to accomplish your envisioned strategy.

Taking those two definitions, let’s apply them to chess real quick. Your overall strategy may be to control the center of the board and use that as a springboard of your assault, but your tactics would be how to do that with the individual pieces. For instance, utilizing your knights to attack the center of the board from the flanks and occupying those positions with a pawn line would be the tactics used to achieve your strategical goal.

Okay, I know… this is not a Chess blog. So how does this apply to weight loss? The two actually translate quite well, and it is how I have been so successful so far. And although others may not realize it, it is how they have become successful as well!

In my case, my overall strategy has been to count calories. By reducing my caloric intake and exercising to burn even more calories, my body is forcing itself to use my caloric surplus to supply my body the energy it needs thus resulting in weight loss.

To achieve this, I implement various tactics that supplements my strategy. Running 3 times a week to give me a great cardio workout for 20-30 minutes is a tactical maneuver to burn calories. I also plan and prepare my meals ahead of time resulting in my knowledge of every calorie I eat (I would say drink as well, but I have had nothing but water to drink for over a month now!). Using these tactics allows me to successfully implement my overall strategy- reduce calories and force my body to burn fat to give it the energy it needs to sustain itself. And it has been working!

Like Chess, weight loss is NOT a new idea or something that is unexplored. Both activities have been explored to great depths and the blueprints have been laid out for you. People have done the trial and error to find out what works and what doesn’t. In Chess, these are called Opening, Defenses, Mating Patterns, etc. I.e, the Ruy Lopez which was developed in the 1500’s by a Spanish Priest is one of the most popular openings that is used. There have been books written about it, and the many variables that could occur 5, 10, and even 15 moves in; and that is one of many openings that people choose to use. Counting calories is one of many methods that people use to lose. There are books about it, and many people use it to lose weight. It is not the only way to lose weight, but it is a popular way that many people use to succeed- such as the Ruy Lopez opening in chess.

When I first started playing Chess, I was terrible. But by learning a few classic openings and developing tactics by using proven successful strategies- I was my game increase. And by following proven weight loss system, such as counting calories, I could see my progress improving as well. In both cases, I was trying it on my own and not sure why I wasn’t succeeding. Once I discovered that there were developed blue prints that laid the ground work for you, all you had to do was adopt it yourself and then use it to begin to build your own path to success. Which is what I have been doing- both in weight loss and in Chess!

I am not advocating you to do what I do. I am simply informing you that the answers are out there for you to build your own plan for success. You simply need to develop your strategy and tactics to accomplish whatever goal you have to succeed!

As a side note: I have began playing at Chess.com both live and turn based games. I don’t claim to be any good, because I really am not! But if you want to play some casual fun game of Chess sometime (live or turn based with a 1-3 day move limit), just send me a message on Chess.com and tell me you saw my blog! My user name there is Shipweight. Hope to see some of you Chess enthusiasts there!

Weigh in Wednesday – Week 3

After stepping on the scale, once again I was surprised. I weighed in at a grand total of 290 lbs. That is 6 pounds less than last week at 296, and 11 pounds since I started seriously counting calories and blogging! And back in July, I weighed 330 so this brings me to a total of exactly 40 pounds! Too bad I hadn’t started this blog or counting calories until a few weeks ago, I think my progress would be even better!

Want to know what is even more amazing though? Not once did I deny myself the food I wanted. Here are some foods that some nutritionists would scoff at:

  • Friday night, I had sushi. For the most part this was healthy, minus the cream cheese filled rolls I devoured!
  • Saturday afternoon I went and had chicken fajitas from my favorite Mexican restaurant in Knoxville, El Charro’s.
  • Monday night, I had chicken strips, pulled pork, slaw, fries, and wings. Smaller portions, but still not “the best”. And I took the ribs in for lunch the next day!

So for those 3 meals, I deviated from my home cooked healthy food and ate the bad food I wanted. I simply ate smaller portions and didn’t just say “oh well, I ate bad this meal… maybe tomorrow!”. Or if I knew I was going to eat a not so good dinner, ie Monday night… I simply adjusted my lunch to include less calories than I wanted. Calories are key to losing weight. There is no quick fix, no miracle “lose weight now” gimmick. I didn’t balloon up over night and I certainly won’t lose it over night. 5 or 6 pounds here or there may not seem significant in relation to my total weight… but 5 or 6 pounds here or there adds up fast!

So, hopefully today will be Goodbye to the 290’s forever. And next week, we can say hello to the 280’s for a couple weeks!

Weigh in Wednesday – Week 2

Success! Total weight this morning? 296 lbs. That is 5 lbs lost in a week!

(I apologize for the bad pictures. I left my phone, i.e camera, at work last night. I could only take them in the mens room here at the office! Will try to replace!)

It has been a couple years since I have been down in the Two hundreds. I know I have a lot to go, but it is still progress!

Counting calories and exercising regularly has done wonders. I have been a Nutritional Label freak this past week, and it has paid off. But the most eye opening thing was the total calories I would consume without even thinking about it! Snacking here, bad meal there, bad meal here. It is truly amazing I am still alive just by looking at the junk I have been putting into my body. Here are some common foods consumed with a surprisingly high caloric value:

  • 2 Table Spoons of Peanut Butter – 200 Calories
  • 1 Large Bagel (123g) – 354 Calories
  • 1 Mini Bag Nacho Cheese Doritos (49.6) – 250 Calories
  • 8 0z Mountain Dew – 110 Calories (imagine how many calories are in a 20oz bottle)

Now this doesn’t mean swear off these foods! Well, the Mountain Dew can go. I would rather eat my calories than drink them. But the thing is, this past weekend.. Pizza. Yep, I ate pizza. But I had the nutritional information from the restaurant (Jet’s Pizza … a very awesome pizza place if you are in the Knoxville area) and one square of deep dish pepperoni pizza was 300 calories. Is that high? Yes. But moderation is key! I took ownership of that, and had 2 pieces on Sat and 2 pieces on Sunday. I built that into my daily caloric limit. My point is, I am not on a diet. I am simply changing the way I eat. I still eat what I want to eat, when I want to eat it. I simply choose healthier options and if I do eat unhealthy foods, I account for it in my diet and enjoy it in moderation!

The point is, you need to be AWARE of what you eat and account for it. Make a conscience decision about the things you put into your body. At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for you. No one made you eat that entire bag of chocolate sweet sixteen donuts (which btw, is a whopping total of 1226 calories at 230 calories per 3 donuts). Which yes, I have sadly done before. Sadly.