Radio/podcast host Steve Dahl (dahl.com) tells us over the phone that he’s been struggling to lose weight for the past 46 years. He tried every diet in the book, many of which worked temporarily, but nothing stuck. A couple of years ago, he found himself working out an hour a day but still lingered at around 300 pounds. He applied a new mentality—taking it one day at a time—and signed up for the free iPhone app Lose It!, basically a calorie counter and nutritionist on the go. Two years later and 65 pounds lighter, it still works. Here’s his story:
First off, I found out I was eating 3,500 calories a day…a good 1,200 more than what I should be eating. Because I wear a heart-rate monitor, which fairly accurately details how many calories you burn, I can enter [that information] into the app. I can do some things to affect the outcome of my daily intake. I’m like a Rain Man entering this into my phone.
I can’t say it’s been easy, but I haven’t suffered. It’s helped me retrain the way I think about food. I’m trying to change my eating habits. Currently I’m working on trying to eat better food. In the beginning it was just trying to get the calories under control. I would buy frozen dinners, and just knowing that it’s easy for me to keep track of what was the worst meal of the day for me, [I can] keep [my calorie intake] in a reasonable range. Then I worked backwards trying to find things that were filling and a somewhat reasonable amount of calories. I always rationalized eating whatever I wanted after I worked out, but finally I attached numerical value to this stuff, and that’s really what opened my eyes and made the difference.
[As for keeping track,] I used to whip out [my phone] whenever I ate something and the eyes would roll with my family whenever we were at dinner. Now I’m pretty good at remembering and recording my meals two or three times a day.
I feel good. I went out last winter to the White Sox fantasy camp, something I probably couldn’t have done a few years ago. I started being more active, playing tennis and riding my bike. Generally speaking, it has improved the quality of my life.