Healthy Weight Loss AND Beer

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mwsenoj

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Hey all,

Got a health wake up call when I signed up for life insurance recently. I'm only 32, but I have high cholesterol and I am overweight (athletic build 6'5" but 315lbs) and cost about twice as much as my wife in premiums each month.

I am in the right frame of mind about becoming healthier, but I need to find a way to be healthier in how I eat and drink and exercise without cutting out beer completely. Have any of you had long term (more than a year) success losing significant body fat while still enjoying homebrew?

I'm considering a hybrid, some sort of low carb to shed some weight off the bat (ya, no beer for a couple months), but then going for a weight watchers type long-term sustained lifestyle change.
 

cannman

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Today I'm 233 6'1" down from 285lb 10 years ago and holding. I've been as low as 210 at some points. I've never given up beer, but what I did do was commit to meal replacement twice a day, eliminate processed food, soda (although I still make Rootbeer for SWMBO and I sneak a glass now and then), and take a multi vitamin.
I would buy a good juicer with mastication capabilities (or buy two units). This will have you buying fresh fruits and veggies regularly and can be used later in your meals. If you want to splurge (I love a good pizza), make it yourself. If you must go out, eat good food and avoid fast food.
There are several good meal replacement shakes on the market. I've done Slim-Fast and Isagenix and have good results with both. At the end of the day, a multi vitamin or at least a healthy dose of B Complex with B12 will make sure you're on your way to weight loss.

Drink water. Don't quit beer. You don't need to. If you can't make weight loss sustainable, you'll rebound. Incorporate it into your diet, just account for the calories.

I don't want to be a shrill for any products publicly, but if you want some personal recommendations on products I use, PM me. Also try dietbet.com to help find that motivation! Good luck!
 

cannman

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One more thing: Mind set is going to be a huge player in your success. Keep in mind that all of your excess weight was not an overnight thing. It took time to gain and so will your weight loss.

You've got this!
 

Dixon9717

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Couple years ago we joined http://www.emetabolic.com
I lost over 40lbs in 17 weeks. No beer during that time. They have 1 year maintenance support. I did pretty good until I took a 2 week vacation, ate and drank everything I wanted. Ended up gaining back 1/2 the weight which I'm currently working on losing. The initial price is relatively cheap but the supplements are pretty expensive but the program did work for me..
 

powermd

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Check out rebootwithjoe.com, the fatsickandnearlydead guy.

Worked for me in spades!

The key, ultimately, is cranking way down on the unnecessary carbs and junk food. When you do have some, make it count!
 

toolboxales

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My wife and I have been on a paleo diet. Which is basically no grains /bread:(\ but all the meat and veggies and fruit you want. She has made some amazing meals with this diet and I like it. I was 250 now 215 three months later and feel great. She has gained 7 lbs during her pregnancy but will be lookin good after the kid. :)
 

estricklin

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I too had a wake up call recently. About a year ago I weighed almost 260, and today I'm almost down to 220. I found out also that I have high cholesterol, with diet and exercise in 3 months time I was able to lower it 30 points, and raise my HDL to 60. I'm 6 ft tall, I'd like to get back down to 175, so I have along road ahead of me.

I didn't cut out beer, or really ANY food at all, just have been taking them in moderation. Cutting something out completely for a short period of time isn't a lifestyle change, and a lifestyle change is what I needed. I decided that I had to find ways to make long lasting changes, things that I am willing to do on a day to day basis. I eat more vegetables, (the ones I love the most especially), and manage my trans fat and foods that are naturally high in cholesterol. I don't eat much processed food, and don't eat out much. I still have a frozen burritos every now and then, and am planning a Big Mac after I reach my short term goal of a 20 mile ride on my bicycle, which I'm getting really close to!

I jog, lift weights, and ride my bicycle as often as I can. If I'm feeling worn out I rest a day. When I was younger I was in amazing shape. I ran cross country, biked to class in college, played every sport under the sun too. I knew it was going to be nearly impossible to even run a mile when I started back exercising, but after a short time there went a mile, then 2, and I'm about to do a 5k now.

I really do believe the most important thing is calories in, calories out. I tracked my calories every day for 6 weeks, and I learned A LOT when I done it. Helped tremendously. I used the USDA's Supertracker but there are others out there as well.

You can do it man, and you don't need to give up beer!
 

TinyHands

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Does that include malted barley? :confused:
Sure does. Though you could still make mead, wine, or cider. Our paleolithic ancestors would have gawked at the size of the grapes and apples we're growing these days, though I'm sure paleos (paleoes?) make an exception.
 

Calichusetts

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I went from 200 to 150...currently fluctuate from 145-150. I have an article on healthy drinking/living coming out but you need to make life changes, not diets, etc.

I cut out sweets completely two years ago. Started with 15 sit-ups and 15 push-ups PER BEER each night. Now I'm up to 260 situps-75-100 push ups per beer. Also do 30 minutes cardio a day. No rest days.

I'm actually struggling to keep weight on now that I don't drink everyday. Once the weight starts to come off, its motivation enough
 

Psylocide

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Find your BMR, cut calories, eat mostly whole/unprocessed foods, profit.
 

masonsjax

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I am on a high fat, low carb, ketogenic diet. I was ~220 lbs when I started the diet. I lost 25 lbs very quickly and thats where I stabilized, at 195 lbs. I'd like to drop another 10 or so, but I haven't been very strict lately. I do this diet by choice, it's not an allergy or severe health problems that force me to do it, so I can afford to go on/off when I feel like it. I've been traveling a lot lately, visiting family and decided that if someone else is cooking for me, I'm going to eat it. Also I love beer, so although I do drink less of it now, I drink one pretty much when I feel like it.

When I'm home and doing my diet strictly, I follow a cyclical keto diet (CKD if you want to look into it). This lets me have a "cheat day" every 10-14 days, where I load up on carbs (read:beer) to reset hormone levels and replenish muscular glycogen. It also helps stifle any cravings, although I rarely crave carbs anyway. I miss having milk and that's about it. Otherwise the keto lifestyle is incredibly easy to live with. When following the diet strictly, I average an additional 1-3 lbs weight loss per week with zero exercise. Now that my tennis elbow is mostly healed, I'll add some weight training and see if I can't exchange those last few lbs of love handle for a little extra muscle mass.

While in ketosis, my ADHD is completely under control without meds, my energy levels are through the roof, and my less than stellar immune system seems to work perfectly. They say no one diet is right for everyone, but I firmly believe this is the closest to ideal you can get. ...and I eat all the bacon, eggs, and butter I want!
 

ricshayne

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cannman hit it right on the head. avoid processed foods and soda!
if more people followed that advice this country wouldn't have the obesity problem we have these days. People will avoid butter like its the plague but then go out and eat these fake ass foods that are loaded in preservatives and chemicals and all types of crap that is not good for our consumption. Beer is NOT bad for you in moderation, hell, there are some people that have even attested to the health benefits of it, especially home-brews since they are unfiltered!
 

Darwin18

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OP - Here's my story.

August 2014:
Height - 6'0
Weight - 265 lbs

Current
Height - 6'0
Weight - 207 lbs
Goal Weight: 183 lbs

Total Lost: 58 lbs

This is what has worked me. It may or may not work for you. Everyone is different. This is going to very blunt but you've put yourself out there and I'm not going to sugarcoat it:

You eat too much. You also probably eat way more than you think you do. Why? Because your BMI is 37.4 putting you well into the obese range. Just to maintain your weight you have to consume 3100 calories a day (I put some number into the calculator here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/calorie-calculator/itt-20084939 ). I used to say I had an athletic build (BMI was 35.9) but the truth is that I was just fat.

Please understand that embarking on a hardcore fitness regime isn't going to give you longterm weight loss. Most people who do this quit after a few weeks. You need to start making changes to your LIFE style. Losing weight has been 90% diet / 10% exercise for me.

Here's what I recommend you do:

1) Download myfitnesspal or any other calorie counting app or program that you can use. There are tons of them out there and no excuse not to use them.
2) If you don't own a scale, purchase one. Weigh yourself at the same time each day and log it in MFP. I usually do this after I get up in the morning and pee.
3) Log everything goes in your mouth. Every single thing.
4) Do not cheat yourself on portions. It was a huge wake up call for me when I realized that I was easily eating two or three times what I thought a portion size was.
5) Purchase at least a 1L water bottle. You're going to drink at least 2-3 of those each day.

I'm not going to lie to you. It's not an easy start. The first two weeks are rough. You're going to be hungry and cranky because you're not used to eating at a calorie deficit. The real key is find foods that are filling, healthy, and don't kill your calorie goals for the day. Drinking lots of water throughout the day will help you with your hunger cravings and will flush your body of the excess salts you have. I lost ten lbs in the first month just by cleaning up my diet and drinking lots of water.

Do not expect this to be fast. Did you gain that weight in a couple months? It's not going to take a couple months to come off. Be patient, stick to it, and realize that you're making changes to your life so that you can live longer. My wake up call was my dad having a heart attack last summer and realizing that I was heavier than him and that heart disease ran in my family. I was literally going to die if I didn't make a change.

Here's the bad news and there's no easy way around this:

Beer, especially delicious craft beer, has tons of excess calories in it that's hard to justify when you're on a calorie deficit. For example, Sierra Nevada PA has 175 calories in it. This isn't a ton by any standards, but if your goal is 2,000 calories a day it ends up being 8.75% of your daily calories. Two or three of those will ruin your daily goal. The temptation to snack off while enjoying a beer is also very strong.

It's disgusting, and kind of sad, but I've pretty much cut craft beer out of my life except for rare occasions. It's way more important for me to continue to meet my goals, lose weight, and ultimately live a longer and healthier life than it is to drink a six-pack of craft each week. Craft beer has become a treat for me, not a staple of my diet. In my fridge, you'll find Miller Lite. Not because I like the flavor, but because it has 96 calories and I can enjoy a couple on occasion without feeling guilty.

Oh, one last word of advice, never log your workouts as calories burned. It's just an excuse to eat more and that number is really an estimate at best.

Good luck the benefits so far have been:

- Snoring completely gone, way more active sex drive, wife is way more attracted to me, I've lost three pant sizes (42 to 36), two shirt sizes (XXL - L), and my dick has grown a couple inches since my gut is gone. Playing sports, especially my weekend softball league, is much more enjoyable. I'm faster and stronger. Work has noticed as well. It's amazing how people perceive you when you're obese - it's proven that obese people are generally passed over for promotions, raises, etc. compared to their less fat colleagues. It's so much nicer to buy clothes and know that you can fit into them without having to pray that there's a size you can squeeze into.

Best of luck!
 

azazel1024

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Mind set combined with willingness to stick with it are the two most important things. The former helps the later.

I've never been a big guy, but I have hit near 200lbs at 6'1" a couple of times. I have a relatively slender build, but not beanpole. I've been exercising, lifting weights and doing some swimming/exercise biking when I can. I do as much walks on my lunch time as I can at work. This is mostly for my back as I have a herniated disc that I've reinjured a few times over the years (I am 32, I blew the disc at 23 and I've probably reinjured it 6-7 times over the last 9 years, the worst about 3 years ago...and then I got serious about exercise and have only had a couple of minor back injuries since then).

Also since getting serious about exercise, the heaviest I have been is 191lbs, and I am carrying a LOT more muscle today than I was the couple of times I nearly hit 200lbs. I still don't get to the gym nearly as much as I'd like. I probably average 2 45 minute workouts per week and 3 walks on my lunch time per week (generally at least half a mile, I try for a mile).

I occasionally watch what I eat once I feel like I've been putting on some extra weight, either because of holidays and insufficient time to hit the gym, or whatever other reason. I realize I tend to have a lot less to lose, but I just try for a couple of weeks to stick with it. I'll generally cut out drinking during the week entirely (or maybe just ONE beer one night). I'll stop having dessert and I'll try to keep a mild eye on portion size with dinner. No junk food. Try to be better about going to the gym and taking walks. Between those I tend to be able to push things down 7-10lbs back to where I really want to be.

When I am good about maintenance, I try to rarely have dessert. Maybe 2 times a week I'll have some cookies, ice cream, cake, whatever. Most of the time, I'd rather drink my dessert. During the week I try to only have one beer a night. Friday-Sunday I'll allow myself 2. Sometimes I'll break that rule and have 3-4 beers on a non-weeknight or a couple of beers on a weeknight if something special is going on.

Estricklin nailed it on the head though. Unless you need a mild adjustment (like I do a couple of times a year), it takes a full life style adjustment. You don't need to cut things out necessarily, but adjustment is key. If you don't exercise, you'll need to start doing that, even mild exercise. If you are having 2-3 beers a night, you might need to start pushing to 1 or occasionally 2. Have heaping portions? Maybe cut back on portion size just a little. Have big lunches? Try having a more modest lunch, or just a salad with a bit of chicken and no/or a very low fat salad dressing.

To go from 300+ down to low 200 is going to take a long time and quite a lot of work. It won't necessarily take a HUGE amount to stay there, but it will take permanent changes.

I did make some, exercising regularly, even if it isn't as much as I'd really like. Before my change, I NEVER went to the gym. I'd take walks occasionally and I'd do some very light weight lifting at home with a pull-up bar, some light hand weights and doing some push ups. Making the switch and sacrificing the 2hrs or week to hit the gym (sometimes 3hrs in a really good week) and spending some of most lunch hours taking a walk (listen to music, can always stroll and read a book) has made a big difference. I probably averaged 185lbs most of my adult life from about age 18-21 and 23-29 (age 22 I was biking and jogging 4 times a week and I weighed about 165lbs. I was actually slightly heavier in high school even running track and cross country. As my wife said when she met me around then, I needed a darned sandwich, FAST!). Now I am about the same average weight, but I would not be bragging to say that is 185lbs with at least 15lbs of extra muscle compared to most of my twenties and I've only a couple of times hit around 190-192 in the last ~3 years. Where as pre changing, I hit mid/upper 190's maybe 4-5 times and in college I hit 200lbs on the head right before graduation.

I like where I am physically and health-wise. I've gotten to a place where every once in awhile I can splurge for a bit, even if I know I'll need to batten down the hatches for a couple or a few weeks to get back to where I want to be. But I know I'll get there and it won't be that hard. Even when I know I feel off the truck a little bit, I know I am still in pretty good health, even if I want to lose the 10lbs I put on from Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and all of the get togethers and parties in between those holidays.
 

JoshuaW

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Calorie counting. Yes, I have shed about 20lbs since November, and have been making long term strides to avoid going in reverse for about 18 months now. I eat whatever I want, beer included. The key is understanding that if I drink a beer now, I probably cant have that sliver of desert later, those potato chips for a midnight snack, and I will probably need to eat a salad for dinner.

I know many people arent content just drinking one, so if that is you, then maybe you need to save the calories during the week so you can drink 4-5 beers over the weekend. Or maybe you need to reward yourself for doing an intense workout (that burns enough calories to cover the beer) with an extra beer.

Its not easy, but it is doable. I have found that cutting out breakfast, and greatly reducing lunch makes my goals much more achievable. If I drink coke zero or coffee for my morning caffeine, snack of some carrots or celery in the morning and afternoon, and eat a can of 300 calorie soup for lunch, Im still left with 1800 calories for the evening. That is enough for me to have a steak, baked potato, and a single beer with some room to spare.
 

azazel1024

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Darwin18, awesome stuff you shared. Others have had good points as well.

If you are drinking any soda now, stop. Doesn't matter if it is diet. Enough studies have shown that artificial sweetners screw your gut bacteria possibly being WORSE for you in the end than drinking soda with corn sugar/cane sugar in it.

Just don't drink soda unless it is a rare occasion. I MIGHT drink 2 liters of soda a year.

Coffee, if you drink a lot of coffee, don't get a latte, etc. Get black coffee and add a small amount of sugar/milk/creamer depending on what you need to get it tolerable (if you like black, awesome). A 20oz latte, mocha whatever, can easily have 300-500 calories in it. A 20oz coffee with 2 packets of sugar and about 1tbsp of half and half has closer to 80 calories in it.

Cut back on beer. It just has to be done. As mentioned, something like a typical APA has around 175 calories or so. A bigger beer like a 7-8% IPA can easily have 250 calories in it, or a RIS, barley wine, etc. can be in the 300-400 calorie range. Doesn't mean you can NEVER drink beer, but moderation is key most of the time. Try brewing lighter beers. It is something I've been doing, in part because of the summer, but in part too because I realized, to watch my weight a little, if I am brewing 5-5.5% beers instead of 6.5-7% beers, that is easily 50 calories a beer I am saving. Doesn't sound like much, but when you are drinking 10-12 of them a week like I probably average, that is almost a third of one DAYS entire caloric intake I've reduced by brewing a slightly lighter beer.

Oh, I still brew big beers or medium beers, but I've mostly switched to lighter beers (but rarely LIGHT beers).

Portion size already mentioned. Exercise already mentioned. Just don't do dessert, or only on rare occasions.

Don't eat processed foods if you can help it. Try not to eat out. Portion control eating out is soooo much harder and soooo often there is a lot more calories in stuff you eat out than there is in your own cooking (unless you are BIG on cooking with lots of high calorie ingredients/food). Plus, saves money by not eating out.

Even minor changes can make a big difference over time. If you were roughly in weight stasis now, were drinking soda, a fair number of beers, etc. Cutting out 1 soda and 1 beer and walking 1 mile every day would likely result in you losing roughly 2lbs a week. Doesn't take all that many weeks to add up to a HUGE weight gain. Granted, as your weight comes down, it'll be harder to lose it as your metabolic needs will reduce and your body will also burn leaner with everything. You might burn 120 calories walking a mile today, but go 80lbs lighter and you might only burn 80 calories walking the same mile as you are moving less weight around. Resting metabolism will go down, etc.

However, you can make a pretty big difference by making modest changes that shouldn't be too hard to stick with long term. For dramatic results, you'll need to make more dramatic changes, but those are also likely to be harder (but not impossible) to stick with long term. One of the nice things is, you can start with modest changes and add on to what you are doing over time.

Cut soda and dessert out and after a couple of months you've only lost 20lbs and are "stuck", okay, start taking those walks and cutting back on the beer a little bit. Get stuck after losing another 20lbs after a couple of months? Okay, maybe you need to work on portion control a little bit, or switch to drinking some lighter beers, or try having a few "beer free" days. Get stuck after another 20lbs, change lunch to salads, cut out the store bought coffee, add a better exercise routine, what have you.

I think watching a lot of people, what I see fail for a lot of people is that they try a lot of, what for them is, dramatic things all at once and then after a few weeks they start back sliding and it slowly snowballs in to them giving up nearly completely. A lot of times doing modest things and building upon that works a lot better.
 

Cheesy_Goodness

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Some great points here already, so I'll try to offer some new ones

Start running. Buy yourself a nice pair of running shoes. Be prepared to spend some money here, which worked out pretty well for me since I couldn't justify spending $200 on a pair of shoes that I would never use. I try to get at least a quick mile run in every morning (with a brief stretch before and after you're only investing 12-13 minutes at most). I feel better the rest of the day and if something comes up where I can't seriously work out in the evening, at least I've done something.

Which brings me to a second point: If you can work out in the morning, do it. All the time. There have been a handful of studies that suggest the morning is the best time to exercise (lightly) because it boosts your metabolism. I'm not sure I buy that bit, but if I plan on exercising in the evening, something inevitably comes up and I can't get to it. Get it done and out of the way in the morning, you'll feel better and more accomplished the rest of the day.

It also helps to have an accounta-billy-buddy. I get on my wife's case when she doesn't feel like exercising one day and she does the same with me. I thought I would be my own motivator, but a crappy day at the office or a bad night's sleep is all it takes to take the wind out of your sails. A partner helps to fix that.

Lastly, set goals. I'm not even talking about the number on the scale. I set a goal last month that I would run at least a mile every day for a month. It has been about 3 weeks now and I'm at the point where I need to do it every day. I set a goal initially but to hell with it now, I just want to run.

I'll reiterate the lifestyle change too. I've got family that will happily jump on any passing diet fad, but it won't even occur to them to exercise more/at all. You need both, or you're not doing yourself any favors.

Good luck!
 

Bearsmith

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A lot of it is just staying aware of your diet and trying not to give into temptation. 2 years ago I was 250 lbs at 6'2" and complaints from my Doc. Currently I'm down to 201 and still losing.

I cut out all soda, cut way down on bread (for example if I went out and ordered a burger, I wouldn't eat the top part of the bun), drank a lot more water, made sure that I had some form of protein in every meal, and cut down on my drinking. The other big change I made was portion control, instead of eating until I was stuffed I would only eat about half as much as I normally would. Juices are great and can fill you up just watch out for sugar content. I like to drink Apple Cider Vinegar (1-2 tbsp) to a glass of water as it really helps curb your appetite, helps digestion, and among many other benefits. Get out of the snacking mentality. I used to LOVE to hog down on potato chips in the evening and now I try not to eat anything after dinner.

As far as alcohol goes, I still enjoy a beverage or two every night but it's not always beer. I sub beer out for whiskey a number of nights during the week since the calorie count for some of my favorite big beers can quickly add up. I also cut down on going out to bars and drinking wayyyyy too much.
 
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Agree with most have whats been wrote. Some kind of resistance training helps a lot to keep metabolism going. One thing to add, find an activity you enjoy in the evening hours other than TV. Too easy to snack and drink multiple beers at that time. If that activity is some kind of exercise....bonus
 

harleybug88

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I retired 5 years ago and soon gained 20 pounds. I was already 10 overweight.

Long story short, I cut out all breads, rice, and potato's. I have a convection oven and cook a lot of chicken breast and pork loins, and cook a lot of frozen green beans. I eat a lot of eggs and meat for breakfast, no toast.

I'm 57, 6'1" and weigh between 178 to 181 lbs and drink all the beer I want every day.
 

estricklin

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OP - Here's my story.

August 2014:
Height - 6'0
Weight - 265 lbs

Current
Height - 6'0
Weight - 207 lbs
Goal Weight: 183 lbs

Total Lost: 58 lbs

This is what has worked me. It may or may not work for you. Everyone is different. This is going to very blunt but you've put yourself out there and I'm not going to sugarcoat it:

You eat too much. You also probably eat way more than you think you do. Why? Because your BMI is 37.4 putting you well into the obese range. Just to maintain your weight you have to consume 3100 calories a day (I put some number into the calculator here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/calorie-calculator/itt-20084939 ). I used to say I had an athletic build (BMI was 35.9) but the truth is that I was just fat.

Please understand that embarking on a hardcore fitness regime isn't going to give you longterm weight loss. Most people who do this quit after a few weeks. You need to start making changes to your LIFE style. Losing weight has been 90% diet / 10% exercise for me.

Here's what I recommend you do:

1) Download myfitnesspal or any other calorie counting app or program that you can use. There are tons of them out there and no excuse not to use them.
2) If you don't own a scale, purchase one. Weigh yourself at the same time each day and log it in MFP. I usually do this after I get up in the morning and pee.
3) Log everything goes in your mouth. Every single thing.
4) Do not cheat yourself on portions. It was a huge wake up call for me when I realized that I was easily eating two or three times what I thought a portion size was.
5) Purchase at least a 1L water bottle. You're going to drink at least 2-3 of those each day.

I'm not going to lie to you. It's not an easy start. The first two weeks are rough. You're going to be hungry and cranky because you're not used to eating at a calorie deficit. The real key is find foods that are filling, healthy, and don't kill your calorie goals for the day. Drinking lots of water throughout the day will help you with your hunger cravings and will flush your body of the excess salts you have. I lost ten lbs in the first month just by cleaning up my diet and drinking lots of water.

Do not expect this to be fast. Did you gain that weight in a couple months? It's not going to take a couple months to come off. Be patient, stick to it, and realize that you're making changes to your life so that you can live longer. My wake up call was my dad having a heart attack last summer and realizing that I was heavier than him and that heart disease ran in my family. I was literally going to die if I didn't make a change.

Here's the bad news and there's no easy way around this:

Beer, especially delicious craft beer, has tons of excess calories in it that's hard to justify when you're on a calorie deficit. For example, Sierra Nevada PA has 175 calories in it. This isn't a ton by any standards, but if your goal is 2,000 calories a day it ends up being 8.75% of your daily calories. Two or three of those will ruin your daily goal. The temptation to snack off while enjoying a beer is also very strong.

It's disgusting, and kind of sad, but I've pretty much cut craft beer out of my life except for rare occasions. It's way more important for me to continue to meet my goals, lose weight, and ultimately live a longer and healthier life than it is to drink a six-pack of craft each week. Craft beer has become a treat for me, not a staple of my diet. In my fridge, you'll find Miller Lite. Not because I like the flavor, but because it has 96 calories and I can enjoy a couple on occasion without feeling guilty.

Oh, one last word of advice, never log your workouts as calories burned. It's just an excuse to eat more and that number is really an estimate at best.

Good luck the benefits so far have been:

- Snoring completely gone, way more active sex drive, wife is way more attracted to me, I've lost three pant sizes (42 to 36), two shirt sizes (XXL - L), and my dick has grown a couple inches since my gut is gone. Playing sports, especially my weekend softball league, is much more enjoyable. I'm faster and stronger. Work has noticed as well. It's amazing how people perceive you when you're obese - it's proven that obese people are generally passed over for promotions, raises, etc. compared to their less fat colleagues. It's so much nicer to buy clothes and know that you can fit into them without having to pray that there's a size you can squeeze into.

Best of luck!
I agree very strongly. I didn't elaborate much on my above post, but you said what I should have.

I exercised for a long time before I decided to change my diet, and lost very little weight. As soon as I changed my diet the weight started flying off. I can also say that the more I loose, the more determined i am to make this change. I've only lost 40 lbs so far, but I do feel WAY better than I used to.

The beer part is tough sometimes. Being out exercising or working in the yard burning some extra calories, does keep me from wanting to drink as much though. On evenings that I do plan to drink more, I eat less during the day, I just have to in order to keep loosing weight.
 

Mexibilly

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Everyone has their routine. Mine includes 2 miles on the treadmill at 6.3 mph or so, 5 days a week. This is immediately followed by 4 strength training exercises, M & W the same, T & Th the same, then 2 miles and 2 strength training different from the rest of the week on busy friday morning.
I've been working out for a long time so its part of what I do every day, and my wife works out too so it helps to stay on track.
My weight, on a 72" frame, hovers between 220 and 225 and has for a long time. In my best shape, least fat most muscle (before I met my wife), I was 235 and solid as a rock.
Beyond the weight gain that can accompany regular quaffing, at 39 I feel that if I slow down and allow the weight to catch up and my fitness to slow down I'll end up old and slow and unable to accomplish the things I'd like to accomplish.
I highly encourage home brewers, beer drinkers and really anyone who hopes for a long and enjoyable life to remain as active as possible.
As long as you're regularly asking more from your body than it can easily accomplish, and you're willing to push past the point when your mind tells you to slow down, you'll continue to improve.
In my personal experience, the biggest obstacle to any endeavor, especially physical fitness, is mental. The difference between those who accomplish their goals and those that don't is simply those that do it do it.
 

masonsjax

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If calorie counting, be sure you're eating a variety of foods and watch out for carbs. All calories are not the same as some would have you believe. It could be easy to get comfortable with a limited selection of foods and malnourish yourself and if you choose a lot of carb centric foods, you're likely to just feel hungry all the time, experience insatiable cravings, feel tired constantly, and not see the results you seek.
 

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I will second masonsjax on Keto. I started off about 2 months ago with the steak and egg diet. Very basic, you each two meals daily of steak and eggs. All the butter you want (before you hark on the cholesterol of this or keto, research how these diets effect bloodwork first). Dropped about 10lbs in a few weeks. Transitioned over to keto (basically the same, high fat, moderate protein, very low carb) but I can eat more variety. Lost a few more lbs since, though its slowing down. Basically, went from an athletic 208lbs in April to a now 188lbs.

Im always active and in the gym at least 4x weekly. I dont drink during the week, and save that for the weekend. Saturday is my cheat day. I indulge in whatever food and all the beer I want. Sometimes I will add in Fri night as well (beer). My weight cutting has slowed down due to replenishing every 7 days instead of staying in ketosis for longer periods of time. But honestly, its probably the most effective diet Ive ever used. Once you start seeing results, its the biggest reinforcement factor.
 

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I have done a low carb/ketogenic diet and while it was effective it was hard for me to stay on it over a year. Holidays and vacations for me were the diet kiss-of-death.

What has worked for me the best for the longest time is intermittent fasting. I do the Brad Pilon Eat Stop Eat program. Twice a week I eat breakfast then skip lunch and dinner and I do a strength workout while in a fasted state. I don't drink anything caloric on those fast days including beer. Otherwise I don't change what I eat or drink on the other days except that I try not to over eat. Using IF I've lost weight and bodyfat (caliper measured) while increasing strength and presumably muscle mass.
 

BigPerm

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I have done a low carb/ketogenic diet and while it was effective it was hard for me to stay on it over a year. Holidays and vacations for me were the diet kiss-of-death.
This is the problem with diets like this. Ketogenic diets work amazingly well in the short term, but they fail as a long term dietary plan because many parts of your body, including the brain and skeletal muscle, require dietary carbohydrates. The problem with the "western" diet is a large proportion comes from carbohydrates. We, as homebrewers and beer-lovers, understand how excess calories and carbohydrates add up. Most of the popular "diet-plans" have some basis in low-carbohydrate diets and work well for short term weight loss, but generally fail in long-term efficacy because we aren't wired to eat that way all of the time.

There's been good advice here. @masonsjax may have had some of the best advice with a "carb-day" every few weeks when following a ketogenic diet, because this will replenish some of the necessary nutrients/fuel sources. But, possibly in contrast to other advice here, is that physical activity HAS to be a part of any sustainable plan. As we age, we lose 10% of our mass of skeletal muscle per decade over 30 (think about that). Exercise, particularly resistance training, works to not only maintain muscle mass and reduce injury when aging, but also carries a highly metabolic capacity and burns more calories at rest. Simply stated: more muscle mass = greater calorie burn.

Also, as stated earlier, get rid of soda and any other sweetened drinks. Its all excess calories, and artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause altered glucose metabolism, so theres absolutely no benefit to them.

OP - good luck! You can still enjoy beer and have long term health, but it takes planning, resolve and good information. Cheers!
 

azazel1024

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Load bearing exercise also slows skeletal loss and in some cases can actually rebuild it, depending on your state of activity and a huge host of other factors. In general, yes, the trend is towards slowly losing skeletal mass and strength, but the difference between a "healthy" diet, but sedentary life style and one with a healthy diet and active life style is massive in terms of bone mass and strength once you start getting in to middle age and later.

The biggest key is portion control, eliminate soda and any other sugary drink, not just soda. Tons of juice is also not great, even non-sweetened juice. Some is good, but more than some, like 10-16oz a day, is bad for you. You want some fruit in your diet, but juice isn't really a replacement for that. A lot of the solid bits of fruit have nutrients that your body needs, including dietary fibers. Want to drink your fruits? Make smoothies with them.

carbs are just fine and good for your body, but sugary ones are not good. It is all about the balance. A good balance of carbs, protein and fat is what your body needs and craves. Even if you manage weight loss under a low carb, high protein and fat diet, that is deficient in a lot of nutrients your body needs. It is all about a balance and portion control.

It is also about timing. Eating late at night is terrible, as that is when your metabolism tends to be the slowest, and eating slows it further. Your body converts a lot of that to fat storage overnight instead of burning it and upping your metabolism if you consume it earlier.

A good way to go is carbs with a modest amount of protein and fats for breakfast. Midday focus on proteins and light on fats and then for dinner modest carbs with the balance fats and proteins. The carbs in the morning especially are a good way to get your metabolism fired up and help you get some of the vital nutrients that your body needs from grains (dietary fiber, thiamin, niacin, etc.)

Along the lines of carbs, WHOLE GRAINS. Like white bread? tough luck, you need to throw it by the way side. Like bleached flour? Too bad, so sad. Learn to start using unbleached + whole wheat flour mixes. Get the whole grain bread, etc. It is massively healthier.

Also drink a lot of water. A big cold glass of water first thing in the morning has been showing to increase metabolism significantly the first few hours of the day. A lot of times you also feel hungry, because you are actually thirsty (a lot of times thirst starts to manifest as hunger, before you feel thirsty). If you are craving sweets? That is often times that you actually need protein.

Fish, chicken, turkey, buffalo and venison are your friends. They all have various good proteins and are also all fairly low in bad fats and cholesterol. Beef and pork are frankly terrible for you.
 

beernutz

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This is the problem with diets like this. Ketogenic diets work amazingly well in the short term, but they fail as a long term dietary plan because many parts of your body, including the brain and skeletal muscle, require dietary carbohydrates. The problem with the "western" diet is a large proportion comes from carbohydrates. We, as homebrewers and beer-lovers, understand how excess calories and carbohydrates add up. Most of the popular "diet-plans" have some basis in low-carbohydrate diets and work well for short term weight loss, but generally fail in long-term efficacy because we aren't wired to eat that way all of the time.

There's been good advice here. @masonsjax may have had some of the best advice with a "carb-day" every few weeks when following a ketogenic diet, because this will replenish some of the necessary nutrients/fuel sources. But, possibly in contrast to other advice here, is that physical activity HAS to be a part of any sustainable plan. As we age, we lose 10% of our mass of skeletal muscle per decade over 30 (think about that). Exercise, particularly resistance training, works to not only maintain muscle mass and reduce injury when aging, but also carries a highly metabolic capacity and burns more calories at rest. Simply stated: more muscle mass = greater calorie burn.

Also, as stated earlier, get rid of soda and any other sweetened drinks. Its all excess calories, and artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause altered glucose metabolism, so theres absolutely no benefit to them.

OP - good luck! You can still enjoy beer and have long term health, but it takes planning, resolve and good information. Cheers!
The vast majority of low carb diets are not no carb diets. You don't completely cut out all carbohydrates but instead try to avoid the "bad ones". For me they were usually the white carbs: bread, potatoes, white rice, and sugar.

The sound low carb ones allow you to eat all the vegetables you could want and some fruits in moderation. My biggest problem with staying on that type diet for a life time--and I stayed on one once for 9 months and another time for 13 months so I have a pretty good understanding here--is there is too much temptation. Try watch any sporting event on TV and not being bombarded with food advertising, most of it for foods you are trying to avoid eating on a low carb diet.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Like Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert), I don't believe in goals. I believe in systems. You need to create a system for yourself to keep accountable.

I'm down 26# since Christmas based purely on MyFitnessPal... That's not an "aggressive dieting" regimen, it's more along the lines of holding myself accountable about what I eat, so I don't lie to myself and say I've had 2000 calories one day and it was really 3800. Calories sneak up on you. For me, having a system where I simply log everything I eat made me conscious of what I was putting in my body. And that was the entire difference for me right there.

It's not easy, though, and I'm *sure* I'm not the healthiest dieter.

I personally can handle food cravings during the day, and often will skip both breakfast and lunch, having only coffee and water. I'm typically busy enough at work that I don't even notice hunger until ~4 PM, and by that time it's close enough to dinner that I can wait.

I'll typically eat a big dinner, and then still have room in the calorie budget for a few beers. I try to avoid having any beer early in the evening, because a few can turn into 5 REALLY easily. I'll usually drink water until the kids are completely bathed, in bed, and I can relax, which only gives me about 2 hours before my own body shuts down from exhaustion. So I can only really drink 2 or maybe 3 beers if I choose to. If I actually do eat lunch, I don't have beer.

It's harder on the weekends, because I'm less busy during the day (so I want to eat lunch), then I want to cook something on the grill for dinner, and who can cook on the grill without some beer? So on the weekdays I'm usually below my calorie budget and above it on the weekends. Works for me...

It helps for me that at 6'5" and [currently] 248#, my "weight loss" calorie budget is still over 2200 calories per day. At >300#, you'll at least have enough calories in your budget that you can eat normal food, just watching your portion sizes. So it doesn't "seem like a diet" to big guys like us. And when I have to make the transition from weight loss to maintenance, I plan to continue with MyFitnessPal, and I expect my weight maintenance calorie goal will probably be 2500-2600 calories. I can easily live within that.

Obviously adding exercise will help, and make the weight loss faster [as well as make you healthier]. But if you're going to commit to it, remember to start slow. If you try to kill yourself with aggressive dieting and aggressive exercise all at once, you're going to quit. A friend's father who is a psychologist and has done a lot of work with addicts always counseled them *not* to quit smoking cigarettes when they were battling their addictions. Trying to beat heroin is bad enough. Heroin AND tobacco is a recipe for failure. Think of this the same way. If you set your calorie/fitness goals too aggressively, you'll end up making it harder to stick with any improvement.
 

Qhrumphf

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So digging this up off a search. I set out to lose +100lb (from 290 a few months ago down to the 175 I was in my late teens/early 20s). After years of eating like crap, exercising too little (both directly related to leaving the shop doing actual work to starting the job I've been at for 8 years where I spend all day driving around and finding fast food convenient for lunch), coupled with drinking too much from a caloric perspective, I made some wholesale changes, for the most part cut out soda, stopped eat out (or at least making smarter choices), and hitting the gym religiously (45 mins to an hour, 5 days a week, a blend of cardio, strength, and HIIT). I've somewhat cut back on the beer (just above 2 drinks a day on average, now just below 2 drinks on average, not a major cut), but that's probably not going to get cut any more. I'd rather make further cuts elsewhere.

Started about 3 months ago, and I'm down about 30 pounds, but have packed on a crapton of muscle I never had before. When I started, it sucked squatting a 35 lb kettlebell (could lift it a bunch of reps without issue, just really hurt), and today I hit the 2 plate mark with both squats and deadlifts (3 sets of 10 reps, no idea what my max is but probably a lot more than that), and bench press I used to barely be able to do 10 reps at 100lbs, and now I'm just shy of two plates there too (again at 3 sets of 10 reps). Got to the point where my weight is actually going back up while the inches go down. Hah.

Very much a work in progress but I'm stoked with how far I've made it this fast. A painful 3 sets of 15 reps at 35 pounds is now a just about as painful 3 sets of 10 reps at 225. Not bad for a n00b.
 

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Im trying to get back on the wagon myself. I was injured coming out of the military and Ive slipped into a mindset that is a 180 from what i used to be. Im pretty sure im close to 300 dont feel like weighing myself becuase i wear a xxl shirt and 42 pants and they arent loose by any stretch of the word.

I used to have a job where i sat for 12 hours a day/night and that ramped up my weight gain immensely, now i have a job where im active and never sitting. I thought that would help but i just stay stagnant. SO a few weeks ago my wife and I decided to cut out alcohol all together, we didnt have a plan of how long but just know we needed a change. Ended up making it three weeks without a drink and sad to say i didnt miss it at all.

However i cant cut out alcohol all together as my Job is to brew beer for a living. Im still trying to find that spark to get it into my head that im eating wrong and need to use my truck less and use the bike more. I live in a town of 1000 people not exactly a sprawling metropolis.

Im at a loss right now and my wife is as well, both know why we are unhappy but its just hard to get that motivation going for us to make the hard changes that we need to. My buddies dad just had his right leg amputated because of diabetes but that didnt change his behavior at all. I dont want to be like that but for some reason i feel like an addict when i try to start eating right haha.

Its great to see people make the changes they needed, I hope one day to find that gumption i used to have.
 

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It's not easy Punity. I went from 5'11" 258 to 195 about 10 years ago. I've been hovering around 215ish over the last 2 or 3 years. I'm at the gym a lot, but it's my weekend eating. I'm pretty discipline during the week, salads, very minimum beer. I try to drink only a few days a week, but its the crazy eating and I guess beer on the weekends. If I could eat clean through the weekend and have only one cheat day, I'd be great. It's funny, my weight drops by Friday and It creeps back up again on Monday. It's all diet for me. Calories in calories out. Thank god I workout, because if I didn't I'd be 400+ pounds..


There goes my no beer rule during the week. I'm going to the Redsox/Yankee game tomorrow night. What the hell do I drink?? A friggin Lemonade!! I don't think so.
 

Yooper

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The vast majority of low carb diets are not no carb diets. You don't completely cut out all carbohydrates but instead try to avoid the "bad ones". For me they were usually the white carbs: bread, potatoes, white rice, and sugar.

The sound low carb ones allow you to eat all the vegetables you could want and some fruits in moderation. My biggest problem with staying on that type diet for a life time--and I stayed on one once for 9 months and another time for 13 months so I have a pretty good understanding here--is there is too much temptation. Try watch any sporting event on TV and not being bombarded with food advertising, most of it for foods you are trying to avoid eating on a low carb diet.
I went low carb in June of 2010. I pretty much don't eat bread, pasta, or sugar. I lost about 10 pounds, starting at about 145. I've kept it off for over 5 years. My "good" cholesterol has risen, my bad cholesterol is low, my blood pressure is low, and my body fat was measured about a year ago at 21% (not bad for a 51 year old female non-athlete type).

At first it was tough- especially the pasta. But over the last couple of years, it doesn't even sound good to me. I do "cheat" occasionally, like if I am traveling or when visiting friends who cook for me- but I have changed my preferences as well.

Anything with added sugar (like ketchup) is now so sweet to me that I can't stand it. It's like not eating salt for a long time, and then getting restaurant food that is salted. Even if it's not much, it's way too salty for someone unaccustomed to it. That's how I am- I find anything with sugar in it unbearably sweet. That makes it easy to walk away from desserts, pies, cookies, etc. I have the opposite of a sweet tooth!

I will eat pasta if it is served to me, but I don't crave it or desire it at all. I normally don't eat bread, or wheat in any form.

I don't exercise like I used to, and I've noticed that while I haven't gained weight, I'm definitely "jigglier". I need to get my butt back into my pilates and yoga and hiking routines.

I think what happens is people think "diet" and count calories and think of food as "bad" or "good". That makes it impossible to stick to it.

Think of the word diet as what you eat, good or bad. Then, try to make choices that are healthy. I do probably about 90/10- that is, about 90% of the time I make healthy choices. But even doing 70/30 is better than going on and off diets.

I eat meat, fish, veggies, a bit of fruit, and plenty of healthy fats. I've found that I can eat potatoes after giving them up for a bit- they don't seem to put any weight on me at all so I treat them as a "veggie". I don't eat sugar, or things with sugar like BBQ sauce, fruit juice, etc, and I don't eat things that in general come in a box. I eat a little rice occasionally, but stay away from wheat and other grains.

I eat more than most people can imagine. I drink water, coffee, and beer. I don't limit my beer- I say that I drink my carbs, and not eat them. (But I get plenty of carbs via veggies like carrots and onions and potatoes and beets). I drink wine with dinner (always dry wines). I wouldn't touch lemonade, "diet" sodas or teas or things like that.

I'm a big believer in "real food". I eat things that are food, and not "food-like substances" made out of parts of food or things that resemble food (WTF is a "cheet-o" anyway?). We eat great meals every single day- lamb chops with rosemary, baby red potatoes, broccoli as an example of a usual dinner- and I have no feelings of cravings or temptations when being around junk. I'd much rather have a ribeye steak on the grill with all the fixings than a bag of potato chips, and so don't even think about junk food.
 

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Im at a loss right now and my wife is as well, both know why we are unhappy but its just hard to get that motivation going for us to make the hard changes that we need to. My buddies dad just had his right leg amputated because of diabetes but that didnt change his behavior at all. I dont want to be like that but for some reason i feel like an addict when i try to start eating right haha.

Its great to see people make the changes they needed, I hope one day to find that gumption i used to have.
Punity - You have a great opportunity here. If you and your wife work on this together you'll be able to help each other. It's really hard to stick with eating healthy if your spouse isn't on board.

I've lost 60 lbs over the last year (6'0 265 lbs to 205 lbs) and I did it by just changing my diet and trying to be more cognizant of my portion sizes. I was an eating machine. You don't need to do any insane diets or hardcore gym workouts; just count your calories to start with. Eating at a small calorie deficit for a long period of time will make a huge difference.

I used myfitnesspal, but my parents use weightwatchers and that's worked for them. Finding motivation is personal. My dad had a heart attack last summer and had triple bypass surgery. His father had a massive heart attack and died when my dad was in high school. It's pretty clear that heart disease is a risk factor in my family and I was heavier than both of them. That was my motivation to drop the weight.

Drinking beer and losing weight is tough. I still brew but only for competitions and I end up giving most of it away. My fridge is stocked with Miller Lite - it's disgusting, but if I want to drink a few beers while watching football it's the only option. I love IPAs but three of those over the course of a game is about 600 calories and that's about a 1/3 of my calorie goal.
 

Punity

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Yea Its a big wake up call with my friends dad. I think we are on the right step as we showed ourselves that we can cut things from our diet and go from a bottle of wine/ three beers a night to nothing and only on fridays.

The biggest things is we used be gung ho for the gym and eat right but ever since i got injured and fell into a lack of motivation to stay in shape it went off the rails and over a cliff haha,,
 

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I too had one of these wake-up calls recently. About 2 years ago after my second child was born, my Dad had a bad episode which was caused by severe high blood pressure. No heart attack or stroke, but very close. The family had a talk and I realized that I probably have high blood pressure through genetics. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with hypertension. Diet, exercise and medication were the doctors orders. At that point, I was 6'1 255 lbs. After I year, I lost 30 lbs and have kept it off. I'm working to drop another 10-15 lbs. With this weight loss, my blood pressure decreased 10 points.

I believe the key is not a quick fix, but to adopt a lifestyle change. For me, this involved eating more foods that were good for the body and less fast food, and I also started running and lifting light weights. I now eat more salad, sandwiches, fruits, veggies and less hamburgers, pizza, soda, etc. I still enjoy some of the "bad foods", but in moderation and less frequently. It is amazing how much better I feel now that I have changed my diet. It is weird that my craving is now for a nice salad as opposed to a big, juicy hamburger. I did cutback on beer to help speed up the process, but I still enjoyed my homebrew. The key is to make yourself workout/be active and eat differently if you want to enjoy your creations.

I do blame my homebrew for my current plateau, but its too good to lay off of. :mug:
 
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