Human Limits

Exploring performance and health with Michael J. Joyner, M.D.

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How I Lost 10 Pounds

Today we are taking a break from data driven topics and things in the news.  Over the last 4-5 months I have lost about 10 pounds or perhaps a bit more (5kg).   I am tall, about 6’5” (1.95m) and weighed perhaps 206-210 pounds (93-95kg) before I started to lose weight.    With just a few exceptions I have exercised daily for the last 38-40 years.   I am now about 196-198 pounds (88-90 kgs).  How did this happen?  Here are the reasons I can come up with:


  • I continued to exercise 30-60 minutes per day during the week and a bit more on weekend days.   Except on vacation, almost all of this was indoors cycling on a trainer, running on the treadmill, or swimming.  It has been a very, very long winter in Minnesota.



  • I added circuit training with body weight exercises like burpees to go with the weight training, ab work and push-ups I had been doing for a long time.


  • The first three factors are not much different than what I have done for years except for the circuit training.   The other big thing has been that my wife and I made a conscious decision to get the chips, ice cream, cookies, and (most) of the soda out of the house.   I also encouraged people to stop bringing “treats” to the lab.  When I have been hungry during the day I have tried to “reach for an apple” or protein bar.


What is interesting is that after a few  months of avoiding junk food I don’t miss the chips, and when I occasionally have more than a few I feel really full and sort of uncomfortable.  The ice is finally off the street and I am riding my bike to work again and the days are longer.  It will be interesting to see what happens over the summer when my physical activity picks up.   Will my weight go down a bit more?  In terms of diet my recent observations suggest that limiting the availability of junk food can have a big effect on body weight.


4 Responses to “How I Lost 10 Pounds”

  1. April 26th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Sheila Ray says:

    Mike, the stuff you put into your mouth counts for more than most people realize. Even as a trainer, I have to admit it is more about calorie intake than it is about calorie expenditure. I have watched many clients throw away their hour of circuit training by driving through the fast food drive through on the way home.

    Having said that, circuit training and body weight training has been the most effective form of exercise I have found. It builds muscle, burns fat, and pumps up the metabolic engine.


  2. May 1st, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Timothy Johnson says:

    Congrats on the decision to be healthier and on losing the ten pounds! I recently made similar changes to my health when I found a love for rock climbing. Now I spend 3 days a week at the indoor climbing wall as well as eating healthy. Every time I tried to workout before I would get bored with the machines and circuit training until I found climbing. Anyways, keep up the awesome work!

  3. January 5th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    What I’m Reading, Sunday, January 5, 2014 | The Human Body Garage says:

    […] How I Lost 10 Pounds | Human Limits: Michael J. Joyner, M.D. […]

  4. January 5th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Why It's Impossible to Just Eat Less - Banoosh says:

    […] less decision fatigue. My wife and I did this in early 2013, and I have now lost 12–14 pounds with minimal effort. Avoid putting the candy in the cart so you don’t have to struggle keeping it in the […]

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