Fathers and Daughters: “Don’t Listen to Mom, Dad. You’re Not Fat Yet!”


By Noel Ocol, Our Kids Media

“Don’t Listen to Mom, Dad. You’re Not Fat Yet!”

Those were the exact words my youngest daughter said to me the weekend before Christmas 2010 after my wife commented on how much weight I had put on over the past few years. Being 5’7 and 175 pounds is not THAT big, although admittedly my clothes always felt a bit snug. Like most dads, I’m a busy guy so going to a gym everyday to work out was simply out of the question. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and how much I wanted. For me food was about volume, not about quality. I lived a fairly sedentary  and generally an unhealthy lifestyle, again, like most dads.  Now I’ve heard my wife comment about my weight many times over the past nineteen years we’ve been together but it wasn’t until Persepehene’s innocent comment that I realized that it was time to do something before I crossed that point of no return.

So what follows is an account of how I, a busy dad who hates exercising and loves fast food, was able to shed 30 pounds in the span of 5 months using one simple principle: Burn off more calories that you consume in a day.

Let me begin by saying that I’m no fitness guru or health specialist but developing a plan around that one principle really simplified everything for me. Here’s what I did without much difficulty.

iPhone App: Lose It  

1. Have a goal: Whether it’s to drop 10, 15 or 30 pounds it doesn’t matter. Just have an end objective in mind and slowly work towards it. For me it was to drop 2 pounds per week from 175lbs to 140lbs.

  1. 2. Track your progress daily: There are many good apps for your smart phone out there. I use an app called “Lose It” on my iPhone. It sets a daily calorie budget for me and tracks my calorie intake and burn rate when I input what I eat and what I exercise. Just be sure to be honest when you input your meals and exercise.
  2. 3. Find something healthy that you really like to eat: Make that your staple food. For me it’s an 85 gram can of Clover Leaf’s Spicy Thai flaked light tuna. Its only 140 calories and its under a $1/can at your local grocery store.
  3. 4. Eat 3 small meals a day: but snack in small amounts regularly throughout the day. This keeps your metabolism up. If I get hungry at 3:00 I’ll have glass of dietary fiber mixed with water. It’ll fill you up and kills that hunger craving instantly. This will also destroy your dinner appetite which is perfect so you’ll eat less at dinner.
  4. 5. Choose one guilt-free day: Choose one day in the week to eat whatever you want. Saturday is my day to order an XL Brooklyn Style pizza from Domino’s and eat as much as I want. But stick to that one day.
  5. 6. Do some cardio every day: I started by just walking at a steady rate for an hour every day. I eventually graduated to running. I kill over 650 calories by doing so. But I’d suggest doing something that’s not too difficult so as not to kill your incentive. Just walk. LoseIt.com will help you figure out how many calories you burn by doing so and eventually you’ll want to do more.

 iPhone App: Lose It

Yes it sounds really basic, and it is. However, the single biggest factor contributing to my weight loss was to religiously use the LoseIt application to track my progress. Seeing my daily progress tracked graphically really kept me motivated. You can’t track what you don’t measure so whatever application you choose, use it obsessively.

To put things into perspective, my daily Sunday to Friday food intake is about 800 calories +- 100 or so here and there:

  • ▪ Breakfast: 100g Activa fat-free yogurt (80calories) + 2 glasses of water
  • ▪ Lunch: 85g can of Clover Leaf’s Spicy Thai flaked light tuna (140 calories) + 2 glasses of water
  • ▪ Snacks: some nuts or some chips just a small hand full (100 calories) + 2 glasses of water
  • ▪ Sometimes dietary fiber + water
    • ▪ Dinner: Extra Large Caesar Salad (350 calories) + 2 glasses of water
    • ▪ Sometimes I’ll have a cucumber salad, or baked tilapia filet (150 calories)


Is this too little? Who knows. All I know is that its works great for me. An old friend of mine, Patrycja Walus who is a body builder in Vancouver BC, has some additional tips that helped me greatly. She writes:

Instead of ordering the “bigger” of anything, get into the habit of always asking for the “smaller” : small frappuccino, small fries, small pop, small wrap, small coffee, small soup, etc. SMALL SMALL SMALL! Not only will this slash your calories drastically, but the weight will drop without any physical effort!

Now with food portions being large at most restaurants, here is another one of her suggestions that I’m planning to do to help me drop the last 5 pounds.

When I’m dining out I almost always ask the server to split my meal in half and doggy bag before they even bring it out to me. This keeps my portion sizes in check and appropriate for my weight goals

Like I said earlier, I’m no fitness or health expert by any means. I’m just a regular dad who wanted to show his daughters that I had the will power and perseverance to achieve my goal and shed those extra pounds. However, for a plan to work for me, it needed to be simple to follow without much planning around food. It also needed to be a plan that still allowed me to eat what I want one day-a-week guilt free, and didn’t require an extreme amount of  at a gym.

This worked for me, I sure hope it works for you!

For more stories from Noel Ocol, visit www.ourkidsnet.com

About Noel Ocol


Noel Ocol, a Filipino a father of two young girl and married to a Sindhi wife.  He is a vintage motorcycle aficionado, is the Manager of Communications and Public Relations at Our Kids Media Group. He encourages you to regularly check out the blog and the Our Kids Newsletter for parents and Dialogue Newsletter for educators for fresh web-exclusive content.  For more stories written by Noel Ocol or information about  OurKids Media visit: www.ourkids.net

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