A 59-year-old man lost more than 150 pounds by walking and tracking his macronutrients.
He said he planned to get back in shape after gradually gaining weight over the years.
He also started competing in bodybuilding shows and even won a contest in 2021.
The day that Ken Jones retired, he went for a walk.
It was the first small step of a more than eight-year fitness journey, resulting in more than 150 pounds of weight loss, the Texas resident told Business Insider.
"Everybody says I'm half the person I used to be," he said in an interview coordinated by the health-tracking app MyFitnessPal.
Now, at age 59, Jones has also achieved his lifelong goal of winning a bodybuilding competition and even hopes to go pro.
Most of the change happened outside the gym, Jones said. Simple healthy habits, such as regular walking and tracking his macronutrients, without keeping a strict diet were key to his success.
He lost 80 pounds just by walking
As Jones neared retirement in 2015, he knew it was time for a change. He said that while he was athletic as a young man, a combination of shift work at the Dow Chemical plant, stress, and a busy schedule got in the way, causing him to gain weight and lose fitness gradually.
As a result, he had planned for years to make a post-retirement transformation but was hesitant about jumping back into intensive workouts. So, he opted to start his fitness journey with simple walks.
"The day after I retired, I just started walking because I was in no kind of shape to walk into a gym."
After a year and a half, Jones had dropped about 80 pounds by walking regularly and closely monitoring what he ate.
Research and experts suggest walking is one of the best ways to improve your health and fitness, especially as a beginner.
To build muscle, he started tracking macros such as protein and carbs
As Jones continued to progress in his fitness journey, he began to learn more about nutrition by talking to other athletes in pursuit of his eventual goal of signing up for a bodybuilding competition.
He hired a trainer who helped him fine-tune his nutrition using the app MyFitnessPal. The main change to his eating habits was that he began carefully tracking macronutrients — carbs, fat, and protein — to hit his trainer's daily targets.
"His instructions are, 'You have the freedom to eat what you want, but don't you go below, and don't you go over the numbers I give you,'" Jones said of his trainer's advice.
By focusing on macro numbers, Jones said he could eat a wider variety of foods while still having an easy way to stay on track toward his goals.
Jones said tracking his macros was now a part of his daily routine. Every morning, he weighs in, then sits down with a cup of coffee to enter his weight in a spreadsheet, and then logs all his upcoming meals for the day in the app.
"Nothing goes in my mouth unless it goes in MyFitnessPal first," Jones said. "That is the best way to track your macros."
Now, his daily diet involves ground turkey, tilapia, oatmeal, and peanut butter
Jones said he was now eating about 2,100 calories a day on average (which would gradually decrease leading up to competition). That breaks down into about 215 grams of protein, 165 grams of carbs, and 52 grams of fat for five days of the week.
A typical day of eating includes oatmeal for breakfast to provide some pre-workout carbs, followed by some combination of lean ground turkey or tilapia with rice for lunch and dinner. Go-to foods such as yogurt and powdered peanut butter help round his daily protein.
Twice a week, Jones enjoys a higher-carb day on the recommendation of his trainer, which he takes advantage of to enjoy Sunday pancakes.
Beyond that, he doesn't vary his diet much, which makes it easy to track his meals using the copy-and-paste feature of the app.
"I'm a pretty simple man. I like consistency, so I pretty much eat the same things every day," Jones said.
Along with the careful diet, Jones said he worked out six days a week for about an hour to 90 minutes daily, including 20 minutes of cardio on the stair-stepper machine. But he said the workouts were secondary to other healthy habits to achieve results.
"It's not what you do in the gym, it's what you do when you walk out that door," Jones said.
Read the original article on Business Insider