When Dave Venne moved in with some of his buddies, he was looking forward to the companionship and fun. What he didn't expect was a 15-pound weight gain.
"Those guys ate all the time, and I was right there with them," says the 25-year-old landscaping-design supervisor from Tempe, Arizona. "Still, I couldn't believe how quickly the pounds piled up. I went from 225 to 240 in 12 weeks. More than a pound a week!"
At 6-foot-4, Dave carried the extra weight well. But it made him feel heavy and uncomfortable. "I work outside in the heat, and I felt miserable," he says. "Plus, I wasn't running as fast or jumping as high when I played basketball, one of my favorite pastimes.
"My roommates and I would play basketball or do something else for a couple of hours practically every night," he continues. "By the time we finished, we'd be so hungry that we'd eat just about anything that we could get our hands on." Their foods of choice were pizza, burgers, and Mexican takeout, all washed down with copious quantities of soda and beer. "Sometimes, I'd eat an entire pizza and drink three or four beers, plus a couple of Cokes, before going to bed," Dave says. "And that was on top of eating a sandwich or something else when I got home from work."
Feeling out of shape and overweight, Dave decided his late-night eating habits had to go. "I figured that if I ate a good dinner, I wouldn't get hungry later that night," he says. "I'm not much of a cook, but even I can heat up a can of soup and put together a turkey sandwich."
As he began paying more attention to his food choices, his other meals became healthier, too. He traded in his usual sausage-egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich for a bowl of cereal, a glass of orange juice, and sometimes toast. For lunch, he still favored fast-food restaurants, but he replaced his bacon double cheeseburgers with grilled chicken sandwiches. And he carried bottles of water with him everywhere. "I have to drink a lot while I'm working," he explains. "I used to down seven or eight sodas a day. I think that switching to water helped me lose weight."
Indeed, Dave got rid of those 15 extra pounds, plus 8 more, in about 6 months. He has held steady at 217 pounds, a comfortable weight for his size, since 1998.
These days, Dave seldom eats after 8 o'clock at night. If he feels hungry after a couple of hours of shooting hoops, he'll eat fruit or fat-free frozen yogurt. When his roommates order out, he helps himself to a healthy snack or goes to bed instead.
"Being around junk food and not eating any of it was hard at first," Dave admits. "But now I feel so much better about myself that I don't even miss that stuff."
Weight Loss