A private Facebook group has helped its members lose a collective 4,000 pounds by offering tips, encouragement and community for men hoping to shed excess weight when they don’t know where to start.
Joshua LaJaunie, a self-described country boy from Louisiana, said he founded the “Missing Chins Run Club,” on Facebook to give “beer-drinking, back-slapping men an avenue to health and happiness.”
LaJaunie said he decided to turn his life around after he weighed in at 420 pounds, and he started by just walking on a treadmill. Eventually, he started running, and has since lost 230 pounds.
“Compared to where I was, I’m an Olympian,” LaJaunie told ABC News.
The private group, which now has more than 80 members who have lost over 4,000 pounds collectively, gives men a platform to share their weight loss journeys and cheer each other on.
“Being a member of the Missing Chins Club has been an invaluable source of education, inspiration, and camaraderie,” Jeff Cottrell, a member of the group who has lost 198 pounds, told ABC News.
Chad Daulton, another member, added that he “can’t thank this group enough.”
“This group is full of amazing men who hold each other accountable every day — we share our successes, our failures,” Daulton said.
The ‘Missing Chins Run Club’ founder’s top-3 weight loss tips:
1. Understand the concept of “calorie density” in food
“If you’re looking to lose weight and you’re trying to get started, it would really serve you well to understand … the subject of ‘calorie density,'” LaJaunie told ABC News of his top tip for weight loss.
LaJaunie described calorie density as understanding that the same volume of two different types of food can have a vastly different number of calories. He cited the example of eating a bowl full of green leafy vegetables versus filling the same sized bowl with fried chicken, saying the latter may contain “about three or four times the amount of calories, in that same volume of food.”
“Understand how to still eat big meals, and enjoy yourself and be full, but at the same time you won’t be overconsuming, and your body won’t need to store excess calories, or body fat,” LaJaunie said.
2. Start moving, any way you know how
LaJaunie’s second tip is to just go outside and get moving, even if it is just walking at first.
“There is no need to join a gym,” LaJaunie said. “You can just go outside, and lace up, and move yourself with your legs. You don’t have to run but … move your body.”
“Do it with some purpose and do it on purpose,” he added. “What we’re doing, more so than anything, is building muscle memory, and habits.”
3. Find a community
Finally, LaJaunie emphasized the importance of support from others when you first embark on your weight loss journey.
“Go public with your goals, try to find a group to get with on social media, really build some community around these new habits,” LaJauni said.
“Think about how important your community is to your identity,” he added, saying social media is a great place to find others who can hold you accountable and encourage you to reach or maintain your health goals.