Thursday, May 09, 2013
This spring, I've lost 34 lbs so far. I made the leap to just go for it, no matter how annoying it is or what I have to give up to get there - just commit to tracking daily and follow the "rules".
Here are the secrets for what works for me (so I remember later and might work for other people):
1. Track food and exercise in separate programs. I use MyFitnessPal for food tracking and Sparkpeople for exercise tracking. Whether the exercise is accurate or not, at least I'm being consistent.
2. Exercise calories are not one for one with food calories, more like 3 to 1. If I go over my calories and want to make it up, I'm looking at tripling the calories burned in the gym.
3. Going over every so often is totally fine. You have a life: you go out, you drink beer, you like to be social. Just don't do it too often and try to make good choices, when possible. And going out will slow down your progress.
4. Partial servings are awesome. Do I want chocolate? Hell yes. Can I afford it? Probably not a whole serving...Sooo I'll have a half serving or a quarter serving (awesome with like M&Ms and such). But junk food is a slippery slope - can you stop at a partial serving? If you think not, don't do it! Just put it down and walk away. It's easier to resist without that lovely taste in your mouth to remind you that you want more !!!
5. There are no forbidden foods, because that's just dumb and makes you bitter. There are stupid foods - ones that use up a lot of calories and don't fill you up and leave you with few calories left for the day. For the stupid foods: ask yourself "Is it worth it? Do I really need this right now? Will it be worth being hungry or going over today and making it up in the gym? WILL IT!?" Sometimes the answer is YES! Go for it and enjoy it. You know what you're doing. Just make sure you track it.
6. Don't get hungry. Eat legumes and veggies and other low calorie/high fiber foods. Eat that 100 calorie granola bar before your stomach is so pinched that you have a headache and you're grouchy and tired. Starving in the middle of the afternoon? Eat a massive amount of mixed greens - yep, still only like 50 calories, even with oil and vinegar.
7. Don't eat a salad FOR dinner, eat it WITH dinner. Salad is all well and good, but you hate your life when you try to eat just that and not a nice warm meal. Salad is filler and should be used as that. It is a side, not an entree. Eat one or two a day to aid will fullness and digestion (in case those legumes make you feel bloated), but don't substitute your meals with it.
8. Eat a second breakfast. It's ok to eat more in the morning, as long as you're eating less at night. You burn most of your calories during the day, not when you're sleeping. First breakfast (a yogurt) when you get to work, second breakfast (instant oatmeal or fruit) mid-morning when the coffee-full is wearing down. Do it and love life.
9. For me, weight loss is 70% food tracking and 30% exercise. I already was exercising a lot prior to this spring and little has changed (yay bootcamp). It was all about sticking to the average daily calorie goal without calories added back in. Track everything shamelessly. You went over 600 calories today because you had 3 beers? Well you need to know that so that when you don't hit your weekly goal, you don't freak out and get discouraged, you just point your finger where it should be pointed: yourself. Don't lie or cheat because you're only cheating yourself.
10. Weigh yourself daily and track it daily on one program, so you have a general log of your freakish weight fluctuations. On the other program, track your weight weekly to watch the lovely trend downward. That 4 lbs you gained during your monthly cycle? Yeah, that happens every freggin month. Don't sweat it. You went under your calories yesterday by like 150 and weighed in 2 lbs higher this morning...wtf? Ok whatever...It'll work itself out in a few days.
That's it for now. Enjoy.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
On my own, I do great with keeping to my food and fitness goals. The real problem occurs when I want to be social.
Lunch with the girls: ~600+ calories and endless fat.
Happy hour: when I can manage to not eat any of the amazingly delicious happy hour foods that everyone else is ordering and eating, even though it's dinner time and I'm starving, I still get probably 1-2 drinks = 200-400 calories. If I cave because I'm SO hungry and the food is SO good and everyone else around me is eating garbage, we're looking at a 600-800 calorie evening, minimum.
Foofy coffee break: Let's face it. Sometimes work sucks a lot and we get angry and have to go get some coffee. Oh and by the way, we might be starving because we were overly optimistic about our level of hunger, and thus neglected to pack enough food for lunch, and ran out of granola bars or almonds from our desk stash. Sigh. And that Frappuccino with whipped cream that the other girls buy looks so freakin good and we're so hungry and tired. Sometimes, I manage to be strong and go with the iced skim latte or the iced skim mocha, both not so bad. But sometimes...I just want the whipped cream, dammit. Even the small is pretty bad....
Out with the boys: They eat at least twice what you do and dont' seem to care a hint about the nutritional content of the food they eat. When I order a salad, they look at me and say "Seriously? That's all you're eating? Don't even think about stealing a french fry if you're going to order so little." Or they say "That's not enough, you need more than that. If I ordered that little, I'd be starving in like 5 minutes". OK, so maybe they're right, but restaurant salad + beer = at least 500 calories, which is all I should be eating. Why can't I just get a plain chicken breast without sauces or being fried or something as an appetizer? Why are there only wings or chicken fingers?
Date night: Dinner out or dinner in. Dinner in, you better eat the lovely food he's spent lots of time agonizing over and preparing for you. And that special cocktail or beer he made/got just for you... you turn that down and you lose points. You can eat less of it, but then he has dessert for you too because he knows you LOVE chocolate and he wants to impress you with things you like. Sigh. Dinner out: you could order the salad and get the dirty "you're such a girl" look, and skip drinks because you know they're high in calories, thus forcing him to drink alone or avoid the social aspect of the drink. Or you could order the bbq, because that's what you really want, and love every second of it and not think twice. And order the beer you love, because it's delicious and brings you pleasure. Perhaps eat half the bbq and eat all the veggies first, allowing him to taste your bbq, or have leftovers. That works mostly, but do you count it? How do you even estimate the calorie content and portion size there? You can guessimate and wish for the best (aka the scale not telling you that you're 2 lbs heavier the next day).
So what's the solution? I participate in about 1- 2 of these health-breaking activities a week. If I cut that back, I'd be super sad because I'd be lonely and missing out. I'd love to do an active event, but that's an afternoon thing, not an evening thing. Plus my friends would veto it anyway, since they don't want to be bothered with such things (and are much less physically active, coincidentally) - and food generally results afterward anyway. I could try to follow the little healthful tips that annoy the hell out of my friends or make me slightly unhappy because then I am generally starving afterwards. My social life breaks the calorie bank, even if I do keep on track with my meals and snacks on my own, and follow all the fitness stuff religiously. It's a touch choice to make.
Monday, January 09, 2012
It's a new year. Tons of people seem to like to promise they will lose weight as their new year's resolution. I've decided that is exactly not what I will do. I always want to lose weight, there's nothing new about that.
This new year, I will try to adopt a new healthy habit: limit my "empty calories" to just 200 per day.
I have no trouble at all coming up with healthy meal ideas or healthy snacks or exercising very regularly. My troubles are more that a) I wait to eat so long that I lose control on less-healthy food that are easily accessible, and b) I mindlessly nibble on useless things .
So I'm going to adjust this. No more nibbling on butterscotch or chocolate chip morsels. No more nibbling on M&M's. No more nibbling on cat cookies. I must commit to limit these things to 200 or fewer calories, or replace them with more nutritional things - like almonds or walnuts or dried fruit. This will be my resolution. Calories should come with nutrition.
Followup on the ice cream challenge: Yep, I was definitely addicted to ice cream. After 2 weeks of hiatus, my intense cravings for ice cream subsided. However, reintroduction to ice cream came with more cravings. If I still to plain vanilla, the cravings are less. I should probably just stick to nonfat fro yo if I'm going that route, since vanilla is pretty boring.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I admit it. I have an addiction. I love ice cream. So incredibly much. I've tried substitutes (nonfat frozen yogurt, sorbet, and other less bad for me things) and just nothing matches up. What's worst is that when I do break down and buy some, it's gone pretty darn quickly - maybe within a week max. I crave ice cream like nothing else and I think it might just be some sort of habitual addiction things.
Given my several month long plateau, where I've continued to track food at least 3-4 days a week and work out at least 4 days a week to burn a minimum of 500 calories, I feel I need to do something to break this bust. That thing will be an ice cream hiatus for 4 weeks. Starting today, I will avoid all f0rms of that sweet creamy goodness for the next 4 weeks. I will not attempt to kid myself with some sort of replacement. I vow to stick to this hiatus, mostly because it takes 21-days to form a habit (and get rid of a bad one) and by the 28th day, I suspect my addiction will be gone. I will revisit this resolution November 24 and decide how to proceed from there.
Let's hope I don't turn to other sweets to fill this gap.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Want to know how much a serving equals of certain foods? Your hand can be a powerful tool.
•Two fingers = one serving of cheese
•Open palm = one serving of meat
•Closed fist = one serving of fruit or vegetables
•Cupped hand = one serving of cereal or grain
•Tip of thumb = one serving of margarine, oil, or salad dressing
•Thumb = one serving of candy
Other helpful tips:
•One serving of meat, fish, or poultry is the size of a deck of cards.
•One serving of baked potato is the size of a computer mouse.
Get An Email Alert Each Time DANU12 Posts