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July Challenge

Monday, July 09, 2012

These monthly challenges have been helpful in reaching a higher level of healthy habits, so I'm going to keep on trucking with them.

This month I will focus on calories. When I stay within my calorie ranges, I lose weight. Imagine that? For so long I fought against this. I want to eat what ever, when ever and work it out. That hasn't worked for me very well, so here are this month's goals:

1) Calorie Banking (Save a few calories on most days and on one day a week eat a bit higher than the range, but not so high that the average for the week is greater than the maximum daily calorie amount. I read an article here about it.)

2) Make (or buy) a 'better-for-you' (baked good) treat to eat through out the week.

3) Make that swimming goal to earn my money back from last month that got messy due to illness and pool closures.

emoticon Week 1's goals:
Log all the week's food to determine the average daily calorie intake
The average for last week was 1898. That's not too far from the value in the upper range (1860)

Find and bake one 'better-for-you' treat
I made a brownie from a recipe here, and I must say it wasn't very good. I think it is because of the whole wheat flour.

emoticon Week 2's goals:
If the average daily calorie intake is on track for weight loss, do it again this week, otherwise, reduce the overage by half
It says my average is 1866. Yay! Right on! but...

Swim MWF
RESULTS: FAIL! Morning is getting tough again. Must do better, and I really love to swim and miss it. :-(... I did do other workouts on MW, but on F, I had an evening appointment and didn't make it to the pool or gym on the weekend.

Find and bake one 'better-for-you' treat
RESULTS: Found a brownie recipe in a 'light' cookbook. It tastes great! The
ingredients are typical of any brownie, but the amount of eggs and butter has decreased. I liked it, although it was a bit fussy!

emoticon Week 3's goals:
If the average daily calorie intake is on track for weight loss, do it again this week, otherwise, reduce the overage by half (from last week)
RESULTS: Average is 1895. That's like week 1. This is the challenge. Next week will be better.

Swim MWF
RESULTS: Monday didn't workout, but the other days did!

Find and bake one 'better-for-you' treat
RESULTS: Sugar cookes. I got this goal!

emoticonWeeks 4's goals:
The average daily calorie intake is on track for weight loss
RESULTS: Average is 1967. Boo. Worst week. Sad face. Must do better!

Find and bake one 'better-for-you' treat
RESULTS: The cookies were yummy. Tasted like butterscoth.

The problem was that I didn't swim and I didn't workout on Friday or the weekend. The week began well, but I made poor choices on the weekend.

This month, other than getting my $6 back for swimming, there is no money on the line.

RESULTS: I didn't earn my $6 back as I didn't swim on MWF in any week. I did go to the gym on MWF on a couple of weeks. Oh well. Next month will be better.

BOTTOM LINE: I lost nearly 2 pounds, so it proves even if I fall short of the goal, I'll still do better for having goals. Now, August awaits.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi, Goriana!

    Was thinking of you, dropped by to see how you are doing?

    From what you posted for the first 3 weeks, it seems that your average calories for each week was very close to the range that was assigned by SP. That's really good, is it not, better than you had been doing in June and earlier? I assume that you were able to lose a little (none of my business if you don't want to share this!)? So you met this goal at least partially! You just need to keep going and improve just a little.

    Good luck with getting up early in order to swim or workout! Were you able to earn back at least part of the $6?

    One of your goals that is going especially well is finding recipes for good-for-you treats that you enjoy. In a few weeks, you will have a répertoire of favourites!

    emoticon ... emoticon
    2057 days ago
    Hi, Goriana!

    I'm sorry to know you were ill during the month of June! I am impressed to find out that you were able to get up early on a consistent basis. Brava!

    About your intention to bank calories, I thought I would mention a concept called 'Calorie Cycling' that is similar. With the WW program, a member invented (a long time ago) the Wendie Plan, which is a version of calorie cycling. She was on a plateau & she started eating a fluctuating number of points on the days of the week, which allowed her to get off the plateau. There is a variation of the Wendie Plan called the Maggie Plan. I heard about all that in an SP WW team:

    About calorie cycling:

    There is also something called Intermittent Calorie Restriction which I read about in the Jan-Feb 2012 Nutrition Action Newsletter (CSPI) -- the study had a group of women eating 2000 calories 5 days out of the week and eating 500 calories the other 2 days of the week. After 6 months, the women had lost as much as the "continuous" group that ate exactly 1500 calories everyday. On the 500-calorie days, the subjects had 4 cups of milk, 4 servings of vegetables, 1 serving of fruit, a low-calorie drink (for the salt intake), and a multivitamin-and-mineral supplement. (Int. J. Obes. 35: 714, 2011)

    I never tried it, but I really like the idea of dieting only 2 days out of the week and eating normally the rest of the week. Personally, I would replace the milk by fish, I like fish, and Greek yogourt, and take calcium supplements to compensate.

    I found the link for the abstract of the study results, but it's Chinese to me:

    Finally, since I know you have followed the WW points system, the WW weekly allowance is equivalent to banking calories as you are doing.

    Your plan is great, I am sure it will help you to improve your healthy habits during this month.
    Take good care of yourself, emoticon
    2077 days ago
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