The last time I consistently lost a significant amount of weight I was in my 20's and doing Jenny Craig (I'm 46 now). I was only 25 or so pounds overweight at the time, but I was losing a consistent 2 pounds a week until I reached my goal weight. I have been thinking about what were the keys to my success then? First, I was horrified at the amount of money I had invested (and was spending each week), and that kept me focused!
! (There was an initial cost, plus $$ weekly food costs.) Second, I had a weekly meal plan, and I couldn't deviate much from it. The way the food worked, if I had a box of 4 breakfast bars, there may only be one bar on my weekly menu, but future week's menus might call for the other bars (i.e. - you think something is yummy and decide to finish off the box, you will be short on future menus.) The only decision I had to make on a daily basis was which daily menu I was going to pick. After that, I simply crossed off the food as I ate it. I was very thoughtful about my eating, because once the food was gone, eating was over for the day! I look back and realize that this type of prepared food program really took away the emotional eating component for me. There were required fresh fruits and vegis, and I bought and prepared them every week on Sunday. The final keys to my success at that time were: I drank the required water religiously. If it was near the end of the day, and still had water to drink, I drank it. I also followed the exercise requirements. At that time, I believe it was 20 minutes 3X a week - LOL - seemed like a lot then, and I did it on an exercise bike. Bottom line: it worked. I learned all about low fat cooking, etc..., and I kept the weight off until I gained twice as much after my pregnancy. That type of program is impracticle for me now for many reasons. I can, however, take what worked for me then, and make it work for me now:
1. A DETAILED MENU PLAN - PRPARED AHEAD OF TIME. Counting calories as I go doesn't work. It allows me the mind game of deviation: I can have a donut at the office and simply "count the calories." Sure - until I get home later with not enough calories remaining for a satisfying dinner. (At which time I will quit on my program with great plans to start fresh the next day.) It is also hard to make good decisions when you are starving. It is much better to have a plan, and be prepared to execute that plan (food for the day prepped and ready to go.)
2. A WEEKLY FOOD PREPPING DAY. Buy the groceries, prep the food, and have everything ready to go for the week. Jenny Craig used to call for "1 Cup of mixed vegis" to be added to a green salad. Every week, I chopped cauliflower and broccoli and kept it in the fridge in a ziplock bag. All I had to do daily was scoop out 1C of vegis for the salad.
3. MEET THE MINIMUM DAILY WATER REQUIREMENT. Instead of worrying about cutting out diet pop, etc..., I need to focus on adding in the water. When you have to make a minimum, there isn't a of room for other beverages.
4. PLANNED EXERCISE. Don't fit it in as you have time; plan it.
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There is my plan for success as a SAPPHIRE SOLIDER with BLC21. I will be a huge challenge for me to execute the whole idea of a detailed weekly menu plan, but it is the only thing I have not tried. I'm a pretty good exerciser - I would much rather exercise than diet - but the exercise is just enough to keep me about the same (no loss/no gain). I have to master the eating portion this time around. I also don't want to force myself to give up foods I love, or white- knuckle it through a difficult diet plan. I want to cook and serve real food that is healthy to my family. I want to strive for clean eating as much as possible, and get rid of the processed diet food/treats/etc...
To make this work, I am going to sit down and brainstorm breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks with their calories. I am going to plug them in to the "meals" section of the food tracker as I go, and I plan to keep my list in an excel format for easy meal planning. It will be difficult in the beginning, but as the weeks go by, I will be developing a great database for meal planning. I'm going to keep it as simple as possible, and build on it as I try new recipies, etc...
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!!!