Monday, June 17, 2013
Over the past few weeks, I've been on a journey of self-discovery in regards to figuring out what works best for me as far as weight loss is concerned. I've discovered that there are essentially 3 different diet plans to select from:
1. A plan that involves counting calories or points, but permits you to eat anything you want (Weight Watchers, Sparkpeople, MyFitnessPal, etc.)
2. A plan that does not require counting, but has a restricted list of foods you can/cannot eat (South Beach, Paleo, etc.)
3. A plan that involves pre-packaged meals (Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig).
The third one is not at all practical for me, but I've struggled with the first two in the past. I tried a strict Paleo diet for about five days before I gave in. The food was delicious, and I lost six pounds after those five days of eating a ton of food, but eating out was a huge pain. I need to stick to a plan where anything is allowed. I have my own food restrictions to worry about (only cooking with coconut and olive oils, no canned vegetables, Greek yogurt, no artificial sweeteners, no liquid calories except for milk, etc.)
So, that leaves calorie counting or Points counting. I did have some success with Weight Watchers, but within two weeks, I'll end up going on a minor binge. I've realized that, even with the free fruit/veggies, my weekly allowance, and my daily points, my goal is too low for me.
I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the best approach is to calculate how many calories I need to eat if I just sit around in bed all day, subtract 20%, and set that as my calorie goal (along with eating back any exercise calories earned through workout and daily activity as calculated by my Fitbit).
I've been working on trying to figure out a goal for exercise. On most days, my workout is going to the mall and walking around collecting ShopKick points, so in the past, I had a goal of talking 10,000 steps a day because that was something I could do every day without necessarily doing a specific workout. I love that because I know I can stick to it longer than I can stick to a goal of exercising for 10 minutes a day (walking around Target for an hour should count as a workout, but I wouldn't consider it "intentional exercise.")
At the same time, I've been very inspired by some of the success stories for the 10 minutes of exercise a day goal, which is making me consider giving it a try in ADDITION to taking 10,000 steps a day (any steps taken during a workout will count towards my daily step goal). I'm considering starting a post-it note stack for a workout streak, but I don't know if I should make 2 post-it note stacks (one for each goal) or if I should just do one for the 10 minutes of exercise streak?