Yay for you in making a lifestyle change! I can't say what will work best for you, but I can tell you what has been working for me:
First, I found that tracking everything that enters my mouth is incredibly useful. Before I made any changes at all, I tracked for a couple of weeks just to see what I was eating, where I fell in the macronutrient ranges, and where I fell on a couple of micronutrients that were really important to me.
Then, I set up the program for a weight-loss of 1/2 pound per week, which gave me a calorie range and exercise level that I was comfortable with as a minor change. I'm one of those people who can do a major change for only a couple of days before getting unhappy, feeling deprived, and then tossing the whole idea. This let me make only a few minor tweaks in portion sizes and food changes (switched to yogurt from ice cream, for example) while still hitting my range. I bought a food scale and a good set of measuring cups and spoons, and made sure that I was accurately setting my portions. I started this at the beginning of the year, and was averaging around 1950 calories per day in (and losing weight).
As I got comfortable with this, I started looking at adding some different elements to my meals. I'd pick a new vegetable and buy just enough for one or two meals. As an example, I went and bought a few brussels sprouts. One day, I steamed a few (not even a full serving) and tried them with dinner. I found them ok alone, but really enjoyed them with a little bit of veggie dip on them. A couple of days later, I tossed a few more in olive oil and garlic and threw them in the oven to roast while I had some chicken breasts in. I found out that I REALLY liked them that way. By only buying a few, trying them as an "extra" instead of the basis of a meal, and trying them cooked in different ways I didn't feel like I had wasted anything in trying them (and didn't end up hungry because I hated them and they were supposed to be a main part of my meal).
By gradually adding more and more vegetables, my meals started changing without me really working at it. Since I was adding things that I enjoyed, cooked in ways that I enjoyed, I have never felt any sense of deprivation or resentment about a "diet". As my meals changed, my calorie intake has gradually fallen along with it. My daily intake now averages around 1550 per day, I'm full, and thoroughly enjoying what I'm eating. I have no issues with going out for an occasional meal, or splurging on calories on the odd day, and I'm still losing weight. This range allows for a loss of 1-1/2 to 2 lbs per week at this point. Since this is about the right calorie range for maintaining at my final goal weight, I am very happy to find that this is a level of eating and exercising that I will be comfortable doing for the rest of my life.
How I've approached things is not a way to quick weight loss (I'm down around 23 pounds so far --- 27 according to my original scale but I changed scales part way), so I'm thinking it might take me a year or two to get where I want to be. I'm perfectly ok with that, as enjoying my food and having a fun and active lifestyle is more important to me than the number on the scale.
This may not be how you want to approach it, but I would still highly recommend that you use the nutrition and fitness trackers to make sure that you are eating enough (too few calories is just as bad or worse than too many), and that you are getting the nutrition that you need to thrive.
Good luck, and remember to enjoy the journey!
Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.
Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.
| current weight: 167.2