10 pounds. GONE! 3 weeks ago, I did my first weigh-in. Just as expected, I was the exact same weight I’ve been for the last six years (when I haven’t been pregnant of course.) It has always just been my “default” number…I’m not overweight and my BMI was normal when I began, but I was living in the “I’m just always going to be this size” mindset. While I wasn’t fat, I certainly wasn’t fit either. I wanted to see if I could drop a few pant sizes, slim down a bit, and be a better version of myself. I am most certainly not a fitness expert of any type, but I have had some good success, and wanted to share with you what I’ve been doing.
1. 1200 calories a day
- Lean protein and veggies are my best friends
Salad and my George Foreman grill are lifesavers! Especially since I don’t eat salad dressing, I have found that I can have a HUGE salad with a couple of cut up grilled chicken tenders for about 200 calories! Veggies are SO incredibly low in calories that you can really pack them on to just about anything you’re eating.
- Read boxes! (You’ll want to throw up!) The sheer number of calories I was taking in NOT at meal-times absolutely sickens me…
Without even thinking about it, I was just nibbling on hundreds of extra calories each day! I’d have a leftover chicken nugget from my son’s lunch (42 calories). I’d eat a handful of animal crackers when giving them to my son for a snack (130 calories in SIX!). I just had NO idea what I was putting in my mouth. Now, I read labels and decide what is truly WORTH it. If I’m going to watch my calories, I’m certainly not going to waste them on something silly like a lemonhead (35 calories) or in Irish Cream coffee creamer (40).
2. Drink TONS (and tons!) of water!
- Carry your Nalgene around with you like it is your best friend. Drink even when you don’t want to. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day can even help boost your metabolism, and it flushes out all of the toxins and waste in your body! If you don’t like plain water, try adding a wedge of citrus!
- Download this App!!! My Fitness Pal is available for the iphone, ipad, android, and blackberry. If you don’t have one of those devices, you can use it right on your desktop! Studies have shown that people who keep track of their food lose more weight. This app counts your calories, charts your progress, keeps track of calories burned….it’s AWESOME! I love something so tangible, that lets me see how many calories I have left for the day, where my calories are coming from, etc. I also love that it gives you an estimate about what your outcome will be if you ate this way every day…Try it! Check out My Fitness Pal NOW! (PS- It’s FREE!)
4. Give it Up
I knew that at least for awhile, I would need to give up certain foods and habits. This has been the hands down hardest part of this journey. (And sometimes, I lay there and actually dream about brownies….sigh..)
- No butter/oil – I saute in water or chicken stock, instead of butter or oil. I omit them from recipes. I keep my toast plain, and season my baked potato with veggies and spices instead of butter….
- No baking. This one KILLS me. I’m not going to lie. Baking is part of me, and is just something I LOVE to do. I was baking a treat AT LEAST once a week, and then typically made muffins, homemade bread, or something else as well. I’m just not at the point yet where I can do this again.
- No emotional eating. (Again, this is hard.) Now, when I want to lock myself in the pantry and eat a peanut butter egg because the kids are driving me bonkers, I go run on the treadmill for a few minutes, or play around on my ipad, watch junk tv, sit on the deck….just something else…I have to tell myself that the chocolate won’t really make me feel better…
5. Portion Control
- They may cost more, but I have been very grateful for the “100 calorie” treats and snacks on the market. I do not trust myself with the large bag of Sun Chips (and have NO CLUE what 3 oz of chips is..) so, having the little pre-portioned bags REALLY helps me.
My favorites are:
Oreo Dipped Delight Bars – 100 calories VERY good…actually tastes like a treat!
Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding – 90 calories (Stay clear of sugar free vanilla…tastes like wallpaper paste..)
Single Serve Multi-Grain Sun Chips (LOVE Garden Salsa) -140 calories
6. WANT it
Any type of weight loss plan won’t work unless YOU want it. You can’t be peer-pressured into it. You can’t let guilt watching The Biggest Loser (while eating ice cream) make you do it…You have to genuinely want it, or it just won’t work. Changing is hard. I miss food. I daydream of grilled cheese and cookie dough on a spoon….and I know I’ll be able to enjoy those foods again (once in awhile) once I get where I’m going physically….For now, I’m willing to put in the work and get to my best. Want to join me?
I’d love to hear your weight loss story! I still have about another five-ten pounds to go (to get to where I was in high-school!) Thanks for letting me share my journey with all of you. I hope to be able to share some of my new low-cal recipes with you!