Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Weight Loss Journey- Week 14

Highest Weight: 250
Starting Weight: 238 (03/20/13)
Weight Two Weeks Ago: 211
Current Weight: 206

I took last week off from updating after having an incredibly busy (but fun!) week of camping, hosting a friend from out of town and her kids for 2 nights and my first exam in my summer school Statistics class. Phew! It wiped me out, even though it was a great week.

Today, I weighed myself and yes, I weigh 206 pounds!  I have lost 32 pounds since March, and 44 pounds since my highest weight, about 3 years ago. It feels AMAZING to know that I'm approaching the 100's. It has been such a huge goal of mine and I am so close. I'm sure I can lose the six pounds in the next month or so, but I never know when I'm going to stall for a while.

I thought this would be a good time to time to talk about what I'm actually doing on a daily basis, and break it down a little more. Of course, I'm a not doctor, and you should definitely talk to your doctor if you have questions about weight loss. I have learned this information through my own research and experience, and I'm SO not a professional in any regard.

What have I learned and how do I apply it in my daily life?

Brace yourself, I made something that is actually very simple seem really complicated. Just hear me out, 'cause this is good stuff. I promise.

I used to think I had to eat breakfast, and I would have to eat 6 small meals a day.  I thought I was screwing up my metabolism and any chance of losing weight if I didn't.  It was honestly the aspect of weight loss that intimidated me the most. I hate breakfast generally, and don't really feel like eating until well after noon.  I also pretty much hate snacking, and anything less than a full meal just leaves me wanting more.  

I have learned that meal timing, in terms of weight loss, does not matter.  I'm serious. The only thing that matters, in terms of weight loss is creating a calorie deficit over time.  Over time could be taken as 24 hours, 1 week, a month, etc.

It might shock you to know that I have lost 32 pounds basically eating at night. I eat  until right before I go to sleep.  I don't like to eat during the day, but I love eating later.  I stay up late, and eating at night makes me happy.  Sometimes I have lunch, but not usually. 

 I am basically doing something called intermittent fasting, which means I fast for 18 hours every day and have an eating window of 6 hours, generally 6 pm- midnight for me. I eat an entire day's worth of calories in this window, which ranges anywhere from 1200 to 2000 calories for me, depending on my activity level and plans for the day.  I usually have one huge meal around 700 calories, then 2 or 3 large snacks after that.

I love intermittent fasting and I do credit my weight loss to it, but I don't think anyone has to do this to see the results I see.  Intermittent fasting has allowed me to take control of my eating in a way that makes me happiest. I love big meals at night, and I have no problem going through my day without a meal.  I drink a lot of water throughout the day and usually a cup or two of coffee in the morning. You can learn more about the benefits of intermittent fasting here.

Does that sound absolutely horrible to you?  Cool, because you don't need to eat like that.  Do you wake up ravenous, need breakfast, and need to eat a little something throughout the day? Awesome, because there's no reason you won't lose the same way I do. It's all about calories out vs. calories in, over time.

I make sure to always burn more calories then I consume.  This does not mean I exercise away every calorie I eat. Your body is constantly burning calories, just running the machine that's keeping you alive and moving. I calculated my Basal Metabolic Rate, which basically tells you how many calories you burn on a non-active, sitting around day, using this calculator. This website also allows you to put in your level of activity, and will give you an approximation of how many calories you burn on a daily or weekly basis. It will also create a deficit for you, and tell you exactly how many calories to eat to create the deficit, which will result in weight loss.

Sorry, that got kind of complicated.

I use a Fitbit to keep a track of my steps and any other workouts, and it gives me a running total of how many calories I have burned today, through just being alive and any activity on top of that. My Fitbit has been the most useful tool for me in my weight loss, besides using the free website/app My Fitness Pal to track my calories. The Fitbit automatically sends my activity level & calories burned to My Fitness Pal, so I always know how many calories to eat in order to keep my deficit.

When I mention calorie counting, a lot of people get really turned off. I understand.  I used to think it was...."a bit much." I thought counting calories would take any enjoyment out of food and it would turn me into an obsessed, unhappy person who spent way too much time thinking about food.

Actually, I love counting my calories now.  I have a food scale, which was around $20 and is super easy to use. I weigh pretty much everything I eat, so I really know what I'm eating. The weighing probably adds a minute to my meal preparation.  My Fitness Pal has an awesome database of foods, and I rarely (like never!) can't find what I'm looking for. There's also a built in barcode scanner in the mobile app that automatically enters in the nutritional information, which is super handy.

Yes, it gets difficult when I go out to eat to a non-chain restaurant.  I do my best to break down the meals, and I am getting really good at estimating portion sizes after 3 months of doing this. But, I really don't eat out very often, so the fun of having a meal at a restaurant definitely outweighs the difficulty of logging it. I don't worry too much about situations like this, because it is just one meal, and that will no impact on my long term weight loss.

You might be wondering why I haven't said something like, "I only eat carbs with protein" or "You have to eliminate all processed food!"  I haven't said it because it's simply not true.  I eat everything that I want.  I'm serious. I just don't eat all of everything I want all the time.

I keep track of my calories, carbs, protein, fat, fiber and sodium. That being said, every day I strive to eat a diet that is:

-At my calorie goal (which changes depending on my workout)

-Meeting or exceeding my protein and fats (fats don't make you fat, yo!)

-Around my carb goal, meeting my fiber goal and at or under my sodium goal

-Full of as many fresh, whole foods as possible

-Full of foods that make me happy and feel emotionally satisfied

I eat ice cream almost every day. And cereal. I eat candy a few times a week, and will have fast food once or twice a week. I eat my favorite Chinese takeout meal at least once every 2 weeks, usually more like once a week. I drink alcohol when I want to (although it is very rare these days) and I don't ever, ever feel like like I have "just messed everything up" by falling off of some restrictive, useless diet plan.

 I just make sure that my day, overall, lines up with the goals listed above.  My portion sizes have changed dramatically, but that's just the reality of the matter.  I eat 1 or 2 pieces of pizza at the most, and then eat a huge salad or veggies to go with it.  I'll have a measured cup of light ice cream (200 calories) and then add strawberries. I pay attention to my food, what the serving size is, and how it will make me feel. I stopped drinking juice or soda because the high amount of empty calories wasn't worth it to me. If I LOVED soda or juice, I know I would find a way to fit some in on a regular basis.

 I eat a lot of vegetables, yogurt, lean meat, fresh fruit and milk daily. I add in carbs through rice, corn tortillas or bread with almost every meal.

Personally, I eat a ton of stir-frys with rice (brown or white, depending on what we feel like).  I eat a cup of rice with a huge amount of veggies and lean meat.  I also make a lot of crock pot meals with chicken breast and veggies stewed, and then we eat it with corn tortillas and beans. This week, I made a huge pot of chili with 97% lean ground beef, pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, celery, onion, green peppers, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. I ate that for dinner with a big salad and a corn tortilla for three days.

Next week, I'll talk more about my workouts. But, a well-balanced diet that creates a calorie deficient AND is sustainable for a lifetime is the most important thing about weight loss and maintenance. Don't starve yourself, don't deny yourself any food group or item and eat in moderation. Keep track of what's going into your body.  Add exercise to this, and you are well on your way to maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime.  You need to find a lifestyle that creates that magic calorie deficit and allows you to be emotionally happy and fulfilled. 

And do your own research! Visit forums, find blogs from people who are living a healthy lifestyle that appeals to you and seems sustainable for a lifetime, read good information (like medical journals, not fitness magazines) and figure out the truth about weight loss



2 comments:

  1. Sarah4:10 PM

    So proud of you for sticking with this! Almost 30 lbs is amazing!! I can't wait to see how wonderful you look in a few weeks. You have so inspired me and fitbit is working well for me as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah4:11 PM

      I mean over 30 lbs! :)

      Delete

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Laura

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