Archive for 2012

How I Lost 100 Pounds


Disclaimer #1:  This post is super long and I apologize for that.  I just couldn't cut it down.  
Disclaimer #2:  This is what worked for me.  I am not/was not pregnant or breast-feeding while losing weight.  Check with your doctor before you start any weight-loss/exercise program!

The biggest thing that has helped me lose weight is keeping track calories.  Calories I eat as well as calories I burn.  Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit...burn more calories than you consume.  Makes sense, right?  :)  Calories are just energy.  Energy that doesn’t get used is stored as fat.   
There are many ways to keep track of calories.  I personally use the BodyBugg to help me with this.  It’s a band you wear on your arm and it keeps track of how many calories you burn.  You can also log all the food you eat into the Bodybugg/apex program online so you can visually see your calories in vs. calories out.  Here’s a link that will better describe what the BodyBugg is and how it works.  BodyBugg Info 
If the BodyBugg isn’t for you there are other ways you can keep track of your calories.  The android/iphone app MyFitnessPal is great and is free!  It let’s you log you food as well as keeps track of your workouts.  There is also a web version if smartphones aren’t your thing.  
You will need to find out how many calories your body burns a day doing it’s know, staying alive.  :)  The good news is that it’s a pretty easy formula.  I won’t get into it here, but you can find the formula and all the information here --> Jillian Michaels - AMR/BMR  One thing I would suggest is to not input any data for daily exercise yet.  I would just leave it as 0 and add it in on the days you do exercise.  
So, let’s say you input all the data into the formula and you come up with 1800.  Your body burns 1800 calories a day (this is assuming I’m not exercising yet and added 0 for that in the formula from Jillian Michaels).  You can use MyFitnessPal to keep track of your workouts.  When you log workouts with MyFitnessPal it tells you approximately how many calories you burned during the workout.  You would then take this number and add it to 1800 to get the total calories you burned for the day.  
To lose weight you want to eat less than 1800 calories a day.  To lose 1 lb a week you want to create a 500 calorie deficit a day. That turns into eating 1300 calories a day based on the scenario above. If you want to lose 2 lbs a week you need to create a 1000 calorie deficit a day.  You don’t want to try to lose more than 2 lbs a week.  All of the research I've done says it’s not healthy and your more likely to gain weight back if you try to lose too much too soon.  You want to go slow and steady.  
Also you don’t want to eat less than 1,200 calories a day.  That should be the bare minimum.  It may sound weird to you, but you need to eat in order to lose weight!  If your calorie deficit gets too big your body will go into starvation mode and hold onto everything it can...meaning you won’t lose any weight.  
If you want help with calculating how many calories you are burning or if you have any questions just send me a message and I will be happy to help. 

Other tips and tricks I use to help lose weight (each is just as important as the next):
1.  Eat off of salad plates instead of big plates!
  • If your plate is smaller you’ll eat less.  Even if you fill the plate up it will be less food than if using a big plate.
  • Fill your smaller plate with smaller portions.  One serving of protein, starch, and veggies.  I was eating way too much and not even realizing it.  
    • This will definitely suck in the beginning.  If you are over-eating now your stomach is probably bigger than normal, which means you’ll be hungry a lot the first couple weeks.  Try to stick to your daily calorie limit.  After the first 2-3 weeks your stomach will get used to the new amount of food it gets and you’ll fill full again.  
2.  Get a food scale!  Measure everything at first.  It’s not expensive and you’ll get to see what a serving of protein, starch, and veggies look like.  
3.  No more Soda Pop - diet or regular!
  • Regular Pop has so many calories!  It’s not worth working out for 1-2 hours to burn off all the calories of one 20oz mountain dew
  • Diet Pop isn’t better.  It doesn’t have calories, but studies show people who drink diet pop are more likely to overeat during the day.  Plus...artificial sweetener is just bad news...  
4.  Don’t make certain foods off limits or label them as ‘bad’ (except pop)!
  • If you want some chocolate or a piece of cake go ahead...BUT in moderation.  Make sure it fits into your calories allowance for the day.  If it doesn’t fit - do a little more exercise so that you can have it and enjoy it without any guilt.   
5.  Move your butt!  
  • Exercise is good for you!  It might suck at first, but you’ll start to love it in no time!  You’ll want to do cardio and strength training.  Cardio alone won’t do it.  Muscle burns more calories than fat!   
  • If you don’t exercise at all now, start small.  Take walks.  Walk for 20 minutes a couple times, then increase it to 30 the next couple times, and so on.  That's exactly how I started.
  • Join a gym - if you are paying for it you are more than likely going to go so that you aren’t wasting your money.  I also find that I work a lot harder at the gym then when I do when I workout on the treadmill at home.  
  • If you can -- get a trainer.  They are there to help you.  They will push you when you need to be pushed and help you overcome any difficulties you may be experiencing.  Cut something from you budget if you must, you’ll be glad you did!  I train once a week with my awesome trainer, Beth Ziegmann, I then repeat what I do with her another day in the week to help stretch my money and so I get strength training in twice a week. 
6.  Make sure you have a support system.  This is not easy!  You’ll need support, help, and sometimes just someone to vent all your frustrations.  Luckily, I have the greatest husband in the world and a wonderful family who are always there for me. 

7.  Stay hydrated - with water.  It’s good for you and keeps your tummy full!  

8.  When you go out to eat - try to eat somewhere that has healthy options.  Nowadays more and more restaurants are jumping on the healthy bandwagon and will have sections of the menu that are ‘lighter options’ and a lot of the times have calorie counts right on the menu.  My favorite restaurant is Ruby Tuesday’s.  They have wonderful healthy options. 

9.  Do you research - almost every restaurant lists nutritional information online.  If you know you are going out to eat, take some time and view nutritional information online before you go and decide what you are going to eat before you get there.  

10. If you can’t find any nutritional info online, plan to split an entree.  Educate yourself - if you know that one serving of steak is 4oz don’t order the 16oz steak and eat it all.  Also, if you have a smart phone you can look serving sizes/calorie information on the fly.

11. Cook at home 99% of the time!  I love Cooking Light and Spark Recipes!   I will go to the library and check out the current issue of Cooking Light and make copies of the recipes I like.  It's super cost-effective!  :)  

12.  Make a weekly menu and stick to it!  That way you don’t have to worry about what to have for supper at 5:30pm.  If you don’t have something planned your more likely to get fast food or something unhealthy.    

13.  Make double batches of food and freeze them for later.  Reheating a homemade meal from the freezer is super fast and a whole lot better than going out for fast food.    

14.  Fill your plate with the rainbow.  Try to make each plate as colorful with veggies and fruits.  

15.  Try to find lower-calorie recipes for desserts.  Desserts aren’t off limits - just eat them in moderation.  One of my favorite dessert recipes is 1 chocolate cake mix (in a box), 1 cup water, & 1 cup greek yogurt.  Mix those 3 ingredients together and bake according to the directions on the box.  It’s so good you don’t need frosting and it has extra protein from the yogurt and less calories than if you added oil and eggs. 

16.  Find healthy alternatives to not so healthy items - the internet is full of them! I’ve listed a few below
  • Greek Yogurt can be used as sour cream
  • Unsweetened Applesauce can be used to replace oil in most baked goods
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil is better for you than vegetable oil 
  • There’s a million more substitutions like that on the internet - don’t be afraid to experiment!