What does that mean? I'm firmly in the 160's! 168 to be exact (butt naked of course). Woot woot! 10 more pounds and I can go weigh in at a meeting and get my WW lifetime status back! Aside from that (as long as I don't blow it over the weekend), this also means I win my DietBet on Monday! ::fingers crossed::
But this brings me to a more important topic - How do I do this? If you went back and read all of my weight loss related posts, you will see lots of posts about the individual things that I do in order to lose or maintain my weight. However, nobody has time for that. So I thought I would post about what I do and don't do to lose weight. With no further ado, I bring you...
DIP'S RULES OF WEIGHT LOSS
1. I EAT ANYTHING I WANT.
I do need to make sure that I'm eating things that I really want to eat, and ensure they are worth it. I've done Zone, Atkins, South Beach, etc. and I've even tried to do Paleo. What I realized is if I eliminate any one thing from my diet, that's what I crave. ALL THE TIME. It just doesn't work for me. But I also can't eat anything I want in the quantities I would like, which brings me to #2:
2. I TRACK WHAT I EAT.
Unfortunately, tracking is key to my success. I wish I could skip this, but I found out early on in my weight loss journey that I can just as easily overeat healthy stuff as much as I could junk food. Therefore monitoring my intake is required for success. I have professed my love for Weight Watchers before, but again, I love that they make calorie counting a little easier, a little more streamlined. They also give you what they call the "Good Health Guidelines" which basically ensures you are getting enough of the right foods to set your body up for optimal weight loss. If the Weight Watchers plan isn't working and I know I am tracking accurately, it's usually my lack of adherence to the GHG's. Now, do you have to track with Weight Watchers? Oh heck no! My Fitness Pal, Sparkpeople, and Lose It! are good alternates, as are many other calorie counting and food tracking websites. I tend to gravitate more to My Fitness Pal than any other site, for the more involved support system (very social!) and that my daily calorie goals are linked to your daily activity. Which brings me to my next point:
3. I'M ACTIVE.
I try to get at least 10,000 steps a day using my FitBit pedometer (which I love!). I get what Weight Watchers calls Activity Points for my efforts, which essentially allows me to eat more. My Fitness Pal will also gives you a higher goal when you record exercise. You should eat more when you're active! However, based on the WW model of exercise versus eating, I don't eat every calorie I burn. Based on an average of my daily intake, I eat about 1500 calories a day without even dipping into my activity calories. Some days it's closer to 1200-1300 and other days it's higher. When I earn Activity Point, well... yay! I get to eat more. But consider this - a 10,000 step day is about 600 extra calories burned above and beyond sitting on my ass, but it's only 4 Activity Points. One slice of whole wheat bread is about 80 calories and two points. So I burned 600 calories and I only eat 160 of them if I choose to? Now it makes sense to me why Weight Watchers has always worked better for me than calorie counting. Which is a good revelation, because my WW subscription runs out in a few weeks and I will be stuck losing my last 5-10 pounds on My Fitness Pal.
That's pretty much it. Short list, huh? Now, my specific weight loss strategy changes all the time, because what works for me at any given time may not work for me at another time, and of course may not work for others. Weight loss is a very individual process and isn't always as simple as calories in, calories out. Sometimes attitude, frame of mind, specific life situations, etc. can affect weight loss in much more complicated ways that I can even explain.
Also, this is the basics of being happy, feeling good and looking good in clothes. I can't say that I was totally comfortable in a bikini at the beach even at my Weight Watchers goal weight. Some people are gifted with genetics, and others have to work much harder. Maybe sometime in the (near?) future I will be more focused on getting my dream bikini body, which will have to coincide with more structured and disciplined eating and workouts.
Now, I'm sure someone is wondering how I busted out 4 pounds (essentially) in a week. Aside from the period weight, here is what I did this last week which I am confident helped me to drop pounds.
1. Cut out booze and desserts
Yes, I know I told you I eat anything I want, and that includes drinking and ice cream after dinner. However, in light of my upcoming weigh in for money, I cut these items this last week. Rest assured, they will be back Monday night as part of my balanced(?) eating plan.
2. Cut back on starchy carbs
Okay, I actually ate a little pasta 4 days out of the last five and had slice of bread with peanut butter on it last night after my run, but that's really nothing compared with the tortillas, bread, and pasta I normally eat as part of my regular diet. Did I eat fewer calories? No, but carbs tend to cause a little water retention, which is why low-carb diets cause you to lose a lot of weight quickly. It's just water, so again, this is not a change I am making long term. You can absolutely lose weight while eating carbs!
3. I ate high fiber foods, yogurt with probiotics and drank my coffee
Because when you keep your intestines moving along, there's no chance for poo to accumulate, adding unnecessary pounds. I feel like I lose more weight when I'm regular. It might be a mental thing, but it still makes me feel lighter!
4. I drank a ton of liquids
The more liquids you drink, the less your body holds on to. My liquid of choice this week was mostly weak unsweetened iced black tea. Iced herbal tea can take it up a notch, and if you're really desperate, water with lemon and cucumber can help you shed some of that water weight and bloating.
5. I cut back on snacking in between meals
I'm usually ravenous when I get home from work, and can easily consume 5 corn tortillas with butter before I even realize what I've done. I tried to take a more mindful approach to eating, evaluating if I'm hungry, making an informed decision on what I would eat after considering their point/calorie values, and then trying to actually make a plate and sit down. See the Beckman Diet.
Okay, I know that was a LOT. Hopefully it helps some of you. My last piece of advice is there is no half assed approach. You either want to make a change, or you don't. I can't even count the times when I said I wanted to lose weight and would even start a diet, but didn't care enough to actually follow the diet. When you are ready, you will be out of excuses. I'm serious!
My next post will discuss my exercise regimen (or lack thereof)!