That is how many pounds I lost on my first week of really focusing on how much I put in my mouth, and how much is going out via activity. I am beyond excited and now motivated to keep it up.
So, how did I lose 6.5 lbs in the first week? Well I’m glad you asked. I feel like I have always had the foundation of what is healthy, what a portion size is, how vital activity is, etc. I’ve done enough reading and taken nutrition classes in college to know the basics. So I just had to figure out how to apply those basics to my life, to what I do day in and day out, and even to modify what I do. It truly is a lifestyle change. Here are just a few of the pointers I followed in my first week:
- Track every bite you take. (Yes, even when I eat the whole box of cookies.) I use fatsecret.com, which I find fairly user friendly, and has a large database of food. And you can search by restaurant, food manufacturer, even grocery store. Weight Watchers and SparkPeople always bothered me because it wasn’t easy to find specific items. Plus fatsecret has a BlackBerry app that totally rocks!
- Track every activity you do, including sitting on your ass! Again, fatsecret.com to the rescue. It will calculate your calorie count for daily activities like sleeping, resting, desk work, standing, etc. aside from “real” exercise. I’ve found that I burn over 3000 calories just by sleeping, working at a desk, and just resting (i.e. watching tv, reading blogs). This is mostly due to my current weight, and as I lose, that number keeps going down. Then you add in your exercise, and bam! I’m over 3500 calories spent.
- Track your calorie deficits. Yet again, fatsecret.com to the rescue. It has a diet calendar which shows your net calories. For a fan of numbers, this is the coolest thing. I took it one step further and created a spreadsheet to track this and to add up all the net calories. Since 3,500 calories = 1 lb., I can now see how much weight I should have lost based on that. For week 1, my net calories was over 11,000, which equates to about 3 lbs. Somehow I dropped 6.5 lbs, so either that is water, or I’m burning more calories than what it shows. (fatsecret does not calculate that “afterburn” from working out.) But it still gives me a good guideline. If it shows I should have lost 1 lb. and I don’t, I’ll know I screwed up and didn’t write something down. Or maybe hormones are impacting my weight, or stress, or something else.
- Don’t deprive yourself. I did indulge in some cookies, 12 of them to be exact, in one night. I did indulge in some chocolate chips (2 Tbsp. every night). I did indulge in Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels (had about 10). And I did indulge in several Snickers and Baby Ruth Minis while at work. Of course not all in the same day! But the thing is, I wanted something sweet, and I had it. I know I screwed up with the 12 cookies in one night, but now is really not the time to be overly hard on myself. Now some people may say I really need to cut those out, but this is my plan so I’ll do what I want!
- Adjust your daily routine to fit in exercise and eating well. While I tried to get a handle on my eating habits during the first week, I said no to any invitation that put me in danger of overeating or missing out on activity. I skipped out on wine tasting, skipped out on happy hour and a movie, skipped out on teppanyaki night, so I could prep and eat my own food knowing what my caloric intake was going to be. I know it seems like I am being unsocial, but I had to do this, especially in the first week, to get myself on track. My life and health is more important today than my social life. And as I adapt my lifestyle, I know I won’t have to say no. I know I will be able to enjoy myself with my friends. Seriously, it’s one week, I don’t think my friends missed me too much!
Those are my 5 key points from the first week. I face a huge challenge coming up as I have to travel to New Orleans for work. I am going to have to really concentrate on the choices I make. Last time I went to New Orleans I could not find a satisfying meal, bad for you or good for you. This is definitely not the place to go if you are trying to eat healthy. So, I’m going to do the best I can. And I’m going to track my food and activity (lots of standing and walking!). I’ve found that you may not get exact calorie counts for the specific restaurant, but in fatsecret there is most likely a comparable meal. I should feel confident that I can keep this up while I’m traveling.
I truly believe that I have to be in the right mental state to be able to take on changing my life. I think I have reached that point, and am highly encouraged by my week 1 results. It doesn’t hurt that I have a trip to Hawaii next January already on my calendar and I would love to be healthier and slimmer by then!