People keep on asking me for advice on how I’ve lost the weight that I have. Replying to a new poster’s post on 3FC, this is what I came up with. Figured I’d copy/paste it here… for posterity’s sake. I know I have a long way to go and a LOT more to learn, and tweak what I’ve already learned… but these are the things I’ve discovered so far.
1) Calorie count. You may not need to do it forever… but at least do it at the beginning. 1a) Buy a calorie book! Calorie King (or calorieking.com) has a great one
2) Buy a food scale. Once again, you may not need to use it forever, once you get used to sizes of basic stuff, but it will be your best friend at the beginning! Also, measuring spoons and cups! Measure measure measure until you memorize!
3) What I’ve found works for me in a day is this: 6 protein or dairy servings, 4 carb servings, 4 to 5 veg servings, 2 to 3 fruit servings, and 3 fat servings. Tweak this to see what works for YOU! This roughly places me between 1500 to 1800 calories a day. Typically, a serving size of veggies is 1 cup raw, 1/2c cooked. Meat, 1 oz. Fruit, a medium sized fruit. A carb serving is roughly 24g.
4) Read food labels! They will tell you the size of a serving and how many cals, carbs, proteins, etc!
5) Start investing in spices, cal free cooking spray, light butter (Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Smart Balance work great!), 100% Whole Wheat breads (there are TONS out there that are only like 35 to 40 cals a slice now!) and pitas, and low cal drinks (diet pop or Crystal Light are the bomb!)… and I can go on! Oh yeah, and when you can… use olive oil! Way better for ya.
6) 8 glasses (or more) of water a day!
7) Start a food journal. I know it sounds cheesy, but writing down everything you eat holds you accountable. I not only write down everything I eat, but I also write down the calories with each item and total it at the end of the day.
8 ) Figure out your BMR, BMI, and the amount of calories a day you need to start losing roughly a pound a week. Anything faster than that isn’t TOO healthy for you (though at the beginning you start this, you might loose in big whooshes… I lost 12lbs my first month eating this way!) The online calculators I use to find these are at this website: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
9) Allow yourself a cheater day. At the beginning, I did it once a week… but now that I’ve lost this much I typically do it every other week because the weight doesn’t come off as fast or easy. Not to mention I don’t get the cravings as much. On that day, pick one meal to just eat what you want (don’t go nuts and hit up the buffet for 8 heaping plates, but eat until you’re satisfied and feel content that you got it out of your system for the week!)…. use it to go out with your friends, or grab that Taco Bell you’d been craving all week long but avoided. I found that typically the little set back you got from that week wasn’t as bad as the tons of tiny set backs you get all week long eating little bites of things you just shouldn’t because you are mentally resentful for not allowing yourself to eat ANYTHING you want/crave.
10) Stay strong and don’t get discouraged! Just because you have to change the way you eat… DOESN’T mean you have to eat crap for the rest of your life. As you go, you’ll start learning healthier ways to cook, more inventive ways. You’ve got a computer… start researching healthy cooking websites and cookbooks…. you’ll find tons! Even here on 3FC we have a couple of threads with tons of recipes other chicks have put up… I’ve used several!
11) And, finally… QUIT MAKING EXCUSES! Just do it. It may seem hard… but it’s really not as hard as you may think. Some days are harder than other… but in the end, it is SO WORTH IT.