Hi Yoda and
to 3FC! We're glad you came out of lurkdom.
No problem on answering questions ... I'll be interested in reading Susan's answers too, since there really isn't a 'right' way to loss weight and I'm sure she did some things differently.
Yes, I was and am a calorie counter but am also concerned with the ratios of protein/carbs/fats and the quality of the food I eat. To me, all calories are NOT created equal. If you've looked at my Fitday, you'll see that I shoot for 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fat. I avoid sugar and simple carbs as much as possible (but I'm sure not perfect
I'm trying to lose ten pounds at the moment, which is why my calories are in the 1200s and 1300s. My maintenance level is more like 1600.
I spread my calories out into five small, equally-sized meals, at 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm. This is definitely a key to my success since I don't get as hungry (and end up binging).
I watch my carb intake because otherwise I probably would eat 85% carbs!
Protein keeps me full, so I make it the centerpiece of each mini-meal. I would never get rid of carbs entirely because I lift weights and would crash and burn on no carbs. Plus I don't think it's healthy (or necessary) to eliminate all carbs. I try to limit my carbs to whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
As for working out, I'm in the gym every day. I believe that exercise is what made the difference for me finally losing the weight after so many years of failing. I do between 30 and 60 minutes of cardio per day (usually an elliptical) and lift weights five days a week. My usual exercise schedule is messed up at the moment due to recovering from shoulder surgery and I'm struggling to get in enough exercise.
I take a mulitvitamin, extra vitamin C, calcium and fish oil.
I usually drink a protein shake for my first meal at 7 am because it gives me a blast of protein with only 6g carbs. I exercise in the morning and a protein shake won't make me queasy if I start right off the bat. I typically eat my Eggbeaters and oatmeal at 10 am for meal 2. There's nothing magic about protein shakes but they're a fast, easy way to get in a meal if you're in a hurry.
Why do I eat the way that's listed in Fitday? Heck, I better go back and look at what I've been doing! What dreadful slips are in there ??
I stick with the idea of five small meals and focus on protein. It's what worked for me to lose the weight and I've discovered that maintenance is basically the same as losing -- you just keep on doing what you did to lose the weight and it will stay off.
Suggestions to kick your metabolism into gear? Exercise! I don't know how old you are, but I think it becomes even more important the older we get. We naturally lose muscle as we age (30% is lost between the ages of 20 and 70) and that's a BAD thing because muscle is what burns calories in your body. Every pound of muscle burns 20-25 calories per day, awake or asleep. When we lose muscle from dieting without exercise or just aging, we burn fewer calories and the result is a slower metabolism.
You want to do a combination of cardio exercise to burn calories and strength training to maintain and build your muscle mass. Cardio is any exercise that elevates and sustains your heart rate, so that would be walking, running, swimming, bike, elliptical etc. Strength training is working out with weights and machines.
Now tell us more about you! Your TSH is in great shape. Are you counting calories now? Do you track what you eat, like in Fitday? Tell us more about your exercise - what and how much? Hw old are you?
Keep asking questions - we're all here to help each other!