|After calorie counting and weight training for 2 months|
|just before I started counting calories and doing more weight training|
|Another 'before' picture|
"Weight loss tip - So many people come up to me and tell me they can’t lose weight and yet, I haven’t ever met a person I can’t take weight off. You're not counting calories. Forget all the fad diets for a moment and just focus on the basics. Weight loss will always require burning more calories than you take in. Calories in versus calories out."
In other words, your body will only burn a certain amount of calories in a day (numbers based on height/age/gender) and if you eat more than that you will gain weight. And if you eat less than that, you will lose weight.
I also remember Jillian Michaels saying in a video that building muscle, exercising, weight lifting etc. is great and important but if you want to see that muscle you're building, you need to cut down on calories and watch what you eat. Otherwise, you'll get a strong stomach by exercising the core(or wherever, usually all over because you can't really target one specific area and only lose there), but you won't be able to see the effects of it, they'll be hidden under the soft stuff if you don't combine exercise and weight lifting with calorie reduction and eating mostly good foods.
At this same decision-making/food and exercise-changing time, I read a blog about a girl who, over time, got into good shape by doing lots of weights and interval training combined with a little aerobic, while counting calories using an app called myfitnesspal. Well, there it was again. Calorie counting. Something I had never done before and an idea I kind of almost scoffed at prior to this time. I used to think, "counting calories sounds like so much work; I don't need to do that to stay in shape." Well, that week I made some changes and counting calories was one of them. I started doing more weights, more pushups, more interval training; Scott has been a big help with this. We are exercising together, though he's trying to gain a few muscle pounds so we're hoping to tip the scale opposite ways :). I downloaded the myfitnesspal app at that time, entered in my weight, height, age and gender with the amount of weight I wanted to lose (10 lbs) and then began tracking calories. This, I believe, was what really tipped the scale because it made me aware of all my little snacks, all the little bites off my kids plate here and there. It made me realize that I was eating more than my body needed. I didn't need to snack throughout the day and my portions could and should be smaller, especially at dinner.
|Before: it does kinda look like a pregnant belly|
|After: no more pregnant belly!|
Based on my personal information I entered into the app, I am allowed to eat 1430 calories in a day. If I stay in between 1400-1500 I think it's pretty good, though I really try to stay closer to 1430. I knew if I wanted to be successful I really needed to count everything. Main dishes, desserts, snacks, sides, fruits, veggies, any bites off my kids plates, any free samples from Costco, everything. Those little things can be a pain to enter so I mostly just leave them alone now, you know like the samples and the bites off kids plates etc. Now my typical eating schedule goes something like this: breakfast, lunch, a snack and then dinner, just like the personal trainer recommended! My breakfast is mostly the same every day, and for lunch and snack I generally only have a few things that I rotate so that makes my life easier because the app saves all your recent foods and recipes you've entered, so basically, every day counting calories gets easier because you have more foods and recipes saved in your app. It also has a database that contains any recipes others have created from restaurants and from others using this app. Sometimes if I'm too lazy to put in all the caloric info for a recipe, I'll browse the database, find several of the same type of recipe and if the calories vary a lot from recipe to recipe, I use the one that looks like an average of them all, but for the most part, I scan barcodes and enter in new recipes so I know I'm keeping an accurate count.
Almost six weeks have passed since I began and I've lost 10 lbs, and hit my target weight. In order to maintain, I am going to continue counting calories and mixing up weight lifting, interval training and cardio 5-6 days a week.