I have about 8-10 lbs that I have been hoping to shed in order to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight (over 4 years ago). These pounds have stuck around since I started on my fitness journey almost 2 years ago. I started walking, which turned into serious running. I thought that would be enough to kick the extra weight, but no such luck. So I started strength training, which I have been doing for a year and a half now. My body has definitely changed for the better. I am stronger and look a bit toned, but the extra weight has still not come off.
Besides running and strength training I also made a diet change of eliminating excess sugar at the beginning of the year. I’ve been successful for 6 months with not indulging in cookies, cakes, candy bars and Starbucks when ever I felt like it. Still I cannot shed these freakin’ pounds.
Here I am 2 years later looking reality in the face knowing that I have to eat better and count calories. My knee jerk reaction about counting calories is “Ugh, barf, I’m going to hate this and I’ll always feel hungry.” This is something that I did NOT want to do. But it was my last resort.
A week ago I joined myfitnesspal.com and started recording everything I ate. I am actually enjoying the experience and learning a lot. It’s not as scary as thought and I don’t hate it.
Some thoughts I have after a week of counting calories:
1. I have been using measuring cups and spoons when preparing my food. Now I can actually see what is considered a portion. I am hoping soon I will be able to eyeball the portions of the food I consistently eat. For example when I put salad dressing on I find that one tablespoon is really enough, but I’m sure I was going overboard when I poured it on before.
2. 500 calorie meals can be filling. When I started last week I Googled 500 calorie meals and found lots of options. I have made chicken, shrimp and pasta dishes that have filled me up just fine. I just made sure that I was eating what was actually considered a portion.
3. I used to eat until I was stuffed full, but now I eat a meal in which I know the calories before I consume it and then I stop. I am definitely not stuffed, but I am not hungry when I am finished. It took some time getting use to being satisfied when I use to correlate being stuffed with being satisfied.
4. I can eat A LOT of vegetables and fruits because they are super low in calories. This fact is really helpful because now I will choose to eat fruits and vegetables more often because I know I can eat a lot of them and it barely puts a dent in my daily calorie amount. Lettuce is cool yo, 15 calories in 2 cups!
5. Exercise gives me extra calories to eat. The reason I don’t feel like I am starving is because I can eat extra calories based on how many I burned working out. This totally motivates me to workout because it is easier for me to stay within my calorie allotment for the day. Let’s just say long run days are the best!
6. I chose to eat food in the good-excellent range of healthy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have calories for treats. I can eat the occasional Frappichino, peanut butter cup or Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter as long as it fits into my calorie goal for the day. I’m not being deprived of the occasional treat.
The results from this past week have been really great. According to my scale at home I have lost 2.2 lbs since I started last week. I do not feel like I have been dieting, but rather being conscious of what I am eating and how much. I hope my results get me to my goal weight. It will probably take me 5-8 more weeks to accomplish.
I only have one “friend” on myfitnesspal.com so if you want to join me my user name is annemroth. I’d love to have some company.
Do you count calories and have you had success?