Peeling Off the Pounds
Fronteragirl had previously lost 30lbs by simply changing her eating habits and adding exercise. In order to simplify counting calories she joined Calorie Count and lost an additional 26lbs. Read on for more of her weight loss tips, all taken from her own experiences.
She contacted us through our Share Your Story feature, and provided the following answers to our questionnaire.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an "Aha!" moment?
I think for me it was just that I was entering the year when I would turn 50, and knowing I struggled with my weight all the first half of my life, I really wanted to be free of weight worries during the second half of my life.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
In the past I tried many different approaches, from very extreme diets and exercise to just eating healthy. Nothing previously was completely successful.
3. Please describe how you reached your weight loss goal. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude? Did you implement any other strategies besides Calorie Count? What was the most important change?
Prior to Calorie Count, I had switched to healthy eating habits and lost approximately 30 lbs, but I was still overweight. I knew that I had to somehow monitor what I was eating, but didn't want to lug around a calorie-counting book with me everywhere I went. So I googled "Calorie Counting". The first site I came upon was caloriecount.com. The site was so easy to use, in just a matter of minutes I was signed up and learning things. It was so easy to enter and tag my food intake. I loved the Analysis page, that really helped me make even better food choices than I had been making. How much I was eating was really the key to my weight loss. Measuring and weighing my food intake helped me to learn correct portion sizes. I also upped my activity level. I don't do anything extreme or crazy, but I love Zumba, bike riding, swimming and walking. I also use the elliptical machine at hotels when I travel. I removed all trigger foods from my house. When hungry between meals, I have a piece of sugarless gum. As my stomach shrunk, hunger really became a non-issue. After about 3 months I did not need to measure my food any longer. For me, the most important change was just being able to easily count my calories.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count was instrumental in many ways. Counting calories easily, and being able to tag my food or even create my own entries was very important. The analysis tab kept me on track nutritionally and helped educate me about food nutrition, something that is really missing in the American education system. The forums and friend features helped keep me motivated, and I found the information I used to be very accurate.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
This was actually the easiest time I have ever had losing weight, and I've lost weight plenty of times! I did hit a few plateaus, but after consulting the caloriecount site I found that the suggestion of bumping up your calorie intake a bit and also your activity level actually worked! Amazing!
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
If you follow the suggestions and calorie intake prescribed by Calorie Count, the pounds just peel off. The first week I lost 4 lbs. I was delighted. Just as the site predicted, I regularly lost 1 lb per week, consistently. Sometimes I hit plateaus, but I worked through those with the advice from the site and they never lasted more than a few weeks.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I have been eating healthy for so long now, if I eat too much or the wrong types of food, I feel sick. This is enough incentive for me to stick to my good habits. I do not buy any trigger foods whatsoever. If anyone in my family wants ice cream or other goodies, they can go buy it themselves. When I eat out with my husband, we buy one meal and split it. American restaurant meals are twice the size a person needs. You will find that over time, you will crave the healthier foods and the high-fat, super sweet stuff will make you ill. When in doubt, watch the documentary "Supersize Me" available on the internet, that always spurs me on! If you are not already a foodie, learn to cook and do not buy any processed foods anymore. I shop in the produce section, I buy some meat, and a few things that come in cans. The only thing I buy in a box is cereal, and I even make my own granola. Real food tastes so much better than processed food!
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I am such a happier person! I feel terrific and have much more energy. I have a much more positive attitude about life and I have more self-confidence. Because of these changes, people treat me differently. It's all been very positive and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
The weight is still coming off, very slowly which is fine with me. The site calculated my goal weight at 17 lbs below where I am now. Not sure I will go that low, I'm thinking about 10 more lbs max. I am very happy right now and the rest is just bonus!
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Don't try to kill yourself initially doing crazy amounts of exercise, as that level is difficult to maintain. Find activities you like and do them several times a week. As the weight comes off, you naturally will want to do more and will be able to do more.
- Find some healthy treats that you use to reward yourself. For me, I love dry red wine. Also, a really delicious treat is to mix dark chocolate cocoa powder with vanilla yogurt. You can make it as chocolaty as you like and it is so delicious, with none of the extra fat of a chocolate bar. My husband loves it also!
- Remove any trigger foods from your house. If it's there, you'll eat it. This
means your family will eat healthier as well.
- Stay focused on your successes. You will have setbacks, you'll hit plateaus, consult the site and just stick with it!
- Choose a few activities that you really enjoy, mix up your exercise doing these activities and others. Don't go for the kill-yourself level of activity, keep it manageable and enjoyable and soon it becomes a savored part of your life!
If you would like us to feature your success story, you can submit it here. The most insightful stories will be featured on this blog and in the weekly "Success Stories" newsletter.