Thinking of Food as Fuel, Not Entertainment
The title is one tip that our this week's featured member, tbutler4 would like to share with you. She has lost over 25 pounds by logging her foods and incorporating daily exercise. She contacted us through our Share Your Story feature, and provided the following answers to our questionnaire.
1. What made you decide to lose weight this time?
This is going to be a year of changes for me. My daughter is getting married in June and my youngest son is leaving for the Marines in August. I think I was feeling like a lot of things in my life were out of my control, and my eating habits should be one area that I can control. Of course I was motivated by wanting to look better at the wedding, but it's not the end goal.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I have tried everything at one time or another. The Zone, The Dr. Ornish
program and South Beach.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
Portion control. Actually it has been a series of baby steps. At first, I ate everything I was normally eating but just less of it to get my appetite under control. Then I started looking at quality of food, and trying to eat foods that would be more filling for fewer calories. I started exercising regularly again after about 6 weeks of dieting. That has helped a lot. Now I am counting calories but eating mostly foods that are considered "super foods". The most important change for me has been losing the cravings for sweets and processed carbs. I am really trying to think of food as fuel, not entertainment. For the first time in my adult life, I am eating the way I want to eat for the rest of my life. Perhaps a few more calories when I reach my goal weight, but the same kind of foods.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
I am a data junkie. I love numbers and having objective information to back up what I am doing. So I love the information I am getting from my food and activity log. The totals, the percentages of food groups and nutrients. I was surprised to find out I never am anywhere near what I need for Iron everyday, so I have become much more consistent in taking a multivitamin with iron. I also enjoy checking the calorie and burn meters, feeling like I am winning all day if my burn meter is ahead of my calorie meter.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
Everything at first. Being post menopausal, I thought I had a "slow metabolism" and thought I was not capable of losing weight. I knew I could be healthier, but did not really believe the weight would come off. When I first started cutting out foods, I really missed the sweets and refined carbs. I am one of those people who get pleasure out of eating sweets. I actually felt sorry for myself, not being able to have ice cream 3 times a week.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
It seemed slow as I've been averaging a pound of weight loss a week, but that is disappointing at first when you see people losing 5 pounds the first week.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
When I reached the 10 pound mark. That was huge for me. In the past, I might lose 5 or 6 pounds and then just give it up. I still have quite a ways to go, but feel I am on my way now.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
Fear. I am 54 now, and if I let myself gain this 25 pounds back, I don't think I can start all over again.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I have regained energy. When I look back at 10 or 12 years ago, I was never a big TV watcher. In the past year I would make it to 7:00 and then I am in my chair in front of the TV for the rest of the night. Now I am finding I am too restless to watch TV every night, so I find other things to do.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Start small. You may have a goal of changing your whole life, but pick one thing to focus on, and then add to it.
- Believe in yourself.
- Start to think of yourself as a person who doesn't overeat or as
someone who just has to get some exercise everyday.
- There will be bad days, let them go.
- And on a more practical note, get rid of the food in your
environment that you don't want to eat. No one in your house needs
soda or chips.
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.