Hello friends and happy Thursday; it’s almost the weekend! It’s an extra happy Thursday for me because I have some exciting news to share. This morning, I stepped on the scale and discovered I had met my new years weight-loss goal! 🙂
(“badge” I earned from my tracker, Lose It, yay me!)
I’ve had quite a long and complex struggle with weight and body image over the years that someday I hope I’ll be brave enough to post about in detail. For the purposes of putting this most recent accomplishment in perspective, suffice it to say that after putting some weight on post-wedding and especially over the holidays, in January I set a goal to lose ten pounds. Today, a little over three months later, victory!
Soooo how did I do it??
Weight loss is all about calories in calories out: you have to use more than you consume. For me, a HUGE part of successfully losing weight comes from keeping track of what I’m eating and what I’m burning through exercise. Whenever I’m trying to lose weight, all progress stops as soon as I get lazy about tracking what I’m eating. These days, there are tons and tons of fabulous tools to help you keep track – thank you technology! Personally, I use Lose It. I have also tried My Net Diary, which I think is probably just as good, I just happened to settle in with Lose It. Both are free (you can pay for an upgraded version, but I at least have never needed it), and there are lots of other free apps out there as well.
What I love about Lose It is the simplicity. It’s an app and a website, so I can input food and exercise from my phone or computer. The app has a barcode scanner, which makes it easy to add new foods (there is a huge searchable database as well). You can create your own food, so if there is a meal you make often you can program it in. You can also program in exercises (I have added Zumba to mine). Based on your height, weight, age, and goals, LI calculates how many net calories you can consume each day. When you achieve a goal, you get a cool badge like I did! Seeing that I’m at or near my calorie limit for the day is the perfect thing to discourage me from any late night snacking. It’s hard to explain the whole site in detail, so here are a few screenshots of my account to give you an idea:
So that’s that! It keeps me accountable, which I love, even if only to myself. There’s an option to connect with your friends and increase your accountability more if you are comfortable sharing, which I think would be super motivating! You can also track nutrient information (I check in on my protein consumption fairly often) and generate reports about your progress over time.
Not into literally counting calories? Neither are lots of people, but you can still be conscious about what you are eating, which is really the most important part – otherwise, you’re likely to vastly underestimate the calories you are eating and overestimate what you are burning with exercise (there’s even science!). Luckily for you, I have an awesome pro tip from my mom! She takes a picture of everything before she eats it. So simple, yet so effective. Everyone has a cell phone camera, so it’s super easy. She doesn’t share them with anyone, but just knowing she will have to take a picture before she eats something forces her to be conscious about what she is putting in her body and gives her a second to pause and consider if she is really hungry, or whether she could/should choose a healthier option. Genius!!
What tips, tricks, and trackers do you use to stay on track? What else can I share to help you reach your own goals or what else would you like to know about mine (and how I reach them)?! Post questions and suggestions if you have them 🙂