Nine years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles I began a weight loss journey I called the “Lifestyle Change” instead of a diet. Moving to LA was really eye opening to my body image. I never thought I was overweight but compared to everyone around me, I was.
The first-time I pursued the lifestyle change I went from 0-60 over night. I went from never working-out a day in my life (literally) to walking 2 miles to the gym and burning at least 500 calories while there, then walking back. I didn’t have a car so I would walk everywhere. I also started counting calories religiously. Anything that went into my mouth was documented on my excel spreadsheet (this was before smart phones). I would make daily goals and see how low I could go without starving– one day I ate just 500 calories all day long — likely just vegetables and turkey meat.
Very. Very. Healthy.
I got down to a crazy 118 pounds had a cupcake and it was all over. I never figured out how to maintain, and I didn’t stop eating the yummy food I craved. The pounds started to come back.
Since then, I have tried my hands at the “Lifestyle Change” a few times. Each time, I loose weigh, each time I give up after awhile. I am trying my hands at it again. I am hoping this time is different.
Over the years of trying this I have figured out ways to make this journey easier to maintain, easier to make a part of my busy life on an on-going basis.
Here is how I am doing it:
- Lose It app: I am using the free version of this app to keep track of my calories. I’m not being as strict as I once had. I still like to keep track and see what I am eating, where the calories are going, etc. But if I want chocolate, fries, bread, within reason etc. I am allowing myself to enjoy it. My theory this time, is if I don’t withhold anything, it should be easier to maintain.
- Watch Food intake: During the week I am watching what I eat closer than I do on the weekends. I have been eating about 300-400 calories for breakfast and lunch each. About 400-500 for dinner for a total of 1,300 calories per day. My next post will be a break down of what I have been eating.
- I have cut out food I felt was not needed but held a lot of calories, such as bread. Again, if i was craving bread I had it, but if I could do without it, I didn’t waste the 300 calories.
- Work-out: I have been working out about an hour a day for 3-4 days a week more days if I can find the time. I am aiming to burn 300-600 calories per workout. Since living I live in LA, when the weather is nice I hike almost daily. My hikes consisted of hiking, running, stairs, push-ups, arm-band work (more on this later), etc. When the weather isn’t ideal to hiking outside, I workout at the gym– typically 40-45 mins on the elliptical to burn at least 300 calories. Then lift weights, abs, etc. I find it’s harder for me to burn a high amount of calories in the gym lately. I am far from the gym rat I once was. Back in the day, I would spend hours at the gym and burn 1,000 calories. I was obsessed. I think the way I am going about it this time is much safer, healthier and better for me.
- Even on days, I don’t have time to workout, walking to pick up Dylan from school or a dance party with the girls burns calories. Doing something small helps burn calories too. I do my best to have fun! Workout-workout 3-4 days a week and the other days (during the week) I do something physical each day to burn some calories to offset my food intake. On the weekends, I am trying to go hiking with the entire family.
- Calorie Counting Device: I use an iWatch but a Fitbit or something comparable would work well too. My iWatch has been amazing to motivate me to workout more plus it calculates the calories you burn for each workout. Each workout adds up. Walking to get Dylan might only be 60 calories round trip but with a 30 minute dance party I just burned 160 calories between the 2 activities.
- If you don’t have a Fitbit or an iWatch, Lose It (app mentioned above) estimates how much a workout burns based on your weight, time of workout/activity (calories can be added for everything including cleaning to sex), etc. It’s an easy way to calculate calories without spending any additional money.
I started this round of the lifestyle change September 27th– ten days after I saw the weight gain when we were in NJ. I have been more flexible on the weekends with my calories and working out. Weekends are really hard to eat low calories for many reasons. I took 10 days off from calorie counting during the holidays to enjoy myself.
I am happy to report I have lost 7lbs to date. It might be more since I have not weighted myself in 3 weeks; most of which was over the holidays. Most important I am down 1-2 size pants depending on the brand and cut. I have about 7lbs to go until I am at my goal weight.
In my next post in this series, I will go in-depth what I have been eating. It’s not as hard as you might think.
It’s a new year, have you been trying to get in shape, to be healthier? Lose a few pounds? If so, how have you been doing it? Comment below and share with us.