Monday, February 27, 2012

tools of the trade...

Here are some of the tools we use everyday...

Kitchen Scale: I think this is a must!!! The chances you will underestimate what you are eating are HIGH...A scale is a cake way to ensure you are calculating the best you can. The one we use is . You don't have to get this one, but for us it looks clean on our counter and has an easy "tare" feature. For those of you that understand the tare feature bear with me...but you throw your plate on the scale, hit tare and it takes away the weight of the plate, then toss on what you want weighed, hit tare and it takes away that weight as well, etc, etc. Shelley uses it for her cream for coffee, cereal and milk and even for baking and it just makes things quick and keeps you legit. Chips are a perfect example for a reason to use it!!! On the bag it says "about 14 chips" that 14 large chips, little chips or medium size????? On that same bag an exact weight is printed as well (example 28g). Just throw those on the scale and you have your LEGIT number! There are plenty of other killer scales out there, the point is, I would never want to do life without one. Once you get one you WILL understand!!!!

Restaurant nutrition info: This information is EVERYWHERE! If we're eating "out," we plan our meals long before entering the restaurant. For places we know we'll go to often, we save the info in our iPhones. If you have a smartphone, there are apps such as, "Livestrong , My Fitness Pal, Restaurant Nutrition," (the list goes on) are all there to help you with your calorie calculations. One word of advice though, the calculation they give you is a ball park number. I will crank up the number if I feel I've received a larger portion!!! For local joints, which we like better than chains :) we use the best guesstimate possible while comparing to the "chain" places.

Regular Scale: I weigh in every week or at least every 10 days. This is critical to knowing I am heading in the right direction and accountable. I don't weigh in less than 7 days, because the reality is if you are losing weight less than a week, then you are at too high a deficit or you are seeing water weight loss, which will only frustrate you when that weight comes back. If I have had a ton of sodium the night before I plan to weigh in, I won't weigh in until the next day or 2 after that. Sodium does nothing for weight loss, but can cause you to retain water and throw your weigh-in (and mood) off!

Write down everything that goes in your mouth: For us, we use an app on our iPhone, but even if it's a notebook, journal, piece of paper...WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!!! Your memory is not that good!!! ANYTHING that enters my mouth I enter in my app. Even the mints I have at church on Sundays to keep my breath nice and fresh :) get written down. I recently had a cold and needed to eat cough drops, each one is 15 calories and I ended the day eating 200 calories of cough drops!!! Write it down, and keep it legit. I began this journey on February 28th last year and can go back to that day and pull up EVERYTHING that has entered my mouth since then. Side note...even if you have a day that you eat over your goal, write it down!!!!!

These things are CRITICAL to your success and might seem inconvenient or difficult at first, but I promise you, with consistency they will just be a part of how you do life and something you can maintain!!!

So excited to hear how so many of you are changing your life 1lb at a time!!!!! Keep rolling!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Power of Consistency

I'm not on a diet...

We were in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina a month or so ago, celebrating one of our incredible friend's birthday. His Grandparents have an amazing house on the beach, one of those places that cause you to lust a little bit and then quickly repent. We were sitting in their sunroom, having casual conversations with a few people and the topic of my weight loss had come up. One of the ladies asked me about cheating on my "diet." I told her that to be honest I had never cheated from the day that I started this journey. She was in shock! "Never cheated???? Not even once???" I could tell in her voice (and the fact that she brought it up again while Shelley was around, hoping to catch me off guard :) ) that she was struggling believing that.

To address how I have been able to be consistent, let me first start with this....Diets do work!!! I will never tell you other than that. Back to my last post, many diets work, simply because you are putting yourself in a calorie deficit and your body is burning stored fat for fuel. They work, because initially your body is getting rid of water weight that it had been retaining, due to your eating. They work!!! While sitting here at Barnes & Noble, in my view is a HUGE display of diet books. They wouldn't be selling them, and making as much money off of us, if they didn't work! I have yet to meet someone, who has struggled with their weight, and not gone on some sort of diet which resulted in some level of weight loss. It's not like a diet is the "thing" that we've all been missing!! Seriously, it's not like I was sitting at Golden Corral eating a ton and just waiting for someone to lead me to a diet! We have gained weight and have been unable to keep it off, because we have not been able to be consistent in the "diets" and have been unable to make them a part of our core beliefs or simply our lifestyle!!!

Consistency is the key! This is the thing which will get us the results we want! Since my initial weight gain 17 years ago I have lost weight, doing diets! Why? Because they work...But I have never been able to be consistent on a "diet." The fact that most diets have to factor in "cheat days" screams INCONSISTENCY! It's like they are saying to us, it's impossible to stay consistent with this eating pattern, so we are going to factor inconsistency right into the equation! I did the low carb thing for a while back in 2006 and lost some weight doing it, but how in the world am I going to really live a lifestyle of no pasta and bread for the rest of my life..I'm Italian!! Did it work??? Yep, I lost some weight...did I stay consistent with it??? Nope!

Here are a few reasons I don't think we stay consistent...

1) We set ourselves up with too large of a deficit: Don't be extreme!!! If you can only handle a 250 calorie deficit each day (which equates to a loss of a 1/2 lb per week or 25 lbs a year) rock it!!! Stay consistent with it. Don't start with a 1,000 calorie deficit per day (2 lbs per week or 102 lbs a year) and then in a week head down to Captain Georges, crush it... use up all of that deficit and then some!! Stick with what you can maintain...You are not on a diet you are just eating less than you burn in a day, you are being a good steward of what you have to work with.

2) We place foods "off-limits" instead of learning that there are no bad foods, just bad amounts of that food: This is huge!!! I am now wearing 32 jeans from tight 42's and weighing in the 180's from 278 and I still eat what I want when I want! It's funny how when we think in terms of "diet" we start to think "diet foods" (carrots and other things)... there's nothing wrong with these foods. I actually now try to eat about 80 percent clean foods, but when I started, I ate 20 percent clean foods and the other 80 percent of my calories were spent on non-diet foods, but I still consistently lost weight. Learn to live within your range and spend your calories how you choose. When we place foods in categories and then eventually delve into the "forbidden category," we have a tendency to eat WAY guilt creeps in and we start to say to ourselves, "I have already messed up, so I might as well just eat a ton and start again tomorrow." Even now, if I feel like eating a doughnut, I eat it, it's my business and I manage my calories how I feel. No shame or foods that are off limits!

Let me give you some info that could be a revelation...If you have 2,500 calories to work with, meaning if you eat over that you will gain and if you eat less than that you will lose, and you consume 3,000 calories of veggies and fruit you will gain weight!!! No matter how "good" the food is, a calorie is a calorie!!! At the same time, if you eat 2,000 calories of McDonald's, you will LOSE weight! Down the road we can get into how much better you feel when you eat the healthier foods, but the reality is, there should be no foods that are "off-limits," only excessive amounts of that food. Shelley has a sweet-tooth and still continues to have dessert every night and as far as I go, I will not stop eating fried fish whenever I want to. There are no bad foods, just bad amounts!

3) We don't live within our range, just legalistically lock ourselves to a number:
Once you've figured out your BMR and what you actually have to work with, and then factor in a deficit that you can sustain consistently...You now have your range! This is where you would like to be with your deficit everyday (goal) and where you know you should never go over, because you will gain weight (reality). Living in your range gives you the freedom of knowing that with dinner parties, birthdays, holidays, etc you might not always be able to keep that deficit, but you will choose to never eat over what you actually have to work with. Picture it like a savings, you might hope to bank 1,000 deficit every day, this is your goal, but on somedays you might only bank 200, others 500, 700 and sometimes zero! Life changes and everyday is different...don't just make the decision to gain by going over what you have to work with!

This may seem basic to some and to others may be profound, but I promise you that consistency is the thing which has helped me lose over 90 lbs! You can do this! You can change your life! You can stay consistent! You are worth doing this and getting healthy is very attainable!!!

If you need help setting up a plan and figuring out your range, please give me a shout!!!