Friday, March 1, 2013

Seeking Simple Weight Loss

If weight loss was simple, I suppose we would all be thin. In actuality, it is simple. Simple Math. It's the willpower to do simple math on a long term basis that gets complicated.

On February 2, I started dieting. I did a little Internet research. It takes approximately 2,000 calories a day to maintain my weight. A pound is made up of 3,500 calories. If I eat 14,000 calories a week, my weight will remain unchanged. If I eat more than 14,000 calories a week, I will gain. And if I eat less than 14,000 calories a week, theoretically I should lose. But bodies are a funny thing...sometimes they are bad at math.

So, if I cut 500 calories a day (down to about 1,500), I should lose one pound a week. And If I were to miraculously cut 1,000 calories a day (down to about a 1,000 a day), I should lose two pounds. What most people never seem to realize is that to lose a significant amount of weight, you have to be in it for the long haul. Day in and day out for months.  Dieting is really about long term motivation. 

To put it in perspective, if I fasted for 7 days straight and ate NOTHING, I could expect about a 4 pound weight loss and almost certain death. Going without food would not likely kill me but there is a high probability some fed-up family member would shoot my crying, complaining, crabby butt. I only mention this because the other night, I was watching the TV show "The Biggest Loser".  At the big weigh in, people lose 8-12 pounds a week!  Of course, these people are being compensated to lose and are likely exercising 6 or more hours a day. I would like to see a normal, working person with a family and a job pull off these kinds of weight loss. 

Most sources seem to indicate a healthy weight loss should be 1-1.5% of your total body weight weekly. For most of us, that falls in the 1-2 pound a week range. 

Personally, I hate dieting and unlike almost every other woman I know, I also hate talking about it. So, why am I writing about it? To stay motivated and share any simple weight loss tips I pick up along the way. I would appreciate the favor returned. 

Last month, I lost 6 pounds. We all have favorite foods and things we do when we are trying to lose weight. Here is one of my favorite low calorie meals. One cup cooked macaroni (210 calories), 1/3 cup canned diced tomatoes (30 calories), about a third of an andouille sausage (63 calories) and about a tablespoon of cheddar cheese (28 calories). Total calories 331. Throw in a cup and a half of watermelon and you are at 400 calories even. It's pretty hard to feel deprived when eating like this. 

This dinner (pork with pineapple, rice and peas, broccoli in cheese sauce) topped out at 689 calories. I usually like to save up my calories so I can eat a big dinner. I am finding some products I can live with.  I tried the Light Ranch dressing which is still not that light at 80 calories for 2 Tablespoons but is better than regular which is around 140 calories for the same amount. 

I am fat because of butter. I L-O-V-E it! I have started using some of this Smart Balance Buttery Burst spray. It is in no way as good as a big 200-300 calorie glob of butter but it's pretty fine for "0" calories. I like to spray on streamed veggies or light popcorn. I also use quite a bit of Teriyaki sauce which is only 15 calories for a big Tablespoon full. 

Same macaroni dish sans cheese with some sliced cucumbers with a Tablespoon of Hendrickson's salad dressing. One Tablespoon of Hendrickson's is only 35 calories. This meal came in at 371 calories. When dieting, I find I will eat the same things over and over once I find some low calorie dish I like. 

There are a million diets out there. How do you know which one will work?  I'm here to tell you that none of them will work long term. Not Jenny Craig, Not Weight Watchers. Not Crazy Celebrity Diets. You must design your own diet. One that works for you, that you can live with long term, that uses foods you like. 

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