Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2002 || What I did to lose 24 lbs

Nicole feels The current mood of nacwolin at

How I reached my weight loss goal of 24 lbs in
20 weeks.

It's kind of been a combo of things actually. First I started exercising and trying to watch what I eat and only eat when hungry (the first 9 weeks). I didn't do that great sticking to that, but I did lose about 5 lbs.

Then I read in an article in Redbook, which stated that research suggests women who eat a high fiber cereal with skim milk for breakfast at least every other day weigh 8 lbs. less than women who don't, and they lose weight faster. I adjusted my breakfast to this plan, but I actually began eating a high fiber cereal every morning. I also started drinking ALOT of water, some Crystal Light for a "break" (5 calories per 8 oz.), and cut down my soda intake to almost nil. Though I usually only drank diet, I did drink a lot, and diet soda actually stimulates hunger. I started measuring portions, watching fat grams, and logging calories.

I figured out my healthy weight range and set a goal. I began to use my treadmill everyday whether I wanted to or not, as well as doing 200-400 ab crunches and various other toning exercises. I found the following websites which have been very helpful: absolute fitness: calories, Sante food database, restaurant nutrition information, and healthy body calculator.

For my birthday Rob purchased, with my blessing, a program for my palm pilot and desk top called Diet Assistant (you can find it at Handango). It allows you to set an activity level and weight loss goal, and it tells you how many extra calories you need to burn per day to reach it (keep in mind that you shouldnít try to lose more than 2 lbs. per week). You then daily log weight, calories, and exercise.

The majority of the weight has been lost since mid-May. I feel better, physically and emotionally! I have realized that I am a stress eater and that I need to ask myself, "Am I really hungry...why do I want that I really need another helping...", etc.

Some other things I have learned.

1. Beverages are an often overlooked way that we consume too many calories. I have always used flavored creamers in my coffee in the morning, just dumping it in. That can make one 12 oz mug over 100 calories. Now I buy the fat free ones (Coffee Mate brand) and use just 2.5 tbsp. (72 calories); not quite as sweet as I used to drink it, but I can taste the coffee now (when I was dieting I used 2 tbsp.).

2. Donít try to totally deny yourself! I love chocolate, so I keep a bag of Dove Dark singles in my freezer. One is 42 calories, so when I have a sweet tooth, I pop one in my mouth and savor that creamy goodness! And dark chocolate is lower in sodium than milk chocolate. I also keep Snow Caps (the theatre style box; Target sells them) in the freezer; 1/8th of a cup is just 90 calories, and that is actually quite a few of them if you eat one at a time. Another low-fat sweet I treat myself to is Angel Food cake with fat free cool whip and/or strawberries. A McDonald's ice cream cone (according to their nutrition guide) is only 150 calories. And if you just can't pass up a candy bar, try a York Peppermint Patty: only 160 calories compared to a Snickers at 280.

3. I eat a lot of salad and am very careful with salad dressing. Wishbone makes a great fat free Italian. I have found that if I choose an oil based dressing I use less. I eat a lot of Caesar salad; I just go light on the dressing and buy oil-based (Newman's Own or Ken's Steak House). If I order a salad at a restaurant, I get the dressing on the side so that I can watch how much I use. And if you get McDonald's chicken Caesar salad shaker and only use 1/3rd of the Caesar dressing packet, you have a 150 calories lunch.

4. Toning exercise: I don't do full out sit-ups because of the stress on the back and neck. I keep my back on the floor and lift up, knees bent toward the ceiling, supporting my head and neck with my hands and focusing the lifting effort on my tummy muscles and pushing the small of my back into the floor. I do 100 that way, then lift my legs up into a sitting position, do 60 like that (uses different ab muscles), and then finish off with 40 alternating side to side, slightly rotating my torso as I lift. I try to do a rotation in the AM and PM. I also recently added another ab toning exercise (it is kind of a boxing move) I found in an article about Jennifer Lopez in Redbook (now there's an actress who is fit, but isn't in the way-to-skinny category; she has curves!).

My biggest problem area has always been my thighs and back end. I do leg lifts (lying on my side on the floor) every other day and then various thigh and buttock toners on the other days. Sometimes I also add some ballet moves (like plies) or use 2 lb weights for arm and waist toners.

5. Diet programs. I tried Slim Fast but found that I didn't stay "full" for long and really pigged out at dinner. I have heard that WW is excellent, and if you can afford the program, I say GO FOR IT! Accountability, the point system, setting realistic goals, and lots of help; I know it has worked for many.

6. Substitutes are a healthy way to still eat yummy stuff and cut down fat and calories. I try to purchase baked munchies. Doritos just came out with a baked version and it is YUMMY! And only 120 calories for 15 chips, which is actually quite a bit. I also like Chex Mix and Low Fat Gardettos. I really like Edy's Frozen Yogurt. The Carmel Praline is about 100 calories for a 1/2 cup and NO FAT (and it has about 30% of DV for calcium). The key is sticking to one serving size! And the treats last a lot longer when you do that.

7. Rather than use condiments on sandwiches, I add fresh veggies (such as a piece of Romaine, thinly sliced cucumbers, a slice of tomato, or all three if I have them!) and some salt and pepper. I don't miss the mayo a bit! My favorite sandwich right now is low fat turkey (2 slices, 98% fat free, prepackaged) with the veggies on a hamburger bun...only 175 calories. I also found out in this whole process that Kosher dill pickles are calorie free!

7. Journaling is important. I use the Diet Assistant program on my Palm and when I sync with my desktop version, I can then look over a summary for the whole day: what I ate and drank and how much I exercised. Seeing it on paper or on a screen really helps you "check" yourself.

I think that covers most of it. If this is helpful to someone else, thatís great! I am not going to say that it will work for everyone as it has for me. There are four words that I have learned that put what I did in a nutshell:


To healthier eating and living!

~ ~ ~

test - Saturday, Oct. 01, 2016
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007

All entries (c) Nacwolin 2001-2006. These are my words. Use your own, m'kay?