So the weight loss challenge (mentioned in a previous post) ended yesterday. Before I talk about the final weigh-in, let me just recap how the whole journey went. This was a 7 week “biggest loser” challenge that my bootcamp instructor organized. By week two, I lost about 7 lbs. About 5 of those pounds quickly came back. I had been eating “healthy” and going to bootcamp 2-3 times a week along with a pure barre class once a week. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing more and was even gaining some back. It was time for a reality check. Food was the problem. I wasn’t actually eating healthy at all. My bootcamp instructor asked me one day “What did you eat for breakfast today?” A hard boiled egg…just the white. “ONE egg? That’s it?!” He told me to eat at least 2 egg whites, two slices of turkey bacon and an apple. He also told me to eat a lean meat or fish for lunch along with a veggie. Tuna alone wasn’t going to cut it. My body was going into starvation mode because I wasn’t eating enough and therefore was retaining any and all fat it could. My other problem? Snacking. Of course I didn’t admit this to him but deep down I knew it was a big reason why I wasn’t losing weight. A few pita chips here and there or eating some pretzels while watching tv at night…it had to stop. I also have cut back on alcohol. A few glasses of red wine a night used to be pretty normal for me. I try to completely avoid drinking during the week now. If anything I will have a small glass of red once or twice a week. I drink more on the weekends but stick to light beer or wine for the most part.
This past week I made a decision to stop the senseless snacking completely. Veggies & fruits were allowed and some nuts (1/4 cup a day if hunger struck sometime before dinner) but that was it. It definitely made a huge difference. I ended up losing a total of 5lbs at the final weigh-in. Would have liked to see a number more like 10 but I was just proud that I was able to drive that number back down from what I re-gained in the early weeks. I also just felt a lot better and I even noticed my clothes fitting better this week. So why didn’t I lose more? Because that theory I was hoping was true actually was true – “it’s because it’s turning into muscle”. He also tracked our body fat percentage at our initial weigh-in. At the final weigh in my body fat was down 3%. I’m going to get discouraged by the scale every now and then because of that but need to push through. Ideally I want to be down 4 more percent. I plan on having him check my body fat % again in a month to ensure it keeps going down.
Things that have worked for me:
– Eating more for breakfast & lunch.
– Avoiding bread & cheese as much as possible. Focusing more on lean meats, fish, and vegetables.
– Completely avoiding sweets & salty snacks. After a week of doing this, I have no interest in eating these foods that I used to crave. I’m not saying that I won’t indulge here and there but I don’t plan on doing so until I am maintaining my goal and I have still have awhile before I get there.
– Tracking every single thing I eat & drink. I love the weight watchers online program for this. I have the app on my phone which makes it even easier to track.
– Brushing my teeth around 8pm to help me not want to snack or eat late night.
– Going to bed before 10pm (can’t eat when you are sleeping).
– Going to bootcamp 3 times a week as opposed to only 2 times. This bootcamp is 55 minutes of strength training mixed with cardio. It’s different every day. No class is ever easy but I also can keep up (most of the time) and feel I accomplished a good challenge every time I leave.
– Doing 10-15 minutes of ab work before bed. This is the current routine I am loving. I have added some extra ab work on to the end too.
– Looking at cheesy motivation photos and quotes any time I want to skip a workout.
– I hung some dresses in plain sight in my bedroom that I would love to wear (and feel good wearing).
– Having a partner throughout the process. My husband did this challenge with me and has been a great support system. He pushes me to go to bootcamp when I am not feeling it and he appreciates the help I have given him with eating healthier. (Side note: he came in 2nd place for men in the challenge! Down 9 lbs!)
– Envisioning my upcoming trip to Aruba. I just keep telling myself “bikini, bikini, bikini”.
– Blogging about it for the world (or my followers) to read. This helps hold me accountable. (You told them you were going to lose weight – can’t go back on your word!)
Just because this organized challenge is over doesn’t mean my personal challenge is. As of this morning I still have 15 lbs to go until I reach my ultimate goal weight. That number might change a bit based on muscle/fat ratio. I want to be realistic and make sure I am at the healthiest weight for me. Now that I fully accept that my diet is just as important (if not more important) than working out, I have a lot more confidence in actually attaining my goal. Pretty sure I always knew this fact but just chose to ignore it.
I look forward to posting an update in a month or so.
What are some weight loss tips that work for you? Comments appreciated.
(one of those cheesy motivation photos I was talking about)