A healthy update

I have finished all of my Jenny Craig meals. I lost a total of 11.9 pounds in the four weeks that I ate those meals. All-in-all it was a good experience as I now have a good idea on what works for me.

I am going to continue to utilize the information I gathered in the past few weeks to continue on my healthy eating journey. Even after hitting a plateau, I used these techniques and managed to hit a 16.8 pound loss. I would like to share some of the things I’ve learned and will be using in the future:

1. Measure! It is amazing how much food we mindlessly eat thinking that we are staying within the recommended serving size. Get yourself a good set of measuring cups and spoons and keep them readily available. When in doubt, weigh it. You can get a nice kitchen scale at a reasonable price if you look for one. I like the Escali Primo Digital Scale , which was picked by Wirecutter as the best digital kitchen scale. There are also some fancy ones that will give you your macros as you measure and add your ingredients. I have been using the Greater Goods Nutrition Scale lately.

2. Figure out what your BMR is. Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic life-sustaining functions. By figuring out this number you can determine how many calories you should eat to maintain, gain, or lose weight. You can use this BMR Calculator. Enter your age, gender, height and weight and it will calculate your BMR. A 5 foot 10 inch, 30 year-old female that weighs 200 pounds has a BMR of 1,707 Calories/day. If you add in the normal activity level, you will find out how many calories she can eat in a day to maintain her weight. Once you know your number, you can use it to adjust how many calories you eat and how many calories you need to burn to maintain, gain or lose one pound a week. If you create a deficit of 500 calories a day for a week you will lose 1 pound a week. This is the Calories In, Calories Out (CICO) way to control your weight.

3. Read the label. If you are trying to start a healthy lifestyle, you should know what you are putting in your body. First, look at the ingredient list. Can you pronounce every ingredient? Does anything sound like it came from a lab? Look for actual FOOD ingredients. Second thing I look at on the label, Sodium. You are supposed to consume less than 2300 mg of Sodium a day, per the FDA. If you eat 3 meals a day, keep the Sodium under 800 per meal. I try to keep mine between 500 and 600 mg per meal. To get more information on using the Nutrition Facts Labels, go to the FDA website.

4. Pay attention to your macronutrients. Carbs. Protein. Fat. What percentage of your calorie intake should be carbs, protein, and fat. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guideline for Americans recommends that carbohydrates comprise 45–65% of calories, fat 25–35% of calories, and protein 10–30% of calories. Are you sodium sensitive? Make sure to track those amounts as well.

5. Whole food is ideal, but there are prepared food you can fall back on. I love to cook. I enjoy finding and trying new recipes. I do not enjoy prepping ingredients, nor do I enjoy standing at the stove cooking after work. Prepared food comes to the rescue. Yes, you can find prepared foods that will fit into your eating plan. You just need to visit #3 above and read the label.

6. Move. If you have a desk job, make sure you get up and move around during the day.

7. Hydrate. With all the healthy food you are eating now, you will want to make sure you are staying hydrated. Remember- water has zero calories!

Well, that’s all of my tips and tricks for now. Im learning more and more about losing weight and getting healthy every day. What are your favorite tips and tricks for losing weight and getting healthy? I’d love to hear from all of you.

Thanks for reading.

Slow and steady

In my mind, I see the story of the tortoise and the hare. Remember that one? I have always loved that story. The hare thinks he will always win because he is faster, so he laid down and took a nap. While he was napping, the tortoise, who is slow but never gives up, wins. That’s how I’m taking this whole get healthy and lose weight thing. I’m down 3.9 pounds. Slow and steady wins the race.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of all my friends and family. I am saving all of the recipes and tips that you have sent me and am hoping, with cooler weather, to take some of you up on taking a walk together. My friend, Suzanne, and I have joined 99 Walks, which is a motivational tool to get us walking. I’m looking forward to walking together in person or virtually. Thanks Suzanne!

One thing I have to get better at is planning meals. Some days when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is prep and cook a meal. This past week there were several days where I came home and said “NOPE!!! I’m ordering DoorDash”. This has got to stop. Not only is it more expensive than eating at home, it is harder to find healthier foods for delivery. So, Mike and I will be making up a menu, shopping, and doing some real food prep today. I want to see how much money and time we save doing this. If anyone has any tips, tricks, or recipes for meal planning, I would be grateful if you would share.

See you all next Monday for my weekly weigh-in.