Breaking Through the Plateau

After making so much progress, I have hit a weight loss plateau.  I have literally not lost (or gained) a pound in over a month.  I have continued to lose inches, but much slower than before.  If I am going to hit my weight loss goal by April, I have to break through this plateau right away.

So I did some research and compiled the best of what the experts and thought leaders in the health industry shared about breaking through a plateau.  Not shockingly, the same tips were repeated on almost every list.

water

Step #1:  Stay Hydrated

Drinking water is essential! Drinking water can curb your appetite and increase your metabolism, helping you burn more calories and end a weight loss plateau.

rainbow-vegetables-and-fruitStep #2: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

A serving of fruit is about 60 to 90 calories. Vegetables are about 25 calories per serving, provided you steam or roast them plain. When you’re eating fruits and vegetables, you’re filling up on low-density, high-fiber foods that have high water content. Simply put, you’ll feel fuller faster.  Eating things like that can help curb your appetite.  Eating just a little bit less can allow you to push past your weight loss plateau and start dropping pounds again.

food journal

Step #3: Control the “Calorie Creep”

According to an expert, approximately 90% of all weight loss plateaus are related to “calorie creep”, or more generally, eating more calories than you think you are eating. Combined with a decrease in metabolism from weight loss, plateaus are almost a certainty.

The calorie creep can come from mindless eating, eating out at restaurants that serve huge portions, or simply condiments like dressings, spreads, and sauces. Maybe you don’t realize that small 100 calorie bag of “healthy” chips is really 400 calories because there are 4 servings in each bag. Alcohol also goes on the calorie creep list.

The best place to start is to track your food intake if you are not already doing so. There are many great reasons to keep a food journal, so tracking your nutrition intake (even for a few days) is possibly the smartest and most important step you take to improve your nutrition.

Spinach_Salad_w_Grilled_Salmon-3Step #4: Don’t Skip Meals

A lot of people mistakenly think that if they skip the calories of breakfast, lunch, or even dinner, it will help with weight loss.  This is not true because by skipping meals, you’re slowing down your metabolism even more.  Your blood sugar drops and you’re more likely to be famished and overeat at your next meal.  Be sure to eat enough throughout the day and don’t starve yourself.

New Year, New Goals…

The holiday season is officially over and although I think we are all a bit sad to see it go, we are also a little relieved that there will be no more cookie trays in the office, leftovers in the fridge at home, or events to go to that offer as much fatty and sugary foods as we can handle.

Now it is time to get back to it and get serious about loosing or maintaining our weight in 2013.  For me, that means continuing to lose my first year of marriage weight.

ImageI’ve lost 15 pounds since October and my goal is to lose 25 more.  In inches, I’ve lost 7.5 inches around my body — 3.25 inches from my waist alone and dropped almost 2 pants sizes.  My next goal is to incorporate daily morning and night routines that include push ups, tricep dips, planks, squats, crunches, etc.  As I am loosing weight, I want to make sure that I am toning too.

I am continuing to use Herbalife products as the main method of loosing weight.  Using Herbalife gives me sustainable energy through the day and tastes good.  In the morning I have a cafe latte/chocolate protein shake that keeps me full for a couple of hours and then I have a snack and then lunch.  For dinner I have a cookies n’ cream shake that actually kills my cravings for sweet foods at night — an amazing feat if you have late night sweet tooth cravings like I do.

Using CalorieCount.com, I determined that for my height/weight/age that I should consume about 1,532 calories a day to reach my goal weight by April 04, 2013.

Not bad — 3 months to lose 25 pounds and be on time and in shape for bathing suit season… let’s do it!!!!

Progress!

I lost ten pounds and I got through Thanksgiving without adding even one back!  My next goal is to loose another ten before Christmas.  My secret?  Well, I hate to admit it.. but it all started with using Herbalife.  My cousins used Herbalife and lost 30 pounds between the two of them.  Not completely convinced, I asked around and I only heard positive reviews from my most critical friends.  So, I bit the bullet and ordered a month supply.. only about $125 (not bad considering it replaces two meals a day for a month) and lost five pounds in the first week.  Then, I was stranded in NYC during Hurricane Sandy was unable to follow the routine.  It served as a test to see if I could stay on track without the special products.  That’s when my second secret came into play… a friend of mine recommended using an app called MyFitnessPal.  If you have never used it, download it now.  It is amazing!  Within the next two weeks I lost another five pounds without using any Herbalife products.  It was a good test to see if I was able to control my eating habits without the help of “diet” products.

My goal is to loose another 30 pounds to be a healthy weight for my height, but one step at a time.  I am going to continue to use both the Herbalife products and the MyFitnessPal app to meet my December goal of loosing ten pounds.

 

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Summer 2012

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November 2012

No BullSh*#$!

After a few weeks of breaking my own promises and making dozens of excuses, even my clothes that still fit me are getting tight.  So, here I go.  NO BULLCRAP.  NO EXCUSES.  So, because I’m tired of this yo-yo, I have done the following things.

1) Let everyone around me know that I am trying to loose weight and they are constantly supporting me and sending me helpful articles and pieces of advice to keep me motivated.  Thank you guys!

2) Found a place where I get cheap produce (this is KEY).  Although I know I need to eat lots o’ veggies, I couldn’t afford it in Boston.  So, now my husband and I go out of the city a bit to Russo’s in Watertown and walk out with the best, fresh produce to take us through the whole week without breaking the bank.  Other affordable ways to get produce are going to  farm stands, farmer’s markets, Wegmans (if there is one around you), or going into a farm share with friends.

3) Exercise in the morning.  I am now doing Jillian Michael’s video “30 Day Shred” which kills me each morning.  It is only 20 something minutes and it literally alters my energy for the entire day.  I was able to confidently walk by an ice cream social in my building today and a huge plate of brownies and cookies yesterday at work.  (And that NEVER happens.. i mean NEVER)  All I needed to think about was how hard I worked in the morning and all that sweat and how I just couldn’t wait to have a six pack again and rock a bikini.

Let’s Get Active!

Building an active lifestyle.  I’ve ALWAYS been active.  I was a dancer my whole life, then a runner, then a soccer player.  And no matter what I was focusing on, I was always active.  Now is a different story.  Maybe it was easier before marriage and a full time corporate job, but I am fighting back.

1) Research – I looked at what was out there that interested me.  I wanted to keep it fun so that I didn’t notice that I am being “active”.

2) Choose – I found a bunch of classes like belly dancing, hula,  flamenco dancing, and ballet, and other activities like hiking, soccer, and swimming, and even a salsa club that all sounded like so much fun and at the same time would keep me moving and active all week.

3) Plan – I printed out a calendar and scheduled many activities throughout the week based on what I WANT to do, not what I SHOULD do.  (Secret: It is easier to stick with something if you actually like doing it!)  And because I sit all day at my job, I rotate morning exercises between running and video work outs and then have dance classes at night.  And salsa dancing, swimming, hiking, etc on the weekend.  That way I am staying active on either ends of my work day and rotating exercises to not get bored.

4) Get others involved – Isn’t life always more fun with friends?  I choose activities where I will be meeting people and can go alone or with friends.  It will encourage me on days I don’t want to go because I’ll see friends at the classes.  For soccer, I’m looking to get a team together and play outside all summer.   It is a great way to meet others who have active lifestyles and make new friends!  Oh yeah.. and get in shape!

Let’s get active!!!

Getting on Schedule, Planning it all out

I have to be honest, I am a bit overwhelmed with all the new changes that I need to make in my life right now to meet my goal weight.  I am literally my own worst enemy because I can argue myself into any excuse to have a chocolate truffle at 11pm or to not go running at 6am.  But when Monday morning comes and I have one pair of work pants that still fit me or when I start hopping out of photos because I dont understand why I look like that huge girl in the photo… that desperation and unhappiness sets back in and my self esteem plummets.

So, just like at work, I am going to make short term goals that are SMART (Bob Harper explains in the video).  I need to see progress and then I need to reward myself in someway that makes me motivated.

Ok, so here I go… This first set of goals is for the remaining two weeks of May.  I will report my success in achieving these goals at the beginning of June when I set new goals.  I will also report on any positive changes these goals have had on my new life.  Such as I realize I’m eating too many calories  each day or that I have more energy from doing a work out almost everyday.  I’ll let you know my progress and also what I decide will be my non-food related award!

My goals are:

1)  Keep a food journal for two weeks.

2)  Work out 15/17 days left in May (even 30 minutes a day will make a difference!)

3)  Read Bob Harper‘s new book “The Skinny Rules

And last but not least, I will take my “before” picture and take all my measurements and start tracking my weight on a scale.  After I got married and moved into our new place I had just not realized I was getting bigger.  I want to track my progress each day so that I don’t wake up one morning 30 pounds heavier and not know how I got there! (Which is basically what happened!)

Please feel free to comment, leave me links to food blogs or exercise blogs, or little pieces of advice.  Knowing I have support is HUGE.

Taking my first steps – A Walk for Hunger

Over the weekend I completed my first charity walk amongst some 41,000 other people and it felt amazing!   I participated in Project Bread’s 44th annual Walk for Hunger – a 20 mile walk that started in Boston and went through Brookline, Newton, Watertown, Cambridge, and ended at the entrance of the Boston Common.   And what started as an overcast day ended with a the sun sparking against the Charles River making the last 4 miles through Cambridge into Back Bay just gorgeous (despite the pain).   I also had my trustee team leader who was walking for her 9th time.  Below  is our team, Sam’s Club at the starting line in the Boston Commons.

Here I am at mile 18.  My feet were killing me by this point, but I had a huge smile on my face =)

It was amazing how once I made the commitment to walk, how many people got on board and were supportive.  In just a week, my team and I had raised over $600 – surpassing our team goal of $400 and my own of $150.  I am so glad that  I accepted the challenge and  jump started my new active lifestyle while helping out such a great cause!

Crossing the finish line (above)  — however —  the end is just the beginning!

Day 1

Over the last 24 hours I have been so humbled by the outpouring of support from my family and friends.   From Facebook inbox messages to emails to phone calls, I have received so much love and support on my new journey and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who have read my post and reached out to me.  Sending so much love right back at you!

So, Day 1.

I woke up this morning lethargic and uninspired to go out into the dampness and darkness for my first morning run.  I could even hear the ocean “breeze” against the outside of the bedroom wall.  Great.  Rain, heavy winds and darkness.  I stumbled around my room putting together the pieces of my running outfit and soon enough I was out the door ready to take on DAY1.

As I ran down the hill to the near-by beach, the sun had already started to peak out and the rain had stopped.  As I was finding my pace, the scents of spring blossoms and the cool after-rain freshness lingered in the air and filled my lungs invigorating me.   By the time my sneakers took to the sand, I was already lost in a blissful moment of freedom and strength.  I felt like I could conquer the world at that moment, if only you asked me to.

When I got home, I didn’t drink my usual cup o’ joe, instead I opted for a fruit filled smoothie and was on my way to work feeling in control and stress free.

Up next?

Getting Active:  Walking 20 miles for “Walk for Hunger