Sunday, September 27, 2009

15lbs and Counting!

I posted this exciting news on my Facebook page on Friday: I've lost 15lbs in 7 weeks. I had several people ask me how -- what am I eating or not eating or doing or not doing. There haven't been any miracle foods. It's really been a combination of things.

About 8 weeks ago, I started taking a lunch time class that meets once a week. It is called "Healthy Weight, Healthy You." My job is sponsoring it. It is put on by OSF St. Joe's Center for a Healthy Lifestyle. Erin Kennedy, exercise specialist, and Kim McClintic, dietitian swap weeks. They are both very positive and very up beat and totally encouraging. One thing I like is that there are no forbidden foods and nothing you have to completely give up. Granted, there are healthier choices but they also don't advocating feeling deprived. Also, even though the title says "Healthy Weight" I feel like it more about health than weight. Though, everyone in the class wants to lose some.

Each week they advocate making small choice that lead up to big changes. Here is some of what I've learned:

  • Set a reasonable short term goal. They suggested 10%
  • Look at how clothes fit and how you feel and not just about the number.
  • Watch portions. Americans are so use to SUPER SIZE that our portions are out of control.
  • Realistically, our stomach holds about 2 cups without stretching. When eating a meal, try for 2 cups of food.
  • Don't worry, because in a couple hours you get a snack! A snack is about 1 cup of food.
  • Granted, you should choose wisely. a cup of MM's is very different than a cup of grapes.
  • However, you cannot completely blow it in one meal or one day! A pound is 3500 calories. Even if you had a piece of cake (which I have had over the last 7 weeks), that does not equal 3500 calories. Isn't that good news!
  • Try to get in 3 different types of food at meals and a couple different foods at snacks. Why? Because your body breaks down different types of food at different rates. It does carbohydrates first, protein second, and fat last.
  • Exercise: 30 minutes most days for cardio. I've been walking Hadley about 45 minutes.
  • Tidbit: the first 3 minutes of cardio you are burning protein. Minutes 3-20 you are burning carbohydrates. Everything after 20 you are burning fat.
  • For best results figure your target heart rate. That is 220-age. Take 60% for the low end and 80% for the high end. You will burn the most calories in that range.
  • Change up your exercise routine every 3 weeks or so to avoid a plateau.
  • Do some strength training. A pound is a pound. However a pound of muscle burns a lot more calories than a pound of fat even when you are just sitting.
  • Lift things around the house -- can of green beans, a gallon of milk, or your 4 year old. Do lots of reps with a little weight. Try 4 sets of 15. Rest a minute in between.
  • Wait 48 hours in between working the same muscle group. One day you could upper body and arms. The next you could do legs and such.
  • Here's the exception. You can do abs everyday. Aren't you so excited to read that?
  • Try new foods. Kim has given us a new recipe each week. I've liked all of them .
  • Read food labels. We've learned how to evaluate the health claims. If you want, another night I will post that. . . . .
  • Keep a food log/activity log. It just makes you aware of what you are eating. You don't have to share it. We often overestimate the amount we exercise and underestimate the amount we eat or drink!
  • Of course there is more like info on eating out, but too much to put here tonight....
Most importantly: only weigh once a week and as Erin and Kim say, "DON'T LET WHAT HAPPENS BELOW THE NECK WRECK HAVOC ABOVE THE NECK!"

So, I had to take Hadley to the vet yesterday for a booster shot. Go figure, with all of our walking, she's lost 2lbs! The only catch is that she didn't need to lose any!

Thanks Erin and Kim! Wed is our last class and I am bummed! They are such a hoot!


1 comment:

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

this is awesome! thanks for sharing your tips!!