Oh, all right, I guess I'll join you...
So proud of all of you for taking the steps you need to take to become healthier. And really, that's the bottom line. If you want to live longer, fuller lives, then exercise and eat right. It is the fountain of youth and can cure so much of what ails a body!
Now, I am going to get a little tough with you and lecture you a bit on food. If you really want to do this right, you have got to measure and count calories. The majority of our country today is so used to the whole super-sizing mentality, that they have no idea what a normal portion size should be. It's crazy how much we eat and think it's normal! So if you can, I highly recommend a kitchen scale, so that you know, if it says to have 3 oz. of chicken breast, you will be having 3 oz. of chicken breast. Once you've been doing it for a while, and have a good idea of what the portion should look like, then maybe you can get away from measuring. I still measure and way, though. Just sayin'.
Also, you need to keep track of calories. The bottom line is that you have got to put in less than you're burning off. Your eating is 80% of the battle. So, how do you know what you're really eating unless you keep track of those calories? Yes, it can be a pain, especially at the beginning. It will take some time. It gets easier once things are set up. I've tried several of the different online calorie counter sites, and have found MyFitnessPal to be the easiest. Yes, if you do a bunch of mixed up foods, like casseroles, it's harder. Maybe go back to cleaner, simpler meals for a while. And count every single thing you put in your mouth. Every calorie. I even count each dark chocolate kiss I eat, (usually about 3 a day), just so I know.
Here's a formula that I posted on our Beachbody thread, to help you know exactly how many calories you should be putting into your body:
So here's the formula for women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Take that number and multiply it by the level of exercise listed below:
1.2 - Sedentary - little or no exercise
1.375 - Lightly Active - Light exercise (1-3 days/week)
1.55 - Moderately Active - Moderate exercise (3-5 days/week)
1.7 - Very Active - Hard exercise (6-7 days/week)
1.9 - Extremely active - Hard daily exercise and/or a physical job
The number you now have is your calories needs for weigh maintanence. In the next step, you'll adjust this number up or down, depending on weight loss or gain goals.
For weight loss, subtract 500 calories per day from the above number.
This formula helped me tremendously. I had increased my caloric intake to about 2000 calories per day, thinking that because I was working out like crazy, I needed more calories. I did, but not that many. With this formula, I need about 1700 calories a day (and I'm working out with an intense, daily program that puts me in the Very Active category.) Using this, eating clean, measuring everything, and keeping track of my calories, I have finally lost two pounds this week. The first time I've lost weight in about 5 months. Talk about frustrating! Working out like I've been doing and not losing any weight.
Of course, the scale doesn't tell the whole story, not when you're replacing fat with muscle, which is the ultimate goal for all of us. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. So, we also need to pay attention to how our clothes are fitting (yaaay Kim!) and what our measurements tell us. Even in that time that I didn't lose weight, I went from a size 8 to a size 4. (Started at a size 12 last year, btw, for those who don't know my story.
Shari, just keep pushing through. I know how hard these two days are going to be. I hope you're doing okay tonite at the pizza party. You have really taken on a wealth of temptation there, girlfriend! Just keep telling yourself, it's only for two days! It's only for two days! I can do this for two days! Then you'll be ready to hit your program hard on Monday! Give me a call if you need to talk. I'm here for you!
Also, I would recommend keeping the food as simple as possible. It doesn't have to be fancy. Mike and I eat a LOT of grilled chicken, fish, salads, shrimp on the barby
, and turkey burgers. Lots of salads and fruits and veggies. Lunch meat on whole wheat bread, or whole grain english muffins. And lots and lots of egg white omelets filled with yummy stuff. Now, we don't mind not being fancy, and eating the same things. Food is fuel to us. Oh, also, SparkPeople.com will allow you to take recipes ingredients and plug them in to get the nutritional value. You can then take that info and plug it into MyFitnessPal and save it, so that you have that meal already ready to add to any of your meals.
And last but not least, eat 6 small meals a day. Eat every two to three hours. This helps stave off the binging and meal times, and keeps your energy levels up and your metabolism burning. Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime, so your body can burn the extra fat at night, instead of whatever food may be in your belly. And drink lots and lots and lots of water. Always.
Now, off my soapbox.