|No suffering here, and lots of freebies.|
This isn't exactly miraculous progress - about a half pound a week - but when you consider I cheat big-time every weekend and had a very decadent week in Florida for Spring Break, it's not all bad. I'm not at my goal weight yet, but I'll get there, slowly but surely. Because my self-devised plan works.
And now, I'll share it with you, in five easy steps.
- Keep a food journal and track calories for a few days to see what you're actually eating. Be honest - account for everything you eat. The journal can be as simple as a notebook or a piece of paper. There are a lot of fancy apps out there, but I think the simpler the better. Read the package's nutrition info or use google to determine the calorie content of your foods.
- Set a daily calorie goal that's about 500-700 calories less than what you normally consume, but don't go under 1200 calories or you'll feel deprived and turn into a cranky, ravenous bitch. There are no food restrictions, the only requirement is that you honestly keep track of the calories. You'll soon find out which foods are worth their calories to you. My daily goal is 1400, and I can be quite satisfied with that, especially because.....
- Fruits and Vegetables are free! Eat as many as you like. This doesn't include starchy veggies like potatoes and corn, and you do need to count whatever you add to them, but otherwise go for it. I borrowed this rule from Weight Watchers, and it's a comfort to know you can always eat something.
- Record your weekly progress. I weigh myself almost every day - it keeps me honest - but Saturday is my official weigh-in day. Don't get freaked out if your progress is slow, just keep it up. If you stall out for a few weeks, you may need to do some tweaking, but in the meantime, have faith.
- Take one day a week off, relax and enjoy your food guilt-free. For me, that's Saturday, after my weigh in. Knowing this splurge day is coming helps me make good choices during the week. And I hate to be too rigid about things.
I do think it's easier to stick to this plan when you're doing it with a friend. My husband and I are doing it together and he's lost about eight pounds (his daily calorie goal is around 2000), and he is looking seriously good! Shedding just a few pounds feels great and does wonders for your confidence and self image.
So join me! Or at least check back tomorrow when I'll share a few tips to staying the course. And now, I'm off to eat an apple.