Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trying to Lose 20 pounds (I blame my husband!)

Hi Laurie,
I was at my best weight 6 years ago when I got married. After 2 years, eating to keep up with my husband (big mistake!) I gained 20 pounds. It's been very hard to take the weight off. I'm 28 years old, 5'5" and 150 pounds. I actually lost 5 pounds over the past year walking 3 miles a day and keeping my calorie intake to 1600-1700 a day. I do have a drink or two (alcoholic) a day, but I include that in my calorie intake. I had a good report at my check-up last month and my weight isn't at a very unhealthy point, but I would feel a lot better to get back to 125#. Any advice?    Tina R.

Hi Tina,

Well, you are in the same boat as a whole lot of people. 
The fact that you've lost 5 pounds over the past year is quite good news! Keep it up, and you'll be at your goal in another 5. I'm sure you want to lose more quickly than that, but in order to lose faster you'll have to make some changes.

1) Seriously consider cutting out the alcoholic beverages, or limiting as much as you can (a drink or two a week?) Each drink has at least 100 calories (and some can have 300 or 400 depending on the size and ingredients).  For every 100 calories you cut out of your diet (and by cutting out these drinks you are making no nutritional compromises) you can lose a pound each month. Cut out 200 a day, lose 2 pounds a month. The question you'll have to answer each day is, "Do you want a drink to make you happy for an hour? Or would you rather weigh 125 pounds and be happier 24/7?"

2) Consider walking farther or faster. Or finding some additional exercise. Can you join a gym and try out some fun classes? Zumba, spinning, step and kettle bells all have their fanatic followers. If a gym is not in your budget you can find a DVD and work out at home very inexpensively.

3) Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat, shortly after you eat (or drink). We often forget a few hundred extra calories here and there. Some great websites to help you do this are FitDay, SparkPeople, and LoseIt (which also has a phone app). Enter your food intake and these programs track your daily calories, subtract from the total when you enter exercise, graph your weight loss, and let you buddy up and chat with others going through the same thing.

4) Think about joining my Lifechanging! Weight Loss series starting late 2012). We meet by telephone (think virtual conference room) and follow along with the Beck Diet Solution workbook for 8 weeks. Here's the registration and information page .

Do some serious thinking on this: You'll have to make a commitment to make some changes (even slight ones) if you want to see changes on the scale.

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