Monday, June 20, 2016

Counting Chocolate Chips: How I Lost 40 Pounds in Eight Months

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Something happened last July when I got on the scale at my doctor's office.  I think it was seeing a particular number: 160.  The last time I got near 160 pounds, I knew I would either have to get pregnant or buy new (bigger) clothes.  Luckily, I got pregnant, which was the plan anyway.

Not so, last July.  I don't want to have any more babies.  (Are you kidding, I can hardly keep it together with the two I've got?!)

I had been using the mapmyfitness app since 2012 to track and log my workouts (running, walking, the occasional bike ride, and more recently roller skating and roller blading) and my doctor had mentioned a weight loss app a couple of years ago, which I tried for about a week.  I looked around and found a calorie counting app that links to mapmyfitness.  Myfitnesspal (image above is from the website which can be used instead of or along with the app) has been the missing link for me.

I set up a profile with my weight, height, age, activity level, goal, and how many pounds per week I wanted to lose (one).  The app designated how many calories I could eat per day to achieve my goal weight of 120 pounds, and I was off!

There is a huge database of foods that you can browse along with a barcode scanner that can be used to find packaged items.  It is so easy to use!  And calories burned and logged on mapmyfitness are synched so you can see how many more calories you can eat after exercise--just don't eat them all back!

The closer I stuck to my daily caloric intake plan, the more regularly the pounds came off.  There were weeks (December!) where I didn't lose weight, but at least I didn't gain.

I had no idea how many calories I had been eating per day before (probably up to 3000 at times!), or how many I actually needed.  I did go to bed hungry a handful of nights.  I learned that what I eat is extremely important.  I want you to know that I ate whatever I wanted to and still lost weight.  I just had to control the quantity.  And...100 calories of fruit (fiber!) is much better than 100 calories of chocolate at satisfying hunger.  Not that there weren't (many) times I chose the chocolate.  There were.

So, I can't tell anyone what their "particular number" is or how to finally decide to take control and lose weight, but I can say that myfitnesspal absolutely worked for me.  I still use it everyday to track calories so I can maintain my new weight.  I also keep a close eye on my protein, sugar, and fiber consumption.

I have more to say about healthier eating, exercise, and body image, so...more posts to come.

BTW, Traders Joe's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are approximately 4 calories each.

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