I have to tell you all something about the power of writing down what you eat:
I am on my feet all the time since I am a chef and I cycle a lot. I thought those two would help me burn the cals to create a deficit and help lose weight. So I thought I could eat whatever I wanted and basically I was right but to be honest, I was really wrong.
Last Friday, I hopped on the scale and it read 339...... up from when I first moved out to new jersey and weighed 324. I was shocked at first but then reality set in.... I must have been eating ****ty which was the truth. So Monday I started logging my food and watching what I eat. I come around to about 3000-3200 cals a day. I hit the gym Monday-Thursday and cycled 3 times this week (50 miles total). I also tracked all my food, set some goals as well. With cycling, gym work, and being on my feet a lot I burned around 6000 cals a day. Hopped on the scale on yesterday and was at 331.6
The moral of the story is that it just with excersise, it wont help. I have found for myself that I need to watch what I eat, journal it, and excersise. I have found that I cant stop eating things like cookies and other sweets but that I need portion control and learn that, which is tough. I have come to the conclusion and understanding that I will always be fighting being fat, eating, and balancing out excersise and weight loss.
I have been working with a dietican in California for the last month. She played an important roll while when I was out in Seattle to help me lose weight and she continues to keep me on track. I talk with her once a week or once every two weeks. She is hard on me which I need and like and I always get a great education talking with her..... plus she is cheap as heck. (if you want her info, let me know.... she is great to work with and cheap)
I am a believer that you need to have tools in your tool box to help you through your journey and I have found that each persons tool box is different and there is no tool box alike. When I was in Seattle, I worked with a dietician over the phone, had a trainer at the gym, eating plan (not restricting), gym membership, etc. I also used something called the Bodybugg. It is a device that fits on your arm and gives you a lot of information when you upload it about cals burned, nutrition, etc. (if you want to look at one, let me know and I can post a link). Having that information as been key for me because it is somewhat easy to journal your food but hard ot know how many calories you burn but with bodybugg, it is easy because it tracks that part of it for you. I enter my food on their database and see what the calorie balance is. I can also see cholestrol, carb intake, protein intake, etc. Just another tool in my box to help me out.
I know that excersise wont do it alone. You need to have a well balanced eating plan, eat fruits and veggies, lean protein, etc but never deny yourself they things you love because if you do, you will beng eat. With excersise, good eating plan, and journaling your food, I think its a great recipe for success.
Lets face it, we all strugle with our weight at some point in our journey and it is what it is. I have come to the idea that I might always be a big guy and, well, I continue to fight that. My personal goal would be down to 300 and then maybe to 240. If I get to 240, great. If I dont, well whatever. But to see me in the 200's again would be awesome.
Myfitnesspal has a food logging/calorie counting tool and apps for all the popular smart phones which makes it very convenient. There is also an online community for support and education. I lost 60 lbs and have kept it off. Logging your food will teach you about nutrition and particularly will teach you what foods will keep you satisfied for long periods for reasonable levels of calorie intake. Veggies, lean meats, complex carbs, good. Simple carbs, fatty foods and sugars spike your calorie consumption but don't satisfy your hunger for long if at all.
ray: you are right on. I love looking back and seeing what works and doesnt. Like the other day I had a Godvia chocolate. I dont regret it cause I needed a chocolate fix but it did add calories at the end of the day.
Great writeup. I went from 259 down to my current 216 in about 7 months. 10 more and I will have met my goal. I haven't been writing down everything I eat for over a month now, I figured with the new eating habits I have developed I don't need to, because I made a whole "lifestyle" change, I didn't just go on a diet. You have made me think though...perhaps I should start writing again for a full month, just to make sure I am not subconsciously slipping back with my intake...
Thanks for the kick-in-the-pants, especially coming up on the HOLIDAY FAMILY BINGES!
I think it is just easier to slip food in your mouth without knowing it. Even in the kitchen when I cook, I have to stop before I put anything in my mouth. Or when we are doing tastings at work.... one taste can quickly turn into eating the whole thing.
Writing stuff down is a pain but its great as a check and balance.
yes. and i know what people say. I eat 3200 cals a day and riding plus gym work plus being on my feet from being a chef burns a crap load of cals. Yes, my deficit has been in the 3000 range some days. I know it is large but at this point, I cant eat more. It is hard enough for me to eat 3200 cals.
Your post helped remind me why I am so diligent to use MyFitnessPal. If I did not log everything that I ate then there is no way I would have lost 118 lbs in the last 10 months.
Your point about it not being exercise is also great. I have the capacity to eat back all of my exercise calories. This was especially true when I tried a low carb diet and didn't reduce the amount I was eating.
Now, I can make sure that I am in a calorie deficit even when I have exercise calories and when I don't. My greatest concern now is how I would continue to log my calories and exercise if I couldn't access MyFitnessPal or similar program.
Trek Madone 4.7 WSD, 1969 Schwinn Collegiate, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Terry Classic, Gary Fisher Marlin, Dahon Jetstream XP
I have religiously written everything down (via myplate) since January of 2011. I am currently on a weight loss plateau. I know exactly why. Too many calories. But at least I am not gaining weight. An experiment of maintenance. I figure that I will have to write down what I eat forever. It only takes a few extra calories a day to begin to slowly gain weight. Lifestyle change be damned. I can eat the right foods in what seems reasonable portions but it is hard to know how much you are eating if you do not keep track. Most people, including the non-obese, and including those who vigorously exercise, slowly gain weight over time. The formerly obese likely will gain weight faster than others over time. Vigilance is needed.
KHS Town and Country 100 & Jamis Durango Femme 1.0
Recording food intake is also a great way to find out what you're not eating over the course of a week. My lists show I don't eat very much fruit but eat lots of high fibre veggies and grains. I've made this next week's goal to add more fruit, at least a serving a day, to my meal plans. I'm not a huge fan of fruit and much prefer veggies but since fruits doesn't require as much prep as say broccoli or brussels sprouts, it should be easy to add. Should be. Apples make me hungry. The smell of orange peel left on my fingers makes me crazy. I haven't gotten over finding a big bug in a grape. I hate the texture of bananas. It's gonna be a rough week.
Last week I did an experiment where I voluntarily stopped using my car. When I went grocery shopping I found that my food choices suddenly became far more important and I ended up choosing mainly proteins, and for my first time ever only bought one carb. On top of that, the food was only a 3 day supply... and that was 3 days ago. So once again I'm out of food and haven't been able to eat much today as a result! Heh.
Chef, a timely posting...I lost 38 lbs on Weight Watchers over 2 years (I lost most of it in the first year, and then basically maintained it) by logging everything I ate.
I started cycling this year, and stopped tracking. I'm exercising, right? I can eat more because I'm burning more, right? WRONG!
Ugh, I am so mad at myself. I have actually gained ~15lbs in the past few months because I ate recklessly. I have been having trouble fitting into my clothes lately, and I just saw a pic of myself in my cycling clothes from an event I was in yesterday....not happy about how I looked or feel.
Your post just reminds me of what I already know...I have to be accountable for what I eat, and need to eat with thought. Back to the basics for me....good luck with your goals!
its funny how calories sneak past your thoughts and into your mouth. Once you start writing stuff down, you figure out where you can spend your calories and kinda make it a game. You see your errors and things you did well.