I love food and I love eating. But, I dont love dieting. Although I have always been a mostly healthy eater, Im not one to turn down a piece of birthday cake or a glass of wine during cocktail hour. But indulging a little too much and a little too often resulted in a slow gain of 25 pounds by my early 20s.
When I was younger, Id managed to maintain my weight of 130 pounds by being active. I belonged to the dance team and played intramural sports, so it wasnt difficult for me to motivate myself to exercise. After college, I started a desk job, and with that came long hours, pizza lunches, and plenty of happy hours. I continued to exercise almost every day, but it wasnt enoughand my weight climbed to 153 pounds, which was too much for my 5-foot-4-inch frame.
I wasnt happy at my heaviest, but I wasnt really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a bad photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.
Soon after the ski trip, I left my desk job to pursue graduate school and took a part-time job working at the front desk of an upscale health club. One of the perks was a free membership, which was the motivation I needed to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the health club most mornings, taking Body Pump and spinning classes on a regular basis. Finding workout buddies helped too. I made some new friends who were avid runners and I began training for and participating in road races with them.
Even though I was burning plenty of calories through exercise, I knew my eating habits were preventing me from losing weight. I wasnt eating unhealthy foodsI stuck with salads, turkey sandwiches, and stir-fry dishesI was just eating too much of everything. I started tracking my daily calories online at fitday.com. Counting calories really helped me understand my overblown portion sizes and just how many calories I was consuming.
Almost a year and a half later, in the summer of 2006, I finally reached my goal weight of 130 pounds. My weight loss didnt happen overnightin fact it took a pretty long timebut that was because I wasnt dieting. Through trial and error and figuring out what worked best for me, I made lifestyle changes, which have stuck with me to today. For example, I almost always have oatmeal with nut butter and a piece of fruit for breakfast. It helps set a healthy tone for my whole day, plus it keeps me full until lunchtime.
Now Im committed to maintaining my weight without missing out on any fun, like birthday celebrations or nights out with friends, which is the main philosophy behind Carrots N Cake. Hopefully, my tips and tricks are helpful to you and youll share some of your own secrets and successes with me too.
July 2015 How I lost the baby weight in 4 months
Make an appointment to exercise
Every Sunday I jot down my exercise goals on my Google calendar. Sometimes last-minute plans get in the way, but I generally stick to my schedule once Ive put it in ink.
Count caloriesat least in the beginning
I didnt realize just how many calories I was consuming, so tracking what I ate helped keep me aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I dont count calories anymore, but I track what I eat (and when I exercise) on my blog, which keeps me accountable.
Eat fresh fruit with breakfast
Its such a small thing to do, but it sets a healthy tone for my whole day. Plus, fruit is low in calories and good for you!
Reduce portion sizes
This might seem like a duh tip, but just eating less of my usual servings helped me lose weight.
Read a lot of health and fitness magazines
These types of magazines are constant motivation and keep healthy eating and fitness interesting, especially when I really dont want to get on the elliptical! Plus, I get tons of a great ideas for meals and workouts from them.
Every Sunday I sit down and plan a weeks worth of meals. I almost always make my own lunch, which means I have more control over how many calories are in my meal. Im also able to save money by making sure I use up all of my fresh produce.
Maintaining my weight is all about balance. If I overindulge at a weekend barbecue or mindlessly munch throughout the afternoon, I dont throw in the towel. I make sure my next meal is healthy and move on.
Check out these posts!
How I Beat My Sugar Addiction
How I Get Myself Back on Track
Tricks to Avoid Emotional Eating
How to Lose Weight with a Busy Schedule
Sunday Style: How I Set Myself Up for a Healthy Week
My Meal Planning Process
Q & A: Starting a New Diet and Cravings
Healthy, Travel-friendly Snack and Lunch Ideas
Tips to Curb Late Night Snacking
How to Gain Support While Losing Weight
5 Tips for Goal-Setting Success
My Thoughts on Carbohydrates
Protein Powders I Love
I also write a weekly column for the weight loss blog on Health.com, so be sure to check out more of my posts there!
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Weight Loss – Carrots ‘N’ Cake