Lisa Neese of Alexander City has been on a weight loss journey for more than two years.
Down more than 70 pounds, Neese shared her method for success to shed unneeded weight.
If you look at it, its basic math, Neese said. Its calories in versus calories out.
The basic math led to Neeses success. She realized she was consuming far more calories than she was burning but for Neese, it was calorie counting that got things started.
I lost most of the weight, the first 80%, just by diet, Neese said. It wasnt until then I added exercise and got down to my goal weight.
The journey has presented roadblocks for Neese who is almost 56 years old.
I had foot surgery in November, she said. I wasnt able to exercise. I scaled my calories back even more, but I still put on 10 pounds. Ive started back to exercise now and it is starting to come back off.
Neese said her issue with weight was in her mind and has employed modern technology to help. Neese installed an app on her phone to take care of the math problem of counting daily calories and how many calories are in an item.
For my brain, I never feel full, Neese said. I can keep on eating if Im not careful. I log my calories in my app. It tells me when Im done.
Neese hasnt excluded any food from her diet, just the amount.
Nothing is off limits as long as I log it, Neese said. You quickly learn one serving of pie can be equal to an apple, a banana and a meal.
Creative recipes have helped keep many things on the menu. Neese said cauliflower rice is her go to product instead of rice, potatoes and other starches.
It takes the place of a lot of things for me, Neese said. I get creative with my recipes.
Cauliflower rice can be homemade or found in the frozen food section of the grocery store. It is grated cauliflower.
There is nothing rice about it, Neese said. It is a vegetable.
Neese said she will take a frozen veggie burger which is basically beans, crumble it and mix with the cauliflower rice and add corn for a tasty, healthy meal.
Its fairly quick, Neese said. I fixed it for my daughter the other day and added a single serving of guacamole. She said, This is good.
Another favorite for Neese is waffles but not your boxed mix kind.
I use egg whites and a jar of butternut squash baby food, Neese said. Its amazing how many calories you can save.
For a snack, air popped popcorn is a must.
Its my go-to at work and home, Neese said. Its without butter but there are lots of seasonings you can add in moderation.
Neese said it is ultimately the individual who has to be persistent to be successful at keeping the weight off.
You got to do it for yourself, Neese said. No amount of support will do it alone.
Neese still seeks and gives support through Overeaters Anonymous. Neese said a local group meets at 6 p.m. every Thursday at the Trinity campus of First United Methodist Church.
Neese said you shouldnt look at it as a diet as the term implies short term. Instead it is a lifestyle change and you have to keep in mind, you make the decision on the late night snack.
If I get to the end of the day, eaten all my calories and Im still hungry, Ill tell myself to wait until tomorrow. I can put it in the plan and eat it.
Neese does avoid some things.
I try to avoid cereal, she said. I want so much of it to fill up. Its like empty calories.
She also avoids sugar especially in soft drinks, tea and coffee but will use small amounts of Stevia to help sweeten things up.
There is one thing Neese refuses to give up: her mothers Lane cake.
I still count it, she said.
While Neese has been successful in losing weight, she will continue the never-ending game of math.
I still count calories every day, she said. Ill do it for the rest of my life.
Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.
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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH: Weight loss and maintenance all about adding up the calories, Alexander Citywoman says - The Alexander City Outlook