Weight Loss

May. 1st, 2012 10:55 pm
[personal profile] puzzle_me
My weight has always fluctuated up and down over the course of the year - but over the last year, I've put on more weight than the normal fluctuations. It's not a weight I'm happy at, and I also don't want to buy new clothes. My weight is headed back down - I'm currently down about 5 lbs from my high weight - and I wanted to post about how I've been going about that.

First though, the reasons it went up. Reason #1 was a medication I was on. Reason #2 is that I eat dessert more often when I'm dating someone who keeps bringing home delicious desserts every time he goes grocery shopping. Reason #3 is that I have been eating out more, and making some incorrect assumptions about what's healthier and what's not. I have since gone off the medication and at my request Allen is much more restrained about picking up desserts to bring over. This caused my weight to stop going up, but simply cutting out the med and the desserts as not caused my weight to go back down.

When I decided to try to lose weight, I went about it by counting calories, primarily. My first attempt was last December/January. I downloaded a calorie counting program from online, but it turned out to be too arduous a process - the program I had just was too much work to use. It also gave letter grades for all the food I ate, and they seemed to be pretty arbitrary, and which were also discouraging me from eating perfectly healthy foods. Finally, it didn't help me align calorie goals with weight loss goals in a way that was effective. So, I abandoned calorie counting for a few months and just tried to eat a little healthier and get more exercise. The problem with going about it this way is that I tend to get into a mindset that if I've exercised for an hour I can eat whatever I want, so I again wasn't having any success.

A few weeks back I decided to try again with the serious calorie counting. I poked around more online and ended up downloading Lose It! for the iPhone. I am also using a weight tracking program called WeightTrend+. I find Lose It far easier to use than the other calorie tracker I tried. Looking up foods is not as arduous, and most supermarket foods with a bar code can be scanned in using the phone and entered into the calorie tracker that way. You can also enter in calories from exercise pretty easily. If you are trying to lose weight, it has you set a weekly goal (between 1/2 lb and 2 lbs), and it gives you a target calorie value. I have mine set at 1 lb a week, though my actual loss has happened at a slightly higher rate. WeightTrend calculates a moving average of your weight, and you can graph weight over time. It's a good reality check when I have a sudden overnight drop or gain that's more than expected.

For exercise, I have primarily been biking, gardening/doing yard work, and going to a yoga class. By tracking my exercise in addition to my food intake, I'm able to give myself leeway to have treats after my workouts without going overboard. With food tracking, I was extremely surprised to find that I could figure out a healthier and lower cal lunch option from Chipotle, that I really like, than I could from Jimmy Johns, which I've usually gone to when I really would have rather eaten at Chipotle but was trying to be healthier.

Have any of you tried using apps to help you lose weight and/or exercise more? I like the ones I'm using, but I'm open to trying others.
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