Most recently I posted an article written by a business counterpart about his 2 month journey on weight loss. Granted he is a Personal Trainer, you’d think he’d constantly be in top shape, yet, like Alex, I too have goals for my health including the number on the scale (and note, I like measurements more than a scale number).
My newest role as a mom is the best thing that could ever happen to me as a person. As many parents out there can agree, being a mom/dad can be trying, but this position brings so much joy and compassion in my life. On the flip side, going through a pregnancy and gaining 28 pounds; could have been more as Dex was born at 38 weeks, I have become a better dietitian and nutrition counselor trying to lose the weight. My biggest surprise is my impatience with how slowly it’s coming off. But the truth be told, his pace allows my body to adjust at a healthy, natural rate, and allows me to understand what habits are worth holding onto for a lifetime.
So 6 months and 1 week later I am at my pre-pregnancy weight and I thought I’d share some of the methods I used to get here.
1. SMART Goal
I defined my goal (and wrote it down! Often!), decided how I would keep myself on task, ensuring things moved in the right direction weighing-in every Monday. I picked Monday to make sure I never went “off my rocker” with beverages and food on the weekend. As well, every Monday weigh-in wasn’t always a loss. Furthermore, if I knew, just by the way I felt, I wasn’t going to see a lower number on the scale, I’d skip/delay that weigh-in. No need to do so, as it would leave a negative impression on my day, and I’d wait (no pun intended) until about Wednesday. I also broke my goal down. I wanted to lose 38 pounds (I was near my heaviest before getting pregnant), but my weekly goal was 1 pound a week. Ideally I wanted more, but realistically, it wasn’t happening without me feeling deprived and hungry.
2. Tracking My Macros
I befriended MyFitnessPal to not count calories, but to understand how my macronutrient (fat, protein, carbohydrate) ratios were measuring. Through the process I learned that eating more carbs (35-38% or around 100 grams a day; excluding non-starchy vegetables) and less fat (about 30%) worked best for my goal. Interesting, as I came to learn this by eating intuitively. I wanted more carbs (fruit, black rice, root vegetables) and less often craved grassfed beef or higher fat proteins. Before getting pregnant, I always aimed for uber low carb (about 50 grams a day), thinking it was my best method for maintaining weight. In this journey, I tried to keep low carb in mind, but to look at myself more individually to assess what was going to work for my goal. And not to brush over protein – I had about 1 gram of protein per pound of my current weight.
3. New Recipes & Hunger
It is not uncommon for me to create a personal meal plan. I’d think about what foods were appealing at the time and I’d create meals plugging them into Fitclick or MyFitnessPal. I definitely sourced Pinterest for inspiration and bought recipe books. I took it a step further too; putting sticky notes on recipes I planned to trial each week (when time allowed). I know, as soon as I get bored with my food, I reach for more food for satisfaction rather than to fulfill hunger. My solution here, as you can see, is to mix things up, and excite my palate with different flavors and meals. One thing important to note is I use my meal plans as a template; never did/do I follow it 100%. Overall, my meals are consistent throughout the week, and come the following 7 days, I change my ingredients/grocery list. Every night, I asses how hungry I feel. If I am rather hungry after dinner, I know this was a symptom of not eating enough during the day. This often happened, and one thing that has made the biggest difference, is with my high protein and vegetable lunch, I’ve added a small piece of fruit, rounding out the meal. I would not have been able to come to this conclusion if I didn’t track some of my meals. Bottom line, a food journal can be so powerful for healthy eating and assessing what works for weight loss.
4. Appreciating the Journey
To say the least, losing weight is not my favorite hobby. Indeed, one needs to enjoy the journey, as losing weight surely doesn’t have a deadline nor ends once we hit our goal weight. I real goal is striving for health, and clearly as I lose numbers on the scale, I am gaining insight on how to own my journey and be a better dietitian, counseling others in a similar process. Every day counts, and some day we will take two steps forward, and other days one step back. In the end it’s the trend that matters.
Cheers to you and good health,