I Lost 7lbs and 8.14% of my body fat percentage in 8 weeks!
I learned that a few small changes go a long way. From a nutritional point of view, I started by replacing the rice I have at dinner with a second vegetable so dinners during the week consisted of a lean protein (usually fish or chicken) and two vegetables. I also increased the amount of lean protein (from 6 oz. to 8 oz.). This made me feel more satisfied at bedtime and I no longer needed a pre-bedtime snack (like granola or yogurt). For breakfast, I used to put a large spoonful of sugar in my iced coffee (probably close to a Tablespoon, yikes!) and I switched to hot coffee where I don’t use any sugar. I also cut out the wheat chips that I had with my daily sandwich (typically turkey or tuna on a wheat wrap with lettuce and tomato) at lunch with a scoop of cottage cheese. I picked one that had lower sodium than all the others.
Weekends were my reward time. I allowed myself at least one less than healthy meal, a dessert and drinks. But I held the line at one dessert per week except for the week of Christmas where I had a couple more (thanks to my sister’s baking prowess!).
During the challenge period, I faithfully kept up my three visits per week to Fitness Together (even doing a couple of one on one's when I had to miss my regular Pack sessions due to work meetings) and made sure I visited the YMCA faithfully on three other days per week. However instead of doing a four mile jog on the treadmill at the Y, based upon Mike Gilmore’s suggestions (thank you, Mike!), I switched to a 45 minute inclined fast paced walk on two of the days and a 20 minute sprint interval program on the other Y day. I think my body had gotten used to the four-mile jog and wasn’t doing much for me. I know that this change in routine was a big help in losing weight and gaining muscle.
The holidays were challenging but manageable. A trip to Florida and lots of holiday parties and meals used to be my downfall. This year I made a few changes. First, I cut back on the alcohol by having a seltzer with lime for every other drink. This was great at parties as I still had something in my hand and people didn’t know I wasn’t drinking a cocktail. For holiday meals I planned ahead and made choices about what to splurge on. Every dinner was followed by a table full of desserts. I allowed myself to have desserts a couple times and the rest of the time I had a decaf coffee instead. The coffee made me feel I was having something to finish my meal while everyone else ate their dessert.
I also made a choice to do some sort of movement every day while I was in Florida, whether it was a walk, a workout or a run.
I think it was the first time that I had ever come back from Florida and the holidays actually weighing less and feeling physically stronger and better and ready for the start of the new year! It really wasn’t that hard to do and if I can stay close to the same type of routine for the rest of the winter, I should be in great shape come Spring.