Normally my posts focus on Nick or what I’ve learned from raising him, but today I’d like to focus on something for mom (and dad). I’d like to focus today on the touchy topic of losing weight. No one likes gaining weight, but it happens to most of us at one time or another (unless you’re like my husband and have such a fast metabolism that you can eat all the junk food you want and not gain anything). If this wasn’t a problem for most of us then all the fad diets and weight loss clinics would never make any money.
Over the years since high school I had slowly gained weight. Nothing extreme though as I only added about a pound a year, but it still bothered me. Walking around campus and exercising when I could helped, but I still ate like I had in high school when I was in the dance studio during all of my free time.
In August 2010 we were getting ready to start our family. I decided I wanted to lose some weight and get in shape before I got pregnant, but fate had other ideas. I had hardly started when we found out that we were expecting. In a blink I went from trying to lose weight to trying to maintain my weight. Unless you are severely over of underweight, or are expecting multiples, they want you to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. I was bound and determined to stay around the 25 pound mark. I was not going to gain 50 or 60 pounds like so many others. It was hard watching the scale go up, but I did well and only gained 28 pounds.
I was lucky and most of what I had gained during my pregnancy just fell off of me after Nick was born. Sadly though I plateaued with five pounds of baby weight still to go. I felt overweight and frumpy all last Summer, but I was too busy and exhausted to do anything about it. After the holidays though I decided that I had had enough and it was time to lose the weight. I will say swimsuit shopping for our cruise though was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I did some research online and found an equation that looks at your age, weight, height, and exercise level and tells you how many calories to eat every day to lose a pound a week. The equation said that I could eat 1300 calories a day. Let me tell you that 1300 calories is not a lot of food, but I was bound and determined to lose weight.
I am happy to say that as of last week, four months of counting calories, I have lost 18.5 pounds and have reached my goal weight (what I weighed in high school). I know that not everyone is able to lose weight by doing something as simple as just counting calories, but I am living proof that it’s possible. Now I my goal is to tone up what’s left.
I heard a report on the news earlier this year. It said that a recent study had found that it didn’t matter what diet people were on. What really mattered was the number of calories that were taken in, which of course are controlled by the diets. The reporter said what you should take from the study was to know that calorie intake is important, but you should stick with what works for you. Whatever diet that may be I wish you the best of luck in your weight loss goals.
For those that would like it here is the equation that I used…
Step 1: First find your BMR using one of these equations:
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in year)
Step 2: Then multiply the number you got by the the number for your activity factor:
- Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job) multiply BMR by 1.2
- Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week) multiply your BMR by 1.375
- Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week) multiply your BMR by 1.55
- Heavily active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week) multiply your BMR by 1.725
Step 3: This will give you the number of calories you can eat per day to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight take the number you got and subtract 500 calories from it. The new number will be the number of calories you should eat per day to lose approximately one pound per week.
What worked best to help you lose weight?