Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Counting Calories

I've been trying to count calories for a little while now.  So far, I've had mixed results, but at the end of the day, I've lost about 2 lbs over the last 6 weeks.  Not really the results I have been looking for.

I have struggled with my weight since I was a teenager.  I've always been envious of my friends who can pound down an ice cream sundae while I sit there knowing that if I ate the sundae, I'd gain 2 lbs by the next morning (but I ate it anyway).  A big part of my problem, however, has always been portion control.  I'd like to say that this stems from childhood (you know, you go to Nonni's house for dinner, and when she asks if you want more, you say, "oh just a little" and she gives you more than the first portion....and you eat the whole thing).  My other problem is willpower.  I have none.  I remember being about 13 years old, and my mom taking us out for lunch - it was a treat day, and we went to Friendly's and got to have Cone Head Sundaes after lunch.  Then, later that night, my aunt took us to the movies and I bought candy.  I remember my mom saying that I needed to make choices - I couldn't eat multiple treats per day.  Since then, I've been obsessed with trying to make good choices, but haven't had the willpower to do it all the time.

I've been on and off every diet known to man, but the most success has been with eating normal portions of good healthy food.  Weight Watchers and counting calories has been my two main eating regimens, since both of them allow you to eat whatever you want.  At the end of the day, they are helping you learn that if you really want to eat that ice cream sundae, you need to make choices throughout the day to fit it in.  It also teaches you that normal portions are necessary, especially if you do insist on eating the sundae.  We forget that everything is super-sized, we we need to make better choices.  Weight Watchers has gone through a number of revisions over the last few years.  At the end of the day, it's basically the same thing as counting calories.  I stopped Weight Watchers for a few reasons:  1) I was sick of paying $13 per month to cheat and not stick to plan.  2) I wasn't following it correctly.  The points system works, as long as you are calculating points properly.  There were foods that I would make and I would estimate what I think the points were worth....And if I felt guilty that it was too many points, I would lower the number (but not the portion) to make it look better.

Since I went off Weight Watchers, I decided there had to be something in it's place.  My friend told me about my fitness pal so I decided to go with that.  It's free, and it allows you to determine how many calories you eat per day (based on how much weight you want to lose per day).  As I said earlier, I've been using my fitness pal for about 6 weeks now, and I've only lost about 2 lbs.  So what am I doing wrong?  Well, I think I've been trying too hard to limit what I eat.  When I first started, I decided to eat only 1200 calories per day.  But when I exercised, I often didn't eat the calories that I burned, and I honestly think that I was eating too few calories.  My body knew that, so I changed my calorie intake per day from 1200 to about 1450, but I still didn't eat what I earned through exercise.  So starting yesterday, I changed the process a bit.  I'm eating a NET 1200 calories.  That means that I'm eating whatever I earn.  So if I earn 400 calories exercising, I'm going to eat 1600 calories total.  I am putting a limit on total calories, though.  There are days (usually on the weekend) where I burn 1000 calories cleaning and washing walls, but I don't plan on every eating more than 2000 calories.  So far, so good.  I haven't been hungry at all, which is good...When I do think I feel hungry, I drink some water or some caffeine free diet coke, and wait a few minutes.  Most of the time, I'm just thirsty.

Now, I just need to go food shopping to stock up on some healthy fruits and veggies... :)  My refrigerator is BARE!

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