Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Difference Between Losing 5 lb. or 20 lb.

I think that it’s easier to lose 20+ lb. than 5-10 lb. If you need to lose 20+ lb. you know that you need to make major changes to your lifestyle. You need to exercise, and you need to eat less and healthier foods. Those are not at all easy things to do, but you know what you need to do. However, if you only need to lose 5-10 lb. you are already doing most things right. You are already exercising, and you are already eating pretty healthy. Your lifestyle just needs a little tweaking, but how? It’s hard to know what is keeping that little bit of weight on. At the same time, why bother losing so little weight? My answer is that I want my clothes to fit. (So, yes, if you have been following along this blog, you now know that I did not achieve my goal for October. I’m saddened by the fact that I have no more tricks up my sleeve, no more strategies to try.)

So my husband suggested I shoot for a big weight loss goal. Then, when I failed, I still would have lost some weight, rather than none. Hmm, interesting idea. . .

(First of all, let me say that I’m against the idea of losing lb. The number on the scale is meaningless, and I can always adjust my scale to say the number I want to see. My goals have always been abilities or frequencies or something more concrete than the number on the scale, which is affected by muscle mass, water weight, and body fat.)

. . . However, taking his advice as something new to try, I calculated how much of a calorie deficit I would need to lose 10 lb. in a month, instead of the 5 lb. that would make my clothes fit better and be a more realistic one month goal. Then, I figured out a combination of lower calorie consumption and additional calorie burning through exercise to meet that goal. The extra exercise is easy in the sense that the cardio machines at the gym tell me how many calories I’m burning, so I just need a few minutes more each time and continued consistency (20x this month).

The hard part is counting calories, which I hate! I don’t remember how many calories foods have. I looked online for a good calorie counter, and the ones I tried were not easy to use. I dug up a little pocket-sized calorie booklet that I used 20 years ago, which is easier for me to refer to. If you know of any good online ones, let me know! So I started keeping a food journal, awful! But by writing it down, I can refer back to things I eat often, like my daily coffee, 67 calories. I can check the packages for some other things, and my favorite cookbook has calorie counts for all the recipes! Helpful!

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