Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Losing Weight - what's worked for me so far!

A few months ago I told you about my 'adventure' in giving up soda and caffeine.  Well, I'm happy to report that I haven't had one since, and I don't miss it ONE BIT.  I feel much better knowing that I'm not tied to a 12 ounce can of soda every morning so I can 1) function and 2) not end up with a headache by lunch.

One of the other perks of giving up soda verified what I've been hearing all along.  It's true what they say - diet soda makes you crave sweet things.  I don't crave sugar nearly as much as I used to since giving up my daily dose of artificial sweeteners.  This new non-need for sweet has made the diet I've been on much easier (as easy as a diet can be I guess).

For the last 7 weeks I've been tracking my meals and exercise using LoseIt.com.  They really do have the best tracker out there.  I also participated in a DietBet through The Sweaty Betties last month and loved it.  In a diet bet, every participant puts the same amount of money in the pot to start.  The bet is to try to lose 4% of your weight in four weeks.  If you don't lose 4%, you lose your money.  Everyone who loses the weight gets their money back plus splits the pot from those who didn't.  They have weigh-in safeguards to help curb cheating, which is nice.  Not only did I lose 14 pounds...I won $60!  

Now, 7 weeks in, I've lost 20 pounds.  *WHOOP!*  Here are a few things I've done.

Follow the 80/20 rule.  Make 80% of what you eat healthy foods (fruits, veggies, lean meats) and 20% 'fun'.  We've gone out to dinner, had burgers, and eaten dessert - it really helps you from feeling deprived!

Eat the correct number of calories.  Obviously, if you're on a diet, you're going to try not to eat too many calories.  It's also important to eat enough calories though.  Use a website that will tell you how many calories you should consume based on your height, weight, and goals so you know what you should be shooting for.  Eating too few calories will throw your body into starvation mode and it will start conserving fat instead of shedding it.

Drink a lot of water.  I've been flying through the 5 gallon Poland Springs bottles at work.  Stay hydrated!

Eat throughout the day.  I've been eating small meals throughout the day so I stay full.  A typical day looks like:

9am - cereal
11:30 am - snack 1 (apple, carrots, yogurt, granola bar, banana (with pb sometimes), etc)
1pm - soup or sandwich
3pm - snack 2
5pm - snack 3
7pm - dinner
9pm - popsicles :)

Move all day.  I used to park in a parking garage for work.  2 months ago, I started parking at metered spots so that I would HAVE to get out of my chair and move my car.  Every. three. hours.  All I've been doing so far is walking for exercise, so I've made sure I do a lot of it (45 minutes to 1.5 hours a day).  I've been getting to work early to take a 25-30 minute walk, get in 15 minutes each time I move my car (twice daily), and usually take one with Toby and Travis in the afternoon.  Since I eat my lunch at my desk I don't feel bad about my walk breaks!

Tell someone what you're doing.  I'm WAY out of my comfort zone telling the blog world about this.  Up until now only a handful of people knew my goal, which is probably more normal.  :)  The point is, it's important to have a cheering section!  If you don't want to talk to 'real friends' about your weight loss, join an online community and enjoy your anonymity.

Lighten up your meals.  Here are a few delicious and low calories recipes I've posted lately.  Also, check out skinnytaste.com - she's fantastic.

Lisa Johnson recently did a video for Diet.com ranting about bad diets that don't work, so I thought I'd share it with y'all since it fits.  While you're at it, subscribe to her newsletter list - she's full of great fitness information.

Check out the progress blog - down 31 pounds!  Whoop!

Here's to the next 20!


  1. Oh Lauren,
    I really needed to read this today. I've been struggling soo much. I don't drink soda so I can't cut that out but I like the sound of the 80/20 thing.

    1. Good luck Elena! I really like the 80/20 idea - that way it's not overwhelming! :)

  2. Congrats girl - that's awesome! Patrick and I are currently trying to shed the pounds too and eat better. Once we both hit 30...it hit US that we need to get our healthy living in check.

    I've started walking and eating smaller portions as well. So glad to hear someone else is doing it!

    Keep us posted :) We miss you guys!!!

    1. I'm turning 30 in a few weeks...eesh! :) Does Preston like the walks? I know you burn more calories than you think chasing after him. Miss yal tooooo!

  3. Lauren!!! Thank you for sharing this. I remember reading about you giving up caffeine and thinking you were crazy but I guess you were just preparing yourself for even bigger changes :) I'm so happy for you.

    1. Thanks Melissa! :) I thought I was crazy too. hahaha It's been great so far though. *whew*

  4. Whooohoooo!!! So happy for you Lauren :)