Monday, January 21, 2013

How I Lost A Small Child: 6 Tips To Help Beat Your Belly

After I started dating my boyfriend I put on a little comfort weight. About 30 to 35 lbs, and man did I feel shitty.
One of our most recent photos in December.

Just after Christmas last year my boyfriend started a new regime and immediately started seeing results. I was impressed, so I followed his lead. I am now back down the 35 and feeling (and looking) better than ever. It took me about two and a half months to drop the weight. I thought I would share a few of the tips that made it work for me.

I'm not going to go into detail about my eating changes, but essentially I have been living a 'keto lifestyle' since late April. Low to no carbs. Not for everyone, but it works for me. If want more info on Keto check out the links below.

Here are my six tips for weight loss:

1. Cut your drink caloric intake. Pretty simple to do, replace sugary drinks with sweetened drinks. I have always preferred diet pop, the hardest part of this for me was with energy drinks and juice. I pretty much skip juice these days, but if I need a fix will grab a tropical punch Fuze or a Vitamin Water 0. 

2. Have a dedicated partner. My boyfriend is my partner in crime, we both talk diet and exercise together, we keep it together for each other. If you cannot find someone you think will be suitable, join an online community to discuss and track your goals with others. I think that sites like the Reddit link above are best for this, you can see other peoples recipes and photos without feeling obliged to post things. I try not to tell people I am trying to lose weight (other than a 'partner') because I hate questions about progress and if its working... etc. The worst feeling the world is dieting and then knowing others don't even notice the difference, it is very discouraging. 

3. Track what your eating for at least a month. You can tie this in with the concept above. I use the app 'LoseIt' and I have online profile with a few friends from the app's forum who cheer me on as I progress. I think it is really important to look at how much your eating if you are unhappy with your weight, I gauge my caloric intake by the day and the week. As long as I am under for the week I am usually happy. I think it is the first step and really helps you be honest with where you need to cut back. For me it was just about everywhere, too much junk food. Sustain the practice for at least a month, attempt to be under the calorie count everyday and track your weight changes. 

4. Have a treat. With my specific diet I noticed it was very difficult to keep up in soccer. At my first low-carb soccer game I felt about 90 years old. So I began having a treat, once a week, to shake a sugar craving and prep for soccer. Every week, I had either two minis or one large cupcake from Calgary's local cupcake haven Crave. It was worth it! Saving the money I would normally spend on a half-ass generic quality sugar binge daily to weekly gourmet cupcake was something I could do for the rest of my life. A tiny treat for serious exercising is good, I would recommend eating first so you can burn it off quicker.

The 'new' us in August.
5. Make your own meals. Changing to a keto lifestyle required a lot more thought on creating meals. Some things are easy, burgers without buns but creating a low carb 'pizza' style meal was more work. I recommend cutting the amount of times you eat out daily. Not because it is necessarily bad for you*, but because it is a lot easier to skip the craving items when you don't give your self the option to eat them. Also, it really makes you enjoy eating your meals more. I love to eat out, so this step is the hardest for me. Bag your meals daily and think of eating out as a treat, if it helps make eating out and experience. Go to a nice restaurant, treat it like the cupcake situation above. Its about quality vs. quantity. 

A chubby photo I still love from Disneyland.
6. Keep your chubby pictures and look at them often. I did some of the coolest things while I was packing on the pounds. I went to Calgary Stampede and Disneyland. I have pictures that recapture these amazing moments, but were hindered a bit by my weight. I keep these pictures around and display them like the rest. Its nice hearing how much better I look, but the best feeling is looking at the picture and knowing I have a way to combat the bulge in the future. It also makes me feel responsible for myself, I got myself into those fat pants and I am the only person who could get myself back out. 

*I worked for McDonald's Calgary Office this summer and ate there twice a day, 4-5 days a week all summer. I managed to lose all the weight mentioned above and all I changed was not eating bread on my burger, diet or sugar free drinks and side salad instead of fries. The one little think I did miss was ketchup, I stick with a mayo based sauce to avoid sugar carbs (not a probem for you if you are not doing Keto).