Wednesday, July 4

weigh down wednesday :: what works

Welcome to part 2 of what I guess is my weight loss series.
Last week I gave you a history of my battle(s) of the bulge.
This week I will fill you in on what does and does not work (at least for me).

As someone who has tried just about every "fad" diet out there I can tell you that yes, those diets work.
But only for as long as you're following them 100% completely.
As soon as you start to deviate, the pounds will come back, and often with a vengeance.
Also, most of these diets are just plain dumb, unhealthy and unrealistic.

I've done it all.
Detoxes. The Grapefruit Diet. The Cabbage Soup Diet. Atkins. South Beach. Diet Pills. And more.
How did they work?
Well, I lost weight, but I felt deprived, irritable, run down, and more often than not couldn't make it past a few weeks.
Then I went back to more former eating habits (or worse after feeling deprived) and gained weight back.
Added to that, my run with diet pills, which included ephedra, left me barely eating and experiencing super scary heart palpitations.
What fun!

The diet system that has worked the absolute best for me in the past was Jenny Craig.
I felt satisfied. I didn't have to cut out any food group. And best of all, most of the grunt work was done for me.
I ended up losing quite a bit of weight in a few short months, but then, of course, got pregnant. ;)

Fast forward to March of this year.
The hubs and I were seriously discussing making room in our finances for me to do the "other" Jenny Craig program. NutriSystem.
The plus side was that it was cheaper than Jenny, but the downside was that I had heard that the food wasn't very good.
After looking at the website and determining that most of the food was of the "shelf-stable" variety (gross!), and that you had to buy a one month supply at a time, I decided that this wasn't the program for me.

So, taking my previous knowledge/experience of Jenny, I decided to tailor my own program.
 For the past 3+ months my diet has mainly consisted of pre-packaged food, such as Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Smart Ones meals.
And yes, I know that there are preservatives and excess sodium and not a lot of veggies, etc. in these meals, but I decided that for the time being, while reteaching my body portion control, that it was worth the rest of that stuff to have the ease of not worrying about measuring and preparing my food.

I eat between 1200 and 1300 calories a day.
Three "frozen" meals and several pre-portioned snacks.
I also add in my own fruits and veggies.
Pretty much daily I have a big salad with lower calorie, measured out dressing.
And I have 1 (or 2) cheat days a week.
This has led me to have a 31.5 pound weight loss since March 26th.
All with no exercising. Yet.

This is not something I plan on keeping up forever.
It is just the easiest, most result producing thing I can do right now.
I still cook for my family, so it's nice to be able to just pop my meals in the microwave and not have to worry about measuring out every last thing I use to prepare my meals to make sure that I stay within my calorie limit for the day.
As I get closer to my goal weight I will start to prepare more of my own (healthier) food.
I will also start to ease my way into a real exercise program, since I'll eventually be eating more calories and will need to balance the calories taken in with calories expelled.

Seriously, it's that simple.
Calories in vs. calories out.
It's science.

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