Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wow, that's weird--a diet plan that is working

For the first time in ... oh about forever, I have been losing weight.  The last 2+ weeks I have lost 3 pounds--and relatively painlessly.  Actually, I only diet about once ever 5-6 years.  I'm not officially overweight, but the 1 lb./yr weight gain is really starting to add up. 

The iPod app Livestrong (also available on the internet: Livestrong.com) is key.  With it, I've gone back to the basics, following the "calories in, calories out" model.  In other words, to maintain one's weight, one must not eat more than the calories one expends in energy.

It is easy to enter each thing I eat (type, "apple" or "nature valley trail mix"); the Livestrong app looks up and tracks the calories (plus sodium, fat, protein, sugar...).   I can also enter any exercise, which adds calories back into my "remaining calories" column (how many more calories I can eat that day to stay on track with losing 1 lb/wk).  For me, this has been a great incentive to exercise more.

Surprisingly, I haven't been feeling hungry--not any more, anyway, than when I'm not dieting.  (In contrast to something like the Twinkie Diet.  With that, I'd just get sugar highs and then crashes, at which point I'd be suddenly starving and desperate for food.)  I'm eating many more vegetables and fruits: fewer calories, more nutrients, and keep me feeling full for longer.

We'll see how long this works.  I started at 143.6 lbs and am now down to 140.0 after 2.5 weeks (I'm 5' 5").  The plan is to stay on the "lose 1lb/wk" calorie plan until I get down to 138.  And then I'll move into the "lose 1/2 lb/wk" mode, which will be easier to maintain over a longer period.

Beyond that, we'll see. I don't want to get my hopes up too high, as I my get frustrated and then abandon the diet.  Last year my doctor gave me the goal of 137, so if I get there, I will be very happy!

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