One Shockingly Simple Act That Led to a 100-Pound Weight Loss

One Shockingly Simple Act That Led to a 100-Pound Weight Loss

“It’s tedious and time-consuming. It tethers you to your phone or computer and can trigger anxiety and obsessive behavior in people who get overly hung up on numbers. Yet research repeatedly demonstrates that people who keep food journals are more successful at weight loss and weight loss maintenance than those who don’t.” ~Tamara Grand, FitNitChick.comthis one trick led to a 100 pound weight loss

Listen. If you’ve been reading my stuff for long, you know that I pretty much tell it like it is. With that being said, you’ll know where I’m going with this.

There are some things we have to do if we want to meet certain goals in our lives. And sometimes, those things aren’t fun, at first, but once you get moving, you realize they’re totally worth your time. 

I’ve Got Bad News…But Not THAT Bad.

Here’s the bad news. Food tracking is one of those things when it comes to losing weight – if you want to do it successfully and long-term, you’ve got to figure out what you’re doing wrong and what you can do better. Plus, you’ve got to retrain your brain – stop thinking those “fat person” thoughts and start thinking like the hottie you really are. 

The good news is that you can do it, and even if you’re lazy and don’t like to feel uncomfortable (like MOI), you can STILL do it. 

The Harsh Truth About Food Tracking: It’s a Pain in the Ass.

So yeah. Tracking your food is TRULY a huge pain in the ass. I’m not gonna lie.

But if you can do it for a month, you can do it for six months.

And often times, if you do it for six months, you don’t have to keep doing it all the time. That’s because you can train your brain to actually WANT to eat healthier foods and in healthier ways. I swear. 

Here are some super simple food tracking hacks that will help you make it happen, too. 

Food Track-Hack #1: No Cheating (At First)

Weight Watchers Weekly Tracker/Food Journal TotalsI had to be very strict about tracking during the beginning in order to lose the weight.

I had to track LITERALLY every single day for at least six months before I felt like I was ready to try going track free.

I tracked every single thing I put in my mouth–even if it was just a handful of peanuts or a bite of a cookie. It mattered, and it changed my life.

Food Track-Hack #2: Okay, Cheat a Little (Within Reason)

Some people do well with a “cheat day” each week, others need two. My suggestion is to do one or less “days” of “freedom” at first.

Instead, I suggest a “cheat meal” option or a “cheat dessert” option once a week.

For me, the Weight Watchers bonus points (aka cheat within reason option) made it easier to understand what an appropriate amount of cheating looked like, and tracking taught me how to eat right and still live in the “real world.”

But even when you cheat, you should still track every single thing you eat. It will help to know exactly what kind of damage you’re doing–in more ways than one.

Food Track-Hack #3: Why Tracking Is Seriously Worth the Trouble

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Tracking food? Boring, waste of time, annoying, restrictive, waste of energy–doesn’t work anyway. Right?

Wrong. So wrong. And trust me, I know what I’m talking about – I learned it the hard way.

Don’t believe me?

Look at this –  a rare “no makeup” side-by-side of me before and after losing 100 pounds. (I even wrote a book about how I did it without starving, sweating or surgery so that other people could do it without having to learn the hard way.)

ang bef and afer

For me, tracking everything I ate and drank was a pain at first and felt really restrictive, but that short period of restriction ultimately led to freedom.

It will be for you too, I promise–so just do it! It is WORTH it. Now I get to wear stuff like this. Way more fun. 🙂 

ang and bill fireplace

Food Track-Hack Tip #4: Find Your Inner Gamer (Dig Deep If You Gotta)

So listen, I’m not a gamer. Honestly. But tracking sort of became a game to me, eventually. I actually (don’t tell anyone) sort of had fun with it.

I wanted to see how much I could eat while still staying within my points allowance, so I’d figure out different menu options and play with the numbers until I had the most satisfying options possible. Give it a shot!

And Freedom From Food Tracking Looks Like This

These days, I don’t track on a daily basis. But through tracking, I learned what portion sizes are healthier, which small adjustments to which dishes can reduce your fat and calories but still retain the flavor and more.

But the biggest and most important thing that six months of tracking my food helped me to learn was how to listen to my own body’s cues.

Now, I just eat what I want and nothing more or less. I pay attention to my body and feed it what it wants–and nothing else.

How the Food Tracking-Game Changed My World

Within the confines of my little game, I naturally leaned toward healthier foods. Fruits and veggies were mostly free–so I could eat a HUGE and awesome salad with a few ounces of chicken and a couple tablespoons of dressing for seven or eight points, max.

This kind of game-playing led to a change in my taste preferences. Eating greasy, cheesy, creamy, fried or otherwise bad-for-me foods suddenly became less attractive.

Now, I wanted fresh, cleaner-tasting stuff.

These days, I am able to literally eat anything I want, simply by eating healthy MOST of the time and by allowing myself to indulge on occasion.

And since I’m still working on getting those last few pounds off, I am still keeping an eye on my scale. If I notice that I plateau for too long or even gain a pound or two, I’ll go back to tracking for a few weeks so I can regain balance.

I promise, tracking your food doesn’t have to (totally) suck.  You might be surprised to find out how much (or how little) you’re really eating and how small changes in your choices can lead to big changes in your health.

Do you track your food? Have you in the past, or will you start food tracking now? Have tracking tips that worked for you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

 

Queen Bee QT: How Sitting Too Much Will Kill You (And 12 Ways to Live Longer)

Queen Bee QT: How Sitting Too Much Will Kill You (And 12 Ways to Live Longer)

We’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking by now, right? 

Smoking_woman_Kelsey (more…)

How Your Brain is Making You Fat (and 7 ways to Fix It)

How Your Brain is Making You Fat (and 7 ways to Fix It)

Would you believe me if I told you that the reason you’re struggling with your weight is all in your head? (more…)

Fire up your weight loss with this simple life hack

Fire up your weight loss with this simple life hack

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” ~John Gunther (more…)

Magic Snacking: 12 Blissed-Out Ways to Eat More and Still Lose Weight

Magic Snacking: 12 Blissed-Out Ways to Eat More and Still Lose Weight

Who doesn’t love to snack? But if you’re not careful, doing so can cause big trouble for your diet. If you frequently eat between meals, those extra portions could have a big impact on your health – either positive or negative. They will definitely play an important role in helping you to manage your weight and take in all the nutrients your body needs.

So why do so many people find that when they snack throughout the day they’re actually heavier at the end of the week? Well, it’s quite simple, really – they’re eating more calories overall. Right?

Well…sorta. See, USDA studies show that many Americans who snack are taking in about one-third of our daily empty calories from those afternoon candy bars and late night refrigerator raids.

Do you know what that means?? 

That adds up to most of us are consuming two to four times the recommended limit in solid fats and added sugars. TWO to FOUR times!

It’s enough to turn your stomach (to flab!). So what are you gonna do about it?

The Mayo Clinic suggests keeping snacks below 100 calories. “Generous portions of fruits or vegetables can easily help fill you up while staying below that calorie count. All of the following servings have fewer than 100 calories:

  • Medium apple: 95 calories
  • Small banana: 90 calories
  • Two kiwis: 84 calories
  • 20 medium baby carrots: 70 calories
  • 20 grapes: 68 calories
  • Medium orange: 65 calories
  • 20 cherry tomatoes: 61 calories
  • Medium peach: 58 calories
  • Medium red pepper: 37 calories
  • 20 pea pods: 28 calories

For comparison, one reduced-fat cheese stick has about 60 calories to 100-calories, but it also has 4.5 grams of fat. While the protein and fat may help curb your appetite, a single cheese stick may not be as satisfying as, say, 20 baby carrots, which add up to nearly 10 times the weight of the cheese stick, and have 70 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.”

blissed out tip sheet 100 calorie snacks

Blissfully Healthy Ways to Eat More and Still Lose Weight:
The Magic of Snacking

I say we revolt! Let’s turn those numbers around! But how? Oh, don’t worry, as usual, I’ve got a plan for you. See, by learning how to choose smart snacks that are good for your health and well-being. Try these blissed-out tips to get started. 

Blissed Out Eating – How to Make Better Food Choices

  1. Focus on whole grains. Bake your own treats or look for packaged food that lists whole grains as the first ingredient. Whole wheat flour has more nutrients and fiber than white flour.
  1. Take the sweet and the salty down a notch. Reduce sugar and sodium. Many junk foods are loaded with sugar and sodium. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead.
  1. Balance it out. Plan a balanced menu. Think of your snacks as miniature meals that need to include all three food groups. Along with complex carbohydrates, add in lean proteins and healthy fats.
  1. Eat the WHOLE thing! Opt for whole foods. You may be tempted to simplify things by just grabbing an energy bar or buying cookies that are labeled low fat or low sugar. In fact, many convenience foods are less healthy than the label suggests. Buy natural foods like raw nuts and plain yogurt. (Then again, if it’s a matter of convenience, don’t beat yourself up if the energy bars work best for you. Do what you need to do, yo!)
  1. Drink up. If you’re pressed for time, you can snack on healthy beverages. Tea contains antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. Water will keep you hydrated and feeling full. For heartier fare, whip up smoothies in minutes with vegetables, natural peanut butter, or other goodies.
  1. Eat more produce. On average, we’re eating 3 servings of fruits and vegetables compared to the recommendations for 7 to 13 servings. Snacks can help you fill in the gap.
  1. Find substitutions. You probably have certain snacks that you crave the most. If they’re high in sugar or saturated fat, consider how to adjust them. Oven-baked fries are much slimmer than the fast food version. A square of dark chocolate is lighter than a doughnut.

Related: The Food Tracking Game – How 6 Months of Tracking Led to a 100 Pound Weight Loss

Smart Tips for Blissed-Out Snack Habits 

  1. Keep an eye on your portion sizes. It’s easy to consume as many calories as a full meal if you’re scarfing down potato chips or cheesecake. Measure out a single serving instead of eating out of the container. And if you’re good at eyeballing, check yourself every now and then, especially if you see something crazy happening on weigh-in day. 
  1. Don’t eat mindlessly. Stay in control by giving your full attention to your food while you eat it. Enjoy the process of cracking nuts and eating them one by one instead of wolfing down a whole package while watching TV. Spoon out leftovers onto a plate and pull up a chair rather than eating with the refrigerator door open.
  1. Take it with ya. Pack a bag. Carry sensible treats around with you to avoid desperately searching for something wholesome in vending machines or gas stations. Pack a cooler with carrot sticks and yogurt drinks.
  1. Don’t get hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Manage stress and boredom. Distinguish between true hunger and appetite. Do you eat for entertainment or to comfort yourself when you feel blue? Pick up a hobby or invite a friend out for a walk instead.
  1. Keep a journal. If you need more help, a snacking journal can track how much you’re really eating. Spot the triggers that make you want to overindulge and develop strategies for dealing with them.

Choose healthy but yummy snacks that stabilize your blood sugar and give you the energy you need to cruise right on through your busy day. Good-for-you, whole foods and advance planning will help you to stay fit and healthy while you graze between meals. 

project blissful book coverWant more weight loss tips? Read the story of how I lost more than 100 pounds and kept it off!

Project Blissful is a whole-life makeover that helps you become the best possible version of yourself. Author and certified life coach Angela Atkinson has herself lost more than 100 pounds without surgery or hard-core weight loss drugs. In this book, she shares all of the intimate details on how she lost the weight and what she does to keep it off.  

Plus, you’ll learn: 

How to start losing weight today (and without feeling miserable in the process)

  • How to love yourself healthy and thin 
  • How to find your ideal weight and reach it without pain 
  • How to lose weight without traditional exercise 
  • How to baby-step your way through small habits that add up to big results 

And much more! Here’s the ebook version and here’s where you can pick up the paperback!

 

Solved! New Study Reveals the Secret Key to Finally Dropping Pounds for Good

Solved! New Study Reveals the Secret Key to Finally Dropping Pounds for Good

The authors of a recently-released study in the Journal of Obesity say they have found the solution to the age old problem of losing weight and keeping it off for good. So, when it comes to weight loss, that means I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.

First, the bad news: Most people whi lose weight gain 40 percent of their lost weight in the first year after weight loss; and, eventually regain everything they lost within five years.

The good news? There’s a pretty easy way to avoid being one of those ugly statistics.

A process called the Calorie Titration Method (CTM) resulted in significant weight loss differences between experimental and control groups during a 2-year study.

According to a news release from Cornell University, the Caloric Titration Method is really nothing more complex than stepping on a scale and checking off a data point on a chart that hangs on a bathroom wall over the scale.

You just need a bathroom scale and an excel spreadsheet or even a piece of graph paper, said David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell and the papers senior author. Dr. Levitsky tells readers that the method forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight. It used to be taught that you shouldnt weigh yourself daily, and this is just the reverse.

 

Pretty interesting stuff, right? Read the full story.

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