In the last 7 months I’ve lost 45 pounds. I went from size 20 (even though I refused to ever buy size 20 jeans so I lived in the 2 pairs of size 18 jeans that had stretched to oblivion with my growing body) to a size 14. I also have a pair of size 12 jeans that I live in because they’re size 12 and it makes me feel confident, but in reality they’re really stretchy and probably sized wrong.
I haven’t actually changed my lifestyle that much to lose the weight. I consume all the bad or questionable B’s; burgers, bourbon, beer, bread and bakery treats. Weird coincidence that most of my favorite splurges start with B’s, but there you go, I guess that’s what happens when your initials are BB.
…and when I have a burger, it’s not a dainty little burger. It normally looks like this.
How many calories do I have to stay under to lose weight?
I try to stay under 1550 calories a day using MyFitnessPal, and honestly I don’t stay under my goal all the time, but the worst I’ve really gone over is by about 600 calories. Not bad considering I probably ate around that every single day when I didn’t think about how much I was consuming. Also, if we’re being honest I only ever really go overboard on calories when we go out and I have a couple too many beers, those things add up quick. Normally even on days when I’m a little naughtier with my food selections I’m still within my calorie range, if I’m having a burger and beer for dinner I’ll have a lighter calorie lunch and breakfast that’s packed with filling protein. If I’m eating a big breakfast I might go for a lower calorie lunch and dinner.
How meal plans help me lose weight.
I’ve basically memorized how much every meal is going to be, so sometimes we do some shifting with our meal plan. For example, today we’re having Trader Joe’s Mandarin Chicken and chicken fried rice. It comes out to around 800 calories which is pretty big for a meal at home (most meals we make are 400-600 calories) so after my morning coffee (35 calories for that darn creamer) I only have a little over 700 calories for my breakfast and lunch. So today I’ll probably go for a yogurt for breakfast at under 200 calories, and stay around 300 or less calories for lunch. That way I have a little bit of wiggle room in case I’m starving to death and want a snack, I mean we are finishing the latest season of The Great British Baking Show tonight, there’s not a show in the world that makes you want bread more than The Great British Baking Show. The point is, when you have a meal plan you can easily shift things if you need to. If I really couldn’t have the 800 calories for dinner tonight I could easily make 400 calorie spaghetti with chicken sausage. It’s also a good idea to have food with a wide range of calories on your meal plan depending on how starving you are when dinner time is close.
This one pan sweet and sour chicken and veggies is super low calorie even with a bed of jasmine rice, and sinfully good.
So it all just comes down to the question, can I have burgers, and bourbon and beer (oh my!) and not derail my diet?
Can I have cheat meals and keep losing weight?
Honestly, what are these cheat meals doing to my weight loss progress?
1. They’re probably slowing down my weightloss a little bit.
2. Taught me that sometimes the donut isn’t worth it when you’re starving to death 20 minutes later and have 3 hours until lunch. I’m learning about what fuels my body and it’s a great thing.
3. Indulging occasionally is keeping me from ditching my diet completely and honestly, that’s worth the slower weight gain. Sustainable diets are your friend, stick with something that you can stick with forever. I’m not counting down the days until I’m done dieting, because I don’t think I’ll ever be done. Once I hit a weight I’m happy with I might up my calories a bit so I can maintain my weight rather than lose.
MyFitnessPal teaches you great habits.
I’ve been “dieting” for 7 months and it doesn’t feel like it. I think if I stopped using MyFitnessPal today I would still be able to lose or at least maintain the weight I’m at, because I’ve learned how much my body needs everyday. I won’t be doing that experiment though, because I have a 221 day streak that I don’t want to lose. I’m more in tune with what I need, and I can still have the foods I want in moderation. Now that I’ve been on a low calorie diet I basically can’t eat much more than my daily calorie goal, I feel fuller much quicker. Our old habits used to be so bad, we would eat terrible all day, then go to a restaurant for dinner, and head to a bakery for dessert afterwards. I can’t even imagine how sick I’d feel if we did that today.
Overall, I’m really happy with how this journey has been going. Here’s a video below that shares a little bit about the changes I’ve made in my life. I love this video because I cut in a little part of a video I made back in April when I was 240 pounds and determined to lose weight, it looks like I’m a different person completely.
Notice in this video I have no idea how much weight I still want to lose, it’s because I really have no idea. I’ve been crushing my goals. My first goal was to weight 209 pounds, which was where I was at after losing the baby weight after having Aliceana, my 2nd goal was to be under 200 pound, my next goal is 190 pounds by Christmas. I’ve been using more manageable goals to judge my progress and it’s a lot easier than having a big overall weight loss goal that would make me feel like I’m not making progress at all. If my original goal was to be 180 pounds I would have been working on losing weight for 7 months and only be 75% of the way to my goal. It feel much better to be working on goal number 3. I’m going to have to work hard, but I’m determined to not to overindulge too often and to get to my next goal by Christmas.
What is your favorite cheat meal that you couldn’t live without? Let me know in the comments below.
Written by, Brittany, the geek behind the blog. I share lots of recipes, my thoughts on the latest tech gadgets, my favorite geeky games, and snippets of life as a Work-at-home mom.