The program I follow is self-prescribed and simple:
- I walk 3+ miles per day, 5 days a week (about an hour).
- I limit calories to under 1500 (more like 1200, in fact)
- I do something nice for myself every day (this is harder than you might think)
- I log (yes or no) if I engage in any emotional eating
I log everything on a shared spreadsheet where my friend and I exchange comments and encouragement for each other.
Only a few times has the walking been difficult because of weather. But I walk on a flat area that has helped me to build up my stamina and improve my pace. I use RunKeeper.com and GPS on my phone to track my walks and prompt me at each half mile I achieve. Today I walked 4.4 miles. When I walk in the morning, my energy is up and I can last longer. At the end of this program I plan to start walking more on the hills, improving my pace, and varying my exercise with bike riding as weather permits. Minimum an hour a day, whatever the activity.
Limiting calories would be hard except that I am very careful about what I choose to eat right now. You can eat a lot of vegetables with a very low calorie count. I add no butter and I limit even olive oil which has 120 calories per tablespoon. No food is "illegal" but if I want to eat out, I compensate at other meals. Usually I'll eat half and take the rest home for another meal. At home sandwiches are one slice of bread instead of two. I use light soy milk on dry cereal instead of regular milk. Many dinners are nothing but veggies. I bought a little notebook that is just for tracking food and calories--each day starts on a new page. I've had only a couple of days where I exceeded my goal, only as a result of social eating. But I have no guilt for that as I also need to be with friends and sometimes that involves food. But one thing is for sure: if I'm going to consume more calories, they'd darn well better be extra delicious! The key to success is planning ahead what I will eat and having low calorie snacks on hand for when I really feel the need.
I've wanted to track the emotional eating issue to see if my state of mind affects how I eat. I think I've been so successful at keeping a positive viewpoint, that I have rarely had episodes I would call emotional eating. And even then, I'll just have a fruit or graham cracker and stay within allowed calories. But as they say, nothing succeeds like success. The more I lose, the more motivated I am to stick with it.
Our challenge ends in two more weeks, but I am going to continue my program for longer and continue tracking. Even though I've lost quite a bit, I still have a long ways to go to reach my ideal weight. Incidentally, weight goals are not in my program. I do weigh, but I don't have a target for each week. I know if I follow the plan, the pounds will come off, and they do.
Continuing to emerge.