I have tried SO many times to lose weight......cabbage soup, Slimfast, Richard Simmons, the list goes on and on. The only thing I had never tried was going to the doctor. Simple, huh? You have a health issue, you should go to the doctor. I just never did it that way.
So I decided that now was the time. Eating healthy is MUCH more expensive than eating "freebies" from coupon shopping. However the real expense I paid for all that free food was more and more weight gain. Don't get me wrong -- I still love a good deal! I have simply cut back on my grocery couponing ways. Of course, the fact that my lovely DH got a fantastic new job that allowed me to pretty much have an unlimited grocery budget made the transition to eating healthier a lot easier.
Now -- what you really want to know: HOW DID I LOSE SO MUCH SO QUICKLY?
1) When you weigh what I did (umm...wayyyy too much), you will lose about 10-12 pounds of water weight in the first week alone. The rest was all hard work.
2) The doctor prescribed me phentermine, which is a generic form of Adipex. It is an appetite suppressant -- which I desperately needed. This makes me NEVER feel like I am hungry. When I do eat, I lose interest in food very quickly, so I am eating much, much less than I did before the medicine. It is not intended for people with 5-10 pounds to lose. This is a medicine that is for obese people, and I fit into that category.
3) I drastically reduced the amount of calories I take in. If you think of calories like a checkbook, you have deposits (what you eat) and withdrawals (what you burn). The goal is to go into caloric "overdraft" so that you are basically burning more calories than you take in. When you weigh more, you burn more calories because it takes more energy to move more mass. As you lose, you have to work out harder to still burn the same amount of calories. Your body burns 10X your weight a day just to survive. For every 3,500 calories you are in "withdrawal" you will lose 1 pound. My doctor put me on a 1,500 calorie a day diet. Never, EVER go below 1,200. EVAH!
4) You have to work out to lose more quickly. The first week I could only walk 20 minutes at a slug's pace. And that was pushing it. The next week I began to build energy and stamina and was walking faster. At the end of four weeks, I could easily walk an hour, at a quick pace. Now (about 6 weeks into the plan), I walk about an hour a day, incorporating 10-12 flights of stairs. The place I walk is upstairs. I walk about five minutes, then race down the flight of stairs and go back up. This adds more calories to my burn pile. The faster you move, the harder you work, the more calories you burn.
5) I eat healthy foods. Lean protein, complex carbs, fruits, veggies, low-fat yogurt and cheeses. I eat wonderful food -- I am just learning to eat it healthier. I keep up with all of my calories -- whether it comes from a donut or an apple. I still eat an occasional "bad food". Life would be dreadful without donuts!
6) LOTS of water. Divide your weight in half. You need that many ounces of water a day. 8 glasses is great, if you only weigh 128 pounds. The more you weigh, the more you need. Carbonated beverages are off limits. The carbonation seeps into your fat cells and blows them up. You will not lose fat cells, but they will shrink. This rule alone can help you lose up to a dress size in a couple of weeks.
7) Rest. If you work out every day (or at least 5 days a week), you need time to get adequate rest. Not only sleep, but just time to relax your body before you go to sleep.
Sounds simple, right? It's all of the tricks that your mom and grandmother knew -- but as a society we try to fast track everything. If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey, remember his plan is just basics in life. The best weight loss comes from the basics.
And even though you have heard it a million times, I am gonna say it anyway. YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE TO CHANGE YOUR BODY PERMANENTLY! If you lose 20 pounds then go back to eating McDonald's every day for breakfast, it will seep back on! I am NOT on a diet -- I have changed my lifestyle!
I have now lost about 45 pounds -- and if I went back to my old ways it would be back before the Easter bunny got here! Good luck to all of you trying to lose weight!!!