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In August of 2010, one of my members of Getting in Shape 2010 group recommended I joined Sparks People. I thought what the heck, since my virtual trainer was giving me issues. Well I set up my profile, entered how much exercise I do a week, and what my goal was and guess what? It calculated how many calories I needed to lose 1.5 lbs a week. Don’t forget I was eating only 1200 calories a day. Sparks told me I needed to eat 1550 at the low end and 1700 on the high end. I was so happy, I could eat!!!! It was like a new world opened up for me.
Having a healthy option at your fingertips when you’re starving can make all the difference between sticking to your goals and giving in to temptation. “I keep little containers of hummus and carrots, pickles, nuts and dried apricots, salsa and rice crackers, and other healthy combos in the front of my fridge and pantry so they are literally the first thing I see when I open the door,” says Lita Moreno. “I don’t even give myself a choice to cheat.” This one little change has helped her drop almost 80 pounds.
Why does this popular plan work? For one thing, it pushes wildly healthy staples to the forefront (think: nuts, vegetables, fruit, olive oil). For another, it's simply delicious, thanks to it's focus on fresh, simply prepared dishes like grilled fish with lemon and whole wheat pita with hummus. Science agrees: One meta-review of 16 studies, found the eating M.O. helped those on it lose an average of 8.5 pounds.
At that point, I stopped with the drinking and going to bars, but still didn’t exercise and I didn’t cut back on the eating. I ended up going down to about 172lbs. That seems to be where my weight stayed for years, and I excepted that. If you punch in my height and weight, I was at the top of my average range. People in my family made comments here and there but nothing to make me think differently. I didn’t know I had a weight issue. I remember my Grandmother saying to me “your Mother at your age was skinny”. I remember that hurt my feelings, but it still didn’t do anything. I thought this is where I was suppose to stay. I didn’t know how to lose weight.
"Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets."
However, if you’re already on medication and think it could be hampering weight loss efforts, speak with your doctor about your options. It may be possible to transition to a more natural option, like a natural form of birth control, coming up with a plan to transition off medication or simply trying an alternative that’s not known to cause weight gain.
About: Contrary to the title, Helen’s blog is anything but “another weight loss blog.” Helen’s been on a journey to lose weight since June 2013. She’s had many ups and downs along the way — which is one of the best things you’ll notice about her posts: that she never gives up and she is extremely positive no matter how difficult things get. If you’re looking to find real encouragement from someone who knows, look no further.
It can be harder to lose weight after menopause. In fact, many women gain an average of 5 pounds after menopause.5 Lower estrogen levels may play a role in weight gain after menopause. But weight gain may be caused by your metabolism slowing down as you age, less-healthful eating habits, and being less active. You also lose muscle mass as you age, so you use fewer calories.