Question Mark

So, if you’ve read my last few posts, you know I’m currently trying out an experiment to boost my weight loss rate. Don’t worry – I’m not shooting for anything unhealthy. It’s just slowed down quite a bit and I’d like to see it back around 1-2 pounds per week.

My first experiment to remedy this was to increase my protein intake. For the last 3 weeks I’ve been shooting for 50% protein in comparison to fats and carbs. If I saw at least some weight loss each week with this plan, then I’d continue doing it.

Now that the 3 weeks is over, I can happily say that it has worked! I’ve lost about 2.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks. It’s still not exactly the rate I’d like but that’s way better than where I’ve been lately. Yay!

Here’s where it gets fun.

Apparently I wasn’t getting in as much protein as I thought. Take it from me people – reading nutrition labels is important! You’d think I’d know that after all this time. But yesterday, I discovered that I’ve been eating something pretty regularly in the last few weeks that I thought was high in protein (low in everything else) when, in fact, it’s high in carbs and only ok in protein. Doh!

So this brings my whole experiment into question because I suspect my protein percentage will be quite a bit different if I go back and correct my food tracker. BUT I have been losing weight faster so SOMETHING has been working.

I guess all I can do is correct my tracker and see where that puts me. Maybe I’ve still been hitting high protein but replacing this high-carb item will accelerate things more. Or maybe I’ll see something else entirely that may be helping me lose. 

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know what I find out! 😊

Advertisements

Vacation Recap

So we all know the deal about the best laid plans, right? My pre-planning for our cruise this past weekend ended up not doing me much good for one very important reason I didn’t think of – the MyFitness Pal and Fitbit apps don’t really work without an internet connection.

As such, the only numbers I can report are from my Fitbit. With that, I’m happy to say that I hit my step goal (12,500 steps/day) each day of our cruise. Yay! I just couldn’t track calories or see how many calories I was allowed to eat to know if I was staying within my calorie count.

All that being said, I feel pretty good about the trip overall. Even though I couldn’t offficiallt track anything, I feel pretty confident that I stayed the course. While I still prefer to track all food to be safe, I have been tracking consistently for 2/3 of the year so I have a pretty good concept of what I can eat and how many calories most food items are. Also, I hadn’t gained any weight by the time I got back. I know it was only a 3-day trip but let’s be honest – weight gain could have still been possible. So I’m taking 0 weight gain as a big win.

I’m also happy because of the protein strategy I’m working on. I couldn’t weigh in this weekend, obviously, but I do have some good news to report. See, I also weigh in daily, although I only “count” my weekend weigh-ins. Because I do that I know that I tend to weigh in about 2-3 pounds heavier during the week and I see all my weight loss (when it occurs) on the weekend. So last week was fun because my weekday weigh-in amount dropped AND on Friday (the closest I could get to a weekend weigh-in) I was about half a pound lighter than my lowest weight so far. Yay!

So I’m officially counting that as week 1 of my 3-week test for high protein and calling it a success. Now we just need to see if I have weight loss this week and next. Fingers crossed!

Healthy Cruising

I attribute a lot of my successful weight loss this year to being very mindful of those times that are especially difficult to stay on track: vacations, big projects at work, special occasions, etc. Pre-planning how I will stay the course through these has been the only way I’ve continued to lose weight/inches.

Well now it’s time to do it again! My husband and I are going on a weekend cruise starting today. πŸ™‚ Normally I’d try to pre-plan sooner than this but hey, better late than never, right? This pre-plan may not be as detailed as other ones I’ve done because there are a lot of unknowns. I only have a vague idea of the food that will be available, for example.

Here’s what I DO know:

  • There will be a lot of buffets. This means an easy opportunity to overeat but it also means there will be choices. So I just need to be mindful and choose wisely.
  • There is a gym on the ship so if I want to be really good I can go for a run each day.
  • There’s a lot of fun ways to be physically active on the ship – basketball courts, scavenger hunts, etc. So what’s maybe more likely is that I’ll insist we just have fun and stay active at the same time.
  • There will be ice cream available for free 24/7. Now this is my big problem. I love ice cream and let’s be honest, ice cream all day would be an amazing vacation – if it were calorie-free. I think the best thing I can do here is limit myself to one per day and just savor that one.

Some of this may seem silly and obvious but thinking through it and writing it down helps get me centered and thinking straight.

What do you do to keep yourself on track during vacation?

Protein Power!

Well, hopefully protein has power – I guess we’ll see! I’ve officially launched my first strategic mission to jog my weight loss. I’m not looking for anything unhealthy – just the standard 1-2 pounds per week rather than my current average of 1-2 pounds every 2 weeks.

If you read my last post than you know I’m planning on testing out a few nutritional changes with the hopes of finding a strategy that will help with this. The first strategy I decided to try is increasing my protein percentage in relation to my carb and fat intake. My goal: 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat.

This will not be a permanent change. It’s just intended to help me trim down on excess fat so I can continue building muscle with a good baseline. My plan is to fight for this percentage during the week and relax a bit on the weekends so I have some balance. Then, eventually, I’ll ease back to normal protein portions.

Yesterday was my first day trying this and it was pretty interesting! First, let me give my results. I wrapped up the day at 44% protein, 33% carbs, and 23% fat. I actually spent most of the day around the 53% protein mark and only dropped because my original dinner plans fell through and had to be replaced last minute with something higher carb.

What was funniest for me, though, was how much food I was eating for so few calories. I felt so full after every meal (although it never took long for that feeling to ease up) yet I found myself struggling at the end of the day to get in enough calories.

I already have one good takeaway from this – I need more protein-based food at home! I’ve got a ton of it at work but last night when I was trying to find something to fill those extra calories, my only real option would have been to defrost and cook some meat, which wasn’t happening at 8:30 last night!

Today is wrapping up well. I’m currently at about 56% protein but I still have dinner to go so we’ll see how it all shakes out!

Next Mission

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! For me, it was nice because the family I visited is also working on losing weight. That means I had plenty of healthy options and got a lot of activity in to make up for the unhealthy ones. πŸ™‚

Now that that’s over and my work craze is basically done, it’s time to target my attention and try some new things on my weight loss journey. Overall, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at because I’m still losing. That being said, it’d be really nice if I could start losing weight a little more quickly. Right now I’m losing an average of half a pound to a full pound every two weeks and I’d like to bump that up to every week, if possible.

I’ve tried quite a few things over the last few months to increase my loss ratio but nothing’s really worked – probably because I haven’t been able to stick with anything consistently. So, what I’d like to do is some test runs – try a new strategy for 3 weeks at a time. If I can get 3 weeks of consistent loss (no matter how much it is) I’ll stick with that strategy for a while.

In thinking through strategies, I intend to focus primarily on my food, which is a little out of character for me. I always gravitate toward trying a new workout or increasing physical activity. However I do know that nutrition is 90% of the issue so I’m putting my faith in that for the moment. 

My current nutrition isn’t bad – I consistently hit a set deficit and get plenty of good calories in. But if I’m being honest, my current nutrition is probably closer to what it should be once I’m aiming to maintain my weight.

A few ideas come to mind on what could be off with my nutrition:

  • Protein percentage. If I don’t think too much about it my protein intake is usually less than 15% when compared with fat and carbs. If I really am mindful I can get it around 30% but I’ve read that it should be close to 50% to maximize fat loss.
  • Deficit. I currently work off a 500 calorie deficit but I worry that I may have inaccuracies with how many calories I’m burning, which may mean I’m inadvertently eating less or more than I should.
  • Grams of carbs. In theory, this would go down if I focus more on protein but I’m noting it because I noticed my grams of carbs tend to be higher than they should be even when my intake percentage doesn’t seem that high.
  • Sodium. I inconsistently hit my sodium goal. It’d be interesting to see what kind of difference consistency could make.
  • Sugar. Since I started working on weight loss I’ve worked hard to cut out artificial sweeteners. Of course that means my real sugar intake has gone up so lowering that number by true reduction in sugary foods would probably help.

To kick this mission off, I’m going to start off with the goal of increasing my protein percentage. Not sure yet what my strategy for doing that will be but I’m working on it!

What about all of you? What kind of tweaks could you make to improve your nutrition?