What are the next steps after meeting your weight loss goal?
Obviously, no one wants to gain weight back after a diet. No one, I am convinced, wants to be on roller coaster ride of gains and losses. The objective is to maintain your new weight.
On August 10th, we started our weight loss journey with a keto/atkins style diet. To, date, I’ve lost over 12 pounds going from 137 to 125. My husband has lost more, faster, and has been struggling to maintain a weight of 175. He hovers between 171-173 daily now, losing over 18 pounds.
There’s a difference between weight loss for men and women. If you are a woman tackling weight loss with a male significant other, be aware of this difference and do not let it discourage you. Women, especially middle aged women, have hormones that make losing the weight more difficult. But, it can be done. Just stick with the diet and other healthier life style changes like routine exercise and proper sleep hygiene.
There are a couple of things that aided our diet journey. 1) a FitBit activity tracker device. This worked to let me know how much I was moving each day. Again, my husband collected many (thousands) more steps each day than I. But, the FitBit told me when I and done well and when I needed to do better. I aimed for three to four days of exercise, usually by walking 2-4 miles each time. I also like to dance around my kitchen for fun. Don’t laugh too hard – it burns calories! Another tool to aid our journey was the Atkins website. I know I’ve mentioned this before and I do not want to be redundant but whether you use this, the calorie counter on My Fitness Pal or another way to record your intake, doing so will let you see where you can cut more calories. Because, calories do count! It is not enough to just eat low carb, you also need to keep your calories within a specific range. The Atkins site will help you calculate what range is right for you to be successful in weight loss. Remember you cannot take in more than you burn, even if it is low carb! 3) You need a source for recipes. We’ve used the internet and recommendations from friends who have also used the keto diet successfully. I bought a Keto Cookbook but the dishes I made from it were not tasty, so we moved on to find a different alternative. I really like the Castle in the Mountains website. 4) Take time to shop and look for low carb products. As you move to making more low carb recipes, you’ll find they call for some unusual ingredients. You might need extra time to find where (or, even if) these can be purchased. I’ve made use of our two local grocery store chains, Target, and Sam’s Club to obtain things like almond flour, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, xanthum gum, and alternative sweeteners like Stevia and Swerve. Prepare yourself to be shocked at the price.
Dieting is not cheap.
One also needs to be prepared for some shock that will come from looking at recipes and at the nutritional information found on food labels. If you are eating for 20 or 40 grams of carbs a day total, this is extremely important information to get used to finding and understanding. It includes looking at serving size and limiting your intake to fit the a serving or less, not a serving or more! One place that will illustrate this is a bag of tortilla chips. One serving will be very much less than you have probably become accustomed to eating. Overeating is a habit that must change to be successful at dieting. My husband and I, both former health care providers who had some formal education in nutrition, learned so much by taking the low carb diet seriously! Basically, if you can afford to eat by eating fresh, unprocessed foods, you will be doing your body a favor, even if your weight loss takes time.
What about treats?
For a treat, my husband and I turned to Kind Brand Mini’s. At 90 calories each, and 4-5 total carbs depending on the flavor of the bar, they served as a sweet but not damaging snack. For a bigger snack, we got the Atkins Carmel Chocolate Nut Roll Bar. They are 180 calories and 3 net carbs per serving. I still have a latte each morning, but I make it at home with almond milk now. It’s 30 calories and 2 shots of espresso with a cup of unsweetened almond milk. I have a $40.00 Aeropress Coffee/Espresso maker and $60.00 milk frother that I had since Mother’s Day this year. The two gadgets do a great job of simulating a specialty coffee drink that is much healthier and so much less expensive. Both can be found on Amazon.
Learn to buy and eat nuts (raw, unsalted) as a treat. Or, if you’re like me, I have a serving for breakfast with a quarter cup of berries (blueberries or raspberries). It holds me until lunch with my latte mid-morning.
Weight loss is possible! We live in a fast paced society where grab and go meals have become commonplace. Dieting is a chance to slow down, enjoy your meal preparations, and understand how you are fueling your body. Good luck!