Counting Calories To Lose Weight, My Success Story

counting calories

Counting calories to lose weight in my world of weight loss is KING. I was able to lose MOST if not ALL of my weight by meticulously counting calories. 

But, like all things there are some folks who are so negative about a good thing. They call counting calories to lose weight unsustainable, tedious, & unhealthy.

I count calories religiously and I will tell ANY weight loss hopeful to do the same.

But just to be on the fair side of things, we will spend some time talking about both negatives and positives. I think by the end of this you’ll be more inclined to begin the counting than not.

Of course “negative” sides exist, but I’ll show you why you should look past those and count TF out of your calories daily.

How Do I Count Calories?

I count calories like anybody else.

I look at the labels to determine the serving size. And If I am feeling particularly picky, I’ll scrutinize the macros too. Once I determine the serving size, I plug the info in the calorie app and bam I’m enjoying my meal.

This is how everybody counts their calories.

If apps aren’t your thing you can also jot them down in a notebook but you’ll need to know the specific calories of each item of food.

Why Do
I Count Calories?

If you’ve been keeping up with my journey for a while then you know that I’ve been losing weight since losing weight been losing weight.

Did you catch that? I said, I’ve been losing weight, since losing weight, been losing weight. This means that I’ve been at this weight loss thing for a while now. I’m not a single or double digit–weight loserer (made complete sense to me).

+ Related Reading:
How I Lost 60 LB, In Under A Year: Exact Steps

When I start the journey, I usually have BIG triple digit numbers to lose. That means that once we start this journey, I’d better strap my seat belt on tight AF because we’ll be on this weight loss ride for a while.

Simply put, I count calories because, time is a-wasting.

Guessing the numbers & hoping and praying it all works out in the end–is a big time waster. I think that when you’re first starting out its advisable to start with just cutting back on problematic foods. Cutting back gets you into the swing of being without your faves without feeling completely deprived. A super-duper KEY to my weight loss.

But once you’ve moved past the first couple of weeks on the journey and those little Bambi legs are long and strong, it’s time to count them calories, boo.

This leads me to my very next point which is a clear example of how NOT counting calories wasted about 3 months of my time.

Counting Calories Fool
Proof’s The Journey

If weight loss is basically summed up into one very clear & widely accepted rule of creating caloric deficit, how do you know if you are in deficit if you are unaware of the calories in which you must deficit (on a roll with these made up word/analogies).

In my journey there was a point where I was not counting calories (the horror). I was doing everything right. A gallon of water was required drinking and I nailed it–daily. I ate completely clean, whole foods only. I had lots of protein, piles of vegetables on my plate but a month had gone by and I was down maybe 2 LBS.

I became extremely frustrated with my progress (or lack-thereof) that I almost gave up. Then I decided to really up the ante and count my calories. The very next month my weight loss hit almost 8 LB. That’s 3x’s the amount it was when I estimating alone. When I was 277 lb, I stopped eating ice cream and drank 2 gallons of water and saw a dramatic drop in weight. But as I continued to lose weight, those methods stopped being effective.

If I wanted to keep losing weight, I had to get a little more deliberate. There is nothing more deliberate and intentional when you want to lose weight than counting calories.

Counting calories is a deliberate action towards weight release. 

Counting calories fool proof’s the journey by making it easier to stay within a range that facilitates or makes losing weight happen. There isn’t any guessing whether or not what you’ve been eating and how hard you’ve been exercising is working. Calorie counting–if you are strict, will get you there.

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Free Fillable Workbook / Start The Journey Today

Counting Calories Is A
Stay On Track Incentive

There is no doubt in my mind that folks can lose weight by simply eyeballing their portions and reducing problematic foods. I’ve done this multiple times and at the very beginning this kind of “intuitive” eating is effective but will quickly become unsustainable.

Intuitive eating is like the hippie version of how to lose weight and like hippies, long term effectiveness can become a bit flaky.

I think of counting calories as an accountability partner.

Counting calories forces me to be aware of when I am coming close to my threshold and I absolutely cannot afford to “bite” or “taste” anything else other than what has been planned for the day.

In essence counting calories to lose weight makes it less likely to cheat on the journey. I am less inclined to cheat because I have a visual representation of my over-eating. Counting calories or even just having a basic idea of the calories in each meal gives me the cues I need to either STOP eating or increase the nutrient density in each meal to avoid hunger.

If I am not counting calories, I’m going to gain weight. When I am not counting my calories and keeping track of my intake, eating feels like a free-for-all and I begin to consume more than I normally would.

When you count calories, you are sending yourself signals about consumption that you normally wouldn’t had the accountability factor of counting your calories did not exist.

If you go beyond your caloric limit, that is an active choice and you’ll have to do a different set of work to resolve those issues. But, you can think of calorie counting as your accountability partner.

What Are The
Downsides To Calorie Counting?

There are downsides to EVERYTHING in life even my fave, counting calories.  The good part? There aren’t many, just about 3 universal negative arguments against counting calories.

I’m a libra and we are the FAIRest of them all, so we’ll dig into some downsides & how to overcome them.

Downside 1: Counting Calories
Can Mentally Deter You

If you aren’t deep into the journey, you may not know how your body functions with different macros & various times of the month. 

For example, there are some days where my calories are 100%. But, maybe my sodium level increased. The next morning when I weigh myself the scale can either not budge or become inflated. For the new weight loserer–this is disappointing. Disappointment can lead to a backslide. 

+Click Here
Free Fillable Workbook / Start The Journey Today

If you weigh yourself as frequently as I do (daily) then the possibility for discouragement is HIGH HIGH HIGH especially in the beginning.

Once you’ve learned what works for your body, such as what stalls the scale then you can take the disappointment and turn it into sheer motivation to do better.

The greatest part about counting calories is you have a set of data that will continuously give you insight to your progress. The data you collect will make it easier to make changes as you progress in the journey. BUT, nothing motivates me more than reading the data & seeing that I had been sort-of-kind-of staying compliant & the seeing sort-of-kind-of results reflected on the scale.

I became invigorated & ready to buckle down & commit fully to the journey. It never fails but this kind of mind trick takes time to develop.

Downside 2: Counting
Calories Is Tiresome

This is probably the biggest push back anti-calorie counters folks will argue. But it’s on deaf ears for one simple ass reason. Counting calories is only tiresome if your goals are dependent on time rather than progress at any rate. A super duper key to my weight loss has been knowing that it will take some time.  If overnight success is your goal you’re not very steady in your process.

Weight loss takes time & requires an enormous amount of effort. Counting calories is both of those things. Keto is hard. We eat hoards of carbohydrates daily & cutting back is extremely challenging but science shows that you’ll see results rapidly with Keto hence it’s huge following despite in effectiveness long term. You can’t do Keto for the rest of your life but you can learn how to control portions, serving sizes & re-direct “hunger.”

Truth is, taking the time to count those calories is a minor inconvenience at most.

My final thought on the idea that counting calories is tiresome,  it’s either I know where I stand each day with my weight loss efforts, or I waste time guessing & hoping that my quick and easy guesstimates result in weight loss.

Losing weight is a series of choices.

All of it will feel hard at the very beginning but it’s those of us that continue to move past discomfort that make it to their goals. 

Downside 3: Counting
Calories Is Not Sustainable

Counting calories is probably the most natural way to lose weight. You gained the weight by not being cognizant of the intake of problematic foods in the first place. Shouldn’t the first line of defense be to reverse that action? 

I’ve been counting calories for almost 2 years. Counting calories is not the most tedious task a person can take on. I eat most of the same things each week during the journey. This makes it kind of sort of easy to plug in my meals as my food is being prepared/cooked.

When you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s not something that feels like a chore it becomes as natural as breathing.

Counting calories is very sustainable for long periods of time because it teaches you about self control.

Fad diets like keto result in quick losses but once you begin to eat higher amounts of carbohydrates your efforts are reversed and weight is regained.

Counting your calories can be as little as reducing 500 calories per day.

You can’t reduce if you don’t know where you start–therefore counting your calories even just to get an idea of how much you consume regularly is absolutely required. 

 


There isn’t one right way to health and fitness. As long as you aren’t harming yourself to lose weight, it’s ok to find what works for you. You’ll have to experiment with whatever works to get to YOUR after.

Whatever you decide, let me know in the comments!

 

6 Best Low Impact Home Workouts That Are Beginner Friendly & My Favorite

In this pandemic, finding a killer home workout is a necessity. With the covid-19 cases ramping up and wreaking havoc on all of our most loved past times, the gym is not a place anyone wants to be right now. 

Not only that, the enforced mask policy makes it real hard to get a cardio session in without feeling like you’re about to pass the hell out. Trust me, I’ve tried. Mask with cardio is just not gonna work.

I’m proof that you do not need a gym membership to be successful at weight loss as I am 71 pounds down and have yet to join a gym.

To be really honest, I’d choose these next 6 low impact beginner friendly home workouts over the gym ANY DAY, during any season. Down  I utilized each and every one of the below low impact, beginner friendly workouts and I hope you get into some of them soon.

WHO Should Choose Low Impact & Beginner Friendly Home Workouts?

The kind of person who would choose a low impact beginner friendly workout is as follows:

  • anyone who is a current couch potato or mostly inactive.
  • someone who is recovering from an injury.
  • a newly postpartum woman wanting to just get moving.
  • someone who wants to workout but does not want it to be exhausting (me, this is me).

I am the biggest advocate for easing into fitness. I like my at home workouts to be just as easy, lazy and effective as I am.

When I began the journey, I knew I wanted to get fit but I also knew that I did not want to compromise my time and my joints.

WHY Choose Low Impact & Beginner Friendly Home Workouts?

Because it’s effective, periodt.

There is a HUGE myth about losing weight that I hope to do a lot of work destroying. Some people still believe that you need to be killing shit in the gym to see significant weight loss. That’s cute, but it’s WRONG!

In the very beginning, it’s best to put more focus on controlling intake & building consistency. Science has proven over and over again that you really ONLY need to create a caloric deficit to lose weight. You don’t necessarily need to workout.

BUT working out has an endless list of benefits besides aiding in weight loss. I’d argue that working out in conjunction with balanced eating will render MORE weight loss than caloric deficit alone. BUT, you will never ever outwork poor diet–those are facts boo.

Which is why I would prefer you smash your nutrition goals + get moving (even a little) than staying sedentary.

Why I Love Low Impact & Beginner Friendly Home Workouts 

Low impact beginner friendly home workouts are extremely beneficial as they 1. get you moving, 2. help you to get into the mindset of fitness & 3. will burn fat and facilitate weight loss.

Weight loss is a huge undertaking. People underestimate the stressful nature of cutting out addictive sugars & treats our minds are used to using for endorphins. Eating well enough to create caloric deficit, which is the only way to lose weight, is already difficult. My reasoning is, adding intense gym workouts only makes the journey harder to stick to.

I love low impact workouts because they allow you to focus on the parts of weight loss that really matter like intake control and consistency. HIIT is great but not sustainable in the very beginning as it’s intensity can become intimidating over time for the new exerciser.

My Recommendations For Low Impact & Beginner Friendly Home Workouts

In the very beginning, I want you to focus on changing your diet & then easing into fitness.

Don’t start with buying a gym membership that you’ll never use.

Put more focus on your eating and you’ll go a very long way. To lose weight everything must change. The way you handle stress. The way you use food.

If you start with these low impact beginner friendly home workouts that are under 20 minutes, I promise your body will eventually get to a place where it is ready for the jumping and jogging.

For now, these low impact beginner friendly home workouts under 20 minutes are the absolute best that I have tried and still use to this day.

These are 6 of my favorite low impact beginner home workouts that you can complete in under 20 minutes. 


1.     BRISK WALK

Nothing beats an old fashioned brisk walk. When I first started losing weight, walking around my neighborhood for 30 minutes or more at a brisk pace was all I did for physical activity. And I lost 25 pounds in under 3 months.

A walk in nature is soothing. A 30 minute walk around your local park (after quarantine is over–of course) or a few minutes on a treadmill if you must.

When you are getting ready to head out for a walk, check out my two favorite walking companions.

Running To Lose Weight App

If you are following me on instagram @opalstaciewellnfit then you know that I STILL walk/run at least 4 times per week. This is the app I use to help me build stamina for running. It can start as slow as you need it to be and then it gradually gets you up to running for longer.

This is my favorite interval run app, and the only one that I use. And, it’s free. 

apple download: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/running-to-lose-weight/id1249476693
android download: tbd

Shelah Marie Meditation Mixtape (Audio)

This is not an app. This is a meditation album created by Ace Hood’s wife Shelah Marie.

What are you going to do with a meditation mixtape? Work on your MIND while working on your body.

Shelah Marie’s voice is the soothing companion you didn’t know you needed. The infinite knowledge she possesses on self actualization is immeasurable. 

I especially love her tracks Serious Daydreaming and the Protective Prayer, while on a light jog–these will keep you going.

I included Shelah Marie’s Meditation Mixtape audio because fitness is a mental transformation as much as it will be physical. It’s difficult to transition when you aren’t aware of your ability to do so.

Shelah Marie’s Meditation Mixtape will tap into the strength you possess for weight loss. It’s a transformational combination that I recommend.

 
apple download: https://music.apple.com/us/album/meditation-mixtape/1205763462
android download: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/running-to-lose-weight/id1249476693

2.     WALK AT HOME BY LESLIE SANSONE (Youtube)

low-impact-home-workouts

https://youtu.be/kqaNUjTR70A

Only the lord knows how much I enjoy these videos. I’ve done a couple of these workouts at home and let me tell you as simple as they look, boy do they work up a sweat!

I was pleasantly surprised to find these videos of Leslie Sansone and the gang performing fairly simple low impact walking exercise.

These workouts Walk At Home by Leslie Sansone are perfect for someone who wants to work up a sweat, doesn’t have a lot of time and does not want to injure themselves in the process.

This workout by Leslie Sansone is the one I began with and it’s definitely worth a go.

 

3.     10 MINUTE STANDING ABS BY HEATHER ROBERTSON ( Youtube Video)

https://youtu.be/Qia2ZXEzyLw

I loved every single minute of this workout.

Work my abs without jumping and or stretching, pulling, rowing? Yes, please. 

It’s an intense workout definitely designed to get your heart rate up and begin toning. It’s targeted towards your abs and you don’t ever have to touch the ground.

She has the timer right on screen which make it even easier to stick to and enjoy.

 

4.     Total Body Workout By PsycheTruth (Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnf9VTBc_Dk

I enjoy her videos because of her calming tone of voice. She talks to you as though you and her are truly enjoying and chatting with one another.

Her energy is inviting and the right kind of energy you need when you’re beginner at exercise.

She’s super toned & full of helpful tidbits about diet and fitness.

You’ll enjoy her.

5.     Leg & Ab Workout By Christina Carlyle (Pinterest Pin)

pin it: https://pin.it/3qO4E3R
direct link: https://christinacarlyle.com/leg-and-ab-workout/

The direct link includes gifs performing the exercise so you’ll know how to perform each move.

 

6.   Extremely Low Impact Workout For Beginner (Pinterest Pin)

This is extremely low impact but still packs a punch. Do this one on days where you are really in a crunch for time but needing to get a workout in. I suggest downloading a self timer or interval timer and crushing these moves. 

If you do not know what the moves are for these exercises, try a quick google search with their names and BAM! You got ’em.

This set is extremely low impact but gets your heart rate up & muscles fired up!!!

 

 


That’s all she wrote folks. These are ALL workouts I actually used at some point or another during my journey. As I get more advanced I’ve begun to create my own specific strength training workouts that I hope to share with you soon. 

You can find low impact beginner home workouts, EVERY single place. I use Youtube and search “low impact home workouts.” I also use Pinterest and use the same search term. 

 

I’d like to know how any of these work for you. Are there other suggestions I’ve missed. Let me know in the comments.

The Best 5 SKINNY Pumpkin Flavored Favorites For The Holidays

‘Tis the season to……regain all the weight you’ve lost by indulging in seasonal favorites?

Nope, not I.

I intend to indulge but I refuse to let my sweet tooth, and the comfortableness of the season set me back. Like anybody else, I like pumpkin in evvvvverything this time of year.

I have pumpkin spice air freshener, pumpkin spice candles, and pumpkin spice body lotion for goodness sake! I just love the nostalgia that comes with the scent and taste of pumpkin during the fall. It reminds me of happy times with family and friends. I just love everything about this time of year BUT let’s keep it real, its about the time most of us abandon our goals.

I’m a foodie by nature but I’m serious about my goals.

What to do when there is pumpkin & sweet potato everywhere? Find the skinny alternative and make it your bestie.

Let’s dig into some of my favorite skinny treats that pack flavor and festive fall nostalgia but will not throw your regimen off track!

1. Pumpkin Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pumpkin spice flavored protein smoothie

recipe credit: therealfoodrds

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana, peeled and frozen
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. nut or seed butter of choice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond*, coconut milk or water
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk or full-fat yogurt –> not dairy-free
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 scoops unflavored or vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup (optional-for a touch of sweetness)
  • 1 cup ice
  • handful of spinach (optional) 

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the container of your blender. Place the lid on top and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

To Make It SKINNY: Ditch the maple syrup. The banana makes it as sweet as it needs to be.

Maple syrup is not an alternative to sugar. Maple syrup has a ton of calories for just a small amount and even more carbohydrates.

Why I LOVE it? The consistency of this particular recipe is not too runny & not too icy & thick it’s just right.

Tip: Add unflavored fiber.

2. Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pumpkin spice flavored protein smoothie

recipe credit: shewell.co

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar of choice
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup filtered water or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease or line a muffin tin
  2. Place the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well. 
  3. Add the melted coconut oil, water and pure pumpkin to the dry mix and stir until all ingredients are blended.
  4. Using a spoon, add the batter to the muffin tins. Once the batter has been distributed evenly, lightly wet the backside of the spoon and smooth over the top of each muffin. Bake in oven for 20-23 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

147 Calories, 3g fat, 30g carbs, 1g fiber, 17g sugar, 2g protein

To Make It SKINNY(er): Replace the coconut oil with applesauce, reduces cals & fats.

Sugar of choice: Def go with brown sugar. White would be sweeter but brown will do just fine.

Why I LOVE It? The nutrition facts if you keep everything as is, is the reason I love it.

3. Pumpkin Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pumpkin Flavored Pancakes

recipe credit: whatmollymade.com

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups oats gluten free oats if desired
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond, cashew or coconut milk
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • coconut oil or grass-fed butter for cooking

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on high until completely mixed together and oats have broken down, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-low heat and melt a teaspoon or two of coconut oil or grass-fed butter in the pan. Once the pan or griddle is hot, pour or scoop 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on both sides and serve hot with extra bananas, extra fruit, nuts, nut butter or maple syrup.

To Make It SKINNY(er): Add 2 scoops of unflavored (or Less Naked Vanilla Whey) protein powder.

Ready To Go: This recipe is ready to go,nothing else needed unless yo;

Why I LOVE It? The recipe is complete. Nothing artificial and it’s delicious. Add that protein powder for extra greatness!

4. Pumpkin Keto Bread

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pumpkin Keto Bread

recipe credit: fittoservegroup.com

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 8×5 inch loaf pan well.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin puree, sugar substitute, melted butter and vanilla extract until well blended.
  4. Next add in the eggs one at time making sure to beat until fully combined.
  5. To the wet batter add the almond flour, flax meal, baking powder, psyllium husk powder, and spices.
  6. Spread the batter into a greased 8-inch loaf pan. Note that batter will be thick.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow the pumpkin bread to cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing.
  9. Place the pumpkin bread in a baking rack and allow to cool an additonal 20 minutes before frosting with the cream cheese frosting and slicing.
  10. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for 3 weeks.

To Make It SKINNY: It’s already as skinny as it can be without sacrificing texture, and organic pumpkin & bread taste.

Why I LOVE it? It is an authentic pumpkin flavored low carb bread.

Tip: Add unflavored fiber and/or protein powder to boost it’s fitness potential.

5. Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns

  • Servings: 12 buns
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns

recipe credit: errenskitchen.com

I’m going to skip putting the recipe and direct you to the actual source.

THIS recipe is GOLD. Go there now!


I have created each and every one of these recipes and I am assuring you that these are the best.

If you try any of them, please let me know how you enjoyed it.

how to stay committed to weight loss goals during the holidays

Girl! I can hardly believe we are here again, end of 2019 and getting ready to go full speed into holiday season.

Publix (my local supermarket) already has their sweet potato and pumpkin pies up all up in my face–magically jumping into my cart. :)))))

Yep, it’s holiday season.

I love the holidays.

Parties with the fam. Hanging with old friends.

It doesn’t get very cold in Florida but the temperature drops to a cooler more comfortable temperature.

Holiday season becomes so comfortably cozy that a lot of us start to get comfortable with abandoning our goals.

Not you and I.

We will remain committed, no matter how loud them pies beg and plead to jump in that shopping cart, we won’t allow it!

I plan to be 110% committed to my goals all the while still enjoying sweet treats, and season favorites.

That sounds like an oxymoron. Enjoying holidays + sticking to weight loss goals, shiiiiet.

It can be done, and it shall.

I have very little room for error and here is how you and I will succeed.

How to stay committed to weight loss goals during holiday:
1. keep track of your intake.
2. don’t waste your calories by drinking them.
3. utilize the power in fiber.
4. keep to business as usual.

1. keep counting and weighing food, be prepared

First of all, I’m not depriving myself of all the holiday goodies. Not even in the least bit.

But preparation is key.

Not only am I going to continue counting ALL calories, I am going to come super prepared to eat within my caloric limits.

This means, that when feasible I’ll be whipping out my food scale to determine the actual serving size, oh yeah!

I’m not allowing myself to “guess” how much I am consuming. The more I know the better.

In short, I will WEIGH my all of my servings and put the result into my handy dandy calorie counting app.

I will look absolutely crazy but it will be worth it.

Counting calories will serve as a “stop sign.” It will tell us, when we have had enough and need to slow down and/or stop.

This seems obsessive, I know but it will be an absolute necessity.

2. drinking of any kind is highly discouraged, if not restricted.

Honestly, I prefer water.

Secondly, I have a histamine intolerance which makes it super hard to drink alcoholic beverages without experiencing agonizing symptoms the next morning.

But, the holidays can reaaaaalllllllly change a person.

It can be so very stressful hanging out around free folk drinking and nibbling everything in sight.

Soda, beer, juice, mixed drinks are empty calories. They do nothing to fuel your body or provide a feeling of satiety.

Drinking empty calories is an unnecessary hindrance to our fitness goals.

It’s either you gon’ eat or drink, but you cannot have both, periodt.

3. re-stocking my favorite fiber supplement

Fiber is my actual secret weapon, second to water.

It’s so important to feel full when surrounded by tons of appealing foods.

I’ve been using fiber supplements as a way to help me control overeating and it is vital to my ability to avoiding temptation.

I’ve used many different kinds but none compare to Glucomannan. When taken correctly Glucomannan will most certainly provide a feeling of satiety, regardless of how little you’ve consumed.

We need satiety during the holidays.

Satiety tells our bodies to stop eating when our eyes are fixated on all the goodness in front of us.

Jamaicans have a saying, “your eyes too big!”

This just means that your eyes are far bigger than your belly. Close those eyes!

4. we need to keep it business as usual

Do not stop drinking your water.

Do not stop working out.

Do not stop investing your time in forums, and places where your fitness inspirations hang out.

Keep tracking, keep documenting, keep holding yourself accountable.

Yes, we are in the “holiday mood” but we must remain focused.

We do not practice deprivation, but we have to indulge within our limits.

What i’ll do exactly? I’m going to save 400-500 calories for indulging when I know I’m going to be surrounded by festivities. But again, I’ll close my eyes and remember my goals.


We want to enjoy ourselves and not feel deprived but also we do not want to veer so off track that we are losing the same 20 LB in January.

We cannot avoid holiday gatherings and goodies, as this is not realistic but we certainly can enjoy holiday favorites within reason.

How about you? What else can we add to this list?

BEGINNERS GUIDE TO STARTING A WEIGHT LOSS REGIMEN

What I Hope You Get From This Post

I know exactly what it is like to want to lose weight but have absolutely NO IDEA where to begin.

Losing weight can FEEL damn near impossible.

I wrote this post with the struggle of my own journey in mind. The goal of this post is to give you ACTIONABLE steps that you can implement today to begin losing weight. 

 


What Makes Me An Expert?

I AM who you are now, about a year ago.

Before losing another 30 LB since re-starting January 2020, I was searching for answers, motivation, direction and relief from the overwhelm of trying to get started with losing weight. 

I’ve been that typical dieter who would begin a new diet on a Monday, the first of the month at 8 AM & by noon I’ve already quit. 

I’ve tried every single diet designed.  

I’ve been a ghost member at every gym you can name.

I’d start a new diet, fail and then binge for another 3-6 months before I was able to muster up enough courage to try again convinced that “this time would be different.”  

I wrote this to show you that is possible to fail a dozen times, then absolutely HIT on the next try.


Click to download the fillable/printable weight loss planning worksheet. 

Plan your meals, create your grocery list & track your workout progress from one sheet.


 

Step One: Determine Your Starting Points

The basic principle of weight loss is: create a caloric deficit.

I always always always start a brand new weight loss regimen with determining my TDEE.

TDEE is an acronym for Total Daily Energy Expenditure, a measure of the amount of calories it takes to keep you alive, i.e. heart pumping, lungs breathing, mouth yapping (in my case).

This is my absolute favorite website to calculate my calories to lose weight by a specific date. With this calculator, you’ll get an idea of how many calories you should be consuming per day.



PSST: 
I created a weekly weight loss planner that you can use today to start organizing yourself for the journey ahead.


Step Two: Determine How You Will Create A Caloric Deficit

Now that you’ve determined your TDEE and know just how many calories you can consume to create a caloric deficit, your very next step is to begin thinking about HOW you will get to that deficit.  

Whether you choose South Beach Diet, 21 Day Meal Plan, Whole 30–all of those will follow similar principles of weight release, caloric deficit.

If you’re looking to start with a diet diet, that’s cool, but you’d probably be better off with choosing one or all 3 of these lifestyle changes first.

Let’s learn a little about each, shall we? 



LIFESTYLE CHANGES
1. intuitive eating: reducing problematic foods, trusting the body, no restrictions
2. portion control: minimal restrictions, smaller serving sizes
3. counting calories: meals should be under or within the daily caloric limit to create deficit 

Intuitive Eating

What is it?
You DO NOT place any  strict guidelines on what you can eat. You will consume Whole Foods that are considered clean but not in excess. 
When to use it?
1. the first 3 weeks to 1 month of starting.
2. at the end for weight maintenance.

WHY I LOVE INTUITIVE EATING

When I first began this most recent journey to weight loss, it was important to me to just get started. I focused on intuitive eating or reducing the amount of “problematic” foods that I had in my diet. 

When we think about losing weight we automatically focus our thoughts on all of the good (but not good for you) foods we will no longer be able to have. All of the food we love will suddenly be off limits. This is stressful, AF. 

The verb form of the word “diet” is precisely defined as, “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” Nobody wants this life. 

I love intuitive eating in the very first few weeks of the journey because it allows you to form new habits in a way that is less intimidating and easily sustainable.  

🎥 WATCH THE VIDEO: How I Lost 80 Pounds | My Weight Loss Journey 


Action Step: How I Use Intuitive Eating

Without the pressure of restriction & the monotony of reading labels intuitive eating gives you the opportunity to become more conscious about what you nourish your body with and why.

For example: Because there isn’t any real restriction on what I can have, but I know that I still want to stay in a caloric deficit, I CAN go to the drive thru and choose a juicy cheese burger, remove the bread, replace the soda with a water & fries with baked potato and make it semi-healthy. I’ll keep listening to my body and eat when I am hungry whilst still gravitating towards keeping my plate full of lean protein, whole carbohydrates and colorful vegetables. 

Intuitive eating is about the mind connection to the food we eat and less about macros but still focused on making better choices. You can start eliminating problematic foods, problematic portions without the pressure to NEVER have them again. 

HOW TO USE INTUITIVE EATING:
1. Replace bad habits with aligned choices.
2. Begin thinking about your food choices.


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Portion Control

What is it?
Limiting the quantity and/or size of serving of certain foods, liquids, condiments in a single meal. 
When to use it?
1. With intuitive eating
2. 1st month of the journey and beyond

 

WHY I LOVE PORTION CONTROL

Okay so let’s say, you’ve completed a successful go at reducing problematic foods and eating intuitively, when you feel comfortable and ready to kick things up a notch, you will want to implement portion control. 

Reducing portion sizes will begin to create caloric deficit that intuitive eating may not have been able to accomplish. 

Portion control gives you the opportunity to continue to practice mindful eating BUT portion control focuses on one of the most crucial parts to weight loss, self control. 

If weight loss is like building a house, learning how to control yourself would be the foundation of that house. Without self control you will never ever achieve weight loss, periodt. 

I love portion control so very much at the very beginning because there is very little pressure to completely eliminate. You can take your time with how you create a deficit. Portion control not only takes the pressure off total elimination, you’ll begin to learn how to use labels when deciding how to nourish your body.

If you can master portion control, you can master weight loss.

HOW TO USE PORTION CONTROL:
1. You will read labels to determine the serving size. 
2. Eat within limited quantities. 
3. Become mindful about the amount of consumption particular foods. 

Read More: 7 Tips To Finally Nail Portion Control

 

Calorie Counting

What is it? 
It’s the practice of reading labels to determine calories in each food choice and limiting oneself to an allotted amount per day. 
When to use it? 
As soon as you feel comfortable with your ability to be restricted to a limited amount of calories per day. After you’ve been intuitive eating for some time. 

WHY I LOVE CALORIE COUNTING

I’m a little giddy! Because I get to tell you about my FAVORITE tool for weight loss.

Counting calories has been the MOST effective way I’ve been able to lose MASSIVE amounts of weight over a long period of time. 

Read More: In Defense Of Calorie Counting & Daily Weigh In’s

Calorie counting gets a lot of side eyes, but if you join any weight loss group online, sit down for a chat with any personal trainer at a gym, google ‘how to lose weight’, the consensus will always be COUNTING CALORIES IS KING. 

BUT, if weight loss is basically defined as creating caloric deficit, how can you create a deficit if you are unsure of your calories? 

I love both intuitive eating & portion control on its own but I think you’ll make a huge impact if you combined both of those with serious calorie counting.

Counting calories is as easy as downloading an app to count calories for you. If you must, you can write it down in a notebook and determine the calories straight from the label. 

If you want to take a it a step further, whatever you do sis, weigh your food sis. Girl! These two things: counting calories + weighting my food has been the absolute tag team champion of weight loss for me. 

HOW TO USE CALORIE COUNTING:
1. Download an app or keep a food journal. 
2. Read labels to determine your portion & document the intake. 

apple download: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/myfitnesspal/id341232718

Step Three: Create A Plan Of Action 

Here comes the fun part.

Before we dive into creating your plan of action, can I just tell you real quick how I go about creating my own plan of action for weight loss?

First I tend to do is get my feet wet with intuitive eating, and portion control for at least two-three weeks. Then I will slowly incorporate a bit of #allmovementisgoodmovement which means I plan for a brisk or easy walk for a 30 minute minimum at least 3 x’s per week.

You can skip intuitive eating, portion control & calorie counting and begin with a plan if you’d like. BUT when I began the journey I was morbidly obese and I was dead tired of going head first into the journey and then quitting within a week.

I was willing to take things slow in order to see minimal weight loss over a long period of time versus rushing into the journey & quitting on myself before things could get moving. 

However you get to the point of planning the journey surrender yourself to the fact that planning your next steps, is CRUCIAL. 

Why do you need a plan? There are just no two ways about this. A plan of action solidifies your intentions. A plan turns those intentions into tangible steps that make those weight loss dreams of yours come true. 

  • Having a solid plan allows you to track progress.
  • A solid plan allows you to measure your success.
  • A solid plan is the only way to jump into the weight loss train, and stay until until you reach your goal. 

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR A SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS PLAN

Meal plan:
Whether it is a daily list of what you will eat or a simple list of “compliant” food items, it is imperative that you know what you will be eating. 
Grocery list:
If you plan on shopping for food to cook for meal prep or just food for the week ahead, knowing what you need in house to create those delicious fit and healthy meals.
Workout calendar:
The calendar shows you just how serious you’ve been with your goal to workout. It’s a reminder of your progress and/or lack thereof. 
Progress tracker:
The best kind will include opportunities to check your mental before/during and after. A good progress worksheet will also include opportunities to determine your goals, as they will change frequently throughout the journey. 

To help you get started with your a plan, I created a free ass one page fillable accountability worksheet. 

When you’ve combed through those three, I have a few more suggestions on creating your most actionable, sustainable weight loss regimen. 

Honorable Mentions: Include These In Your Regimen

I want this to be the very last time you set out to lose weight & fumble.

I was so tired of trying and failing and I know how much of a hit to the gut failing at weight loss can be. I’m including EVERYTHING I did, so before you set off, consider these ideas too. 

Now that you’ve determined your starting points with calculating your TDEE, decided how you’ll create a caloric deficit, and have a little more of an idea of what needs to be included in your weight loss plan, it’s time I mention some crucial points to how you are going to finally reach those weight loss goals. 

Drink Massive Amounts Of Water

Water is my secret weapon for weight loss. Whenever I have a gallon or more of water per day, I am able to stay at least 99.99% compliant with my meal plan.

Science says sometimes the insatiable hunger we feel is dehydration. Drinking a gallon or more of water per day helps me to feel more satisfied after each meal.

Pro tip: Buy 7 gallons of water at the top of the week. The sight of the gallons gives you an incentive, a reminder that you’ve committed to drinking them off each day. 


Don’t Join A Gym 

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A GYM RAT TO LOSE WEIGHT. 🗣

I’m using information pulled directly from two places, science and my personal experience. Exercise is absolutely vital to a healthy body, mind and spirit. I recommend EVERYONE exercise but, there is a big ol’ but. 

For a beginner, a goal like “cycling 6 times per week” is HUGE & can become a deterrent to getting healthy. On the other hand, if the workout goal isn’t as intimidating you might be more likely to stick to it.

Social media is full of physically impressive bodies going HAM in the gym. Those bodies are #bodygoals for sure but, it is unrealistic to expect to kill it in the gym when you haven’t been physically active in a while. 

The gym as newbie is intimidating af. When you’re just starting it is important to not be intimidated out of continuing on your journey.

What I mean is, there are more sustainable (read realistic) ways of creating a habit of working out.

Creating a caloric deficit + tiny bits of movement for 30 minutes a few times per week is enough to make a significant impact on the scale & create massive MOMENTUM for the long journey ahead. 

#allmovementisgoodmovement because as long as that beautiful body is moving for small bits of time, you are creating massive momentum towards your goal of weight release. 

When I first began losing weight, here is how I spent my 30 minutes 3-5 x’s per week:

  • Walk the local park for 30 minutes.
  • Do a light walk on the treadmill at home (or gym).
  • Take a brisk walk through the neighborhood for 30 minutes or more.
  • Damnit, if all else fails, complete a quick 30 minute workout with youtube.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to spend the 30 minutes, you just need to commit to creating some movement. 

Don’t Forget To Feed Your Mind

When the workout is over, do you have the mental stamina to stay in alignment with your goals? Most of what keeps us from losing weight isn’t ANY of the shit I mentioned above. It is our self limiting beliefs.

A lot of what stopped me from losing any weight at all was the little faith I had in myself. We do not believe that we could actually lose 5, 10, let alone 100 pounds. Therefore, each time we come into contact with an opportunity to sabotage our efforts, without thinking, we take it.

TELL YOUR SELF YOU CAN, OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL RESISTANCE IS AS NATURAL AS GIVING IN ONCE WAS.

Human beings are extremely regimented in our daily lives–and our train of thought. We are usually functioning on autopilot. Before we even begin ego has already talked us out of trying.

Each time you’ve given into temptation–you’ve subconsciously told yourself “I cannot do this.”

In the very beginning of my journey, I started to take note of every single time I told myself “I cannot resist.” I mean, I started listening to the crap I said to myself in my head. Then I immediately changed it to “YES I CAN,” and just like that the big scary cookie became an ordinary cookie.

Once I started to gain some belief in what I could ,food stopped being this irresistible thing that I needed. The faith I had in myself, the desire I possessed to accomplish my goal of losing weight became far greater.

Belief in oneself is the undisputed champion of HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT. 

For me: I choose journaling, meditation, influential podcasts etc to help with self care and self limiting beliefs, anxiety, depression. 

Do some soul work, determine those barriers keeping you from becoming who you were designed to be. Is it your relationship with food? Is it an inability to see the strength you possess? Is it the excuses you’ve been making for yourself? 

Be kind to yourself. Be patient.
Start today, don’t wait until you are ready, because you may never be. 
Start slowly.
And do not quit. 

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All of these tips, will take practice. Practicing each one has allowed me to lose hundreds of pounds multiple times throughout my life. 

I believe you can do this.

Let me know how you will decide to start in the comments.

 

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