20 Pounds In 20 Weeks: Week 10: Disney World Weight Gain

It was to be expected.  I gained weight while at Disney World.  It was always going to be a battle between the calories burned by walking throughout the parks (and sweating in the Florida heat) and the calories consumed from the wonderful food Disney World has to offer.  The food won.  When I left for Disney, I weighed 188 pounds.  Upon returning home, I weighed 193 pounds.  That’s a gain of 5 pounds.

Starting Weight 205
Current Weight 193
Goal Weight 185
Lost 12
Left Until Goal 8

This setback, though expected, means that I now have 10 weeks to lose 12 pounds.  I also have Passover looming on the horizon.  During Passover, I’m not going to count points as Passover food tends to be high calorie and high in carbs.  Matzoh alone is 120 calories and 27 carbs per sheet and I can easily eat 3 slices for breakfast slathered with cream cheese before I feel full. There is no option of low calorie/low carb bread or rice during Passover.  Matzoh seems to permeate everything that gets made and so it won’t be a good situation to be tracking points in.  I’ll try to give myself a fighting chance by loading up on fresh fruits and veggies and by not buying a ton of Passover cakes/cookies (no loss as they tend to taste awful).  Still, I expect weight gain during those two weigh-ins.

I guess that just means I’ll have to try extra-hard to lose weight during the 8 weigh-ins that I have left during which I’ll be tracking points and (hopefully) losing weight.

20 Pounds In 20 Weeks: Week 9: Last Pre-Disney Weigh-In

This marks the last time I will weigh-in before we go to Disney World.  (At least, the last “official” weigh-in before Disney.  I might weigh myself just before we leave out of sheer curiosity.)  While at Disney, I’m putting the weight loss plan aside.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to pig out just for the sake of pigging out, but neither am I going to count points.  Let’s face it.  This is Disney World we’re talking about.  The food there is incredible and I’m not going to ruin our good time by trying to figure out which dishes are the lowest in points.  Besides, going to Disney World means a lot of walking.  (Last year, I only wound up gaining half a pound during my trip.)

Starting Weight 205
Current Weight 188
Goal Weight 185
Lost 17
Left Until Goal 3

All that said, I weighed in at 188 yesterday morning.  This puts me a mere three pounds from my goal.  Were Disney not a factor, I could probably reach my goal in the next two or three weeks.  I’d say I’m doing pretty well.  Now, I’m off to prepare to celebrate in Disney World!

20 Pounds In 20 Weeks: Week 8: Fruits and Veggies

This weigh-in, the scale read 190.  This means that I’ve lost 15 pounds in just 8 short weeks.  Just five pounds more and I’ll be at my goal.  I’m 75% of the way there.

Starting Weight 205
Current Weight 190
Goal Weight 185
Lost 15
Left Until Goal 5

When you’re trying to lose weight, one thing people often do is cut back drastically on how much they eat.  This, in general, can be good.  The average “American portion” is usually double a normal portion size (at least).  Take a plate and a pot of cooked pasta.  Fill up the plate how you would expect to be served in an Italian restaurant.  Now fill up a second, identical plate with a real serving of pasta.  The restaurant serving will likely be four times the amount of pasta as the real serving.

So how do you fill up while still slashing the calories?  It’s simply really.  Add a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Making a sandwich?  Skip the mayo and add tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts and any other veggie you can think of to add in flavor.  Need a side dish for dinner?  Slice up some zucchini, place the rounds on a baking sheet, coat with a little cooking spray and add salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Next cook at 425 for 8 minutes, flip and cook for another 8 minutes.  Want a mid-morning snack?  Don’t reach for a chocolate bar, reach for a banana.  Or slice up some strawberries and enjoy with a little light whipped cream.

The more fruits and veggies you add to your diet, the fuller you will feel and the healthier you will be.  Just don’t drown your fruits/veggies with calorie and fat laden toppings like cheese sauce or heavy salad dressings.

20 Pounds In 20 Weeks: Week 7: The Challenge of Eating Out

Last week I gained weight (though just half a pound) and said that you needed to persevere through these dry spells.   Keep your weight loss routine up and you’ll soon see the numbers begin moving down again, I said.  Sure enough, this week saw two more pounds flee my body.  I’m now down 13 pounds since I started this seven weeks ago.  That’s almost two pounds per week on average.  At this rate, I should be in the 180’s by the time we go to Disney World!

Starting Weight 205
Current Weight 192
Goal Weight 185
Lost 13
Left Until Goal 7

On Saturday, we went to B’s parents’ house for dinner.  This is nice as we get to see them, the boys get to play, I get the day off from cooking dinner.  However, there are problems.  For some reason, my willpower drops when I’m at my in-laws’ house and I tend to eat a lot more than I should.  They also are not on the same diet we are on so I worried that the food they served would be high in points for us.

The latter issue was easily resolved.  They used a frozen, pre-made chicken product that turned out to be surprisingly low in points.  They also didn’t serve us the usual high-point fare of rice or bread.  Instead, I helped out by sautéing some bagged vegetables with dried onion and minced garlic (bottled).

SIDE NOTE: While a “true chef” might recoil in horror at the mention of bagged or frozen produce, dried onion flakes or bottled minced garlic, I find them to be essentials.  I don’t have time to mince my own garlic (and clean up the mess) or keep a stock of onions to chop.  While I do like using some fresh veggies, sometimes a quick frozen bag in the microwave (or in the frying pan) is in order.  It gives me a quick and healthy side dish with little to no cleanup.  Very handy for the healthy parent/cook!

All in all, our dinner was 13 points including a salad, the aforementioned chicken and veggies, strawberries and even a few small cookies as an after-dinner indulgence.  Not bad at all.  It just goes to show that you can eat out while trying to stay healthy.  It just takes a little planning before hand.

20 Pounds In 20 Weeks: Week 6: Tiny Setbacks

This week was a first in this 20 pounds in 20 weeks challenge: I gained weight.  Not much, mind you.  Just a half a pound.  It was still a bit disconcerting to see the scale numbers go up.  I didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary last week.  Not giant points splurges to speak of.

Starting Weight 205
Current Weight 194
Goal Weight 185
Lost 11
Left Until Goal 9

Even if this “setback” were larger or if this spans a few weeks without weight loss, the key thing to remember is that you can’t let it get to you.  In my experience, a body undergoing weight loss will often reach a plateau.  At this point, many people will get discouraged.  They will notice that they are depriving themselves and nothing is being reflected on the scale.  It is here that the danger of falling off the wagon lurks.

When you reach a plateau during weight loss, just ignore it.  Your body needs a week (maybe two, maybe three) to readjust before the weight loss begins again.  Keep your weight loss routine up and you’ll soon see the numbers begin moving down again.

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