Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 16

I lost 0.8 pound,
bringing my weight-loss total to 24.2 pounds!

I am waiting with bated breath to hear your reports.  I have been asking the Lord to bless your efforts all week and so hope you have good results too.  Linky will follow this post if you want to join in.  Instructions are here.

For this week's tip, I wanted to share a little more about how I track calories.

I start with a menu plan which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner and takes into consideration what's on each day's schedule.  I don't want to plan to cook a from-scratch meal on a night that we really do need to eat at Wendy's. :) 

I have been on this diet for four months now, and planning has been the hardest part.  At first, I felt really unsure about how to make a dieter's menu and shopping list, something I have to do to keep grocery expenses on budget, because how would I know ahead of time if I would be able to eat enough of what I was planning to be satisfied each day?  How many calories are in tater tot casserole anyway??

So I decided to do three things.

First, because I am all about baby steps, I kept our typical fare on the menu.  I have found that many dishes were okay as they were but have decided to eliminate some things from our diet or serve them very infrequently.  Others just needed some modifications, like adding less cheese or using fat-free chicken broth instead of regular.  Little changes really do add up and have kept tofu and sprouts off the table. 

No offense intended to those of you who enjoy tofu and sprouts, but I would have some really unhappy menfolk if that's what I served for dinner. 

Second, I have paid careful attention to portion size.  That's where My Fitness Pal has really helped.  On my food page, I can type in what's on the menu (or all the ingredients if it is tater tot casserole) and it gives me a standard serving size. I have to be honest and say that measuring out portions was a pain at first; however, over time, I have learned to eyeball it.

I have to do a little guesstimating when eating a multi-ingredient dish, like tater tot casserole.  (There is a way to add a dish to their database and be precise about it, but estimation has worked well for me and been less time consuming.)  So I count out the number of tater tots in a serving and that gives me about a serving-size each of ground beef, soup and cheese, too. 

Thirdly, each morning (if I'm doing what I'm supposed to do), I look at the menu plan for the day and plug in the main dishes for each meal first on My Fitness Pal page.  Then I add in the fruits and veggies for the day.  If there are enough calories remaining, I add in extras like bread with dinner or a snack or two. Which extras and snacks I select depends on how much of my calorie budget is remaining. 

I don't plug my foods in throughout the day as I eat but do this all at once in the morning so I can see how my plan is going to work.  If things don't add up, I can easily make changes to the plan.  If I log each food after I've eaten it, then I can't take anything back.  What's done is done, and I may not balance my calories well and be left hungry in the evening.

Once everything adds up, I complete my report for the day and jot down my food plan in a notebook.  I could refer back to the computer but think it is easier to have it in a notebook which I can carry with me and mark off items as I eat them.

Oh!  And my favorite MFP feature?  After I complete my daily report, it tells me what I would weigh in five weeks if every day were like today.  That is SO motivating!  I love to see that number!!

So, what's working for you?  Feel free to share your tips, too.  And don't forget to pray!

Here are my requests:
  1. I have experienced moderate pain this week coupled with poor sleep.  The silver lining: I am seeing a correlation between poor sleep and aching.  This gives me more info to share with the doctor.  However, please pray for better sleep and reduced pain.
  2. For wisdom and help as I take more baby steps in the direction of ridding our home of overly-processed, MSG-containing foods.  Grocery shopping has taken twice as long for two weeks; however, no one has had a headache for a week!  That's a praise which leads to...
  3. For continued relief from migraines for Wilbur and Michael. 
  4. For more self-control and perseverance. 
  5. For my friends who are dieting with me.  Please click over to their blog(s) and read their requests and pray for those who are remaining anonymous, too.
Happy Healthy Living!

Disclosure:  I have not been compensated for writing this post and linked to My Fitness Pal just because I have found it helpful and wanted to pass along the tip.

Disclaimer:   I am not a health science expert.  Truth be known, I'm quite the opposite.  However, I am hosting this meme to encourage Christian dieters to pray for each other.  Please do not expect your results to be exactly like mine or any other participant's.


Kellie said...

Great job, Dawn! So do you have something special planned for when you reach 25 pounds? I logged in at MFP and Spark People, and even posted prayer requests. I'm starting to get back on track. Thanks for posting about your planning process -- very helpful!

Joyful Grandma said...

There is a giveaway for a book on weight loss here
if you are interested. It really has a lot of good healthy ideas in it. Entries are low so chances are good
You have done a great job!

Homeschool Dawn said...

Thanks Kellie!

Thank you, Joyful Grandma! I will check out the book.