For the past month and a half, my weight has moved between two pounds. Up those two pounds, down those two pounds. And while it took me a while to admit it to myself, I was committing all the classic mistakes of dieting.
A sidebar to this post is that I really hate to use the word dieting. I don’t really feel that I’m on a diet. Yes, I count calories and choose healthy foods, but there is no alternative to me and there are not “off-diet” days where I don’t do those things, or at least strive to to those things.
So what have I been doing wrong? Eating too little, followed by the inevitable eating too much. D’oh!
I was exercising 5-6 days a week and not eating back those calories while sticking to a 1,200 calorie a day limit. As life goes, I would get sick of that after a couple days, have a few high calorie days before recommitting to 1,200 calories. Sigh. Throw in some holidays, sugar overload and alcohol and you have the perfect formula for weight loss failure.
So what have I done to fix it? Re-committed to doing it the right way. I upped my calorie “allowance” (ugh, another term I can’t stand) on myfitnesspal to 1,400 a day. It’s about the equivalent of a 1-pound weight loss per week for me. Honestly, it’s probably around what I was eating anyway and seeing the higher number makes me feel better mentally. When I had it set to the 1,200 limit, I would feel paranoid that I would go over all the time and not track honestly, which led to no tracking at all.
And for me, tracking is king. Even if the calorie counts aren’t accurate, I try and track. It really makes the difference between success and failure for me, in my head and on the scale.
So there ya go. I know the right way to do things, and with all the holiday stress and eating…and stress eating…I let my good habits fall away. But they’re back now and I’m ready to succeed.