My weight loss journey is not something that just started for me. It’s been a long road with lots of “Diet” hits and misses. I talked about being on my 1st diet in 3rd grade and I’ll talk about that diet in my “misses” post. What I’d like to do is start a series here on my blog talking about some of those Hits and Misses for me. Today I’m going to talk about 3 plans that I’ve had a lot of success with. This is meant to just give a brief overview of the plan. I know some of the information may have changed. For example Weight Watchers was one of my “hits” and they have changed their plan many times since I followed the program back in 2008.
When I joined Weight Watchers’ back in 2008 there was 2 types of plans the Flex and Core Plan that consists of two basic concepts: a Core food list and a satisfaction rating scale. The idea is that you focus on Core foods for each of your meals and snacks, eat until you are satisfied, and stop. Eat when you are hungry, don’t let yourself get too hungry, and stop before you get too full. The flex plan gives all food a point value based on calories, fat and fiber. You have a daily points allotment and that’s the amount of food you can eat in the day.
They also had options of doing the programs either in person or online. I personally chose to follow the Points plan and attend in person meetings. I was very successful while following this plan and lost almost 100 pounds in a years time.
The flex plan gives all food a point value based on calories, fat and fiber. To figure out points for the items you choose, find the cals, fiber, and fat in whatever you eat, then plug those values into either a WW points calculator, the paper slider you get at registration. You would record everything you ate in a journal or online tracker. You have a daily points allotment. The system is pretty simple. What it does is it assigns point values to every food. Foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories have low point values. And vice versa. An apple is 1 point and a muffin from Starbucks might be worth 6 or 10 Points. If you eat one of those, your day is probably done.
Weight Watchers has many pre package meals and foods with the points already figured out and that made it very easy but they are pricy.
Core plan is actually pretty intuitive – potatoes are Core, French fries are not. Fruits and vegetables are Core, but syrup-packed, sweetened, buttered, or otherwise altered fruits and vegetables generally are not.
That being said, you can, in theory, eat whatever you want. If you want to eat something non-Core, you do have to count points for it. You get 35 points per week to spend on non-Core foods. To figure out points for the non-core items you choose, find the cals, fiber, and fat in whatever you eat, then plug those values into either a WW points calculator, the paper slider you get at registration.
Things I Loved About WW
Weekly accountability: Knowing that I had to step on the scale in front of a staff member every week motivated me to stay on track.
Group support: It really felt good to have the group applaud for me when I had a good week. Knowing they’d be there to support me on a bad week was also nice.
1200 Calorie Diet
(High Protein, Low Calorie No sugar, No Soda, No fast food)
I was also very successful with this plan. I followed it to the T. I even gave up coffee while on this plan. In the first 3 months of following it I lost 60 pounds.
The diet generally ranges from 800 to 1200 calories a day, high protein, good carbs. Well balanced meals – protein, fruit, veggies, complex carbs. 3 meals a day, no snacks. I also started vitamin supplements to ensure my body had the nutrients. I veered from the strict “3 meals a day” plan with the nutritionist’s blessing because of how early my day begins. I rearranged the 1200 calories so that I could include two snacks – one between breakfast and lunch and the second between lunch and dinner. The plan was set up that you were allowed a Balance for each meal. Example is Breakfast would be 2 Protein, 1 Fruit, 1 Milk, 1 Starch, and 1 Fat. 1 Protein would be one ounce of turkey and a fruit could be 1/2 Banana a example of fat would be 1/8 avocado.
With this plan you do need to weigh and measure all your food.
Another huge factor in my weight loss was logging what I was eating on MyFitnessPal. I have tried so many different online tools for tracking calories, and none of them can compare to MFP. A lot of common foods are already pre programmed in or you can scan the barcode of a package if needed to track.
Portion Fix and Shakeology
So far portion Fix and Shakeology have been the easiest and most convenient plan for me to follow. All while seeing amazing results.
Learning what foods and how much of those foods to eat is important. You can over eat healthy on “healthy” food too.
This is the genius part of this nutritional plan – you don’t have to weigh what you are eating or write it down. You know how many containers of each type of food you can eat per day and you just need to fill them and eat. How many you get depends on a few factors. In the official guidebook for the 21 day fix, they recommend you find out your calorie level by doing the following formula:
A: Take your current weight in lbs x 11 = Calorie Baseline
B: Calorie Baseline + 400 (Calories Burned during the Fix Program) = How many calories you need
C: Caloric Needs – 750 (Caloric deficit to lose weight) = Calorie Target for the Day
Each color represents a type of food:
* Green for vegetables
* Red for Proteins
* Yellow for Carbs
* Purple for Fruit
* Orange for Seeds/Fat
* Blue for Nuts/Dairy
* Grey for Oils
With Portion Fix It’s up to you to organize the order of which containers you eat first or what you eat in them.
I love the flexibility of this plan. What’s also great about the system is that once you start filling your containers you will be able to recognize how big (or small) a serving should be. Pretty soon you will be able to eyeball your servings and you won’t need the colorful containers with every meal.
Shakeology is Packed with globally sourced superfood ingredients. It’s so much more than just a “protein shake”. It has things like Proteins and fiber – to help reduce hunger and food cravings. Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals – to help fight free radical damage and help support a healthy immune system. Adaptogen Herbs – traditionally used to help the body adaptand respond to the effects of stress. Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes – to help nutrient absorption and support regularity and healthy digestion. Since I started drinking Shakeology, I just feel better in general! In February I was diagnosed with Thyroid disease and it was slowly destroying me. When I had testing done in March my TSH was 4.88 when I had it tested again in November after drinking Shakeo for several months it was 1.69 I couldn’t believe the results. Not to mention my digestive system was a hot mess (sorry TMI) and shakeology has helped me to correct that. I no longer take daily laxatives. Another question I get a lot is how I manage all the stress. I work more then full time, have teenagers, planning a wedding. Well Shakeology is seriously a mood booster. I definitely see a difference in my stress level and mood.
I also love the Challenge Group accountability with this system.
It feels really good to have the group applaud for me when I had a good day or week. Also Knowing they’d be there to support me on a bad week was also nice. Sharing recipes, tips and tricks. It’s like a family support system.