Today I got a badge from Lose It! for having logged my meals every day for 104 weeks, or 2 years exactly. I was about 218 pounds before I started. This morning I was 174 pounds. The lowest I've ever gotten is 168 pounds.
Lose It! is a cheat code for life.
As far as I'm concerned, it magically makes you lose weight. Oh sure, there's some effort in there somewhere. But really, it's never been a struggle for me. Whenever I need to shed a few pounds, I just set the app to lose weight, and magically I lose weight. Currently I'm maintaining my weight, and even trying to put a little on for my 80 Day Deadlift Challenge. But after that challenge, if I feel a bit heavy, I'll dump a couple pounds. I do love those ripped abs!
I'm a math nerd, so calorie counting appeals to me. It's like a game. I realize not everyone's brain works the same as my crazy mind. So it's probably not for all folks. But despite that, hopefully some of the things I learned will be of benefit to you.
Measuring spoons and cups are your friends. Early on you want to measure everything you can. Over time though, you will get an intuition for how many calories something has. Anything that has a barcode, scan it! Anything that comes in a package is easy to enter into the app. Just try not to do it while driving. One because it's dangerous, I suppose. But also your phone just moves around too much and it's pretty much impossible. But the fact that I know that just goes to show how obsessive I am about entering my calories as soon as I eat.
Restaurant meals, and anything you cook for yourself, are probably the hardest to enter. This mostly takes practice. Sometimes it's easiest to just enter the individual ingredients, if you know them. Many chain restaurants will have their foods right in the App. Otherwise you will just have to give it the best shot you can. If you're off by a little bit, it's fine. It all averages out in the end.
However, the toughest part is being totally honest. It can be tempting to guess low, so that you can eat a bit more. But this totally defeats the point. Sometimes you WILL go over budget. But that's the beauty of the app, you can just eat less the next day. And sometimes you eat under your budget, and can pig out later in the week. Awesome!
|Just line them up. I have the calories to spare.|
But one of the greatest benefits of the app, I've found, is that it really motivates me to exercise. Running for the sake of running is hard. But when I get to enter that run and see how many more calories I have available, it's super great! You get rewarded every single time you work out. If I know I'm going to have a big dinner with friends, I just make sure to run first, and pow, I'm set for the night. Or I can run 10 miles and then have a big greasy lunch, with french fries, beer, and just all of the bad things.
And that's something else. You don't have to change what you eat if you don't want to. You can eat pizza and ice cream and french fries and still lose weight, as long as you're within your budget. Of course, eating healthy is smart. And you'll find that a big salad will fill you up with far fewer calories. But it's your choice if you want to eat healthy or be, just, the biggest pig. In general though, using the app every day makes you much more aware of what you're putting in your body. Even if I snack on a handful of grapes, or a piece of candy, I'll throw that in there. Nothing is free.
Diets are bullshit. The reason diets work is because they restrict what you eat. There's nothing magical about kale, or protein, or smoothies, or protein kale smoothies. Anybody who tells you, "eat this and weight will fall off you... literally fall off you in disgusting slimy globs," is lying. Especially if they say that second half. But in any case, there's no "super" foods. Our bodies have been evolving for millenia to make use of anything and everything you put in them. Some folks eat nothing except seal meat and ice. Some folks get by and just root vegetables and grasshoppers. Whatever. Our bodies are like, "gimme gimme gimme, I don't care."
|Feed us anything! We don't care!|
Of course, if you're on a diet and it's working for you, then great! But if your diet says, "no bread", and you freaking love bread, it's going to be hard to keep at it. A diet is pointless if you only do it for a couple months. Which is what usually happens. The vast majority of folks who go on diets give up and gain all their weight back. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to change your lifestyle. Permanently.
Lose It! is finally what did it for me. I discovered it at exactly the moment when I realized that I had suddenly become fat. Of course, it wasn't actually sudden, but it sure felt like it. Our brains are great at deceiving us. You have to be brutally honest with yourself, both about where you are and where you want to go. If I ever quit, I would die. I love the results though. They're powerfully motivating.
I eat what I want, and have the comfort of knowing exactly when to stop. I exercise a lot, and have the joy of getting to eat even more afterwards. And I don't have to be paranoid about the weight "creeping" back on like the sneaky bastard that it is. I weigh myself every single morning. I look at a cool line graph every single morning. I know exactly where I am. My brain can't lie to me anymore. It might say, "c'mon, it's just one cheesecake, just eat it you wimp." And I'll point at my app and say, "no." I don't do this out loud. Pointing at your phone and saying "no" is weird to the people around you. You get my point though.