March 10, 2010

Your Best Bridal Body: Part 1

Posted in Your Best Bridal Body at 9:44 pm by Andrea


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In the last two years, getting in shape, staying in shape and constantly trying to push myself just that little bit further (I’m a Type A personality, can you tell?!) has become a really meaningful part of my life. I’m not sure how it all started, I think I just got fed up with my lazy, increasingly soft self, so I decided to do something about it. Two years and 15 lbs later, I thought maybe some of the knowledge (okay, I’m an official exercise and nutrition nerd) I’ve gleaned through some trial, and a lot of error, might be helpful to some other brides-to-be out there.

It all started with Jillian Michaels. In the spring of 2008, I started hearing endless buzz about the 30 Day Shred. I thought I’d give it a try. How hard could it be? It was only half an hour after all. Yeah, I ate my words pretty quickly on that one. After my first attempt at level one I couldn’t walk for about three days. This wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. I stuck with it though. I made it through levels one, two and three, and even started doing two levels back-to-back when I was feeling really motivated. I was getting stronger and my lung capacity was definitely improving, but I didn’t seem to be getting that much smaller.

That’s when the truth about weight loss became clear to me: it doesn’t matter how much you work out if you aren’t watching what you eat.

Best Bridal Body Tip #1: You are what (and how much) you eat.

I started to read more and more (The Nest’s Health and Fitness Board became my daily reading. Those ladies seriously know their stuff!) and discovered that within the fitness community, it seems to be a well-known fact that weight loss is 80%-90% diet, and only 10%-20% exercise.

I know that right now you’re all like, “Thanks for nothing! Everyone knows that.” But I can tell you that people sabotage their own weight loss efforts ALL the time. I know, because I was one of them.

Here’s the thing: You’ve just started working out regularly. You’re doing 30 Day Shred. Those workouts are freaking HARD. You were sweating BUCKETS. So obviously you burned a lot of calories and can have those two cookies after dinner, right? Wrong. 30 Day Shred, for most people, only burns about 150 to 200 calories. That’s about a half cup of ice cream…not very much at all.

I watched what I ate, got my recommended intake of fruits and veggies and ate primarily whole, healthy foods. But I was eating too much of them so the weight wasn’t coming off.

What the best way to overcome this? I know it sounds old school and oh-so-1970s grapefruit diety, but you’ve gotta count calories. It’s easier now than it used to be. I use sparkpeople.com, which is free and a great way to track your food intake. Another stumbling block though: the only way to actually know how much food you’re eating is to weigh it. Measuring spoons and cups are less standardized than we’d like to believe.

Bottomlines:

-Weight loss = calories in vs. calories out. There’s no other “secret'” to it.

– Need to know how much to eat? Find out your Basal Metabolic Rate, then use the Harris Benedict Equation to estimate the number of calories you need to eat to lose weight.

-You can still occasionally treat yourself, just make sure those treats are included in (and not above and beyond) your daily caloric limit

-Give it time! It can take up to six weeks before you start seeing changes in your body..and you may not see them on the scale, trying measuring instead of weighing.

-Don’t just do it for your wedding. Make it a permanent lifestyle change.

In the next installment of Your Best Bridal Body: Stepping up your workouts

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