There is nothing more frustrating than counting calories and busting your butt in the gym, only to get on the scale and seeing the same darn number day after day. I know how this feels because this is how my last 2 weeks have gone.
If I didn’t know better, and know that my hard work would eventually be reflected on the scale, it would be very tempting to quit. If I hadn’t personally experienced these frustrating plateaus right before a drastic drop in weight, and have that experience already, I would have said “forget this!”. BUT, I knew that success was just around the corner. I knew that if I just kept sticking it out, that all my hard work and dedication would indeed pay off – and pay off BIG. However, I had to get through this discouraging slump first – without letting it get to me.
In preparation for a photo shoot, I started counting my calories with the LoseIt iphone app and boosting cardio to shed some fat and lean out. Although I always eat pretty healthy, I knew I needed to be absolutely perfect with my diet, so I tracked every single calorie I consumed. Ironically, when you start dieting, it’s common for your body to resist weight loss. The “start” is the hardest part of the process. It’s also when you have the most cravings, feel the most hungry, have the least energy and see the least results.
What My Scale Said
I started at 147.9lbs, which is my average weight. I need to get down to 138-140lb when I want to lean out for something special. A few days in, I dropped to 146.6lbs and stayed there for days. Then, I got on the scale, 8-9 days in, and my weight went back UP to 147.6lbs – and I was like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” Now, mind you, I’m in the industry and know what my body is going through. I also knew I felt better, and I was literally seeing less body fat on me. I knew for a fact that my body was making all the positive changes I expected – but the scale was not in agreement. BUT, that doesn’t change the fact that stupid number was totally ticking me off and messing with my head.
While I was going through this scale battle, so was my husband. As he prepares for a bodybuiling show, he too was counting calories and being very strict on his diet. Like me, he was seeing positive changes in his body but not seeing what he wanted to see on the scale.
FINALLY, I weighed myself this morning and BAM! I was at 143.4lbs. 4.5lbs down finally! It literally took 2 weeks of sticking at my starting number until my efforts were reflected on the scale.
1. Focus on how you FEEL. When you are doing the right things, you should FEEL good. You should FEEL thinner, FEEL more energy, FEEL tighter, FEEL more attractive and FEEL successful. If the scale doesn’t agree, keep doing what makes you FEEL good, and eventually it should be reflected on the scale. The only time you need to worry is if your plateau last longer than a month. In that case, you need to accept you are doing something wrong and start aggressively troubleshooting.
2. Focus on how clothes FIT. I’ve had MANY people totally freak out because the scale says one thing and their clothes say another. Listen, if your clothes are fitting better, then your body is changing. Don’t let the number on the scale rob you of the joy you get when you put on a pair of jeans that are loose. How your clothes FIT you is a good, and accurate, measure of how you are doing on your diet.
3. Focus on the way you LOOK. If you look in the mirror and you can see more definition, or you can tell you are smaller, don’t let the scale ruin that excitement for you! And, if people are bragging on how good you are looking, don’t tell them how the scale doesn’t agree with them. You literally can be losing fat and gaining muscles, and making some serious changes before it is reflected on the scale, so focus on the way you LOOK and enjoy the changes you SEE!
4. Focus on your PROGRESS. Just yesterday I was griping about how I couldn’t believe I haven’t dropped one pound in two weeks. But I knew in my heart I was making progress. I knew I was doing everything right. Not only was I in control of my eating, having power over cravings, and saying no to some of the things I love to eat, but I was sticking to my training plan and staying focused. THAT, my friend, is something to be proud of. It’s progress. It’s progress because I am in control of my body, instead of letting my body control me. Also, I’ve been putting in the cardio and the work. This is also progress.
If this is you, you should enjoy victorious moments, knowing you are putting in the time and effort no matter what the scale says. The fact is, if you are doing all the right things, THAT alone is something to be proud of. When you do what is right, it WILL pay off.
Gain Control of Your Body AND Mind
The above tips are what keeps me going when I’m not seeing the numbers I want on the scale. They keep me balanced and level-headed – and they can help you too. Don’t let the scale steal the joy you should be experiencing when you are staying disciplined and working hard. Soon, and VERY soon, the scale will tell you exactly what you want to see to seal the deal and make your victory even sweeter!
Tracking calories for prepackaged food is easy, but what about when you combine a whole bunch of ingredients for a family style meal? This is one of the most common questions I get – and I’ve got the answer!
I believe most people just guess their way through the calories, which allows too much room for error. But, the LoseIt app makes tracking calories easy – even when you are following a recipe or, like me, making things up as you go!
Steve and I are always on the go, and yesterday was no exception. We just got back from shooting some movie clips for a halloween flick and we were hungry, so I needed to whip something up fast. I decided to make some quick and easy chicken fajita salads. It had to be quick, because I was STARVING – and it needed to be easy, because I was EXHAUSTED! (It’s hard playing dead you know) ha
Although I always prefer fresh produce and meat, I always keep some Tyson precooked chicken or frozen chicken tenderloins for emergencies to help me make a quick creation.
I opened the LoseIt app on my iPhone and clicked on “More” at the bottom of the screen. Then I chose “Edit Foods & Exercises” to get to “Recipes”. As I added ingredients, I just simply scanned each food item with the LoseIt barcode scanner and it automatically added the nutritients to my recipe.
After I cooked up the fajita topping, I needed to know how many servings it made. I guessed it made 4 or 5 servings, but I wanted to be sure since we are counting every calorie we eat right now in preparation for Steve’s bodybuilding show coming up. I weighed one serving to get an idea of what i was needing for my salad. Then I weighed the entire mixture and divided it by my serving size to see how many servings it made.
After I tallied the servings, I inputed the servings in the app and that was it! I was all done and ready to eat! Here was how how I made this simple delicious salad on the fly.
298-Calorie Quick & Easy Fajita Salad
makes 5 1/2 servings
One Tbsp Olive Oil
Bag of Tison fajita chicken strips
2 Green Peppers
Lime Juice to taste
TOTAL: 990 calories = 180 per serving
for 1 serving
Organic Mixed Greens, 20 calories
1 Tbsp Light Sour Cream, 20 calories
1/2 Tomato, 11 calories
1/4 Avocado, 57 calories
2 Tbsp Salsa, 10 calories
Top with a little Lime Juice
TOTAL: 118 calories per serving
118-calorie salad mix, topped with 5 ounces of fajita topping totaled 298 calories of deliciousness! 🙂