Shamed by My Phone

A couple of years ago, I lost 25 pounds by exercising, watching my diet and using the app Lose It! to monitor my progress. Well, a few of those pounds have moved back to my waistline so I’ve been making an effort to get back to using Lose It! to track my eating and exercise habits.

After going on an eleven mile bike ride in the heat of a late August day, I received this message from my Lose It! app:


Thanks for the encouragement! Two days later after another eleven mile bike ride and a three mile walk, I turn on my phone to see:


I really felt like I’d accomplished something after riding almost 25 miles…in the rain. That’s 666 calories burned, even at a slow pace of 9.1 mph.


So how did Lose It! help me celebrate? With this message:


Apparently walking, bike riding and lawn work is not something to celebrate. The message is loud and clear. EAT LESS FOOD!


Yes, I’ve eaten Cheetos, cookies, and nachos. I’ve even consumed a couple of glasses of Coke. The latest message from my phone:


I think my phone just called me a Fred. I’ll keep exercising, but I need to do a better job with my diet…and I’m sure Lose It! won’t let me forget!


Weigh In Wednesday: Week 20

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Excuse one: Betty cake for Emily’s birthday. Excuse two: Cheesecake for Meghan’s birthday. Excuse three: Danny’s graduation party. Bottom line: gained 1/2 pound.

I’m really no match for special events two birthdays, a graduation party, Mother’s Day, and key lime pie at Monday night’s Circle meeting are too much for me to resist. I keep thinking I’ll get a grip on holiday/special event eating, but not yet. I have a long way to go!

Here’s to week 21! No birthdays! No parties! More exercise! Working toward my new goal.

Weigh In Wednesday: Week 19

Dieting tip of the week: Swapportunity, Dee’s style. You don’t want to miss this one!

A trip to Dunedin, with numerous fine dining options, a Kentucky Derby party, and Cinco de Mayo…not the best week when it comes to weight loss. I feel that under the circumstances, not gaining weight qualifies as success this week.

As for my weight loss tip this week – it’s my own version of the Yoplait commercial advocating taking advantage of what they call a “swapportunity” – the opportunity to swap a higher calorie snack for a Yoplait. Now, I eat my share of Yoplait, especially for breakfast; but I think you’ll find “swapportunity” Dee’s style much more satisfying.


Yoplait suggests this treat 90-110 calories.
Yoplait suggests this treat 90-110 calories.

Instead of calling a 90-110 calorie Yoplait – dessert, I suggest you cut a Klondike bar in half and delight in the 125 calorie treat. I’m not sure it qualifies as a healthier swap, but I’m sure it’s much more satisfying, and last week when I lost two pounds I ate a Klondike treat three evenings. So, it looks like it’s working for me!

And to my surprise, Klondike has their own line of 100 calorie ice cream treats! I guess I should look for them on my next visit to the grocery.

Weigh In Wednesday – Week 9

LoseItlogoIt’s official, I’ve lost ten pounds since the beginning of the year following the simple steps I’ve included in my daily routine to monitor my eating and exercise habits. Being more aware of my habits regarding food and exercise allows me to make better decisions and with the exception of using the ice each evening, the other changes are becoming routine:

1. Logging food and exercise on Lose It.

2. Drinking more water.

3. Exercising at least 210 minutes per week.

4. Eliminating soda.

5. Taking a multivitamin.

This week’s plan – eat more slowly. I remember my mom saying that eating more slowly allows your body time to fill full. She suggested putting your fork down after every bite in an effort to slow down. Just this week, I read an article, Retro Diet Tricks  in the February issue of Health. It looked back at slimming down through the ages and found wisdom behind much of the advice of days gone by. The article highlights the benefits of such advice as eating cottage cheese, grapefruit, and even baked potatoes; as well as going back to eating three meals a day. So I’ll try a retro diet trick this week. I’ll put my fork down between bites. Eating more slowly can’t hurt!

Weigh In Wednesday – Week 7

Happy Chef Badge - earned for sharing a recipe.
Happy Chef Badge – earned for sharing a recipe.

Success this week! Lost 1.5 pounds and re-established the routines that have proven successful. I earned the badge for sharing a recipe on Lose It. The Happy Chef Badge recognizes users for adding their personal recipes. The ability to add recipes to Lose It makes it much more useful, and then when I’ve gone to the trouble of adding a recipe it’s great to be able to share it with others using the app.

I added the recipe for a pitcher of Hurricanes. The bad news…one serving is 317 calories. The good news…two cans of Coke are 292 calories. Since my goal this week is to eliminate soda from my diet, drinking a Hurricane wasn’t a diet killer.

Weigh In Wednesday – Week 6

loseit_badge_regularEarning the Regular Badge is about the only good news this week. Lose It’s Regular Badge is awarded for logging everyday for two weeks. Logging is something I have done; however, extra long work days, lack of sleep, the Super Bowl…too many things interfered with success.

While I didn’t lose this week, I didn’t gain either. Instead of adding something new this week, I think it’s a good idea to go back to the plan for weeks 1-5.

1) No holiday eating. (That includes Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day.)

2) Log food daily.

3) Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.

4) Exercise at least 210 minutes per week.

5) Ice each evening.

Finally, I didn’t eat my burrito bowls for lunch each day last week…not because I tired of the same lunch, but because I didn’t have the ingredients on hand. That won’t happen this week. Rice, beans, corn, chicken, salsa have been purchased. Getting back to basics this week.

Weigh In Wednesday – Week 5

Exercise Buff Badge
Exercise Buff Badge

Logging accomplished. The logging of food, water, and exercise has become a regular habit. I’ve done much better with drinking cold water, even on the weekend and this week I made my exercise goal of more than 180 minutes…but one week of success doesn’t make it a habit. It is a great feeling to wipe out all the calories consumed at breakfast through exercise. It’s like getting a free meal!

While I’m working on making exercise a regular part of my routine, I’m going to add a simple change this week…one that sounds more than a little bit crazy. I’m back to The 4-Hour Body and Ferriss’ claim that ice baths or cold showers significantly increase weight loss. This type of ice therapy is not an option. I could never tolerated this type of torture. However, the good news according to Ferriss…placing an ice pack on the back of your neck for 30 minutes each evening is an easier way to obtain results. In fact, he claims the ice pack method provides 80% of the results obtained by the more extreme method of sitting in a tub of ice water. I’m going to give the ice pack method a try. After all, it’s another cheap, easy change I can make.

I’ve earned The Exercise Buff Badge on Lose It – exercised at least 3 times a week for at least 2 weeks and lost another pound…staying motivated!LoseItlogo


Burrito Bowls – My new favorite lunch!

Taking some tips from The 4-Hour Body, I decided to concentrate on eating more filling lunches to avoid snacking later in the day. The author, Timothy Ferriss, recommends eating a few foods over and over instead of eating a wide variety of foods. He suggests that concentrating on a few foods makes maintaining a diet more manageable and we don’t really need variety anyhow. While I don’t agree completely, I do agree that simplicity helps me when preparing meals. That’s why I’ve relied on frozen meals or sandwiches for lunch, but I really do not enjoy sandwiches and who needs all that bread anyway. And why am I eating frozen meals when I’m at home? Couldn’t I just quickly whip something up?

Well, last week I found the answer to the simple lunch that I love to repeat. At my request, John cooked a couple of extra chicken breasts on the grill when he was preparing dinner last Sunday. Then on Monday I cooked some rice (Uncle Ben’s 90 second microwave since I didn’t plan ahead). I heated black beans, corn, 1/2 chicken breast, and mixed them with the rice. I added a little shredded cheese and salsa and viola! I created a delicious lunch. Best of all, I had plenty of leftovers to prepare the same meal Monday through Thursday.

I know Ferriss would not be happy with all of my food choices in this recipe. Yes, he loves beans and chicken, but rice is a definite no on his plan, and I’m not sure he’d approve of corn. However, this is my body – not his – so I get to modify any way I want. So here’s recipe for Dee’s Burrito Bowl.


1/2 cup cooked rice

1/2 cup shoepeg corn

1/2 cup black beans

1/2 chicken breast

2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

3 Tablespoons salsa

Measure rice, corn, beans, and chicken and place in a bowl. Heat in the microwave approximately 90 seconds or until warm. Sprinkle with cheese and salsa. Calories: 440 (I know that may seem like too many calories for lunch, but this is filling; and you won’t be tempted to snack later in the day.)

Substituting red beans for black beans or doubling the beans in place of corn may be good changes. I know what I’ll be eating this week for lunch – more burrito bowls!

Weigh-in Wednesday – Week 3

So far, so good! All of the holiday eating pitfalls eliminated. Over a week of logging daily food intake. And best of all, I’m back to my pre-holiday weight. In fact, I’m a couple of pounds lighter than my pre-holiday weight!

The plan for week three may be a crazy one, but one worth trying since it’s so easy and painless. I recently saw a post regarding the benefits of starting the day by drinking ice water. That reminded me of the book, The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss which I read a couple of years ago.

Ferriss’ book focuses on a variety of activities to make significant changes in your body. His plan for losing weight is based on odd combinations of food with only limited exercise. According to his weight loss plan, you need to start the day drinking 500ml (16oz) of ice water. This is to be done immediately after waking each morning with breakfast to follow 20-30 minutes later. The ice water stimulates your body’s metabolism since your body works to raise the temperature of the water and as a result burns calories. By simply drinking eight 8oz glasses of ice water, your body burns 70 calories. I know, that’s not many, but it’s easy so I’ll give it a try. One more simple step.



Lose It! – A Great Weight Loss App

LoseItlogoMy goal of recording daily food intake has become a lot easier with an app I’ve added to my phone. Lose It allows users to set goals for weight loss, track food intake, and calories burned exercising. I used this with some success a couple of years ago, but at that time I recorded data on the iPad – not a bad plan, but not always convenient.
Now Lose It is on my phone so after each meal it’s easy to add foods eaten as well as daily exercise. After I recorded my goal for weight loss, the program determined my daily caloric budget so I can achieve my goal. At the end of each day I can see if I’ve met the daily goal.
The tool is easy to use for tracking what I eat since foods can be searched by restaurant, supermarket brand, general categories, or even by scanning the barcode on food packages. Personal recipes can be entered so accurate calorie information can be obtained from favorite home cooked meals. It’s just as easy to add exercise. Select from a menu of exercises and the amount of time spent on the exercise. Lose It determines the number of calories used. What a great feeling to enter exercise and see the number of calories available for the day increase!
Weight is recorded and graphed and users earn badges for their achievements. I’ve been able to connect with family members accounts so we can encourage one another and share recipes.
Lose It is available on Android, iOS, Nook, Kindle, and the web so it’s easy to access, but for me, the phone is really the way to go. I’m looking forward to making Lose It a part of my daily routine.