Friday, October 5, 2012

October Dietbet

Back in July I posted that I had joined Sarah Fit’s Dietbet. Everyone who wanted to “play” put in $15 and was challenged to lose 4% of their weight. For me, that was 6.2 pounds.

I didn’t take the bet very seriously for the first few weeks. I was convinced that if I “ate healthy” that the weight would just come off. The thing is, I didn’t really define what eating healthy meant. It was more of a feeling than an action. So, I kept losing then regaining the same the pounds. It was incredibly frustrating. However, in the end I won my bet!

At first I wasn't sure why I kept regaining. The first few weeks I was “being healthy,” but I wasn’t tracking my calories consistently or making sure that I exercised regularly. Finally, with a week left, I got serious. I tracked what I ate by writing everything down and I went to the gym three times. Because I only had a week left, and at that point I needed to lose about 5 pounds, I ate 1,200 calories a day. In the end, I lost 6.5 pounds from my starting weight in 28 days (6 pounds in the last 8 days). Here were my techniques:
  1. I cut out “healthy” treats. Healthy is in quotation marks, because some indulgences I had convinced myself were healthy really weren’t. The first three weeks it seemed like every time I went over 1,200 calories I would gain or at least not lose. I think the problem was my addiction to Frozen Yogurt. I was going to self-serve FroYo places several times a week. I thought I knew how much I was eating because they weigh the yogurt in order to determine the price and I would use the weight to calculate the calories. I honestly think the calorie counts on their website are off (so, on days when I thought I was eating 1,500 calories, instead I may have been eating many more). So, I cut that out completely. Instead I ate truly healthy treats – fruit, nature’s dessert. :)
  2. I increased my water intake. Part of this was replacing liquid calories with water. I had gotten into the habit of drinking smoothies and lattes almost daily. While fruit and yogurt smoothies and soy lattes are certainly not “bad” for you, they are not the best choice for someone who is trying to lose weight. My go-to smoothies contained 500 calories per serving, and my soy lattes contained 220 calories. By drinking water instead of these, I was able to cut out/re-distribute these calories. I also just drank more water in general. Throughout my day at work I would sip on water. On the weekends with friends, I had a glass of water with me at all times. This helped make me less hungry, and, I think, have fewer cravings.
  3. I worked out three times a week. I’ve always thought of myself as a person who exercises… but ever since I graduated from college and going to the gym is less convenient, I’ve become someone who used to exercise. Throughout the entire Diet Bet, I made it a priority to workout multiple times a week. First, I was burning more calories. But, more importantly I felt healthier when I went to the gym, which made me want to continue to make healthy choices. It’s a positive feedback loop. Also, going to the gym meant I had less time to spend eating… which was important, because I tend to snack when I’m lounging about. Most of the time I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical, but I also jogged some, took long walks at a quick pace, and did workout videos.
Diet Bet definitely helped me reach my goals. In the past when my weight bounced around but ultimately remained the same, I kind of just gave up. Because there was a solid end date for the bet, I really pushed myself to make sure I hit my target. I like how the goals they set were very reasonable. Everyone was challenged to lose 4% of his or her body weight in 28 days. That means that someone who weighed less had to lose less than someone who weighed more, which makes sense because the less you have to lose, the harder it is to do so. I also like how I was reminded of my goal each day in an email.

Sarah Fit will be hosting another Dietbet which will start on October 10th. I'll be playing in this game, if you’d like to do this with me! The buy-in for this game is $25.

~ Susan

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