carb cycling

WEEK 22 WEIGH IN: Tightening the Strategy to Make it to the Finish Line

It has been on my radar that my efforts weren’t producing results. I have found myself, in the last handful of weeks, having a few too many binge sessions. As I discussed in last week’s post, I was feeling really weighed down by the lack of progress I was making. Even though I’ve been following a lot of the rules, I was way too laxed, giving into impulses to eat foods contrary to my strategy.

That wasn’t working!

I’ve taken the week to contemplate how to push forward. I’m so close, and I’m super tired of dragging this process out. I know that it’s time to tighten my strategy in order to sprint over the finish line!

Since Monday, I’ve changed my eating approach to go into carb cycling. I’m going to spend the next 8 weeks (including this one) with 2-4 days where I consume a ketogenic macronutrient range of 65% fats, 25% protein, and 10% carbohydrates. I’ll alternate those days with one carb up day where my macronutrient approach will be 40% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 25% fats. I know that this approach will allow me to be aggressive in getting to the body that I want to maintain.

I’m committed. I’m ready to re-embrace my love for all the fats. I’m ready to keep my eye on the prize when all the carbs in the world are calling out to me. I’ve come this far. I know what has to be done, and how to do it! I’m ready to win the day! (Another Mark Batterson reference!)

Moving on. Let’s talk about how things ended on week 22.

End of Week 22 Before and After Pictures:

Week 22 Food Journal:

It hasn’t been a strong food journaling week. Saturday and Sunday, I only logged my food intake the first parts of the day. It’s probably because I wanted to be in denial of all the extra things that were jumping into my mouth. It’s fine…it’s in the past…

Monday, for lunch, the hubs and I went to a Brazilian churasco to celebrate closing on our first rental property. Afterwards, we went to this awesome spot in a local mall where you can get edible cookie dough called Scooped. So good! I didn’t log my food at all that day. But after that Brazilian food binge fest, and cookie dough, I fasted the rest of the day. Since that fast, I’ve been successful in my new carb cycling approach: Tuesday and Wednesday super low carb macro range, and slight carb up today. This next cycle, I’m going to tackle three low carb days. So my next carb up day will be on Monday.

I’m going to drop my food journal entry from today, right here.

The rest of the food journal entries can be found at the bottom of this post.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 129.9 lbs. (Decrease of 2.6 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 13 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 80.9 lbs (Decrease of 1.1 lbs from last week. Total of 2.6 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.3 lbs. (Decrease of 0.7 lbs. since last week. Increase of 0.2 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 21.2 lbs. (This was a 0.4 lb. decrease from last week. Total of 14.3 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.3 lbs (Decrease of .9 lbs since last week. Increase of 1.3 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.3 (Decrease of 0.4 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2.2 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 16.3% (This decreased by 0.1% from last week. Total of 8.5% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1435 calories (This decreased by 36 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2232 calories on moderate exercise weeks. 2484 calories on heavy exercise weeks.
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1500 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 22 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/8 inches (up 1/8 inch last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Down 3/4 inch from last week, Down 6 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 inches (Down 1/2 inch from last week. Down 3 5/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 33 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 7/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 inches (Down 1/2 inch from last week, and down 3 1/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 1/2 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 5/8 inches (Up 1/8 inch from last week, and down 11/8 inch from first measurement).

This is What My Workouts Looked Like:

Summary:

I dropped two and a half pounds this week. That lost weight was a combination of water, dry lean mass, muscle, and 0.4 lbs of fat- which is all we really care about. The measuring tape results showed a marked decrease in my hips, butt, and waistline.

It feels good to be a few days into my tightened strategy. The more days I go, the more confident I am becoming in my ability to stick to the strategy. And it’s with consistency in our efforts that we realize our end goals!

That’s it for today. Talk to you soon.


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Friday, May 28

Saturday, May 29

Sunday, May 30

Monday, May 31

Tuesday, June 1

Wednesday, June 2 (Yesterday)

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Before and after

Week 19 Weigh in: Developing Mental Toughness

Mothers day weekend has come and gone. My husband, Adam, didn’t know this but I have been suppressing a serious craving for French toast. I was ecstatic to find that he surprised me with that very breakfast on Mother’s Day morning! It was in that meal that I decided to gift myself with a day off from keeping a food journal. I assure you that my food intake was far from strategic, that day!

At church, they gave all the women a lovely buffet of Crumbl cookies and fruit. Then Adam came through, again, with a killer Steak dinner. And he did all the dishes, and changed all the diapers that day too!

It’s taken quite a bit of psychological effort to come to this mental place where I can allow myself days like those (every now and then) without allowing an ounce of guilt into the day.

In fact, In the early summer of 2019 I was meeting with a therapist for help in overcoming my struggles with binge eating. I expressed anxieties to him about how I was going on an upcoming cruise and I was terrified of my own inabilities to be in control of my eating when faced with the cruise ship buffets, and all you can eat everything. I remember being really bothered with him when he told me that a cruise is a time of celebration. It’s okay to have moments in life where we allow ourselves to enjoy the food when the opportunity is presented.

Of coarse, in that moment, I didn’t feel like I was being given the counsel and direction that I thought I should have been given. I thought how absurd it was that he was telling someone with a binge eating disorder that it was okay to go hog wild. (I know, that wasn’t his intention). Side note: If you ever find yourself needing to be told that “yes, you can be in control of your food choices. Yes, you can say no to your kryptonite foods,” Please, reach out to me! I’d absolutely love to help you make that strong voice in your head louder than the voice that’s telling you to give in!

Now that I do feel about 87% in control of my binge eating, I can see his logic. I can allow myself to have the less strategic food items and occasions which call for celebratory eating, and I can remove the negative emotions from the equation. Even if the non-strategic foods are eaten at times when I wasn’t planning to allow for that.

Now my focus is to eat strategically 85% of the time, and then 15% of the time can be moments when I have the pizza, cookies, etc. Of coarse, this is a goal that I have yet to master. You’ll see how far I am from accomplishing that if you look closely at the food journal entries, below. But that’s okay! We reach our goals through consistent effort, and effort is something I can commit to!

Alright, enough of that! Let’s talk about week 19 results!

End of Week 19 Before and After Pictures:

Week 19 Food Journal:

This week had a few days with pizza, crumbl cookies, French toast, chocolate banana bread, more pizza, and even more crumbl cookies, etc. I can’t decide if I should feel sheepish about all that, or be totally stoked that I was able to enjoy the food and still stay within a calorie deficit which allowed for another week of weight loss. I’m going to go with the latter because I really want you to see that you, too, can lose the weight while eating more than just chicken and veggies. (A calorie deficit means that your body is burning more calories than you’re taking in- whether through your basal metabolic rate, or addition calorie burn through exercise).

True that in weeks like the one I’ve had, it may require you to up your exercise so that you still stay in the deficit. But not always. Just like how some weeks you may find that you exercise very little, but your calorie consumption through food also stays lower than the calories you burn. (Anyway, I’m getting off topic).

I’m going to drop Saturday’s food journal here. That was the day that my food intake came in the highest, and furthest out of a weight loss calorie range.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 128.8 lbs. (Decrease of 1.1 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 14.1 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 79.4 lbs (Increase of 0.5 lbs from last week. Total of 1.1 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.6 lbs. (Increase of 0.2 lbs. since last week. Increase of 0.5 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 19.8 lbs. (This was a 1.8 lb. decrease from last week. Total of 15.7 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.1 lbs (Increase of 0.3 lbs since last week. Increase of 1.1 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.1 (Decrease of 0.2 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2.4 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 15.4% (This decreased by 1.3% from last week. Total of 9.4% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1437 calories (This increased by 7 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2225 calories
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 19 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, Down 6 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 inches (Same as last week. Down 3 5/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 32 3/4 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 2 7/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 inches (Down 3/8 inch from last week, and down 3 3/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Same as last week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 5/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 7/8 inch from first measurement).

This is What My Workouts Looked Like:

Summary:

I actually believe that the bioelectrical impedance results were a bit off this week. Another one of those weeks where the machine was manifesting its margin of error. I have a hard time believing that I’ve lost 1.8 pounds of fat, and gained .3 pounds of muscle in one week. I do believe that my total body weight locked in accurately though. So for today, that is an acceptable enough indication of progress. Well, that and the fact that I’m now needing to buy a smaller set of clothes, as most of my other clothes are fitting too loose (I’ve found some fun workout clothes shops that are comparable to Target prices, but with LuLulemon quality. Check out my instagram @thelast15pounds in the coming days, and I’ll show you where to find some great workout clothes!)

That’s it for today! Talk to you soon!


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Friday, May 7

Sunday, May 9

Mothers day! I didn’t log a single food item! But the day was filled with French toast covered in fruit, powdered sugar and syrup. Also, Crumbl cookies, Steak, rice, corn on the cob, and Sister Schubert’s rolls!

Monday, May 10

Tuesday, May 11

Wednesday, May 12 (yesterday)

Thursday, May 13 (today)


Looking for an additional read? Check out this blog with tips on developing mental toughness

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Fit Mom

Week 18 Weigh In: The Secret to Your Fit Mom Bod (Hint: It’s Not Perfection)!

They say that losing the last 15 pounds is the hardest. It’s not that the body doesn’t know what to do, or how to lose weight. The difficulty lies in the mental toughness and patience required to eat and exercise in a consistent strategy. STRATEGY being the operative word. I’m asked, somewhat frequently, what the best diet is for weight loss. The answer is that it’s the one you can stick to… consistently. Take note that I didn’t say “perfectly”. That’s the first step to your fit mom body.

Losing the last fifteen pounds requires time, good nutrition, sufficient protein and veggies, some carbs and fats (but in controlled amounts and timing), calorie deficits, exercise (HIIT circuits are highly efficient for fat loss and muscle growth), and patience. I am now on week 18, 4 and a half months, into my weight loss journey. I still estimate another month or two of weight loss effort before I reach the point that I want to maintain.

Could I have done it faster? Sure, had I not gone on vacation, allowed myself the occasional trips to Cava and Crumbl, or stole bites of Progeny #3’s PB& J sandwiches or fishy crackers. But living life and enjoying it is important to me, and I’ve been able to show through my journey that you can still live life and lose weight at the same time. You just have to keep working at it. That’s all. None of this, “I’ll start over on Monday”. You have moments where you enjoy the tastier food, and then you ensure that 80% of the rest of the time your actions are aligned with your goals. That’s where success lies!

Alright… moving on. Here are the results of my 18th’s week of this weight loss journey.

End of Week 18 Before and After Pictures:

Week 18 Food Journal:

You know, I didn’t feel like my food intake was stellar this week. There have been plenty of moments where “taboo” food items made their way into my mouth without me making any effort to stop them. (Because that’s how this works, right? We are victims because all the foods taste so good, and we have no agency as to what actually ends up being consumed by us!?!? Wrong!).

Actually, here’s a fun confession… about 68% off the less strategic/non “power foods” that show up on my food journals tend to not get logged until a day or two after I eat them. Call it human nature, my naturally defiant tendencies. But sometimes I just wanna eat the non-nutritious stuff and not have to tell the world about it. Of coarse, I always remember that I ate it. And after I take some time to make peace with the fact that I promised to be transparent about all of my food choices while on this weight loss/blogging journey it’ll go down in myfitnesspal. Written in stone…

Anyway… I made it work with both the healthy stuff and the non-strategic (yet tasty) stuff. I’ve focused on plenty of proteins, veggies, fiber, exercise, and calorie consumption that came in just short enough to still be in a calorie deficit. But also, goldfish crackers, sugar cereal, apple pie, animal cookies, homemade wheat bread with butter and honey, etc.

I guess, if anything, I want you to learn that there are certain principles to implement when it comes to weight loss (i.e. calorie deficit, eating mostly nutritious foods, eat your body weight (or goal weight) in grams of protein and 6-8 servings of veggies, don’t have “cheat days”, don’t “start over on Monday”, stay consistent with your nutrition approach, keep a food journal, or learn to eat intuitively, etc.).

But, perfection isn’t necessary. Extreme dieting isn’t necessary. Obsessive behavior isn’t necessary. Being as consistent as possible with those weight loss principles is an absolute must. That means no cheat weekends. But an indulgence meal or sugary treat here and there is perfectly acceptable!

Anyway, here is yesterday’s food journal entry (Thursday, May 7). Entries from the rest of the week can be found at the bottom of this page.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 129.9 lbs. (Decrease of .6 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 13 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 78.9 lbs (Same as last week. Total of 1.1 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.4 lbs. (Increase of 0.1 lbs. since last week. Increase of 0.2 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 21.6 lbs. (This was a .7 lb. decrease from last week. Total of 13.9 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 60.8 lbs (Same as last week. Increase of .8 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.3 (Decrease of 0.1 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2.9 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 16.7% (This decreased by .3% from last week. Total of 8.1% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1430 calories (This decreased by 1 calorie.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2225 calories
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 18 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 36 3/4 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, Down 6 1/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 inches (Same as last week. Down 3 5/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 32 7/8 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 3 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Dow 1/8 inch from last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Same as last week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 5/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 7/8 inch from first measurement).

This is What My Workouts Looked Like:

Summary:

I’m still inching towards my end goal. Really more like 1/8 of an inch”ing”. But that’s normal! I dropped just over a half pound of fat, this week. The measuring tape showed a decrease by either 1/8 or 1/4 inch in my thighs, hips, stomach and chest. Slow and steady. These last 5 or so pounds are sure to take their time, so 1/2 pound per week is worth celebrating. (Even 1/8 of a pound is worth celebrating when it’s moving in the right direction.)

That’s it for today! Talk to you soon.


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Thursday, April 29:

Friday, April 30:

Saturday, May 1 (Indulgence meal in the evening was not recorded):

Sunday, May 2 (I fasted this day, low food consumption was a bit lower):

Monday, May 3:

Tuesday, May 4:

Wednesday, May 5:

For more on this, come check out Very Well Fit.

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Before and After

Week 17 Weigh In: When Actions Are Aligned With Goals…

What goals are on your radar? What is something that you want to accomplish? What actions are you taking right now in order to meet those goals?

I don’t know about you, but I have some ideas floating around that I find myself thinking “that would be nice to accomplish, but…” The excuses are so easy to come by! That’s how I was with this whole weight loss thing.. UNTIL I MADE A DECISION TO TAKE ACTION! I’ll tell you, I wasn’t excited about not being able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. The process of adopting habits of saying “no” seemed impossible. Keeping a food journal, forget about it!

But then there was the other side of me that really felt desperate to not groan at what I was seeing in the mirror. I wanted to stop feeling embarrassed about being the personal trainer who didn’t even look like she was following what she preached. I felt a little bit like a fraud, and often told myself the adage “you can’t trust a skinny baker, so how can you trust…well, me.” I know, I know. I do preach being kind to yourself. And I really do believe in the importance of it.

The decision to take action came first.

And if you read back on my first couple of posts on this blog, you might be able to sense how fearful I was to take action (Post #1, Post #2).

I’ve been thinking, lately, about how awesome momentum towards goal achievement feels. It’s gratifying, enabling, and highly motivating to have measurable progress behind me.

I want the same thing for you. Is weight loss on your radar? Or perhaps building muscle? Maybe it’s making healthier nutrition habits that you’d like to create. Maybe you’re hindered by self doubt, or some other excuse? If this is the case, I want to urge you to simply decide today to make the change.

Sometimes the motivation to meet our goals doesn’t even come until we have started forming the habits that we believe we should be forming. So start with the decision to act. Align your actions with your goals. Then watch as you make progress. Progress is motivating, so work towards progress! You’ve got this! If you want to read more on this, check out this site here

Alright, I’m excited to show you where I am in my progress. I’m 17 weeks into my weight loss adventure. I had about a month there where I had my pre-vacation + vacation+ adapting to real life pause from weight loss. But I’m back on a weight loss trajectory! Here it is…

End of Week 17 Before and After Pictures: Check out that Florida tan!

Week 17 Food Journal:

I’m going to plant yesterday’s food journal screenshots here. I chose to go with yesterday’s, because it was the first day in weeks where I felt like I was finally in a groove of eating within my strategy without having a hankering for some non-strategic food item. Even when the hankering showed up, it didn’t feel like my heart was breaking to say “no”. I killed it with my veggie intake, making one of my veggie smoothies and sipping on it throughout the day. This allowed me to consume most of my daily nutrient needs through food intake, before adding in my multi-vitamin and iron supplements.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results: Week 17

My total body weight: 130.5 lbs. (Decrease of 2 pounds since week 16. Total decrease of 12.4 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 78.9 lbs (Decrease of 0.5 lbs. since last week. Total of 1.1 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.3 lbs. (Decrease of 0.2 lbs. since last week. Increase of 0.2 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 22.3 lbs. (This was a 1.3 lb. decrease from last week. Total of 13.2 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.1 lbs (Decrease of 0.3 lbs. from last week. Increase of .8 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.4 (Decrease of 0.3 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2.1 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 17% (This decreased by .8% from last week. Total of 7.8% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1431 calories (This decreased by 6 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2225 calories
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 17 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 3/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 36 7/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, Down 6 1/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week. Down 3 5/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 32 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 2 7/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 5/8 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/8 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Same as last week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 5/8 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, and down 7/8 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

My gym opened back up at 5:00 am, and there might not be words sufficient to express how happy I am about this! 5:00 a.m. is my favorite workout time! This being the case, I’ve been able to up my activity level by an extra 45-60 minutes most days! It’s a win-win situation because extra workouts means that I can eat a little extra food and still lose weight!

Summary:

It’s nice to see the weight loss progress under way again. It’s been two weeks since we’ve been home from vacation, and although my actions haven’t been 100% perfect, they’ve been consistent enough to help me make progress. This week I lost a half pound of water weight, and almost a pound and a half of fat. The measuring tape is showing some areas decreasing, as well. It feels really motivating to have the momentum continuing in the trajectory of weight loss. I’m excited to stick to my strategy, and see what next week brings!


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Friday, April 23

Saturday, April 24

Sunday, April 25

Monday, April 26

Tuesday, April 27

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Week 16 Weigh in: After the Vacation

It has been three weeks since I wrote up one of these weigh in posts! Although this hasn’t been a dedicated time for weight loss, I have placed healthy decisions as a priority. We were so blessed to spend 9 full days in Naples, Florida. I went on my vacation with an intention not to allow myself to gain weight (You can find my pre-vacation goals for weight maintenance here). By day six of the trip, I decided I wanted to stop feeling the pressure of making all of the calorie and protein numbers align. I wanted to give myself a break from the pressures of writing down every little morsel of food. Some of the remaining days, I recorded partial food intake logs. And some of the remaining days I fully embraced the “forget this, I’m going to live my life to the fullest” attitude. In this moment, living life to the fullest looked like Wagyu beef burgers, coconut flan, excess amounts of chocolate covered key lime pie, stomach aches and no judge-y food journal entries to try make me feel guilty!


Since exercise is my favorite, I fully embraced the opportunity to go running on the beach and HIIT (High intensity interval training) workouts by the pool in the backyard of the house we rented (I even posted some workouts on Instagram: @thelast15pounds). Maintaining my exercise routines throughout the whole adventure aided in me feeling even more okay about allowing the few days of enjoying the local fare (and not just ordering salads).

Coming home has been a less than an easy transition…

Towards the end of our trip, four out of the five of our family picked up a nasty head cold (Don’t worry, we got covid tests to make sure before heading back into our regular public places, i.e. school, church, work, gym). Upon returning home, I spent a few days resting to recover. That meant not going in for my week 15 weigh-in until last Saturday morning. I also did not exercise between Wednesday of last week and this last Sunday. I began “re-entry” into my workout routine, and regular daily tasks on Monday. But, I’m happy to say that my nutrition has been back in strategic mode since we returned. Still with a few more carbs than intended, but those haven’t hindered any progress in coming back from vacation weight gain.

Enough chit chat. Let’s get to the weekly results.


End of Week 16 Before and After Pictures:

Week 16 Food Journal:

I can’t help thinking that looking at three weeks of food journal entries is really not worth your time. So, I’m going to show you the snapshot of the average seven day nutrition intake, calories, and macronutrient ranges that I ate in over the last three weeks. It won’t show specific foods that I ate. Just the general nutrients consumed.

The days that I decided against food journaling will either show up as calories/nutrients/macros that are significantly lower than a normal day. Or there will be a blank space. It’s safe to assume that those days included large amounts of calories, sugars, and deliciousness!

Week of April 2-April 8:

Week of April 9-April 15:

This past week: April 16-April 22

Bioelectrical Impedance Results: Week 16

I’m going to compare my pre-vacation (week 13 results) and today’s results (not the results that were collected Saturday after my vacation. I will show a picture of the three separate scans, below. So you’ll be able to see what 4 days of clean eating and exercise can do to improve the post vacation body.)

My total body weight: 132.5 lbs. (Increase of 1.1 pounds since week 13. Total decrease of 10.4 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 79.4 lbs (Decrease of 0.4 lbs. since week 13. Total of 1.1 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.5 lbs. (Decrease of 0.3 lbs. since week 13. Increase of 0.4 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 23.6 lbs. (This was a 1.8 lb. increase from week 13. Total of 11.9 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.1 lbs (Decrease of 0.2 lbs. from week 13. Increase of 1.1 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.7 (Increase of 0.2 from week 13. Total decrease of BMI is 1.8 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 17.8% (This increased by 1.2% from week 13. Total of 7% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1437 calories (This decreased by 7 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2230 calories
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories

For more info on Bioelectrical Impedance, check out this link here.

Comparison of Bioelectrical impedance readings before and after the vacation:

Week 13 Measuring tape results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as week 13, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch week 13, and down 1 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 37 inches (Same as week 13, Down 6 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 1/4 inches (Same as week 13. Down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 33 1/4 inches (Down 1/8 inch from week 13, and down 2 5/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 1/2 inches (Up 1/2 inch from week 13, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 5/8 inches (Same as week 13. Down 11/8 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Same as week 13 week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 7/8 inches (Same as week 13, and down 5/8 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

Summary:

The most notable change in my body composition from before my vacation is an almost 2 pound increase in body fat. I’m not in the least surprised by that. I know those two pounds will be shed fairly quickly as I proceed with my nutrition strategy. All in all, I’m content with how my nutrition, exercise, and weight maintenance played out over the last three weeks. Sure, I gained a little bit of weight and fat. But I don’t regret anything. I really enjoyed the eating experiences that I had on my vacation. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing! (Except for maybe getting to the street taco restaurant one more time before leaving Florida!)

That’s it for today! Talk to you soon!


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Naples

5 Tips To Get Your Diet Back on Track After Vacation

While going on vacation is one of my favorite things, it can be the worst for staying on track with my fitness and nutrition goals. All the new restaurants (or old favorites when visiting a place you know), the general lack of a rigid structure that allows you to graze all day, etc. make it hard to stick to commitments around food and exercise.  Getting your diet back on track after vacation, is critical to ensure you meet your goals.

When I travel I am a little more laxed on my daily regimen, but I do my best to keep my workouts and nutrition in check. I prefer to rent an Airbnb or VRBO property, as it allows me to be able to do some sort of meal prep and eat a few meals at the house to help me stay on track with my nutrition goals (and, you can save a little bit of money by not eating out for every meal).

On our latest trip to Naples, Florida we took full advantage of hitting up our favorite spots.

We ate the world’s best tacos at Taqueria San Julian, donuts from Trackside, lights out Cuban food from Fernandez the Bull (Their coconut flan?! It’s probably a good thing I live on the other side of the country!), jalapeño wagyu burgers at Jimmy P’s, barbecue brisket and pulled pork from Mission BBQ, and the beloved ice cream & chocolate covered key lime pie from Sweet Melissa’s (which I may or may not dream about). 

We also had some really good meals at the house. We did steak and vegetables one night, I made my favorite egg white bake for multiple breakfast’s, and had some healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and protein bars on hand. While we did an “ok” job of eating-in while on vacation, my body was definitely feeling the extra sugars, oils and sodium that it isn’t used to from all that processed food.

As we are coming into the vacation months and things are starting to open up more and more, I decided that I would share 5 tips to get back on track after vacation as many of you will probably be taking vacations soon too. These tips don’t apply to just vacations either, you can use these tips to get back on track at any time! 

5 Tips to Get Your Diet Back on Track After Vacation

1. Whatever You Do, DO NOT Weigh Yourself!

Look, if you are feeling gross, bloated and sluggish, you don’t need a scale to confirm it. Getting on that scale will more than likely put you in a bad mood and can trigger your behavior spiral out of control and send you into a binge (raise your hand if you have been here?! I know I have, which is why I’m choosing not to post my next weekly weigh in until this next Thursday, a whole week after we’ve been home from our trip). And, most of the “weight” you gain will be in the form of water weight anyway (unless it was like a five year vacation…) so why beat yourself up over it? Which leads us to our next tip… 

2. Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

You DO NOT need to shock your body out of vacation mode or “work off” those maple donuts you ate. You DO NOT need to do five hour workout sessions all week to get back on track, or mentally abuse yourself with negative thoughts about how you should have done things differently. There is absolutely nothing positive that will come of this behavior. It happened, own it, accept it, even allow yourself love that you were able to have the experience and eat such tasty food and then move forward focusing on what is in front of you, not looking back at the “would have, could have, should have.” 

3. Increase Your Water Consumption 

Increasing the amount of water you drink when you return from your trip helps get your body back on track. There are soooo many benefits to increasing your water intake, starting with getting those kidney’s working and flushing out anything leftover from your vacay. This can help remove a lot of that sodium you are holding onto, as you replace it with better, healthier food and beverage choices. 

Water also helps you work off that “vacation fog” by increasing your energy and relieving fatigue. This allows you to get back into the swing of things faster. You can also work in some apple cider vinegar drinks (I love the Kevita Sparkling pro-biotic drinks! Meyer Lemon is my favorite!) to mix things up if you want.

4. Start/Continue Your Workout Plan

The best time to restart your fitness plan was yesterday. The second best time is today. So whether you are looking to engage in a new workout plan or pick up where you left off on your previous plan, getting back to the gym (or your home workout space) with a clear direction will help you get back into the habit and reach your goals much faster. Check out this stair workout plan, this abs/core workout plan, or this “back day” workout plan to give you an idea of where to start. 

5. Eat Real Food

I do not believe in extreme dieting, juice cleanses or crazy restrictive detoxes. Sure you can see immediate results from these, but they don’t last, and give you a false sense of what to expect as you stick to your nutrition strategy. When you get back, start eating real, whole unprocessed foods as quickly as possible. Don’t continue the “vacation eating” for weeks (Yes, I know, easier said than done). 

While spending a day doing food prep might be the last thing you want to do after sitting poolside all week, your body will thank you! If you find yourself dreading getting back into food prep, look for things that you can use that are already prepared for you that you can work into your eating (like those cooked rotisserie chickens at the store) until you get back into the swing of things.

I know that transition away from vacation mentality can feel like climbing a major mountain. But you can do it! Take a moment to remind yourself why you want to be living your healthiest strategy, and nurturing the habits that go along with that. Then, to borrow from a popular brand of our day, “Just do it”. Don’t overthink things. Don’t look back. Just sprint forward with your plan, take action. Then you will find that your vacation inflammation will correct itself in no time!

Anyway, that’s it for today! Talk to you soon.


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