How I Lost Four Inches in Four Weeks: Part I

If you are under the age of 45, please stop reading and go away.  Not to be rude, but once you reach a certain age, everything you thought you knew about your body is gone forever. Before the age of 45, you think — no, you are sure, that the middle age spread will not come to you — because you are proactive, not lazy, and perfect.  You think you are immortal.  At least, that’s what I thought until this strange phenomenon called pre-menopause, or whatever it is I’m going through, came on full force.

Each week, one to two pounds extra suddenly appeared on the scale… out of NO WHERE. I had an unlimited supply of extra pounds. Yet, I was eating small portions, minimal carbs, and running every day, on an empty stomach (to burn more fat). Nothing was working. In fact, I was a fat-creating machine.

imageBut I conquered the beast. Steadily and surely, I found a way, a discipline, that overcame the steady growth of my middle.

One of my first steps was when  I stumbled upon this post, on Mark’s Daily Apple, that identified the proper nutritional requirements I needed.  According to this information, post and menopause women need 1500 calories a day, 80 g carbs (21% calories from carbs) 120 g protein (31% calories from protein) 80 g fat (48% calories from fat).

OK.. So what was I eating? I truly didn’t know.

So, I created an account with My Fitness Pal and started keeping track. The first day, I just ate my normal diet.  And I learned that I was eating far less than 1500 calories a day — more like 700-800 calories a day. Why wasn’t I dropping weight? Why was I gaining? Was I starving myself and signaling to my body to create more fat? Upon closer examination, I found one of my biggest problems. If you look closely at Mark’s Daily Apple, there is a high amount of fat, 80 grams. I knew that healthy fats are one of the key ways to maintaining healthy weight. So, I ate lots and lots of nuts. But too many nuts.  And that little nibble of the kid’s after school cookies — sent the carb count way over the top. A single oatmeal (healthy) cookie has 20 grams of carbs! Just one cookie! That leaves very little room for veggies.

So, you get the picture. I wasn’t eating enough, and the proportions of carbs to fat to protein were completely out of whack. So, if you want to get on board, check out exactly what you’re eating. Invest in a scale, and start tracking. I’ve learned a lot of tricks, sneaks and great tasting cheats that add zero carbs.  The results I’ve made are clear — despite the midlife bulge working against me (and even through the Thanksgiving feast!) I will be sharing more of them over the next few weeks.

Here’s Tip Number 2: The Fat-Burning Hot Chocolate Bar.

 

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