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Everything I learned losing 21 lbs with MyFitness Pal

(10 Posts)
Terramirabilis Tue 04-Aug-15 21:44:04

Been meaning to write this up for a while and finally have time during my lunchbreak. After my DS was born last August I waited a couple of weeks before getting on the scales. I'm sure I'd lost a bit of weight after the birth, but even so it was brutal. I set a goal of 21lbs weight loss and got to work using MFP. It took me about nine months, which is actually pretty slow but there were some blips. I think it was harder because I had to go back to work in November and I think it's harder to diet when you're working. In June I reached my goal weight and I have maintained it now for two months. (I know that's not that long in reality but still, I have maintained).

My tips are:
Weigh and measure everything: I still weigh everything I eat as far as possible. I really mean weigh everything - with calorie-dense foods you can be way out on your totals if you are just guesstimating how much you're eating. It is weird at first but now it's second nature. Digital scales are essential to get this to work. DH was also using MFP in a more casual way but wasn't measuring everything and he only saw significant weightloss once he started measuring.

*Weighing everything includes measuring condiments, sauces, etc. Easiest way to do this is to weigh e.g. the ketchup bottle, then put ketchup on your chips, then weigh the bottle again to find out how much you ate. I do this for all sauce-type-things and also for butter.

* In theory you can eat anything as long as it's within your calorie limit, but in practice I found I felt fuller with more fat and protein and fewer carbs. If you're trying to do 1200 a day I found I couldn't really "afford" wine or sweets and still get enough volume of food to feel full.

*Take the odd day off. It's not going to make that much difference and for me it helped me keep going to have an occasional break. So I ate as much as I wanted at Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday and occasional events in between

* When setting up your profile, be honest about your lifestyle. Unless you are walking half an hour a day most days a week, you don't meet the description of "lightly active", you are, like me "sedentary".

*Use the barcode scanner wherever possible because I find that helps you get the most correct information about the nutritional value of the food. Recipes change or sometimes information someone's already entered into the database isn't actually correct

* Read up on how weight loss happens in the body, plateaus etc. Don't be discouraged by several weeks with no movement even though you know you're not cheating

* Consider (if you have enough calories to be able to do this) saving some calories for the weekend so you can eat more then. I do this now. I am supposed to have 1720 per day but I save 70-120 each day during the week and eat the extra at the weekend.

* If you make e.g. homemade cake or bread, the easiest way to work out how many calories a slice has (where you are unlikely to be able to slice it perfectly evenly into slices that are all the same to the gram) is to weigh the whole loaf once you've finished it and enter the recipe into MFP with the number of portions as the number of ounces. So e.g. 30 oz loaf has 30 portions. Then as you cut off a slice you weigh the slice and if e.g. the slice weighs 1.5 oz you would add 1.5 portions to your diary.

Hope this helps!

RaisingSteam Wed 05-Aug-15 22:52:28

Thanks! What scales did you use, can you link? Do they weigh to grams?

yumyumpoppycat Thu 06-Aug-15 18:25:52

I have this scale, at first I thought it was pants as it is so small, but actually it is great for counting calories because it is small and inconspicuous and can stay out on the counter.

You can put a jar of peanut butter or whatever on top of it and then set it to zero and the amount you proceed to use will register as a minus number! Similarly you could make a cup of tea, place it on the scale set it to zero then add your milk this time it would register the amount without a negative sign.

mrswhiskers Fri 07-Aug-15 07:39:41

I love the method of weighing bread and putting the weight in as the portion sizes. just did it with my egg mayonnaise as well. genius! thanks smile

RedCrayons Fri 07-Aug-15 08:05:11

I lost 30 pounds by fasting and used MFP to count calories and I echo everything you say, especially the bit about weigh everything. I have a pretty healthy diet anyway, but my idea of a normal portion was way out.

I didn't know about the negative number on the scales until
I read it on MN! Makes weighing stuff so easy.

I've got these scales

good tip on homemade bread, I've never been able to measure homemade stuff properly.

I'm at my target now so using to it maintain and also now looking at the nutrition goals. I'm always over on carbs and don't eat enough protein.

MaeMobley Fri 07-Aug-15 08:07:36

I love MPF but hate the idea of weighing everything. That said I do need to lose a lot of weight.

Findtheoldme Fri 07-Aug-15 08:09:03

You have inspired me to try MFP again.

I'm not sure what I should weigh but I know I need to lose at least a stone. I rarely feel hungry but then panic if I feel I can't eat because I am fat. I comfort eat then hate myself. I wasn't brought up being allowed to eat freely and never knew when I would next be given food, so I feel I am rebelling against that but I m hurting myself and getting fatter. I've put four pounds on in the last 3-4 weeks.

Orangeisthenewbanana Fri 07-Aug-15 08:11:54

Great tips, and well done on your weight loss! Will definitely be getting back on mfp next year sometime after DC2 arrives in December!

BasinHaircut Fri 07-Aug-15 08:19:38

Well done OP! I don't think losing 21lbs over 9 months is a negative thing. It means the weight is more likely to stay off and it means that the way you are now conditioned to eat is going to be sustainable for you.

I tried MFP before and like you say, I don't think I was specific enough about what I was eating for it to work well. I think I'm going to have another go and not be so half arsed about it.

I weight more now DS is 2 than I did a few weeks after his birth. I've started to let myself go and need to do something about it before much longer!

I need to lose a stone. I've re-joined the gym and have got into a routine of going 2 times per week to my favourite class over the last month. This month I am going to add in a swim, or 2 if I have the time. The month after that I'm going to start running a couple of times a week.

Just need to get my eating under control now and I'd forgotten all about MFP so thank you for the reminder!

Findtheoldme Fri 07-Aug-15 08:40:17

Just enjoying two weetabix with 150ml of milk. Weetabix is not just for babies, I'd forgotten how nice it is! Then I'm going to the supermarket. One hour door to door and up a big hill to come back so hopefully more productive than the Wii and it gets me in the fresh air and I can buy something healthy and delicious for dinner. Any suggestions welcome smile.

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