Saturday, April 5, 2008

How do you lose 20 pounds? Contest!

Most of the folks who will read this post have done this many times over--lose 20 pounds. 20, 40, 80, heck 200 pounds! But, another WLS postop friend and I have been discussing how you lose that LAST 20 pounds...

You can probably remember times in your past when you'd been to Weight Watchers and seen those folks who had just 20 pounds they wanted to lose... And, if you can remember those times, then you probably also remember thinking--if only! LOL If only 20 pounds was all you had to lose, you probably wouldn't have been at WW... You may even remember thinking that you could probably lose 20 pounds just by having a good bowel movement... LOL Many WLS postop folks have lost hundreds of pounds and some have done it more than once. Some of you have lost 100 pounds several times over via Weight Watchers, Atkins, or some other diet. You dropped and subsequently regained that 100 pounds at least once. You may even have thought that losing 100 pounds was easy. But, now you are SO close to goal. You have just 20 more pounds to lose to get to your final goal weight and the weight just isn't budging! You eat right. You keep your carbs low. You exercise. You get your fluids and protein in each day. You shake things up from time to time in both your eating and your exercise. Nothing seems to make a difference. So, HOW do you lose 20 pounds?

We're having this discussion this weekend in my mini-challenge group from OH. I've also posted this same discussion over on the main messageboard at OH. Check it out and comment if you choose!

BUT, if you comment HERE to this post, I'll enter your name in a drawing for an assorted box of WLS friendly snack/protein items! Each comment gets an entry in the drawing AND, the more people who comment, the more goodies I'll put in the box!

Karen, another postop at this last-20-pounds point, surfed the Weight Watchers boards for clues and scavenged the following info:
1. Staying on track over the weekend is HUGE... Many of us have been there and understand the issue. Down time often means bored time and we tend to eat more when we're bored...
2. If you only have 20-30 pounds to lose, you really have to be diligent--no matter what "plan" you follow.
3. EXERCISE! She said it seems to come in all capital letters a lot! Most folks seemed to be doing SIX days a week of cardio/weights combined. Many people were what she said she would call obsessive about running/cycling for MANY miles each day.
4. The Weight Watchers folks were adding calories to their daily intake (points in their language) for this added exercise. It seemed to be in the form of dairy/protein or (get this) protein shakes...hhhmmmmm

Here's a neat concept Karen sort of "borrowed" for us... It's called the 21 day plan (21 days to form a habit). You decide what the habit is you'd like to start/break. You begin counting each day you meet that goal. At the end of 21 days of success you begin the cycle again to ensure the habits become embedded in your lifestyle. If you "fall off the wagon," you reset your count and start over. So, for example, if I wanted to stop eating something--let's say chocolate, I would make that my goal. If I managed not to eat chocolate for 4 days, I would be at C1, D4 (cycle one, day four). If I then ate a Hershey's kiss, I would have to start again the next day at C1, D1. The day after C1, D21 is C2, D1 as we start a new cycle after 21 days of success... Same thing/concept works for maintaining an exercise program, getting in your fluids or protein, etc.

This was an interesting list for a maintenance program plan:
1. EXERCISE (there's those caps again)
2. Attend support meetings
3. Track your food
4. Try something new (recipe, exercise, etc.) to shake things up and keep them interesting
5. Deal with gains and off-track behavior quickly

None of that is new, right? But, how often can you say you do all 5? Not just how many DAYS, but how many weeks or even months?? This is a level of diligence that most can't report for a prolonged period...


Martha001 said...

I saw your post on OH. It really made me stop to think because I realized that finally, I AM one of those people with just 25 or 30 pounds to lose. I'm so used to being the one who had 100 pounds+ to lose that I hadn't really thought about just how close I am to my goal and how far I've come. I guess the thing to do now is to change up the workouts a bit and up the water as much as I can. I'm pretty happy with my nutrition plan as it is right now, so that will likely be the last thing I would tweak to try to get things moving faster.

Stephanie B said...

Hi Lea: This post is exactly where I am now...I am about 22 pounds from my goal weight and would you know it, it seems like it is taking forever to get there. I have been up and down for the last 3 months trying to get this thing right. Last week I changed up my routine and I am increasing my protein intake, cutting the carbs back and most importantly..I am going to stop the grazing. I have days when I can eat only my planned meals and be totally content and then there are days when I just want to graze and eat anything that is not tied down. So I know that is a big hinderance. Hopefully by uping the protein intake I will not have the urges so frequently to graze. I am also going to try an 8 week work out program to train to run a 5 k mile. My work outs, while consistent, have not been really challenging. So I will pump that up a bit and see where it takes me. I am doing the Memorial Day Challenge so you will see how things work out as well. Thanks for these inspiring challenges and keep us motivated!


Jean M said...

I only have 19.5 lbs left to lose to get to my (original) weight goal, but my weight loss has slowed way down. I decided to increase my water intake by 16 oz/day and am considering leaving Curves and going to a regular gym in addition to my daily walks for exercise. I'm also going to stop doing protein drinks and switch to solid protein snacks, which should help keep me satisfied for longer than liquid calories do.

Lea in WV said...

Great comments! Keep 'em comin' folks!!

NHSkinnygirl said...

Hi Lea,
I guess for me that last 20 lbs was a challenge. I had joined WW for the support when I had 35 lbs left to get to my goal. What I did was up my protein and low carb veggies, dropped my carbs to just one serving a day and added to my water intake from 80 to 100 oz a day. I mixed my days for exercise by walking 3 miles one day the next day was weight training at the gym no cardio on weight days other than normal days walking for movement not exercise. I dropped that last 35 lbs in 7 weeks and reached goal 6 days before my 1 yr surgiversary.

fridak said...

Well I'm still in the "honey-moon phase" so up until now I've lost pretty steady by simply sticking to the protein first concept. Well I have started slowing down a bit and I have 11 weeks left till we leave for Myrtle for a week and I want to loose 25 more. So just last weekend I've realy started tracking my food/water intake. I'm also proud to say I finally started working out. Weight training and I can actually run on the treadmill again!!!! Wish me luck!!!

Gramma Lori said...

20 lbs is still a dream :) I've got 20 lbs to lose x2.5 lol I know though that I have to be right on top of it - even more so than the other 100+ lbs. Fiber to keep things moving, protein and muscle to burn and keep that metabolism going. Water to flush the fiber. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it :)

Anna said...

I was stuck just under 200 pounds for months and was trying to keep my calories super low and activity super high. Finally very discouraged, I allowed my calories to come up a bit and eased off on the intensity of my workouts and guess what?!? I broke my platue! I am not saying going back to 2000 calories a day and quit going to the gym, I only upped my calories 250-300 a day and wasn't working out 5 days a week at a, I am going to be so sore tomorrow, intensity anymore.

Laura said...

I believe that the last 20 (10, 5, etc) will be the hardest to lose...I am guessing that increased water consumption..maybe just adding 15-extra minutes of excersize somewhere in my day and taking out 1-2 snacks might help...but probably I will have to really look at taking out some carbs and maybe knocking off total daily caloric intake a bit to make this happy..Unfortunately, it won't be a really fun period of time for - or anyone I would imagine.

sallbu said...

I have to agree with most of the other posters. This last 20 lbs is gonna be the toughest. I am trying to restrict the snacking and munching. Increase the protein and water. I have also tried to increase my fiber some. When I do snack I try to keep it at fruit or veggies but it is hard. I guess it is just gonna take a lot more work and consistancy. Don't they say the best things in life are worth waiting for.

SignGurl said...

I have 12 pounds left to get to my original goal of 180 (started at 384). I'm toying with the idea of making my new goal weight 165, but want to reach my original one first. I've never reached a goal weight in my life. I also never dreamed I would be this close and yet so far since the weight loss has slowed so much.

I joined Curves just over a month ago and am happy to say that I've lost 8.5 pounds (according to their scales) and 9 inches in on month. So for me, like most, exercise is going to be the key.

I keep my calories between 1200 and 1400 and eat protein first. I have also upped my fiber intake by eating a serving of Fiber One cereal (14 grams of fiber in 1/2 cup, 60 calories). It has really helped "keep things moving", if you know what I mean.

I hope that someone can miraculously let us know the secret to getting these last pounds off.

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