Category Archives: Calories In vs. Calories Out

It Is What It Is…

My mother-in-law used to say, “It is what it is,” all the time. It used to kind of make me a little crazy. But now I find myself saying it all the time. My MIL passed away a couple of years ago and we, my husband and I, find ourselves thinking of her often. She was quite the gypsy, with an infectious spirit. I truly loved her and miss her a lot.

Ginger with DennyWhat I’ve discovered in my quest to find the healthiest foods and best diets, pills, potions, etc. to lose weight and get healthy is this – it’s still calories in vs. calories out when you’re trying to lose weight. Once you figure that out, the rest doesn’t matter as much. I’ve gone back to the same strategies I used when I did Weight Watchers and lost lots of weight. I’m now using My Fitness Pal, which I absolutely love. It makes the whole calorie-counting chore a lot easier to deal with. It’s even easier than Weight Watchers. I absolutely love the app on my phone.

I wish I could say that it makes a difference if the calories are nutrient-dense or if they’re just junk calories. But truthfully, it doesn’t. You may be hungrier if you eat empty calories versus eating spinach and broccoli, but if you stick to your calorie allotment for the day, you will lose weight. And exercise does matter. You can’t just take a pill, eat what you want, do no exercise and expect anything to change. It’s just not going to happen. You have to get your butt up off that couch and get moving! That’s how you burn more calories than you consume. It has always been that way, and always will be.

Stock photo courtesy WebMD

Stock photo courtesy of WebMD

I’m really relieved to make this discovery. It takes the unknown out of the equation. I can no longer say, “I just don’t know how I’m gonna lose this weight.” Because now I most definitely know the answer. I’ve gotten back up on that horse and started my weight loss journey again, armed with the right tools and mindset. I like Paleo and use my Practical Paleo cookbook a lot, but I don’t practice it anywhere near 90% of the time, or even 80%. Well, maybe it’s close to 80%. But somedays are better than others. And I love beans. So, I do some Paleo. And I do some other stuff. I just watch how much I eat.

There are, of course, some restrictions in my daily diet now that I never had to deal with before – I’m 100% gluten/wheat-free and casein/dairy-free 100% of the time. I can no longer have them since discovering my intolerances. Bummer. I really loved bread and cheese. They just didn’t love me back. In fact, they were kind of mean to me. They really did hurt me. So, our love affair is over and all I have are the memories. Sigh.assortment of baked bread on wood table

But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy other foods that are good for my mind and body. I still can enjoy a cookie or a piece of chocolate (dark only, though) as long as it’s gluten/casein-free. They have them out there now. I hate it for people who couldn’t have things and had to really go without for years before companies finally started making things special for folks with allergies. But I really try to keep my sugar intake to a very low minimum most days. I know that sugar is the worst thing for my body. I just don’t metabolize it right. Even smoothies with more fruit in them. I will gain a lot of weight just from adding smoothies into my regular diet. So, I have to keep those out.

And I can still have WINE! That’s important.

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I got back on my Shakeology too, which I love! It actually helps with my sweet cravings most of the time. I can’t believe I went so long without using it. But I’m back to using it now, thank goodness. It really makes a HUGE difference in how I feel. If I ever feel like I’m not getting quite enough veggies in my life, the Shakeology will give me a little extra boost.

I’m well into my journey now. I’ve already lost 10 pounds since I started nearly two months ago. I’m down to a weight I haven’t seen in several years. And that makes me exceptionally happy. And to think, I could have done this a long time ago if I hadn’t gotten distracted with all the latest diet crazes out there right now. But that’s okay. It’s been a wonderful learning experience. As always, I’m a work in progress.

To a longer, healthier and happier life.