My #1 Tip for Weight Loss

Well, here we are again.  I gained too much weight during the holidays and I want to let it go!  Are you in the same boat?!

Sure, indulging and not really giving too much thought to what you’re eating is fun for awhile, but if you’re like me, when it catches up to you, it’s not so fun anymore. #amiright?

I tend to go in phases where I’m very good with eating healthy, and then periods when I’m eating ice cream every night, ordering in, and just generally not being as mindful about all the calories I’m consuming.

From past experience, I feel strong and confident and most like “myself” when I weigh about 105 pounds with a body fat percentage around 19%.  My “fighting weight.”

This may not be popular to talk about so candidly, and I do believe we should love our bodies as is and for how they serve us.  But honestly, I just don’t feel my personal best when I’m heavier.

I’m also very short and petite, barely 5’1, so an extra 5 – 7 pounds on me equates to about 2-3  extra inches on my belly and makes my jeans tight and uncomfortable.

After years of experience with my own body, when I want to lose weight fast – ie, about 1 pound a week, I track my calories.  It’s not fun or sexy, but it works!

I don’t know about you, but if I’m trying to lose weight, I don’t want to just be working hard spinning my wheels, I want to dive in and get serious, so that I see results fast!

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT

If you do have weight to lose, let me tell you the easiest way to do it.  Not that actually doing it is easy, but the method is quite simple.   It’s all about calories in vs. calories out.

The easiest way I’ve found to track your calories is through the FREE app, My Fitness Pal.  The key is that you have to be HONEST and track every single thing that goes into your mouth.

If you aren’t familiar with the app, check out my video tutorial for how to use My Fitness Pal.

First, you need to know how many calories you should eat to maintain your current weight.  Use this Calorie Calculator and type in your age, gender, height, weight and exercise level.  I just put “moderate” for my since I workout about 5 days a week. Below are my results:

You can see I need about 1576 calories a day to maintain my current weight.

Then, give yourself a slight caloric deficit of 200 calories a day, and, over time, you will lose weight. 

Make sure that when you track your calories that you are honest with yourself and track everything or else the data won’t be accurate.

Using this method, it’s reasonable to lose half to one pound each week.

If you find you’re losing too fast or too slow, you can adjust your calories and exercise.

Check out my video tutorial for how to use My Fitness Pal.

WHAT TO EAT TO LOSE WEIGHT

If you want to get serious, it’s not just about reducing calories, because a low calorie diet of cookies won’t help you reach your goal.

  • Eliminate processed foods and refined sugar
  • Avoid soda and sugary drinks, including alcohol
  • Eat lean protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and healthy fats

I have lots of healthy recipes and meal plan ideas here.

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STICK WITH IT

Is it simple? Yes.

Is it easy? No.

The first two weeks are the hardest, but after you start to see the results of your hard work, it becomes easier to stick with it because you get excited about how your body is responding!

And remember, if you work the plan, you WILL see results.

When you put it in perspective, in just one to two months (not very long in the grand scheme) you will have lost 4-8 pound.  In six months, by Summer! you could be down a good 20 pounds!

Think about how good that will feel!

AMAZON ACTIVEWEAR

Here are some of my tried and true activewear pieces from Amazon.  Over the years, I’ve ordered dozens of pieces, and these are quality items that stand the test of time- and sweat!

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Do you have weight to lose?  A plan for losing it? I’d love to hear what works for you.

Have you tried counting macros?  It can be tedious, but the My Fitness Pal app really streamlines the process.  Once you get used to using it, it doesn’t take long to log everything and then you get a TRUE reading of how many calories you’re consuming.

Just make sure to be honest and log everything.  You’ll only be cheating yourself if you don’t.

Now let’s go kick Monday’s booty!

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25 Comments

  1. Nancy
    January 16, 2023 / 6:59 am

    Thank you for this candid post Megan! I feel the same way after the holidays, when everything is a bit tighter. I don’t feel at my best and don’t have the energy to show up as well for my family or myself. As much as I loved (and will continue ) to indulge during the holiday season, I’m now craving fruits and veggies. The one thing I’ve never been good at is tracking macros 😩. You may have given me the kick I needed to stick with itch, so thank you!

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:48 pm

      It’s crazy how even a few extra pounds can make us feel not our best. I’m always surprised when I start tracking macros at how fast it all adds up- but I like the accountability for seeing results quickly!

  2. Susan Null
    January 16, 2023 / 7:22 am

    As a macro coach, you should be in a deficit for 16 weeks. You should not do it for 6 months. Not without taking a break between. If you “diet” for too long your metabolism starts to slow down and weight loss becomes ineffective. Just a tip.

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:47 pm

      Thanks for that Susan! I do believe in ‘diet breaks’ too- they’ve been beneficial for me too.

  3. Rebecca
    January 16, 2023 / 7:35 am

    Love this candid and to-the-point post! Thanks for the motivation!

  4. Jana Duresky
    January 16, 2023 / 7:42 am

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I am starting the 21 Day Fix today! We go on vacation in 38 days and I want to lose a few pounds before we go! I really like My Fitness Pal – it’s a great way to track your food!

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:46 pm

      Good for you Jana! 38 days is a great short term goal- not too short to see results, but not too long so that it feels like forever!

  5. Julie C.
    January 16, 2023 / 9:22 am

    I’m just starting to count macros & started a shred last Monday. I use to like MFP, but recently switched to MacrosFirst and am loving it!! Thank you for the workout wear recs!!!

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:45 pm

      Oh I’ve never heard of that one. I’ll have to check it out- thanks Julie!

  6. Kristin S
    January 16, 2023 / 9:36 am

    I love how you are so honest about everything and that this is a struggle for you also. I feel the exact same way as you, I do really great for awhile but then around Halloween when there’s candy in the house things start going downhill until December 31 lol. I just cannot control myself around all those sweets. I also workout 6 days a week and aim for 10,000 steps a day but all that work doesn’t outtrain a bad diet and now I need to lose about 8-10 pounds to feel more energetic and comfortable.

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:45 pm

      The 10,000 steps a day is a great goal! I can’t keep the kind of ice cream or desserts in the house if I don’t want to eat them- the temptation is too high!

  7. January 16, 2023 / 9:38 am

    WOW…thanks for the tips. I want to lose some pounds ( lots, actually…5 feet tall and pudgy) but being retired, loving to cook, dinner out with friends…it is hard. But, I am going to check out My Fitness Pal. Thanks !

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:44 pm

      The dinners out are hard when we’re trying to lose weight. I will try to eat less during the day if I’m planning a dinner out with friends.

  8. Rachelle Miers
    January 16, 2023 / 11:27 am

    Check out “The Galveston Diet” book by Dr. Mary Claire Haver of Galveston! It just came out! It’s about keeping weight off around the belly and managing hormonal symptoms for women ages 35 years and up with nutrition! Great insights.

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, my belly is where most of my weight accumulates.

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:43 pm

      Also, I really got a lot out of Younger Next Year (for Women)- it has a lot of great info for older women.

    • Lesley
      January 22, 2023 / 7:23 pm

      I just finished this book I highly recommend. I went through menopause at 46 (now 49) and having women sharing tips and stories is so powerful!

  9. January 16, 2023 / 12:16 pm

    Hey we’re human and not perfect. So is normal have period of healty food, but with olifday is hard to resist to sweets, however thanks for sharing!!!

    • Megan
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 12:42 pm

      Totally agree!

  10. Paula
    January 16, 2023 / 1:18 pm

    Megan

    When I try to link to the leggings (7), it’s linking to sport socks. Can you advise which brand and style the leggings are?

    Thank You!!!!

    • Megan
      Author
      January 17, 2023 / 4:01 pm

      Aww, Paula! Thanks for catching that! I updated the link: https://amzn.to/3Xj0Edv

      Those are the leggings I just got from Amazon that are nearly identical to Lululemon. I’m crazy for them and they’re very affordable!

  11. Roons
    January 17, 2023 / 2:29 pm

    Thank you for the honesty, inspiration and motivation.

  12. Lisa
    January 17, 2023 / 6:01 pm

    Love this post and your honesty … midlife weight loss is no joke! You encouraged me to start logging in MFP thanks for the nudge (to lose the pudge haha).

  13. Becky
    January 17, 2023 / 6:04 pm

    I need to order more Colleen R. skin care items but I was wondering if you happen to have a discount code so I could order through you. There are no sales on her site right now. Thanks!

  14. Tiffany Devens
    January 19, 2023 / 4:01 pm

    Thank you for this post. It was a great reminder to start logging my intake. I know it will help. I hope you have a wonderful new year!

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