Hello my loves. I know it's been a while. I've had some personal things happening that I needed to spend energy hashing out and making decisions about. Because of that, I've neglected you, oh Internet, and for that I am sorry. You will be pleased to know that nothing of note has actually happened lately, so it's not like you've really missed anything more than my ramblings about food and running. :)
As for a personal update on my fitness journey, it's been good for the past week, but the last couple runs have been tough. I did get up to running 2.5 miles, but today, it just wasn't happening. I'm not sure why, but I suspect some poor dietary choices over the last week. But alas, the moon is full, and my lady friend is kicking me about a bit. That isn't helping. Not in the slightest.
I wanted to talk about an article that I read on Competitor.com. You can find said article here and give it a quick read if you'd like. Basically, it discusses weight loss, and how people have been, or not been, successful at reaching their goals, as well as maintaining their goals. The study utilized a database of people who have lost 30 or more pounds and kept it off for at least a year, called the National Weight Control Registry.
What I found interesting about this study was the fact that there is no one overarching diet method that worked for these successful people. Instead, they had all kinds of diets, from Weight Watchers, to low-carb diets. Instead, what they concluded that was the common thread between these people was some time of self-monitoring (as well as exercise). This is essentially some kind of monitoring of your food intake, such as counting calories, or at least being aware of your macros to some degree.
In my experience, I also find this to be 100% true. I first tried just shifting my diet from relying take out and processed foods, to healthier and lighter options, but with no portion control or tracking of what I consumed. Even though I did drop some weight that way, it was no where near a reliable or stable method for weight loss. I bounced around on the scale for a long time. It wasn't until I found SparkPeople that I actually got serious about my weight loss journey. I started using it like they suggest... not altering what you eat at first, but just tracking it to understand where your calories are coming from and how much you're consuming. I was quite honestly horrified at just how many calories I was eating a day. Well over 2,000 on some occasions. So, that is when I started limiting my calorie intake, weighing and portioning my food, and sticking to 1,200 a day and exercising. I've already discussed my adventures with that. Largely successful, but not sustainable. But now I'm back at it, aiming for 1,400 a day and exercising. My stomach is much happier, and I've already lost 6lbs since I started back to self-monitoring.
So, as much as it sucks in a lot of ways guys, finding some kind of way to monitor your intake of food is the way to go. And now, there's research data to back that up. :)