Graph Source: Wikimedia Commons (click here to see source)
Last Friday, my scale showed a mini weight gain. I had stayed within my daily calorie allowances. The gain annoyed me for that reason, and because it undid my accomplishment of reaching an interim goal. However, I knew I lost fat. Just knew it! I coughed up the gain to “other factors”, meaning water weight, hormonal fluctuations, and/or something else. My weight can fluctuate greatly, even within a day. So, I put that behind me. I expected that I’d see a good result today. Did I? See below.
Week 5 Weight Change: – 2.8 lbs ( – 1.3 kg)
Cumulative Weight Change (Weeks 1 -5): – 8.4 lbs ( – 3.8 kg)
Exercise: Hubby and I went for brisk walks most days. When we didn’t, I did enough physical work (chores) to make my leg muscles sore. I also enjoyed some dancing. I cranked up the music and had a great time!
Week’s Observations/Thoughts: Because of the normal weight fluctuations I mentioned in the intro, I read up on others’ experiences with this. In the article https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4802499/women-monitor-weight-daily-scales-month-size-fluctuates/ four women in the UK discuss their daily weight fluctuations. One mentioned that she prefers judging weight loss on how she feels and looks, rather than a scale number. I know this is important. Though I do like weekly weigh-ins (same times), I know that monthly judgement is even more reliable. Daily weigh-ins only serve to mislead and frustrate me. The fact is, if I eat and exercise within weight loss ranges, fat loss is likely inevitable, unless a separate medical factor is involved (i.e. thyroid or metabolic issues, etc.) After 5 weeks (4 1/2 to be more precise), I can say that an 8.4 lb loss is not a normal weight fluctuation. A load of fat is definitely gone!
Interim goal(s): I’m again down to the next lower 10-lb bracket, after finding myself above last Friday. Luckily this week, I’ve more securely reached that goal. This takes me to a weight I haven’t been for about two years. I’m setting my new interim goal to more comfortably fit into smaller size jeans and bras. Another will be to reach a total 10 lbs (4.5 kg) loss. Can I lose 1.6 lbs (0.73 kg) by next Friday? We’ll see.
Apricot Chicken (“lightened”) – This Food & Wine recipe is sure to please apricot lovers. Click here to view. To lower the calories, I use skinless boneless chicken breast halves that I pound a bit flatter and halve. I use 1 ½ lbs breasts instead of the 2 lbs called for, and count that as five servings instead of four. This makes for proper serving sizes (still plenty). Brown on each side, and skip the oven step. I set the browned breast cutlets aside while finishing the sauce. As a pan sauce lover, I make the full recipe’s amount, but decrease the dried apricots to 2 ½ or 3 oz, instead of 3 ½ oz. After re-hydrating, I split each in half. Return the cooked chicken to the finished pan sauce to reheat. I top with chopped fresh parsley.
Individual Strawberry Cobblers (low fat/low calorie) – “Individual-size” treats prevent me from overindulging, but these buggers are plenty filling and satisfying. They whip up easily and taste good warm or chilled. I use 4-oz custard cups (or ramekins) instead of the 6-oz called for. That’s plenty for one, and can result in six servings (custard cups full). Do not “lighten” the recipe, especially the batter, or the results may disappoint (use real sugar, but low-fat milk works fine). Find this recipe on Snappy Gourmet’s website. Click here to view.
30-Minute Shrimp Fried Rice – Another example of a recipe whose serving sizes are about double what they need to be. Halve the recipe and you’ll see that between the rice, egg, shrimp, and many vegetables, there is enough for up to four people, especially as a lunch. I also used less oil, using a non-stick skillet. To extend the shrimp, I cut mine (large-size) in half. This recipe comes from Healthy Nibbles. Click here for the recipe. I made a simple fat free cucumber salad (recipe here) to accompany it.
Lemony Cabbage Avocado Slaw (low fat/calorie & dairy free) – The only fat in this refreshing yummy slaw is fresh ripe chopped avocado. Added chopped veggies, some lemon juice, and a flavorful herb made it the perfect accompaniment for a white fish meal I made. To save time, I used a 12-oz bag of colorful shredded cabbage and carrot mix. My hubby doesn’t like cilantro, so I substituted chopped fresh mint from my garden. It was a big hit! Find the recipe on Whole Foods Market’s site. Click here to view.
Approach: Beyond exercise, my weight loss approach is based on a Mediterranean style diet and a former Weight Watchers diet called the “Core Plan”, which includes lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, pulses and legumes, lean proteins, low fat or fat free dairy products, small amount of healthy fats (i.e. olive, canola, avocado), and extremely limited amounts of refined sugars. I am also using MyFitnessPal (MFP) to track my foods consumed, and provide guidance on a daily calorie, carbohydrate, fat, protein, and salt intake.
See you next Friday!