Trying Noom to lose weight

I set out today to write an update on my experience with Noom, the health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. Then as I was looking back at my posts, I realized I have never written about my decision to try Noom.

Between 2013 and 2016, I have lost weight by counting calories. This method does work. I am proof of that. But it never failed that I would gain the weight back as soon as I resumed eating normally and not watching my calorie intake.

This is where Noom comes into play. Yes, Noom has you reducing and counting calories, but they focus on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts. On this diet, there is no food that you cannot eat. You are not cutting carbs or fats or anything.

Instead, you learn about portion control, calorie dense foods, and your eating triggers (boredom, stress eating, clock-based meals). The hope is that you learn to CHANGE your behavior so that when you reach your goal weight, you maintain the new behaviors and keep the weight off.

In January of this year, I weighed myself and was not happy with the number. I had slowly been noticing my mid-section getting pudgy. Really, that wasn’t surprising. I am in my forties, and my metabolism is slowing down. (Not to mention I have had 2 kids.)

So through April, I did nothing. I wanted to start exercising but didn’t. I dreaded counting calories as I enjoyed eating the way I was. I mean doesn’t everyone want to lose weight with no work and no food restrictions?

Finally, in May, I decided to do something. I had seen ads for Noom and was intrigued with the promise to change your behaviors so that you didn’t gain the weight back.

On the site, you enter in your information (weight, age, activity level) and your goal weight. A custom plan is developed. You can try out the plan for $1 for the first two weeks. After that they will charge you a fee on a regular basis. For my plan, after I entered a coupon code (always look for a coupon code before purchasing anything online), it was $62 for a two-month membership. And two months is all they said it would take to meet my goal of losing 18 lbs. Before the trial date, you can cancel. And if you don’t want to continue after the first two months, you just cancel before the renewal date by sending a message to your coach.

I did the daily weigh-ins and counted my calories. But it goes beyond cutting calories. They care where the calories come from. You are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables while restricting processed foods, red meats, high-calorie condiments and snacks. The app even counts your steps as they encourage you to aim for 10,000 steps a day. Of course, it only works if I carry my phone everywhere with me.

In the first 2 weeks, I lost 2 1/2 lbs. I found the app easy to use, and the daily articles were interesting. I am not too thrilled with my personal coach or with the support group I was assigned. But I decided to stick with it. And now after 12 weeks, I finally received my goal weight.

I will continue using the app for the rest of my paid subscription, and then I’ll cancel it. Now will this time be different? Will I maintain my weight and not gain it all back as I’ve done in the past? Well, only time will tell, but I feel pretty good about it.

Counting Calories/Weight Loss Update

Back in February, I posted that once again I was back to counting calories to lose weight. (At the end of 2015, I found myself about 18 pounds heavier than I wanted to be.)

So I began counting calories which I had done before and successfully used as a weight-loss method. (It is maintaining the weight loss that seems to be a problem.)

There has been bad news and bad news…and of course some good? results.

Bad News #1

livestrongIn March, the My Plate app that I was using had an update that caused my information to merge with someone else’s info. While they did fix it finally part of the fix included logging out of the program. I had been using this app for such a long time that it was connected to an old email address and when the typical passwords didn’t work, I couldn’t ask it to send me the password as it would go to my old e-mail address!

In other words, I logged out and couldn’t get back in!

I sent the company an e-mail that they obviously didn’t read as they just sent back the instructions to log out of the app and log back in. By this time a week had gone by without me using the app to count my calories. It was also Spring Break for the kids and we were doing more activities and the calorie watching became harder.

My Fitness PalFed up, I decided to try a different calorie counting app – My Fitness Pal. I don’t know what it was about this app but I didn’t like it as well as My Plate even though it had great reviews. I guess I missed being able to look up my past foods with ease or the calories from a meal at a restaurant.

So here it is May and I have not been logging my calories. I keep saying I will get back into it but never do. Maybe I will have to give My Plate or My Fitness Pal another try.

Bad News #2

Well as you can guess, if I am not counting my calories, I am not losing weight. It became hard to stick to the calorie counting when after Spring Break we had my brother visiting. That included a Spurs basketball game, going to a gaming place with the kids and Easter dinner. None of those are conducive with dieting.

After that, our PTA put on a huge festival. It is a lot of work and again, not the time to be watching the calories. You eat whatever you can when you can. But after the festival, I have not had any excuse. I just have fallen off the calorie counting wagon. I am however still periodically weighing myself.

Good? Results

Woman holding her mouth uid 1461141On those weigh in sessions, my weight is fluctuating about 3-4 pounds. So I have either loss about 10 pounds or as much as 14. While this is good, I am losing weight at a much slower pace. In the first 5 weeks, I lost 6 pounds. In the next 12, I have lost 8 at the most.

I guess I should count myself lucky for not having gained back what I have lost. But as we head into May and June, I am hoping to get back into counting calories and lose those last few pounds. So starting today, I am back to counting calories (using My Fitness App).

Counting calories to lose weight – again

Woman holding her mouth uid 1461141Plenty of people make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. And many people will have failed to stick with their resolution a few short months or even weeks later. Losing weight can be hard. Heck, change of any kind can be hard.

I am not one who likes to make resolutions as I know how hard it is to stick to them, but I am determined to lose some weight.

As I look back at my former posts, I found this issue began three years ago when after the New Year, I posted that I would like to lose about 5 pounds. At the time, I wasn’t that concerned about the weight and dieting even though I had noticed a slow weight gain over the years. I just vowed to do better.

livestrongYep, it didn’t work because in September of that same year, I posted for the first time about counting calories. I had been to the doctor in July, and their scale showed me over 130 pounds. Now I didn’t just need to lose 5 pounds, I needed to lose 10! It was then that I knew if I didn’t do something, I would keep gaining weight. So I began counting calories with the help of the MyPlate app. (See the post for details on the app and counting calories.)

And with counting calories, I did lose weight. By the end of October of 2013, I posted that I lost 13 pounds in just 12 weeks! Yeah! And the good thing is that I really didn’t feel like I was dieting. It was all about making better choices and watching portion sizes.

That didn’t last long as the holidays hit. I ended up gaining 4 pounds over November and December. I again started counting calories to adjust my weight.

Fast forward to 2015. I knew this past Fall that I probably had been putting on some pounds when my jeans felt tighter. We had gone on a family cruise during the summer, and I ate whatever I wanted there. And before I knew it, there were lunches out with my hubby and family birthday celebrations, and then it was the holidays.

So when I stepped on the scale after Christmas, I found myself 13 pounds heavier than I wanted to be! (Make that 18 pounds if I went back to my original goal of 120 pounds from three years ago.) Yikes!

Needless to say I want to lose those pounds so I am back to counting calories. Now that I have done this before, I find it easier. I have hit my calorie mark every day within 100 calories. If anything I am more often under by a few calories rather than over. It is the times we eat out that really don’t help with counting calories.

I have been doing this for almost 5 weeks, and I have lost 6 pounds so far. But looking back at my history, I know it isn’t the losing of the weight that is my problem. It is keeping it off.

So this time, I vow that once I meet my goal weight that I will continue to count calories for at least two weeks (I prefer a month) so that I can get a good idea how much I should be eating each day. Only time will tell if that works. I may just have to step on the scale more often so that I can make adjustments sooner rather than finding out I am much heavier than I want to be and starting all over each time with a bigger weight loss goal.

 

Shedding that holiday weight

For those who regularly read my blog, you know that at the end of July, I began counting calories to lose weight. And it worked. I was down to my goal weight by Halloween having lost 13 pounds. So in November I stopped counting calories and began maintaining my new weight. I knew it would be hard during the holidays.

Bread and desserts with Santa cakeIn fact, from Thanksgiving to New Years, I gained about four pounds. It isn’t just going to holiday parties (I only went to one and hosted one), but the fact that we have such tempting things in the house – Texas Gold bars, Pumpkin Crunch, brownies, cupcakes and Christmas cookies.

I knew I would probably gain a few pounds and honestly I didn’t weigh myself until after Christmas. It might have been better if I had been weighing myself weekly as whenever I notice my weight rising, it is an extra incentive to watch what I eat. But it is too late for that now; the damage has already been done.

Starting New Year’s Day, I began watching my portion sizes and trying to stop munching on something when I wasn’t hungry. Yes, that ugly old habit reared its head again. But holiday food is just so tempting it is hard to remember that because a frosted Christmas cookie sounds good doesn’t mean I need to eat it.

Of course, it is easier not to eat junk food when it isn’t in the house. Now that the kids are back in school, and we have returned to familiar patterns, I think it will be easy to keep less snacks in the house and shed that holiday weight.

For the first week, I didn’t count calories. I just watched my portion sizes and tried to make better eating choices. No longer was I going to McDonald’s because I was out with kids during lunchtime. As soon as school started, it was back to having a Healthy Choice Frozen meals or my favorite – egg rolls from the grocery store deli (just 200 calories for 2, and they fill me up easily) for lunch.

Last Monday I started using the Livingstrong app on my phone again. It is hard to go back to counting calories, but at least I know that this will work. I figure to lose four pounds, I will be doing this until around Valentine’s Day. Hopefully, before I know it, I can move back to maintaining my weight as we head into Spring and shorts-wearing weather. And in Texas that comes early. It will be here before I know it.

Counting calories to lose weight – it works!

In the beginning of September, I wrote a blog post about counting calories to lose weight. In July, I had been to the doctor and weighed 134 pounds according to their scale. So I decided to start counting calories using the livestrongLivestong.com Calorie Tracker app as a way to lose weight.  My goal was to get back down to 120 pounds. Well, I am now just one pound away from my goal! This means I have lost 13 pounds in just 12 weeks!

Now I won’t say this has been totally easy. As I said in my last post, there were quite a few days I went over my target calorie intake which kept going down slightly as I shed the weight. And then there was my birthday where I refused to count calories and ate whatever I wanted all day long. But most days, I did well with keeping the calories close to their recommended amount. Never once did I feel like I was dieting. It was all about making better choices.

I had originally thought I would add in exercising in September when the kids went back to school but that hasn’t happened.

One of my other concerns when I first started counting calories was keeping up with it. I did awesome for the first 11 weeks. And then it happened. I didn’t enter my calories for the day. Oh well, I thought, I will enter them tomorrow. But nope that didn’t happen. In fact, I haven’t entered calories for the past week. But I have still been watching what and how much I eat. I was hesitant to weigh myself this morning, fearing by not counting calories that I had added a pound or so. I was surprised to find that I had still lost weight without diligently tracking each calorie.

So now that I am almost at my target weight and the holidays are approaching, I think I will change the setting to maintaining my weight. (Who am I kidding, I probably won’t even enter calories into the app anymore.) This adds 475 calories to my daily intake goal. Thanks to counting calories, I now have an idea what and how much I can eat and meet this new goal. And I know that going over one or two days is also not the end of the world. Losing weight doesn’t mean starving yourself. In my case it was teaching myself how many calories were in the foods I eat and changing my choices. It was about making lifestyle changes that I can live with.

 

Counting calories to lose weight

Woman holding her mouth uid 1461141Way back in January, I mentioned in a post that I wouldn’t mind losing 5 pounds. At the time, I weighed around 128. In July, I went to the doctor, and their scale showed me weighing 134! Needless to say, I realized that day I needed to do something.

I am getting older and know my metabolism is changing. (I will be 41 later this month.) I also realize people don’t get fat overnight. The weight just slowly creeps up on them. I figure I need to do something about this now or end up overweight as a few of my friends have become as they have gotten older.

When I was married 18 years ago, I weighed 104. Now there is no way that I am going back to that weight. My body has changed in those years. After all, I did have two kids. But I would like to get back down to 120. I think that is a perfectly realistic goal and appropriate for someone who is 5’ 2″.

I know that most diets don’t work. You need to change HOW you eat. You need to make lifestyle changes. Looking at my diet, I realized that a lot of my problem was portion control and eating when I wasn’t really hungry. To me, it made sense that I should work on counting calories as a way to lose weight. If I cut out eating the ice cream and snacking when the kids did, I should easily be able to shed a few pounds.

I checked several calorie counters out there, and they said to maintain my current weight, I needed to eat 1800 calories. To lose a pound a week, they suggest cutting 500 calories a day which sounded like a lot to me. Of course, I really had no clue how many I was currently eating. So I began counting my calories. I chose to do this with the help of an app from Livingstrong.com.myplate I chose the free version of MyPlate. It has many of the foods – including restaurant meals – already listed in it, or you can manually enter your food.

Part of the trick of counting your calories is knowing how much you are eating. I, like most people, just pour cereal in my bowl and dig in. But doing this means you really have no clue if you are eating one serving or two. So I began measuring my food. It was eye-opening to say the least. How does 10 chips really make a serving? Who knew that EACH flour tortilla was 100 calories? And that there are 500 calories in a small McDonald’s milkshake?

So for the past month I have been measuring my food and counting my calories. The app has suggested 1319 as my target goal for calories per day. I have been over every day. Basically, this only gives you 400 calories per meal with 119 for snacks. While breakfast is easy to keep under 400, lunch and dinner are hard to do. But I have kept my calorie count to less than 1600 each day (200 under the amount to maintain my weight.) I figure with this count I may not be losing a pound a week but half a pound a week. That is fine with me. I am not in a hurry, and I don’t want to feel like I am starving.

As for August 30 (five weeks into my calorie counting experiment), I have lost 7 and a half pounds. I have been feeling pretty good about this plan. Once I meet my weight loss goal, I will change the app to “maintain weight” and count calories for a while until I have a good idea of how much I can eat and not gain weight. Now that the kids are back in school, I am hoping to begin exercising again. With these changes, I am confident I can meet and maintain my ideal weight.