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Common Sense Weight Loss Tips That Work!

Common Sense Weight Loss Tips That Work!

Many of you have shared your frustration with not being able to lose those last 5-10 lbs even though you consume a healthy vegan or mostly vegan diet. I’ve screamed and hollered about Eat to Live and Skinny Bitch, both of which have helped thousands of people achieve their ideal weight. But recently I’ve discovered a tool that has helped bring home some of the lessons from both books in a way that nothing else has. Within two months I’ve been able to release 4 of the 6 lbs. of what I call “married weight” that I’ve gained since our wedding two years ago and just couldn’t get seem to get rid of any other way. I know some people have combined this with the Leanbean diet to help, but I had good results just on its own!

lose it

LoseIt! is a free iPhone application that helps you set a goal weight and tells you how many calories per day you should aim to consume to reach that weight within a certain amount of time. It provides a database of foods to choose from (plus the ability to add your own foods) with approximate calorie counts per food. After each meal, you enter what you’ve eaten. Similarly, you enter every workout/jog/hour working in the garden, etc. to give you calorie credits for that day.

Now, before you start furiously typing your comment below to tell me that calorie counting ignores the nutritional values of foods and that a whole foods vegan diet is all you need to achieve a healthy weight, let me just say that a.) I know and b.) I know. And that’s why truly healthy eaters have a leg up. We won’t be tempted to substitute a low-calorie, nutritionally devoid snack for a nutrient-dense, albeit slightly higher calorie snack. We know better! And that’s why an application like this is great for nutritionally aware people.

It has forced me to be aware of what I put in my mouth and hold me accountable for it. It put me in touch with what Dr. Fuhrman calls “true hunger” instead of mindless, emotional eating. I hate true hunger. I loathe it. I even fear it. The good news is that I know that even if I’m approaching my calorie limit for the day, I can always find something to eat that will fill me up and nourish my body without adding too much to my calorie load.

Here are a few things I’ve learned from the experience:

a.) 1 lb. = roughly 3500 calories.

b.) I can eat endless quantities of vegetables and leafy greens, and they will barely make a dent in my calorie count. 1 tomato = 35 calories. 5 cups of spinach = 34 calories. 1.75 cups of eggplant = 34 calories.

c.) I cannot consume endless quantities of salad dressing, Earth Balance, Vegenaise, nut butter or bread, so I limit my portions of those.

d.) “CSA pizzas” are my friend. I take a tortilla, brush a little olive oil on it, spread pizza sauce on it, pile on the local, seasonal veggies, sundried tomatoes, and herbs from my CSA that week, and sprinkle it with Parma when it comes out of the oven 12 minutes later. Great, healthy meal for less than 300 calories.

e.) Sometimes calorie bombs come in small packages. 2 tbs. of my favorite hazelnut chocolate spread = 260 calories. Yikes! That’s more than a veggie burger.

f.) Sometimes calorie bombs come in fancy cocktail glasses. 1 pina colada = 526 calories. Ay caramba!

g.) Whole Foods hummus has only 50 calories per serving, while Sabra hummus has 70.

h.) Baked tofu is a delicious and nutritious snack, with 90 calories per serving and 15 grams of protein.

i.) I need to move my butt. If I don’t exercise seriously–as in jogging, swimming, lifting weights, etc. 3-4 times a week, I will not release poundage (and I will not have a runner’s high or a swimmer’s buzz, which is worth it alone).

j.) I used the “nutrients” feature to track my protein intake for 3 weeks and saw that I got an average of 60 grams per day, which is well above the 45 grams that is recommended for my size, gender, age, etc. Booyah!

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k.) Sometimes my weight will fluctuate for no apparent reason, and that’s okay but is worth paying attention to. Eating salty things like popcorn, for example, will make me retain water and gain weight. I opt for the “kids meal” at the movies now, which comes with a kid-sized popcorn. Tee-hee.

l.) It’s easy to “waste” calories on drinks. 1.5 cups of cranberry apple cocktail = 250 calories. (Another veggie burger!) It’s better to drink herbal tea or seltzer/water with a hint of fruit.

m.) I can make my husband’s friend Ali feel better about ordering the veggie burger with us at lunch because he only consumed 243 calories, as opposed to the 423 calories if he’d ordered the cheeseburger.

n.) I don’t have to do this forever. After doing for a while, I feel like I “get it” and know what I need to do.

Curious? If you have an iPhone and want to lose weight, download the app for free. If you have a Blackberry, you can find similar applications such as the Diet Organizer. Have neither? Use CalorieCount right from your computer.

And seriously; read these books now:

Have your own favorite weight loss tip? Don’t keep it to yourself–let us know in the comments area below!

Marisa Miller Wolfson is the director and writer of the award-winning documentary Vegucated. Watch this film for a life-changing/ body-changing/ heart-changing experience: