Water for Weightloss

One of the Shrinking Tweepettes lamented last week that she was doing everything the same, but she’d hit the plateau and nothing was budging. The question was raised about water consumption and this is where today’s inspiration has come from for this blog post because I want to share my experiences and what I’ve learned about water, with you.

A few weeks back, I read The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper. The first chapter was about water consumption. It is fair to say that this first chapter blew my mind. We all know that drinking lots of water helps keep us hydrated, keeps the organs healthy while working out, replaces lost sweat and can make you feel full.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that women need to drink about 2.2 litres of water per day. I’m currently drinking 2 litres, and drinking 3 litres on the days I do exercise. Bob Harper recommends that you have a glass within 15 mintues of waking up AND a large glass before every meal.

Why does he recommend this? Because drinking water increases your Resting Energy Expenditure. A glass within 15 minutes of waking up means that you’re burning calories right out of the gate. A glass before each meal will not only make you feel full, and cause you to eat less, but it is another calorie burning kickstart.

What is Resting Energy Expenditure (REE)? It is the rate you’re burning calories when you are sleeping, or doing nothing at all.  A study of obese children in Israel found that those who just increased their water consumption lost 3 pounds per year without changing anything else.

After sharing excerpts from this chapter with the Shrinking Tweepettes, it was like a revelation for some of us. We all knew that water consumption is critical for weightloss, but we didn’t know the science behind it.

Personally, I now drink a cup of water when I wake up, a cup of water before breakfast. I drink another two cups before I get to lunch. After lunch, I drink another 4 cups before heading home in the evening. At dinner time, I’ve replaced diet cola with sparkling water. I rarely drink cola drinks now. Finding out the science behind water consumption and giving it some ‘rules’ for me to follow has been revolutionary for me.

So the next time you’re thinking that you’re thirsty – reach for a bottle of plain old water. It  is the best thing you can put into your body (in my opinion).

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A year on; Strawberry is getting back on track

It’s been a while, over a year to be exact, since the last time I posted. And in that past year, it’s fair to say a lot has changed in my life. I broke up with my boyfriend, got a new boyfriend, finished uni, moved out of home for the first time and got my first proper job. It’s been a crazy year, a year which some of the biggest changes of my life have happened. And its definitely had its challenges, thats for certain.

If you don’t quite remember, my last post saw me hit my goal weight of under 70 kilos (69.9kg to be precise). But since then, a cheeky 10kg’s has crept back on! I know, 10kilos! I guess part of the reason for the lack of blogging was the fact that I didn’t want to admit that I had gained that weight. But right now I figure I’ve got nothing to lose by doing so (except for maybe those 10kilos!).

I could sit here and list off a whole lot of reasons why I’ve gained the weight back. “It was my final year of uni and I had to work a lot more. I got a new boyfriend. I moved out of home.” but put simply, I started to eat more crap and exercise less.

It sucks to think that I’ve gained this weight back. Weight that when looking back on previous posts, I worked hard to lose. Weight that I promised myself I wouldn’t gain back. Weight that is going to take me a hell of a lot of work to get rid of again. I’ve had a few half arsed attempts at trying to get it off recently, but I know I’ve not been trying hard enough (obviously I’ve not been trying hard enough else the weight would have come off).

I’m not going to sit here and promise that this time I’m going to do it perfectly with no slip ups, because that would be a silly thing to say. I know that I’m going to make mistakes and I know sometimes I’m going to jump on the scales and regret eating that piece of chocolate or not going for that run the day before. But in reality, I know that I’ve done this before and I know that I can do it again. I know that it’s not always going to be easy, and I know some days I’m going to have meltdowns but I’m hoping that with the support of my fellow violets (I know you guys are out there somewhere!), and the readers we have out there, that I will be able to do it this time.

I’m still 20kilos down on what I weighed at my heaviest, and that is obviously a great achievement. But with another 10 kilos (at least) to lose, I feel like I’m back at the beginning and that’s hard! It’s hard to look back at what I had achieved, achievements which I was so proud of, and know that I’m no longer there. Knowing that I used to be able to run 5km in half an hour when I now struggle to run 5 minutes. But I guess it’s important to remember that sitting here and moping about what I’ve lost is not going to get it back. I don’t want to be here in another year dwelling on the fact that I’m even worse off than I am now.

I’m not going to sit here and make a promise that today is the day when everything changes. I’ve done that before and it’s not the way that works for me. But I will say that today is the day where I acknowledge that things need to change.

I hope that everything has been going well with all the readers out there, trying to lose weight or not! Leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing, I’d love to know! 🙂

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Chai gets results!

What a difference a week can make. I read the first part of Bob Harper’s ‘The Skinny Rules‘ book. I’m taking parts of the book to heart because I can’t give up carbs after lunch, but I’ll try. But I am doing some of the things recommended:

  • Drinking 1 cup of water within 15 minutes of waking up
  • Drinking 1 cup of water before every meal & snack
  • If something has sugar or sweetener listed in the first five ingredients, it goes back on the shelf.
  • Afternoon tea of an artificially sweetened yoghurt replaced with 25gms of hard cheese and an apple for a power snack.
  • Eating apples (see point above) and berries every day (see point below)
  • Getting rid of fast & fried foods (Hello more money in my wallet!)
  • Eating a real breakfast (Hello smoothie! – I’m also going to try some oats too)
  • Going to bed hungry
  • Splurge meal one night per week – plan for the bad night and be more in control

As an habitual person, I make sure I take a water bottle upstairs with me each night. Going to bed hungry isn’t hard so long as I have dinner before 7pm. But I struggle to get to sleep when hungry, I’ve started taking herbal sleep aids to help get me to the land of nod and I’m drinking so much more water now days.

I’ve had a few slip ups – like Friday night ice cream and biscuits, but I’m able to admit that I’ve slipped up, because the only person I am cheating, is me. I listened to Jillian Michaels’ podcast about how to stop the nibbles and she admits that she has failed herself so I don’t feel all that bad because it happens to the professionals too.

Exercise has been going great. I’ve been back to boxing and I’ve booked in for as many sessions as possible between now and when the next semester starts, when I’ll have to cut back. On non-boxing days I’m doing the 30DS. I purchased some 1kg weights on TradeMe this week, and I was hoping they’d be more of a challenge than the 450 gram ones I had used, but they weren’t as much of a challenge as I expected, so I might step up to 2kg weights sooner than I thought!

SW : 100kg
Last WI : 83.2kg
CW : 82.2kg
Change : -1kg

Come on 80kg. I’m so close that I can taste the success!

What is one of your weight loss rituals? Or is there a ritual you’d love to have?

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Chai & The Skinny Rules

So last night I started reading Bob Harper’s book – The Skinny Rules. I’ve only read about 50 pages of the book so far and I’m loving some of the rules he is putting forward.

This morning I adopted the ‘glass of water within 15 minutes of getting out of bed’ suggestion, but after I’ve weighed myself, because according to the book, doing that every day is okay too – as a form of motivation. I’ll also be making sure to have a large glass of water before every meal!

The book also made me realise how much my current eating pattern already fits in with his rules. I’m not all the way through, but I eat berries every day like he suggests too. I make them into a smoothie. In fact, my smoothie recipe is almost identical to the one in his book! YAY! I’m looking forward to finishing the book and I’m also looking forward to it changing my way of thinking.

What is striking me is how much this book is common sense. One amazing fact that has stuck is that most of the contestants on The Biggest Loser, when they arrive, they are chronically dehydrated. Wow.

Last week, I went back to boxing. This time I wore my HRM and got a whopping 1132 calorie burn from the 60 minute workout. I’ve got boxing booked in for this Wednesday night and next Wednesday night. It is all paid for, so that is some serious motivation. I’m also back into doing the 30DS – and loving those workouts too.

To be honest, I expected more of a loss than what I got – however, I did have some ice cream on Friday and Saturday nights, which did put me over my calories for those days, but for the whole week, I was 1292 Net Calories under weekly goal according to MyFitnessPal. Hoping that this week coming will be better as I increase my water consumption and increase my exercise! And I don’t have to deal with that pesky study nonsense because my 1st semester for 2012 is finished and I have five years left to go before I get my degree 🙂

SW : 100kg
Last WI : 83.4kg
CW : 83.2kg
Change : -0.2kg

Come on 80kg!! I want to be at you by the start of Semester 2 on the 23rd July!!

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Chai weighs in & eats to succeed

Today I’m starting study leave, so it is all about brain food and being ready. I’m a nibbler when it comes to eating during studying and before I know it, BAM! A whole packet of lollies into my gob. So this morning I’m doing all I can to get ready. The snack foods are out of the house. There are no lollies, biscuits, chips etc. I have mandarins and bananas. I have pre-peeled my mandarins and put them on a plate – to snack on! Also on my plate of nibbles is one serving of assorted nuts, dried blueberries and dried kiwifruit. Another great brain food. I have bottled water ready to go in the fridge a well to keep my fluid intake up.

I kicked off my morning today with my blueberry and almond smoothie, with a banana in it of course. And I stepped up to a half cup serving of YCW Kefir this morning. Tonight’s dinner will somehow involve broccoli and tomatoes. Lunch is vegetable soup and toast.

Now that lectures are over and I LOVE boxing, I’ve booked myself into a few more classes at BoxSlim in Pukekohe. And paid for them. That is some motivation right there! I’m looking forward to the sweat and the pain. So come Wednesday night, after my exam for one paper and a presentation for another, I’m going to go and take all the stress out on some focus pads!

SW : 100kg
Last WI : 85kg
CW : 83.4
Change : -1.6kg

I’m putting this huge loss last week down to changing my scales. But it’s a loss, and I’ll take it!

Do you think fitness is a great reward for finishing something mentally stressful? Do you pick your foods around your activities?

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Chai gets what she’s wanted

Earlier this year, I lamented on twitter about how sad my life now is because I was excited over my a new vacuum cleaner. And then twitter reminded me of this when I expressed excitement over a new waste disposal unit. So it’s probably best that I leave my latest bout of purchasing excitement off twitter, and share it with you here.

In earlier posts I’ve passed comment that my bathrooms scales are not adequate for what I’m after. They’re actually mechanical scales, good quality, but they only read in 500gm increments. And those increments are pretty hard to read! Specially for someone with bad eyesight (even with glasses I found the markings pretty small and impossible).

So today I decided that I’m over trying to read the small print on the mechanical scales and after work I went to the local Briscoes to buy some new bathroom scales. I’d seen they had some on sale, but I walked in and they were 60% off!! So I walked out of Briscoes with brand new Body Composition Electronic Scales.

So hopefully now, I can accurately track my losses and changes as I continue to lose weight. and a few other things too! I’ve gone as far as updating my tracking statistics fields in MyFitnessPal to log the data from the scales.

I’m so excited. I cannot wait to weigh in tomorrow morning. And now I’m looking forward to a weigh in post next week!

Cannot wait to weigh in!

I see the scales being one of the most essential tools to weight loss. Obviously you say. I also use my tape measure and my iPhone. It isn’t about losing the kilos, it is also about losing the inches!

What do you consider to be one of your important tools to help you drop kilos and lose centimetres?

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The Chai Update Special

It is already turning into a long winter – and I’m finding myself sick, stressed out and time poor.

I managed to get myself down to 82kg just before Queens Birthday weekend. Then the weekend happened, a few drinks, and the big push for end of semester also began. And then I got sick. Not the flu, not a head cold… but a sinus infection which has knocked the wind out of my sails. I’ve languished on the couch for the last 6 days and today is my first full day back at work in a week.

So in that time, I’ve gained. Oh I’ve gained. I’m back to 85kg. And I’m not too worried. I’d rather do the slow weight loss and I’m taking the good with the bad. That means my goal of being 80kg by the end of semester (two weeks away) is now a bit stupid and impossible.

Here is how I’m going to turn this around

Once back to health, I’m aiming for Saturday, I’m going to get back to the gym. I only have two weeks left in my membership. May as well use the two weeks. I also reached the decision today that I’m not going to continue with the gym membership. I’m trying to save for not one, but two holidays. One in Sydney and the other in Los Angeles/San Diego/Las Vegas and Vancouver. Epic savings required.

But also because I’m finding myself being time poor. I looked at how long it takes me to get in the car, get down to the gym, find a car park, get the treadmill set up etc, and thats 15 minutes gone. Boom. That is 15 minutes I could be using to pack the dishwasher, hang out laundry etc – 15 minutes earlier to bed. In two minutes, I can change into gym clothes and turn on 30DS.

Part of being sick has been because I’m tired and stressed. I need to acknowledge this is a fact of my life and I need to learn to take time mentally as well. I’m working on the meditation thing. Maybe my 15 minutes recovered could be my mental workout?

So, bye-bye gym. Hello to working out at home again. I’ve got my 30 Day Shred and Yoga Meltdown DVDs loaded and my yoga matt is still under the rug in the family room ready for action – where it’s been since I got my 30DS DVD.

I also find that as exams get closer, I exercise more to beat the stress. Exams are happening NEXT WEEK!

And now for the food part…

I’m still logging using MyFitnessPal. I’ve increased my calories to 1400 a day. This is allowing me to have a few healthy snacks at the office. I’m constantly tinkering with my breakfast smoothie recipe. Right now, I’m making smoothies that are 150gm of Almond Milk, 150gm of low-fat yoghurt, 1x banana and 100gm of frozen berries. I usually follow this with an espresso shot. And now I’ve added in Kefir Coconut water to the breakfast routine. It is a completely liquid breakfast. With all of this, I can keep breakfast down to below 300 calories per day.

Lunches have been vegetable soups and toast. Watties Soup for One has been really fantastic and filling. For toast, I’ve had the Vogels with Chia seeds. And then I usually have some mandarins (about 4 a day!) for morning and afternoon tea. So lunch and snacks come to another 450 calories.

That leaves me 450-650 calories for dinner. That could be anything! Tonight, it will be burgers, with half the bun, some salad and pineapple.

In writing about this, I’ve just realised how much my diet has changed. Once upon a time, I was a bowl of cereal with sugar, milk for breakfast. Down to the café for a toasted Panini for lunch and dinner was usually somewhere under the cheese. Vegetables? Fruit? No! Now I’m having two servings of fruit with breakfast, two servings of fruit as snacks, two servings of vegetables in lunch & dinner.

The Numbers

SW : 100kg
Last WI : 85kg
CW : 85kg
Change : Nil

I am, honestly, happy with that. I have maintained my weight – sure I had a loss down to 82kg, and then gained with being sick, but I proved to myself that I can maintain my weight as well. Given that my last weigh in on this blog was a wee while ago!

My mini-goal is 80kg by the start of next semester. I revised this from my original goal of being 80kg by the end of the semester, because it is end of semester, and I didn’t make it. But I’m okay with that too. I’ve got five weeks, five kg.

What is your go-to exercise when low on time? How has your diet changed in the last 12 months and has it been for better or for worse?

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