A Simple Trick to Keep Weight Off: Weigh Yourself Regularly

weighing yourself

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know how hard it is. That’s why it’s so important to keep the excess weight from coming on in the first place. And one method for doing that is to weigh yourself regularly. I know there are lots of opinions on this with some experts saying to never weigh yourself but I think regular weigh-ins are helpful for keeping you on track.

You might think it’s better to just see how your clothes fit. If they’re getting snug, it’s time to cut back. But this doesn’t always work. Clothes stretch and people like to use the “it must have shrunk in the dryer” excuse when pants get too tight. A scale is more reliable.  And it seems to get people to take action more than the tight-clothing approach.

How often should you weigh in? Some people like to weigh themselves every day, but I think that’s a lot. And once a week weigh-ins can be misleading. For example, just one day of salty meals before a weigh-in could add on a couple pounds of excess water. So I tell people to weigh in 2-3 times a week. That way you can get an average for the week.

If you see your weight creeping up by a couple pounds, take action. Cut portions a little and bump up your activity level. These small changes can help get rid of those few extra pounds. And losing 1-2 pounds now is much easier than trying to lose 20-30 pounds later.

Through her Des Moines-based nutrition company, SK Health Communications, registered dietitian Stephanie Karpinske writes and develops recipes for magazines, books, supermarkets and food companies. She is the author of Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success and writes a blog about healthy eating, foodnuti.com. She’s coaching the Lehman family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


Tiffany, Week #21: What a Difference A Bed Makes

lehmans

Since Andy and I have been married we have never had a really good bed. It’s one of those expenses that we just never have put much stock into. In fact the kids had better quality beds than we did. Funny, in an ironic sense, how we always put the needs of our children before our own, but really we need to learn to put just as much stock into ourselves as we do our kids. If we are our personal best then we’ll be the best parents we can be to Anna and Jack. Being part of our personal best is ensuring a good night sleep on a good bed.

Back to the bed: As you know we won Challenge #4, which was to get the proper type and amount of sleep. At first I was not a happy girl because that meant I had to give up my late night me-time. (Shhhh don’t tell the good doc I’m writing this blog right now at 10 p.m. when I really should be in bed…thank goodness the sleep challenge is over…HA!) Andy and I were very motivated to win this challenge because we had a hunch that whoever won Challenge #4 would most likely be getting a new bed. We thought we’d just a get a new bed for us BUT the kids did too! WOW!

Before getting our new beds, we went through the bedMATCH process–it’s like matchmaking for mattresses! We took a few minutes to answer questions about our sleeping habits, body type and any pain we have. Using that information the computerized sleep diagnostic system actually picked the beds that were best for each one of us.

What we received were Kingsdown’s My Side Series 600 beds. Andy and I got a queen and the kids each got twin beds. This bed uses the latest technologies available in mattresses today–it’s a hybrid model that combines springs, memory foam and gel.

Here is a little more detail from the manufacturer on the beds we received:

Cool Wave™ Memory Foam: Specially designed to help you stay cooler at night as compared to standard mattresses. According to our sleep coach Dr. Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, our bodies need to cool down at night in order to have a restful sleep.

Chilly Wave™ gel-infused lumbar support band. Again–the gel helps you to stay cool at night and this also helps provide extra support for your lower back.

Individually Wrapped Coils: Instead of one sheet of coils, these are individually wrapped for less motion disturbance. This way, when you roll over, your spouse won’t feel the “bounce” of the bed.

Full Body Surround Edge Support System: A foam encasement of the mattress’ core for added support. Essentially, this keeps you from rolling off the bed! You’ll also feel the difference when you sit on the edge of the bed–maybe to tie your shoes–and the edge doesn’t sink.

Semi-Flex Foundation: This is your box spring. Instead of being rock solid, it’s meant to flex with the mattress. It’s made from lumber cut from renewable forests and has steel supports.

We have been sleeping on our beds now for about two weeks and we LOVE them. I have never felt so refreshed in the morning and neither one of us have any back pain or any other kinds of body pain. The kids sleep so well and they too wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Plus they love how high their new beds are. It’s fun for them to get into bed.

If you’re in the market for a new bed, the Lehmans strongly encourage you to check out these beds. They are wonderful! Thank you Family Circle and Kingsdown for giving us a great night’s sleep!

When was the last time you bought a new mattress? Are you long overdue? Post a comment and tell me!


How to Break Through a Weight Loss Wall

We’ve all been there. You’re working out and eating right, but suddenly the number on the scale isn’t moving down anymore. It’s just standing still. As the Avaglianos enter their last challenge they may find they’ve hit this weight loss wall. It’s very common and extremely discouraging, but there’s a reason for it. Perhaps the first big drop in weight was mostly water or your metabolism has slowed down. It’s even likely that now that you weigh less, you are burning fewer calories.

No matter what the case, don’t get discouraged because other changes may be happening. You may be losing inches and not pounds—which is just as important. Also you’re eating better and exercising so your overall health is going to be improved.

To get back on the weight-loss track, though, you’ll have to make some adjustments. Consider boosting your workouts (either in length or intensity) to burn more calories. Alternately, you may need to lower the number of calories you are taking in. Finally, make sure your weight loss goals are realistic. After all, if you can’t maintain the weight loss you’re striving for, there’s probably no point in losing it in the first place.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


Peggy, Week #21: Diet Dangers on the Road

The Avagliano Family

This has been a long week emotional week that resulted in some diet slip-ups, but overall I think Peter and I did pretty well. We took a 2,700-mile road trip to drop off our oldest three children at college. The week of scheduled drop-offs coincided with Amanda’s band camp week, so Amanda would have to stay at home.

First stop, Michael at UNCSA in Winston-Salem, NC where he will be studying Design and Production (technical theater). Michael is a 17-year-old freshman. Michael’s move-in time was 8 a.m. on Tuesday. This meant that we had to leave NJ on Monday, and spend the night in Winston-Salem. We stayed at an Embassy Suites hotel, which had a nice breakfast buffet; the eggs were cooked to order. The school ran the move-in better than any other college we went to. We pulled up and unloaded our car, and the RAs moved the stuff to the hallway outside of the rooms! The dorms are definitely old-school, with residents in each hallway sharing only two showers and toilets!

We had the opportunity to meet Michael’s roommate and his parents while moving in. 
A parent orientation filled the day, and ended with a BBQ. We spent another night in North Carolina and checked in on Michael to insure that he had everything he needed.

Next stop, FSU in Tallahassee, where Katie is trying out for the Marching Chiefs. (In High School, she marched with the Marching Braves, so making the marching band in college would be a promotion.) Katie is a sophomore, but has spent the first year abroad, so it was her first year on campus, too. We did not have a lot of room in the car, so we had to buy most of the stuff for her room in Tallahassee.

Katie could not move in until Friday night, so we had all day on Thursday to shop for her dorm. Katie had to go to practice at 7:30 a.m., but her move-in time was scheduled for 8 p.m. Why would a college think this is a good move-in time? Christina, Peter and I spent the time exploring Tallahassee. We picked up Katie at 5:50 p.m., and discovered that we could move in a little early, at 7 p.m. So we ate dinner, and moved her in. We spent the night in Tallahassee, and left shortly after we dropped Katie at practice.

Our last stop was Ringling College in Sarasota, where my daughter, Christina is studying Motion Design. She left most of her stuff in storage, so we simply helped her to move in. It was her first apartment-style dorm, so we stopped at Walmart and picked up a few essentials–plates, glasses, etc.

Our 2,700-mile road trip from New Jersey should have been a good opportunity to stick to my diet. I loaded the car with fruit and celery on the first day, but I soon found myself purchasing a candy bars at the rest stop and eating a whole bagel for breakfast.

After a day of indulgence, I realized that I still want to feed my feelings, rather than simply feel them. Peter and I made an effort to try harder. We did manage to make some healthy choices: yogurt sundaes instead of ice-cream blizzards. Going to the gym at the hotels and even swimming one day in the pool. Not bad, right?

How do you stay away from tempting foods when you’re on the road? Post a comment and tell me here.


Challenge #6: The Grand Finale

healthy family challenge 2012

It all comes down to this. After five months, the Lehmans and Avaglianos will have to use all the skills they’ve learned before a final weigh-in. Who will come out victorious? And who will win the entire Healthy Family Challenge 2012? Check in every day as our families head toward the finish line.