Perimenopause and menopause have had their challenges for me, including weight gain despite no change in diet or exercise. In addition, a baseline bone density scan performed last summer revealed lower-than-normal bone density in my hips. Needless to say, I became very motivated to lose weight, especially abdominal fat, and prevent further bone loss. My physician recommended 5+ days of weight-bearing exercise per week as well as minor nutrition adjustments for bone health.
Around this same time, I saw Dr. Dunn’s review of the book “The Whole Body Reset” by Stephen Perrine. This book is targeted to those in mid-life and beyond and focuses on consuming an adequate amount of protein at each meal throughout the day. I changed my eating habits to incorporate the recommendations in the book and was surprised to notice that my urge for a mid-morning and post-dinner snack disappeared. I also began to slowly increase the amount of weight-bearing exercise I performed each week. Gradually, I began to lose weight. Hooray! Unfortunately, however, I hit a plateau prior to reaching my goal weight.
One of the key tenants of our programs is tracking so I decided to try a calorie counter app to see if I could move past my weight loss plateau. Below are the pros and cons I experienced when using the calorie counter app:
- Knowing the total number of calories consumed per day
- Increased awareness of how activity affects the total daily calorie budget
- Pinpointing my afternoon snack as the likely result of my weight loss plateau
- The convenience of logging foods and activity
- Focusing on calories to the point of obsession
- Exercising for the sole purpose of increasing daily calorie allotment
- Guessing at the caloric content of home cooked meals
- Consuming an evening snack simply because I had more calories available for the day
The app provided me with very beneficial information, especially regarding the caloric content of my afternoon snack, and helped me move past my weight loss plateau. However, due to my newfound obsession with calories and exercise, I deleted the app from my phone. Instead, I am opting to focus on consuming an adequate amount of protein throughout the day, being mindful of the caloric content of my afternoon snack, making sure half of my dinner plate contains vegetables, and making sure I am getting regular weight-bearing exercise. It took some time and effort to figure out what works for me and is sustainable long-term. Have you found what works for you?
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