Inside: Science is experimentation and that can apply to weight loss as well. If at first you don’t succeed in losing weight…well you try a different approach. What works for one person might not work for another. Here is my journey.
Science and Weight Loss
Science is all about experimentation. Find an idea to test. Make a hypothesis. Develop an experiment to test that hypothesis. Weight loss for many of us is just like a science experiment. We research some diet plans, choose a method we think will help us lose weight and give it the good old college try. Some of us will be very successful. Many of us will tweak our first plan and add new strategies. A few of us will get some early results then give up when we plateau after losing a few pounds. I have fit into that last category several times. It is so hard to restrict calorie intake and feel hungry much of the time. When working and raising a family, it can be hard to change your routine to include exercise.
I went for a physical last week. I’m generally in good health, my blood pressure is good. My weight now is 168 lbs. At 5 feet 6 inches that makes me very overweight. I am over 50. My metabolism has slowed but unfortunately my love of food has not slowed. And really, should it slow down? I guess my love can stay fervent but how much food I love at any one time needs to change. This is where the science of weight loss comes in. I have tried calorie reduction. On my android phone I have the Noom weight loss app.
Program in your height and weight and age and the number of pounds its your goal to lose and Noom calculates how many daily calories of food and drink you should consume in a day. It is nice enough to give you more calories if you do some exercise. This app is a great tool, but I find the daily recording of everything I consume which involves finding the right brand or food choices time-consuming and just not practical for my temperament. I also find that the calorie restriction it placed on me was at this time unrealistic. I was hungry all the time and frankly feeling miserable and not at all inspired.
Science of Weight Loss: Experimental Design of My Journey
So, after my doctors visit, this is my new diet plan, my experimental procedure for losing weight if you will:
- regular exercise which will involve daily swimming while the season allows, gardening, and work around the farm
- a weekly meal plan mainly to avoid eating out due to our hectic schedule of work, school and football practices
- I also plan to bake multiple batches of healthy muffins for grab and go lunches for work and school
- freezing yogurt in ice-cube trays and making up smoothie baggies by adding a few yogurt cubes and frozen fruit will make morning smoothies a convenient, quick, nutritious breakfast – thanks to good friend Pru Cameron-Jordan for this tip
- staying part of the Wolverines Mom Fit Club for continued group support (this group was started by a number of us football moms who walked the track at the high school where our boys practiced – walking and chatting made the time fly by and that community support continues in our Fit Club)
I plan to make my experiment in weight loss a regular series. Most weeks I’ll post my weight (hopefully lower). I’ll include commentary on exercises that worked and those that I found less than inspiring and could not keep up. I’ll summarize my meal plan including a recap of recipes that worked for both adults and my teenage son. I’ll also comment on any apps or technology I’m finding helpful. As in any scientific inquiry, when hypothesis one doesn’t pan out, experimental methods are modified. I will include any changes in my basic diet design as the weeks progress.
Update July 2020:
I am now retired so muffins are no longer needed for work. I scrapped the yogurt in ice cube trays. We switched to a fridge with an automatic ice maker. I now use plain greek yogurt, a banana and frozen fruit for my smoothies.
I no longer use the Noom App. I discontinued using it a while back. I could not count calories and it just did not fit with my personality. It has changed over the years however. It has become more of a program promoting lifestyle change so it might be something to try again.
I have maintained the swimming each year. Now I try to swim laps 3 times per day. Honestly, twice daily is usually what I succeed at.
Two years ago my husband and I joined Good Life Fitness. I am happy to report we were successful in maintaining one hour long workouts 4 times a week….until the pandemic hit last March. Good Life has just only recently opened its doors again to the public. I will make a visit this week to check out their safety protocols before I decide on whether or not we will add a couple of workouts per week.
As I am well over 50 now and I am definitely my father’s daughter, I am feeling the arthritis in my hands and ankles much more often. I have been taking a calcium/vitD complex daily for quite some time. Today I added a Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement and Turmeric Curcumin plus black pepper supplement to my daily regimen. Both are valued for the inflammation reducing properties.
I have lost a fair bit of weight. More importantly, the workouts improved my muscle tone and feeling of well-being. The pandemic has put a wrench into the works. But I know once I’m back to my regular gym workouts my muscle tone and mood will improve greatly…and I’ll lose the weight gained by too much baking during the early part of this pandemic.
Glucosamine has worked in the past. I’m hoping that both it and the Turmeric/Curcumin supplements will ease the inflammation and arthritis pain. Less inflammation will lead to easier workouts. I’m hoping for a positive outcome!
I’ll check back again and update you on my gym exercise experience during the pandemic and my pain levels with the supplements.