Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ruffles, Blush, and Spring Diets

Blouse and Flats - Banana Republic / Denim - J. Crew / Bag - Sole Society / Necklace and Bracelet - BaubleBar

Oh hey there, happy Tuesday! I've been so into everything girly lately - you know, the holy trifecta of blush, ruffles, and sparkle. This top was basically a no-brainer when I saw it in stores, the ruffles are so cute and the structured fit is super flattering. I immediately wanted to pair it with all of the girly things in my closet, only to realize I didn't feel quite me. I have never been one to go completely lady-like with my style, so finding some balance was important. Adding in my new favorite pair of distressed denim was the perfect answer - it toughens up all of the sweetness just enough to make everything feel much more my style, plus makes it casual enough for a day of running errands in Chicago.

Not to completely change gears or anything, but I mentioned yesterday that Jeff and I are counting calories this month (well, really until we leave on our trip to Asia and then probably again once we get back), and I always get a lot of questions about calorie counting so I thought I'd go into a little more detail.

For me, spring is weirdly always the time I have the best luck losing weight (and fall is always the hardest!) I like to liken my body to that of an animal that hibernates - in the spring I'm done hibernating so my body is ready to shed some extra pounds no matter what I'm doing. Even when I wasn't dieting or exercising, I always would naturally lose a few pounds in March without trying (ahem, and usually gain those pounds back every fall). So now, I see every spring as a time to press a little reset button on healthy habits and try to get my body back into fighting shape by summer.

I've tried restrictive diets before but they never work for me, I'm just not very good at completely eliminating things from my diet. Sometimes a girl's just got to have a cookie, if you know what I'm saying. My doctor actually suggested that calorie counting might be the answer for me several years ago, and it turns out she was right! I use an app called LoseIt to track everything that I eat and my exercise every day. The app makes it super easy to track everything, and lets me plan ahead to make sure that the meals I'm planning will fit into my allotted calories for the day.

The app not only tracks everything I eat, but also tells me how many calories I'm allowed to eat. It calculates that by my height, starting weight, how many pounds I'd like to lose, and how fast I'd like to use them. Right now I'm eating about 1,300 calories a day, but the more I exercise the more I get to eat! I try to have days that are slightly higher and days that are slightly lower as well as have a cheat day on Saturdays. My personal trainer said that varying your daily calorie count is better for losing weight because a sustained low calorie diet could make your body think it's starving, which would stall any weight loss.

The tricky thing about counting calories is figuring out how many calories your meals are. It's a lot of guesswork, and you have to be okay with ambiguity. I always figure, as long as I'm close that's good enough! The other tricky thing is making sure that you put in everything you eat or drink, even if it's a single piece of candy. My co-worker says that whenever she uses a calorie tracker she'll skip putting things in and then laugh about how she's "tricking" the app - but really, just because the app doesn't know you had that latte doesn't mean your body won't know!

Calorie counting definitely isn't for everyone, but for me it works! The times I've really focused and followed the app correctly, I've been able to lose anywhere from ten to fifteen pounds over a two month period without changing my exercise plan. So the proof is in all of the pudding that I'm not allowed to eat ;) If you have any more questions about how it works, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I'm happy to share more about the process!

Blouse and Flats - Banana Republic / Denim - J. Crew / Bag - Sole Society / Necklace and Bracelet - BaubleBar

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