Goal: to fit into your favorite clothes without feeling like a sausage. Prerequisite: you absolutely know what you have to do but feel overwhelmed, lazy, incapable, whatever sometimes because you don't have anyone to crack the whip i.e. personal trainer nor someone who delivers your healthy meals (hence you are not Gwyneth Paltrow) so you capitulate to a larger size. Well, I say no mainly because I have some really nice clothes that I want to wear but I hate when clothes pinch and it makes me totally crabby.
1. It's better to exercise and eat what I love to eat (bread, chocolate and anything after midnight) than not exercise at all but
2. It's better to exercise and eat less
3. It's better to exercise and use less sugar
4. It's better to exercise and eat more fruits and vegetables
5. It's better to do 5 tummy crunches than none
6. It's better to run 1 mile than none
You get the gist. Sometimes, because the task of losing those last 10 lbs. seems so daunting and futile (and you've been trying forever) you just don't do anything. Well, sadly, you do have to do something and since a mountain is climbed one step at a time, just take it one step at a time. Start with the daily exercise routine (yes, it has to be at least 5 times a week). Doing that is the first important step to take because if you run or take a class, you're on your way. The next steps necessary will kind of fall into place if you are aware of what you need to do.
myfitnesspal is awesome. Accessible through their website and a free app is also available for your smart phone and ipad. You enter your current weight, your goal weight and it calculates the calories you can consume daily (myfitnesspal calculates your daily calorie intake to lose a maximum of 2 lbs per week). Now that doesn't sound like a lot but honestly, it makes total sense and is realistic. You can add your daily exercise calories burned allowing you to add those to your daily calorie intake.
Example: my daily calorie allotment is 1200 calories. If I run for 30 minutes at a 9 min pace per mile, I add those circa 300 calories and can, theoretically, eat 1500 calories on the days I do that. Of course you can choose to not consume those extra 300 calories in form of food; you just lose the weight faster.
I can attest to the success of this combo: together with my boyfriend (it always helps to do this with someone - the competition effect is very important) we were quite successful. (Why? because you understand that one tall latte has 180 calories: drink 3 lattes that's half your daily allotment. You learn to choose what you put in your mouth more carefully. It's free, anybody can do it, it works).
Naturally, my boyfriend being a guy, lost more than me (so unfair) but nevertheless, the results were pretty cool: he lost 15 lbs over 6 weeks and I lost 7 lbs. I still have 10 to go but after some traveling and family business which pushed me off the wagon into a carbohydrate heap, I'm back on. I have to say, watching Heidi Klum work out and preaching the importance of exercising 5-6 times a week to her "Germany's Next Top Model" girls loosened the grip of that snickers bar in my hand.
Magazines tend to tout the "get your bikini bod" which is fine and who doesn't want to look nice at the beach? But honestly, since most of us don't spend eight weeks clad solely in a bikini, there is a subconscious element there telling us "why bother?" The incentive should be to get fitter, be healthier and yes, to fit into those jeans. It's always the jeans. And my intense dislike of fat rolls when I slouch. It puts me in a very bad mood.