Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Frugal Living - Weight Loss

OK, my New Year, New Me hasn't exactly come to fruition.  I've been very sidelined by a sinus infection and double ear infection that just wiped me out.

Yes, I could do Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or Nutri System or something like that, but well, I'm too cheap.  They are a lot of money.

Four years ago I decided to get healthy as I approached my 40th birthday.  I lost about 85 pounds.  I've put a little bit of it back on, so my goal is to get the pounds back off, and get into my size 8 jeans again.

I know I need accountability.  I know what works for me, I just have to get back to it.  I use a fabulous FREE website.  It's called Spark People.  It's pretty much everything you need for weight loss in one easy and free website.

I use the food log to keep track of my calories throughout the day.  The part I like most about the food tracker is that it doesn't just record calories. It breaks it down into fat, protein, carbs, sodium, calcium and much more.  You can customize it to show many nutrients.  It helps you to see where your calories come from and where you are lacking nutritionwise.  I learned that I don't eat near enough protein during the day, so it's something I have to watch closely.

Additionally, you can input your exercise information and it will tell you how many calories you burned.  You can track how much water you have had each day.  There are support groups for every one.  You can join depending on where you live, your age, how much weight you want to lose, what exercise you like, dieting and health issues and much more.  They are called teams, and there are, literally, thousands of teams.  You can even start your own if you want to join with friends or a group from work.

You can also start your own page, sort of like Facebook, where you can post photos, blogs, share messages with friends, and earn points for "goodies" to send to people to motivate them or congratulate them on reaching or goal, or just be fun.  You earn points by logging in, logging food, water and exercise, writing blogs, posting in your teams and much more.  These points are what you use to send goodies to friends.

Your progress and blogs can be viewed by your friends on Spark, and you can choose to post them to Facebook if you like.  For me it's a great way to keep myself accountable.  I know my friends are viewing my progress and cheering for me.

If you decide to join Spark, come on over and find me.  I am Zebramom1.  We can cheer each other on.

And no, that's not my belly in the photo.  Trust me.... You don't want to see mine!!!

Edit:  I almost forgot... There's an app for that.  You don't need to be at your computer to use Spark.  You can download an app to your smart phone to let you record your food.  I haven't used the app yet, but I believe it will even allow you to scan the bar code of pre-packaged food (such as Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine) and it will input the nutrition information for you.

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