Weight Loss 4.0

I feel like I’m in the fourth (and final) stage of my weight loss. That might seem weird since I still have more than 30 pounds to go until I reach my goal, but I’m in a comfortable routine that is working – I don’t feel like I’m looking for “the best way” to lose weight any more.

1.0 was when I started this whole thing just under a year ago. Slim-Fast sent me some shakes and bars, and I took off the first ten pounds pretty easily. But it was really just a kick start. As delicious as the Slim-Fast stuff was, I knew I could never do it long term – I like “food” more than I like eating sweet, sugary things 4-5 times a day. I happened to interview Dr. Oz ten days in to my Slim-Fast plan, and he had some good advice for me. It would get me going, but I would need to have something else waiting in the wings for when I got tired of it. I started looking for a new plan.

2.0 was when DietBet.com offered up a big prize to me and some other bloggers for losing 4% of our body weights in 4 weeks. I did (all seven of us did, actually) and won over $700 – half of it going to a great charity, The Fistula Foundation. My method for those four weeks was simple: 1,400 calories four times a week, 700 calories/60 grams of carbs twice a week, and one day a week where I could eat anything, no calorie counting. It was based on some interesting studies, and worked really well for me. Since I largely live on carbs, two days a week of deprivation was just about the most I could do, but it was all I needed to do.

3.0 was the time between the first Diet Bet, and now. I tried a few other things. I tried dessert for breakfast, which was also based on an interesting study. I think it’s something that I’ll probably go back to if and when I ever try to just eat like a normal person, without counting calories. The science behind having something sweet with breakfast is strong. But combined with calorie counting, I found it unnecessary, and just used too many calories early in the day – the opposite of what my body wants to do.

I also tried massive amounts of exercise alongside massive amounts of eating. I actually took off five pounds this summer, while enjoying way too many meals out with my husband (the kids were at summer camp). I usually gain in the summer even without the restaurants, so I’d call that a success. But most days I simply don’t have time to exercise for two or more hours, so that’s done until the kids go away again.

Mostly, I just tried to maintain my weight loss, with little bursts of losing. But then, as I got closer to forty (it’s now four weeks away!) I got very motivated. Which brings us to…

4.0. It’s really just my 2.0 method, with a few small changes. I’m doing two days a week of low-carb/low-cal, with 800 calories this time, but only 40 grams of carbs. Four days a week of 1,200 calories, no carb counting (fewer calories than last time, because I just want to get this shit over with already!). And one day a week of whatever, although this time I’m attempting to keep it at 2,000 calories, if I’m home or easily able to count them. Not always possible, like last Saturday night in Boston when I pretty much ate myself sick at Maggiano’s. Oops. (But oh so tasty!)

I’ve also been doing a more moderate amount of exercise. Usually a six mile walk-jog once a week, a bike ride or jog here and there, some 5K training with the kids. Nothing massive or all that consistent. But I have been making a big effort to bike where I would usually take the subway. It really only works if I can show up a little sweaty. Lunch with a friend in lower Manhattan? Fine. Laser hair removal appointment near Central Park where my nether-regions will be worked on? Nope.

If I feel like I need to “eat” those exercise calories on a given day, I do. But if I’m having one of those days where I’m out of calories and just need to eat more, I put my sneakers on, log some more exercise calories, and then eat some potato chips. But when I can, I just let those exercise calories sit in the “bank.” Hopefully it’s making me lose a little faster.

It’s nice to be in a routine that I feel good about. I don’t exactly look forward to these super-low-cal days, but I don’t dread them. I’ve done them enough times that I know I won’t be screaming with hunger pains. I just eat nine or ten very small meals and look forward to the next day.

A few people have asked me why I’m torturing myself like this. If they knew me, they’d know that if it were torture, I wouldn’t do it. I like to be comfortable. But I also like not stressing out when it’s time to pack for a trip or go clothes shopping. That’s my motivation, and it’s working.

So here you go: me pointing at my shrinking belly, no constricting undergarments, four weeks to go until my birthday, 30 some odd pounds to go until my goal. Feeling great.


Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1 (Slim-Fast). Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.


  1. shannon says

    WOW! So inspiring! I have been on Atkins for 2 weeks now and all I want is a damn piece of fruit. Can you share a meal plan for low cal/carb days? Thanks!

    • says

      @shannon: Sure! Since I’ve already figured out what I’m going to eat today I’ll tell you what’s on today’s menu. I’ll post it in a few minutes. I don’t vary it much because I know what works for me at this point. I make sure that on those two days a week, I’m mostly home, not needing to eat in a restaurant, etc.

  2. says

    I am beyond impressed. I only have 10-15 pounds to lose, and I just cannot seem to get my ass in gear to do it. You look FABULOUS. I am so proud of you!

  3. says

    OK, you’ve definitely inspired me. You are looking fabulous! I lost 17 pounds via WW a few years ago, but gained it all back (stress puts on weight, who knew?) and then some. Now I really need to lose 40-50 pounds. Calorie counting it is!

    • says

      @Varda (SquashedMom): Calorie counting annoys me SO MUCH, and I’d been doing it for many years, wondering if it was doing any good. Then a few years ago I stopped, and I gained 25 lbs in a year. I hope to some day get to a point where I don’t have to do it, but I’m at least grateful to have found something that does work.

  4. says

    Gah, I love it! Go you! Funny how I’m coming across all these motivational get-in-shape posts right before the holidays, but I’ve been talking about shedding 25-30 (and now 40!) lbs. for the last couple of YEARS! Ridiculous, I know — I like this 4.0 business! Let’s see if I can get my butt in gear with you :) — keep up the fab work!

  5. Gary Watson says

    I too need to lose some weight.
    Apart from stop eating junk food, I’ve found that swimming helps.
    I try and go 4 or 5 times a week for a 30 minute swim.
    I’ve not lost loads of weight but am so much fitter now, lost a couple of inches off my waist as well.

    At work, one of the things I do is to use the stairs rather than the lift, and make use of the toilets of floor 1 rather than those on floor 5 where my desk is.

    So, what I’m saying is look for little things you can do to keep active.

    Another thing I just thought of is, if you feel hungry, try a glass of water.

    • says

      @Gary Watson: I love swimming. It was my main form of exercise this summer, and I had similar results to you: didn’t lose much weight, but did firm up and get smaller. Right now I’m concentrating on jogging for another half marathon in February, but after that I’m thinking about joining my local Y so that I don’t have to wait for the public pools to open in the summer.

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