29 April 2012

Weight Loss Success Stories: How Criss Lost 73 Pounds Without Pills

Think you can't lose the weight?

Criss did it! She started dieting on June 16, 2010. Through old fashioned hard work and good nutrition, she has lost weight and transformed herself. Now she's 73 pounds down, healthy, happy, and becoming less of a stereotype everyday. Need inspiration and motivation to lose weight? Read on. You can read the rest of her notes in Criss Get Fit, or visit her blog Crissfit.

From chubby to slim: Criss achieve slim face after lose weight

What made you decide to lose weight?
I wanted to be at a weight considered healthy for my height, and wanted to pursue a healthier lifestyle to eliminate health concerns as I grow older. One day, I woke up and said, “Enough.” I did my research and decided when I moved two weeks later, that I would take my first serious step towards losing weight and being healthy.

What is your diet plan?
By counting calories, eating about 80% healthy/20% unhealthy food quality, not denying myself when I wanted food, and some exercise. I eat the following: fruits, veggies (especially of the raw variety!), nuts, lean chicken, extra lean ground turkey meat, lean turkey sausage, lean turkey burgers, whole grain wheat, seafood (of ALL types!), boiled eggs, peanut butter, granola, protein shakes. I basically eat a peanut butter and banana protein shake for breakfast, eat some form of grilled chicken (by itself, on a wrap, on a salad, etc), steamers veggies, and either more chicken or something else on that list in a single day. I try to aim for a balanced diet. I don’t really stress much attention to macronutrients, but I DO watch my processed sugar/carb intake. Protein I get enough naturally from the types of food I eat, but I aim for 100+ grams. I try to eat as little processed food as possible, but I’m not perfect. I aimed for a balanced, maintainable diet, which kept me sane and able to stay focused.

How much did you eat when you started?
I currently eat about 1200-1600 calories a day. When I first began my weight loss, I ate about 1400-2000 calories a day. I try to never go below 1200 unless I am legitimately sick or I have a short day and have to go to bed early (I work overnights on weekends, so my schedule can sometimes get messed up on my off days). I don’t really try to factor in calories burnt through exercise either because there’s no easy way to determine that. Most machines over-count, it’s really hard to determine calories burnt with weightlifting, and besides, how many calories you burn a day can be determined by many, many factors like your amount of muscle.
Body Transformation: Criss transforms from fat to fit

Share to us your workouts.
I lift weights and occasionally supplement it with cardio. For my cardio, I play DDR/ITG (youtube it!). I follow an upper body and lower body two-day split, 3-4 days a week, and get my cardio in on off days or through fun things like In the Groove/Dance Dance Revolution. I prefer lifting weights, though, because I get bored with cardio, and weights also give me something to constantly improve.

How long does it take to see your weight loss result?
It varied greatly. Sometimes I’d lose 2 pounds a week, sometimes only half a pound, and sometimes I’ll even gain back a pound or two. I’m not superhuman and I’m prone to relapsing and being lazy/unhealthy sometimes. I’ve gone through what I call my phases, where I basically get REALLY obsessed with fitness and number-crunching, where I’m super focused on weight loss, and will lose 10-20 pounds in a couple of months. Then I’ll gradually sink back into old habits and maintain or “plateau” for a month or two, only to repeat the phase.

Do you have any loose skin?
No, I don’t. While I had a gut, I never carried most of my weight in my stomach, and only the last couple of years did I start to even gain there. I carried the majority of my weight in my legs. Whether or not you have loose skin is entirely dependent on genetics, age, skin elasticity, how quickly you lose your weight, and how much weight/fat in that area you have to lose. I can’t answer why I was lucky enough to not have any, but I’ll just say it was a combination of being young, losing the weight not too quickly, and the fact that my waist was never that big (35-36 inches before).

Big changes: Criss do weight lifting and cardio to get in shape

Do you have any stretch marks?
I sure do! The darkest, most visible ones are the ones on the upper insides of my thighs. I’ve had them since I was about 15/16, when I quickly gained a lot of weight back after an ED I had undergone. They’re probably about as faded as they’re ever going to be, and I’m starting to accept that they’re a part of me. I also have nearly invisible marks on my thighs and very slight ones on my breasts, but you can only see it in certain lights, and only if you’re really, really looking for them. Most girls have stretch marks or end up getting them. It’s natural.

Criss' best 7 weight loss tips
1. Educate yourself on how weight loss works.
Learn the definition of BMR and how many calories you need just to live, and read up on metabolism. This is the most important thing you can learn regarding weight loss.

2. If you are losing more than 2 pounds a week, then you are losing lean muscle.
Muscles that keep your body alive. The only exception is when you first change your eating habits, you might lose a larger amount due to water weight.

3. I’m just naming random percentages here, so don’t quote me on this, but weight loss is 80% nutrition/calories/food and 20% exercise. 
In fact, I didn't exercise at all in the middle of my weight loss, and I was still losing weight. If you eat within the exact right range of calories your body needs per day (neither OVER or UNDER), cut out over-processed foods, drink lots of water, get lots of fiber, and eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains, you will see progress. Exercise aids weight loss and makes you look better, but you will have more power over your progress if you have power over your food first.

4. Eat frequently. 
I am less inclined to overeat if I eat small amounts of food and often. For example, my work lunch is packed for today already, and I have one banana, two single servings of frozen broccoli, two grilled chicken breasts, and two boiled eggs. I get a break every hour and 20 minutes for 15 minutes, and I eat something nearly every break. Before I started doing this, I would eat once at work, and then when I got home, I’d overeat because I thought I was hungrier than I really was!

5. Don’t reward yourself with unhealthy food. 
What you’re doing is creating a bad relationship with food, and you are confusing your brain. This is my biggest tip: when you tell yourself “NO CHOCOLATE, IT’S BAD FOR ME,” you want it more. You put it on a pedestal, and you think about it more and more. And when you finally cave in, you’ll binge. That’s why I don’t restrict in my diet; I moderate. I want a soft taco supreme from Taco Bell? Okay, I can have it. I’ll look up the calories online to calculate into my daily calories, and if what I eat is more than I normally eat, I go to the gym and burn them. If I’m going out with friends, I’ll fill up on something healthy like broccoli before going so I won’t overeat at the restaurant. If I’m eating something at home, I’ll eat it with a side of something healthy so again, I won’t overeat. And you know what? Now I hardly even crave unhealthy foods.
Picture It to Prove It:  Criss take lots of pictures during her weight loss journey

6. Take LOTS of pictures during your journey! 
If you are less motivated when you look at them, then take them and put them away in a folder on your computer. Wait until you’ve lost some weight and THEN go back and look. There were times when I didn’t feel like I had made much progress at all and wanted to quit, but when I would go back to my older pictures, I would see how much progress I had actually made. You might surprise yourself!

7. Find a partner! 
Losing weight was a lot easier when I had friends to do it with. Don’t have friends in person who will talk weight stuff with you? Find people online! There are loads of communities out there.

*All photos are copyright by Criss Get Fit.
Do you know any great weight loss success story? Or do you have an inspirational story about your own weight loss? We want to know your weight loss secrets! Add your story here and give others an inspiration and motivation to lose weight today.

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