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[RA & Diet] How is Niki Losing All That Weight?

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How is Niki Losing All That Weight?

by Niki Wyre

If you haven’t read my first blog, My weight loss journey, I recommend reading it to a precursor to this blog. You can find it here:  My Weight Loss Journey

Since I started sharing my journey online with my Facebook friends, I have received a lot of questions of how I am doing it or what diet I’m adhering too or exercise plan. I wanted to share with all that are interested what I am doing in hopes that it may help some of you with your own journey. I am not a medically professional, just another person battling their weight. Balanced diets are vitally important not only to your weight but overall health. I don’t recommend going on fad diets or crazy diets that can harm your health. If you are planning on a significant diet or health change, discussing with your doctor is always a great idea. Often they can give you suggestions or guidelines to use along the way.

Unfortunately my exercise is little to none due to my health conditions, like Rheumatoid Arthritis. I do try to move when I can. I have found on good days that I am able to do some basic yoga in bed movements, some range of motion exercises, or on a really good day with help from my rollator walking in short bursts. Since getting my rollator, I have gained some more independence and get around better than with my cane and relying less on my wheelchair for family outings.

I am not sticking to a set diet plan like I have in the past. Believe me, I’ve tried almost all of them. I tried the diet pills, the as seen on tv products, the crazy juice cleanses. Again and again I failed. Without proper nutrition and limits to your consumption, these things won’t help at all. Fasting or consuming a low amount of calories will actually make your body go into a starvation alert mode. Instead of burning off your fat stores, it lowers your metabolism because it’s not sure if it will get food. No good. Especially if you already are dealing with endocrine or hormonal conditions.

Each person reacts differently to diets. For me the low carb craze made me want to gobble loafs of bread etc. I remember being as young as 20 trying to take fat blocker pills. Some of our members do well with structured or prepared diets that take the guesswork out of calculating calories, fat grams, carbohydrates and more. If you are exercising along with your diet, you need to ensure you are getting enough protein and complex carbs to keep your body fueled.

Here is a calculator to figure out approximately how many calories you burn on an average day: It uses your weight, height, age, and activity level to calculate it for you. If you are trying to set a goal weight, I recommend using a calculator or chart like this one to see what healthy and recommended weights are for you. Once you have your daily caloric goals set you can start planning your diet much more easily. You don’t have to starve yourself or work out a dozen hours a day. It’s about making healthy changes to your life for a healthier you.

Here is what I am doing:

My daily caloric intake averages around 1400 calories a day. I am very strict with this. I try not to be below 1300 or over 1500 calories if possible. Consistency is key for me.

There are a number of bad foods I have eliminated from my diet due to unhealthy choices or the prediabetes. I have cut out the following:

– most processed sugars
– high fat foods
– fried or battered foods
– high sodium foods
– anything fast food
– red meats
– White carbs (go wheat or whole grain instead)
– and for RA reasons, I have eliminated vegetables in the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc) Although I haven’t seen a difference in my inflammation levels there has been a drastic change in my gastric system. I have suffered from chronic gastritis, acid reflux and eosinphillic esophagitis for many years now. Now the gastritis and acid reflux is almost completely gone! If you suffer with any of these, I highly recommend removing acidy foods like this from your diet. It was hard giving up my love affair with potatoes but worth it to me.

 

Things I do eat or added to diet:

– Non White carbs (whole grain, whole wheat etc) I do get a low calorie wheat bread that has only 40 calories per slice
– Lean turkey
– grilled chicken
– non fat plain greek yogurt (I mix in crystal light packets for flavor)
– fruits like sliced apples, grapes, mandarin oranges etc
– Lots of veggies, from steamed broccoli to squash
– Boca or vegetarian products like veggie burgers, faux chicken breast etc
– Salad… lots and lots of lettuce, cabbage etc
– Fat free low calorie ranch dressing is my favorite
– Sugar free jello cups (only 10 cals each)
– Sugar free jello pudding or mousse temptations for treats
– Multigrain cheerios (By the way the peanut butter ones are awesome if you are a PB lover like me)
– Light soy milk
– lower sugar oatmeal
– fat free or low fat string cheese
– fat free cottage cheese
– subway sandwiches (great for diet and full of goodness)
– frozen meals like lean cuisine or top chef steamers
If I’m really craving something bad, try opting for a sugar free or fat free option. If you love icecream, skinny cow has some great options as well as going with light sherbert instead. One of my great loves was Reeses products. Anything chocolate and peanut butter makes me drool. Murphy found some sugar free small reeses cups. I eat one if I’m really wanting something sweet. Only 36 calories!

I have completely given up my diet soda addiction. That was one of my biggest hurdles to be honest. I used to drink Diet Dr Pepper day and night. Now I opt for water, water flavored with crystal light packets or powerade zero to stay hydrated. I drink a lot :)

So that’s what I’m doing now. Like I said it’s nothing drastic or crazy. Just accounting for each and every calorie I put into my body. I find that when I track it, I’m more likely to make healthier choices or keep from backsliding. I honestly thought I didn’t eat a lot compared to other people before I started this lifestyle. Now it makes me ill to think of all I put into my body. I’m hoping my body forgives me as I go along on this journey :)

If you have any questions, want to share your story, or need support, I’m here. You can email me, comment on the blog or contact me through Facebook. Have you been having a success or want to share your weight loss journey? Contact me and let me know.

I have found that reading inspiring weight loss and self help books has helped me tremondously these past few months. See my reading list here:  My Self Discovery and Weight Loss Inspiration Reading List

 

See related blogs:

My Weight Loss Journey

My Self Discovery and Weight Loss Inspiration Reading List

My Weight Loss Journey Pictures Along the Way

 

Looking for more blogs by Niki? Please check here.

 

*I am not a medical professional, just another person battling their weight. Balanced diets are vitally important not only to your weight but overall health. I don’t recommend going on fad diets or crazy diets that can harm your health. If you are planning on a significant diet or health change, discussing with your doctor is always a great idea. Often they can give you suggestions or guidelines to use along the way.*

Interested in becoming a writer for rachicks.com? We are looking for volunteers to keep the knowledge going to all our members. Interested individuals can email Niki by filling out the form below. 

Please let us know what you are interesting in contributing to rachicks.com, what topics or hobbies you are most interested in and any questions you may have about becoming a volunteer writer for RA Chicks. Thank you.

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4 comments… add one

  • Donna Hays

    March 28, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Keep up the good work. If you can get in a swimming pool, it will help with your joints. Watch how much artificial sweeteners you use. My registered, licensed nutritionist said they can cause health problems (cancer) and because they are so sweet they will make you crave more sweet foods and sugar. Keep doing what you are and you will achieve your goal.

    Reply
  • Amanda

    March 29, 2012, 2:29 am

    Niki, keep up the great work! Thanks for being so honest and open with your story. You sure aren’t alone in your struggle to lose weight. I have gained 20 pounds since my diagnosis with RA last year (and I was already overweight then), and I feel like a fat cow. I am trying to wean myself off the prednisone, but it is starting to hurt pretty bad. I don’t know if I can do it. I’m also thinking that maybe with the prednisone I can be more active, which may help with weight loss. I’m at the point though that I know I must do something about this weight. Thanks for sharing. You give me inspiration and comfort in know I’m not alone.–Amanda

    Reply
  • here

    May 28, 2012, 4:31 am

    Whenever I at first commented I clicked the Notify me any time new comments are added checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four messages with the same comment.

    Reply
  • Livia

    June 1, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Just watch the soy, it is bad if you have a thyroid condition

    Reply

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