I am about three months into my weight maintenance program. As I wrote earlier, I started using the Noom program for weight loss and wellness in October 2021 and lost about sixty pounds by July 2022. Last month, I realized that Noom does not really offer a weight maintenance program, so I shifted to using the free Fooducate nutrition and weight tracker.
Fooducate is working well for me. I like that the home page displays how many calories I have left to spend each day, and that I can save a regular meal so I don’t have to reenter the information if I eat the same selections again. I am trying to keep within two pounds on either side of my target weight (and not to get stressed if my weight bounces up and down a bit).
One surprise with this health improvement journey is that in some areas, my skin has contracted at a slower rate than my muscles and other parts. Sometimes, this feels like being inside a deflating balloon. However, with regular walking and weight maintenance, my skin has continued to contract, so I hope to reach equilibrium in time. While losing weight, I bought successively smaller sizes of Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans – for sale prices – so I could compare progress. I started at size 18. In July when I reached my goal, I was a size 10 but have now shrunk to a size 8, at the same weight.
My son Paul and I put together list below for a friend who recently started a weight loss journey using Noom. (This only represents our experience – your mileage may vary. Use a program that works for your health and way of doing things and you will be more likely to stick with it.)
- Remember to drink / log plenty of water daily, makes you feel more full (at least ten cups of liquid per day)
- Drink water 30 minutes before each meal
- Read the Noom daily lessons, take advice that makes sense to you, ignore the rest
- Noom’s group discussion function can help you be accountable for taking regular walks
- Figure out a portion size metric (volume vs. weight) that works best for you, stick to the one metric for simplicity
- Weigh in every day, expect lots of fluctuations (even five pounds up or down in one week) because of water retention
- Write down your key body measures at the start so you can compare later (bust, waist, hips, around upper arm and upper leg), and to help you know what size you are
- Weigh in, & log water and food on Noom daily, even if you are frustrated, or stuck/ plateaued. Getting stuck at one weight for weeks or months seems to be a usual part of the journey.
- Drink a big glass of water after you weigh in each morning.
- If you are on vacation or away from a scale, you can just repeat you last weight each day to keep the pattern going
- Buy some clothes that fit as you reach each new size so you feel good about making progress. Thredup online consignment and thrift store is a good choice – for both cost and fashion choices. If you don’t love a clothing item, or it does not fit properly, do not buy it. If you bought it online, return it! You need to be happy with yourself and how you look.
- Buy clothes by measurement, not size. My key measures and shape are different than they were when I was last at my current weight.
- Some Noom (and Fooducate) food database entries are unrealistically low or high in calories – I think these are user-entered. When in doubt, break it down – log not a whole “serving” portion but the components (for example: green salad “serving” may be made up of mixed leafy greens + dressing + croutons, you can find individual calorie counts for each)
- Walk or exercise every day and carry your smart phone so the steps count, to give you a better idea of how much you actually move. I use the Apple Health app on my iPhone which can share information with both Noom and Fooducate.
- Add extra exercise under Noom’s “Track More Progress” if you do yard work, or exercise without your smart phone
- On Noom, you can set “weight loss speed” under Noom settings (three lines at upper left of screen) from tortoise to cheetah, in case you want to go slower or faster
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