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Diet Preparation

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I am very interested in health and fitness, and determined to be my healthiest as I age

Walking is a very good way to lose weight

Walking is a very good way to lose weight

My Rollercoaster Ride

Overall, I am a healthy woman. I have always been relatively thin, although my unhealthy eating while in my 20s led to some weight gain during some of the most stressful years of my life. I was 31 years old when I reformed my eating habits, and I have maintained a reasonable weight for several years.

Last Autumn I moved to Boston, leaving behind my active job that made it easy to keep the extra weight off. In only 4 months, I gained around 15 pounds. Stress and lack of activity could have easily caused me to gain more, but I got back on my feet and lost 5 pounds. A little bit of success is motivating.

When we don't have to wear layers, our weight gain is especially noticeable. In Boston I am particularly aware of my figure, because I am surrounded by an astounding number of woman who are fit and trim. I see them walking in town fashionably dressed, at the beach, and in their form-hugging outfits as they jog up the street. They are everywhere, and I am reminded that I am not quite at my ideal weight. I am fortunate to not be obese, but it is also sometimes not as motivating to get off of my butt to work out. I know from past experience that once I get started, it gets much easier to keep going.

Diet Journals are helpful in recording your diet and exercise information, as well as how you feel, and how well you are doing

Diet Journals are helpful in recording your diet and exercise information, as well as how you feel, and how well you are doing

Diet Preparation Tips

  • Get checked out by your doctor, if necessary
  • Ease into exercise, if you are a beginner or have been sedentary for a while
  • Start reducing your intake of caffeine, salt, sugar, alcohol, or whatever it is you are trying to cut down on during your diet or lifestyle change
  • If desired, buy a diet and exercise log, and a journal to keep track of your diet and your thoughts and feelings
  • Track your diet for one week. This will allow you to see any negative or positive patterns you have, enabling you to make and maintain healthy habits
  • Think about what it is you want to accomplish during this diet. Do you just want to lose weight, or do you want to lose inches? Do you want to gain muscle tone? Do you want to gain energy, reduce your cellulite, or detox? Being specific will help you stay focused
  • Find or put together a diet, or else just basic guidelines to help you stick to your goals
  • If desired, build a music playlist for working out or walking. My MP3 player is a useful and fun part of exercising for me
  • Think about any "tools" you may want during this time, and obtain them if you can. This may include a blender to whip up smoothies, workout video or weights, or maybe some workout clothes or a comfortable exercise mat. It varies from person to person, and many times we can get away without buying anything. Just work with what you have, and the environment around you

Weighing In:

  • Weigh yourself
  • Take down your measurements
  • Figure out your BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Measure your body fat
  • Take into account what size your body frame is
  • Take photos of yourself before the diet, if you want a visual reminder

Ideal BMI

The range of the ideal BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18.5 and 25. Anything less than 18.5 is usually associated with a lack of lean body mass, and may increase your risk of osteoporosis. Anything more than 25 increases your risk for cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Handy Chart

I like to use a chart like the one below to keep track of my stats. I usually weigh myself once a week, and I measure myself once every 1-3 weeks.

Sample Measurements Chart

 Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4































Upper Arms





Shape Up America provides an array of useful tools

These are a few examples of what you can find on the site below:

  • Nutrition Center: shows menu plans at different calorie levels
  • Supplemental Guide: Supplements that are promoted for fitness
  • Shape Up and Drop 10: Solid information and guidance to lose weight in 10 steps
  • Body Fat Lab: Information about your body fat, and the role it plays in your overall health. I especially like the Body Fat and Health Risk Calculator. You enter in basic information, and it shows you your BMI, your approximate body fat percentage (if you don't already know it), and what your health risk level is, based on your body fat and waist circumference
  • Chef's Select Cookbook: A variety of healthy recipes, several added to it every month
  • Meal Upgrade: Choose one of 24 meals that are frequently served in American households, and they provide several options for making it healthier. After choosing one or a few of the options, the "before and after" calorie and fat amounts are shown. It's interesting to see how a few small changes can make a big difference
  • Support Center: Includes the Information Center, Motivation Center, Maintenance Center (for maintaining your current weight), and Feedback
  • Tools: If the above sections were not enough, this one provides many other tools that are useful for obtaining or maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Family Activity Calculator, 10,000 Steps, Physical Activity Calculator, Resting Metabolic Rate Calculator, Food and Activity Diary, and Portion Control Tutorial

I really enjoy this website, since it is interactive, and provides a lot of useful information. It is an American site, but many from out of this country could find it useful, as well.

Shape Up America

The American Heart Society has Great Diet Tips

When I Get Ready For a Diet

  • I think about my weaknesses, and how I can turn them into strengths
  • I think about what has worked for me in the past
  • I decide on exercises that will strengthen my body, help me lose weight, and think of some fun activities in between to avoid boredom
  • I look through my resources (books, magazines, and websites, including HubPages) for recipes that are healthy and flavorful
  • I write up a grocery list full of healthy foods (and a "treat" here and there), and shop for my healthy diet
  • I find ways to motivate and engage me during the diet, and to reward me once I attain my goals
I like to find healthy snacks, such as these Roasted Chickpeas, link to recipe below

I like to find healthy snacks, such as these Roasted Chickpeas, link to recipe below

JamiJay has many healthy snack recipes, including this:

Food Group Recommendations

Scroll to Continue

These Are My Own Basic Guidelines

  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink 2 cups of green tea per day
  • Cut down on coffee
  • Consume a high amount of protein and veggies, as well as healthy fats, and fruit at times. Reducing my intake of pasta and potatoes
  • Limit or omit sugary beverages and beer
  • Eat often, but in smaller portions
  • Practice portion control
  • When I eat out, be careful what I choose, and take some of my meal home
  • Don't snack mindlessly
  • Sit down and enjoy my food. It's not good to stand and eat!

A Great Fitness Guru on HubPages

  • Abby Campbell on HubPages
    Abby Campbell is a professional fitness and sports nutritionist, personal trainer, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan:...

Detox Diet

Many times I like to kick start my diet by going on some sort of a detox diet for 1-3 days. I usually cut out caffeine, salt, sugar and alcohol during the time, and consume plenty of liquids and vegetables. But even when I don't do that, I try to eat and drink things that are very good for the liver and kidneys, and cleanse the body.

This is an Informative Video Explaining Several Cleansing and Detoxifying Foods

Articles About Dieting and Detoxing By Fellow Writers

My Exercise Plan


  • Walk 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
  • In addition, walk on the Harbor Walk (going along the beach) 2 times per week, 30 minutes each time.

Workout in Apartment:

  • Once a week, exercise my abs and legs in the comfort of home
  • Once a week, workout my arms with my dumbbells

Gym Workout:

  • Cardio once a week: The gym room in my building has striders, treadmills and a stationary bike. I will aim for 30-45 minutes
  • Using the weights in the gym room, workout my arms once a week


  • I will walk up the stairs in my building every other day, or about 3 times per week. Since I live on the 15th floor, it is a big workout. Yesterday I did this, and I think I counted two flights of 10 stairs between every floor. We have no 13th floor (superstition is funny), so that translates to about 260 stairs.

Once a week, give myself permission to leave out one of these, so I have about 2 days to relax. I don't want to overdo it, or give myself more than I want to handle!

Total exercise tasks, not including the automatic walks for work: 9, or 8 after leaving one out.

Lifting dumbbells is a good start to toning your arms

Lifting dumbbells is a good start to toning your arms

Healthy Recipes

  • Weight Loss Shakes and Smoothies
    Recipe's for delicious and refreshing weight loss shakes, smoothies and slushies. Whether you need to loose weight or just need a simple meal replacement, a smoothie is the way to go. Blend these tasty treats in seconds.
  • Two Ingredient Healthy Cookies
    Are you trying to live a healthy lifestyle? Do those pesky sugar filled cookie treats taunt you? Now you can give a little and bake these easy, two ingredient, banana oatmeal cookies at home!
  • Best Homemade Protein Shake Recipe
    Learn how to make healthy homemade protein shakes, popular with muscle-building athletes and dieters looking for meal replacement. Also included: a chart of common proteins to vary your smoothies.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Kathryn


Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 27, 2013:

Thanks, Karen! I was surprised, because I wasn't even trying to lose those last 1.6 pounds!

I hope you're doing well with your walking!

Have a great night, and thanks for commenting again. You have been a great encouragement to me!

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on August 27, 2013: should be very proud of yourself. I am proud of you! Good job.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 27, 2013:

10 days after the completion of my diet, I am at 137 pounds!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 19, 2013:


Thanks, I appreciate it. I like to put together plans and information for myself, and decided to take it further by turning it into a hub. I like sharing tips with others, and it worked as way to motivate myself to keep up the work! I'm glad this is helpful to you.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

~ Kathryn

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on August 19, 2013:

Wow, great job on the weight loss and on this comprehensive hub. You really put together a lot of useful info here. Since I am always looking to shed pounds, this is helpful. :)

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 19, 2013:

Yes a lower carb diet :)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 19, 2013:


Thanks! It feels good to have lost the weight, and tone up my muscles.

Congrats to you! Wow, you have lost almost double what you planned. That is spectacular! And this is from going on a lower-carb diet? That sounds like a very sustainable plan.

I am going to cut down on carbs more once I live on my own. Lately I have been cutting down on my portions of carbs, and eating more veggies. That is a good start.

~ Kathryn

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 19, 2013:

Congrats! I knew you'd do it.

I initially wanted to lose 20 pounds and I've surpassed it by 16 pounds. I really don't want to lose anymore, but each week I'm still losing one pound per week.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 18, 2013:

Okay, I just completed my final diet update, since it officially ended yesterday! I declare victory!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 13, 2013:

Karen, thanks, I'm glad I have been an inspiration.

I may not reach the goal I originally set, but I am down to a good weight, so I will be happy no matter what. But I am excited to see what my final results are on Saturday!

Congrats to losing 1 pound by walking! That is excellent, without actually being on a formal "diet"! I think it is going to be great for you! You are an inspiration to me, too, and I'm excited to see how well you do :) YAY!

Karen Hellier from Georgia on August 13, 2013:

You have lost 7 lbs. altogether and 5.5 inches??? That's great. I hope you reach your final goal this week. You've been an inspiration. I lost a pound this week too from all the walking...YAY!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 12, 2013:

I just updated my results. I am a few days late, because I was away for a couple of days, and busy yesterday. It's going well, and I only have 5 more days until the official end of my challenge.

Have a great day!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 07, 2013:


Last week I did the fast diet, but I unofficially stopped. I am just reducing my calories a little here and there, and getting plenty of exercise. My appetite is not so good right now, so no fast days are even needed. I did okay while on it, but I'm close to my target, and soon I will be trying to avoid losing weight.

Yes, I was so happy to read your hub on pedometers! I think that is a winning way to lose weight- find something you enjoy doing, and that fits into your life enough so that you can comfortably keep up with it.

Keep it up, Karen- I'm so happy you have found a better way to lose weight and become fit!

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on August 06, 2013:

Well, that's great news. Are you still doing the fast diet? My diet is dead! I have stopped doing it because I have lost less than 2 pounds in 4 weeks and I don't want to keep depriving myself for nothing. I have gotten a pedometer now and am happily walking my way to weight loss.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 06, 2013:

I just edited this to include a couple of additional links.

I look forward to updating my results this coming Saturday, because I have lost weight already this week, and it isn't even Wednesday!

Have a good week!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 05, 2013:


You're welcome! I'm glad you like this, and find it motivating. Good luck with losing some pounds.

Cheers! I enjoy living healthy, and even when I get down to my target, I plan on maintaining a healthy diet, and working on toning my body more.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

~ Kathryn

Xeng from Philippines on August 05, 2013:

Thank you so much for this article, Kathryn! You are God sent! I'm more of the just reduce everything you eat and exercise a bit type. :) I hope to follow your tips and lose some pounds soon. Thanks for the motivation. Cheers to living healthy! :)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on August 03, 2013:

I updated my results. I lost almost a pound!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 28, 2013:


Thanks, I'm very happy about my progress.

I'm glad that you didn't make your birthday a fasting day- that would not be fun! I'm also happy that you went out to eat, and have even more plans today. It's a whole weekend celebration! Have a good time with your parents.

God luck, Karen.

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 27, 2013:

Yay...good for you. 2.4 pounds in one week is excellent. Keep up the good work. Yes, today is my birthday and I made sure it was not on a fasting day. I went out to lunch and dinner...and my parents are taking me out tomorrow. I guess I had better exercise a lot tomorrow and Monday before my weigh in day on Tuesday!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 27, 2013:

I just updated this, and I am happy to have made more progress in this week than I have in any week so far! It is encouraging. Good luck, everyone, and feel free to let me know how you are doing.

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 27, 2013:


It's too bad that yesterday's fast didn't go so well, but that is bound to happen every once in a while, so don't worry too much about it.

It is very easy to get frustrated over eating something we think is "cheating". I almost got bummed and had a beer last night, so I came close to being in the same situation as you. Of course, if I had wine in the house, I think I would have succumbed (wine is very alluring to drink).

I actually did better than I thought I would. Partway through the day I was frustrated, and decided I might not worry about the diet for the day. But I was so unhappy that my appetite was naturally low, and I decided to just stick to it, after all! I consumed more than 500 calories, but under 600. Not bad, especially since I got 40 minutes of walking in, and was active for 4 hours at work.

I wish you luck on your next fast day. Don't worry, though, we don't have to do perfectly every time. There will be times that it will be harder to stick to, but we can do it!

Have a wonderful weekend. And, as I recall, today is your birthday? If so, happy birthday! I hope you treat yourself to a spectacular day.

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 26, 2013:

Ugh, today has been a terrible day diet wise. I actually cheated with a peach and then was mad at myself. But that's pretty distorted thinking. Why should a peach be cheating???I was so bummed though that I made myself feel better with a glass of wine...also not on the diet! This is going to be harder than I thought. How did you do today?

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 26, 2013:

Thanks, Karen.

The funny thing is, I have had three scales in the past 2 years that were unreliable. I don't know why I always choose the ones that mis-function.

Have a wonderful day!

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 26, 2013:

I think you need a new scale!!!! Trying to lose weight is hard enough without being able to see actual results on a scale. You're doing well in spite of it though and I admire you for that!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 25, 2013:

I made an extra mid-week update :) I am doing pretty good, I think.

Have a wonderful day!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 22, 2013:


True, at least I didn't gain!

Good luck tomorrow.

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 22, 2013:

Oh what a bummer. I'm sorry you didn't lose anything this past week. But at least you didn't gain! I'm weighing in tomorrow. I hope I lost something. Right now it doesn't look good!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 22, 2013:

I am a little late, but I just updated my status. How's everyone else doing?

Have a great week!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 16, 2013:

Karen, my next update is Saturday.

Congrats! Even if it is water weight, 2 pounds is great, and very encouraging! It is nice to see progress when we have to endure hunger pangs on those diet days! Good luck :)

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 16, 2013:

Yay! In my first week of the Fast Diet I have lost 2 pounds! Whew...makes the hunger pangs worth it. Of course it might have been water weight but at least it's a loss of something! I am encouraged for me next week! When is your next update?

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 14, 2013:


That's a good point! Thanks, that is very encouraging.

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 14, 2013:

Well, remember they say that losing only 1 to 2 pounds per week is the best way to lose in terms of being healthy, and people have the easiest time keeping it off when losing slowly like that.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 14, 2013:

Karen, yes. It isn't a lot for the amount of time I have been dieting, but since I lost 1 pound this past week (despite having Chinese food delivery one night, and a cookout on Saturday), I feel encouraged that my progress will be better from here on out. I want to work harder at it.

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 14, 2013:

So, are you down 3.5 pounds since you started?

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 14, 2013:

I just updated this, and am happy to report I lost 1 pound this week!

How is everyone else doing?

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 10, 2013:

Thanks...good luck to you too. This will be fun, encouraging each other. Sort of like the 30 hubs in 30 Days Challenge, only for weight loss!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 10, 2013:

Karen, yay for you! That is an encouragement, and a great start!

This is my first low calorie day, so wish me well! I'm glad today is your regular food day. It's especially nice after having a restrictive day. Have a good one, and congrats to your progress so far!

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 10, 2013:

Kathryn Stratford,

LOL...oh, I see. Well good luck to you too. I got on the scale this morning and noticed I have already lost 1 pound...whoo hoo! Of course I don't know if that will stay or not. I am glad today is a regular food day.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 09, 2013:

Karen, I am only a little brave. Notice I did not mention my inches, only the amount of inches lost!

Thanks, Karen, good luck with your "Fast Diet", and with losing weight! I will be faithfully following your progress, and cheering you on!

~ Kathryn

Karen Hellier from Georgia on July 09, 2013:

This is great. You are very brave to show everyone your stats in as much detail as you have included. I was not that brave in my hub! As far as the diet poll, as you know, I have just today started The Fast Diet. It's 10:08 p.m. and I am not that hungry but we didn't eat dinner till 7:00 p.m. The toughest time for me was mid afternoon. I hope you reach your 10 pound goal.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on July 04, 2013:

Yep, Addictive and fun certainly describe life here on HP. having to stop mid flow to do a meal is most annoying! LOl MJ and I try to share that (horses for courses, equal rights etc . . . . . . . ) as we both write in our own little worlds. Good to hear you are enjoying your day off for 4th celebrations and your forthcoming family get together sounds wonderful. It is hard for entire families to all be together regularly as they spread their wings.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 04, 2013:

Suzie, I have been enjoying the day! We're just relaxing, but it's nice. Our picnic with my family has been delayed until the 13th, Saturday, but the great thing about that is both of my siblings and my parents are all supposed to be there. We haven't all been together at the same time for over a year. I'll also get to see my sister in law, and my 2 sweet little nieces (2 and 3 years old). I hope no one cancels, because I am so excited.

I had an ice cream bar earlier, and I plan on having a beer. It should be a pleasant evening. Now I should get supper ready. I am really hungry, so Andy must be famished! I kept putting off dinner time, because I wanted to finish a hub, and now I want to respond to comments. HubPages is so addictive and fun!

Thanks for being such an encouragement, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

~ Kathryn

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on July 04, 2013:

Just wanted to say well done on the latest update you seem to have had a good week and the body is certainly toning up, great job! Abby's suggestions for the detox sound fab must try it myself! Enjoy today's celebrations for 4th July try and be good!!!!!! Maybe 1 day off as a treat!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on July 04, 2013:

It's not quite the end of the week, but I started writing the Progress Report for the week. I am doing very well!

I also wanted to know how anyone else who decided to try and lose some weight or get a little more fit is doing. Feel free to let us know!

Have a wonderful day, and Happy Independence Day to all those in or from the USA!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 21, 2013:

Jami, thanks for the advice and encouragement. From here on out, it will be easier, because we just stocked up on groceries! Now we have plenty of eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits and veggies, and other meats. Now that I have what I need to eat the way I would like to, my progress should be much better, and certainly easier. At the end, I was just scrounging whatever we had in our fridge and cupboard into a makeshift meal! Haha, we had the money, we just kept putting off the grocery order. We don't even have to go out, we have Stop and Shop's Peapod service deliver our groceries to us, and since the store is only a few blocks away, it is dirt cheap! I love it.

Thank you very much, and have a great weekend!

~ Kathryn

Jami Johnson from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont. on June 21, 2013:

Kathryn, I had to look at your progress thus far. The toughest part of eating balanced and healthy meals is the protein... carbs are so much cheaper... but I have found that if you like eggs then you can eat a lot of quality protein for a great price. So start buying and eating a lot of eggs and egg whites :) (but don't overdo it on the egg yolk). Good Luck (again).

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 21, 2013:

Carly, I didn't lose weight writing this, although it did fluctuate downwards before I "officially" started the diet! It went back up just a touch, but it is still under 147. That's a start!

I try to come up with a plan that is pretty easy to keep up with, for the most part.

I have to admit, I always eat something at night. I try to eat something healthy, but if I don't have anything, I get too hungry. And that makes it hard for me to fall asleep!

It's good that when you snack, it's on healthier foods. I used to snack on really unhealthy foods all of the time, so the past 5 years is a big improvement over that.

I hear you. I have to push myself to be strict for a few days! It doesn't come as easy as it used to.

Thanks for the votes and share, and thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Kathryn

Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on June 21, 2013:

Kathryn, you must of lost 5 lbs. writing this hub! That took a lot of work. I like your ideas because they are not a quick fix and a guide everyone who wants to shed weight can do.

My difficulties are eating at night. I do not drink sugary drinks, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but I love to snack even on healthy foods like hummus and pita bread, or yogurt and granola. I have tried detoxing before, but as It get older it gets harder to be that strict for several days.

Voted up and shared!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Abby, I didn't know that about Fish Oil. Cool!

I'm glad you enjoy chatting with me- same here!

Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 18, 2013:

No problem, Kathryn. You have always been my greatest supporter, and I enjoy chatting with you as well. ;)

Regarding the fish oils, they will also help you lose body fat as well. ;)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Abby, thank you so much! That is a great recipe, and there are so many choices! Now I don't have to wander all over the internet looking for possibilities. I like this very much.

I have fish oil capsules, so I will be sure to start taking them more often. I forget about them unless I actually take the extra effort to remember.

I have some detox tea, so I will be sure to use that, as well. I have had dandelion tea before, too.

Fortunately, I love fruits and veggies, and this week we are ordering lots of them from Stop and Shop. It will make this so much easier, because I enjoy it!

You are so sweet for helping me out!

~ Kathryn

Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 18, 2013:

Kathryn, you can either take the fish oil capsules throughout the day. I use liquid fish oil, so I just add a teaspoon or two to my smoothies. I can't really even taste it, but I get the benefits of the fish oil. My favorite green smoothie mix is:

12 ounce pure almond milk

2-3 small to medium carrots

handful of greens (i.e., spinach or kale)

1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries

1 packet of Stevia (or 1-2 tsp.)

a few ice cubes

a couple of ounces of water if the smoothie gets too thick

I always seem to use the carrot and berries with whatever mix I use because it adds a little sweetness to the smoothie. Otherwise, it may taste "too green" to me. If I don't have berries, I may add a small apple. Oh! You can add some avocado if you like too (I like that as well).

You don't have to be so strict with your detox. Just use what you like but with foods that are high in nutrition value. There is truly no right or wrong if you're using mostly veggies and fruits. ;)

Also, you may want to try some herbal teas. Dandelion is great for purging water. There are some that are labeled "Detox" as well. You can even get them at Walmart. ;)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Abby, You're welcome. I appreciate that you have taken the time to read it, and comment on it.

I didn't mention how much coffee I drink, because I drink too much :( I like your advice on coffee/caffeine. That is doable.

I especially appreciate your detoxing advice! I was thinking of asking you about that, because I see so many versions of detoxes, and I like to hear an expert's opinion. Your version sounds pretty tasty (well, sometimes I have strange tastes).

Fish oil? Like from capsules, or from a bottle? I have never heard of putting that in a drink, but it sounds healthy.

Mmmm, I love almond milk! I am going to try out your suggestions. That is the kind of detox that would be fairly easy for me to commit to for a day or two.

Thanks again, and I really appreciate your support! Have a fantastic day!

~ Kathryn

Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 18, 2013:

Kathryn - Thank you so much for sharing your weight loss journey. Though you don't have much to lose at all, it's interesting to watch and see how you're doing as you progress towards your goals.

As far as coffee, I don't know how much you normally drink (maybe you said in your article, but I forgot). Anyway, coffee/caffeine can be a great source to fuel morning workouts. I would try to limit 1-2 cups per day though if you don't want to give it up totally.

A day or two of detoxing can also be very beneficial. I like doing all greens, veggies, and berries with a pure almond milk, water, and ice base. Sometimes, I'll add a little fish oil to my mix... other times, a little Stevia to add some sweetness.

Good luck on everything! I look forward to seeing your updates. :-)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

For anyone that has decided to go on some kind of a diet to lose weight or become more fit, I hope you are all doing well! I finally added an update to my results at the end of this article, and anyone else can feel free to let us know how you're doing. I am just over one week in, and I'm starting to get into the groove.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Suzie, thanks for bouncing back here! I appreciate the support. I wanted to leave an update, but at first I wasn't sure how I should go about it. I didn't want to create a new hub for it, because if it seemed too "bloggy", it may not get featured! So I decided to stick it at the end of this.

Haha, it's funny how cocky I felt at the beginning of this diet. But then again, I set the goals fairly high, and I did okay considering. I actually didn't expect to lose weight the first week, so I don't feel bad. But after my Father's Day feast, I am really watching what I eat!

After exercising yesterday, I feel great. I worked out my abs and legs, and even my arms, and I can feel it (in a good way).

Thanks again for reading and commenting! Have a fantastic day.

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Rose, thanks, and you're awesome for reading my update! :) I appreciate the support very much. Have a spectacular day!

~ Kathryn

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on June 17, 2013:

Hi Kathryn,

Bounced in again to say thanks for your honest up date - it is not always easy but you are doing great so stick with it, it will show. It often took me a week or two to show results while my body got used to the new "rules".

Great job!!

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 17, 2013:

You are awesome for sharing your progress with us. You are an inspiration! Take care. -Rose

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 13, 2013:

Abby, I was so tempted to give you a heads up that I promoted your wonderful book and HubPages page, but I decided to just surprise you when you wandered over here.

Your book has been quite the inspiration, and it is a tool that I enjoy. At the beginning of my diet I am actually consuming more carbs than I would like, because we are low on many of the foods I need for a good diet, but other than that I am doing well, so far. Andy should be ordering groceries soon (lots of fresh veggies, and meats). I look forward to that, and my diet plan will be much easier!

I have been planning on doing a review article of my favorite health and fitness books, including yours, but it is amazing how many article ideas I have (and not quite enough time). I hope to include a slightly more comprehensive review of your book in that article.

I will definitely keep you informed! And it reminds me, I need to get my butt in gear today. I haven't exercised at all today, and since this is a day off from work, it's an ideal time to do it!

Anyway, you're welcome, and thank you! You are such a wonderful resource for anyone looking to live a healthy lifestyle, and you're a great person, too!

Have a fantastic day!

Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 13, 2013:

Wow, Katherine! I didn't come in here thinking I would see my name exposed. Hehe! Thank you so much for the thumbs up and such nice words. I was really, REALLY surprised, and I REALLY appreciate you as well. :-) I look forward to keeping up with you and hearing how you're doing. I know you will do well. Keep me informed, Sweets! ;)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 13, 2013:

Glimmer, the weather makes in much easier to get out! Warmer weather can be a good motivator, too. If you decide to lose weight, good luck! I know it can be hard to get started, and hard to prioritize our time when life gets busy.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a fantastic day!

Claudia Porter on June 13, 2013:

Good luck Kathryn! I need to lose a lot more than 10 pounds, but it would be start for me. At least with the warm weather it's easier to get outside.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 13, 2013:

DDE, I agree with you completely. Being active and eating well are great ways to both lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks for commenting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 13, 2013:

I do the 150hrs a week exercises, walking briskly and avoid sitting too much an active lifestyle with proper eating does make a difference awesome ideas from you.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Om, I'm glad that you have been able to lose your "Winter weight" pretty easily! Congrats.

Thanks for the encouragement. I definitely think that if I stick to the plan, I will have no problem losing weight.

I appreciate your visit, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Om Paramapoonya on June 12, 2013:

Both your exercise and diet plans sound very practical. I'm pretty sure you'll achieve your weight goal within a few months if you stick to these weight-loss strategies. I just lost about 4 lbs myself (winter weight!). I didn't do anything special. I've just been working out a little more often and using my calorie-counting app every day (well, almost every day). That's all. Good luck on your weight loss journey :)

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:

Jami, thank you very much for your encouragement!

I am doing very well with not planning unhealthy meals right now! The good thing about the internet is that there's a lot of healthy recipes and snack ideas, as well as the unhealthy stuff. I'm especially looking forward to when we get some more groceries, and we have lots of fresh produce to use. I'm glad I like cooking, and I'm also really glad that Andy is easy to please, and has similar tastes as I do. He is also very supportive when I try to lose weight, or improve myself in any way. When I was younger, I was with someone that had a different attitude, and I ended up cooking one meal for him, and another for myself (because he wouldn't tolerate any healthy food). It was very frustrating! It is definitely easy to diet nowadays.

Thank you so much, and I will definitely update everyone on my progress. I'm so glad I have a support system here, as well as an extra line of accountability!

Thanks again, Jami, it makes me happy that you believe in me.

Have a fantastic week!

Jami Johnson from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont. on June 12, 2013:

Kathryn, you have some strong goals and guidelines here! I have no doubt that you will succeed, especially since you cook healthy meals at home. If you can cook all of your food from natural and/or organic products then you will succeed in your journey. Weight loss can be very frustrating but you have very strong goals and a very good perspective. Good luck on losing your ten pounds, I will be checking back to see if you have formed the body you desire! Keep up all of your hard work!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 12, 2013:


Very true, my weight is okay. I'm not into the idea of being skinny (in a skin and bones kind of way), and I will be looking very closely at how my body looks and feels, rather than the actual weight. If I get down to 140, and decide that it feels comfortable, I am likely to cut the weight loss short. These are mostly basic guidelines.

My lowest ideal weight is 130 or 135, but I don't want to go below 135! actually, now that I think of it, 140 is perfectly fine.

Yes, sculpting will be a big part of my plans in the next couple of months. I know from experience that it doesn't take much to become more toned, and that is encouraging. That is what makes me feel more attractive than anything else.

I love the book I am referring to! I know what you mean about carbs. I could cut down, but it would be hard for me to cut them out for long. Energy is a good thing to have. Losing weight can be a good thing, but if your energy is sapped, you won't be able to enjoy life much during that period.

I'm glad you love my approach!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such an insightful and encouraging comment. I enjoy seeing you! Have a fabulous day!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 12, 2013:

Great hub Kathryn! Actually, I don't think your weight is bad for your height - you may just need to do some sculpting. I'm 5'5" and my ideal weight is 130 lbs. Anything less and I look too skinny. We have such an obsession with thin in this country that normal weight is seen as 'fat.' I just won't go there. But, I wish you well on your weight loss journey and it sounds very reasonable. I like the book you are consulting because it is true, there are no one-fit-all diet. You really have to choose a diet that goes with your body system. For example, I cannot completely give up carbs. I would love to because I could lose weight faster, but if I do, then I have no energy and wind down like the energizer bunny. So I can cut back on carbs, but not take them totally out of be diet. I love your approach to exercise by walking and diet control. Thanks for an interesting and informative hub.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Marcy, it's great that you like to stay on top of your weight, and that you eat healthier than you used to. I don't usually have a big problem with weight, either. The one time I gained the most weight, I was technically at the top of the "average" range of weight for my age, height and body type. I just don't like to be on the higher end. Health problems run in my family, as they do in most, and I don't want to fall victim to them. I like to stay ahead of the game.

I have heard good things about WW! Good luck, and feel free to share your successes and thoughts.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and have a fantastic week!

~ Kathryn

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on June 11, 2013:

Yes! I need to do this, too! I generally don't have a big problem, but when even a few pounds creep up on you, it's time to act. Fast! I recently started WW, and it at least keeps me thinking about it. And I am eating better food these days, too!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 11, 2013:

Theater Girl, I have seen people doing Zumba, and it does look really fun!

Congrats on your weight loss last year. 25 pounds is pretty good!

Thanks for reading and giving me advice and encouragement. I appreciate it. Have a fabulous day!

Jennifer from New Jersey on June 10, 2013:

Good luck! I know how you feel. I lost 25 pounds last year and so far so good! Be well, and consider tryi ng zumba! So much fun!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Audrey, thank you very much for the good luck wishes! I really appreciate the support. I will definitely keep everyone posted. It is so motivating to have this plan set out, this support system, and a type of accountability that this calls for. I love it! I am doing very well so far, nearly as good as could be.

Have a restful night, and a great week.

Audrey Howitt from California on June 10, 2013:

Such a great hub! Well thought out and well written! Good luck to you!! Let us all know how it goes for you!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Elisha, thank you very much for the good luck wishes, and also for the offer of extra tips or pointers. I appreciate it! Since you are a personal trainer, you must have a lot of knowledge on the subject. I will keep it in mind!

Have a wonderful week.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 10, 2013:

Mary, for some reason I thought you were in your 40s or 50s.

I have always heard that it is sometimes hard to maintain weight as we get older. It doesn't take much!

I'm glad you like my tips. When I am determined to lose weight, it is necessary for me to prepare, otherwise I stray. I agree, it is definitely half the battle!

I wish you much luck in losing weight, if you so choose, and I hope you update us!

A detox plan is usually a great way to jumpstart weight loss! I have done it in many forms In the past.

Thank you for visiting my page, and have a fantastic week!

Elisha Jachetti on June 10, 2013:

Kathryn, GOOD LUCK on your journey!! I wish you all the best. I am a personal trainer, so if you need any extra tips or pointers, feel free to message me!

Mary Craig from New York on June 10, 2013:

Well, being the honest person I am I must admit, I am 65, 5'7-1/2" and around 160 you know, I really need to diet. I was 148 for years and years and somewhere in my late fifties I blossomed.

Your tips are excellent. Preparation for dieting is half the battle. I will be re-reading this hub and I think too, I will be thinking about a detox plan.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Susan Britton from Ontario, Canada on June 09, 2013:

Amen to that Kathryn. Helping people in small ways add up to a changed lifestyle. Good job my friend.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

Donnah, thank you for sharing your own diet plan with us. I have never heard of that one, but it sounds pretty good. I enjoy hearing about the different ways people go about to losing weight. I'm glad you are making progress! 15 pounds is pretty good. Good luck to losing more!

It's good that you save 5 % of your diet for non-plants. I think that is a great way to prevent yourself from making it too difficult!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment on my article, and I will keep everyone up to date!

Have a wonderful evening, and feel free to come back with your own success milestones. I enjoy hearing about successes, as well!

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on June 09, 2013:

Kathryn: I would have to pick "other" in your poll. I have changed to a plant strong diet. For me that means that I eat a vegan diet about 95% of the time. I allow myself the 5% to save my sanity :) I have also been walking a lot more. I am down 15 pounds with many more to lose. I love hearing about other people's success stories, as they are inspiring. I wish you much success and hope you keep us up to date with your progress.

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

Joe, thank you so much! What a wonderful compliment. I'm glad I re-inspired you.

I could have gone on and on, but I wanted to try to keep it as just "diet preparation", since this part of the process is very important. I do better if I have specific goals in mind, rather than just floating around without a focus.

Ah, yes, I adore being tall. When I gain weight, it is a little here and there, so it isn't always as obvious as it would be if I were shorter. Of course, I am also thicker than aome woman, but I realized many years ago that everyone has a different frame, and just because I'm a size 12 and my friend is a size 1, it does NOT mean I'm fat! I struggled a bit with that when I was a teenager, because I had several tiny friends.

I am definitely serious and determined, and I like that I posted this. It puts my plans in writing, and gives me the extra push to make sure I work toward my goals!

I probably mentioned that Karen Hellier was my original inspiration for this. I saw the challenge she made last year, before she went on a cruise, and I loved it! I had already been planning on writing a hub about Diet Preparation, so I just combined it to my new desire to put a personal spin, as well as a challenge, into it. Kills two birds with one stone!

You're welcome, and thank you so much for visiting my page, even though you have a lot going on.

I look forward to seeing your next hub! I'm excited about the 10/10 challenge in October, because I love the idea of the challenge, and working with others to get it done. I almost wish I had joined this one, but I think 30/30 at this point would be setting myself up for failure!

Have a fabulous remainder of the weekend, and good luck with your hubs!

~ Kathryn

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

Suzzycue, I will definitely make sure I eat fresh, real foods! Actually, I probably should have put in my diet guidelines that I am trying to reduce my use of many of the pre-made foods. That is a very good tip!

One of my motivations is that I will be eating lots of tasty fruits, vegetables, Greek yogurts, and smoothies. It's nice to eat foods that I already really like.

Thank you so much for saying I'm an inspiration, Suzzy! It is sweet of you to say that. I hope I am inspiring, and that I can help people in small ways. I may not be able to change the world, but if I can help even one person in a positive way, my life has meaning.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

La Thing, you're welcome. I really like your article. It is down to earth and not like some of the "fad health claims". It's nice to know that such a simple drink can help so much. I hope people check it out, and benefit from it.

Abby's meal plan is great! Her book is so awesome, and her articles on H.P. are fantastic. Since she is a published author, and very knowledgeable on the subject, her articles seem like such a free bonus.

I almost bought kettle bells a while ago! They look easier to handle than dumbbells. I'm glad that you are enjoying your exercise routine. I love the way it feels when you exercise, and you can just feel the muscles forming! It's awesome!

You're welcome, and thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your support, and wish you well in your healthy lifestyle.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

Eddy, that was how I gained weight a while back- I went from being very active, to all of a sudden not having the same activity level, and it was amazing how fast I gained weight! It also didn't help that I was at home, close to food. When I work, I bring a packed lunch that is usually healthy, and I can't really snack on anything else. I started munching on food a bit too often, mostly due to stress. But I have a better handle on it now, and I think I can really turn up my diet plan a notch to lose just a bit more.

It must have been discouraging to have the operations, and not be able to be on your feet as much. I hope you're doing well now!

The "Herbal Life" diet sounds great. Good luck! It's wonderful that you are seeking options to help you out in your weight loss plans.

I'm excited, and I look forward to hearing about your progress. Have a great weekend!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

Made, I'm glad that this has motivated you. Sometimes it is easy to get into the rut of being inactive, or less active than usual. Oftentimes Winter has that effect on me, but now that the weather here in Boston is warmer, I have no excuses.

How clothes fit (or don't fit) can be an even better indicator to weight loss or gain than a scale. That's how I first noticed that I gained some weight!

I'm sure if you get back to reducing your sugar intake, and running, you'll be in fabulous shape in no time! It's encouraging when you have lost weight before, because it makes it easier to imagine that you can do it again, with some persistence and hard work.

Thanks for the encouragement, for taking the time to read and comment, and good luck! I know you can do well with a healthier lifestyle, too!

Thanks, and have a fantastic weekend. I look forward to hearing about your progress, if you ever have the time to come back here!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 09, 2013:

Rajan, thanks for stopping by, and being supportive.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the roasted chickpeas! They are such a pleasant crispy snack, and flavor can very easily be added by sprinkling on spices.

I enjoyed coming up with links that would be helpful to many.

Thanks again, and have a wonderful remainder of the weekend!

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on June 09, 2013:

Aloha and mahalo, Kathryn, for re-inspiring me! You did an absolutely amazing job with this hub, comprehensively covering all aspects of this terrific weight loss program while maintaining reader interest. It's nice to have a visual of where you'll be doing most of your walking, and your stats provide perspective. You're a tall woman (my wife is 5'11"), and I am thus familiar with how tall people can "hide" their extra pounds. The fact that you lay it all out there shows me how very determined and serious you are, plus it certainly keeps us accountable, right? Great hub, Kathryn! Thanks for sharing!


Susan Britton from Ontario, Canada on June 09, 2013:

Good for you Kathryn. You are on the right track with your goals. Also make sure you eat fresh, real foods. I only shop the outside aisle of the grocery store. You are an inspiration to us all.

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on June 09, 2013:

Way to go, Kathy!! Good start, and well planned. And thanks for linking my Lemon Water detox hub. Means a lot :)

I will check out Abby Campbell's link.... Interested on the meal plan. Recently I took up kettle-bell workout routine, and really like it. I am only doing 15 mins now, to start with, but really feel my muscles pounding, LOL. Thanks for sharing, and wish you all the best.

Love Boston!!

Eiddwen from Wales on June 09, 2013:

Hello Kathryn well this one was written just for me I am sure.

For the first time ever I decided to go an a diet around six months ago but it didn't last!!!Whenever I put my mind to something I always see it through e.g. Giving up smoking for one (also a factor of my weight gain). However I don't eat unhealthily but I have always been very physical working day in day out. Now due to two ops on my back I am not working on my feet all day. Don't get me wrong I still walk and am probably more active than many people but I need to lose this weight. Next Tuesday I am going to see a lady and am starting a 'Herbal life' diet., So we'll see how it goes. thank you for this it was so interesting. I am sharing onto my FB page A Brand new Dawn'.


Madeleine Salin from Finland on June 09, 2013:

I really needed this. I'm so lazy right now and I should start doing some exercise and eat better. I have lost weight before by eating less sugar and start running. It's something I should do now. I don't weigh myself often, but I know I've gained weight when I can't wear some of my pants anymore.

I know you can do this, and I'll try to get started with my healthier life too. Very good and useful hub! :)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 08, 2013:

This is a very thorough hub full of practical ideas and if you stick to this routine I'm sure you'll end up losing your targetted weight in 7 weeks. Great resource links as well.

Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing. I'm off to check out your link for making oven roasted chick peas. Need to make them today!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 08, 2013:

You're welcome, Janet! I just realized that I didn't even comment on it. Oops!

I found that article right as I was getting this one together, and it is absolutely perfect for those who are looking to lose weight, or even just to live a healthy lifestyle.

Janet Giessl from Georgia country on June 08, 2013:

Thank you for your compliment and also for linking to my hub about unhealthy foods. Wish you also a fantastic weekend!

Kathryn (author) from Windsor, Connecticut on June 08, 2013:

Careermommy, thank you, I'm glad you like it.

Very true, I don't need to lose anything. For my age, body type and height I can be between 130 (or 135, depending on which chart you look at)-160. I am definitely within my range. I just like to be at the lower end. Even more important than the actual weight is the way my body looks and feels. I am mostly concerned with my muscle tone, as well as how my stomach and legs appear. 5 pounds would probably be just fine, enough for my favorite clothes to fit just a little more comfortably. But don't worry, I always take great care not to lose too much. I don't have any desire to be underweight. I want to be healthy!

Wow, so you were a personal trainer! That is great. It's encouraging hearing that from someone who is more of an expert.

Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my humble abode, and share your thoughts. I appreciate the support very much.

Have a fantastic weekend!

~ Kathryn