I'll tell you a secret, I have a bit of an obsession with calorie counting. I'm not interested in any fad diets, I know calorie counting works for me. It was April 2009 when I first started watching my calorie intake and I lost 1 1/2 stones before starting university in the September.
Me at my lightest, just before I went to uni.
Then I did what lots of students seem to do - piled the weight on. Drinking, takeaways, study snacks and a sedentary lifestyle saw me put 3 stone on. Yep - 3 stone! I don't mind telling you I was the top end of a size 16, whereas I had been a 10-12. My wardrobe was full of tiny clothes that I didn't fit into and I felt hideous.
Me at my heaviest
But I knew what I had to do so I started counting the calories again, 18 months later I've lost more than 2 1/2 stone and I'm *nearly* back to my pre-uni weight. I'm a comfortable size 12 and sometimes a 10. I could've done it a lot faster than that but to be honest I wasn't trying that hard, I've never felt like I was on a diet - just keeping a mindful eye over my calorie intake and making sure that the general trend was down and not up!
Me now - although this dress is pretty flattering
Calorie counting just makes sense to me. There are different websites that will do it for you or you can do it yourself. If you find out how many calories you need to consume to maintain the weight you are at right now then you can work out how many you need to lose 1 or 2lbs per week depending on how fast you want to lose it. For me, to lose 2lbs a week now I only need 1150 calories which isn't very many but any exercise I do earns me more calories - it's a great incentive. If you want that treat, you need to earn it first. For example, when I do the 5k parkrun on a Saturday morning I earn roughly 750 calories from walking there, running it and walking back, that's almost a Big Mac and Medium Fries (although I can think of healthier treats)! It's all common sense but having a food diary and counting every last calorie really stops you from being in denial about what you're eating.