Jennifer Paugh, 5'9"
Mom to Trent, 4 months
Starting weight: 168
Ending weight: 152
"I'm a picky eater. I don't consider salad a meal. Also, my husband and I love to eat out at restaurants. We take Trent and go out for most meals on the weekend and two or three dinners during the week. I am one who has to finish the whole meal. About twice a week, on nights we don't eat out, we might go to Dairy Queen, where I'll have a Blizzard."
The nutritionist weighs in. "Reading Jennifer's food diary, it was clear that she's no fan of fruits and vegetables," says Hemminger. That was one of her big challenges -- to eat more of both. Jen wasn't all that willing to change her habits. She really didn't want to give up eating out, for example. "I could see that what was going to work best for her was portion control -- not changing what she was eating, just how much." If she always eats everything on her plate at a restaurant, that can add up to a lot of calories. "On the upside, Jen's not a big snacker -- grazing is not one of her problems. In fact, she needs to build in more healthy snacks in the afternoon so she doesn't get so hungry by dinner that she overeats."
How it went. "We still go out to eat," Jennifer says, "but I just cut whatever I order in half. Aside from eating less, I'm also trying to cut calories in other ways. If I get a chicken sandwich, I'll have it without the mayonnaise, and instead of ordering fries, I'll get a different side, like cottage cheese. And my Blizzard days are over! We go to DQ much less often, and I order a dipped cone. Fruits and vegetables are still a challenge -- I snack on carrots, along with apples and bananas. I like pears and strawberries, but I don't always eat them. At dinner, I'll eat green beans."
The exercise routine. Jennifer's company has a free on-site fitness center for employees, but she hadn't been making much use of it, notes O'Neil. One of Jennifer's issues is a lower back problem -- she can't do crunches and other moves commonly done in group exercise classes. "I showed her modifications so that she could still do classes and not use her back problems as a reason not to go."
How it went. After a few pep talks from O'Neil, Jennifer started taking classes, such as kickboxing, during her lunchtime. "I work harder in those group classes than I would on my own -- I need the accountability. I've come to like it; exercising midday makes me feel energized!"
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the February 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.
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