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I’ve Lost 15 Pounds on the Noom Diet App, and Here’s What I Eat in a Day

I’m a fitness editor, and I live a pretty healthy lifestyle — I exercise five to six days a week, eat a whole-foods-based diet, and get at least seven hours of sleep a night — but in January of this year, I found my weight creeping up on the higher end of what I find comfortable. I’ve struggled to keep weight off my whole life, and thanks to my bipolar II medication, general stress, and love of happy hour, this has only gotten harder as I’ve gotten older.

I also have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which means I need to be careful with my weight: women with PCOS are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (and women with PCOS have a harder time losing weight, which makes this all a fun cycle).

All of that being said: I wanted to check out the Noom weight-loss app to see if it could help me shed some pounds and get back on track with a healthy lifestyle. Created with the help of registered dietitians and other experts, the Noom app aims to not only help you lose weight, but also change your behaviors and reevaluate the thought processes behind the decisions you make. Each day includes new articles on topics such as portion control, staying motivated, identifying your social triggers, and how to decode a restaurant menu.

Noom also includes a daily calorie target, which adjusts based on how much activity you got that day (you manually log your exercise or sync up to your Fitbit or Apple Watch). One of my favorite features of Noom is the comprehensive food log where you type in what you ate and track your daily calories. If your food isn’t in Noom’s database, you can manually add the nutrition information. It also provides a color-coded breakdown of your food based on how calorie-dense they are: green (fruits, veggies, most whole grains, complex carbs), yellow (lean meats, starches, eggs), and red (typically processed junk food but also healthy calorie-dense foods like oils and nuts). You are supposed to aim to eat as many green and yellow foods as possible and limit your red foods to 25 percent or less of your diet.

The biggest adjustment for me was keeping track of everything I ate. Sure, I eat a pretty well-balanced diet, but I’m often tempted by treats in the work kitchen or all of the tasty snacks sent to my office. After hours, it’s easy for me to let one glass of wine turn to three and get carried away with the free chips and salsa. Signing up for Noom really helped me figure out where I tend to overeat and track the true size of a healthy portion: 1/4 cup of almonds is a good-sized snack. Half a bag is not.

After four months on Noom, I’m down 15 pounds! Not as fast as I would have liked, but I do realize that slow and steady wins the race. I didn’t do anything radical aside from read the Noom articles, log my food, work out, and pay attention to my daily calorie budget. Although every day is different for me food-wise, here is an example of what a typical day of eating looks like.

What I Eat in a Day on Noom

My daily calorie target depends on how much activity I’ve done that day. If I’ve worked out and walked 10,000 steps, my calories will be closer to 1,500-1,600 a day. If I skipped a workout and laid on the couch all day (hello, hungover Sundays), my calorie target is closer to 1,200-1,300 a day. Here is an example of a day where I had a moderate workout:

Breakfast: protein smoothie (430 calories)

  • 1 scoop Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Chocolate Shake (170 calories)
  • 1/2 banana (52 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon Perfect Keto Pure MCT Oil (130 calories)
  • 1.25 cup 365 Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened (50 calories)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (7 calories)
  • 3 flowerets of raw cauliflower (9 calories)
  • 3 giant frozen strawberries (12 calories)

Lunch: breaded chicken breast with quinoa and broccoli (405 calories)

  • 3 ounces chicken breast (175 calories)
  • 1/4 serving 365 Everyday Value Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs (25 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (40 calories)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (111 calories)
  • 1 cup roasted broccoli (54 calories)

Afternoon snack: almonds and collagen water (180 calories)

  • 17 Blue Diamond Gourmet Almonds, Rosemary and Sea Salt (120 calories)
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Water, Strawberry Lemon (60 calories)

Dinner: baked salmon with quinoa and broccoli (397 calories)

  • 3 ounces cooked salmon (195 calories)
  • 1/2 cooked quinoa (111 calories)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli (55 calories)
  • 1 pat of butter (36 calories)

Daily total calories: 1,412

Food Color Breakdown

Image source: Noom app

On this day, I did a pretty good job of loading up on mostly green foods, a nice amount of yellow foods, and limiting my red foods. I know some of my diet staples are red (like MCT oil and almonds), but I’m going to keep eating them — I just pay attention to the portion sizes.

The Takeaway

I tend to eat the same things over and over, which is one way people find weight-loss success: it takes the guesswork out of having to plan so many meals each week. I also try and meal prep on Sundays, and on this particular day, I made big batches of quinoa in the rice cooker and broccoli (both steamed and oven-roasted) to last for lunches and dinners. I also baked breaded chicken breasts for lunch and salmon fillets for dinner to get my protein in.

My protein smoothie can sometimes be my biggest meal of the day. I make a calorie-dense smoothie like this after my big morning workout to refuel my body and keep me full well until my late lunch. Sometimes I need to supplement with a mid-morning snack, but most days I’m satisfied until 2 p.m. or so.

If I have a day where I know I’m going to be getting drinks after work or want to make room for a delicious chocolate chip cookie from the break room, I make adjustments in my diet the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll skip the MCT oil in my smoothie or forgo an afternoon snack. Sometimes I’ll trade in my quinoa at lunch for double the veggies or leave out the butter on top. Every little tweak or adjustment counts toward my daily calorie target. And while I didn’t reach for something sweet after dinner on this day, I usually have some type of dessert each day that’s less than 100 calories: a square of dark chocolate or a dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Trader Joe’s.

I have never felt deprived doing Noom and I always listen to my hunger cues. Noom has really opened my eyes to what an accurate portion size is and how to plan your meals around your daily calorie target. I still have a little ways to go to hit my goals, but tracking everything in Noom makes it a little easier.

 

 

Source: I’ve Lost 15 Pounds on the Noom Diet App, and Here’s What I Eat in a Day

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Exercise & Cancer Care: A Physiotherapist’s Guide to Fitness During & After Treatment – Catherine Granger

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If you were diagnosed with cancer more than five or 10 years ago, you might have been told to rest and avoid physical activity.

Today, it’s a different story: we now know exercise benefits most people both during and after cancer treatment.

In May, Australian cancer experts launched a “world-first” position statement calling for exercise to be prescribed to all cancer patients as part of their routine treatment.

But how do you best keep physically active in the midst of illness, and later, remission?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to exercise in cancer care.

Exercise can alleviate side effects

While treatment pathways vary from person to person, cancer therapy (and cancer itself) can take a hefty toll on your physical and mental health.

Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatment and can occur at any stage of the disease. Other side effects include reduced fitness, muscle weakness, difficulty undertaking daily activities, as well as depression and anxiety.

Although some of these problems may begin before a cancer diagnosis, they are likely to be exacerbated during treatment.

The good news is that exercise can help to alleviate some of the side effects of cancer and its treatment, and improve outcomes for people with cancer.

Staying active helps to maintain or enhance your physical fitness, reduce fatigue, relieve mental distress and improve your overall quality of life.

Research shows exercise can help people with cancer tolerate aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy.

There is also data to suggest that in some types of cancer, such as breast, colon and prostate cancer, exercise may improve rates of survival.

Try a combination of cardio and weights

The are two types of exercise you need to focus on during (and after) cancer treatment: cardio exercise and resistance exercise.

Cardio exercise is all about getting your heart pumping and your whole body working. Think brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and dancing.

Resistance exercise, on the other hand, is about strengthening your muscles. This can be done using weight machines, dumbbells, elastic bands or just gravity and the weight of your own body.

When it comes to cardio, 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week is the goal. You might achieve this with 30 minutes of brisk walking or cycling (on an exercise bike) five times a week.

If you find 30 minutes in one session is too challenging, begin with a 10-minute brisk walk and slowly build your way up — either by extending the duration of your walk each time, or adding more walks into your day.

The intensity — or how hard you exercise — is important too. The easiest way to work out how intensely you’re exercising is by using the “walk and talk” test.

If you are walking for exercise, you need to be walking fast enough that you are getting a bit puffed (moderate intensity) — but not so fast that you can’t speak in full sentences (vigorous intensity).

Although vigorous intensity exercise gets your heart rate up (and requires only 75 minutes per week, compared to 150), we don’t recommend starting with this unless you are a very competent exerciser or have the support of a health professional.

When it comes to resistance training, research shows exercises should be done two or three times per week involving exercises that target the major muscle groups.

If you haven’t exercised for a long time, start off slow. And remember: when it comes to exercise, something is always better than nothing.

I’ve started exercising, but how do I stay motivated?

Staying motivated can be hard, especially on the days when you are busy running to and from hospital appointments, or sitting for hours in the hospital to receive chemotherapy.

It’s even harder on the days when symptoms like fatigue are at their worst.

The first thing to think about is what works for you. If you’re someone who likes tracking your own progress and striving to improve your fitness levels, measuring your daily step count might be a good option.

Watching how many steps you take each day and challenging yourself to reach a daily goal is a great way to keep motivated — and it helps you keep track of your daily activity.

If you have a smartphone, most come with a free health app that can track your daily step count.

Another way to maintain motivation is to use an exercise diary; many people find it really satisfying to tick a box for each day they exercise. Plus, it gives you the chance to marvel at your efforts at the end of each week.

While many people prefer to exercise alone, some people find it boring. If this is you, think about asking a friend to join you, or see if your community has a local walking group or exercise class for people with cancer.

What about after cancer, can I stop now?

No way! Keep it up. Or start again if you have stopped.

Exercise for people in remission — both immediately after treatment and in the long term — is really important. Surviving cancer means you are at risk of several other chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Evidence tells us that exercise helps prevent these diseases, plus a growing body of evidence suggests exercise has a role to play in preventing the cancer coming back.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle after cancer is more important than ever.

If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment (or are due to start soon) and planning to exercise, it’s a good idea to speak with your GP first. They’ll be able to refer you to an exercise specialist with experience in cancer care, such as a physiotherapist or accredited exercise physiologist.

 

 

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