I thought I would share my technique with all of you brides-to-be since it is working graet for me. I have recently being getting into the old seasons of The Biggest Loser and it really motivated me to lose some weight and eat healthier. Trainer Bob suggests keeping a food journal and Carrie Underwood uses this method as well.
I began a food journal and it has been amazing! I have lost 10lbs already and it has only been 1month. I don't feel like I am starving or dieting. I just write down the food I eat along with the calories, protein, fiber and fat. If anyone is interested in seeing pictures of the way I set mine up, I will be happy to post some. At the bottom of each page I write down all of the exercise I did that day. If I stayed under my calorie limit for the day, I give myself a cute little sticker on the page :)
To figure out nutrition facts about foods that don't have a label (ex. when you're eating out), I use calorieking.com . It is a great website that gives you the nutrition facts on just about every brand of every food...including restaurants. They also have a book that you can order to fit in your purse if you don't like going online for that info. I noticed that I make better decisions because I don't want to write "3cups of chocolate ice cream" in my journal. my the time it gets to dinner time, I can see how many calories I have consumed and I know then if I can have dessert after dinner, or that ranch dressing on my salad! Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, portion control is vital, measure EVERYTHING and write things down AS SOON AS you are done eating!
Every pound of fat=3500 calories....so between decreasing your calorie intake each day and calculating calories burned during exercise, that is how you can figure out how many calories you should consume each day.
Ex for me:
I used consume about 1700 calories each day. If I lower that to 1200 calories per day, that is a 500 calorie deficit each day. Multiply that x 7days =3500 calories lost per week which equals 1lb of fat lost in 1 week. I usually jog/run on the treadmill for about 25 minutes each day and I burn 250 calories. Multiply that x 7days=1750calories burned weekly which is 1/2lb of fat. Then, you have to factor in how many calories your body burns during normal day to day activity and factor that in as well. You can find those calculators online. I lose about 2.5-3lbs each week doing this and I love it.
Remember, if you have certain health conditions, you may want to talk to your dr before starting a diet/exercise program. (just the nursing student health teaching coming out in me!) :)
Good luck! post questions if you have them!